SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.41 issue4Flux flow and cleaning enhancement in a spiral membrane element, using continuous infrasonic backpulsingEffect of altitude on erosive characteristics of concurrent rainfall events in the northern KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


PEER, N; PERISSINOTTO, R; MIRANDA, NAF  and  RAW, JL. A stable isotopic study of the diet of Potamonautes sidneyi (Brachyura: Potamonautidae) in two coastal lakes of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa. Water SA [online]. 2015, vol.41, n.4, pp.549-558. ISSN 1816-7950.

Potamonautes sidneyi Rathbun 1904, is a dominant freshwater crab in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Recent flood events in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park have allowed a substantial range expansion of this species, including previously hypersaline and desiccated areas. A stable isotope study was conducted to examine the feeding habits of the populations from Lake Sibaya and Mpophomeni Stream, two contrasting sites in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Juveniles from Mpophomeni Stream were more depleted in δ13C and more enriched in δ15N compared to adults, indicating a more carnivorous diet and higher trophic position. A general shift in diet was observed at both sites, with consumption of aquatic invertebrates and sedimentary organic matter more prevalent in the wet summer months, while greater proportions of detritus and microphytobenthos were consumed in autumn/winter. No significant difference was observed between adults from the two sites despite the abiotic variations. The species appears to play a complex role in the trophic web, by acting as an intermediate consumer facilitating the flow of nutrients across levels and by breaking down decomposing organic matter, allowing for rapid recycling of nutrients within its ecosystem.

Keywords : diet; trophic role; stable isotopes; freshwater; brachyurans; opportunistic feeders.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License