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Limnology

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Inter- and intra-guild patterns of food resource utilization by chironomid larvae in a subtropical coastal lagoon

  • Aurea Luiza Lemes-Silva
  • Paulo Roberto Pagliosa
  • Mauricio Mello Petrucio
Research paper

Abstract

Studies on food preferences provide background information on the mechanisms that allow coexistence and resource exploitation among several species within the same system. In this study, we aimed to identify the trophic guild of chironomid larvae based on their feeding habits using gut content analysis. Larvae were collected using an Eckman-Birge grab in many areas of the subtropical Peri lagoon (southern Brazil) seasonally between March 2008 and April 2009. Null models were used to determine the frequency of co-occurrence of food items in the diets of chironomid larvae and to determine the frequency of co-occurrence of species belonging to a particular guild. Significant differences (seasonal or annual) were observed in patterns of co-occurrence of food items in the larval diets. Animal remains had a lower co-occurrence than would be expected as a result of chance, and plant items had a co-occurrence greater than would be expected by chance. The c scores for co-occurrence of species belonging to both predator and herbivore guilds revealed a higher co-occurrence of species than would be expected by chance. We suggest that the factors responsible for the results of this study were resource partitioning among species, habitat heterogeneity and resource availability in the environment.

Keywords

Chironomidae Co-occurrence Feeding habitat Coastal lagoons Subtropical region 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Dr. Susana Trivinho-Strixino (UFSCar-SP) for her help with identifying Chironomid larvae, the Brazilian National Council for Research (CNPq), and the Ministry of Education of Brazil (CAPES Foundation) for the financial support and fellowships. We wish to thank the anonymous reviewers whose suggestions greatly improved the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aurea Luiza Lemes-Silva
    • 1
    • 3
  • Paulo Roberto Pagliosa
    • 2
  • Mauricio Mello Petrucio
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia de Águas Continentais, Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia, Centro de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaTrindade, FlorianópolisBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Geociências, Centro de Filosofia e Ciências HumanasUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaTrindade, FlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade de BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil

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