Enzyme activity and trophic links of macroarthropods living on an exposed Mediterranean beach–dune system

Year: 2016

Authors: Lagar MC., Pazzagli L., Cappugi G., Giusfredi G., Colombini I., Fallaci M., Chelazzi L., Scapini F.

Autors Affiliation: Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Firenze, Firenze, Italy;
Dipartimento di Scienze Biochimiche, Sperimentali e Cliniche “Mario Serio” Università di Firenze, Firenze, Italy;
Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, C.N.R. and European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy;
Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi, C.N.R., Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze, Italy

Abstract: Arthropod communities of beach-dune systems are mainly composed by detritivorous species, apparently with overlapping trophic niches. This study aims at distinguishing the trophic roles of sympatric species, by using a biochemical approach in the analysis of gut contents. The digestion of seven trisaccharidic and disaccharidic substrates containing the glycosidic bond was tested in gut homogenates of 10 species of detritivorous insects and crustaceans from a Mediterranean beach-dune system (Tuscany, Italy). Glycosidase activities were compared between species. A dendrogram was determined separating species with different enzymatic activity spectra. The differences observed in the enzymatic activities may be related to a different use of the available food resources and interpreted as an opportunist nutrition of arthropod species sharing the same habitat.


Volume: 83 (2)      Pages from: 221  to: 232

KeyWords: Enzyme activity; trophic structure; crustaceans; coleopterans; beach–dune system
DOI: 10.1080/11250003.2016.1184331

Citations: 4
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