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Trophic importance of microphytobenthos and bacteria to meiofauna in soft-bottom intertidal habitats: A combined trophic marker approach.

Authors
  • van der Heijden, L H1
  • Graeve, M2
  • Asmus, R3
  • Rzeznik-Orignac, J4
  • Niquil, N5
  • Bernier, Q6
  • Guillou, G6
  • Asmus, H3
  • Lebreton, B6
  • 1 UMR 7266 Littoral, Environment et Societies (CNRS - University of La Rochelle), Institute du littoral et de l'environnement, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000, La Rochelle, France; Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar- and Marine Research, Wattenmeerstation Sylt, Hafenstraße 43, 25992, List, Sylt, Germany. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Germany)
  • 2 Alfred Wegener Institut Helmholtz Centre for Polar- and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570, Bremerhaven, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar- and Marine Research, Wattenmeerstation Sylt, Hafenstraße 43, 25992, List, Sylt, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 4 UMR 8222 Laboratoire d'Ecogéochimie des Environnements Benthiques, (CNRS - Sorbonne Université), Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls, 1 avenue Pierre Fabre, 66650, Banyuls-sur-Mer, France. , (France)
  • 5 UMR 7208 Unité Biologie des Organismes et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques (MNHN - CNRS - IRD - Sorbonne Université - Université de Caen Normandie - Université des Antilles), Esplanade de la Paix, 14000, CAEN, France. , (France)
  • 6 UMR 7266 Littoral, Environment et Societies (CNRS - University of La Rochelle), Institute du littoral et de l'environnement, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000, La Rochelle, France. , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Marine environmental research
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2019
Volume
149
Pages
50–66
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.05.014
PMID: 31153060
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Meiofauna can play an important role in the carbon fluxes of soft-bottom coastal habitats. Investigation of their feeding behavior and trophic position remains challenging due to their small size. In this study, we determine and compare the food sources used by nematodes and benthic copepods by using stable isotope compositions, fatty acid profiles and compound specific isotope analyses of fatty acids in the mudflats, seagrass beds and a sandflat of the Marennes-Oléron Bay, France, and the Sylt-Rømø Bight, Germany. Suspended particulate organic matter was much more 13C-depleted than other food sources and meiofauna, highlighting its poor role in the different studied habitats. The very low proportions of vascular plant fatty acid markers in meiofauna demonstrated that these consumers did not rely on this food source, either fresh or detrital, even in seagrass beds. The combined use of stable isotopes and fatty acids emphasized microphytobenthos and benthic bacteria as the major food sources of nematodes and benthic copepods. Compound specific analyses of a bacteria marker confirmed that bacteria mostly used microphytobenthos as a substrate. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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