From the light blue sky to the dark deep sea: Trophic and resource partitioning between epipelagic and mesopelagic layers in a tropical oceanic ecosystem - Université de Bretagne Occidentale Access content directly
Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2023

From the light blue sky to the dark deep sea: Trophic and resource partitioning between epipelagic and mesopelagic layers in a tropical oceanic ecosystem

Abstract

The connection between epipelagic and deep-sea mesopelagic realms controls a variety of ecosystem processes includ-ing oceanic carbon storage and the provision of harvestable fish stocks. So far, these two layers have been mostly ad-dressed in isolation and the ways they connect remain poorly understood. Furthermore, both systems are affected by climate change, exploitation of resources, and increasing pervasion of pollutants. Here we use bulk isotopes of delta 13C and delta 15N of 60 ecosystem components to evaluate the trophic linkage between epipelagic and mesopelagic ecosystems in warm oligotrophic waters. Additionally, we we conducted a comparison of isotopic niche sizes and overlaps across multiple species to evaluate how environmental gradients between epipelagic and mesopelagic ecosystems shape eco-logical patterns of resource use and competition between species. Our database comprises siphonophores, crustaceans, particulate organic matter collected at different depths. Through this wide taxonomic and trophic variety of epipelagic and mesopelagic species, we show that pelagic species access resources originating from different food sources, mostly autotrophic-based (epipelagics) and microbial heterotrophic-based (mesopelagics). This leads to a sharp trophic dis-similarity between vertical layers. Additionally, we show that trophic specialization increases in deep-sea species and argue that food availability and environmental stability are among the main drivers of this pattern. Finally, we dis-cuss how the ecological traits of pelagic species highlighted in this study can respond to human impacts and increase their vulnerability in the Anthropocene.
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Dates and versions

hal-04107622 , version 1 (26-05-2023)

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Leandro Nolé Eduardo, Flávia Lucena-Frédou, Sophie Lanco Bertrand, Alex Souza Lira, Michael Maia Mincarone, et al.. From the light blue sky to the dark deep sea: Trophic and resource partitioning between epipelagic and mesopelagic layers in a tropical oceanic ecosystem. Science of the Total Environment, 2023, 878, ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.163098⟩. ⟨hal-04107622⟩
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