Benthic foodweb structure in a large shallow lake studied by stable isotope analysis
Cremona, F., Timm, H., Agasild, H., Tõnno, I., Feldmann, T., Jones, R., & Nõges, T. (2014). Benthic foodweb structure in a large shallow lake studied by stable isotope analysis. Freshwater Science, 33(3), 885-894. https://doi.org/10.1086/677540
Published inFreshwater Science
© 2014 by The Society for Freshwater Science. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Society for Freshwater Science.
The benthic foodweb structure of Lake Võrtsjärv, a large (270 km2), shallow, and turbid Estonian lake, was evaluated based on C and N stable-isotope signatures (δ13C, δ15N). Variation in δ13C between sampling sites was not related to site proximity to the littoral zone or the more vegetated southern part of the lake, but rather appeared to be influenced by in-situ site peculiarities. δ13C was stable temporally and between functional feeding groups, a result implying that the whole benthic food web of the lake relies largely on the same C source admixture, essentially particulate organic matter (POM). Thus, the foodweb composition of Lake Võrtsjärv is remarkably homogeneous given the lake’s large surface area. Apparent trophic-level δ15N fractionation between total collectors and total predators (mean 1.7‰) was lower than the value of 3.4‰ generally adopted in foodweb studies, but the higher value was valid for specific prey–predator links. The low δ13C signature of some chironomid samples indicated probable assimilation of methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) by these sediment-dwelling invertebrates. However, the lack of similar 13C depletion in benthic filterers (mussels) indicated that the MOB layer is essentially confined to the sediments and does not reach the water column, which probably constrains transfer of methane-derived C through the food web to fish in this lake. Our study demonstrates that the benthic food web of shallow turbid lakes like Võrtsjärv is simplified and is mostly sustained by phytoplanktonic C sources. ...
PublisherNorth American Benthological Society
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