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Resource utilization patterns of epifauna from mangrove forests with contrasting inputs of local versus imported organic matter
Bouillon, S.; Moens, T.; Overmeer, I.; Koedam, N.; Dehairs, F. (2004). Resource utilization patterns of epifauna from mangrove forests with contrasting inputs of local versus imported organic matter. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 278: 77-88.
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630; e-ISSN 1616-1599, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Chemical elements > Nonmetals > Atmospheric gases > Nitrogen
    Chemical elements > Nonmetals > Carbon
    Isotopes > Stable isotopes
    Organisms > Eukaryotes > Animals > Invertebrates
    Mollusca [WoRMS]; Sesarmidae Dana, 1851 [WoRMS]
    ISW, India, Andhra Pradesh, Godavari Delta; ISW, India, Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada; ISW, Kenya, Gazi Bay [Marine Regions]; ISW, Sri Lanka [Marine Regions]
Author keywords
    Sesarmid crab; Mollusk; interfidal; invertebrate; foodweb; stable isotope; carbon; nitrogen; Intertidal; Intertidaal; Sesarmid crab; Foodweb; Intertidal; Intertidaal; Sesarmid crab; Foodweb

Authors  Top 
  • Bouillon, S., more
  • Moens, T., more
  • Overmeer, I.

    Mangrove epifaunal communities have access to various carbon and nitrogen sources and we hypothesized that the degree of material exchange with the aquatic environment might influence the overall use of different substrates by intertidal communities. Therefore, we analyzed C and N stable isotope ratios in primary producers, sediments and 245 samples of epifauna hand-collected from 5 sites in India, Sri Lanka and Kenya (representing estuarine, lagoonal and basin-type mangrove forests). Several patterns emerged from this data set. First, epifaunal communities used a range of available food substrates at all sites studied, including mangrove-derived organic matter, local microphytobenthos and micro-epiflora, as well as imported C and N from the aquatic environment (i.e. phytoplankton- and/or seagrass-derived organic matter). Secondly, our data indicate that at sites with significant inputs of aquatic sources, use of mangrove carbon is rather limited on a community basis, whereas in systems with less material exchange with adjacent waters, the relative importance of mangroves is higher. Thus, despite the unquestionable impact some epifaunal species may have on leaf litter dynamics, the dependency of the invertebrate community as a whole on mangrove litter is not ubiquitously large and varies according to the availability of local versus tidally imported sources. Precise quantification of the relative importance of different substrates with d13C and d15N is, however, not always straightforward due to the multitude of available sources and the overlap in source stable isotope signatures. Micro-epiflora on mangroves trees were remarkably depleted in 15N in all systems (d15N between -8.2 and -2.4‰) and thus form an example where d15N is a useful source indicator, as low d15N values of several gastropod species indicated substantial feeding on such epiflora

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