Reference : Trophic ecology of Southern Ocean sea stars inferred from stable isotopes ratios of C...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/205673
Trophic ecology of Southern Ocean sea stars inferred from stable isotopes ratios of C and N
English
Le Bourg, Baptiste mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Doct. sc. (océano. - paysage)]
Blanchard, Alice []
Danis, Bruno mailto [Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB > Biologie des Organismes > Marine Biology Lab > >]
Jossart, Quentin mailto [Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB > Biologie des Organismes > Marine Biology Lab > >]
Lepoint, Gilles mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanographie biologique >]
Moreau, Camille mailto [Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB > Biologie des Organismes > Marine Biology Lab > >]
Michel, Loïc mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanographie biologique >]
17-Dec-2016
No
National
Zoology 2016
du 15 décembre 2016 au 17 décembre 2017
Anvers
Belgique
[en] sea stars ; Southern Ocean ; stable isotopes
[en] The Southern Ocean undergoes strong and contrasted impacts of climate change. Increasing seawater temperature and sea ice cover reduction in Western Antarctic Peninsula and associated regions will likely impact food web structure and function. Sea stars (Echinoderms: Asteroidea) are an important group of the Southern Ocean benthos. They typically have highly variable feeding habits and are potentially more resistant than other organisms to temperature changes. Consequently, they will likely be impacted by modifications of the food web rather than by direct warming. Investigating their trophic ecology is therefore necessary to infer how climate change will impact them.
In this context, the aim of this study was to use stable isotopes ratios of C, N and S to infer sea stars trophic ecology. During austral summers 2006 and 2009, sea stars were sampled in Subantarctic and Antarctic locations, with most of the samples coming from South Shetland Islands and South Georgia. The isotopic niche (proxy of the trophic niche) associated to each sea star population was explored through SIBER (Stable Isotope Bayesian Ellipses in R) metrics.
Stable isotope ratios of sea stars were clearly different between South Shetland Islands and South Georgia. Sea stars of South Shetland Islands had smaller isotopic niches than sea stars of South Georgia. The overlap between the isotopic niches of sea star species was also important in South Shetland Islands, while isotopic niches of South Georgia were well separated. Difference of niche width and overlap between the two regions may be the result of different environmental conditions. In South Shetland Islands, sea star species may exploit a common benthic community relying on organic matter released during sea ice summer melting. In contrast, South Georgia is an oligotrophic environment with no sea ice. As resources are more limited, a higher trophic segregation between sea stars may appear to limit competition.
Ultimately, this project highlighted the importance of sea ice in the trophic ecology of Antarctic sea stars. Our results suggest that future reduction of sea ice extent in Western Antarctica may have deleterious effect on sea star populations.
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/205673

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