Trophic positioning of meiofauna revealed by stable isotopes and food web analyses

Authors: Schmid-Araya, J.M., Schmid, P.E., Tod, S.P. and Esteban, G.F.

Journal: Ecology

Volume: 97

Issue: 11

Pages: 3099-3109

ISSN: 0012-9658

DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1553

Abstract:

Despite important advances in the ecology of river food webs, the strength and nature of the connection between the meio-and macrofaunal components of the web are still debated. Some unresolved issues are the effects of the inclusion of meiofaunal links and their temporal variations on the overall river food web properties, and the significance of autochthonous and allochthonous material for these components. In the present study, we conducted analyses of gut content of macro-and meiofauna and stable isotope analyses of meiofauna to examine seasonal food webs of a chalk stream. The results of the gut content analyses, confirmed by the ?13C signatures, revealed a seasonal shift from a dependence on autochthonous (biofilm) to allochthonous food sources. Here, we demonstrate that aggregating basal or meiofaunal species into single categories affects key web properties such as web size, links, linkage density, and predator-prey ratios. More importantly, seasonal variation in attributes characterized the entire web and these changes persist regardless of taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, our analyses evidenced discrete variations in ?15N across the meiofauna community with a trophic structure that confirms gut content analyses, placing the meiofauna high in the food web. We, therefore, conclude that small-body-sized taxa can occur high in dynamic river food webs, questioning assumptions that trophic position increases with body size and that webs are static.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/24409/

Source: Scopus

Trophic positioning of meiofauna revealed by stable isotopes and food web analyses.

Authors: Schmid-Araya, J.M., Schmid, P.E., Tod, S.P. and Esteban, G.F.

Journal: Ecology

Volume: 97

Issue: 11

Pages: 3099-3109

ISSN: 0012-9658

DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1553

Abstract:

Despite important advances in the ecology of river food webs, the strength and nature of the connection between the meio- and macrofaunal components of the web are still debated. Some unresolved issues are the effects of the inclusion of meiofaunal links and their temporal variations on the overall river food web properties, and the significance of autochthonous and allochthonous material for these components. In the present study, we conducted analyses of gut content of macro- and meiofauna and stable isotope analyses of meiofauna to examine seasonal food webs of a chalk stream. The results of the gut content analyses, confirmed by the δ13 C signatures, revealed a seasonal shift from a dependence on autochthonous (biofilm) to allochthonous food sources. Here, we demonstrate that aggregating basal or meiofaunal species into single categories affects key web properties such as web size, links, linkage density, and predator-prey ratios. More importantly, seasonal variation in attributes characterized the entire web and these changes persist regardless of taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, our analyses evidenced discrete variations in δ15 N across the meiofauna community with a trophic structure that confirms gut content analyses, placing the meiofauna high in the food web. We, therefore, conclude that small-body-sized taxa can occur high in dynamic river food webs, questioning assumptions that trophic position increases with body size and that webs are static.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/24409/

Source: PubMed

Trophic positioning of meiofauna revealed by stable isotopes and food web analyses

Authors: Schmid-Araya, J.M., Schmid, P.E., Tod, S.P. and Esteban, G.F.

Journal: ECOLOGY

Volume: 97

Issue: 11

Pages: 3099-3109

eISSN: 1939-9170

ISSN: 0012-9658

DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1553

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/24409/

Source: Web of Science (Lite)

Trophic positioning of meiofauna revealed by stable isotopes and food-web analyses

Authors: Schmid-Araya, J., Schmid, P.E., Tod, S.P. and Esteban, G.F.

Journal: Ecology

Publisher: Ecological Society of America

ISSN: 1939-9170

Abstract:

Despite important advances in the ecology of river food-webs, the strength and nature of the connection between the meio- and macrofaunal components of the web are still debated. Some unresolved issues are the effects of the inclusion of meiofaunal links and their temporal variations on the overall river food web properties, and the significance of autochtonous and allochtonous material for these components. In the present study we conducted gut content of macro- and meiofauna, and stable isotope analyses of meiofauna to examine seasonal food webs of a chalk stream. The results of the gut content analyses, confirmed by the δ13C signatures, revealed a seasonal shift from a dependence on autochthonous (biofilm) to allochthonous food sources. Here, we demonstrate that aggregating basal or meiofaunal species into single categories affects key web properties such as web size, links, linkage density, and predator-prey ratios. More importantly, seasonal variation in attributes characterized the entire web and these changes persist regardless of taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, our analyses evidenced discrete variations in δ15N across the meiofauna community with a trophic structure that confirms gut content analyses, placing the meiofauna high in the food web. We, therefore, conclude that small body-sized taxa can occur high in dynamic river food webs, questioning assumptions that trophic position increases with body size and that webs are static.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/24409/

Source: Manual

Trophic positioning of meiofauna revealed by stable isotopes and food web analyses.

Authors: Schmid-Araya, J.M., Schmid, P.E., Tod, S.P. and Esteban, G.F.

Journal: Ecology

Volume: 97

Issue: 11

Pages: 3099-3109

eISSN: 1939-9170

ISSN: 0012-9658

DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1553

Abstract:

Despite important advances in the ecology of river food webs, the strength and nature of the connection between the meio- and macrofaunal components of the web are still debated. Some unresolved issues are the effects of the inclusion of meiofaunal links and their temporal variations on the overall river food web properties, and the significance of autochthonous and allochthonous material for these components. In the present study, we conducted analyses of gut content of macro- and meiofauna and stable isotope analyses of meiofauna to examine seasonal food webs of a chalk stream. The results of the gut content analyses, confirmed by the δ13 C signatures, revealed a seasonal shift from a dependence on autochthonous (biofilm) to allochthonous food sources. Here, we demonstrate that aggregating basal or meiofaunal species into single categories affects key web properties such as web size, links, linkage density, and predator-prey ratios. More importantly, seasonal variation in attributes characterized the entire web and these changes persist regardless of taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, our analyses evidenced discrete variations in δ15 N across the meiofauna community with a trophic structure that confirms gut content analyses, placing the meiofauna high in the food web. We, therefore, conclude that small-body-sized taxa can occur high in dynamic river food webs, questioning assumptions that trophic position increases with body size and that webs are static.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/24409/

Source: Europe PubMed Central

Trophic positioning of meiofauna revealed by stable isotopes and food-web analyses

Authors: Schmid-Araya, J., Schmidt, P.E., Tod, S.P. and Esteban, G.

Journal: Ecology

Volume: 97

Issue: 11

Pages: 3099-3109

ISSN: 1939-9170

Abstract:

Despite important advances in the ecology of river food-webs, the strength and nature of the connection between the meio- and macrofaunal components of the web are still debated. Some unresolved issues are the effects of the inclusion of meiofaunal links and their temporal variations on the overall river food web properties, and the significance of autochtonous and allochtonous material for these components. In the present study we conducted gut content of macro- and meiofauna, and stable isotope analyses of meiofauna to examine seasonal food webs of a chalk stream. The results of the gut content analyses, confirmed by the δ13C signatures, revealed a seasonal shift from a dependence on autochthonous (biofilm) to allochthonous food sources. Here, we demonstrate that aggregating basal or meiofaunal species into single categories affects key web properties such as web size, links, linkage density, and predator-prey ratios. More importantly, seasonal variation in attributes characterized the entire web and these changes persist regardless of taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, our analyses evidenced discrete variations in δ15N across the meiofauna community with a trophic structure that confirms gut content analyses, placing the meiofauna high in the food web. We, therefore, conclude that small body-sized taxa can occur high in dynamic river food webs, questioning assumptions that trophic position increases with body size and that webs are static.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/24409/

Source: BURO EPrints