High potential subsidy of dry-season aquatic fauna to consumers in riparian zones of wet-dry tropical rivers

Haute subvention potentiel de saison sèche faune aquatique vers les consommateurs dans les zones riveraines des fleuves tropicaux humides-sec

Leigh, C. ; Reis, T.M. ; Sheldon, F.

Type de document
Article de revue scientifique à comité de lecture
Langue
Anglais
Affiliation de l'auteur
GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY NATHAN AUS ; BAAM BIODIVERSITY ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT CLEVELAND AUS ; GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY NATHAN AUS
Année
2013
Résumé / Abstract
Aquatic fauna provide an important subsidy to terrestrial consumers. In the wet–dry tropics, important subsidies from rivers to riparian-zone consumers are expected in the dry season but may vary depending on riparian zone condition. We investigated the potential subsidy of aquatic fauna to consumers in riparian zones in 2 highly seasonal rivers in Australia’s wet–dry tropics. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of invertebrate predators in riparian zones were closely aligned with aquatic invertebrates and emergent adult insects. Further, a considerable proportion (40–50%) of the observed vertebrate fauna in riparian zones were consumers of aquatic fauna, which included fish, crustaceans, invertebrates, and flying adult insects with aquatic larval stages. For hydrologically disconnected waterbodies, estimates of potential insect emergence and the proportion of vertebrate species (in riparian zones) that consume these insects both increased as indicators of riparian plant regeneration and condition improved. Our findings suggest that aquatic fauna provide important subsidies to terrestrial-zone consumers (both invertebrates and vertebrates) during the dry season, and that these transfers can be moderated by riparian zone condition. The wide home and foraging ranges of some consumers also suggest that the importance of these subsidies may extend far beyond the waterbody of origin. Human activities and climate-driven alteration of flow regimes and riparian zones that reduce the availability of dry-season waterbodies or degrade their riparian zones are likely to have negative impacts on aquatic–terrestrial linkages in these systems.
Source
Inland Waters, vol. 3, num. 4, p. 411 - 420

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