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Bioavailability of organic matter in a highly disturbed Estuary: The role of detrital and algal resources

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

By:
, , ,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.122614399

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Abstract

The importance of algal and detrital food supplies to the planktonic food web of a highly disturbed, estuarine ecosystem was evaluated in response to declining zooplankton and fish populations. We assessed organic matter bioavailability among a diversity of habitats and hydrologic inputs over 2 years in San Francisco Estuary's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Results show that bioavailable dissolved organic carbon from external riverine sources supports a large component of ecosystem metabolism. However, bioavailable particulate organic carbon derived primarily from internal phytoplankton production is the dominant food supply to the planktonic food web. The relative importance of phytoplankton as a food source is surprising because phytoplankton production is a small component of the ecosystem's organic-matter mass balance. Our results indicate that management plans aimed at modifying the supply of organic matter to riverine, estuarine, and coastal food webs need to incorporate the potentially wide nutritional range represented by different organic matter sources.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Bioavailability of organic matter in a highly disturbed Estuary: The role of detrital and algal resources
Series title:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.122614399
Volume
99
Issue:
12
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
First page:
8101
Last page:
8105
Number of Pages:
5