Food quantity and quality regulation of trophic transfer between primary producers and a keystone grazer (Daphnia) in pelagic freshwater food webs
2007 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 116, no 7, 1152-1163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The transfer of energy and nutrients from plants to animals is a key process in all ecosystems. In lakes, inefficient transfer of primary producer derived energy can result in low animal growth rates, accumulation of nuisance phytoplankton blooms and dissipation of energy from the ecosystem. Most research on carbon transfer efficiency in pelagic food webs has focused on either food quantity or food quality, with the latter considered separately as either elemental stoichiometry or biochemical composition. The natural occurrence and magnitude of these types of growth limitations and their combined effects on Daphnia, a keystone grazer in pelagic freshwater ecosystems, are largely unknown. Our empirical models predict that the strength and nature of food quantity and quality limitation varies greatly with lake trophic state (total phosphorus, TP) and that Daphnia growth rates and thus energy and nutrient transfer efficiency are highest in lakes with intermediate trophic status (TP 10-25 μg l−1). We predict that food availability place the greatest constraint on Daphnia growth in nutrient poor lakes (TP≤4 μg l−1). Phosphorus limitation of Daphnia growth increased with decreasing TP, but the overall effect was never predicted to be the dominant constraining factor. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5ω3) limitation was predicted to occur in both nutrient poor and nutrient rich lakes and placed the primary constraint on food quality in the most productive lakes. Two contrasting EPA-models gave different results on the magnitude of EPA-limitation, implying that additional food quality factors decrease Daphnia growth at high TP. In conclusion, the model predicts that Daphnia growth should peak in mesotrophic lakes, food quantity will place the greatest constraint on growth in oligotrophic lakes and EPA will primarily limit growth in eutrophic lakes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 116, no 7, 1152-1163 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95736DOI: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2007.15639.xISI: 000247438000007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95736DiVA: diva2:170061