Incorporation of Cochlodinium bloom-derived organic matter into a temperate subtidal macrobenthic food web as traced by stable isotopes
Hyun Je Park, Jung Hyun Kwak, Hee Yoon Kang, Kee-Young Kwon, Weolae Lim, Chang-Keun Kang
Marine Pollution Bulletin 154, 111053
Harmful algal blooms involving the dinoflagellate Cochlodinium polykrikoides occur every summer off the Korean peninsula's central southern coast. To determine whether Cochlodinium bloom-derived organic carbon is incorporated into the subtidal macrobenthic food web, we compared the δ13C and δ15N values of suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM) and sedimentary organic matter, and macrobenthic consumers between bloom and non-bloom seasons. Chemotaxonomic analysis revealed the presence of Cochlodinium blooms in summer and a predominance of diatoms in autumn. Both the δ13C and δ15N values of SPOM were higher in the bloom than in the non-bloom seasons. Such temporal shifts in the δ13C and δ15N values were also observed for most macrobenthic consumers collected in both seasons. Consistent temporal isotopic shifts in SPOM and macrobenthos revealed that the Cochlodinium bloom-derived carbon was incorporated into the coastal benthic food web, resulting from its increasing availability during blooms.