Utilization of organic matter by invertebrates along an estuarine gradient in an intermittently open estuary

Lautenschlager,AD, Matthews,TG and Quinn,GP 2014, Utilization of organic matter by invertebrates along an estuarine gradient in an intermittently open estuary, Estuarine, coastal and shelf science, vol. 149, pp. 232-243, doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.08.020.

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Title Utilization of organic matter by invertebrates along an estuarine gradient in an intermittently open estuary
Author(s) Lautenschlager,AD
Matthews,TGORCID iD for Matthews,TG orcid.org/0000-0002-0606-5433
Quinn,GPORCID iD for Quinn,GP orcid.org/0000-0003-4144-0355
Journal name Estuarine, coastal and shelf science
Volume number 149
Start page 232
End page 243
Total pages 12
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2014-08
ISSN 0272-7714
Keyword(s) Drought
Intermittently open estuary
Invertebrate diet
Organic matter
Seasonally-closed estuary
Stable isotopes
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Summary In intermittently open estuaries, the sources of organic matter sustaining benthic invertebrates are likely to vary seasonally, particularly between periods of connection and disconnection with the ocean and higher and lower freshwater flows. This study investigated the contribution of allochthonous and autochthonous primary production to the diet of representative invertebrate species using stable isotope analysis (SIA) during the austral summer and winter (2008, 2009) in an intermittently open estuary on the south-eastern coast of Australia. As the study was conducted towards the end of a prolonged period of drought, a reduced influence of freshwater/terrestrial organic matter was expected. Sampling was conducted along an estuarine gradient, including upper, middle and lower reaches and showed that the majority of assimilated organic matter was derived from autochthonous estuarine food sources. Additionally, there was an input of allochthonous organic matter, which varied along the length of the estuary, indicated by distinct longitudinal trends in carbon and nitrogen stable isotope signatures along the estuarine gradient. Marine seaweed contributed to invertebrate diets in the lower reaches of the estuary, while freshwater/terrestrial organic matter had increased influence in the upper reaches. Suspension-feeding invertebrates derived large parts of their diet from freshwater/terrestrial material, despite flows being greatly reduced in comparison with non-drought years.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.08.020
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072378

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