Relation between the stable carbon isotope composition offiddler crabs, plants, and soils in a salt marsh

Haines, E.B.

Limnology and Oceanography 21(6): 880-883


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-3590
DOI: 10.4319/lo.1976.21.6.0880
Accession: 068500817

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The fiddler crab Uca pugnax consumes detrital material on the soil surface in monospecific and mixed species stands of C3 and C4 plants in Georgia salt marshes. The carbon isotopic ratios of U. pugnax collected in eight separate areas of a salt marsh were linearly related to the 13C : 12C ratios of the plants; the relation between the 13C : 12C ratios of the crabs and marsh soils was less direct. The stable isotopic composition of the crab carbon was biased toward the 13C : 12C ratios of the C4 plants.