Stable isotopes indicate individual level trophic diversity in the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis

Hideyuki Doi, Natalia I. Yurlova, Eisuke Kikuchi, Shuichi Shikano, Elena N. Yadrenkina, Svetlana N. Vodyanitskaya, Elena I. Zuykova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In lacustrine ecosystems, benthic grazers are generally thought to feed on sediment detritus and microalgae, although there is a paucity of information on food resource use within populations. In this study, we investigated individual level trophic signatures for grazing snails, Lymnaea stagnalis, along with primary consumers and producers in the same habitat, using carbon and nitrogen stable-isotope analyses. In addition, we tested whether ontogeny and parasite presence influence food resource use. The large variation in δ13C and δ15N isotopic signatures indicated that individuals within a population feed on different food sources. Snails appear to have much greater individual variance in trophic behaviour than the other lacustrine species sampled (larval chironomid Chironomus plumosus, amphipods, Gammarus lacustris, zooplankton Ceriodaphnia sp. and Simocephalus vetulus). Moreover, variation among snails was not explained by shell length or the presence of parasitic infections. Habitat heterogeneity and resource availability at the microhabitat level may be the primary factors determining individual food sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-388
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Molluscan Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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