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Importance of bacterivory and preferential selection toward diatoms in larvae of Crepidula fornicata (L.) assessed by a dual stable isotope (C-13, N-15) labeling approach

Abstract : In Europe, the gastropod Crepidula fornicata is an invasive species characterized by a long reproductive period (from February to November). Thus, its larvae are exposed to variations in available food sources (in terms of quantity and quality). We aimed to investigate if bacteria could contribute to larval food both in presence or absence of phytoplankton, and to compare these results to seasonal variations of bacteria and phytoplankton abundances at a coastal site in the English Channel. First, ingestion of fluorescent beads of 0.5 to 2 um diameter, showed that larvae were able to ingest particles of typical bacterial size. Then we used a dual stable isotope labeling approach which consisted in labeling a bacterial pelagic community with N-15 and a diatom (Chaetoceros gracilis) culture with C-13, and supplying larvae with N-15-labeled bacteria, C-13-labeled diatoms, and both labeled sources. This technique has, to our knowledge, never been applied to invertebrate larvae. After 24 h of experiment, larvae were significantly enriched in all treatments: +21.5 parts per thousand (Delta delta C-13) when supplied with diatoms, +1364 parts per thousand (Delta delta N-15) when supplied with bacteria, and +24 parts per thousand (Delta delta C-13) and +135 parts per thousand (Delta delta N-15) when supplied with the two mixed sources. These results indicated that bacteria can contribute to the larval nutrition in C. fornicata, even in the presence of phytoplankton. Our results however suggested that larvae of C. fornicata preferentially used diatoms and showed that the supply of free bacteria did not alter the uptake of diatoms. Considering the seasonal variations of bacteria and phytoplankton abundances at the study site, these results suggested that bacteria may constitute a complementary resource for the larvae of C. fornicata when phytoplankton is abundant and may become a substitute resource when phytoplankton is less available. This approach offers promising perspectives to trace food sources and assess nitrogen and carbon fluxes between planktotrophic larvae and their preys. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 5:06:12 PM
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Fanny Leroy, Pascal Riera, Christian Jeanthon, Frederique Edmond, Cédric Leroux, et al.. Importance of bacterivory and preferential selection toward diatoms in larvae of Crepidula fornicata (L.) assessed by a dual stable isotope (C-13, N-15) labeling approach. Journal of Sea Research, Elsevier, 2012, 70, pp.23-31. ⟨10.1016/j.seares.2012.02.006⟩. ⟨hal-01218827⟩

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