Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Scopus||Web of Science®||Altmetric|
|Title:||Movement of carbon among estuarine habitats and its assimilation by invertebrates|
|Author:||Connolly, R. M.|
Guest, Michaela A.
|Citation:||Oecologia, 2005; 144(4):684-691|
|School/Discipline:||School of Earth and Environmental Sciences|
|Rod M. Connolly, Daniel Gorman and Michaela A. Guest|
|Abstract:||We measured the extent of movement of carbon and its assimilation by invertebrates among estuarine habitats by analysing carbon stable isotopes of invertebrates collected along transects crossing the boundary of two habitats. The habitats were dominated by autotrophs with distinct isotope values: (1) mudflats containing benthic microalgae (mean −22.6, SE 0.6‰) and (2) seagrass and its associated epiphytic algae (similar values, pooled mean −9.8, 0.5‰). Three species of invertebrates were analysed: a palaemonid shrimp, Macrobrachium intermedium, and two polychaete worms, Nephtys australiensis and Australonereis ehlersi. All species had a similar narrow range of isotope values (−9 to −14‰), and showed no statistically significant relationship between position along transect and isotope values. Animals were relying on carbon from seagrass meadows whether they were in seagrass or on mudflats hundreds of metres away. Particulate organic matter collected from superficial sediments along the transects had similar values to animals (mean −11.1, SE 1.3‰) and also showed no significant relationship with position. The isotope values of these relatively immobile invertebrates and the particulate detritus suggest that carbon moves from subtidal seagrass meadows to mudflats as particulate matter and is assimilated by invertebrates. This assimilation might be direct in the case of the detritivorous worm, A. ehlersi, but must be via invertebrate prey in the case of the carnivorous worm, N. australiensis and the scavenging shrimp, M. intermedium. The extent of movement of carbon among habitats, especially towards shallower habitats, is surprising since in theory, carbon is more likely to move offshore in situations such as the current study where habitats are in relatively open, unprotected waters.|
|Keywords:||Crustacea; Estuary; Polychaeta; Stable isotopes; Trophic subsidy|
|Appears in Collections:||Earth and Environmental Sciences publications|
Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.