Cool tadpoles from Arctic environments waste fewer nutrients: high gross growth efficiencies lead to low consumer-mediated nutrient recycling in the North
2015 (English)In: Journal of Animal Ecology, ISSN 0021-8790, E-ISSN 1365-2656, Vol. 84, no 6, 1744-1756 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Endothermic organisms can adapt to short growing seasons, low temperatures and nutrient limitation by developing high growth rates and high gross growth efficiencies (GGEs). Animals with high GGEs are better at assimilating limiting nutrients and thus should recycle (or lose) fewer nutrients. Longer guts in relation to body mass may facilitate higher GGE under resource limitation. Within the context of ecological stoichiometry theory, this study combines ecology with evolution by relating latitudinal life-history adaptations in GGE, mediated by gut length, to its ecosystem consequences, such as consumer-mediated nutrient recycling. In common garden experiments, we raised Rana temporaria tadpoles from two regions (Arctic/Boreal) under two temperature regimes (18/23 degrees C) crossed with two food quality treatments (high/low-nitrogen content). We measured tadpole GGEs, total nutrient loss (excretion+egestion) rates and gut length during ontogeny. In order to maintain their elemental balance, tadpoles fed low-nitrogen (N) food had lower N excretion rates and higher total phosphorous (P) loss rates than tadpoles fed high-quality food. In accordance with expectations, Arctic tadpoles had higher GGEs and lower N loss rates than their low-latitude conspecifics, especially when fed low-N food, but only in ambient temperature treatments. Arctic tadpoles also had relatively longer guts than Boreal tadpoles during early development. That temperature and food quality interacted with tadpole region of origin in affecting tadpole GGEs, nutrient loss rates and relative gut length, suggests evolved adaptation to temperature and resource differences. With future climate change, mean annual temperatures will increase. Additionally, species and genotypes will migrate north. This will change the functioning of Boreal and Arctic ecosystems by affecting consumer-mediated nutrient recycling and thus affect nutrient dynamics in general. Our study shows that evolved latitudinal adaption can change key ecosystem functions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 84, no 6, 1744-1756 p.
assimilation efficiency, consumer-mediated nutrient recycling, digestive efficiency, ecological stoichiometry, latitudinal adaptation, Rana temporaria
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265799DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12426ISI: 000362741000029PubMedID: 26239271OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265799DiVA: diva2:866748
FunderSwedish Research Council