Distribution patterns, carbon sources and niche partitioning in cave shrimps (Atyidae: Typhlatya)




Chávez-Solís, E.M.
Solís, C.
Simões, Nuno
Mascaró, M.


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Springer Nature


Cave shrimps of the Typhlatya genus are common and widespread in fresh, brackish and marine groundwater throughout the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico). These species are ideal models to test niche partitioning within sympatric species in oligotrophic systems. Nevertheless, their food sources remain unidentified, and despite their frequency and functional importance, distribution and abundance patterns of these species within caves have not been fully recognized. Here, we describe the abundance of three Typhlatya species in different temporal and spatial scales, investigate changes in water conditions, and potential sources of carbon as an indication of food origin. Species composition and abundance varied markedly in space and time revealing patterns that differed from one system to another and in relation to environmental parameters. Isotope analysis showed that each species reflects a particular δ13C and Δ14C fingerprint, suggesting they feed in different proportions from the available carbon sources. Overall, our findings suggest a niche partitioning of habitat and feeding sources amongst the three Typhlatya species investigated, where environmental characteristics and physiological differences could play an important role governing their distribution patterns.






Chávez-Solís, E.M., Solís, C., Simões, N. et al. Distribution patterns, carbon sources and niche partitioning in cave shrimps (Atyidae: Typhlatya). Sci Rep 10, 12812 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69562-2