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Contributions of Seagrasses and other Sources to Sea Cucumber Diets in a Tropical Seagrass Ecosystem


Paper Type 
Contributed Paper
Title 
Contributions of Seagrasses and other Sources to Sea Cucumber Diets in a Tropical Seagrass Ecosystem
Author 
Adonis Floren, Ken-ichi Hayashizaki, Piyalap Tuntiprapas and Anchana Prathep
Email 
anchana.p@psu.ac.th
Abstract:

A study was conducted to determine the fractional contributions of seagrasses and other sources to the sediment and the diet of the sea cucumbers Holothuria scabra and H. atra-leucospilota in a tropical seagrass meadow. The contribution from each source was estimated using the MixSIAR mixing model wherein the trophic enrichment factors of communities were integrated in the model. The results of the study suggest that the seagrass contribution to the sediment was coupled with the sea cucumber diet. Seagrass species contributed 32.0 % of the organic matter in the sediment while the contributions from the land plants, mangroves, microphytobenthos, coastal particulate organic matter, river particulate organic matter were 15.0, 14.4, 14.3, 13.2, and11.0 %, respectively. Subsequent assimilation of these sources by the sea cucumbers H. scabra and H. atra-leucospilota revealed that 61-70 % of their diet was derived from the seagrasses. This finding suggests these two sea cucumbers shared similar diet sources in the meadow as reflected in the similarity of proportional contributions of sources to their diets. The implications of this study may help in the conservation of sea cucumbers due to the destruction of seagrass habitats in many parts of the Southeast Asian region.

Start & End Page 
1259 - 1270
Received Date 
2020-10-04
Revised Date 
2021-04-16
Accepted Date 
2021-04-27
Full Text 
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Correspondence & Author Name 
Keyword 
stable isotope, seagrasses, sediments, sea cucumbers, MixSIAR
Volume 
Vol.48 No.5 (September 2021)
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Chiang Mai Journal of Science

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