Food utilization of shell-attached algae contributes to the growth of host mud snail, Bellamya chinensis: Evidence from fatty acid biomarkers and carbon stable isotope analysis

Megumu Fujibayashi, Takashi Sakamaki, Wooseok Shin, Osamu Nishimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dense algal growth on shells of the freshwater mud snail species, Bellamya chinensis, is commonly found. In rice paddy fields of Northeastern Japan, fatty acid biomarkers and carbon stable isotope composition were analyzed to test whether B. chinensis grazes on shell-attached algae. The carbon stable isotope ratio of B. chinensis was positively related to that of shell-attached algae. B. chinensis also assimilated substantial amounts of omega-fatty acids, which were abundant in shell-attached algae. Furthermore, the effect of assimilating shell-attached algae on B. chinensis growth was examined in a field experiment. Individuals feeding on shell-attached algae exhibited faster shell growth than those with no access to shell-attached algae of other individuals. Our results demonstrate that B. chinensis growth is enhanced by algal fouling on their own shells, which provides them with a nutritious food source, although very few studies have documented benefits conferred to an organism that hosts an epibiotic species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalLimnologica
Volume57
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1

Keywords

  • Cipangopaludina
  • Food quality
  • Food web analysis
  • Mud snail
  • Shell fouling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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