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31 May 2019
Article (Scientific journals)
Increased sea ice cover alters food web structure in East Antarctica
Michel, Loïc  ; Danis, Bruno; Dubois, Philippe et al.
2019 • In Scientific Reports, 9, p. 8062
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Keywords :
stable isotopes; food webs; antarctica; global change; sea ice; southern ocean
Abstract :
[en] In recent years, sea ice cover along coasts of East Antarctica has tended to increase. To understand ecological implications of these environmental changes, we studied benthic food web structure on the coasts of Adélie Land during an event of unusually high sea ice cover (i.e. two successive austral summers without seasonal breakup). We used integrative trophic markers (stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur) to build ecological models and explored feeding habits of macroinvertebrates. In total, 28 taxa spanning most present animal groups and functional guilds were investigated. Our results indicate that the absence of seasonal sea ice breakup deeply influenced benthic food webs. Sympagic algae dominated the diet of many key consumers, and the trophic levels of invertebrates were low, suggesting omnivore consumers did not rely much on predation and/or scavenging. Our results provide insights about how Antarctic benthic consumers, which typically live in an extremely stable environment, might adapt their feeding habits in response to sudden changes in environmental conditions and trophic resource availability. They also show that local and/or global trends of sea ice increase in Antarctica have the potential to cause drastic changes in food web structure, and therefore to impact benthic communities.
Research center :
MARE - Centre Interfacultaire de Recherches en Océanologie - ULiège
FOCUS - Freshwater and OCeanic science Unit of reSearch - ULiège
Disciplines :
Zoology
Environmental sciences & ecology
Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Author, co-author :
Michel, Loïc  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanographie biologique
Danis, Bruno
Dubois, Philippe
Eleaume, Marc
Fournier, Jérôme
Gallut, Cyril
Jane, Philip
Lepoint, Gilles  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanographie biologique
Language :
English
Title :
Increased sea ice cover alters food web structure in East Antarctica
Publication date :
30 May 2019
Journal title :
Scientific Reports
eISSN :
2045-2322
Publisher :
Nature Publishing Group, London, United Kingdom
Volume :
9
Pages :
8062
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Name of the research project :
vERSO - Ecosystem Responses to global change: a multiscale approach in the Southern Ocean (BR/132/A1/vERSO)
Funders :
BELSPO - Belgian Science Policy Office [BE]
F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique [BE]
IPEV - Institut Polaire Français Paul Émile Victor [FR]

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