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Mar Pollut Bull 2022 Mar 01;176:113415. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.113415.
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Stable isotopes reveal overlooked incorporation of diffuse land-based sources of nutrients and organic matter by intertidal communities at Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

Zapata-Hernández G , Sellanes J , Muñoz P .

Rapa Nui is an important hotspot of endemic marine biodiversity, where diffuse land-based sources (e.g., nutrients and organic matter) entering into coastal waters could develop eutrophication in coastal environments, with deleterious impacts on the marine ecosystem. Stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) of intertidal communities (macroalgae and invertebrates) were studied from sites with contrasting human influence (populated and unpopulated), to evaluate the incorporation and transfer of diffuse land-based sources through food webs. Macroalgae showed differences between some sites, and invertebrates showed a 15N-enrichment pattern at populated areas relative to unpopulated, being these differences significant in gastropods, barnacles and sea urchins. Moreover, trophic structure metrics suggest a higher trophic diversity in populated areas relative to unpopulated and support the isotopic partitioning between sites, associated with the incorporation of sources with 15N-enriched values. The above suggests that diffuse land-based sources could be incorporated by macroalgae, transferred into benthic consumers, and altering the trophic structure.

PubMed ID: 35193005
Article link: Mar Pollut Bull