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The influence of habitat accessibility on the dietary and morphological specialisation of an aquatic predator
Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Biologiska sektionen, Institutionen för ekologi och genetik, Limnologi. Water Research Centre and The Environment Institute, School of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Adelaide, North Terrace, SA, Australia.
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.
Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Biologiska sektionen, Institutionen för ekologi och genetik, Limnologi.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2858-5947
Vise andre og tillknytning
2018 (engelsk)Inngår i: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 127, nr 1, s. 160-169Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Individual diet and habitat specialisation are widespread in animal taxa and often related to levels of predation and competition. Mobile consumers such as predatory fish can stabilise lake food webs by ranging over a larger area than their prey, thereby switching between habitats. Although, this switching assumes that the predator has equal preference for the available prey, individual diet specialisation and morphological adaptations to different habitats could potentially prevent individuals from switching between habitats. In this study, we assessed the niche width and individual specialisation in Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis in response to a shift in habitat use by manipulating the ability for this top predator to couple habitats. We ran an eight weeks pond experiment, to test the effect of habitat switching on diet and morphological specialisations. We show that habitat coupling influenced individual diet specialisation and niche use in expected directions where specialisation increased with decreasing habitat switching. In contrast to expectations, the morphological variation decreased with increasing diet specialisation. Our results expand on previous work and suggest that individual specialisation and niche width can impact the ability of mobile predators to couple habitats. Furthermore, it shows the importance of individual specialisations in relation to habitat coupling.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
John Wiley & Sons, 2018. Vol. 127, nr 1, s. 160-169
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-315718DOI: 10.1111/oik.04094ISI: 000419102100015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-315718DiVA, id: diva2:1075436
Forskningsfinansiär
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council FormasTilgjengelig fra: 2017-02-20 Laget: 2017-02-20 Sist oppdatert: 2018-12-11bibliografisk 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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