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Identification of the food sources of sympatric ghost shrimp (Trypaea australiensis) and soldier crab (Mictyris longicarpus) populations using a lipid biomarker, dual stable isotope approach

TitleIdentification of the food sources of sympatric ghost shrimp (Trypaea australiensis) and soldier crab (Mictyris longicarpus) populations using a lipid biomarker, dual stable isotope approach
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSpilmont, N, Meziane, T, Seuront, L, Welsh, DT
JournalAustral Ecology
Volume34
Pagination878–888
ISSN1442-9985
Abstract

Fatty acids (FAs) profiles and stable isotope signatures of the ghost shrimp, Trypaea australiensis and the soldier crab, Mictyris longicarpus were determined at an unvegetated sandbank of Southport (Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia), in November 2005 and February 2006. Additionally, the FAs composition of the faeces and feeding pellets of M. longicarpus and the surface sediment at the study site were also analysed. Trypaea australiensis was found to selectively feed principally on benthic diatoms, as revealed by the high contribution of the marker lipid (20:5 (n-3)) to tissue total FAs and the delta 13C and delta 15N isotopic signatures of shrimp tissues. Although the diet of T. australiensis did not change between the two sampling periods, the shrimps appeared to reduce their feeding activity in summer, presumably in relation to a restricted metabolism, as revealed by a decrease in the contribution of the microalgal markers in their tissues. The FAs composition of the tissues of the soldier crab indicated that bacteria and diatoms constituted the base of its diet (contributions of branched 15:0 and 17:0, 18:1 (n-7) and 20:5 (n-3)). However, the isotopic signatures of the crabs suggested that meiofauna may represent an intermediate link between the crab and these micro-organisms.

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DOI10.1111/j.1442-9993.2009.01994.x