Marine Biology

, 164:84 | Cite as

Spatial dietary shift in bivalves from embayment with river discharge and mariculture activities to outer seagrass beds in northwestern Philippines

  • Naoko MorimotoEmail author
  • Yu Umezawa
  • Maria Lourdes San Diego-McGlone
  • Atsushi Watanabe
  • Fernando P. Siringan
  • Yoshiyuki Tanaka
  • Genevieve L. Regino
  • Toshihiro Miyajima
Original Paper


To investigate the spatial variation in bivalve food sources along a pollution gradient and assess bivalve contribution to biogeochemical cycles in tropical coastal ecosystems, the δ13C and δ15N values of bivalves and their potential food sources were studied in northwestern Philippines. In a semi-enclosed embayment affected by river discharge and mariculture activities, bivalves depended primarily on 13C-depleted suspended particulate organic matter such as phytoplankton and/or fish feeds. However, toward the relatively oligotrophic seagrass beds, the bivalve food source gradually shifted to more 13C-enriched resuspended and/or settled particles. Furthermore, in the outer seagrass beds exposed to the open ocean, bivalves mainly relied on similar food sources, such as detritus of microalgae, regardless of the distance from the embayment. These trends appear to reflect the ready availability of the food sources. Especially in the outer seagrass beds, a semi-closed material cycle within the vicinity of the sea bottom likely emerged between bivalves and algae, but not between the phytoplankton in the overlying water column. This resulted in a relatively weak benthic-pelagic coupling for bivalves. These cycles would need to be taken into account when estimating the biogeochemical cycles in eutrophicated coastal areas.


Phytoplankton Bivalve Particulate Organic Matter Particulate Organic Carbon Sedimentary Organic Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank K. Nadaoka and M.D. Fortes for leading this project. We are also grateful to C.M. Ferrera, T. Tsuchiya, E.C. Herrera, J.C. Rengel, M. Atrigenio, D.L. Mancenido, T. Yamamoto, L. Bernardo, A.S.J. Wyatt and staff of University of the Philippines (UP), and UP Marine Science Institute Bolinao Marine Laboratory (BML) for supporting field work. We are also sincerely thankful to the JICA Philippines office and to Y. Nagahama, Y. Geroleo, and the CECAM coordinating office for all logistic arrangements.

Compliance with ethical standards


The present study was supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) through the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development Program (SATREPS) under the project “Integrated Coastal Ecosystem Conservation and Adaptive Management under Local and Global Environmental Impacts in the Philippines (CECAM)”, and by JSPS Grant-in-aid for Overseas Scientific Research Grant Number 23405002 (Granted to T.M.).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naoko Morimoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yu Umezawa
    • 2
  • Maria Lourdes San Diego-McGlone
    • 3
  • Atsushi Watanabe
    • 4
  • Fernando P. Siringan
    • 3
  • Yoshiyuki Tanaka
    • 5
    • 6
  • Genevieve L. Regino
    • 3
  • Toshihiro Miyajima
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biogeochemistry Group, Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoKashiwaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of FisheriesNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  3. 3.Marine Science InstituteUniversity of the PhilippinesQuezon CityPhilippines
  4. 4.Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering, School of Environment and SocietyTokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Center for Liberal Arts and SciencesHachinohe Institute of TechnologyHachinoheJapan
  6. 6.Mutsu Institute for OceanographyJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)MutsuJapan

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