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Feeding preferences of estuarine mysids Neomysis integer and Rhopalophthalmus tartessicus in a temperate estuary (Guadalquivir Estuary, SW Spain)

AuthorsVilas, César; Drake, Pilar ; Fockedey, Nancy
Neomysis integer
Rhopalophthalmus tartessicus
Inter-specific competition
Issue Date22-Oct-2007
CitationEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 77(3): 345-356 (2008)
AbstractMysid shrimps are an important component of estuarine food webs because they play a key role in energy transfer as intermediate prey. We investigated the seasonal, tidal and depth specific variation in the diet of the estuarine mysids Neomysis integer and Rhopalophthalmus tartessicus and explored its implications for the planktonic community structure of a temperate estuary (Guadalquivir Estuary, SW Spain). Neomysis integer is an opportunistic omnivore feeding mainly on mesozooplankton and on members of the detrital–microbial loop, shifting prey seasonally according to availability. In contrast, R. tartessicus showed a more carnivorous diet and shifted its target prey during seasons of low resource availability. Despite statistically significant differences in diet composition, both species shared prey of similar size, particularly juvenile Mesopodopsis slabberi, the most abundant mysid species in this estuary, and copepods. Although these similarities imply inter-specific resource competition, their co-existence is achieved by niche partitioning and spatial segregation: the higher osmoregulatory capacity and foraging plasticity of N. integer confers a broader niche breadth for this species allowing N. integer to inhabit the more stressful oligohaline region of the estuary where R. tartessicus cannot survive. We propose that this mechanism relaxes the potential for competition between N. integer and R. tartessicus.
Description12 páginas, 5 figuras, 4 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2007.09.025
Appears in Collections:(ICMAN) Artículos
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