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Are algae relevant to the detritus-based food web in tank-bromeliads?

Brouard, Olivier and Le Jeune, Anne-Hélène and Leroy, Céline and Céréghino, Régis and Roux, Olivier and Pelozuelo, Laurent and Dejean, Alain and Corbara, Bruno and Carrias, Jean-François Are algae relevant to the detritus-based food web in tank-bromeliads? (2011) PLoS ONE, 6 (5). 1-10. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0020129


We assessed the occurrence of algae in five species of tank-bromeliads found in contrasting environmental sites in a Neotropical, primary rainforest around the Nouragues Research Station, French Guiana. The distributions of both algal abundance and biomass were examined based on physical parameters, the morphological characteristics of bromeliad species and with regard to the structure of other aquatic microbial communities held in the tanks. Algae were retrieved in all of the bromeliad species with mean densities ranging from ∼10² to 10⁴ cells/mL. Their biomass was positively correlated to light exposure and bacterial biomass. Algae represented a tiny component of the detrital food web in shaded bromeliads but accounted for up to 30 percent of the living microbial carbon in the tanks of Catopsis berteroniana, located in a highly exposed area. Thus, while nutrient supplies are believed to originate from wind-borne particles and trapped insects (i.e., allochtonous organic matter), our results indicate that primary producers (i.e., autochtonous organic matter) are present in this insectivorous bromeliad. Using a 24-h incubation of size-fractionated and manipulated samples from this plant, we evaluated the impact of mosquito foraging on algae, other microorganisms and rotifers. The prey assemblages were greatly altered by the predation of mosquito larvae. Grazing losses indicated that the dominant algal taxon, Bumilleriopsis sp., like protozoa and rotifers, is a significant part of the diet of mosquito larvae. We conclude that algae are a relevant functional community of the aquatic food web in C. berteroniana and might form the basis of a complementary non-detrital food web.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Public Library of Science editor. The original version is available at http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0020129
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Other partners > AgroParisTech (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique - CIRAD (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université des Antilles et de la Guyane (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:29 Nov 2013 08:56

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