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Free Content Transport and digestive alteration of uniformly 13C-labeled diatoms in mudflat sediments

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Uniformly 13C-labeled diatoms were used to elucidate the effect deposit feeders have on the distribution and composition of phytodetritus within the seabed. Mudflat infauna contained in microcosms reacted quickly to the emplacement of labeled diatoms onto the sediment-water interface by moving the phytodetritus nonlocally during feeding and hoeing activities. Although redistribution of tracer was rapid, not all infauna exposed to the tracer ingested it. Using four species of deposit-feeding annelids that had ingested the 13C-labeled phytodetritus during the microcosm experiment, molecular-level, digestive alterations of 13C-labeled diatoms were documented. Fecal material produced by the deposit feeders had 13C amino acid signatures distinctly different from that of the diatom. Alterations in the amino acid composition of the diatom were correlated to the gut morphology and digestive physiology of the polychaete taxa.

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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: May 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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