Long-term ecological research of aquatic ecosystem at Guadalquivir estuary (1997-2014): community structure and food web
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AuthorsBaldó, F. (Francisco); González-Ortegón, E. (Enrique); Canoura, J. (Jesús); Cuesta, J.A. (José Antonio); Fernández-Delgado, C. (Carlos); Sobrino, I. (Ignacio); Drake, P. (Pilar); Vilas, C. (César)
A long term ecological research program (LTER) is developed monthly at the Guadalquivir estuary since 1997. Inter- and intra-specific euryhalinity differences both in prey and predators seem to determine spatial species distribution at this important nursery area: the less euryhaline species (marine recruits) tends to occur at physiologically more favourable salinities (lower osmotic stress and mortality risk); whereas most euryhaline species (estuarine species) occurred at ecologically more favourable salinities (lower inter-specific competition and predation). Likewise, inter-specific differences in spawning periods cause certain temporal segregation of those marine recruits using the estuary. High spatiotemporal coincidence of prey (mainly mysids and copepods) density peaks with that of their predators suggests food availability as a key factor in the estuarine nursery function. According to their distribution, the estuarine stretch situated seaward from the 5 isohaline position is ...