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Macroinvertebrate diet in intertidal seagrass and sandflat communities: a study using C, N, and S stable isotopes


Leduc, D and Probert, PK and Frew, RD and Hurd, CL, Macroinvertebrate diet in intertidal seagrass and sandflat communities: a study using C, N, and S stable isotopes, New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 40, (4) pp. 615-629. ISSN 0028-8330 (2006) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2006 The Royal Society of New Zealand

DOI: doi:10.1080/00288330.2006.9517450


Most seagrass community food-web studies using stable isotopes have been carried out in subtidal habitats during one sampling event. We used C, N, and S stable isotopes to characterise the diet of the dominant macroinvertebrates found in intertidal Zostera capricorni and sandflat communities of southern New Zealand in late summer and winter. The range of δ13C and δ34S values for Z. capricorni was wide (>5), which highlights the importance of accounting for spatial and temporal variability in primary producer isotopic signatures. The range of δ15N values for Z. capricorni was comparatively small (13C and δ15N signatures suggested that Z. capricorni was a potentially important contributor (24-99%) to the diet of most consumers sampled at the seagrass site, whereas microphytobenthos dominated the diet of the same consumers at the sandflat site. The main exception was the bivalve Austrovenus stutchburyi, which had a diet consisting mostly (up to 85%) of Ulva and Polysiphonia spp. at both sites. S isotopes proved to be of limited use owing to the difficulty of sampling microphytobenthos and to potential nondietary sources of 34S-depleted sulfur to consumers. Mixing models also suggested that Z. capricorni contributed more to the diet of deposit feeders in August (late winter) than in March (late summer).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seaweed, invertebrate, stable isotopes, herbivores, sandflat, community
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Hurd, CL (Professor Catriona Hurd)
ID Code:93115
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-07-14
Last Modified:2014-08-05

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