Influence of environmental gradients on C and N stable isotope ratios in coral reef biota of the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia

Kürten, Benjamin, Al-Aidaroos, Ali M., Struck, Ulrich, Khomayis, Hisham Sulaiman, Gharbawi, Waleed Yousef and Sommer, Ulrich (2014) Influence of environmental gradients on C and N stable isotope ratios in coral reef biota of the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia Journal of Sea Research, 85 . pp. 379-394. DOI 10.1016/j.seares.2013.07.008.

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The Red Sea features a natural environmental gradient characterized by increasing water temperature, nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations from North to South. The aim of this study was to assess the relationships between ecohydrography, particulate organic matter (POM) and coral reef biota that are poorly understood by means of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotopes. Herbivorous, planktivorous and carnivorous fishes,
zooplankton, soft corals (Alcyonidae), and bivalves (Tridacna squamosa)were a priori defined as biota guilds. Environmental
samples (nutrients, chlorophyll a), oceanographic data (salinity, temperature), POMand biotawere collected at eight coral reefs between 28°31′ N and 16°31′ N. Isotopic niches of guilds separated in δ13C and δ15N
isotopic niche spaces and were significantly correlated with environmental factors at latitudinal scale. Dietary end member contributionswere estimated using the Bayesian isotope mixingmodel SIAR. POMand zooplankton
15N enrichment suggested influences by urban run-off in the industrialized central region of the Red Sea. Both δ15N and their relative trophic positions (RTPs) tend to increase southwards, but urban runoff offsets the natural
environmental gradient in the central region of the Red Sea toward higher δ15N and RTPs. The present study reveals that consumer δ13C and δ15N in Red Sea coral reefs are influenced primarily by the latitudinal environmental
gradient and localized urban runoff. This study illustrates the importance of ecohydrography when interpreting trophic relationships from stable isotopes in Red Sea coral reefs.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000329884700039
Keywords: Ecohydrography; Guild; Isoscapes; Latitudinal gradient; SIAR; Stable isotopes
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.seares.2013.07.008
ISSN: 1385-1101
Projects: Jeddah Transect
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2013 09:47
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2017 10:50

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