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Use of benthic vs planktonic organic matter by sandy-beach organisms: A food tracing experiment with 13C labelled diatoms
Maria, T.F.; De Troch, M.; Vanaverbeke, J.; Esteves, A.M.; Vanreusel, A. (2011). Use of benthic vs planktonic organic matter by sandy-beach organisms: A food tracing experiment with 13C labelled diatoms. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 407(2): 309-314. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2011.06.028
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981; e-ISSN 1879-1697, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 226109 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Aquatic communities > Benthos
    Food webs
    Isotopes
    Meiofauna
    Sandy beaches
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    Benthic food webs; Ecosystem functioning; Macrofauna; Meiofauna; Stable isotopes

Authors  Top 
  • Maria, T.F., more
  • De Troch, M., more
  • Vanaverbeke, J., more
  • Esteves, A.M.
  • Vanreusel, A., more

Abstract
    Benthic diatoms are assumed to be of minor importance as food sources in sandy-beach food webs, since they are typically scarce in sandy-beach sediments; whereas organic matter derived from land and sea is known to be more important in sandy-beach food webs. In order to test if benthic and planktonic diatoms play a minor or major role, respectively, in sandy-beach food webs, a laboratory experiment was conducted. Labelled planktonic and benthic diatoms, enriched in the stable carbon 13C isotope, were offered as food sources to sandy-beach macrofauna and meiofauna communities. Uptake of both types of diatoms occurred with most of the species, but benthic diatoms were preferentially consumed by two macrofaunal species and all meiofaunal species. This result reveals the importance of benthic carbon sources in both macrofaunal and interstitial food webs, and suggests a link between both food webs through the common use of benthic diatoms.

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