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Diet of mussels Mytilus trossulus and Dreissena polymorpha in a brackish nontidal environment
Lauringson, V.; Kotta, J.; Orav-Kotta, H.; Kaljurand, K. (2014). Diet of mussels Mytilus trossulus and Dreissena polymorpha in a brackish nontidal environment. Mar. Ecol. (Berl.) 35(s1): 56-66.
In: Marine Ecology (Berlin). Blackwell: Berlin. ISSN 0173-9565; e-ISSN 1439-0485, more
Also appears in:
Wilkinson, M. (Ed.) (2014). EMBS 45: European Marine Biology Symposium, 23-27 August 2010, Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Marine Ecology (Berlin), 35(S1). Blackwell: Berlin. III, 110 pp., more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Bacillariophyceae [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Baltic Sea; benthic pelagic coupling; biotic interactions; diatoms; filter-feeding bivalves; microalgae; microphytobenthos; phytoplakton; resuspension; selectivity

Authors  Top 
  • Lauringson, V.
  • Kotta, J., more
  • Orav-Kotta, H.
  • Kaljurand, K.

    Benthic suspension feeders have traditionally been considered an important link between pelagic and benthic food webs in shallow seas. Their ecological impact depends highly on the removal rate of pelagic production from the water column. Besides phytoplankton, benthic suspension feeders can feed on microphytobenthos and detritus suspended in the water column by wind-waves or tidal forces. The share of the pelagic component in the diet of benthic suspension feeders is poorly studied in the non-tidal environment. We examined the diatom food items of two bivalve species, Mytilus trossulus Gould and Dreissena polymorpha Pallas, at four shallow locations in the Gulf of Riga basin, in the Baltic Sea, differing in hydrographic characteristics. The share of pennate benthic diatoms was always higher in mussel food than in ambient water, whereas pelagic species were under-represented. Mussels never consumed the dominant genera that were in the water column, Cylindrotheca and Leptocylindrus. There were no differences in the main food source between the two mussel species. Our results suggest that the impact of benthic suspension feeders on pelagic foodwebs and their role in promoting benthic–pelagic coupling is of a minor importance in the study area, whereas the impact on benthic food webs may be mainly by the re-arrangement of energy within benthic pathways.

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