Is the trophic diversity of marine benthic consumers decoupled from taxonomic and functional trait diversity? Isotopic niches of Arctic communities

Type Article
Date 2019-09
Language English
Author(s) Wlodarska-Kowalczuk Maria1, Aune Magnus2, Michel LoicORCID3, 5, Zaborska Agata4, Legezynska Joanna1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Polish Acad Sci, Dept Marine Ecol, Inst Oceanol, Sopot, Poland.
2 : Fram Ctr, Akvaplan Niva, Tromso, Norway.
3 : Univ Liege, Freshwater & Ocean Sci Unit ReS Focus, Lab Oceanol, Liege, Belgium.
4 : Polish Acad Sci, Dept Marine Chem, Inst Oceanol, Sopot, Poland.
5 : IFREMER, Ctr Bretagne, REM EEP, Lab Environm Profond, Plouzane, France.
Source Limnology And Oceanography (0024-3590) (Wiley), 2019-09 , Vol. 64 , N. 5 , P. 2140-2151
DOI 10.1002/lno.11174
WOS© Times Cited 12

It is predicted that a diverse array of functional traits in species-rich assemblages can lead to strong resource partitioning among coexisting species and moderate a wider spectrum of resource use. We compared two benthic communities in an Arctic fjord: a species-rich community (in an outer basin) and an impoverished community (in a glacially impacted bay) and explored (1) if high species richness was translated into high functional trait richness and (2) if high taxonomic and functional diversity promoted high trophic diversity in terms of resource use (indicated by isotopic niche measures). We documented higher functional trait richness in the outer basin (computed based on traits describing feeding mode, mobility, food source, body size and life habit), but the area occupied by consumers in the delta N-15 vs. delta C-13 iso-space (a proxy for total trophic resource use) did not differ between the two sites. A wide array of functional traits used to acquire food may extend the benthic community trophic niche spatially (where and how animals forage) without impacting the isotopic niche breadth (in this system, mostly reflecting "what animals feed on") due to the relatively homogenous distribution of isotopic characteristics of detritus pool across vertical scales in marine sediments. Moreover, this trend could indicate that a species-poor community tends to exploit all the available food items, possibly due to the low food availability for primary consumers in a glacially impacted environment. Communities in glacial bays could therefore be particularly sensitive to future changes in glacial inputs and associated organic matter fluxes.

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Wlodarska-Kowalczuk Maria, Aune Magnus, Michel Loic, Zaborska Agata, Legezynska Joanna (2019). Is the trophic diversity of marine benthic consumers decoupled from taxonomic and functional trait diversity? Isotopic niches of Arctic communities. Limnology And Oceanography, 64(5), 2140-2151. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :