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Title: Dietary preferences of two seagrass inhabiting gastropods: Allochthonous vs autochthonous resources
Authors: Doropoulos, C.
Hyndes, G. A.
Lavery, P. S.
Tuya, F. 
UNESCO Clasification: 3105 Peces y fauna silvestre
241705 Biología marina
Keywords: Trophic connectivity
Feeding preferences
Grazing rates
Seagrass meadows, et al
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: 0272-7714
Journal: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 
Abstract: The movement of allochthonous resources between habitats can provide important trophic linkages in marine landscapes. In coastal south-western Australia, the kelp Ecklonia radiata is removed from reefs and accumulates in large quantities in neighbouring seagrass meadows. This study investigated the feeding preferences and grazing rates of two locally abundant gastropods, Pyrene bidentata and Cantharidus lepidus, which exhibit inverse distribution patterns with proximity to reefs in seagrass meadows, to determine whether allochthonous kelp has the potential to contribute to the seagrass food web. Using laboratory choice and no-choice feeding experiments, we tested whether detached kelp is consumed preferentially, and at greater rates, by these two species than autochthonous resources (i.e. seagrass, epiphytic red macroalgae and seagrass periphyton). Both species displayed a preference for macroalgae and seagrass periphyton over seagrass leaves. In choice experiments, neither species displayed any clear preference between kelp (fresh or aged), red macroalgae or periphyton (consumption rates ranged between 0.39 and 3.64 mg ind−1 day−1), but consumption rates were always higher relative to seagrass. In no-choice experiments, P. bidentata displayed minimal consumption of seagrass, but consumed fresh and aged kelp, red macroalgae and seagrass periphyton at similar rates (2.00–7.22 mg ind−1 day−1). In comparison, C. lepidus consumed periphyton at far greater rates than any other food source (3.61 vs 0.33–1.10 mg ind−1 day−1). The results indicate that both P. bidentata and C. lepidus showed a clear preference for macroalgae and periphyton over seagrass, but no consistent preference towards any autochthonous or allochthonous algal resource. Reef-derived kelp therefore has the potential to contribute to the food web of seagrass meadows, and subsidise secondary production.
ISSN: 0272-7714
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2009.03.011
Source: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science [ISSN 0272-7714], v. 83, p. 13-18
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