Reciprocal Subsidies and Food Web Pathways Leading to Chum Salmon Fry in a Temperate Marine-Terrestrial Ecotone
Romanuk, Tamara Natasha
Levings, Colin D.
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Stable isotope analysis was used to determine the relative proportions of terrestrial and marine subsidies of carbon to invertebrates along a tidal gradient (low-intertidal, mid-intertidal, high-intertidal, supralittoral) and to determine the relative importance of terrestrial carbon in food web pathways leading to chum salmon fry Oncorhynchus keta (Walbaum) in Howe Sound, British Columbia. We found a clear gradient in the proportion of terrestrially derived carbon along the tidal gradient ranging from 68% across all invertebrate taxa in the supralittoral to 25% in the high-intertidal, 20% in the mid-intertidal, and 12% in the low-intertidal. Stable isotope values of chum salmon fry indicated carbon contributions from both terrestrial and marine sources, with terrestrially derived carbon ranging from 12.8 to 61.5% in the muscle tissue of chum salmon fry (mean 30%). Our results provide evidence for reciprocal subsidies of marine and terrestrially derived carbon on beaches in the estuary and suggest that the vegetated supralittoral is an important trophic link in supplying terrestrial carbon to nearshore food webs.
Romanuk, Tamara N., and Colin D. Levings. 2010. "Reciprocal Subsidies and Food Web Pathways Leading to Chum Salmon Fry in a Temperate Marine-Terrestrial Ecotone." Plos One 5(4): 10073-e10073.