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Role of peat organic matter on isotopic composition of most abundant benthic organisms in intertidal habitats of SW Iceland
Sara, G.; Romano, C.; De Pirro, M.; Halldorson, P.H.; Sprovieri, M.; Rumolo, P.; Mazzola, A. (2008). Role of peat organic matter on isotopic composition of most abundant benthic organisms in intertidal habitats of SW Iceland. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 154(1): 191-198. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-008-0912-4
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Sara, G.
  • Romano, C.
  • De Pirro, M.
  • Halldorson, P.H.
  • Sprovieri, M.
  • Rumolo, P.
  • Mazzola, A.

Abstract
    The transfer of peat organic matter (OM) from tidal pools of upper littoral to downstream rocky shores and its potential incorporation into marine biota were investigated using the stable isotope approach. Samplings were carried out in September 2004 in two SW Icelandic sites (Osar and Hvassahraun), where we selected (1) areas with shores where grass gently declined towards rocks and, on reaching the sea line, formed small tidal peat pools and (2) areas where grass and rocky shores were not contiguous, rather the grass lower limits were several hundreds of meters back from the shore. In both grass and no grass areas, in the intertidal zone, all benthic organisms and all potential OM sources were sampled. Dominant macroalgae were Ascophyllum nodosum ([Linnaeus] Le Jolis) and Fucus vesiculosus Linnaeus. In grass sites, organisms partially reflected the isotopic composition of peat OM, while in no grass sites, peat represented only a negligible amount of available OM, or its signal was totally absent from the environment. Intertidal organisms could rely on peat both directly by suspension feeding, grazing or scavenging and indirectly by predation (crabs) on low level consumers (barnacles).

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