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Food web structure of a subtropical coastal lagoon
Muro-Torres, V.M.; Soto-Jiménez, M.F.; Green, L.; Quintero, J.; Amezcua, F. (2019). Food web structure of a subtropical coastal lagoon. Aquat. Ecol. 53(3): 407-430. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10452-019-09698-0
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588; e-ISSN 1573-5125, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Pisces [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal; Brackish water; Fresh water
Author keywords
    Estuarine food webs; Trophodynamic model; Stomach contents; Stableisotopes; Demersal fish; Benthic invertebrates

Authors  Top 
  • Muro-Torres, V.M.
  • Soto-Jiménez, M.F.
  • Green, L., more
  • Quintero, J.
  • Amezcua, F.

Abstract
    The food webs of a coastal lagoon ecosystem in the southeastern Gulf of California were investigated through the use of stomach contents analyses and carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotopes of fish and macroinvertebrates. Food sources and species representative of primary producers and primary-to-tertiary consumers were examined. Macroinvertebrates (47.5%) and fish (45%) assemblages represented over 90% of the total biomass. The most representative groups were fish (45%), crustaceans (24%), mollusks (16%), and echinoderms (8.5%). Based on the results from stomach content analysis, stable isotope analysis, and mixing models using Bayesian statistics, the estuarine food web was reconstructed from food chain bases to tertiary consumers, including the most representative species in the ecosystem. Four food webs were identified according to the primary producers, and five trophic levels were identified. However, in the higher trophic levels, these food webs are indistinguishable due to the high degree of omnivory and the complexity of the system which allows the predation in different environments.

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