The fatty acid compositions and stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur were analyzed in the bivalve mollusks Mactra chinensis, Pandora pulchella, Felaniella usta, and Megangulus zyonoensis, the polychaete Chaetopterus cautus, and the main sources of organic matter in a subtidal sand bottom community in Vostok Bay (Sea of Japan). The fatty acid composition and stable isotope ratios of some bivalves is likely to be indicative of substantial inputs from benthic microalgae and an important role of microbial food chains. Only the filter-feeding polychaete C. cautus showed similarity in these characteristics to suspended particulate organic matter synthesized by phytoplankton. It is suggested that the contribution of benthic microalgae to the diet of a consumer organism, inferred solely from the carbon stable isotope analysis, can be significantly overestimated.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 25, 2008
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