Trophic importance of a temperate intertidal wetland to resident and itinerant taxa: evidence from multiple stable isotope analysis
Mazumder, D., Saintilan, N., Williams, R.J., Szymczak, R., 2011. Trophic importance of a temperate intertidal wetland to resident and itinerant taxa: evidence from multiple stable isotope analysis. Marine & Freshwater Research, 62(1): 11–19.
Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were used to clarify the diet for three species of resident saltmarsh crabs and one species of snail in a temperate Australian saltmarsh. All three crabs and the snail shared common stable and carbon isotope ratios, suggesting dietary carbon and nitrogen were derived from an equal mix of the two dominant saltmarsh species at the study site, Sarcocornia quinqueflora and Sporobolus virginicus. We propose that these invertebrates were feeding on detritus consisting of decomposed organic material derived from these plants. The result confirms that saltmarsh plants contribute energy to some saltmarsh herbivores, which in turn export larvae to the wider estuary.