Macroalgae and seagrass contribution to gastropods in sub-tropical and temperate tidal flats

Hideyuki Doi, Masatoshi Matsumasa, Mamoru Fujikawa, Keiichi Kanou, Takao Suzuki, Eisuke Kikuchi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Macroalgal and seagrass communities are widely distributed in marine and brackish shallow water and have high productivity. The primary production in marine costal areas is often transported to intertidal flats by waves and currents and beached on the flats. Thus, we hypothesized that the macroalgae and seagrasses are food sources for benthic communities on intertidal flats where some gastropod species often dominate. We performed comparisons of food sources among different gastropod species on sub-tropical and temperate tidal flats (26 and 38N, respectively), and used isotope mixing models using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. A mixing model for stable isotopes, IsoSource, revealed that main food sources for three snails were macroalgae (5056%) and seagrass (3945%) at the temperate site. The contributions of terrestrial plants, sediment organic matter and benthic microalgae were weaker than those of macroalgae and seagrasses. At the sub-tropical site, snails fed mainly on macroalgae. The differences in food sources between snail species were not remarkable, although the nitrogen values were slightly different. It would thus appear that macroalgae and seagrass play an important role in the food webs not only in their own habitats but also on the adjacent tidal flats.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)399-404
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar 1


    • Gastropods
    • Macroalgae
    • Seagrass
    • Sub-tropical tidal flats
    • Temperate tidal flats

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aquatic Science


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