Organic carbon source variability in Arctic bivalves as deduced from the compound specific carbon isotopic composition of amino acids
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Organic carbon source variability in Arctic bivalves as deduced from the compound specific carbon isotopic composition of amino acids

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Marine Systems
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    In this study we used compound-specific carbon isotope analysis of amino acids (δ13CAA) to determine organic carbon sources utilized by the dominant benthic bivalve species collected along a latitudinal gradient in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas, specifically at productivity hotspots identified within the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) program, and over Hanna Shoal in the northern Chukchi Sea. The recent shift to earlier sea-ice melt is one of the climate change consequences influencing Pacific Arctic ecosystems, which we integrate within our observations. Our goals included investigating the utilization of organic matter resources by several dominant Arctic bivalves and their trophic elasticity to changes in primary productivity patterns following changes in the onset of the annual productive season. Based upon δ13CAA patterns observed, these species utilized different carbon sources along the latitudinal gradient, including a strong input of bacterially reworked material and microalgae, mainly in particulate organic matter mixtures. Species type and the sampling location both played roles in δ13CAA variability, suggesting the influence of local production and decomposition processes. Macoma calcarea and Ennucula tenuis were shown to utilize organic matter of different quality, suggesting they may switch their feeding preferences to more detrital sources on a seasonal basis, but this was also affected by geographical location. These observations may have important implications for the benthic populations as microbial reworking of organic material is expected to increase with climate warming and likely shifts in food web structure.
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    Journal of Marine Systems, 219, 103547
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    Accepted Manuscript
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