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title Structure and functioning of intertidal food webs along an avian flyway: a comparative approach using stable isotopes
authors Catry, T; Lourenco, PM; Lopes, RJ; Carneiro, C; Alves, JA; Costa, J; Rguibi-Idrissi, H; Bearhop, S; Piersma, T; Granadeiro, JP
author full name Catry, Teresa; Lourenco, Pedro M.; Lopes, Ricardo J.; Carneiro, Camilo; Alves, Jose A.; Costa, Joana; Rguibi-Idrissi, Hamid; Bearhop, Stuart; Piersma, Theunis; Granadeiro, Jose P.
title Structure and functioning of intertidal food webs along an avian flyway: a comparative approach using stable isotopes
nationality internacional
language English
document type Article
author keywords Bayesian mixing models and community metrics; coastal tidal ecosystems; migratory shorebirds; trophic structure
abstract 1. Food webs and trophic dynamics of coastal systems have been the focus of intense research throughout the world, as they prove to be critical in understanding ecosystem processes and functions. However, very few studies have undertaken a quantitative comparison of entire food webs from a key consumer perspective across a broad geographical area, limiting relevant comparisons among systems with distinct biotic and abiotic components. 2. We investigate the structure and functioning of food webs in four tidal ecosystems of international importance for migratory shorebirds along the East Atlantic Flyway: Tejo estuary in Portugal, Sidi Moussa in Morocco, Banc d'Arguin in Mauritania and Bijagos archipelago in Guinea-Bissau. Basal food sources, shorebirds and their prey (benthic invertebrates) were sampled in all areas, and Bayesian stable isotope mixing models and community-wide metrics were used in a comparative analysis among areas. 3. Significant differences among study areas were found in the structure of food webs, as well as in the relative importance of basal resource pools supporting each food web. Overall, the food web of Banc d'Arguin was characterized by lower trophic diversity and higher functional redundancy than the other sites. This result might be explained by the low number of trophic pathways of organic matter transfer in this seagrass-dominated system which, as a fossil estuary, lacks inputs from both freshwater and nutrient-rich offshore oceanic waters. 4. Structure of shorebird communities was consistent with the main organizational patterns found for each food web, highlighting the less diverse character of the community of Banc d'Arguin. At Banc d'Arguin and Bijagos archipelago, which displayed the smallest and largest isotopic niche widths in bird assemblage, respectively, mean niche overlap among species was low, suggesting high interspecific partitioning in resource use. Tropical systems typically offer comparatively lower harvestable prey biomass for shorebirds and might thus strengthen interspecific competition, leading to low niche overlap among species. 5. Our study reveals relevant differences in the structure of food webs and shorebird communities in coastal areas along an avian flyway. While differences in trophic redundancy of food webs point to distinct levels of ecosystem resilience, contrasts in the organization of shorebird communities highlight the plasticity in the foraging behaviour of species inhabiting areas with distinct environmental conditions.
author address [Catry, Teresa; Lourenco, Pedro M.] Univ Lisbon, Ctr Estudos Ambiente & Mar, Museu Nacl Hist Nat & Ciencia, Rua Escola Politecn 58, P-1250102 Lisbon, Portugal; [Lopes, Ricardo J.] Univ Porto, CIBIO, Ctr Invest Biodiversidade & Recursos Genet, InBIO Lab Associado, P-4485661 Vairao, Portugal; [Carneiro, Camilo] Univ Lisbon, Museu Nacl Hist Nat & Ciencia, Rua Escola Politecn 58, P-1250102 Lisbon, Portugal; [Alves, Jose A.] Univ Aveiro, Ctr Estudos Ambiente & Mar, Campus Univ Santiago, P-3180193 Aveiro, Portugal; [Alves, Jose A.] Univ Iceland, South Iceland Res Ctr, Tryggvagata 36, IS-800 Selfoss, Iceland; [Costa, Joana] Univ Lisbon, Dept Biol Anim, Fac Ciencias, P-1749016 Lisbon, Portugal; [Rguibi-Idrissi, Hamid] Univ Chouaib Doukkali, Equipe Rech Valorisat Ressources Nat & Biodiversi, Fac Sci, El Jadida 24000, Morocco; [Bearhop, Stuart] Univ Exeter, Ctr Ecol & Conservat, Penryn Campus, Penryn TR10 9EZ, Cornwall, England; [Piersma, Theunis] NIOZ Royal Netherlands Inst Sea Res, POB 59, NL-1790 AB Den Burg, Texel, Netherlands; [Piersma, Theunis] Univ Groningen, Anim Ecol Grp, Ctr Ecol & Evolutionary Studies, POB 11103, NL-9700 CC Groningen, Netherlands; [Granadeiro, Jose P.] Univ Lisbon, Dept Biol Anim, Fac Ciencias, Ctr Estudos Ambiente & Mar, P-1749016 Lisbon, Portugal
reprint address Catry, T (reprint author), Univ Lisbon, Ctr Estudos Ambiente & Mar, Museu Nacl Hist Nat & Ciencia, Rua Escola Politecn 58, P-1250102 Lisbon, Portugal.
e-mail address teresa.catry@gmail.com
funding agency and grant number Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia, through Project
funding text Expeditions to Banc d'Arguin received the logistic support of Lemhaba Ould Yarba and the PNBA staff in Iwik station. Antonio Araujo (MAVA) provided support during expedition preparation, and colleagues from NIOZ, particularly Dr Piet van den Hout and Dr Jan van Gils helped with logistics and shared their expertise. We thank Alfredo da Silva, Aissa Regalla and other staff from IBAP, as well as Joaozinho Sa and Hamilton Monteiro (GPC), for their help and permission to work in Guinea-Bissau. Paulo Catry provided advice on Bijagos and Maria Dias, Miguel Lecoq and Mohamed Henriques helped during fieldwork. Latifa Joulami, Sara Pardal, Miguel Araujo and Luis da Silva participated in expeditions to Sidi Moussa, and Rhimou El Hamoumi provided logistic help. We also thank all volunteers helping in fieldwork at the Tejo estuary, in particular Joao Guilherme, Ines Catry, Pete Potts Ruth Croger and the Farlington Ringing Group. The manuscript beneficiated from the comments of two anonymous referees. All sampling was performed under permits 82/2012/COLH, 394/2014/CAPT, 213/2012, 226/2013 and 227/2014 (ICNB) and 22/2013 and 3/2014 (HCEFLCD). This study was supported by Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia, through Project
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cited reference count 50
times cited 1
total times cited count (wos, bci, and cscd) 1
publisher city HOBOKEN
publisher address 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA
issn 0269-8463
29-character source abbreviation FUNCT ECOL
iso source abbreviation Funct. Ecol.
publication date MAR
year published 2016
volume 30
issue 3
beginning page 468
ending page 478
digital object identifier (doi) 10.1111/1365-2435.12506
page count 11
web of science category Ecology
subject category Environmental Sciences & Ecology
document delivery number DH7CO
unique article identifier WOS:000372949000014
link http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12506