Temporal changes in the structure of a temperate Zostera marina food web.

Scotti, Marco and Mittermayr, Agnes (2015) Temporal changes in the structure of a temperate Zostera marina food web. [Talk] In: ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2015. , 22.-27.02.2015, Granada, Spain .

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Abstract

Seagrass meadows are widely distributed in coastal zones worldwide. They represent highly productive autotrophic communities and provide many ecosystem services to humans such as shoreline protection and nurseries for commercially important fish. Here we aim at understanding how the structure of a Zostera marina food web changes from March to September. The study area is an eelgrass meadow in the Kiel Fjord (western Baltic Sea). We applied simultaneous triple stable isotope analysis of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur to identify feeding preferences of species. Data were collected biweekly and allowed to construct 15 food webs. We characterized the structure of these food webs through network analysis and studied the trends of different properties with respect to time and average water temperature preceding each sampling. In the second part of the temporal series, the food webs display lower link densities (trophic interactions per species), shorter trophic chains, and lower degrees of omnivory. In summer, trophic specialization prevails and species feed at lower trophic levels. Studying the temporal relationship linking temperature to food web structure may be relevant under climate change conditions.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 10:07
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2015 10:07
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/30450

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