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Keywords:

  • carbon;
  • macrobenthos;
  • nitrogen;
  • Perna viridis;
  • polyculture;
  • shrimp pond;
  • stable isotope ratio

ABSTRACT: To quantify the contribution by cocultured animals to waste assimilation in an intensive shrimp farm in Thailand, the food web structures of the macrobenthos in a reservoir pond, a shrimp culture pond and water treatment ponds were examined using the stable C and N isotope ratio technique. Seawater for aquaculture was drawn from a creek, and stored in a reservoir pond, used for farming the banana prawn Fenneropenaeus merguiensis in culture ponds, and then recycled through treatment ponds where the green mussel Perna viridis was cultured to remove organic wastes discharged from the farming. The clam worm Nereididae sp. and the mud creeper Cerithideopsilla cingulata in the culture pond had δ 13C values of −21.0‰ and −18.4‰, respectively, suggesting that shrimp feed (mean δ 13C = −20.7‰) was the main food source for these species. The δ 13C analysis also suggested that sediments (−23.7‰) in the reservoir pond and particulate organic matter (POM) (−24.0‰) and/or sediments (−25.0‰) in the treatment pond supplied carbon for most macrobenthic animals. However, green mussels in the treatment pond had a mean δ 13C value of −20.5‰, suggesting that shrimp feed was the main food source for this species.