Organic matter in a subtropical mangrove-estuary subjected to wastewater discharge: Origin and utilisation by two macrozoobenthic species
Total lipid amounts, fatty acid signature analysis, and C:N measurements were used to investigate the sources of organic matter in an Okinawan estuary (Okukubi, Japan) during the 1999 rainy season. This estuary has a mangrove forest and receives agricultural wastewater. Highest concentrations of total lipids and lowest C:N values were simultaneously found near the pipe where the agricultural water is discharged. Fatty acid profiles in the sediments varied among the stations, indicating differences in the contributing organic sources. Small amounts of lipids and low relative contributions of long-chain fatty acids, markers of vascular plants, were found at stations within and adjacent to the mangrove. These results indicate that the export of organic matter from the mangrove litter to the intertidal flat was limited and spatially restricted. The wastewater seems to induce high amounts of bacteria, macroalgae and benthic diatoms, as indicated by their respective fatty acid markers. The fatty acid profiles of the tissues of two dominant intertidal invertebrates, the crab Uca vocans and the gastropod Terebralia sulcata, indicated that their diet was largely comprised of bacteria. Green macroalgae were important food sources for the gastropods; diatoms and mangrove biomass contributed to the nutrition of the crabs, although their contributions were smaller.
Journal of Sea Research
Oceanography not elsewhere classified