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Asymmetrical habitat coupling of an aquatic predator: The importance of individual specialization
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.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-3221-4559
Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Biologiska sektionen, Institutionen för ekologi och genetik, Zooekologi. Sugadaira Montane Research Center, University of Tsukuba, Sugadairakogen 1278-294, Ueda, Nagano 386-2204, Japan.
School of Biological Sciences and The Environment Institute, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, SA 5005, Australia.
Vise andre og tillknytning
2019 (engelsk)Inngår i: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 9, nr 6, s. 3405-3415Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Predators should stabilize food webs because they can move between spatially separate habitats. However, predators adapted to forage on local resources may have a reduced ability to couple habitats. Here, we show clear asymmetry in the ability to couple habitats by Eurasian perch—a common polymorphic predator in European lakes. We sampled perch from two spatially separate habitats—pelagic and littoral zones—in Lake Erken, Sweden. Littoral perch showed stronger individual specialization, but they also used resources from the pelagic zone, indicating their ability to couple habitats. In contrast, pelagic perch showed weaker individual specialization but near complete reliance on pelagic resources, indicating their preference to one habitat. This asymmetry in the habitat coupling ability of perch challenges the expectation that, in general, predators should stabilize spatially separated food webs. Our results suggest that habitat coupling might be constrained by morphological adaptations, which in this case were not related to genetic differentiation but were more likely related to differences in individual specialization.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2019. Vol. 9, nr 6, s. 3405-3415
Emneord [en]
diet specialization, food web, landscape genetics, morphological specialization, Perca fluviatilis
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-315719DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4973ISI: 000462384800024PubMedID: 30962901OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-315719DiVA, id: diva2:1075437
Forskningsfinansiär
Swedish Research Council
Merknad

Title in thesis list of papers: Asymmetrical habitat coupling of a top predator

Tilgjengelig 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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