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Trophic diversity and potential role of detritivorous crustaceans in Posidonia oceanica litter Nicolas Sturaro Sylvie Gobert Anne-Sophie Cox Gilles Lepoint.

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Presentation on theme: "Trophic diversity and potential role of detritivorous crustaceans in Posidonia oceanica litter Nicolas Sturaro Sylvie Gobert Anne-Sophie Cox Gilles Lepoint."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trophic diversity and potential role of detritivorous crustaceans in Posidonia oceanica litter Nicolas Sturaro Sylvie Gobert Anne-Sophie Cox Gilles Lepoint

2 P. oceanica litter Fragmented material - abscised dead leaves - degraded leaf fragments Uprooted shoots and drift macroalgae Food and shelter for an abundant animal community Photo : D. Vangeluwe

3 (Source : Gallmetzer et al., 2005)

4 Problems How is coexistence possible between the detritivores living in Posidonia litter ?  apparently homogeneous food sources  poor nutritional value of Posidonia leaf litter Are they a link between seagrass primary production and adjacent habitats ? What is the role of these species in the degradation of Posidonia litter ?

5 Objective Determine the trophic diversity and potential role of amphipod and isopod living in P. oceanica litter

6 Material & Methods Sampling and study area Calvi Revellata Bay March 2004: Cox (2004) March 2005

7 Material & Methods Diet analysis 2 methods  Gut content analysis (ingested material)  Stable isotope analysis: carbon & nitrogen (Assimilated material) - The isotope signature of an animal is a weighted mixture of the isotopic values of the food sources assimilated

8 Results and Discussion

9 Target species Gammarella fucicolaGammarus aequicaudaIdotea baltica Idotea hectica

10 Gut contents semi-quantitative estimation P. oceanica litter Macroalgae (Drift & epiphytes) Crustaceans Microorganisms (Diatoms, Foraminifera) G. aequicauda G. fucicola I. baltica I. hectica

11 Frequency of occurrence in guts P. oceanica litter G. aequicauda G. fucicola I. baltica I. hectica ~ 100 % ~ 50 % ~ 90 %

12 Ingested fragments of P. oceanica litter are small (5-100 cells)  Potentiel role of these species in the mechanical degradation of litter

13 Results of isotopic ratios

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21 Hypothesis : Modification of the diet during growth of the animal Lenght (mm)  agrees with gut content results

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24  Important trophic diversity

25 Mixing model Mathematic model that can estimate relative contribution of different food sources  find a distribution of feasible solutions for the different food sources Method : - Phillips & Gregg (2003) - Computer program (IsoSource) to perform calculations

26 Posidonia litter Source contribution (%) Frequency (%) 0-30 % I.bI.hG.f

27  Difference with gut content results % Frequency (%) Source contribution (%) Posidonia litter G.aI.bI.hG.f 0-30 %

28 Gut contents semi-quantitative estimation P. oceanica litter G. aequicauda G. fucicola I. baltica I. hectica

29  Difference with gut content results % Frequency (%) Source contribution (%)  Micro-organisms colonising leaf litter may constitute an important food source for litter fauna Posidonia litter 0-30 %

30 Photos: Dr. Mathieu Poulicek Fungi Diatoms Bacteria

31 Sciaphilous algae Frequency (%) Source contribution (%) Crustacean fragments 44 % 13 % 12 % 30 % I.h G.f I.b

32 Summary of mixing model results Species Principal assimilated food sources G. aequicauda G. fucicola I. baltica I. hectica Posidonia litter - PEA PEA PEA - Crustacea SA - PEA

33 Conclusions Our results demonstrate The important trophic diversity existing between detritivorous crustaceans in Posidonia litter Importance of combined methods in diet studies (ingested material vs assimilated material): Posidonia leaf litter are ingested but a little assimilated (except for G. aequicauda)

34 Role in the mechanical degradation The transfer to higher trophic level and the link between seagrass primary production and adjacent habitats Conclusions  macrofauna of the litter is consumed by local shore fishes

35 Acknowledgments We are very thankful to the staff of the oceanographic station STARESO (CORSICA) for their hospitality and assistance during field work. This study was supported by FNRS (Fonds National pour la Recherche Scientifique) Contract FRFC Contact :


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