Macroinvertebrate trophic structure on waterfalls in Borneo

Baker, K., Chadwick, M. A., McGill, R. A.R. , Wahab, R. A. and Kahar, R. (2017) Macroinvertebrate trophic structure on waterfalls in Borneo. Marine and Freshwater Research, 68(11), pp. 2061-2069. (doi: 10.1071/MF16373)

141111.pdf - Accepted Version



Waterfalls have unique physical characteristics and harbour highly specialised macroinvertebrate communities, but have been the subject of very few ecological studies. There are no previous studies of trophic structure of waterfall assemblages. It was hypothesised that because of the steep gradient of waterfalls and low retention of terrestrial-based resources, the abundant basal food resources would be periphyton. In addition, because of the frequent scouring flood events, it was predicted that periphyton would be a significant source of food for filter feeders. Waterfalls in the Ulu Temburong National Park (Brunei Darussalam) were used in the present case study. Methods included stable carbon (C)- and nitrogen (N)-isotope analyses (SIA; δ13C and δ15N of leaf litter and periphyton) and gut-content analysis (GCA) of the most the abundant macroinvertebrates. With δ15N values ranging from –1.9 to 5.5‰, literature suggests that this indicates that herbivores (Heptageniidae and Blephariceridae), omnivores (Simuliidae and Hydropsychidae) and predators (Buccinidae) live in the waterfalls. Apart from Buccinidae, the taxa had δ13C signatures ranging from –33 to –26‰, with a high dependence on periphyton, which is similar to other tropical-stream biotopes. The present study suggests that despite scouring velocities, waterfalls support animals with a range of diets, based on grazing or scraping, filter feeding and predation.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was funded by a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded PhD studentship (Code: DAR7132) and NERC Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry (Code: EK232-11/14).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGill, Dr Rona
Authors: Baker, K., Chadwick, M. A., McGill, R. A.R., Wahab, R. A., and Kahar, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Marine and Freshwater Research
Publisher:CSIRO Publishing
ISSN (Online):1448-6059
Published Online:11 May 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 CSIRO Publishing
First Published:First published in Marine and Freshwater Research 68(11):2061-2069
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record