Trophic structure of benthic communities in a Chilean fjord (45°S) influenced by salmon aquaculture: Insights from stable isotopic signatures

Paula Ortiz, Eduardo Quiroga, Paulina Montero, Madeleine Hamame, Federico Betti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Benthic marine food webs, which recycle organic matter and sustain unique biodiversity, are an important component of estuarine Patagonian fjords; however, these may be heavily influenced by salmon farming activities. Under the above conditions, this study collected several food sources (sediment organic matter, suspended particulate organic matter, macroalgae) and 26 benthic invertebrate species, and analyzed them using a Bayesian mixing model. Briefly, carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes analyses revealed that the highly variable isotopic niche widths respond to food supplies from marine and terrestrial organic matter. In addition, particulate and dissolved waste from salmon farming activities were found to modify isotopic composition ratios in many suspension feeders. Particularly, our results indicate high δ15N values in the sponge Cliona chilensis and the encrusting coral Incrustatus comauensis, which appear to be potential ecological indicators for evaluating stoichiometry imbalances and trace organic pollution sources in fjord environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113149
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume173
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Allochthonous organic matter
  • Benthic suspension feeders
  • Isotopic niche
  • Puyuhuapi fjord

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