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Rossi, F., Baeta, A., & Marques, J. C. (2015). Stable isotopes reveal habitat-related diet shifts in facultative deposit-feeders. J. Sea Res., 95, 172–179.
Résumé: Seagrass patches interspersed in a sediment matrix may vary environmental conditions and affect feeding habits of consumers and food-web structure. This paper investigates diet shifts between bare sediments and a Zostera noltei (Hornemann, 1832) meadow for three facultative deposit-feeding macrofaunal consumers, notably the bivalve Scrobicularia piano (da Costa, 1778), the polychaete Hediste diversicolor (O.T. Muller, 1776), and the gastropod Hydrobia ulvae (Pennant, 1778). In July 2008, one eelgrass meadow and two bare sediment locations were chosen in the Mondego estuary (40 degrees 08" N, 8 degrees 50'W, Portugal) and sampled for stable isotope signatures (delta C-13 and delta N-15) of macrofauna consumers and some of their potential basal food sources, such as sedimentary organic matter (SOM), microphytobenthos (MPB), seagrass shoots, leaves and seaweeds laying on the surface sediment. The delta N-15 of H. diversicolor was 3% higher in the eelgrass meadow than in bare sediment, indicating a change of trophic position, whereas the Bayesian stable-isotope mixing model showed that S. piano assimilated more macroalgal detritus than microphytobenthos in the eelgrass bed. Such habitat-related diet shifts have the potential to change structure and spatial dynamics of benthic food webs. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.