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Habitat coupling mediates trophic cascades in an aquatic community
Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Biologiska sektionen, Institutionen för ekologi och genetik, Limnologi. School of Biological Sciences and The Environment Institute, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, SA 5005, Australia.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-3505-7077
Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Biologiska sektionen, Institutionen för ekologi och genetik, Zooekologi.
Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Biologiska sektionen, Institutionen för ekologi och genetik, Limnologi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-8981-1453
2019 (engelsk)Inngår i: Ecosphere, ISSN 2150-8925, E-ISSN 2150-8925, Vol. 10, nr 9Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Trophic cascades and other indirect effects can significantly mediate community interactions. Movement of energy between systems has been shown to be important for trophic cascades in food webs, where coupling between habitats can be important for food web stability and species evenness. To investigate the effects of habitat coupling on the stability and dynamics of chlorophyll a (used as a proxy for phytoplankton biomass), mediated by the abundance and composition of zooplankton and macroinvertebrates, we manipulated habitat use by the predator perch. We show a greater indirect effect of predation on phytoplankton abundance when no habitat coupling occurs, indicating a stronger predation effect and a decrease in zooplankton grazing pressure leading to an increase in phytoplankton biomass. Although we found a significant effect on chlorophyll a between the treatments, this effect was not evident in the abundance of prey resources of perch (zooplankton and macroinvertebrates). Other indirect effects, not measured in this study, such as compositional changes in prey groups, could potentially explain the lack of effect in prey resources. While there is a strong theoretical argument for the stabilizing effects of habitat coupling, empirical evidence is scarce. Our study offers tentative support for these theoretical predictions in a natural system.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2019. Vol. 10, nr 9
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-315717DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2863ISI: 000490766500019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-315717DiVA, id: diva2:1075435
Forskningsfinansiär
Swedish Research CouncilTilgjengelig fra: 2017-02-20 Laget: 2017-02-20 Sist oppdatert: 2019-11-25bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. The influence of trophic polymorphisms on habitat coupling in aquatic food webs
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>The influence of trophic polymorphisms on habitat coupling in aquatic food webs
2017 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

Trophic cascades, together with other indirect interactions are important aspects in shaping the composition and abundance of species in the food web. Theoretically, movement of energy between systems, and coupling between habitats by mobile predators have been suggested as being important for food web stability and evenness. Individual diet specialisations have been shown to be widespread in many animal taxa. Although not widely studied, some studies have indicated that mobile predators that display individual specialisations, may have a reduced ability to couple habitats.

In this thesis, by using field studies and an experimental study, my aim was to assess the individual specialisation displayed by Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) and its influence on the ability of the perch to couple habitats. In the experiment, we also investigated the effect of habitat coupling, or the lack of habitat coupling, on the dynamics and stability of the resources in the ecosystem.

We show that habitat diversity and resource availability influenced perch individual specialisation and morphological variation. We found that the perch total niche width decreased with decreasing habitat switching ability. We demonstrate asymmetrical habitat coupling ability in perch across pelagic and littoral habitats, providing evidence that not all individuals within a species respond in the same way when it comes to spatial coupling and thereby providing stability within a food web.

Our results expand on previous work and suggest that habitat coupling ability can influence individual specialisations and niche width. Furthermore, we show the importance of individual specialisations in relation to habitat coupling. Finally, we provide evidence for the theory that a food web dominated by a food specialist should exhibit more variable resource dynamics than a food web dominated by a generalist predator by showing a greater indirect effect of predation on the phytoplankton levels when no habitat coupling occurs. While many models and theoretical concepts have proposed a stabilising effect of cross movement of energy and mobile predators, little empirical evidence exists that confirms this mechanism.

In conclusion, my thesis gives some support for the theoretical predictions that habitats coupled by a generalist predator should be more stable.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. s. 41
Serie
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Biologi med inriktning mot limnologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-315720 (URN)978-91-554-9826-9 (ISBN)
Disputas
2017-04-07, Friessalen, Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum (EBC), Norbyvägen 14, Uppsala, 09:15 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-03-17 Laget: 2017-02-20 Sist oppdatert: 2017-03-20

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