uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Stoichiometric variation in C:N, C:P and N:P ratios of littoral benthic invertebrates
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Limnology.
2005 (English)In: Journal of The North American Benthological Society, ISSN 0887-3593, Vol. 24, 256-269 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nutritional constraints on herbivores are important factors structuring food webs. Our study presents field data on the nutrient content of benthic invertebrates from Lake Erken (Sweden). The most abundant benthic invertebrates of the littoral community were sampled in 3 seasons at 5 sites to examine the influence of spatial and temporal variation of abiotic conditions on invertebrate C:N:P stoichiometry. The relationships between nutrient ratios and dry mass (DM) of invertebrates were evaluated using regression analysis. Nutrient ratios of periphyton, sampled in an earlier study, were compared to those of benthic invertebrates. C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios differed among invertebrate taxa. Coleoptera had relatively high C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios, whereas Isopoda had low C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios. Nutrient ratios differed with respect to season and location. C:P and N:P ratios were significantly lower and C:N ratios were significantly higher in autumn than in spring and summer. C:P and N:P ratios increased as a functions of invertebrate DM when all taxa were analyzed together. C:N and C:P ratios of periphyton were higher than those of benthic invertebrates, but N:P ratios were similar. Our results suggested that benthic invertebrates have taxon-specific C:N and C:P ratios, but the seasonal variability in ratios indicated that littoral invertebrates were rheostatic rather than homeostatic with respect to nutrient stoichiometry. The temporal and spatial variation in grazer nutrient content must be taken into account when applying stoichiometric theory to benthic food webs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 24, 256-269 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-94623DOI: 10.1899/04-015.1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-94623DiVA: diva2:168529
Available from: 2006-05-24 Created: 2006-05-24 Last updated: 2013-05-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Nutrient Stoichiometry in Benthic Food Webs – Interactions Between Algae, Herbivores and Fish
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nutrient Stoichiometry in Benthic Food Webs – Interactions Between Algae, Herbivores and Fish
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to identify general structuring mechanisms in benthic food webs within the framework of ecological stoichiometry theory. Ecological stoichiometry is defined as the balance of multiple chemical substances in ecological interactions and explicitly considers the combined dynamics of key elements such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Ecological stoichiometry theory was developed for pelagic environments, thus it must be tested whether the same mechanisms are applicable to benthic environments.

In this thesis, ecological stoichiometry theory was used as a framework to investigate nutrient pathways in benthic littoral ecosystems. I conducted one invertebrate field sampling and six experiments. In the experiments, factors such as grazing, light, nutrients and fish presence were manipulated.

The results showed that stoichiometric variability in consumers could mostly be explained by taxa. However, there was some stoichiometric variability due to sampling season, site, and nutrient enrichment.

Grazing mostly increased periphyton N and P content, although nutrient recycling effects were dependent on grazer stoichiometry. Grazing changed benthic algal community composition by increasing the proportion of grazing resistant algae species. Additionally, grazing decreased algal diversity, especially under nutrient poor conditions. The manipulation of fish presence revealed that fish affected primary producer biomass and stoichiometry through nutrient recycling.

The manipulation of abiotic factors, such as light and nutrient addition could affect periphyton nutrient content, biomass and benthic algal chlorophyll a content. The separate addition of N or P led to an increase of the added nutrient in the periphyton. Increased light intensities led to a decreased cellular chlorophyll a content and increased C:nutrient ratios.

This thesis arrives at the conclusion that periphyton-grazer-predator interactions in the benthic are bound by stoichiometric constraints. Nutrient recycling by benthic invertebrates and fish are important mechanism in benthic littoral ecosystems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. 44 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 197
Ecology, ecologial stoichiometry, periphyton, grazer, benthos, trophic interactions, nutrient, algae, Ekologi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6933 (URN)91-554-6592-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-09-08, Friessalen, Kärnhuset, EBC, Norbyvägen 18, 752 36 Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2006-05-24 Created: 2006-05-24 Last updated: 2011-06-28Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text
By organisation
In the same journal
Journal of The North American Benthological Society
Natural Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 220 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link