Skip to main content

Free Content Trophic Linkages Among Primary Producers and Consumers in Fringing Mangroves of Subtropical Lagoons

Download Article:
(PDF 915.2236328125 kb)


Fringe mangroves associated with islands of the subtropical Atlantic/Caribbean region create extensive subtidal mangrove epibiont communities. While increasingly recognized as an important habitat, few studies have focused on the trophic structure of communities associated with mangrove prop-roots. We examined trophic linkages among primary producers (mangroves, seagrass, and algae) and consumers using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in fringe mangroves of the Bahamas and Biscayne Bay, Florida. The average δ13C value of primary consumers (–16.4) was similar to macroalgae (–16.7) and seagrass epiphytes (–14.6) and highly distinguishable from mangroves (–27.4). Higher secondary consumers had enriched δ13C values (–10.1) relative to primary consumers, and were similar to average seagrass δ13C values (–10.5). The ranges of δ15 N signatures of vertebrate (6.3–12) and invertebrate (–0.4–10.7) consumers indicated a multi-trophic structure. Based on mixing equations, the majority of primary consumers diet was algal based, while secondary consumers depended on both algal and seagrass carbon. Mangroves do not appear to be the major source of carbon to consumers in fringe mangroves of subtropical lagoons. Rather, fringe island-associated mangroves constitute refugia for invertebrates and young reef fishes, and create substrate for a diversity of primary producers and consumers, thereby playing an important indirect role to the food web of these systems.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-03-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more