Methane-derived carbon (MDC) can subsidize lake food webs. However, the trophic transfer of MDC to consumers within macrophyte vegetation is largely unknown. We investigated the seasonality of δ13C in larval chironomids within Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn.) and Trapa natans var. Japonica (Nakai) vegetation in the shallow, eutrophic Lake Izunuma in Japan. Over the past several years, N. nucifera has rapidly expanded across more than 80% of the lake surface. Prior to the expansion of N. nucifera (2007–2008), a previous study reported extremely low larval δ13C levels with peak sediment methane concentrations in August or September. After the expansion of N. nucifera (2014–2015), we observed extreme hypoxia as low as or lower than 1 mg l−1 among the macrophyte coverage during June and August. During August and September, no larvae could be found among N. nucifera, and larvae in T. natans showed relatively high δ13C levels (> − 40‰). In contrast, larvae were markedly 13C–depleted (down to − 60‰) during October and November. The renewed supply of oxygen to the lake bottom may stimulate MOB activity, leading to an increase in larval assimilation of MDC. Our results suggest that macrophyte vegetation can affect the seasonality of MDC transfer to benthic consumers under hypoxic conditions in summer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science