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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Food web characterization based on delta N-15 and delta C-13 reveals isotopic niche partitioning between fish and jellyfish in a relatively pristine ecosystem

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Nagata, Renato Mitsuo [1] ; Moreira, Marcelo Zacharias [2] ; Pimentel, Caio Ribeiro [3] ; Morandini, Andre Carrara [1]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Biociencias, Dept Zool, BR-05508090 Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Ctr Energia Nucl Agr, Lab Ecol Isotop, Piracicaba - Brazil
[3] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Oceanog, Dept Oceanog Biol, BR-05508090 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 3
Document type: Journal article
Source: Marine Ecology Progress Series; v. 519, p. 13-27, JAN 20 2015.
Web of Science Citations: 14

Human-induced stresses on the marine environment seem to favor some jellyfish species to the detriment of other competitors such as planktivorous fishes. In pristine ecosystems, trophic relationships among these consumers are poorly understood. We determined stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signatures of representative consumers in the relatively pristine ecosystem of the Cananeia Estuary, Brazil, in order to understand the food web structure. We described isotopic niche breadth, position, and overlaps between fish and jellyfish (including comb jelly) species. Most of the delta C-13 values suggest that phytoplankton is the major carbon source, especially for pelagic consumers. Sessile benthic invertebrates had enriched delta C-13 values, suggesting a contribution of microphytobenthic algae. Seasonal variation of values was significant only for C-13, with different patterns for pelagic and benthic organisms. Isotopic niche breadth of some jellyfishes was wider than those of fish species of the same trophic group, possibly as a consequence of their broad diets. Isotopic niche overlaps of fish and jellyfish species were related to: (1) trophic diversity, since planktivorous species occupied niches distinct from macroinvertebrate/ fish feeders; and (2) life stages, since isotopic niche partitioning pattern can change during species ontogeny. Replacement of declining populations of fish by jellyfish competitors probably depends on the pool of other compensatory species, as well as on reproductive, growth, and feeding performance of other consumers. Description of isotopic niches provides a general picture of trophic roles, interactions and the degree of functional redundancy among species, allowing an evaluation of possible directions of community shifts resulting from the removal or proliferation of keystone consumers. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 10/50174-7 - Systematics, life cycle and reproductive patterns of jellyfishes (Cnidaria: Medusozoa: Cubozoa and Scyphozoa) in the Baixada Santista (São Paulo, Brazil)
Grantee:André Carrara Morandini
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 11/00436-8 - Morphofunctional bases of feeding and the trophic role of Lychnorhiza lucerna (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae)
Grantee:Renato Mitsuo Nagata
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate