A sprinkling of gold dust : Pine pollen as a carbon source in Baltic Sea coastal food webs

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Lienart , C , Cirtwill , A R , Hedgespeth , M L & Bradshaw , C 2022 , ' A sprinkling of gold dust : Pine pollen as a carbon source in Baltic Sea coastal food webs ' , Limnology and Oceanography , vol. 67 , no. 1 , pp. 53-65 . https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.11974

Title: A sprinkling of gold dust : Pine pollen as a carbon source in Baltic Sea coastal food webs
Author: Lienart, Camilla; Cirtwill, Alyssa R.; Hedgespeth, Melanie L.; Bradshaw, Clare
Contributor organization: Department of Agricultural Sciences
Plant Production Sciences
Date: 2022-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Limnology and Oceanography
ISSN: 0024-3590
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.11974
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/339293
Abstract: Allochthonous subsidies to marine ecosystems have mainly focused on biogeochemical cycles, but there has also been recent interest in how terrestrial carbon (C) influences marine food webs. In the Baltic Sea, pine (Pinus sylvestris) pollen is found in large amounts in shallow bays in early summer. Pollen is a significant C-source in freshwater ecosystems and may also be important in coastal food webs. We examined the consumption of pollen and autochthonous resources by benthic invertebrates in shallow bays of the Baltic Sea. We used stable isotopes to estimate diets and reconstructed consumer-resource networks (food webs) for grazers and particulate organic matter (POM)-feeders to compare how these different guilds used pollen. We found that P. sylvestris pollen was consumed in small amounts by a variety of animals and in some cases made up a sizeable proportion of invertebrates' diets. However, invertebrates generally depended less on pollen than other resources. The degree of pollen consumption was related to feeding traits, with generalist invertebrate grazers consuming more pollen (> 10% of diet) than the more specialist POM-feeders (< 5% of diet contributed by pollen). POM-feeders may consume additional microbially-degraded pollen which was not identifiable in our model. We suggest that pollen is a small but substantial allochthonous C-source in shallow bay food webs of the Baltic Sea, with the potential to affect the dynamics of these ecosystems.
11831 Plant biology
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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