Plant detritus is selectively consumed by estuarine copepods and can augment their survival

Jennifer Harfmann, Tomofumi Kurobe, Brian Bergamaschi, Swee J Teh, Peter Hernes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Particulate material comprising the detrital remains of terrestrial plants and macrophytes is a substantial source of organic matter to estuaries and therefore has the potential to support the energy demands of the pelagic aquatic food web. Despite the prevalence of macrophytic or terrestrial particulate organic carbon (tPOC), phytoplankton are nutritionally superior and are thought to be the primary food resource for zooplankton. However, estuarine phytoplankton primary productivity abundances can wax and wane, and often production cannot meet heterotrophic energy needs. In this study, we examined how tPOC (detritus of macrophytes and grasses) may affect survival of a calanoid copepod (Eurytemora affinis) common in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE), an estuary with relatively low phytoplankton primary productivity. Using chemical biomarkers and a targeted DNA metagenomic methodology, we show that E. affinis consumed tPOC (dominated by Schoenoplectus sp., or tule) even when phytoplankton were abundant and tPOC was scarce. Furthermore, we found that a mixed diet of phytoplankton and terrestrial material (1:3 carbon ratio) enhanced the survival of E. affinis over a diet of phytoplankton alone. These data show that tPOC can be a vital supplementary food source for zooplankton, perhaps extending survival during low phytoplankton periods, and may help explain elevated zooplankton abundances in tidal wetlands and other detrital-dominated regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9076
JournalScientific reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Fingerprint

Copepoda
Phytoplankton
Carbon
Zooplankton
Estuaries
Diet
Metagenomics
Food
Food Chain
San Francisco
Wetlands
Waxes
Poaceae
Biomarkers
DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Plant detritus is selectively consumed by estuarine copepods and can augment their survival. / Harfmann, Jennifer; Kurobe, Tomofumi; Bergamaschi, Brian; Teh, Swee J; Hernes, Peter.

In: Scientific reports, Vol. 9, No. 1, 9076, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1931c3627bae4722bf328a7d56c34c27,
title = "Plant detritus is selectively consumed by estuarine copepods and can augment their survival",
abstract = "Particulate material comprising the detrital remains of terrestrial plants and macrophytes is a substantial source of organic matter to estuaries and therefore has the potential to support the energy demands of the pelagic aquatic food web. Despite the prevalence of macrophytic or terrestrial particulate organic carbon (tPOC), phytoplankton are nutritionally superior and are thought to be the primary food resource for zooplankton. However, estuarine phytoplankton primary productivity abundances can wax and wane, and often production cannot meet heterotrophic energy needs. In this study, we examined how tPOC (detritus of macrophytes and grasses) may affect survival of a calanoid copepod (Eurytemora affinis) common in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE), an estuary with relatively low phytoplankton primary productivity. Using chemical biomarkers and a targeted DNA metagenomic methodology, we show that E. affinis consumed tPOC (dominated by Schoenoplectus sp., or tule) even when phytoplankton were abundant and tPOC was scarce. Furthermore, we found that a mixed diet of phytoplankton and terrestrial material (1:3 carbon ratio) enhanced the survival of E. affinis over a diet of phytoplankton alone. These data show that tPOC can be a vital supplementary food source for zooplankton, perhaps extending survival during low phytoplankton periods, and may help explain elevated zooplankton abundances in tidal wetlands and other detrital-dominated regions.",
author = "Jennifer Harfmann and Tomofumi Kurobe and Brian Bergamaschi and Teh, {Swee J} and Peter Hernes",
year = "2019",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1038/s41598-019-45503-6",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Plant detritus is selectively consumed by estuarine copepods and can augment their survival

AU - Harfmann, Jennifer

AU - Kurobe, Tomofumi

AU - Bergamaschi, Brian

AU - Teh, Swee J

AU - Hernes, Peter

PY - 2019/12/1

Y1 - 2019/12/1

N2 - Particulate material comprising the detrital remains of terrestrial plants and macrophytes is a substantial source of organic matter to estuaries and therefore has the potential to support the energy demands of the pelagic aquatic food web. Despite the prevalence of macrophytic or terrestrial particulate organic carbon (tPOC), phytoplankton are nutritionally superior and are thought to be the primary food resource for zooplankton. However, estuarine phytoplankton primary productivity abundances can wax and wane, and often production cannot meet heterotrophic energy needs. In this study, we examined how tPOC (detritus of macrophytes and grasses) may affect survival of a calanoid copepod (Eurytemora affinis) common in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE), an estuary with relatively low phytoplankton primary productivity. Using chemical biomarkers and a targeted DNA metagenomic methodology, we show that E. affinis consumed tPOC (dominated by Schoenoplectus sp., or tule) even when phytoplankton were abundant and tPOC was scarce. Furthermore, we found that a mixed diet of phytoplankton and terrestrial material (1:3 carbon ratio) enhanced the survival of E. affinis over a diet of phytoplankton alone. These data show that tPOC can be a vital supplementary food source for zooplankton, perhaps extending survival during low phytoplankton periods, and may help explain elevated zooplankton abundances in tidal wetlands and other detrital-dominated regions.

AB - Particulate material comprising the detrital remains of terrestrial plants and macrophytes is a substantial source of organic matter to estuaries and therefore has the potential to support the energy demands of the pelagic aquatic food web. Despite the prevalence of macrophytic or terrestrial particulate organic carbon (tPOC), phytoplankton are nutritionally superior and are thought to be the primary food resource for zooplankton. However, estuarine phytoplankton primary productivity abundances can wax and wane, and often production cannot meet heterotrophic energy needs. In this study, we examined how tPOC (detritus of macrophytes and grasses) may affect survival of a calanoid copepod (Eurytemora affinis) common in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE), an estuary with relatively low phytoplankton primary productivity. Using chemical biomarkers and a targeted DNA metagenomic methodology, we show that E. affinis consumed tPOC (dominated by Schoenoplectus sp., or tule) even when phytoplankton were abundant and tPOC was scarce. Furthermore, we found that a mixed diet of phytoplankton and terrestrial material (1:3 carbon ratio) enhanced the survival of E. affinis over a diet of phytoplankton alone. These data show that tPOC can be a vital supplementary food source for zooplankton, perhaps extending survival during low phytoplankton periods, and may help explain elevated zooplankton abundances in tidal wetlands and other detrital-dominated regions.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067860226&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85067860226&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-019-45503-6

DO - 10.1038/s41598-019-45503-6

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

IS - 1

M1 - 9076

ER -