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Stable isotope analysis provides fresh insights into dietary separation between Chironomus anthracinus and C. plumosus

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56696

Grey,  J.
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Kelly, A., Jones, R. I., & Grey, J. (2004). Stable isotope analysis provides fresh insights into dietary separation between Chironomus anthracinus and C. plumosus. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 23(2), 287-296.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-DAC6-3
Zusammenfassung
We used stable isotope analysis to investigate dietary differences between 2 sympatric species of tubicolous chironomid larvae, Chironomus plumosus and C. anthracinus, from the profundal sediments of 6 eutrophic lakes in the UK and Germany. We found striking variation between lakes in both δ¹³C (-29.8 to -56.3‰) and δ¹⁵N (-7.8 to 14.7‰) in the 2 chironomid species. Moreover, C. plumosus was consistently depleted in both ¹³C and ¹⁵N relative to C. anthracinus. Our data support previous reports of interspecific dietary variations between the 2 species, which suggest niche separation partly on the basis of diet. However, reported differences in the feeding modes of the 2 species could not explain the extreme ¹³C- and ¹⁵N-depletion observed in chironomid larvae from several of the lakes. We suggest that the low δ¹³C signatures result from the ingestion of methanotrophic bacteria and subsequent incorporation of biogenic methane-derived C. Further, the chironomid larvae enhance methanotrophic activity via bioturbation of the surrounding sediment. Significant isotope differences between the 2 species may result from their variable tube morphologies or physiology.