Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8464
Title: Identification of thalassinidean shrimp food sources in an Oregon estuary using fatty acid analysis and stable isotope ratios
Author: Katelyn Marie Bosley, Louise Copeman, B. R. Dumbauld, K. L. Bosley
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: Estuaries and Coasts
Volume: 40
Issue: 4
Pages: 1113-1130
DOI: 10.1007/s12237-016-0193-y

Two species of burrowing shrimps occur in high densities in U.S. West Coast estuaries, the ghost shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis) and the blue mud shrimp (Upogebia pugettensis). Together these two species of shrimp are considered ecosystem engineers as they burrow and turn over sediment which causes problems for shellfish growers. While their burrows create a dominant habitat type in the Yaquina Bay estuary on the central Oregon coast, little is known about their diet and their role in the estuarine food web. The primary goals of this study were to identify major components of burrowing shrimp diets and detect variation in shrimp diets along an estuarine gradient using a combination of fatty acid (FA) and stable isotope (SI) analyses. A total of 137 shrimp were sampled from several locations within the Yaquina Bay estuary in August 2012. An additional 178 samples of potential food sources for these shrimp were also taken including eelgrass blades, epiphytes, Ulva, sediment surface, sediment core, burrow wall and particulate organic material (POM). Both SI and FA analysis indicated a significant difference in food ingested by shrimp along the estuarine gradient with both species showing highest contribution from POM and epiphytes. Shrimp from lower estuarine sites had high levels of 16:1ω7 and EPA suggesting a diet high in algae and marine diatoms. Shrimp from upriver showed greater amounts of FA associated with dinoflagellates and terrestrial sources. This is the first study to evaluate diets of these two shrimp using complimentary FA and SI approaches.

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Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Characterize ecological interactions (e.g. predation, competition, parasitism, disease, etc.) within and among species.
Characterize the interaction between marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystem components.