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Sources of primary production supporting food webs in an arid coastal embayment
Al-Maslamani, I.; Walton, M.E.M.; Kennedy, H.; Le Vay, L. (2012). Sources of primary production supporting food webs in an arid coastal embayment. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(8): 1753-1762.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Al-Maslamani, I.
  • Walton, M.E.M.
  • Kennedy, H.
  • Le Vay, L.

    Penaeid shrimp can be useful ecological indicators of linkages between shallow tropical coastal habitats, acting as integrators of carbon and nitrogen sources due to their generalist feeding habits and their mobility between habitats and with tidal cycles. In the current study, the contribution of mangrove, seagrass and microbial mat to the nutrition of two penaeid shrimp species, Penaeus semisulcatus and Metapeneus ensis, in a shallow arid embayment in the Arabian Gulf was assessed through a combination of analysis of stomach contents and dual carbon and nitrogen stable isotope signatures. Shrimp tissue stable isotope signatures identified seagrass as a major source of carbon and nitrogen for both species, contributing 21–38 % (1–99 ‰). Microbial mat was also detected as a significant nutritional source for early-stage Metapenaeus affinis postlarvae (1–27 %). However, mangroves were not identified as a significant source, with the range of results including the possibility of a zero contribution. Moreover, the greatest possible contribution of mangroves as source of carbon was less than for the other primary producers. This may be due the high salinity and wide temperature range limiting mangrove productivity as well as the low export of dissolved and particulate organic material out of the mangroves due to low rainfall.

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