The abundance of mixotrophic algae drives the carbon isotope composition of the copepod Boeckella gracilipes in shallow Patagonian lakes
TROCHINE CAROLINA; DÍAZ VILLANUEVA VERÓNICA; BASTIDAS NAVARRO MARCELA; BALSEIRO ESTEBAN; MODENUTTI BEATRIZ
JOURNAL OF PLANKTON RESEARCH
OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Lugar: Oxford; Año: 2015 vol. 37 p. 441 - 451
The importance of allochthonous versus authochthonous carbon in the diet ofzooplankters has been discussed at length in the recent literature, the more so for lakes withdissolved organic matter (DOM) concentrations between 3.5 to 25 mg L-1. Here, we investigated the sources of carbon for Boeckella gracilipes (Copepoda, Calanoida) in three Patagonian shallow lakes that have different but relatively moderate DOM concentrations (<5 mg L-1). We linked their δ13C values with parameters such as water color (absorbance 440 nm, abs440), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and the ratio Colorabs440:Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a). We also determined the isotopic composition of seston and phytoplankton composition. Our results showed a direct relationship between the δ13C values of B. gracilipes and seston (r2=0.64 p<0.001), and we demonstrated the importance of phytoplankton to B. gracilipes as its δ13C signal was strongly related to the abundance of the mixotrophic nanoflagellate Chrysochromulina parva (r2= 0.86 p<0.001). We further found an inverse relationship between DOM and the ratio Colorabs440:Chl-aand B. gracilipes δ13C values (r2=0.67 and 0.56, respectively), which also supported the importance of authochthonous carbon for the copepod. We conclude that phytoplankton, particularly mixotrophic algae, rather than allochthonous carbon, supports the copepod B. gracilipes in shallow Patagonian lakes.