Sepúlveda-Lozada, Alejandra, Mendoza-Carranza, Manuel, Wolff, Matthias, Saint-Paul, Ulrich and Ponce-Mendoza, Alejandro (2015) Differences in food web structure of mangroves and freshwater marshes: evidence from stable isotope studies in the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 23 (2). pp. 293-314. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-014-9382-2.

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Abstract

Tropical coastal habitats like marshes, mangroves, and submerged grasses comprise diverse plant and animal communities and a certain degree of connectivity with other ecosystems. We compared the food web structure of a fringing mangrove-seagrass habitat and three fluvio-lagoons with marsh-eelgrass and mangrove-bare sediments during a dry season in Terminos Lagoon and Centla Wetlands, Southern Gulf of Mexico. Analysis of δ13C and δ15N stable isotopes in tissues of aquatic consumers, primary producers, and other carbon sources, in combination with isotope-based Bayesian methods, were performed to determine the main food sources and the isotopic niche of the consumers’ communities. Consumers in the mangrove-seagrass site showed high dependence on phytoplankton (average contribution 31 %), macroalgae (20 %) and organic matter derived from seagrasses (17 %). In the fluvio-lagoons, consumers showed high dependence on marginal vegetation (16–46 %). Phytoplankton and mangrove epiphytes comprised other important resources at these sites (with contributions of 24–44 %). The isotopic niche of consumers from the fringing mangrove-seagrass site did not overlap with those from the fluvio-lagoons. Moreover, despite the predominance of generalist consumers in all sites, differences in their isotopic niche area were observed, with consumers from the marsh-eelgrass site showing the narrowest. This suggests that consumer resource availability greatly differs in these habitats. Our results provide valuable information that help increase our understanding about the trophic structure in these important estuarine systems.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Affiliations > Not ZMT
Ecology > Mangrove Ecology
Theoretical Ecology and Modelling > Resource Management
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-014-9382-2
ISSN: 0923-4861
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 13:03
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2476

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