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A seasonal stable isotope survey of the food web associated to a peri-urban rocky shore
Schaal, G.; Riera, P.; Leroux, C.; Grall, J. (2010). A seasonal stable isotope survey of the food web associated to a peri-urban rocky shore. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(2): 283-294.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Schaal, G.
  • Riera, P., more
  • Leroux, C.
  • Grall, J.

    We characterized the structure and functioning of the food web associated to an intertidal rocky shore in the harbour of Brest (Western Brittany, France), through a seasonal d13C and d15N survey. The dominance of benthic-derived organic matter, and particularly resuspended sediment, in the local pool of suspended organic matter, is highlighted. This benthic-derived organic matter dominates the diet of filter-feeders, including a certain degree of selectivity displayed by various taxa belonging to this trophic group. The food web structure appeared very stable temporally, which suggested the dominance of mixed diets, rather than the consumption of pure sources. It was constituted of 4 trophic levels, including a large diversity of predators, likely favoured by the diversity of microhabitats that characterize this intertidal habitat. From our results, the trophic functioning of this peri-urban rocky shore community does not appear functionally simplified as previously reported for other anthropized and/or artificial rocky ecosystems. We suggest that the topological complexity of rocky habitats, including a diversity of microhabitats, might be responsible of the important animal diversity, in spite of the anthropogenic disturbances characterizing this peri-urban area.

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