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Feeding ecology of shallow water meiofauna: insights from a stable isotope tracer experiment in Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctica
Pasotti, F.; De Troch, M.; Raes, M.; Vanreusel, A. (2012). Feeding ecology of shallow water meiofauna: insights from a stable isotope tracer experiment in Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctica. Polar Biol. 35(11): 1629-1640. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00300-012-1203-6
In: Polar Biology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 0722-4060, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 239857 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Isotopes; Meiobenthos; Daptonema Cobb, 1920 [WoRMS]; PSW, Antarctica, Antarctic Peninsula [Marine Regions]; PSW, Antarctica, South Shetland I., King George I., Potter Cove [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Feeding ecology; Stable isotopes

Authors  Top 

Abstract
    Antarctic meiofauna is still strongly understudied, and so is its trophic position in the food web. Primary producers, such as phytoplankton, and bacteria may represent important food sources for shallow water metazoans, and the role of meiobenthos in the benthic-pelagic coupling represents an important brick for food web understanding. In a laboratory, feeding experiment 13C-labeled freeze-dried diatoms (Thalassiosira weissflogii) and bacteria were added to retrieved cores from Potter Cove (15-m depth, November 2007) in order to investigate the uptake of 3 main meiofauna taxa: nematodes, copepods and cumaceans. In the surface sediment layers, nematodes showed no real difference in uptake of both food sources. This outcome was supported by the natural d13C values and the community genus composition. In the first centimeter layer, the dominant genus was Daptonema which is known to be opportunistic, feeding on both bacteria and diatoms. Copepods and cumaceans on the other hand appeared to feed more on diatoms than on bacteria. This may point at a better adaptation to input of primary production from the water column. On the other hand, the overall carbon uptake of the given food sources was quite low for all taxa, indicating that likely other food sources might be of relevance for these meiobenthic organisms. Further studies are needed in order to better quantify the carbon requirements of these organisms.

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