Stable isotopes were used to investigate contributions of autochthonous (i.e. benthic: epilithon and macroalgae)and allochthonous (i.e. pelagic: phytoplankton) organic matter sources to the diet of suspension-feeders, grazersand predators associated to small reef-pools (cuvettes) created by the reef-building species Dendropomapetraeum in the north-western coast of Sicily (Italy). Contributions of potential food sources were calculatedusing Bayesian mixing-models and integrated to a multivariate approach to highlight the diversity of C and Npathways within Dendropoma cuvettes. Both pelagic and benthic organicmatter sources were exploited by benthicconsumers, although clear differenceswere revealed in the various species depending on their feeding strategy.Three different trophic pathwayswere identified: one basedmainly on phytoplankton, one basedmainly onmacroalgae and a third one mainly on epilithon. Suspension-feeders seemed to rely mainly on allochthonous organicmatter sources, while grazers showed a wider diet spectrum. Predators revealed a high specialization ineach of the three food chains and showed a distinct reliance on organicmatter originated frombenthic or pelagicsources. Stable isotopes evidenced here a marked differentiation of the trophic niche within the cuvetteassociatedcommunity, which allows minimizing competition in very space-limited conditions.
|Numero di pagine||7|
|Rivista||Journal of Sea Research|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes