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Benthic trophic interactions in an Antarctic shallow water ecosystem affected by recent glacier retreat

(2015) PLOS ONE. 10(11).
Author
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Abstract
The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing strong environmental changes as a consequence of ongoing regional warming. Glaciers in the area are retreating rapidly and increased sediment-laden meltwater runoff threatens the benthic biodiversity at shallow depths. We identified three sites with a distinct glacier-retreat related history and different levels of glacial influence in the inner part of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetland Islands), a fjord-like embayment impacted since the 1950s by a tidewater glacier retreat. We compared the soft sediment meio- and macrofauna isotopic niche widths (delta C-13 and delta N-15 stable isotope analysis) at the three sites to investigate possible glacier retreat-related influences on benthic trophic interactions. The isotopic niches were locally shaped by the different degrees of glacier retreat-related disturbance within the Cove. Wider isotopic niche widths were found at the site that has become ice-free most recently, and narrower niches at the older ice-free sites. At an intermediate state of glacier retreat-related disturbance (e.g. via ice-growler scouring) species with different strategies could settle. The site at the earliest stage of post-retreat development was characterized by an assemblage with lower trophic redundancy. Generally, the isotopic niche widths increased with increasing size spectra of organisms within the community, excepting the youngest assemblage, where the pioneer colonizer meiofauna size class displayed the highest isotopic niche width. Meiofauna at all sites generally occupied positions in the isotopic space that suggested a detrital-pool food source and/or the presence of predatory taxa. In general ice scour and glacial impact appeared to play a two-fold role within the Cove: i) either stimulating trophic diversity by allowing continuous re-colonization of meiofaunal species or, ii) over time driving the benthic assemblages into a more compact trophic structure with increased connectedness and resource recycling.
Keywords
FEEDING ECOLOGY, COASTAL WATERS, KING-GEORGE ISLAND, STABLE-ISOTOPE RATIOS, POTTER COVE, FOOD-WEB, SIGNY ISLAND, WEST ANTARCTICA, PRIAPULUS-CAUDATUS, ORGANIC-MATTER

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Pasotti, Francesca et al. “Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat.” PLOS ONE 10.11 (2015): n. pag. Print.
APA
Pasotti, F., Saravia, L. A., De Troch, M., Tarantelli, M. S., Sahade, R., & Vanreusel, A. (2015). Benthic trophic interactions in an Antarctic shallow water ecosystem affected by recent glacier retreat. PLOS ONE, 10(11).
Chicago author-date
Pasotti, Francesca, Leonardo Ariel Saravia, Marleen De Troch, Maria Soledad Tarantelli, Ricardo Sahade, and Ann Vanreusel. 2015. “Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat.” Plos One 10 (11).
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Pasotti, Francesca, Leonardo Ariel Saravia, Marleen De Troch, Maria Soledad Tarantelli, Ricardo Sahade, and Ann Vanreusel. 2015. “Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat.” Plos One 10 (11).
Vancouver
1.
Pasotti F, Saravia LA, De Troch M, Tarantelli MS, Sahade R, Vanreusel A. Benthic trophic interactions in an Antarctic shallow water ecosystem affected by recent glacier retreat. PLOS ONE. 2015;10(11).
IEEE
[1]
F. Pasotti, L. A. Saravia, M. De Troch, M. S. Tarantelli, R. Sahade, and A. Vanreusel, “Benthic trophic interactions in an Antarctic shallow water ecosystem affected by recent glacier retreat,” PLOS ONE, vol. 10, no. 11, 2015.
@article{7023993,
  abstract     = {The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing strong environmental changes as a consequence of ongoing regional warming. Glaciers in the area are retreating rapidly and increased sediment-laden meltwater runoff threatens the benthic biodiversity at shallow depths. We identified three sites with a distinct glacier-retreat related history and different levels of glacial influence in the inner part of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetland Islands), a fjord-like embayment impacted since the 1950s by a tidewater glacier retreat. We compared the soft sediment meio- and macrofauna isotopic niche widths (delta C-13 and delta N-15 stable isotope analysis) at the three sites to investigate possible glacier retreat-related influences on benthic trophic interactions. The isotopic niches were locally shaped by the different degrees of glacier retreat-related disturbance within the Cove. Wider isotopic niche widths were found at the site that has become ice-free most recently, and narrower niches at the older ice-free sites. At an intermediate state of glacier retreat-related disturbance (e.g. via ice-growler scouring) species with different strategies could settle. The site at the earliest stage of post-retreat development was characterized by an assemblage with lower trophic redundancy. Generally, the isotopic niche widths increased with increasing size spectra of organisms within the community, excepting the youngest assemblage, where the pioneer colonizer meiofauna size class displayed the highest isotopic niche width. Meiofauna at all sites generally occupied positions in the isotopic space that suggested a detrital-pool food source and/or the presence of predatory taxa. In general ice scour and glacial impact appeared to play a two-fold role within the Cove: i) either stimulating trophic diversity by allowing continuous re-colonization of meiofaunal species or, ii) over time driving the benthic assemblages into a more compact trophic structure with increased connectedness and resource recycling.},
  articleno    = {e0141742},
  author       = {Pasotti, Francesca and Saravia, Leonardo Ariel and De Troch, Marleen and Tarantelli, Maria Soledad and Sahade, Ricardo and Vanreusel, Ann},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keywords     = {FEEDING ECOLOGY,COASTAL WATERS,KING-GEORGE ISLAND,STABLE-ISOTOPE RATIOS,POTTER COVE,FOOD-WEB,SIGNY ISLAND,WEST ANTARCTICA,PRIAPULUS-CAUDATUS,ORGANIC-MATTER},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {26},
  title        = {Benthic trophic interactions in an Antarctic shallow water ecosystem affected by recent glacier retreat},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0141742},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2015},
}

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