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On the role of Posidonia oceanica beach wrack for macro- invertebrates of a Tyrrhenian sandy shore

AuthorsColombini, Isabella; Mateo, Miguel Ángel ; Serrano, Oscar ; Fallaci, Mario; Gagnarli, Elena; Serrano, Laura ; Chelazzi, Lorenzo
Multi-isotopic analysis
Mediterranean sandybeach
Wrack colonisation
Species succession
Issue Date2009
CitationActa Oecologica 35 : 32-44 (2009)
AbstractThe use of Posidoniaoceanicabeachwrack by macroinvertebrates of the sandybeach at Burano (Tuscany, Italy) was assessed by following the colonisation dynamics of the wrack and analysing the stable isotopes ‘scenario’ of the main local carbon and nitrogen sources and consumers. One-hundred experimental cylinders, filled with P. oceanicawrack, were placed on the beach and sampled over a 1-month period. Abundance and species richness of macroinvertebrates in wracks varied through time. Wrack was colonised by crustaceans almost immediately after deployment of the experimental cylinders. The amphipod Talitrus saltator largely dominated the faunal assembly and, together with the isopod Tylos europaeus, occupied the wracks closer to the sealine. These were followed by dipterans, staphylinids, pselaphids and tenebrionids that occurred in drier wracks higher up on the eulittoral. Moisture content of the wrack and sand decreased through space and time. This was the primary factor explaining the spatial and temporal changes observed in macroinvertebrate abundance, with species colonising or abandoning wracks according to thresholds of environmental parameters. Isotopic analysis clearly established the absence of any direct dietary link between P. oceanicawrack and macroinvertebrates. Terrestrial food sources were also discarded. Both our experimental data and a literature search showed that the organic matter from seston as filtered by the sand is the most plausible carbon and nitrogen source for beach food webs. Even if P. oceanicawrack is not a trophic source for macroinvertebrates, it is vitally important as a physical structure that provides detritivorous and predatory species with refuge from environmentally stressful conditions.
Description13 páginas,6 tablas, 4 figuras.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2008.07.005
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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