Dietary changes in the ark clam (Anadara kagoshimensis) is associated with phytoplankton community patterns in a temperate coastal embayment
Water 2022, 14(21), 3497. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14213497
Kang HY, Kim C, Kim D, Kwon KY, Lee WC, Kang CK
The monthly phytoplankton communities and dietary items of the filter-feeding ark clam (Anadara kagoshimensis) in cultivation were examined in a shallow temperate coastal embayment of Yeoja Bay in Korea, to identify dietary changes in clams associated with phytoplankton community patterns. A self-organizing map (SOM) algorithm was applied to shape the community structures of phytoplankton. Clam δ13C and δ15N values were determined monthly and compared with those of phytoplankton, microphytobenthos, suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM), sedimentary organic matter (sedimentary OM), and Phragmites australis. Our SOM clustered monthly phytoplankton communities, revealing a seasonal shift in the dominance of large-sized diatoms (sporadically together with dinoflagellates), which were detected almost year-round, to small-sized taxa (chlorophytes, prasinophytes, and prymnesiophytes), which were observed in May–June. The δ13C and δ15N measurements revealed that pelagic and benthic diatoms serve as the main contributors to the clam diets. A reduction in their dietary contribution accompanied a considerable increment in the contribution of Phragmites detritus in association with the dominance of small-sized phytoplankton during the late spring. Our results suggest that the dominance of small-sized phytoplankton during the critical spring period of the clam life cycle may decrease the availability of preferred items (i.e., size-related food quality) and lead to dietary changes in the clams in relation to climate forcing in this warming sea.