Document Detail

Stable isotope analysis of production and trophic relationships in a tropical marine hard-bottom community.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16485099     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Seagrasses produce much of the organic carbon in the shallow waters of the Caribbean and it has long been assumed that a substantial portion of this carbon is exported to nearby habitats, contributing substantially to their food webs. In the shallow coastal waters of the Florida Keys (USA), seagrass intersperses with hard-bottom habitat where bushy, red macroalgae are the most prominent primary producers. However, the relative importance of seagrass-derived carbon versus autochthonous algal production or phytoplankton in supporting higher trophic levels within hard-bottom communities has never been investigated. We compared the carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of potential primary producers and representative higher trophic level taxa from hard-bottom sites on the bay-side and ocean-side of the Florida Keys. We also included in our study a set of bay-side sites that experienced significant ecological disturbances over the past decade (e.g., cyanobacteria blooms, seagrass die-off, and sponge die-offs) that may have altered trophic relationships in those regions. We did not detect any differences among regions in the trophic status of hard-bottom taxa that might be associated with ecosystem disturbance. However, our results suggest that autochthonous production of algal detritus is an important source of secondary production in these hard-bottom communities, with seagrass and phytoplankton contributing smaller fractions.
Donald C Behringer; Mark J Butler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-02-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  148     ISSN:  0029-8549     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2006 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-06-23     Completed Date:  2006-07-27     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  334-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0266, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Carbon Isotopes
Caribbean Region
Hydrocharitaceae / physiology*
Laurencia / physiology*
Nephropidae / physiology
Nitrogen Isotopes
Porifera / physiology
Sea Cucumbers / physiology
Snails / physiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Carbon Isotopes; 0/Nitrogen Isotopes

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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