Coastal upwelling affects filter-feeder stable isotope composition across three continents

Eleonora Puccinelli, Christopher D. McQuaid, Sergey Dobretsov, Ronaldo A. Christofoletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Large-scale nutrient fertilisation by coastal upwelling promotes benthic productivity through energy subsidies from enhanced phytoplankton production, and predictions of alterations to upwelling under climate change have implications for benthic ecosystem functioning. We investigated the stable isotope compositions of two bioengineers of global significance, the mussels Perna perna and Mytilus galloprovincialis, from upwelling and non-upwelling sites in five upwelling systems. Samples from Brazil, South Africa and Oman exhibited lower δ 13 C values at upwelling sites than at non-upwelling sites, with clearer effects where upwelling is more intense and frequent. North West Africa showed variability, probably linked to Saharan dust input. We highlight the importance of upwelling to sustaining benthic primary consumers and the sensitivity of consumer diet to the intensity and frequency of upwelling within each region. These results have implications in relation to climate change scenario effects on upwelling events, with potential cascading effects on higher trophic levels and ecosystem functioning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Environmental Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

filter feeder
Climate change
Ecosystems
Isotopes
stable isotopes
upwelling
stable isotope
climate change
Perna perna
Oman
Phytoplankton
ecosystems
Mytilus galloprovincialis
Northern Africa
subsidies
Nutrition
Chemical analysis
Western Africa
dust
Nutrients

Keywords

  • Bioengineers
  • Climate change
  • Filter feeders
  • Food webs
  • Intertidal
  • Oceanographic processes
  • Upwelling
  • δ C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

Cite this

Coastal upwelling affects filter-feeder stable isotope composition across three continents. / Puccinelli, Eleonora; McQuaid, Christopher D.; Dobretsov, Sergey; Christofoletti, Ronaldo A.

In: Marine Environmental Research, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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