WorldWideScience

Sample records for aquatic food web

  1. Methane carbon supports aquatic food webs to the fish level.

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    Angela M Sanseverino

    Full Text Available Large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane (CH(4 are produced by anaerobic mineralization of organic matter in lakes. In spite of extensive freshwater CH(4 emissions, most of the CH(4 is typically oxidized by methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB before it can reach the lake surface and be emitted to the atmosphere. In turn, it has been shown that the CH(4-derived biomass of MOB can provide the energy and carbon for zooplankton and macroinvertebrates. In this study, we demonstrate the presence of specific fatty acids synthesized by MOB in fish tissues having low carbon stable isotope ratios. Fish species, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates and the water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes were collected from a shallow lake in Brazil and analyzed for fatty acids (FA and carbon stable isotope ratios (δ(13C. The fatty acids 16:1ω8c, 16:1ω8t, 16:1ω6c, 16:1ω5t, 18:1ω8c and 18:1ω8t were used as signature for MOB. The δ(13C ratios varied from -27.7‰ to -42.0‰ and the contribution of MOB FA ranged from 0.05% to 0.84% of total FA. Organisms with higher total content of MOB FAs presented lower δ(13C values (i.e. they were more depleted in (13C, while organisms with lower content of MOB signature FAs showed higher δ(13C values. An UPGMA cluster analysis was carried out to distinguish grouping of organisms in relation to their MOB FA contents. This combination of stable isotope and fatty acid tracers provides new evidence that assimilation of methane-derived carbon can be an important carbon source for the whole aquatic food web, up to the fish level.

  2. The ecological potentials of Phytomyxea ("plasmodiophorids") in aquatic food webs.

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    Neuhauser, Sigrid; Kirchmair, Martin; Gleason, Frank H

    2011-01-01

    The Phytomyxea ("plasmodiophorids") including both Plasmodiophorida and Phagomyxida is a monophyletic group of Eukaryotes composed of obligate biotrophic parasites of green plants, brown algae, diatoms and stramenopiles commonly found in many freshwater, soil and marine environments. However, most research on Phytomyxea has been restricted to plant pathogenic species with agricultural importance, thereby missing the huge ecological potential of this enigmatic group of parasites. Members of the Phytomyxea can induce changes in biomass in their hosts (e.g. hypertrophies of the host tissue) under suitable environmental conditions. Upon infection they alter the metabolism of their hosts, consequently changing the metabolic status of their host. This results in an altered chemical composition of the host tissue, which impacts the diversity of species which feed on the tissues of the infected host and on the zoospores produced by the parasites. Furthermore, significant amounts of nutrients derived from the hosts, both primary producers (plants and algae) and primary consumers (litter decomposers and plant parasites [Oomycetes]), can enter the food web at different trophic levels in form of zoospores and resting spores. Large numbers of zoospores and resting spores are produced which can be eaten by secondary and tertiary consumers, such as grazing zooplankton and metazoan filter-feeders. Therefore, these microbes can act as energy-rich nutrient resources which may significantly alter the trophic relationships in fresh water, soil and marine habitats. Based on the presented data, Phytomyxea can significantly contribute to the complexity and energy transfer within food webs.

  3. Mercury bioaccumulation along food webs in temperate aquatic ecosystems colonized by aquatic macrophytes in south western France.

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    Gentès, Sophie; Maury-Brachet, Régine; Guyoneaud, Rémy; Monperrus, Mathilde; André, Jean-Marc; Davail, Stéphane; Legeay, Alexia

    2013-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) is considered as an important pollutant for aquatic systems as its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg), is easily bioaccumulated and bioamplified along food webs. In various ecosystems, aquatic periphyton associated with macrophyte was identified as an important place for Hg storage and methylation by microorganisms. Our study concerns temperate aquatic ecosystems (South Western France) colonized by invasive macrophytes and characterized by high mercury methylation potentials. This work establishes original data concerning Hg bioaccumulation in organisms (plants, crustaceans, molluscs and fish) from five contrasting ecosystems. For low trophic level species, total Hg (THg) concentrations were low (from 27±2ngTHgg(-1)dw in asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea to 418±114ngTHgg(-1)dw in crayfish Procambarus clarkii). THg concentrations in some carnivorous fish (high trophic level) were close to or exceeded the International Marketing Level (IML) with values ranging from 1049±220ngTHgg(-1)dw in pike perch muscle (Sander lucioperca) to 3910±1307ngTHgg(-1)dw in eel muscle (Anguilla Anguilla). Trophic levels for the individuals were also evaluated through stable isotope analysis, and linked to Hg concentrations of organisms. A significant Hg biomagnification (r(2)= 0.9) was observed in the Aureilhan lake, despite the absence of top predator fish. For this site, Ludwigia sp. periphyton, as an entry point of Hg into food webs, is a serious hypothesis which remains to be confirmed. This study provides a first investigation of Hg transfer in the ecosystems of south western France and allows the assessment of the risk associated with the presence of Hg in aquatic food webs.

  4. Tracing carbon sources through aquatic and terrestrial food webs using amino acid stable isotope fingerprinting.

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    Thomas Larsen

    Full Text Available Tracing the origin of nutrients is a fundamental goal of food web research but methodological issues associated with current research techniques such as using stable isotope ratios of bulk tissue can lead to confounding results. We investigated whether naturally occurring δ(13C patterns among amino acids (δ(13CAA could distinguish between multiple aquatic and terrestrial primary production sources. We found that δ(13CAA patterns in contrast to bulk δ(13C values distinguished between carbon derived from algae, seagrass, terrestrial plants, bacteria and fungi. Furthermore, we showed for two aquatic producers that their δ(13CAA patterns were largely unaffected by different environmental conditions despite substantial shifts in bulk δ(13C values. The potential of assessing the major carbon sources at the base of the food web was demonstrated for freshwater, pelagic, and estuarine consumers; consumer δ(13C patterns of essential amino acids largely matched those of the dominant primary producers in each system. Since amino acids make up about half of organismal carbon, source diagnostic isotope fingerprints can be used as a new complementary approach to overcome some of the limitations of variable source bulk isotope values commonly encountered in estuarine areas and other complex environments with mixed aquatic and terrestrial inputs.

  5. Flow management for hydropower extirpates aquatic insects, undermining river food webs

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    Kennedy, Theodore; Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Lytle, D.A.; Miller, S.A.; Dibble, Kimberly L.; Kortenhoeven, Eric W.; Metcalfe, Anya; Baxter, Colden V.

    2016-01-01

    Dams impound the majority of rivers and provide important societal benefits, especially daily water releases that enable on-peak hydroelectricity generation. Such “hydropeaking” is common worldwide, but its downstream impacts remain unclear. We evaluated the response of aquatic insects, a cornerstone of river food webs, to hydropeaking using a life history–hydrodynamic model. Our model predicts that aquatic-insect abundance will depend on a basic life-history trait—adult egg-laying behavior—such that open-water layers will be unaffected by hydropeaking, whereas ecologically important and widespread river-edge layers, such as mayflies, will be extirpated. These predictions are supported by a more-than-2500-sample, citizen-science data set of aquatic insects from the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and by a survey of insect diversity and hydropeaking intensity across dammed rivers of the Western United States. Our study reveals a hydropeaking-related life history bottleneck that precludes viable populations of many aquatic insects from inhabiting regulated rivers.

  6. Aquatic food webs in mangrove and seagrass habitats of Centla Wetland, a Biosphere Reserve in Southeastern Mexico

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    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

    Full Text Available Mangrove and seagrass habitats are important components of tropical coastal zones worldwide, and are conspicuous habitats of Centla Wetland Biosphere Reserve (CWBR in Tabasco, Mexico. In this study, we examine food webs in mangrove- and seagrass-dominated habitats of CWBR using stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen. Our objective was to identify the importance of carbon derived from mangroves and seagrasses to secondary production of aquatic consumers in this poorly studied conservation area. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of basal sources and aquatic consumers indicated that the species-rich food webs of both habitats are dependent on riparian production sources. The abundant Red mangrove Rhizophora mangle appears to be a primary source of carbon for the mangrove creek food web. Even though dense seagrass beds were ubiquitous, most consumers in the lagoon food web appeared to rely on carbon derived from riparian vegetation (e.g. Phragmites australis. The introduced Amazon sailfin catfish Pterygoplichthys pardalis had isotope signatures overlapping with native species (including high-value fisheries species, suggesting potential competition for resources. Future research should examine the role played by terrestrial insects in linking riparian and aquatic food webs, and impacts of the expanding P. pardalis population on ecosystem function and fisheries in CWBR. Our findings can be used as a baseline to reinforce the conservation and management of this important reserve in the face of diverse external and internal human impacts.

  7. Incorporation of terrestrial wetland material into aquatic food webs in a tropical estuarine wetland

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    Abrantes, Kátya; Sheaves, Marcus

    2008-11-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope composition of a range of organisms collected from two intermittently connected floodplain pools in the Ross River estuary were analysed to assess the extent to which carbon fixed by terrestrial wetland producers is incorporated into adjacent aquatic food webs. The two pools differed in surrounding vegetation with one surrounded by mangroves and the other by the salt couch Sporobolus virginicus. At both pools, animals showed differences in δ 13C, indicating differences in sources of carbon. Since δ 13C values of C 3 mangroves (-29.7 to -26.3‰) were very different from those of the C 4 salt couch (-16.3 to -15.4‰), it was possible to determine the importance of terrestrial wetland producers by comparing isotope values of consumers between sites, in a species by species approach. Most animal species collected showed lower δ 13C at the mangrove pool than at the Sporobolus pool, which indicates a greater incorporation of mangrove carbon at the mangrove pool. However, the animals' isotopic shifts were also similar to that shown by epiphytes, and hence the differences in animal δ 13C could also be a result of a dependence on these producers. The IsoSource model was useful to clarify this question, indicating that mangrove and salt marsh material was a crucial contributor to the diet of several fish and invertebrate species at both sites, indicating that carbon of terrestrial origin is incorporated in the estuarine food web.

  8. Unravelling the role of allochthonous aquatic resources to food web structure in a tropical riparian forest.

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    Recalde, Fátima C; Postali, Thaís C; Romero, Gustavo Q

    2016-03-01

    The role of matter and energy flow across ecosystem boundaries for the subsidized consumer populations is well known. However, little is known on the effects of allochthonous subsidies on food web structure and trophic niche dimensions of consumers in the tropics. We excluded allochthonous aquatic insects from tropical streams using greenhouse-type exclosures to test the influence of aquatic allochthonous subsidies on the trophic structure and niche dimensions of terrestrial predators using stable isotope methods. In exclosure treatments, abundance and biomass of terrestrial predators, and biomass of phytophages decreased and increased, respectively. Vegetation-living predators were more responsive to allochthonous inputs than those living on the ground. Overall, lower availability of allochthonous inputs did not affect community-wide metrics and niche width of predators. However, the niche width of some spider families had very low overlap between treatments, and others had wider isotopic niches in the control than in the exclusion treatment. Most of the C and N in predators living in control stretches came from aquatic subsidies, and those predators living in the exclusion treatments switched their diets to terrestrial sources, showing a preference of predators for allochthonous subsidies. Our results suggest that allochthonous subsidies are also relevant to tropical fauna living upon vegetation. Moreover, allochthonous resources may amplify the niche dimension of certain predators or considerably change the trophic niche of others. Our study highlights the importance of including modern isotopic tools in elucidating the role of allochthonous resources on the patterns of trophic structure and niche dimensions of consumers from donor ecosystems.

  9. Parasites as prey in aquatic food webs: implications for predator infection and parasite transmission

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    Thieltges, David W.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Lafferty, Levin D.; Mouritsen, Kim N.; Preston, Daniel L.; Reise, Karsten; Zander, C. Dieter; Poulin, Robert

    2013-01-01

    While the recent inclusion of parasites into food-web studies has highlighted the role of parasites as consumers, there is accumulating evidence that parasites can also serve as prey for predators. Here we investigated empirical patterns of predation on parasites and their relationships with parasite transmission in eight topological food webs representing marine and freshwater ecosystems. Within each food web, we examined links in the typical predator–prey sub web as well as the predator–parasite sub web, i.e. the quadrant of the food web indicating which predators eat parasites. Most predator– parasite links represented ‘concomitant predation’ (consumption and death of a parasite along with the prey/host; 58–72%), followed by ‘trophic transmission’ (predator feeds on infected prey and becomes infected; 8–32%) and predation on free-living parasite life-cycle stages (4–30%). Parasite life-cycle stages had, on average, between 4.2 and 14.2 predators. Among the food webs, as predator richness increased, the number of links exploited by trophically transmitted parasites increased at about the same rate as did the number of links where these stages serve as prey. On the whole, our analyses suggest that predation on parasites has important consequences for both predators and parasites, and food web structure. Because our analysis is solely based on topological webs, determining the strength of these interactions is a promising avenue for future research.

  10. 40 CFR 230.31 - Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic organisms in the food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... in the food web include, but are not limited to, finfish, crustaceans, mollusks, insects, annelids... reproduction and growth and development due primarily to their limited mobility. They can be rendered unfit...

  11. Persistent organic pollutants in the Olifants River Basin, South Africa: Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer through a subtropical aquatic food web.

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    Verhaert, Vera; Newmark, Nadine; D'Hollander, Wendy; Covaci, Adrian; Vlok, Wynand; Wepener, Victor; Addo-Bediako, Abraham; Jooste, Antoinette; Teuchies, Johannes; Blust, Ronny; Bervoets, Lieven

    2017-02-14

    This study investigates the trophic transfer of persistent organic pollutants (POPs: PCBs, PBDEs, OCPs and PFASs) in the subtropical aquatic ecosystem of the Olifants River Basin (South Africa) by means of trophic magnification factors (TMFs). Relative trophic levels were determined by stable isotope analysis. POP levels in surface water, sediment and biota were low. Only ∑DDTs levels in fish muscle (contaminants through the food web. TMFs were >1, indicating biomagnification of all detected POPs. Calculated TMFs for PCBs were comparable to TMF values reported from the tropical Congo River basin and lower than TMFs from temperate and arctic regions. For p,p'-DDT, a higher TMF value was observed for the subtropical Olifants River during the winter low flow season than for the tropical Congo river. TMFs of DDTs from the present study were unexpectedly higher than TMFs from temperate and arctic aquatic food webs. The fish species in the aquatic ecosystem of the Olifants River can be consumed with a low risk for POP contamination.

  12. Microbially mediated detrital food web: The link between mangroves and coastal aquatic animal communities

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    RaghuKumar, S.

    The importance of mangroves extends far beyond that which is offerEd. by their vegetation. In fact, mangroves constitute the driving force of the food web in coastal waters adjacent to them, in the form of detritus. Detritus, in simple terms, may...

  13. Parasites as prey in aquatic food webs: implications for predator infection and parasite transmission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thieltges, D.W.; Amundsen, P.-A.; Hechinger, R.F.; Johnson, P.T.J.; Lafferty, K.D.; Mouritsen, K.N.; Preston, D.L.; Reise, K.; Zander, C.D.; Poulin, R.

    2013-01-01

    While the recent inclusion of parasites into food-web studies has highlighted the role of parasites as consumers, there is accumulating evidence that parasites can also serve as prey for predators. Here we investigated empirical patterns of predation on parasites and their relationships with parasit

  14. Methylmercury enters an aquatic food web through acidophilic microbial mats in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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    Boyd, E.S.; King, S.; Tomberlin, J.K.; Nordstrom, D.K.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Barkay, T.; Geesey, G.G.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Microbial mats are a visible and abundant life form inhabiting the extreme environments in Yellowstone National Park (YNP), WY, USA. Little is known of their role in food webs that exist in the Park's geothermal habitats. Eukaryotic green algae associated with a phototrophic green/purple Zygogonium microbial mat community that inhabits low-temperature regions of acidic (pH ??? 3.0) thermal springs were found to serve as a food source for stratiomyid (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larvae. Mercury in spring source water was taken up and concentrated by the mat biomass. Monomethylmercury compounds (MeHg +), while undetectable or near the detection limit (0.025 ng l -1) in the source water of the springs, was present at concentrations of 4-7 ng g-1 dry weight of mat biomass. Detection of MeHg + in tracheal tissue of larvae grazing the mat suggests that MeHg+ enters this geothermal food web through the phototrophic microbial mat community. The concentration of MeHg+ was two to five times higher in larval tissue than mat biomass indicating MeHg+ biomagnification occurred between primary producer and primary consumer trophic levels. The Zygogonium mat community and stratiomyid larvae may also play a role in the transfer of MeHg+ to species in the food web whose range extends beyond a particular geothermal feature of YNP. ?? 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation ?? 2008 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Methylmercury enters an aquatic food web through acidophilic microbial mats in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Eric S; King, Susan; Tomberlin, Jeffery K; Nordstrom, D Kirk; Krabbenhoft, David P; Barkay, Tamar; Geesey, Gill G

    2009-04-01

    Microbial mats are a visible and abundant life form inhabiting the extreme environments in Yellowstone National Park (YNP), WY, USA. Little is known of their role in food webs that exist in the Park's geothermal habitats. Eukaryotic green algae associated with a phototrophic green/purple Zygogonium microbial mat community that inhabits low-temperature regions of acidic (pH approximately 3.0) thermal springs were found to serve as a food source for stratiomyid (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larvae. Mercury in spring source water was taken up and concentrated by the mat biomass. Monomethylmercury compounds (MeHg(+)), while undetectable or near the detection limit (0.025 ng l(-1)) in the source water of the springs, was present at concentrations of 4-7 ng g(-1) dry weight of mat biomass. Detection of MeHg(+) in tracheal tissue of larvae grazing the mat suggests that MeHg(+) enters this geothermal food web through the phototrophic microbial mat community. The concentration of MeHg(+) was two to five times higher in larval tissue than mat biomass indicating MeHg(+) biomagnification occurred between primary producer and primary consumer trophic levels. The Zygogonium mat community and stratiomyid larvae may also play a role in the transfer of MeHg(+) to species in the food web whose range extends beyond a particular geothermal feature of YNP.

  16. Evolution mediates the effects of apex predation on aquatic food webs.

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    Urban, Mark C

    2013-07-22

    Ecological and evolutionary mechanisms are increasingly thought to shape local community dynamics. Here, I evaluate if the local adaptation of a meso-predator to an apex predator alters local food webs. The marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) is an apex predator that consumes both the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and shared zooplankton prey. Common garden experiments reveal that spotted salamander populations which co-occur with marbled salamanders forage more intensely than those that face other predator species. These foraging differences, in turn, alter the diversity, abundance and composition of zooplankton communities in common garden experiments and natural ponds. Locally adapted spotted salamanders exacerbate prey biomass declines associated with apex predation, but dampen the top-down effects of apex predation on prey diversity. Countergradient selection on foraging explains why locally adapted spotted salamanders exacerbate prey biomass declines. The two salamander species prefer different prey species, which explains why adapted spotted salamanders buffer changes in prey composition owing to apex predation. Results suggest that local adaptation can strongly mediate effects from apex predation on local food webs. Community ecologists might often need to consider the evolutionary history of populations to understand local diversity patterns, food web dynamics, resource gradients and their responses to disturbance.

  17. Reconciling the role of organic matter pathways in aquatic food webs by measuring multiple tracers in individuals.

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    Jardine, Timothy D; Woods, Ryan; Marshall, Jonathan; Fawcetr, James; Lobegeiger, Jaye; Valdez, Dominic; Kainz, Martin J

    2015-12-01

    Few studies measure multiple ecological tracers in individual organisms, thus limiting our ability to differentiate among organic matter source pathways and understand consequences of dietary variation and the use of external subsidies in complex food webs. We combined two tracers, stable isotope (SI) ratios and fatty acids (FA), to investigate linkages among ecological compartments (water column, benthos, riparian zone) in food webs in waterholes of a dryland river network, the Border Rivers in southwestern Queensland, Australia. Comprehensive analyses of sources (plankton, periphyton, leaf litter, riparian grasses) and animals (benthic insects, mollusks, large crustaceans, fishes) for SI and FA showed that all three zones contribute to animal biomass, depending on species and life stage. Large fishes derived a subsidy from the riparian/floodplain zone, likely through the consumption of terrestrial and semi-aquatic insects and prawns that fed on detritivorous insects. Importantly, post-larval bony bream (Nematalosa erebi) and golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) were tightly connected to the water column, as evidenced by 13C-depleted, 15N-enriched isotope ratios and a high content of plankton-derived polyunsaturated fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA; 20:53] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA; 22:6003]). These observations were consistent with expectations from nutritional requirements of fish early life stages and habitat changes associated with maturity. These results highlight the importance of high-quality foods during early development of fishes, and show that attempting to attribute food-web production to a single source pathway overlooks important but often subtle subsidies that maintain viable populations. A complete understanding of food-web dynamics must consider both quantity and quality of different available organic matter sources. This understanding can be achieved with a combined SI and FA approach, but more controlled dietary studies are needed to

  18. Fatty acid composition at the base of aquatic food webs is influenced by habitat type and watershed land use.

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    James H Larson

    Full Text Available Spatial variation in food resources strongly influences many aspects of aquatic consumer ecology. Although large-scale controls over spatial variation in many aspects of food resources are well known, others have received little study. Here we investigated variation in the fatty acid (FA composition of seston and primary consumers within (i.e., among habitats and among tributary systems of Lake Michigan, USA. FA composition of food is important because all metazoans require certain FAs for proper growth and development that cannot be produced de novo, including many polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs. Here we sampled three habitat types (river, rivermouth and nearshore zone in 11 tributaries of Lake Michigan to assess the amount of FA in seston and primary consumers of seston. We hypothesize that among-system and among-habitat variation in FAs at the base of food webs would be related to algal production, which in turn is influenced by three land cover characteristics: 1 combined agriculture and urban lands (an indication of anthropogenic nutrient inputs that fuel algal production, 2 the proportion of surface waters (an indication of water residence times that allow algal producers to accumulate and 3 the extent of riparian forested buffers (an indication of stream shading that reduces algal production. Of these three land cover characteristics, only intense land use appeared to strongly related to seston and consumer FA and this effect was only strong in rivermouth and nearshore lake sites. River seston and consumer FA composition was highly variable, but that variation does not appear to be driven by the watershed land cover characteristics investigated here. Whether the spatial variation in FA content at the base of these food webs significantly influences the production of economically important species higher in the food web should be a focus of future research.

  19. Fatty acid composition at the base of aquatic food webs is influenced by habitat type and watershed land use

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    Larson, James H.; Richardson, William B.; Knights, Brent C.; Bartsch, Lynn; Bartsch, Michelle; Nelson, J. C.; Veldboom, Jason A.; Vallazza, Jonathan M.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial variation in food resources strongly influences many aspects of aquatic consumer ecology. Although large-scale controls over spatial variation in many aspects of food resources are well known, others have received little study. Here we investigated variation in the fatty acid (FA) composition of seston and primary consumers within (i.e., among habitats) and among tributary systems of Lake Michigan, USA. FA composition of food is important because all metazoans require certain FAs for proper growth and development that cannot be produced de novo, including many polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Here we sampled three habitat types (river, rivermouth and nearshore zone) in 11 tributaries of Lake Michigan to assess the amount of FA in seston and primary consumers of seston. We hypothesize that among-system and among-habitat variation in FAs at the base of food webs would be related to algal production, which in turn is influenced by three land cover characteristics: 1) combined agriculture and urban lands (an indication of anthropogenic nutrient inputs that fuel algal production), 2) the proportion of surface waters (an indication of water residence times that allow algal producers to accumulate) and 3) the extent of riparian forested buffers (an indication of stream shading that reduces algal production). Of these three land cover characteristics, only intense land use appeared to strongly related to seston and consumer FA and this effect was only strong in rivermouth and nearshore lake sites. River seston and consumer FA composition was highly variable, but that variation does not appear to be driven by the watershed land cover characteristics investigated here. Whether the spatial variation in FA content at the base of these food webs significantly influences the production of economically important species higher in the food web should be a focus of future research.

  20. Cestodes change the isotopic signature of brine shrimp, Artemia, hosts: implications for aquatic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Marta I; Varo, Nico; Matesanz, Cristina; Ramo, Cristina; Amat, Juan A; Green, Andy J

    2013-01-01

    To reach the final host (greater flamingos), the cestode Flamingolepis liguloides alters the behaviour of its intermediate host, the brine shrimp, Artemia parthenogenetica, causing it to spend more time close to the water surface. During summer 2010, we showed that the prevalence of this cestode was consistently higher at the top of the water column in the Odiel salt pans in south-western Spain. We used stable nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) isotopic analysis to test the hypothesis that cestodes also alter resource use by Artemia. In early summer, we compared stable isotopes in infected hosts at the surface with those from uninfected hosts at the bottom of the water column. In late summer, we compared infected and uninfected Artemia from the bottom. δ(15)N was consistently enriched in infected individuals compared with uninfected hosts, especially in Artemia with multiple infections of F. liguloides (family Hymenolepididae) and those with mixed infections of F. liguloides and cestodes of the family Dilepididae. Infected individuals from the surface were enriched in δ(13)C compared with uninfected ones from the bottom, but the opposite was found when comparing uninfected and infected Artemia from the same depth. This may be caused by the increase in lipid concentration in infected Artemia. Isolated cysticercoids of F. liguloides were significantly enriched in δ(13)C compared with cysticercoids in infected hosts, but surprisingly were not enriched in N. Our findings illustrate the way cestodes can alter food webs and highlight the importance of considering the parasitic status of prey in studies of trophic ecology in saline wetlands.

  1. Aquatic food webs in mangrove and seagrass habitats of Centla Wetland, a Biosphere Reserve in Southeastern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove and seagrass habitats are important components of tropical coastal zones worldwide, and are conspicuous habitats of Centla Wetland Biosphere Reserve (CWBR in Tabasco, Mexico. In this study, we examine food webs in mangrove- and seagrass-dominated habitats of CWBR using stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen. Our objective was to identify the importance of carbon derived from mangroves and seagrasses to secondary production of aquatic consumers in this poorly studied conservation area. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of basal sources and aquatic consumers indicated that the species-rich food webs of both habitats are dependent on riparian production sources. The abundant Red mangrove Rhizophora mangle appears to be a primary source of carbon for the mangrove creek food web. Even though dense seagrass beds were ubiquitous, most consumers in the lagoon food web appeared to rely on carbon derived from riparian vegetation (e.g. Phragmites australis. The introduced Amazon sailfin catfish Pterygoplichthys pardalis had isotope signatures overlapping with native species (including high-value fisheries species, suggesting potential competition for resources. Future research should examine the role played by terrestrial insects in linking riparian and aquatic food webs, and impacts of the expanding P. pardalis population on ecosystem function and fisheries in CWBR. Our findings can be used as a baseline to reinforce the conservation and management of this important reserve in the face of diverse external and internal human impacts.Manguezais e pradarias de gramíneas são importantes componentes das zonas costeiras tropicais em todo o mundo, sendo habitats comuns nos ''Pântanos de Centla'', uma Reserva da Biosfera localizada em Tabasco, México. Nesse trabalho, são investigadas as teias alimentares de habitats dominados por manguezais e pradarias de gramíneas, através de isótopos estáveis de carbono e nitrogênio, tendo como

  2. Impact of polychlorinated biphenyl and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon sequestration in sediment on bioaccumulation in aquatic food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moermond, C.T.A.; Roessink, I.; Jonker, M.T.O.; Meijer, T.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2007-01-01

    It is not clear whether sequestration or aging of organic chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) limits accumulation in higher levels of aquatic food chains. Therefore, the effect of aging on accumulation was studied in 1-m3 model ecosystems that

  3. Differential mercury transfer in the aquatic food web of a double basined lake associated with selenium and habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcagni, Marina; Campbell, Linda; Arribére, María A.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Rizzo, Andrea; Guevara, Sergio Ribeiro

    2013-01-01

    Food web trophodynamics of total mercury (THg) and selenium (Se) were assessed for the double-basined ultraoligotrophic system of Lake Moreno, Patagonia. Each basin has differing proportions of littoral and pelagic habitats, thereby providing an opportunity to assess the importance of habitat (e.g. food web structure or benthic MeHg production) in the transfer of Hg and Se to top trophic fish species. Pelagic plankton, analyzed in three size classes (10–53, 53–200, and > 200 μm), had very high [THg], exceeding 200 μg g− 1 dry weight (DW) in the smallest, and a low ratio of MeHg to THg (0.1 to 3%). In contrast, [THg] in littoral macroinvertebrates showed lower values (0.3 to 1.8 μg g− 1 DW). Juvenile and small fish species feeding upon plankton had higher [THg] (0.2 to 8 μg g− 1 muscle DW) compared to large piscivore fish species (0.1 to 1.6 μg g− 1 muscle DW). Selenium concentrations exhibited a much narrower variation range than THg in the food web, varying from 0.5 to 2.7 μg g− 1 DW. Molar Se:Hg ratios exceeded 1 for the majority of organisms in both basins, with most ratios exceeding 10. Using stable nitrogen isotopes as indicator of trophic level, no significant correlations were found with [THg], [Se] or Se:Hg. The apparent lack of biomagnification trends was attributed to elevated [THg] in plankton in the inorganic form mostly, as well as the possibility of consistent Se supply reducing the biomagnification in the food web of the organic portion of THg.

  4. DEEPWATER AND NEARSHORE FOOD WEB CHARACTERIZATIONS IN LAKE SUPERIOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Due to the difficulty associated with sampling deep aquatic systems, food web relationships among deepwater fauna are often poorly known. We are characterizing nearshore versus offshore habitats in the Great Lakes and investigating food web linkages among profundal, pelagic, and ...

  5. An integrated approach to model the biomagnification of organic pollutants in aquatic food webs of the Yangtze Three Gorges Reservoir ecosystem using adapted pollution scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz-Starke, Björn; Ottermanns, Richard; Rings, Ursula; Floehr, Tilman; Hollert, Henner; Hou, Junli; Li, Bo; Wu, Ling Ling; Yuan, Xingzhong; Strauch, Katrin; Wei, Hu; Norra, Stefan; Holbach, Andreas; Westrich, Bernhard; Schäffer, Andreas; Roß-Nickoll, Martina

    2013-10-01

    The impounding of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) at the Yangtze River caused large flooding of urban, industrial, and agricultural areas, and profound land use changes took place. Consequently, substantial amounts of organic and inorganic pollutants were released into the reservoir. Additionally, contaminants and nutrients are entering the reservoir by drift, drainage, and runoff from adjacent agricultural areas as well as from sewage of industry, aquacultures, and households. The main aim of the presented research project is a deeper understanding of the processes that determines the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of organic pollutants, i.e., mainly pesticides, in aquatic food webs under the newly developing conditions of the TGR. The project is part of the Yangtze-Hydro environmental program, financed by the German Ministry of Education and Science. In order to test combinations of environmental factors like nutrients and pollution, we use an integrated modeling approach to study the potential accumulation and biomagnification. We describe the integrative modeling approach and the consecutive adaption of the AQUATOX model, used as modeling framework for ecological risk assessment. As a starting point, pre-calibrated simulations were adapted to Yangtze-specific conditions (regionalization). Two exemplary food webs were developed by a thorough review of the pertinent literature. The first typical for the flowing conditions of the original Yangtze River and the Daning River near the city of Wushan, and the second for the stagnant reservoir characteristics of the aforementioned region that is marked by an intermediate between lake and large river communities of aquatic organisms. In close cooperation with German and Chinese partners of the Yangtze-Hydro Research Association, other site-specific parameters were estimated. The MINIBAT project contributed to the calibration of physicochemical and bathymetric parameters, and the TRANSMIC project delivered

  6. Fish tissue lipid-C:N relationships for correcting ä13C values and estimating lipid content in aquatic food web studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Normalizing 13C values of animal tissue for lipid content is necessary to accurately interpret food web relationships from stable isotope analysis. This is because lipids are 13C-depleted relative to proteins and carbohydrates, and because lipid content varies among speci...

  7. Isotopic evidence for anthropogenic impacts on aquatic food web dynamics and mercury cycling in a subtropical wetland ecosystem in the US.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yang; Gu, Binhe; Lee, Ming-Kuo; Jiang, Shijun; Xu, Yingfeng

    2014-07-15

    Quantifying and predicting the food web consequences of anthropogenic changes is difficult using traditional methods (based on gut content analysis) because natural food webs are variable and complex. Here, stable and radioactive carbon isotopes are used, in conjunction with nitrogen isotopes and mercury (Hg) concentration data, to document the effects of land-use change on food webs and Hg bioaccumulation in the Everglades - a subtropical wetland ecosystem in the US. Isotopic signatures of largemouth bass and sunfish in reference (relatively pristine) wetlands indicate reliance on the food supply of modern primary production within the wetland. In contrast, both fish in areas impacted by agricultural runoff had radiocarbon ages as old as 540 years B.P., and larger isotopic variability than counterparts in reference wetlands, reflecting differences in the food web between impacted and reference wetlands. Consistent with this difference, particulate and dissolved organic matter in impacted areas had old radiocarbon ages (>600 years B.P.), indicating that old carbon derived from historic peat deposits in the Everglades Agricultural Area was passed along the food chain to consumers. Significant radiocarbon deficiencies in largemouth bass and sunfish, relative to mosquitofish, in impacted areas most likely indicate a reduced dependence on small fish. Furthermore, largemouth bass and sunfish from impacted areas had much lower Hg contents than those from reference wetlands. Taken together, these data suggest a shift toward lower trophic levels and a possible reduction in mercury methylation in impacted wetlands. Our study provides clear evidence that hydrological modification and land-use change in the Everglades have changed the system from one driven primarily by in-situ productivity to one that is partially dependent on allochthonous carbon input from peat soils in the agricultural area and altered the Hg biogeochemical cycle in the wetlands. The results have

  8. Isotopic evidence for anthropogenic impacts on aquatic food web dynamics and mercury cycling in a subtropical wetland ecosystem in the US

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yang, E-mail: ywang@magnet.fsu.edu [Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, FL 32306–4100 (United States); Gu, Binhe [South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, FL 33406 (United States); Lee, Ming-Kuo [Department of Geology and Geography, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36839 (United States); Jiang, Shijun, E-mail: sjiang@jnu.edu.cn [Institute of Hydrobiology/Laboratory of Eutrophication and Red Tide Prevention of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510632 (China); Xu, Yingfeng [Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, FL 32306–4100 (United States)

    2014-07-01

    Quantifying and predicting the food web consequences of anthropogenic changes is difficult using traditional methods (based on gut content analysis) because natural food webs are variable and complex. Here, stable and radioactive carbon isotopes are used, in conjunction with nitrogen isotopes and mercury (Hg) concentration data, to document the effects of land-use change on food webs and Hg bioaccumulation in the Everglades – a subtropical wetland ecosystem in the US. Isotopic signatures of largemouth bass and sunfish in reference (relatively pristine) wetlands indicate reliance on the food supply of modern primary production within the wetland. In contrast, both fish in areas impacted by agricultural runoff had radiocarbon ages as old as 540 years B.P., and larger isotopic variability than counterparts in reference wetlands, reflecting differences in the food web between impacted and reference wetlands. Consistent with this difference, particulate and dissolved organic matter in impacted areas had old radiocarbon ages (> 600 years B.P.), indicating that old carbon derived from historic peat deposits in the Everglades Agricultural Area was passed along the food chain to consumers. Significant radiocarbon deficiencies in largemouth bass and sunfish, relative to mosquitofish, in impacted areas most likely indicate a reduced dependence on small fish. Furthermore, largemouth bass and sunfish from impacted areas had much lower Hg contents than those from reference wetlands. Taken together, these data suggest a shift toward lower trophic levels and a possible reduction in mercury methylation in impacted wetlands. Our study provides clear evidence that hydrological modification and land-use change in the Everglades have changed the system from one driven primarily by in-situ productivity to one that is partially dependent on allochthonous carbon input from peat soils in the agricultural area and altered the Hg biogeochemical cycle in the wetlands. The results have

  9. Food web framework for size-structured populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartvig, Martin; Andersen, Ken Haste; Beyer, Jan

    2011-01-01

    We synthesise traditional unstructured food webs, allometric body size scaling, trait-based modelling, and physiologically structured modelling to provide a novel and ecologically relevant tool for size-structured food webs. The framework allows food web models to include ontogenetic growth....... Parameter values are determined from cross-species analysis of fish communities as life-history omnivory is widespread in aquatic systems, but may be reparameterised for other systems. An ensemble of food webs is generated and the resulting communities are analysed at four levels of organisation: community...... level, species level, trait level, and individual level. The model may be solved analytically by assuming that the community spectrum follows a power law. The analytical solution provides a baseline expectation of the results of complex food web simulations, and agrees well with the predictions...

  10. Bioaccumulation syndrome: identifying factors that make some stream food webs prone to elevated mercury bioaccumulation

    OpenAIRE

    Ward, Darren M.; Nislow, Keith H.; Folt, Carol L.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury is a ubiquitous contaminant in aquatic ecosystems, posing a significant health risk to humans and wildlife that eat fish. Mercury accumulates in aquatic food webs as methylmercury (MeHg), a particularly toxic and persistent organic mercury compound. While mercury in the environment originates largely from anthropogenic activities, MeHg accumulation in freshwater aquatic food webs is not a simple function of local or regional mercury pollution inputs. Studies show that even sites with ...

  11. Protein oxidation in aquatic foods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baron, Caroline P.

    2014-01-01

    The chapter discusses general considerations about protein oxidation and reviews the mechanisms involved in protein oxidation and consequences of protein oxidation on fish proteins. It presents two case studies, the first deals with protein and lipid oxidation in frozen rainbow trout, and the sec......The chapter discusses general considerations about protein oxidation and reviews the mechanisms involved in protein oxidation and consequences of protein oxidation on fish proteins. It presents two case studies, the first deals with protein and lipid oxidation in frozen rainbow trout...... oxidation. The protein carbonyl group measurement is the widely used method for estimating protein oxidation in foods and has been used in fish muscle. The chapter also talks about the impact of protein oxidation on protein functionality, fish muscle texture, and food nutritional value. Protein oxidation...... may not only induce quality losses but may be desirable in some type of foods, such as salted herring....

  12. Biotic interactions in temporal trends (1992–2010) of organochlorine contaminants in the aquatic food web of Lake Laberge, Yukon Territory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, M.J. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N6 (Canada); University of Manitoba, Dept. of Soil Science, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2 (Canada); Stern, G.A., E-mail: gary.stern@dfo-mpo.gc.ca [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N6 (Canada); Kidd, K.A. [University of New Brunswick, Canadian Rivers Institute and Department of Biology, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada E2L 4E5 (Canada); Croft, M.V. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N6 (Canada); Gewurtz, S.; Diamond, M. [University of Toronto, Department of Geography, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3G3 (Canada); Kinnear, L. [Northern Climate Exchange, Yukon Research Center, Yukon College, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada Y1A 5K4 (Canada); Roach, P. [Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Rm 415C - 300 Main St., Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada Y1A 2B5 (Canada)

    2013-01-15

    Declines in 6 organochlorine (OC) contaminant groups; chlordane (CHL), DDT, HCH, toxaphene (CHB), PCB and chlorinated benzenes (CBz) were measured in biota of a sub-Arctic lake (Lake Laberge, YT) following the closure of a commercial fishery in 1991. This study examined morphological (length, weight, age), biochemical (lipid content, δ{sup 13}C, δ{sup 15}N), population and OC data for 9 fishes and zooplankton between 1993 and 2003 (2010 for lake trout) to investigate causes for the OC declines. Growth dilution was a major factor influencing the decrease of OCs in lake trout, round whitefish and possibly zooplankton most notably in the early 2000s. A decline in lipids of most fish species also contributed to OC declines, although no such change was evident for zooplankton. It is suspected that increases in fish populations or climate variations over the 1990s, may have contributed towards a shift in plankton community composition. From 1991 to 1999, CPUE increased for 7 of the fish species and declined for 2 others. Concurrently, the zooplankton community shifted from an abundance of C. scutifer in 1993 to dominance by D. pribilofensis in 2001. Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope data suggested that food web interactions for most fish species have not changed over time. Although concentrations of OCs have declined in many fishes, the “rate” of OC transfer (using slopes of log OC vs. nitrogen isotope ratios) through the food web was greater in 2001 than in 1993. Overall, the declines in OC concentrations in the fish from Lake Laberge occurred concurrently with changes in their growth, lipid, and abundance, suggesting that ecosystem responses to the closure of the fishery were in part responsible for the lower contaminants in these fishes. As a result of this study, the Yukon government rescinded the health advisory for limiting the consumption of fish from Lake Laberge. - Highlights: ► Organochlorine contaminants in a sub-Arctic lake were monitored post

  13. Distribution and bioconcentration of heavy metals in a tropical aquatic food web: A case study of a tropical estuarine lagoon in SE Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mendoza-carranza, Manuel; Sepúlveda-lozada, Alejandra; Dias-ferreira, Celia; Geissen, Violette

    2016-01-01

    Despite the increasing impact of heavy metal pollution in southern Mexico due to urban growth and agricultural and petroleum activities, few studies have focused on the behavior and relationships of these pollutants in the biotic and abiotic components of aquatic environments. Here, we studied the b

  14. Food web structure in a harsh glacier-fed river.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clitherow, Leonie R; Carrivick, Jonathan L; Brown, Lee E

    2013-01-01

    Glacier retreat is occurring across the world, and associated river ecosystems are expected to respond more rapidly than those in flowing waters in other regions. The river environment directly downstream of a glacier snout is characterised by extreme low water temperature and unstable channel sediments but these habitats may become rarer with widespread glacier retreat. In these extreme environments food web dynamics have been little studied, yet they could offer opportunities to test food web theories using highly resolved food webs owing to their low taxonomic richness. This study examined the interactions of macroinvertebrate and diatom taxa in the Ödenwinkelkees river, Austrian central Alps between 2006 and 2011. The webs were characterised by low taxon richness (13-22), highly connected individuals (directed connectance up to 0.19) and short mean food chain length (2.00-2.36). The dominant macroinvertebrates were members of the Chironomidae genus Diamesa and had an omnivorous diet rich in detritus and diatoms as well as other Chironomidae. Simuliidae (typically detritivorous filterers) had a diet rich in diatoms but also showed evidence of predation on Chironomidae larvae. Food webs showed strong species-averaged and individual size structuring but mass-abundance scaling coefficients were larger than those predicted by metabolic theory, perhaps due to a combination of spatial averaging effects of patchily distributed consumers and resources, and/or consumers deriving unquantified resources from microorganisms attached to the large amounts of ingested rock fragments. Comparison of food web structural metrics with those from 62 published river webs suggest these glacier-fed river food web properties were extreme but in line with general food web scaling predictions, a finding which could prove useful to forecast the effects of anticipated future glacier retreat on the structure of aquatic food webs.

  15. Food web structure in a harsh glacier-fed river.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonie R Clitherow

    Full Text Available Glacier retreat is occurring across the world, and associated river ecosystems are expected to respond more rapidly than those in flowing waters in other regions. The river environment directly downstream of a glacier snout is characterised by extreme low water temperature and unstable channel sediments but these habitats may become rarer with widespread glacier retreat. In these extreme environments food web dynamics have been little studied, yet they could offer opportunities to test food web theories using highly resolved food webs owing to their low taxonomic richness. This study examined the interactions of macroinvertebrate and diatom taxa in the Ödenwinkelkees river, Austrian central Alps between 2006 and 2011. The webs were characterised by low taxon richness (13-22, highly connected individuals (directed connectance up to 0.19 and short mean food chain length (2.00-2.36. The dominant macroinvertebrates were members of the Chironomidae genus Diamesa and had an omnivorous diet rich in detritus and diatoms as well as other Chironomidae. Simuliidae (typically detritivorous filterers had a diet rich in diatoms but also showed evidence of predation on Chironomidae larvae. Food webs showed strong species-averaged and individual size structuring but mass-abundance scaling coefficients were larger than those predicted by metabolic theory, perhaps due to a combination of spatial averaging effects of patchily distributed consumers and resources, and/or consumers deriving unquantified resources from microorganisms attached to the large amounts of ingested rock fragments. Comparison of food web structural metrics with those from 62 published river webs suggest these glacier-fed river food web properties were extreme but in line with general food web scaling predictions, a finding which could prove useful to forecast the effects of anticipated future glacier retreat on the structure of aquatic food webs.

  16. Insect symbionts in food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lee M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown that the bacterial endosymbionts of insects are abundant and diverse, and that they have numerous different effects on their hosts' biology. Here we explore how insect endosymbionts might affect the structure and dynamics of insect communities. Using the obligate and facultative symbionts of aphids as an example, we find that there are multiple ways that symbiont presence might affect food web structure. Many symbionts are now known to help their hosts escape or resist natural enemy attack, and others can allow their hosts to withstand abiotic stress or affect host plant use. In addition to the direct effect of symbionts on aphid phenotypes there may be indirect effects mediated through trophic and non-trophic community interactions. We believe that by using data from barcoding studies to identify bacterial symbionts, this extra, microbial dimension to insect food webs can be better elucidated. This article is part of the themed issue ‘From DNA barcodes to biomes’. PMID:27481779

  17. Drought rewires the cores of food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xueke; Gray, Clare; Brown, Lee E.; Ledger, Mark E.; Milner, Alexander M.; Mondragón, Raúl J.; Woodward, Guy; Ma, Athen

    2016-09-01

    Droughts are intensifying across the globe, with potentially devastating implications for freshwater ecosystems. We used new network science approaches to investigate drought impacts on stream food webs and explored potential consequences for web robustness to future perturbations. The substructure of the webs was characterized by a core of richly connected species surrounded by poorly connected peripheral species. Although drought caused the partial collapse of the food webs, the loss of the most extinction-prone peripheral species triggered a substantial rewiring of interactions within the networks’ cores. These shifts in species interactions in the core conserved the underlying core/periphery substructure and stability of the drought-impacted webs. When we subsequently perturbed the webs by simulating species loss in silico, the rewired drought webs were as robust as the larger, undisturbed webs. Our research unearths previously unknown compensatory dynamics arising from within the core that could underpin food web stability in the face of environmental perturbations.

  18. Community food webs data and theory

    CERN Document Server

    Cohen, Joel E; Newman, Charles M

    1990-01-01

    Food webs hold a central place in ecology. They describe which organisms feed on which others in natural habitats. This book describes recently discovered empirical regularities in real food webs: it proposes a novel theory unifying many of these regularities, as well as extensive empirical data. After a general introduction, reviewing the empirical and theoretical discoveries about food webs, the second portion of the book shows that community food webs obey several striking phenomenological regularities. Some of these unify, regardless of habitat. Others differentiate, showing that habitat significantly influences structure. The third portion of the book presents a theoretical analysis of some of the unifying empirical regularities. The fourth portion of the book presents 13 community food webs. Collected from scattered sources and carefully edited, they are the empirical basis for the results in the volume. The largest available set of data on community food webs provides a valuable foundation for future s...

  19. Food-web structure of seagrass communities across different spatial scales and human impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Marta; Schmidt, Allison; Romanuk, Tamara; Lotze, Heike K

    2011-01-01

    Seagrass beds provide important habitat for a wide range of marine species but are threatened by multiple human impacts in coastal waters. Although seagrass communities have been well-studied in the field, a quantification of their food-web structure and functioning, and how these change across space and human impacts has been lacking. Motivated by extensive field surveys and literature information, we analyzed the structural features of food webs associated with Zostera marina across 16 study sites in 3 provinces in Atlantic Canada. Our goals were to (i) quantify differences in food-web structure across local and regional scales and human impacts, (ii) assess the robustness of seagrass webs to simulated species loss, and (iii) compare food-web structure in temperate Atlantic seagrass beds with those of other aquatic ecosystems. We constructed individual food webs for each study site and cumulative webs for each province and the entire region based on presence/absence of species, and calculated 16 structural properties for each web. Our results indicate that food-web structure was similar among low impact sites across regions. With increasing human impacts associated with eutrophication, however, food-web structure show evidence of degradation as indicated by fewer trophic groups, lower maximum trophic level of the highest top predator, fewer trophic links connecting top to basal species, higher fractions of herbivores and intermediate consumers, and higher number of prey per species. These structural changes translate into functional changes with impacted sites being less robust to simulated species loss. Temperate Atlantic seagrass webs are similar to a tropical seagrass web, yet differed from other aquatic webs, suggesting consistent food-web characteristics across seagrass ecosystems in different regions. Our study illustrates that food-web structure and functioning of seagrass habitats change with human impacts and that the spatial scale of food-web analysis

  20. Developing a broader scientific foundation for river restoration: Columbia River food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Naiman, Robert J.; Alldredge, J. Richard; Beauchamp, David A.; Bisson, Peter A.; Congleton, James; Charles J. Henny; Huntly, Nancy; Lamberson, Roland; Levings, Colin; Merrill, Erik N.; Pearcy, William G.; Bruce E. Rieman; Ruggerone, Gregory T.; Scarnecchia, Dennis; Smouse, Peter E.

    2012-01-01

    Well-functioning food webs are fundamental for sustaining rivers as ecosystems and maintaining associated aquatic and terrestrial communities. The current emphasis on restoring habitat structure—without explicitly considering food webs—has been less successful than hoped in terms of enhancing the status of targeted species and often overlooks important constraints on ecologically effective restoration. We identify three priority food web-related issues that potentially impede successful river...

  1. Parasites in marine food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    Most species interactions probably involve parasites. This review considers the extent to which marine ecologists should consider parasites to fully understand marine communities. Parasites are influential parts of food webs in estuaries, temperate reefs, and coral reefs, but their ecological importance is seldom recognized. Though difficult to observe, parasites can have substantial biomass, and they can be just as common as free-living consumers after controlling for body mass and trophic level. Parasites have direct impacts on the energetics of their hosts and some affect host behaviors, with ecosystem-level consequences. Although they cause disease, parasites are sensitive components of ecosystems. In particular, they suffer secondary extinctions due to biodiversity loss. Some parasites can also return to a system after habitat restoration. For these reasons, parasites can make good indicators of ecosystem integrity. Fishing can indirectly increase or decrease parasite populations and the effects of climate change on parasites are likely to be equally as complex.

  2. Developing a broader scientific foundation for river restoration: Columbia River food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naiman, Robert J.; Alldredge, Richard; Beauchamp, David A.; Bisson, Peter A.; Congleton, James; Henny, Charles J.; Huntly, Nancy; Lamberson, Roland; Levings, Colin; Merrill, Erik N.; Pearcy, William G.; Rieman, Bruce E.; Ruggerone, Gregory T.; Scarnecchia, Dennis; Smouse, Peter E.; Wood, Chris C.

    2012-01-01

    Well-functioning food webs are fundamental for sustaining rivers as ecosystems and maintaining associated aquatic and terrestrial communities. The current emphasis on restoring habitat structure—without explicitly considering food webs—has been less successful than hoped in terms of enhancing the status of targeted species and often overlooks important constraints on ecologically effective restoration. We identify three priority food web-related issues that potentially impede successful river restoration: uncertainty about habitat carrying capacity, proliferation of chemicals and contaminants, and emergence of hybrid food webs containing a mixture of native and invasive species. Additionally, there is the need to place these food web considerations in a broad temporal and spatial framework by understanding the consequences of altered nutrient, organic matter (energy), water, and thermal sources and flows, reconnecting critical habitats and their food webs, and restoring for changing environments. As an illustration, we discuss how the Columbia River Basin, site of one of the largest aquatic/riparian restoration programs in the United States, would benefit from implementing a food web perspective. A food web perspective for the Columbia River would complement ongoing approaches and enhance the ability to meet the vision and legal obligations of the US Endangered Species Act, the Northwest Power Act (Fish and Wildlife Program), and federal treaties with Northwest Indian Tribes while meeting fundamental needs for improved river management.

  3. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieltges, David W.; Engelsma, Marc Y.; Wendling, Carolin C.; Wegner, K. Mathias

    2013-09-01

    While the free-living fauna of the Wadden Sea has received much interest, little is known on the distribution and effects of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. However, recent studies on this special type of trophic interaction indicate a high diversity of parasites in the Wadden Sea and suggest a multitude of effects on the hosts. This also includes effects on specific predator-prey relationships and the general structure of the food web. Focussing on molluscs, a major group in the Wadden Sea in terms of biomass and abundance and an important link between primary producers and predators, we review existing studies and exemplify the ecological role of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. First, we give a brief inventory of parasites occurring in the Wadden Sea, ranging from microparasites (e.g. protozoa, bacteria) to macroparasites (e.g. helminths, parasitic copepods) and discuss the effects of spatial scale on heterogeneities in infection levels. We then demonstrate how parasites can affect host population dynamics by acting as a strong mortality factor, causing mollusc mass mortalities. In addition, we will exemplify how parasites can mediate the interaction strength of predator-prey relationships and affect the topological structure of the Wadden Sea food web as a whole. Finally, we highlight some ongoing changes regarding parasitism in the Wadden Sea in the course of global change (e.g. species introduction, climate change) and identify important future research questions to entangle the role of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web.

  4. Potential for increased mercury accumulation in the estuary food web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel N. Luoma

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Present concentrations of mercury in large portions of San Francisco Bay (Bay, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta, and the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers are high enough to warrant concern for the health of humans and wildlife. Large scale tidal wetland restoration is currently under consideration as a means of increasing populations of fish species of concern. Tidal wetland restoration activities may lead to increased concentrations of mercury in the estuarine food web and exacerbate the existing mercury problem. This paper evaluates our present ability to predict the local and regional effects of restoration actions on mercury accumulation in aquatic food webs. A sport fish consumption advisory is in place for the Bay, and an advisory is under consideration for the Delta and lower Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. Mercury concentrations in eggs of several water bird species from the Bay have exceeded the lowest observed effect level. A variety of mercury sources, largely related to historic mercury and gold mining, is present in the watershed and has created a spatially heterogeneous distribution of mercury in the Bay-Delta Estuary. Mercury exists in the environment in a variety of forms and has a complex biogeochemical cycle. The most hazardous form, methylmercury, is produced at a relatively high rate in wetlands and newly flooded aquatic habitats. It is likely that distinct spatial variation on multiple spatial scales exists in net methylmercury production in Bay-Delta tidal wetlands, including variation within each tidal wetland, among tidal wetlands in the same region, and among tidal wetlands in different regions. Understanding this spatial variation and its underlying causes will allow environmental managers to minimize the negative effects of mercury bioaccumulation as a result of restoration activities. Actions needed to reduce the uncertainty associated with this issue include a long term, multifaceted research effort, long

  5. Microbial Food-Web Drivers in Tropical Reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingues, Carolina Davila; da Silva, Lucia Helena Sampaio; Rangel, Luciana Machado; de Magalhães, Leonardo; de Melo Rocha, Adriana; Lobão, Lúcia Meirelles; Paiva, Rafael; Roland, Fábio; Sarmento, Hugo

    2017-04-01

    Element cycling in aquatic systems is driven chiefly by planktonic processes, and the structure of the planktonic food web determines the efficiency of carbon transfer through trophic levels. However, few studies have comprehensively evaluated all planktonic food-web components in tropical regions. The aim of this study was to unravel the top-down controls (metazooplankton community structure), bottom-up controls (resource availability), and hydrologic (water residence time) and physical (temperature) variables that affect different components of the microbial food web (MFW) carbon stock in tropical reservoirs, through structural equation models (SEM). We conducted a field study in four deep Brazilian reservoirs (Balbina, Tucuruí, Três Marias, and Funil) with different trophic states (oligo-, meso-, and eutrophic). We found evidence of a high contribution of the MFW (up to 50% of total planktonic carbon), especially in the less-eutrophic reservoirs (Balbina and Tucuruí). Bottom-up and top-down effects assessed through SEM indicated negative interactions between soluble reactive phosphorus and phototrophic picoplankton (PPP), dissolved inorganic nitrogen, and heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF). Copepods positively affected ciliates, and cladocerans positively affected heterotrophic bacteria (HB) and PPP. Higher copepod/cladoceran ratios and an indirect positive effect of copepods on HB might strengthen HB-HNF coupling. We also found low values for the degree of uncoupling (D) and a low HNF/HB ratio compared with literature data (mostly from temperate regions). This study demonstrates the importance of evaluating the whole size spectrum (including microbial compartments) of the different planktonic compartments, in order to capture the complex carbon dynamics of tropical aquatic ecosystems.

  6. Impact of invasive plants on food webs and pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sikai Wang

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In natural ecosystems, energy mainly flows along food chains in food webs. Numerous studies have shown that plant invasions influence ecosystem functions through altering food webs. In recent decades, more attention has been paid to the effects of alien plants on local food webs. In this review, we analyze the influence of exotic plants on food webs and pathways, and explore the impacts of local food web characteristics on community invasibility. Invasive plants alter food webs mainly by changing basal resources and environment conditions in different ways. First, they are consumed by native herbivores due to their high availability, and are therefore incorporated into the native food web. Second, if they show low availability to native herbivores, a new food web is generated through introduction of new consumers or by changing the energy pathway. Third, environmental changes induced by plant invasions may alter population density and feeding behavior of various species at different trophic levels, thus alien plants will affect the communities and food web structures along non-trophic pathways. The influence of the local food web on plant invasions depends on web size and trophic connections. Issues that deserve attention in future studies are raised and discussed. Future research should extend from short-term experiments to long-term monitoring. More quantitative researches to define the responses of food web parameters are needed. In addition, recovering of food web structure and species interaction in restored habitats is an important issue requiring future research.

  7. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thieltges, D.W.; Engelsma, M.Y.; Wendling, C.C.; Wegner, M.

    2013-01-01

    While the free-living fauna of the Wadden Sea has received much interest, little is known on the distribution and effects of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. However, recent studies on this special type of trophic interaction indicate a high diversity of parasites in the Wadden Sea and suggest

  8. A general model for food web structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Allesina, Stefano; Alonso, David; Pascual, Mercedes

    2008-01-01

    A central problem in ecology is determining the processes that shape the complex networks known as food webs formed by species and their feeding relationships. The topology of these networks is a major determinant of ecosystems' dynamics and is ultimately responsible for their responses to human imp

  9. A Sushi Science Module in Food Production Systems and Aquatic Resource Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livengood, Elisa J.; Chapman, Frank A.

    2009-01-01

    No other food industry depends so heavily on a wild caught resource than those associated with aquatic food products. Domestication of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic resources production has lagged behind other terrestrial livestock products; however, demand for these aquatic natural resources has continued to increase dramatically. Teaching…

  10. Linking water quality and quantity in environmental flow assessment in deteriorated ecosystems: a food web view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, He; Ma, Lekuan; Guo, Wei; Yang, Ying; Guo, Tong; Feng, Cheng

    2013-01-01

    Most rivers worldwide are highly regulated by anthropogenic activities through flow regulation and water pollution. Environmental flow regulation is used to reduce the effects of anthropogenic activities on aquatic ecosystems. Formulating flow alteration-ecological response relationships is a key factor in environmental flow assessment. Traditional environmental flow models are characterized by natural relationships between flow regimes and ecosystem factors. However, food webs are often altered from natural states, which disturb environmental flow assessment in such ecosystems. In ecosystems deteriorated by heavy anthropogenic activities, the effects of environmental flow regulation on species are difficult to assess with current modeling approaches. Environmental flow management compels the development of tools that link flow regimes and food webs in an ecosystem. Food web approaches are more suitable for the task because they are more adaptive for disordered multiple species in a food web deteriorated by anthropogenic activities. This paper presents a global method of environmental flow assessment in deteriorated aquatic ecosystems. Linkages between flow regimes and food web dynamics are modeled by incorporating multiple species into an ecosystem to explore ecosystem-based environmental flow management. The approach allows scientists and water resources managers to analyze environmental flows in deteriorated ecosystems in an ecosystem-based way.

  11. Incorporating food web dynamics into ecological restoration: A modeling approach for river ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellmore, J. Ryan; Benjamin, Joseph R.; Newsom, Michael; Bountry, Jennifer A.; Dombroski, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Restoration is frequently aimed at the recovery of target species, but also influences the larger food web in which these species participate. Effects of restoration on this broader network of organisms can influence target species both directly and indirectly via changes in energy flow through food webs. To help incorporate these complexities into river restoration planning we constructed a model that links river food web dynamics to in-stream physical habitat and riparian vegetation conditions. We present an application of the model to the Methow River, Washington (USA), a location of on-going restoration aimed at recovering salmon. Three restoration strategies were simulated: riparian vegetation restoration, nutrient augmentation via salmon carcass addition, and side-channel reconnection. We also added populations of nonnative aquatic snails and fish to the modeled food web to explore how changes in food web structure mediate responses to restoration. Simulations suggest that side-channel reconnection may be a better strategy than carcass addition and vegetation planting for improving conditions for salmon in this river segment. However, modeled responses were strongly sensitive to changes in the structure of the food web. The addition of nonnative snails and fish modified pathways of energy through the food web, which negated restoration improvements. This finding illustrates that forecasting responses to restoration may require accounting for the structure of food webs, and that changes in this structure—as might be expected with the spread of invasive species—could compromise restoration outcomes. Unlike habitat-based approaches to restoration assessment that focus on the direct effects of physical habitat conditions on single species of interest, our approach dynamically links the success of target organisms to the success of competitors, predators, and prey. By elucidating the direct and indirect pathways by which restoration affects target species

  12. Trace elements in the aquatic bird food chain at the North Ponds, Texaco Refinery, Casper, Wyoming

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of this study were to determine nesting success of aquatic birds, trace element concentrations in the aquatic food chain, and whether trace elements...

  13. Ecological food web analysis for chemical risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preziosi, Damian V; Pastorok, Robert A

    2008-12-01

    Food web analysis can be a critical component of ecological risk assessment, yet it has received relatively little attention among risk assessors. Food web data are currently used in modeling bioaccumulation of toxic chemicals and, to a limited extent, in the determination of the ecological significance of risks. Achieving more realism in ecological risk assessments requires new analysis tools and models that incorporate accurate information on key receptors in a food web paradigm. Application of food web analysis in risk assessments demands consideration of: 1) different kinds of food webs; 2) definition of trophic guilds; 3) variation in food webs with habitat, space, and time; and 4) issues for basic sampling design and collection of dietary data. The different kinds of food webs include connectance webs, materials flow webs, and functional (or interaction) webs. These three kinds of webs play different roles throughout various phases of an ecological risk assessment, but risk assessors have failed to distinguish among web types. When modeling food webs, choices must be made regarding the level of complexity for the web, assignment of species to trophic guilds, selection of representative species for guilds, use of average diets, the characterization of variation among individuals or guild members within a web, and the spatial and temporal scales/dynamics of webs. Integrating exposure and effects data in ecological models for risk assessment of toxic chemicals relies on coupling food web analysis with bioaccumulation models (e.g., Gobas-type models for fish and their food webs), wildlife exposure models, dose-response models, and population dynamics models.

  14. Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Allesina, Stefano; Arim, Matias; Briggs, Cherie J.; De Leo, Giulio A.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Dunne, Jennifer A.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Kuris, Armand M.; Marcogliese, David J.; Martinez, Neo D.; Memmott, Jane; Marquet, Pablo A.; McLaughlin, John P.; Mordecai, Eerin A.; Pascual, Mercedes; Poulin, Robert; Thieltges, David W.

    2008-01-01

    Parasitism is the most common consumer strategy among organisms, yet only recently has there been a call for the inclusion of infectious disease agents in food webs. The value of this effort hinges on whether parasites affect food-web properties. Increasing evidence suggests that parasites have the potential to uniquely alter food-web topology in terms of chain length, connectance and robustness. In addition, parasites might affect food-web stability, interaction strength and energy flow. Food-web structure also affects infectious disease dynamics because parasites depend on the ecological networks in which they live. Empirically, incorporating parasites into food webs is straightforward. We may start with existing food webs and add parasites as nodes, or we may try to build food webs around systems for which we already have a good understanding of infectious processes. In the future, perhaps researchers will add parasites while they construct food webs. Less clear is how food-web theory can accommodate parasites. This is a deep and central problem in theoretical biology and applied mathematics. For instance, is representing parasites with complex life cycles as a single node equivalent to representing other species with ontogenetic niche shifts as a single node? Can parasitism fit into fundamental frameworks such as the niche model? Can we integrate infectious disease models into the emerging field of dynamic food-web modelling? Future progress will benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations between ecologists and infectious disease biologists.

  15. Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D; Allesina, Stefano; Arim, Matias; Briggs, Cherie J; De Leo, Giulio; Dobson, Andrew P; Dunne, Jennifer A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Kuris, Armand M; Marcogliese, David J; Martinez, Neo D; Memmott, Jane; Marquet, Pablo A; McLaughlin, John P; Mordecai, Erin A; Pascual, Mercedes; Poulin, Robert; Thieltges, David W

    2008-06-01

    Parasitism is the most common consumer strategy among organisms, yet only recently has there been a call for the inclusion of infectious disease agents in food webs. The value of this effort hinges on whether parasites affect food-web properties. Increasing evidence suggests that parasites have the potential to uniquely alter food-web topology in terms of chain length, connectance and robustness. In addition, parasites might affect food-web stability, interaction strength and energy flow. Food-web structure also affects infectious disease dynamics because parasites depend on the ecological networks in which they live. Empirically, incorporating parasites into food webs is straightforward. We may start with existing food webs and add parasites as nodes, or we may try to build food webs around systems for which we already have a good understanding of infectious processes. In the future, perhaps researchers will add parasites while they construct food webs. Less clear is how food-web theory can accommodate parasites. This is a deep and central problem in theoretical biology and applied mathematics. For instance, is representing parasites with complex life cycles as a single node equivalent to representing other species with ontogenetic niche shifts as a single node? Can parasitism fit into fundamental frameworks such as the niche model? Can we integrate infectious disease models into the emerging field of dynamic food-web modelling? Future progress will benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations between ecologists and infectious disease biologists.

  16. Parameter uncertainty, sensitivity, and sediment coupling in bioenergetics-based food web models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barron, M.G.; Cacela, D.; Beltman, D. [Hagler Bailly, Boulder, CO (United States)

    1995-12-31

    A bioenergetics-based food web model was developed and calibrated using measured PCB water and sediment concentrations in two Great Lakes food webs: Green Bay, Michigan and Lake Ontario. The model incorporated functional based trophic levels and sediment, water, and food chain exposures of PCBs to aquatic biota. Sensitivity analysis indicated the parameters with the greatest influence on PCBs in top predators were lipid content of plankton and benthos, planktivore assimilation efficiency, Kow, prey selection, and ambient temperature. Sediment-associated PCBs were estimated to contribute over 90% of PCBs in benthivores and less than 50% in piscivores. Ranges of PCB concentrations in top predators estimated by Monte Carlo simulation incorporating parameter uncertainty were within one order of magnitude of modal values. Model applications include estimation of exceedences of human and ecological thresholds. The results indicate that point estimates from bioenergetics-based food web models have substantial uncertainty that should be considered in regulatory and scientific applications.

  17. Anthropogenic shift of planktonic food web structure in a coastal lagoon by freshwater flow regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemraj, Deevesh A; Hossain, A; Ye, Qifeng; Qin, Jian G; Leterme, Sophie C

    2017-03-22

    Anthropogenic modification of aquatic systems has diverse impacts on food web interactions and ecosystem states. To reverse the adverse effects of modified freshwater flow, adequate management of discharge is required, especially due to higher water requirements and abstractions for human use. Here, we look at the effects of anthropogenically controlled freshwater flow regimes on the planktonic food web of a Ramsar listed coastal lagoon that is under recovery from degradation. Our results show shifts in water quality and plankton community interactions associated to changes in water flow. These shifts in food web interactions represent modifications in habitat complexity and water quality. At high flow, phytoplankton-zooplankton interactions dominate the food web. Conversely, at low flow, bacteria, viruses and nano/picoplankton interactions are more dominant, with a substantial switch of the food web towards heterotrophy. This switch can be associated with excess organic matter loading, decomposition of dead organisms, and synergistic and antagonistic interactions. We suggest that a lower variability in flow amplitude could be beneficial for the long-term sustaining of water quality and food web interactions, while improving the ecosystem health of systems facing similar stresses as the Coorong.

  18. Development of a multichemical food web model: application to PBDEs in Lake Ellasjoen, Bear Island, Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Nilima; Bhavsar, Satyendra P; Gewurtz, Sarah B; Diamond, Miriam L; Evenset, Anita; Christensen, Guttorm N; Gregor, Dennis

    2006-08-01

    A multichemical food web model has been developed to estimate the biomagnification of interconverting chemicals in aquatic food webs. We extended a fugacity-based food web model for single chemicals to account for reversible and irreversible biotransformation among a parent chemical and transformation products, by simultaneously solving mass balance equations of the chemicals using a matrix solution. The model can be applied to any number of chemicals and organisms or taxonomic groups in a food web. The model was illustratively applied to four PBDE congeners, BDE-47, -99, -100, and -153, in the food web of Lake Ellasjøen, Bear Island, Norway. In Ellasjøen arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), the multichemical model estimated PBDE biotransformation from higher to lower brominated congeners and improved the correspondence between estimated and measured concentrations in comparison to estimates from the single-chemical food web model. The underestimation of BDE-47, even after considering bioformation due to biotransformation of the otherthree congeners, suggests its formation from additional biotransformation pathways not considered in this application. The model estimates approximate values for congener-specific biotransformation half-lives of 5.7,0.8,1.14, and 0.45 years for BDE-47, -99, -100, and -153, respectively, in large arctic char (S. alpinus) of Lake Ellasjøen.

  19. Anthropogenic shift of planktonic food web structure in a coastal lagoon by freshwater flow regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemraj, Deevesh A.; Hossain, A.; Ye, Qifeng; Qin, Jian G.; Leterme, Sophie C.

    2017-03-01

    Anthropogenic modification of aquatic systems has diverse impacts on food web interactions and ecosystem states. To reverse the adverse effects of modified freshwater flow, adequate management of discharge is required, especially due to higher water requirements and abstractions for human use. Here, we look at the effects of anthropogenically controlled freshwater flow regimes on the planktonic food web of a Ramsar listed coastal lagoon that is under recovery from degradation. Our results show shifts in water quality and plankton community interactions associated to changes in water flow. These shifts in food web interactions represent modifications in habitat complexity and water quality. At high flow, phytoplankton-zooplankton interactions dominate the food web. Conversely, at low flow, bacteria, viruses and nano/picoplankton interactions are more dominant, with a substantial switch of the food web towards heterotrophy. This switch can be associated with excess organic matter loading, decomposition of dead organisms, and synergistic and antagonistic interactions. We suggest that a lower variability in flow amplitude could be beneficial for the long-term sustaining of water quality and food web interactions, while improving the ecosystem health of systems facing similar stresses as the Coorong.

  20. Functional links and robustness in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allesina, Stefano; Bodini, Antonio; Pascual, Mercedes

    2009-06-27

    The robustness of ecosystems to species losses is a central question in ecology, given the current pace of extinctions and the many species threatened by human impacts, including habitat destruction and climate change. Robustness from the perspective of secondary extinctions has been addressed in the context of food webs to consider the complex network of species interactions that underlie responses to perturbations. In-silico removal experiments have examined the structural properties of food webs that enhance or hamper the robustness of ecosystems to species losses, with a focus on the role of hubs, the most connected species. Here we take a different approach and focus on the role of the connections themselves. We show that trophic links can be divided into functional and redundant based on their contribution to robustness. The analysis of empirical webs shows that hubs are not necessarily the most important species as they may hold many redundant links. Furthermore, the fraction of functional connections is high and constant across systems regardless of size and interconnectedness. The main consequence of this scaling pattern is that ecosystem robustness can be considerably reduced by species extinctions even when these do not result in any secondary extinctions. This introduces the possibility of tipping points in the collapse of ecosystems.

  1. Exposing the structure of an arctic food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wirta, Helena K; Vesterinen, Eero J; Hambäck, Peter A.; Weingartner, Elisabeth; Rasmussen, Claus; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Schmidt, Niels M; Gilg, Olivier; Roslin, Tomas

    2015-01-01

    How food webs are structured has major implications for their stability and dynamics. While poorly studied to date, arctic food webs are commonly assumed to be simple in structure, with few links per species. If this is the case, then different parts of the web may be weakly connected to each other,

  2. Food Enterprise Web Design Based on User Experience

    OpenAIRE

    Fei Wang

    2015-01-01

    Excellent auxiliary food enterprise web design conveyed good visual transmission effect through user experience. This study was based on the food enterprise managers and customers as the main operating object to get the performance of the web page creation, web page design not only focused on the function and work efficiency, the most important thing was that the user experience in the process of web page interaction.

  3. The Origin of Motif Families in Food Webs

    OpenAIRE

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Food webs have been found to exhibit remarkable motif profiles, patterns in the relative prevalences of all possible three-species sub-graphs, and this has been related to ecosystem properties such as stability and robustness. Analysing 46 food webs of various kinds, we find that most food webs fall into one of two distinct motif families. The separation between the families is well predicted by a global measure of hierarchical order in directed networks - trophic coherence. We find that trop...

  4. Simulating Food Web Dynamics along a Gradient: Quantifying Human Influence

    OpenAIRE

    Ferenc Jordán; Nerta Gjata; Shu Mei; Yule, Catherine M.

    2012-01-01

    Realistically parameterized and dynamically simulated food-webs are useful tool to explore the importance of the functional diversity of ecosystems, and in particular relations between the dynamics of species and the whole community. We present a stochastic dynamical food web simulation for the Kelian River (Borneo). The food web was constructed for six different locations, arrayed along a gradient of increasing human perturbation (mostly resulting from gold mining activities) along the river...

  5. Metacommunity theory explains the emergence of food web complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Pradeep; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel

    2011-11-29

    Food webs are highly complex ecological networks, dynamic in both space and time. Metacommunity models are now at the core of unified theories of biodiversity, but to date they have not addressed food web complexity. Here we show that metacommunity theory can explain the emergence of species-rich food webs with complex network topologies. Our analysis shows that network branching in the food web is maximized at intermediate colonization rates and limited dispersal scales, which also leads to concomitant peaks in species diversity. Increased food web complexity and species diversity are made possible by the structural role played by network branches that are supported by omnivore and generalist feeding links. Thus, in contrast to traditional food web theory, which emphasizes the destabilizing effect of omnivory feeding in closed systems, metacommunity theory predicts that these feeding links, which are commonly observed in empirical food webs, play a critical structural role as food webs assemble in space. As this mechanism functions at the metacommunity level, evidence for its operation in nature will be obtained through multiscale surveys of food web structure. Finally, we apply our theory to reveal the effects of habitat destruction on network complexity and metacommunity diversity.

  6. Characteristics of Food Industry Web Sites and "Advergames" Targeting Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culp, Jennifer; Bell, Robert A.; Cassady, Diana

    2010-01-01

    Objective: To assess the content of food industry Web sites targeting children by describing strategies used to prolong their visits and foster brand loyalty; and to document health-promoting messages on these Web sites. Design: A content analysis was conducted of Web sites advertised on 2 children's networks, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. A…

  7. Gaining insight into food webs reconstructed by the inverse method

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kones, J.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Van Oevelen, D.; Owino, J.; Mavuti, K.

    2006-01-01

    The use of the inverse method to analyze flow patterns of organic components in ecological systems has had wide application in ecological modeling. Through this approach, an infinite number of food web flows describing the food web and satisfying biological constraints are generated, from which one

  8. Spatial scales of carbon flow in a river food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlay, J.C.; Khandwala, S.; Power, M.E.

    2002-01-01

    role of shallow pool algae in riffle steelhead growth during summer periods was due to drift of pool invertebrates to riffles, rather than movement of riffle trout. Data for ??15N showed that resident rainbow trout (25-33 cm standard length) in deep pools preyed upon small size classes of juvenile steelhead that were most often found in riffles or shallow pools. While many invertebrate consumers relied primarily on algal production derived from local habitats, our study shows that growth of top predators in the river is strongly linked to food webs in adjacent habitats. These results suggest a key role for emigration of aquatic prey in determining carbon flow to top predators.

  9. Carbon Cycling in Floodplain Ecosystems: Out-Gassing and Photosynthesis Transmit Soil d13C Gradient Through Stream Food Webs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gray, Duncan P.; Harding, Jon S.; Elberling, Bo

    2011-01-01

    of carbon that drive these productive spring-fed systems are not well-known. We conducted field assessments and a manipulation, modeling, and a laboratory experiment to address this issue. Initially d13C values of both dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and food-web components of five springs were used...... to assess the sources of carbon to spring food webs. Partial pressures of CO2 in upwelling water ranged from 2 to 7 times atmospheric pressure, but rapidly approached equilibrium with the atmosphere downstream commensurate with 13C enrichment of DIC. Speciation modeling and a laboratory out...... was transmitted through three trophic levels of the spring food web. These findings indicate dependency on groundwater inorganic carbon by spring stream food webs and strong hydrologically mediated linkages connecting terrestrial, subsurface, and aquatic components of the floodplain....

  10. Expanding the isotopic toolbox: Applications of hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope ratios to food web studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah B Vander Zanden

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The measurement of stable carbon (δ13C and nitrogen (δ15N isotopes in tissues of organisms has formed the foundation of isotopic food web reconstructions, as these values directly reflect assimilated diet. In contrast, stable hydrogen (δ2H and oxygen (δ18O isotope measurements have typically been reserved for studies of migratory origin and paleoclimate reconstruction based on systematic relationships between organismal tissue and local environmental water. Recently, innovative applications using δ2H and, to a lesser extent, δ18O values have demonstrated potential for these elements to provide novel insights in modern food web studies. We explore the advantages and challenges associated with three applications of δ2H and δ18O values in food web studies. First, large δ2H differences between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem end members can permit the quantification of energy inputs and nutrient fluxes between these two sources, with potential applications for determining allochthonous vs. autochthonous nutrient sources in freshwater systems and relative aquatic habitat utilization by terrestrial organisms. Next, some studies have identified a relationship between δ2H values and trophic position, which suggests that this marker may serve as a trophic indicator, in addition to the more commonly used δ15N values. Finally, coupled measurements of δ2H and δ18O values are increasing as a result of reduced analytical challenges to measure both simultaneously and may provide additional ecological information over single element measurements. In some organisms, the isotopic ratios of these two elements are tightly coupled, whereas the isotopic disequilibrium in other organisms may offer insight into the diet and physiology of individuals. Although a coherent framework for interpreting δ2H and δ18O data in the context of food web studies is emerging, many fundamental uncertainties remain. We highlight directions for targeted research that

  11. Isotopic study of mercury sources and transfer between a freshwater lake and adjacent forest food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Sae Yun; Blum, Joel D; Nadelhoffer, Knute J; Timothy Dvonch, J; Tsui, Martin Tsz-Ki

    2015-11-01

    Studies of monomethylmercury (MMHg) sources and biogeochemical pathways have been extensive in aquatic ecosystems, but limited in forest ecosystems. Increasing evidence suggests that there is significant mercury (Hg) exchange between aquatic and forest ecosystems. We use Hg stable isotope ratios (δ(202)Hg and Δ(199)Hg) to investigate the relative importance of MMHg sources and assess Hg transfer pathways between Douglas Lake and adjacent forests located at the University of Michigan Biological Station, USA. We characterize Hg isotopic compositions of basal resources and use linear regression of % MMHg versus δ(202)Hg and Δ(199)Hg to estimate Hg isotope values for inorganic mercury (IHg) and MMHg in the aquatic and adjacent forest food webs. In the aquatic ecosystem, we found that lake sediment represents a mixture of IHg pools deposited via watershed runoff and precipitation. The δ(202)Hg and Δ(199)Hg values estimated for IHg are consistent with other studies that measured forest floor in temperate forests. The Δ(199)Hg value estimated for MMHg in the aquatic food web indicates that MMHg is subjected to ~20% photochemical degradation prior to bioaccumulation. In the forest ecosystem, we found a significant negative relationship between total Hg and δ(202)Hg and Δ(199)Hg of soil collected at multiple distances from the lakeshore and lake sediment. This suggests that IHg input from watershed runoff provides an important Hg transfer pathway between the forest and aquatic ecosystems. We measured Δ(199)Hg values for high trophic level insects and compared these insects at multiple distances perpendicular to the lake shoreline. The Δ(199)Hg values correspond to the % canopy cover suggesting that forest MMHg is subjected to varying extents of photochemical degradation and the extent may be controlled by sunlight. Our study demonstrates that the use of Hg isotopes adds important new insight into the relative importance of MMHg sources and complex Hg transfer

  12. Soil food web changes during spontaneous succession at post mining sites: a possible ecosystem engineering effect on food web organization?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frouz, Jan; Thébault, Elisa; Pižl, Václav; Adl, Sina; Cajthaml, Tomáš; Baldrián, Petr; Háněl, Ladislav; Starý, Josef; Tajovský, Karel; Materna, Jan; Nováková, Alena; de Ruiter, Peter C

    2013-01-01

    Parameters characterizing the structure of the decomposer food web, biomass of the soil microflora (bacteria and fungi) and soil micro-, meso- and macrofauna were studied at 14 non-reclaimed 1- 41-year-old post-mining sites near the town of Sokolov (Czech Republic). These observations on the decomposer food webs were compared with knowledge of vegetation and soil microstructure development from previous studies. The amount of carbon entering the food web increased with succession age in a similar way as the total amount of C in food web biomass and the number of functional groups in the food web. Connectance did not show any significant changes with succession age, however. In early stages of the succession, the bacterial channel dominated the food web. Later on, in shrub-dominated stands, the fungal channel took over. Even later, in the forest stage, the bacterial channel prevailed again. The best predictor of fungal bacterial ratio is thickness of fermentation layer. We argue that these changes correspond with changes in topsoil microstructure driven by a combination of plant organic matter input and engineering effects of earthworms. In early stages, soil is alkaline, and a discontinuous litter layer on the soil surface promotes bacterial biomass growth, so the bacterial food web channel can dominate. Litter accumulation on the soil surface supports the development of the fungal channel. In older stages, earthworms arrive, mix litter into the mineral soil and form an organo-mineral topsoil, which is beneficial for bacteria and enhances the bacterial food web channel.

  13. Bioaccumulation syndrome: identifying factors that make some stream food webs prone to elevated mercury bioaccumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Darren M; Nislow, Keith H; Folt, Carol L

    2010-05-01

    Mercury is a ubiquitous contaminant in aquatic ecosystems, posing a significant health risk to humans and wildlife that eat fish. Mercury accumulates in aquatic food webs as methylmercury (MeHg), a particularly toxic and persistent organic mercury compound. While mercury in the environment originates largely from anthropogenic activities, MeHg accumulation in freshwater aquatic food webs is not a simple function of local or regional mercury pollution inputs. Studies show that even sites with similar mercury inputs can produce fish with mercury concentrations ranging over an order of magnitude. While much of the foundational work to identify the drivers of variation in mercury accumulation has focused on freshwater lakes, mercury contamination in stream ecosystems is emerging as an important research area. Here, we review recent research on mercury accumulation in stream-dwelling organisms. Taking a hierarchical approach, we identify a suite of characteristics of individual consumers, food webs, streams, watersheds, and regions that are consistently associated with elevated MeHg concentrations in stream fish. We delineate a conceptual, mechanistic basis for explaining the ecological processes that underlie this vulnerability to MeHg. Key factors, including suppressed individual growth of consumers, low rates of primary and secondary production, hydrologic connection to methylation sites (e.g., wetlands), heavily forested catchments, and acidification are frequently associated with increased MeHg concentrations in fish across both streams and lakes. Hence, we propose that these interacting factors define a syndrome of characteristics that drive high MeHg production and bioaccumulation rates across these freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Finally, based on an understanding of the ecological drivers of MeHg accumulation, we identify situations when anthropogenic effects and management practices could significantly exacerbate or ameliorate MeHg accumulation in stream fish.

  14. Food marketing on popular children's web sites: a content analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvy, Lisa M; Calvert, Sandra L

    2008-04-01

    In 2006 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that food marketing was a contributor to childhood obesity in the United States. One recommendation of the IOM committee was for research on newer marketing venues, such as Internet Web sites. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to answer the IOM's call by examining food marketing on popular children's Web sites. Ten Web sites were selected based on market research conducted by KidSay, which identified favorite sites of children aged 8 to 11 years during February 2005. Using a standardized coding form, these sites were examined page by page for the existence, type, and features of food marketing. Web sites were compared using chi2 analyses. Although food marketing was not pervasive on the majority of the sites, seven of the 10 Web sites contained food marketing. The products marketed were primarily candy, cereal, quick serve restaurants, and snacks. Candystand.com, a food product site, contained a significantly greater amount of food marketing than the other popular children's Web sites. Because the foods marketed to children are not consistent with a healthful diet, nutrition professionals should consider joining advocacy groups to pressure industry to reduce online food marketing directed at youth.

  15. Trophic connectivity and basal food sources sustaining tropical aquatic consumers along a mangrove to ocean gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claudino, Marlucy Coelho; Pessanha, André Luiz Machado; Araújo, Francisco Gerson; Garcia, Alexandre Miranda

    2015-12-01

    Variations in the relative importance of autotrophic sources to aquatic consumers along environmental gradients and the trophic role of mangrove-derived detritus to marine coastal food webs are still poorly investigated in tropical systems. In this study, we employed stable isotope analyses to investigate the relative importance of basal food sources to macroconsumers (decapod crustaceans and fishes) in a tropical estuary along an environmental gradient extending from the mangroves to the ocean. Additionally, we evaluated the 'outwelling hypothesis', which hypothesizes that mangrove-derived detritus exported to the adjacent marine area is a food source for marine macroconsumers at open and reef-protected sandy beaches. Primary producers and macroconsumers (62 and 214 samples, respectively) were collected at five locations across the main longitudinal axis of the Mamanguape estuary, a tropical Southwestern Atlantic estuary. There were marked shifts in carbon and nitrogen isotope values for both food sources and consumers along the estuarine-marine gradient, and the mixing model results revealed similar patterns of assimilation of basal food sources by decapod crustaceans and fishes. In the inner section of the estuary, consumers tended to assimilated nutrients derived mainly from mangrove and macroalgae, whereas nearer the mouth of the estuary and in the adjacent marine area they assimilated nutrients derived mainly from macroalgae, seagrass and organic matter in the sediment (SOM). These findings support the hypothesis that the relative importance of basal food sources to macroconsumers in this tropical estuarine system reflects the dominant autochthonous primary production at each location. In contrast, our results did not support the outwelling hypothesis that mangrove-originated detritus, in the form of senescent mangrove leaves, makes a significant contribution as a primary source of carbon to high-order consumers inhabiting adjacent ocean sandy beaches.

  16. Adaptations in a hierarchical food web of southeastern Lake Michigan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Ann E.; Frank, Ken A.; Jones, Michael L.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Barbiero, Richard P.; Madenjian, Charles P.; Agy, Megan; Evans, Marlene S.; Taylor, William W.; Mason, Doran M.; Leonard, Nancy J.

    2009-01-01

    Two issues in ecological network theory are: (1) how to construct an ecological network model and (2) how do entire networks (as opposed to individual species) adapt to changing conditions? We present a novel method for constructing an ecological network model for the food web of southeastern Lake Michigan (USA) and we identify changes in key system properties that are large relative to their uncertainty as this ecological network adapts from one time point to a second time point in response to multiple perturbations. To construct our food web for southeastern Lake Michigan, we followed the list of seven recommendations outlined in Cohen et al. [Cohen, J.E., et al., 1993. Improving food webs. Ecology 74, 252–258] for improving food webs. We explored two inter-related extensions of hierarchical system theory with our food web; the first one was that subsystems react to perturbations independently in the short-term and the second one was that a system's properties change at a slower rate than its subsystems’ properties. We used Shannon's equations to provide quantitative versions of the basic food web properties: number of prey, number of predators, number of feeding links, and connectance (or density). We then compared these properties between the two time-periods by developing distributions of each property for each time period that took uncertainty about the property into account. We compared these distributions, and concluded that non-overlapping distributions indicated changes in these properties that were large relative to their uncertainty. Two subsystems were identified within our food web system structure (p < 0.001). One subsystem had more non-overlapping distributions in food web properties between Time 1 and Time 2 than the other subsystem. The overall system had all overlapping distributions in food web properties between Time 1 and Time 2. These results supported both extensions of hierarchical systems theory. Interestingly, the subsystem with more

  17. Isotopic diversity indices: how sensitive to food web structure?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anik Brind'Amour

    Full Text Available Recently revisited, the concept of niche ecology has lead to the formalisation of functional and trophic niches using stable isotope ratios. Isotopic diversity indices (IDI derived from a set of measures assessing the dispersion/distribution of points in the δ-space were recently suggested and increasingly used in the literature. However, three main critics emerge from the use of these IDI: 1 they fail to account for the isotopic sources overlap, 2 some indices are highly sensitive to the number of species and/or the presence of rare species, and 3 the lack of standardization prevents any spatial and temporal comparisons. Using simulations we investigated the ability of six commonly used IDI to discriminate among different trophic food web structures, with a focus on the first two critics. We tested the sensitivity of the IDI to five food web structures along a gradient of sources overlap, varying from two distinct food chains with differentiated sources to two superimposed food chains sharing two sources. For each of the food web structure we varied the number of species (from 10 to 100 species and the type of species feeding behaviour (i.e. random or selective feeding. Values of IDI were generally larger in food webs with distinct basal sources and tended to decrease as the superimposition of the food chains increased. This was more pronounced when species displayed food preferences in comparison to food webs where species fed randomly on any prey. The number of species composing the food web also had strong effects on the metrics, including those that were supposedly less sensitive to small sample size. In all cases, computing IDI on food webs with low numbers of species always increases the uncertainty of the metrics. A threshold of ~20 species was detected above which several metrics can be safely used.

  18. Compilation and network analyses of cambrian food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Dunne

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available A rich body of empirically grounded theory has developed about food webs--the networks of feeding relationships among species within habitats. However, detailed food-web data and analyses are lacking for ancient ecosystems, largely because of the low resolution of taxa coupled with uncertain and incomplete information about feeding interactions. These impediments appear insurmountable for most fossil assemblages; however, a few assemblages with excellent soft-body preservation across trophic levels are candidates for food-web data compilation and topological analysis. Here we present plausible, detailed food webs for the Chengjiang and Burgess Shale assemblages from the Cambrian Period. Analyses of degree distributions and other structural network properties, including sensitivity analyses of the effects of uncertainty associated with Cambrian diet designations, suggest that these early Paleozoic communities share remarkably similar topology with modern food webs. Observed regularities reflect a systematic dependence of structure on the numbers of taxa and links in a web. Most aspects of Cambrian food-web structure are well-characterized by a simple "niche model," which was developed for modern food webs and takes into account this scale dependence. However, a few aspects of topology differ between the ancient and recent webs: longer path lengths between species and more species in feeding loops in the earlier Chengjiang web, and higher variability in the number of links per species for both Cambrian webs. Our results are relatively insensitive to the exclusion of low-certainty or random links. The many similarities between Cambrian and recent food webs point toward surprisingly strong and enduring constraints on the organization of complex feeding interactions among metazoan species. The few differences could reflect a transition to more strongly integrated and constrained trophic organization within ecosystems following the rapid

  19. Compilation and network analyses of cambrian food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Jennifer A; Williams, Richard J; Martinez, Neo D; Wood, Rachel A; Erwin, Douglas H

    2008-04-29

    A rich body of empirically grounded theory has developed about food webs--the networks of feeding relationships among species within habitats. However, detailed food-web data and analyses are lacking for ancient ecosystems, largely because of the low resolution of taxa coupled with uncertain and incomplete information about feeding interactions. These impediments appear insurmountable for most fossil assemblages; however, a few assemblages with excellent soft-body preservation across trophic levels are candidates for food-web data compilation and topological analysis. Here we present plausible, detailed food webs for the Chengjiang and Burgess Shale assemblages from the Cambrian Period. Analyses of degree distributions and other structural network properties, including sensitivity analyses of the effects of uncertainty associated with Cambrian diet designations, suggest that these early Paleozoic communities share remarkably similar topology with modern food webs. Observed regularities reflect a systematic dependence of structure on the numbers of taxa and links in a web. Most aspects of Cambrian food-web structure are well-characterized by a simple "niche model," which was developed for modern food webs and takes into account this scale dependence. However, a few aspects of topology differ between the ancient and recent webs: longer path lengths between species and more species in feeding loops in the earlier Chengjiang web, and higher variability in the number of links per species for both Cambrian webs. Our results are relatively insensitive to the exclusion of low-certainty or random links. The many similarities between Cambrian and recent food webs point toward surprisingly strong and enduring constraints on the organization of complex feeding interactions among metazoan species. The few differences could reflect a transition to more strongly integrated and constrained trophic organization within ecosystems following the rapid diversification of species, body

  20. Transfer of gold nanoparticles from the water column to the estuarine food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferry, John L.; Craig, Preston; Hexel, Cole; Sisco, Patrick; Frey, Rebecca; Pennington, Paul L.; Fulton, Michael H.; Scott, I. Geoff; Decho, Alan W.; Kashiwada, Shosaku; Murphy, Catherine J.; Shaw, Timothy J.

    2009-07-01

    Within the next five years the manufacture of large quantities of nanomaterials may lead to unintended contamination of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The unique physical, chemical and electronic properties of nanomaterials allow new modes of interaction with environmental systems that can have unexpected impacts. Here, we show that gold nanorods can readily pass from the water column to the marine food web in three laboratory-constructed estuarine mesocosms containing sea water, sediment, sea grass, microbes, biofilms, snails, clams, shrimp and fish. A single dose of gold nanorods (65 nm length × 15 nm diameter) was added to each mesocosm and their distribution in the aqueous and sediment phases monitored over 12 days. Nanorods partitioned between biofilms, sediments, plants, animals and sea water with a recovery of 84.4%. Clams and biofilms accumulated the most nanoparticles on a per mass basis, suggesting that gold nanorods can readily pass from the water column to the marine food web.

  1. Exposing the structure of an Arctic food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirta, Helena K; Vesterinen, Eero J; Hambäck, Peter A; Weingartner, Elisabeth; Rasmussen, Claus; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Schmidt, Niels M; Gilg, Olivier; Roslin, Tomas

    2015-09-01

    How food webs are structured has major implications for their stability and dynamics. While poorly studied to date, arctic food webs are commonly assumed to be simple in structure, with few links per species. If this is the case, then different parts of the web may be weakly connected to each other, with populations and species united by only a low number of links. We provide the first highly resolved description of trophic link structure for a large part of a high-arctic food web. For this purpose, we apply a combination of recent techniques to describing the links between three predator guilds (insectivorous birds, spiders, and lepidopteran parasitoids) and their two dominant prey orders (Diptera and Lepidoptera). The resultant web shows a dense link structure and no compartmentalization or modularity across the three predator guilds. Thus, both individual predators and predator guilds tap heavily into the prey community of each other, offering versatile scope for indirect interactions across different parts of the web. The current description of a first but single arctic web may serve as a benchmark toward which to gauge future webs resolved by similar techniques. Targeting an unusual breadth of predator guilds, and relying on techniques with a high resolution, it suggests that species in this web are closely connected. Thus, our findings call for similar explorations of link structure across multiple guilds in both arctic and other webs. From an applied perspective, our description of an arctic web suggests new avenues for understanding how arctic food webs are built and function and of how they respond to current climate change. It suggests that to comprehend the community-level consequences of rapid arctic warming, we should turn from analyses of populations, population pairs, and isolated predator-prey interactions to considering the full set of interacting species.

  2. Food webs: reconciling the structure and function of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Ross M; Brose, Ulrich; Dunne, Jennifer A; Hall, Robert O; Hladyz, Sally; Kitching, Roger L; Martinez, Neo D; Rantala, Heidi; Romanuk, Tamara N; Stouffer, Daniel B; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2012-12-01

    The global biodiversity crisis concerns not only unprecedented loss of species within communities, but also related consequences for ecosystem function. Community ecology focuses on patterns of species richness and community composition, whereas ecosystem ecology focuses on fluxes of energy and materials. Food webs provide a quantitative framework to combine these approaches and unify the study of biodiversity and ecosystem function. We summarise the progression of food-web ecology and the challenges in using the food-web approach. We identify five areas of research where these advances can continue, and be applied to global challenges. Finally, we describe what data are needed in the next generation of food-web studies to reconcile the structure and function of biodiversity.

  3. Food Web Assembly Rules for Generalized Lotka-Volterra Equations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Härter, Jan Olaf Mirko; Mitarai, Namiko; Sneppen, Kim

    2016-01-01

    apparent competition. In agreement with data, the assembly rules predict high species numbers at intermediate levels and thinning at the top and bottom. Using comprehensive food web data, we demonstrate how omnivores or parasites with hosts at multiple trophic levels can loosen the constraints and help......In food webs, many interacting species coexist despite the restrictions imposed by the competitive exclusion principle and apparent competition. For the generalized Lotka-Volterra equations, sustainable coexistence necessitates nonzero determinant of the interaction matrix. Here we show...... that this requirement is equivalent to demanding that each species be part of a non-overlapping pairing, which substantially constrains the food web structure. We demonstrate that a stable food web can always be obtained if a non-overlapping pairing exists. If it does not, the matrix rank can be used to quantify...

  4. Roles of epiphytes associated with macroalgae in benthic food web of a eutrophic coastal lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xinqing; Huang, Lingfeng; Lin, Rongcheng; Du, Jianguo

    2015-11-01

    Macroalgae perform a significant function in the trophic dynamics in many coastal lagoons, and conventionally, they are the key trophic base that fuels the overall aquatic food web. However, few studies have considered the trophic contribution of epiphytes that attach to macroalgae in the diet of benthic primary consumers or their contribution to the trophic base of the aquatic food web. In this study, macrobenthic invertebrate biomass was combined with multiple-isotope-mixing models to distinguish the trophic importance of macroalgae and their associated epiphytic assemblages in the benthic food web during Ulva lactuca bloom in the Yundang Lagoon, a eutrophic coastal lagoon in Xiamen, China. Amphipods primarily dominated the zoobenthos, with the biomass varied from 40.9 g/m2 in January to 283.9 g/m2 in March. They mainly fed on U. lactuca and its associated epiphytes, which jointly contributed more than 60% to amphipod diets, but species-specific feeding habits were exhibited among amphipods. Using the zoobenthos biomass as a weighting factor, the contribution of U. lactuca and its epiphytes to total benthic communities during U. lactuca bloom exceeded 65%.The epiphytes were clearly utilized more than U. lactuca, with a median contribution ranging from 48.5% in January to 66.6% in March. Our findings demonstrate the trophic importance of the epiphytes in macroalgae-based coastal habitats, as found in many seagrass beds. Therefore, we propose that further food web studies of macroalgae-based ecosystems should pay greater attention to the role of epiphytes.

  5. Food Web Assembly Rules for Generalized Lotka-Volterra Equations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haerter, Jan O; Mitarai, Namiko; Sneppen, Kim

    2016-02-01

    In food webs, many interacting species coexist despite the restrictions imposed by the competitive exclusion principle and apparent competition. For the generalized Lotka-Volterra equations, sustainable coexistence necessitates nonzero determinant of the interaction matrix. Here we show that this requirement is equivalent to demanding that each species be part of a non-overlapping pairing, which substantially constrains the food web structure. We demonstrate that a stable food web can always be obtained if a non-overlapping pairing exists. If it does not, the matrix rank can be used to quantify the lack of niches, corresponding to unpaired species. For the species richness at each trophic level, we derive the food web assembly rules, which specify sustainable combinations. In neighboring levels, these rules allow the higher level to avert competitive exclusion at the lower, thereby incorporating apparent competition. In agreement with data, the assembly rules predict high species numbers at intermediate levels and thinning at the top and bottom. Using comprehensive food web data, we demonstrate how omnivores or parasites with hosts at multiple trophic levels can loosen the constraints and help obtain coexistence in food webs. Hence, omnivory may be the glue that keeps communities intact even under extinction or ecological release of species.

  6. Food Web Assembly Rules for Generalized Lotka-Volterra Equations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan O Haerter

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In food webs, many interacting species coexist despite the restrictions imposed by the competitive exclusion principle and apparent competition. For the generalized Lotka-Volterra equations, sustainable coexistence necessitates nonzero determinant of the interaction matrix. Here we show that this requirement is equivalent to demanding that each species be part of a non-overlapping pairing, which substantially constrains the food web structure. We demonstrate that a stable food web can always be obtained if a non-overlapping pairing exists. If it does not, the matrix rank can be used to quantify the lack of niches, corresponding to unpaired species. For the species richness at each trophic level, we derive the food web assembly rules, which specify sustainable combinations. In neighboring levels, these rules allow the higher level to avert competitive exclusion at the lower, thereby incorporating apparent competition. In agreement with data, the assembly rules predict high species numbers at intermediate levels and thinning at the top and bottom. Using comprehensive food web data, we demonstrate how omnivores or parasites with hosts at multiple trophic levels can loosen the constraints and help obtain coexistence in food webs. Hence, omnivory may be the glue that keeps communities intact even under extinction or ecological release of species.

  7. The Origin of Motif Families in Food Webs

    CERN Document Server

    Klaise, Janis

    2016-01-01

    Food webs have been found to exhibit remarkable motif profiles, patterns in the relative prevalences of all possible three-species sub-graphs, and this has been related to ecosystem properties such as stability and robustness. Analysing 46 food webs of various kinds, we find that most food webs fall into one of two distinct motif families. The separation between the families is well predicted by a global measure of hierarchical order in directed networks - trophic coherence. We find that trophic coherence is also a good predictor for the extent of omnivory, defined as the tendency of species to feed on multiple trophic levels. We compare our results to a network assembly model that admits tunable trophic coherence via a single free parameter. The model is able to generate food webs in either of the two families by varying this parameter, and correctly classifies almost all the food webs in our database. This establishes a link between global order and local preying patterns in food webs.

  8. Soil food web changes during spontaneous succession at post mining sites: a possible ecosystem engineering effect on food web organization?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Frouz

    Full Text Available Parameters characterizing the structure of the decomposer food web, biomass of the soil microflora (bacteria and fungi and soil micro-, meso- and macrofauna were studied at 14 non-reclaimed 1- 41-year-old post-mining sites near the town of Sokolov (Czech Republic. These observations on the decomposer food webs were compared with knowledge of vegetation and soil microstructure development from previous studies. The amount of carbon entering the food web increased with succession age in a similar way as the total amount of C in food web biomass and the number of functional groups in the food web. Connectance did not show any significant changes with succession age, however. In early stages of the succession, the bacterial channel dominated the food web. Later on, in shrub-dominated stands, the fungal channel took over. Even later, in the forest stage, the bacterial channel prevailed again. The best predictor of fungal bacterial ratio is thickness of fermentation layer. We argue that these changes correspond with changes in topsoil microstructure driven by a combination of plant organic matter input and engineering effects of earthworms. In early stages, soil is alkaline, and a discontinuous litter layer on the soil surface promotes bacterial biomass growth, so the bacterial food web channel can dominate. Litter accumulation on the soil surface supports the development of the fungal channel. In older stages, earthworms arrive, mix litter into the mineral soil and form an organo-mineral topsoil, which is beneficial for bacteria and enhances the bacterial food web channel.

  9. Nearshore energy subsidies support Lake Michigan fishes and invertebrates following major changes in food web structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turschak, Benjamin A; Bunnell, David B.; Czesny, Sergiusz J.; Höök, Tomas O.; Janssen, John; Warner, David M.; Bootsma, Harvey A

    2014-01-01

    Aquatic food webs that incorporate multiple energy channels (e.g. nearshore benthic or pelagic) with varying productivity and turnover rates convey stability to biological communities by providing multiple independent energy sources. Within the Lake Michigan food web, invasive dreissenid mussels have caused rapid changes to food web structure and potentially altered the channels through which consumers acquire energy. We used stable C and N isotopes to determine how Lake Michigan food web structure has changed in the past decade, coincident with the expansion of dreissenid mussels, decreased pelagic phytoplankton production and increased nearshore benthic algal production. Fish and invertebrate samples collected from sites around Lake Michigan were analyzed to determine taxa-specific 13C:12C (delta 13C) and 15N:14N (delta 15N) ratios. Sampling took place during two distinct periods, 2002-2003 and 2010-2012, that spanned the period of dreissenid expansion, and included nearshore, pelagic and profundal fish and invertebrate taxa. Magnitude and direction of the 13C shift indicated significantly greater reliance upon nearshore benthic energy sources among nearly all fish taxa as well as profundal invertebrates. Although the mechanisms underlying this 13C shift likely varied among species, possible causes include the transport of benthic algal production to offshore waters and an increased reliance on nearshore prey items. Delta 15N shifts were more variable and of smaller magnitude across taxa although declines in delta 15N among some pelagic fishes may indicate a shift to alternative prey resources. Lake Michigan fishes and invertebrates appear to have responded to dreissenid induced changes in nutrient and energy pathways by switching from pelagic to alternative nearshore energy subsidies. Although large shifts in energy allocation (i.e. pelagic to nearshore benthic) resulting from invasive species appear to have affected total production at upper trophic

  10. Eelgrass (Zostera marina Food Web Structure in Different Environmental Settings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Thormar

    Full Text Available This study compares the structure of eelgrass (Zostera marina L. meadows and associated food webs in two eelgrass habitats in Denmark, differing in exposure, connection to the open sea, nutrient enrichment and water transparency. Meadow structure strongly reflected the environmental conditions in each habitat. The eutrophicated, protected site had higher biomass of filamentous algae, lower eelgrass biomass and shoot density, longer and narrower leaves, and higher above to below ground biomass ratio compared to the less nutrient-enriched and more exposed site. The faunal community composition and food web structure also differed markedly between sites with the eutrophicated, enclosed site having higher biomass of consumers and less complex food web. These relationships resulted in a column shaped biomass distribution of the consumers at the eutrophicated site whereas the less nutrient-rich site showed a pyramidal biomass distribution of consumers coupled with a more diverse consumer community. The differences in meadow and food web structure of the two seagrass habitats, suggest how physical setting may shape ecosystem response and resilience to anthropogenic pressure. We encourage larger, replicated studies to further disentangle the effects of different environmental variables on seagrass food web structure.

  11. Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Food Web Structure in Different Environmental Settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thormar, Jonas; Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Baden, Susanne; Boström, Christoffer; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Olesen, Birgit; Rasmussen, Jonas Ribergaard; Svensson, Carl Johan; Holmer, Marianne

    2016-01-01

    This study compares the structure of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) meadows and associated food webs in two eelgrass habitats in Denmark, differing in exposure, connection to the open sea, nutrient enrichment and water transparency. Meadow structure strongly reflected the environmental conditions in each habitat. The eutrophicated, protected site had higher biomass of filamentous algae, lower eelgrass biomass and shoot density, longer and narrower leaves, and higher above to below ground biomass ratio compared to the less nutrient-enriched and more exposed site. The faunal community composition and food web structure also differed markedly between sites with the eutrophicated, enclosed site having higher biomass of consumers and less complex food web. These relationships resulted in a column shaped biomass distribution of the consumers at the eutrophicated site whereas the less nutrient-rich site showed a pyramidal biomass distribution of consumers coupled with a more diverse consumer community. The differences in meadow and food web structure of the two seagrass habitats, suggest how physical setting may shape ecosystem response and resilience to anthropogenic pressure. We encourage larger, replicated studies to further disentangle the effects of different environmental variables on seagrass food web structure.

  12. Ecosystem linkages revealed by experimental lake-derived isotope signal in heathland food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoekman, David; Bartrons, Mireia; Gratton, Claudio

    2012-11-01

    Cross-ecosystem movement of nutrients and biomass can have important effects on recipient systems. Emerging aquatic insects are subsidies to terrestrial ecosystems and can influence foodweb interactions in riparian systems. In a 2-year field experiment, we simulated aquatic insect deposition by adding adult midge carcasses (150 g dry mass m(-2) year(-1)) to 1-m(2) heathland plots at a site with low natural midge deposition. We established four levels of midge-addition treatments and measured stable isotopes (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) in plants and arthropods within each treatment. We used a multiple-source isotope Bayesian mixing model to estimate the terrestrial versus aquatic contribution to the diets of arthropods. Aquatic resources were incorporated into plant, detritivore, and predator biomass. Detritivorous Collembola showed the greatest difference in isotope values (+3 ‰ δ(15)N and +4 ‰ δ(13)C) between midge-addition and reference treatments. Isotope values of small spiders followed the same trend of enrichment as Collembola while other arthropods (mites and large spiders) were only enriched after 2 years of midge addition. Although predator diets did not change, they became isotopically enriched via their likely prey (Collembola). Plants also had elevated δ(15)N (+1 ‰) in midge-addition treatments. The time required and amount of midge-derived C and N detected varied and depended on trophic position. Midge-derived nutrients were no longer present in arthropod biomass in the year following midge addition. Aquatic insect carcasses can be rapidly incorporated into terrestrial food webs in nearshore habitats, and repeated inputs can be detected at multiple trophic levels, thus highlighting the importance of the detrital pathway for aquatic to terrestrial cross-ecosystem subsidies.

  13. Terrestrial support of lake food webs: Synthesis reveals controls over cross-ecosystem resource use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanentzap, Andrew J.; Kielstra, Brian W.; Wilkinson, Grace M.; Berggren, Martin; Craig, Nicola; del Giorgio, Paul A.; Grey, Jonathan; Gunn, John M.; Jones, Stuart E.; Karlsson, Jan; Solomon, Christopher T.; Pace, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Widespread evidence that organic matter exported from terrestrial into aquatic ecosystems supports recipient food webs remains controversial. A pressing question is not only whether high terrestrial support is possible but also what the general conditions are under which it arises. We assemble the largest data set, to date, of the isotopic composition (δ2H, δ13C, and δ15N) of lake zooplankton and the resources at the base of their associated food webs. In total, our data set spans 559 observations across 147 lakes from the boreal to subtropics. By predicting terrestrial resource support from within-lake and catchment-level characteristics, we found that half of all consumer observations that is, the median were composed of at least 42% terrestrially derived material. In general, terrestrial support of zooplankton was greatest in lakes with large physical and hydrological connections to catchments that were rich in aboveground and belowground organic matter. However, some consumers responded less strongly to terrestrial resources where within-lake production was elevated. Our study shows that multiple mechanisms drive widespread cross-ecosystem support of aquatic consumers across Northern Hemisphere lakes and suggests that changes in terrestrial landscapes will influence ecosystem processes well beyond their boundaries. PMID:28345035

  14. Dynamically Coupled Food-web and Hydrodynamic Modeling with ADH-CASM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piercy, C.; Swannack, T. M.

    2012-12-01

    Oysters and freshwater mussels are "ecological engineers," modifying the local water quality by filtering zooplankton and other suspended particulate matter from the water column and flow hydraulics by impinging on the near-bed flow environment. The success of sessile, benthic invertebrates such as oysters depends on environmental factors including but not limited to temperature, salinity, and flow regime. Typically food-web and other types of ecological models use flow and water quality data as direct input without regard to the feedback between the ecosystem and the physical environment. The USACE-ERDC has developed a coupled hydrodynamic-ecological modeling approach that dynamically couples a 2-D hydrodynamic and constituent transport model, Adaptive Hydraulics (ADH), with a bioenergetics food-web model, the Comprehensive Aquatics Systems Model (CASM), which captures the dynamic feedback between aquatic ecological systems and the environment. We present modeling results from restored oyster reefs in the Great Wicomico River on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, which quantify ecosystem services such as the influence of the benthic ecosystem on water quality. Preliminary results indicate that while the influence of oyster reefs on bulk flow dynamics is limited due to the localized influence of oyster reefs, large reefs and the associated benthic ecosystem can create measurable changes in the concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon in the areas around reefs. We also present a sensitivity analysis to quantify the relative sensitivity of the coupled ADH-CASM model to both hydrodynamic and ecological parameter choice.

  15. Size-based predictions of food web patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Lai; Hartvig, Martin; Knudsen, Kim

    2014-01-01

    simulations with varying species richness. To this end, we develop a new size- and trait-based food web model that can be simplified into an analytically solvable size-based model. We confirm existing solutions for the size distribution and derive novel predictions for maximum trophic level and invasion......We employ size-based theoretical arguments to derive simple analytic predictions of ecological patterns and properties of natural communities: size-spectrum exponent, maximum trophic level, and susceptibility to invasive species. The predictions are brought about by assuming that an infinite number...... of species are continuously distributed on a size-trait axis. It is, however, an open question whether such predictions are valid for a food web with a finite number of species embedded in a network structure. We address this question by comparing the size-based predictions to results from dynamic food web...

  16. Functional group diversity increases with modularity in complex food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, D; Yallop, M L; Memmott, J

    2015-06-10

    Biodiversity increases the ability of ecosystems to provide multiple functions. Most studies report a positive relationship between species richness and the number of ecosystem functions. However, it is not known whether the number of functional groups is related to the structure of the underlying species interaction network. Here we present food web data from 115 salt marsh islands and show that network structure is associated with the number of functional groups present. Functional group diversity is heterogeneously distributed across spatial scales, with some islands hosting more functional groups than others. Functional groups form modules within the community so that food webs with more modular architectures have more functional group diversity. Further, in communities with different interaction types, modularity can be seen as the multifunctional equivalent of trophic complementarity. Collectively, these findings reveal spatial heterogeneity in the number of functional groups that emerges from patterns in the structure of the food web.

  17. Climate-driven warming during spring destabilises a Daphnia population: a mechanistic food web approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Annekatrin; Benndorf, Jürgen

    2007-03-01

    Temperature-driven changes in interactions between populations are crucial to the estimation of the impact of global warming on aquatic food webs. We analysed inter-annual variability in two data sets from Bautzen reservoir, Germany. In a long-term data set (1981-1999) we examined the pelagic phenology of Daphnia galeata, a keystone species, the invertebrate predator Leptodora kindtii, phytoplankton and Secchi depth in relation to water temperature and the North Atlantic Oscillation index. In a short-term data set (1995-1998) we examined food web relations, particularly the consumption of D. galeata by young-of-the-year (YOY) percids and L. kindtii and rates of population change of D. galeata (abundance, recruitment pattern and non-consumptive mortality). The start of the clear-water stage (CWS) was correlated with winter temperatures. It started 5.8 days earlier per degree warming after warm winters (mean January-March temperature>or=2.5 degrees C) compared to cold winters (mean temperatureor=14 degrees C) compared to years when it was low (changes in whole lake food webs and thus alter entire ecosystems.

  18. Metamorphosis alters contaminants and chemical tracers in insects: implications for food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M; Walters, David M; Wesner, Jeff S; Stricker, Craig A; Schmidt, Travis S; Zuellig, Robert E

    2014-09-16

    Insects are integral to most freshwater and terrestrial food webs, but due to their accumulation of environmental pollutants they are also contaminant vectors that threaten reproduction, development, and survival of consumers. Metamorphosis from larvae to adult can cause large chemical changes in insects, altering contaminant concentrations and fractionation of chemical tracers used to establish contaminant biomagnification in food webs, but no framework exists for predicting and managing these effects. We analyzed data from 39 studies of 68 analytes (stable isotopes and contaminants), and found that metamorphosis effects varied greatly. δ(15)N, widely used to estimate relative trophic position in biomagnification studies, was enriched by ∼ 1‰ during metamorphosis, while δ(13)C used to estimate diet, was similar in larvae and adults. Metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were predominantly lost during metamorphosis leading to ∼ 2 to 125-fold higher larval concentrations and higher exposure risks for predators of larvae compared to predators of adults. In contrast, manufactured organic contaminants (such as polychlorinated biphenyls) were retained and concentrated in adults, causing up to ∼ 3-fold higher adult concentrations and higher exposure risks to predators of adult insects. Both food web studies and contaminant management and mitigation strategies need to consider how metamorphosis affects the movement of materials between habitats and ecosystems, with special regard for aquatic-terrestrial linkages.

  19. Lipids of Prokaryotic Origin at the Base of Marine Food Webs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria José Caramujo

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In particular niches of the marine environment, such as abyssal trenches, icy waters and hot vents, the base of the food web is composed of bacteria and archaea that have developed strategies to survive and thrive under the most extreme conditions. Some of these organisms are considered “extremophiles” and modulate the fatty acid composition of their phospholipids to maintain the adequate fluidity of the cellular membrane under cold/hot temperatures, elevated pressure, high/low salinity and pH. Bacterial cells are even able to produce polyunsaturated fatty acids, contrarily to what was considered until the 1990s, helping the regulation of the membrane fluidity triggered by temperature and pressure and providing protection from oxidative stress. In marine ecosystems, bacteria may either act as a sink of carbon, contribute to nutrient recycling to photo-autotrophs or bacterial organic matter may be transferred to other trophic links in aquatic food webs. The present work aims to provide a comprehensive review on lipid production in bacteria and archaea and to discuss how their lipids, of both heterotrophic and chemoautotrophic origin, contribute to marine food webs.

  20. Metamorphosis alters contaminants and chemical tracers in insects: implications for food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Walters, David M.; Wesner, Jeff S.; Stricker, Craig A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Zuellig, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    Insects are integral to most freshwater and terrestrial food webs, but due to their accumulation of environmental pollutants they are also contaminant vectors that threaten reproduction, development, and survival of consumers. Metamorphosis from larvae to adult can cause large chemical changes in insects, altering contaminant concentrations and fractionation of chemical tracers used to establish contaminant biomagnification in food webs, but no framework exists for predicting and managing these effects. We analyzed data from 39 studies of 68 analytes (stable isotopes and contaminants), and found that metamorphosis effects varied greatly. δ15N, widely used to estimate relative trophic position in biomagnification studies, was enriched by 1‰ during metamorphosis, while δ13C used to estimate diet, was similar in larvae and adults. Metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were predominantly lost during metamorphosis leading to 2 to 125-fold higher larval concentrations and higher exposure risks for predators of larvae compared to predators of adults. In contrast, manufactured organic contaminants (such as polychlorinated biphenyls) were retained and concentrated in adults, causing up to 3-fold higher adult concentrations and higher exposure risks to predators of adult insects. Both food web studies and contaminant management and mitigation strategies need to consider how metamorphosis affects the movement of materials between habitats and ecosystems, with special regard for aquatic-terrestrial linkages.

  1. Isotopic study of mercury sources and transfer between a freshwater lake and adjacent forest food web

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwon, Sae Yun, E-mail: saeyunk@umich.edu [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Blum, Joel D. [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 830 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Nadelhoffer, Knute J. [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 830 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Timothy Dvonch, J. [Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Tsui, Martin Tsz-Ki [Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 321 McIver Street, Greensboro, NC 27402 (United States)

    2015-11-01

    Studies of monomethylmercury (MMHg) sources and biogeochemical pathways have been extensive in aquatic ecosystems, but limited in forest ecosystems. Increasing evidence suggests that there is significant mercury (Hg) exchange between aquatic and forest ecosystems. We use Hg stable isotope ratios (δ{sup 202}Hg and Δ{sup 199}Hg) to investigate the relative importance of MMHg sources and assess Hg transfer pathways between Douglas Lake and adjacent forests located at the University of Michigan Biological Station, USA. We characterize Hg isotopic compositions of basal resources and use linear regression of % MMHg versus δ{sup 202}Hg and Δ{sup 199}Hg to estimate Hg isotope values for inorganic mercury (IHg) and MMHg in the aquatic and adjacent forest food webs. In the aquatic ecosystem, we found that lake sediment represents a mixture of IHg pools deposited via watershed runoff and precipitation. The δ{sup 202}Hg and Δ{sup 199}Hg values estimated for IHg are consistent with other studies that measured forest floor in temperate forests. The Δ{sup 199}Hg value estimated for MMHg in the aquatic food web indicates that MMHg is subjected to ~ 20% photochemical degradation prior to bioaccumulation. In the forest ecosystem, we found a significant negative relationship between total Hg and δ{sup 202}Hg and Δ{sup 199}Hg of soil collected at multiple distances from the lakeshore and lake sediment. This suggests that IHg input from watershed runoff provides an important Hg transfer pathway between the forest and aquatic ecosystems. We measured Δ{sup 199}Hg values for high trophic level insects and compared these insects at multiple distances perpendicular to the lake shoreline. The Δ{sup 199}Hg values correspond to the % canopy cover suggesting that forest MMHg is subjected to varying extents of photochemical degradation and the extent may be controlled by sunlight. Our study demonstrates that the use of Hg isotopes adds important new insight into the relative

  2. Are algae relevant to the detritus-based food web in tank-bromeliads?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouard, Olivier; Le Jeune, Anne-Hélène; Leroy, Céline; Cereghino, Régis; Roux, Olivier; Pelozuelo, Laurent; Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno; Carrias, Jean-François

    2011-01-01

    We assessed the occurrence of algae in five species of tank-bromeliads found in contrasting environmental sites in a Neotropical, primary rainforest around the Nouragues Research Station, French Guiana. The distributions of both algal abundance and biomass were examined based on physical parameters, the morphological characteristics of bromeliad species and with regard to the structure of other aquatic microbial communities held in the tanks. Algae were retrieved in all of the bromeliad species with mean densities ranging from ∼10(2) to 10(4) cells/mL. Their biomass was positively correlated to light exposure and bacterial biomass. Algae represented a tiny component of the detrital food web in shaded bromeliads but accounted for up to 30 percent of the living microbial carbon in the tanks of Catopsis berteroniana, located in a highly exposed area. Thus, while nutrient supplies are believed to originate from wind-borne particles and trapped insects (i.e., allochtonous organic matter), our results indicate that primary producers (i.e., autochtonous organic matter) are present in this insectivorous bromeliad. Using a 24-h incubation of size-fractionated and manipulated samples from this plant, we evaluated the impact of mosquito foraging on algae, other microorganisms and rotifers. The prey assemblages were greatly altered by the predation of mosquito larvae. Grazing losses indicated that the dominant algal taxon, Bumilleriopsis sp., like protozoa and rotifers, is a significant part of the diet of mosquito larvae. We conclude that algae are a relevant functional community of the aquatic food web in C. berteroniana and might form the basis of a complementary non-detrital food web.

  3. Evidence for the assimilation of ancient glacier organic carbon in a proglacial stream food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellman, Jason; Hood, Eran; Raymond, Peter A.; Hudson, J.H.; Bozeman, Maura; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.

    2015-01-01

    We used natural abundance δ13C, δ15N, and Δ14C to compare trophic linkages between potential carbon sources (leaf litter, epilithic biofilm, and particulate organic matter) and consumers (aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish) in a nonglacial stream and two reaches of the heavily glaciated Herbert River. We tested the hypothesis that proglacial stream food webs are sustained by organic carbon released from glacial ecosystems. Carbon sources and consumers in the nonglacial stream had carbon isotope values that ranged from -30‰ to -25‰ for δ13C and from -14‰ to 53‰ for Δ14C reflecting a food web sustained mainly on contemporary primary production. In contrast, biofilm in the two glacial stream sites was highly Δ14C-depleted (-215‰ to 175‰) relative to the nonglacial stream consistent with the assimilation of ancient glacier organic carbon. IsoSource modeling showed that in upper Herbert River, macroinvertebrates (Δ14C = -171‰ to 22‰) and juvenile salmonids (Δ14C = −102‰ to 17‰) reflected a feeding history of both biofilm (~ 56%) and leaf litter (~ 40%). We estimate that in upper Herbert River on average 36% of the carbon incorporated into consumer biomass is derived from the glacier ecosystem. Thus, 14C-depleted glacial organic carbon was likely transferred to higher trophic levels through a feeding history of bacterial uptake of dissolved organic carbon and subsequent consumption of 14C-depleted biofilm by invertebrates and ultimately fish. Our findings show that the metazoan food web is sustained in part by glacial organic carbon such that future changes in glacial runoff could influence the stability and trophic structure of proglacial aquatic ecosystems.

  4. Food webs of the Delta, Suisun Bay and Suisun Marsh: an update on current understanding and possibilities for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Larry R.; Kimmerer, Wim J.; Conrad, Louise; Lesmeister, Sarah; Mueller-Solger, Anke

    2017-01-01

    This paper reviews and highlights recent research findings on foodweb processes since an earlier review by Kimmerer et al. (2008). We conduct this review within a conceptual framework of the Delta-Suisun food web, which includes both temporal and spatial components. The temporal component is based on knowledge that the landscape has changed markedly from historical conditions. The spatial component of our framework acknowledges that the food web is not spatially static; it varies regionally and across habitat types within regions. The review highlights the idea of a changing baseline with respect to foodweb function. New research also indicates that interactions between habitat-specific food webs vary across the current landscape. For example, based on early work in the South Delta, the food web associated with submerged aquatic vegetation was thought to provide little support to species of concern; however, data from other regions of the estuary suggest that this conceptual model may not apply across the entire region. Habitat restoration has been proposed as a method of re-establishing historic foodweb processes to support species of concern. Benefits are likely for species that directly access such restored habitats, but are less clear for pelagic species. Several topics require attention to further improve the knowledge of food webs needed to support effective management, including: 1) synthesis of factors responsible for low pelagic biomass; 2) monitoring and research on effects of harmful algal blooms; 3) broadening the scope of long-term monitoring; 4) determining benefits of tidal wetland restoration to species of concern, including evaluations of interactions of habitat-specific food webs; and 5) interdisciplinary analysis and synthesis. The only certainty is that food webs will continue to change in response to the changes in the physical environment and new species invasions.

  5. Mercury and selenium in the food web of Lake Nahuel Huapi, Patagonia, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcagni, Marina; Rizzo, Andrea; Juncos, Romina; Pavlin, Majda; Campbell, Linda M; Arribére, María A; Horvat, Milena; Ribeiro Guevara, Sergio

    2017-01-01

    Despite located far from point sources of Hg pollution, high concentrations were recorded in plankton from the deep oligotrophic Lake Nahuel Huapi, located in North Patagonia. Native and introduced top predator fish with differing feeding habits are a valuable economic resource to the region. Hence, Hg and Se trophic interactions and pathways to these fish were assessed in the food web of this lake at three sites, using stable nitrogen and carbon isotopes. As expected based on the high THg in plankton, mercury did not biomagnify in the food web of Lake Nahuel Huapi, as most of the THg in plankton is in the inorganic form. As was observed in other aquatic systems, Se did not biomagnify either. When trophic pathways to top predator fish were analyzed, they showed that THg biomagnified in the food chains of native fish but biodiluted in the food chains of introduced salmonids. A more benthic diet, typical of native fish, resulted in higher [THg] bioaccumulation than a more pelagic or mixed diet, as in the case of introduced fish. Se:THg molar ratios were higher than 1 in all the fish species, indicating that Se might be offering a natural protection against Hg toxicity.

  6. A case study of data integration for aquatic resources using semantic web technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Janice M.; Chkhenkeli, Nina; Govoni, David L.; Lightsom, Frances L.; Ostroff, Andrea; Schweitzer, Peter N.; Thongsavanh, Phethala; Varanka, Dalia E.; Zednik, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    Use cases, information modeling, and linked data techniques are Semantic Web technologies used to develop a prototype system that integrates scientific observations from four independent USGS and cooperator data systems. The techniques were tested with a use case goal of creating a data set for use in exploring potential relationships among freshwater fish populations and environmental factors. The resulting prototype extracts data from the BioData Retrieval System, the Multistate Aquatic Resource Information System, the National Geochemical Survey, and the National Hydrography Dataset. A prototype user interface allows a scientist to select observations from these data systems and combine them into a single data set in RDF format that includes explicitly defined relationships and data definitions. The project was funded by the USGS Community for Data Integration and undertaken by the Community for Data Integration Semantic Web Working Group in order to demonstrate use of Semantic Web technologies by scientists. This allows scientists to simultaneously explore data that are available in multiple, disparate systems beyond those they traditionally have used.

  7. Food caching in orb-web spiders (Araneae: Araneoidea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champion de Crespigny, Fleur E.; Herberstein, Marie E.; Elgar, Mark A.

    2001-01-01

    Caching or storing surplus prey may reduce the risk of starvation during periods of food deprivation. While this behaviour occurs in a variety of birds and mammals, it is infrequent among invertebrates. However, golden orb-web spiders, Nephila edulis, incorporate a prey cache in their relatively permanent web, which they feed on during periods of food shortage. Heavier spiders significantly reduced weight loss if they were able to access a cache, but lost weight if the cache was removed. The presence or absence of stored prey had no effect on the weight loss of lighter spiders. Furthermore, N. edulis always attacked new prey, irrespective of the number of unprocessed prey in the web. In contrast, females of Argiope keyserlingi, who build a new web every day and do not cache prey, attacked fewer new prey items if some had already been caught. Thus, a necessary pre-adaptation to the evolution of prey caching in orb-web spiders may be a durable or permanent web, such as that constructed by Nephila.

  8. Soil food web structure during ecosystem development after land abandonment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holtkamp, R.; Kardol, P.; Van der Wal, A.; Dekker, S.C.; Van der Putten, W.H.; de Ruiter, P.C.

    2008-01-01

    The re-establishment of natural species rich heathlands on abandoned agricultural land is a common land use change in North-West Europe. However, it can take several decades to re-establish natural species rich heathland vegetation. The development rate has found to depend both on soil food web comp

  9. Food-web patterns and diversity in tropical fish communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amarasinghe, U.S.; Vijverberg, J.; Weliange, W.S.; Vos, M.

    2014-01-01

    The food webs for three Sri Lankan reservoirs, Minneriya (ancient and shallow), Udawalawe (young and shallow) and Victoria (young and deep), were compared. The species richness of the fish communities was highest in Minneriya (30 species), intermediate in Udawalawe (21 species) and lowest in Victori

  10. Global change alters the stability of food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Emmerson, M.; Bezemer, T.M.; Hunter, M.D.; Jones, T.H.

    2005-01-01

    Recent research has generally shown that a small change in the number of species in a food web can have consequences both for community structure and ecosystem processes. However `change¿ is not limited to just the number of species in a community, but might include an alteration to such properties

  11. Global change alters the stability of food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Emmerson, M.; Bezemer, T.M.; Hunter, M.D.; Jones, T.H.

    2005-01-01

    Recent research has generally shown that a small change in the number of species in a food web can have consequences both for community structure and ecosystem processes. However 'change' is not limited to just the number of species in a community, but might include an alteration to such properties

  12. Food-web composition affects cross-ecosystem interactions and subsidies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Srivastava, Diane S

    2010-09-01

    1. Ecosystems may affect each other through trophic interactions that cross ecosystem boundaries as well as via the transfer of subsidies, but these effects can vary depending on the identity of species involved in the interaction. 2. In this study, we manipulated two terrestrial bromeliad-living spider species (Aglaoctenus castaneus, Corinna gr. rubripes) that have variable hunting modes, to test their individual and combined effects on aquatic invertebrate community structure and ecosystem processes (i.e. decomposition rate and nitrogen cycling). We predicted that these terrestrial predators can affect aquatic invertebrates and nutrient dynamics within water-filled bromeliads. 3. Aglaoctenus spiders reduced the richness, abundance and biomass of aquatic insect larvae via consumptive or non-consumptive effects on ovipositing terrestrial adults, but effects of the two spider species in combination were usually the linear average of their monoculture effects. In contrast, invertebrates with entirely aquatic life cycles were unaffected or facilitated by spiders. Spiders did not affect either net detritivore biomass or the flux of detrital nitrogen to the bromeliad. Instead, Corinna spiders contributed allochthonous nitrogen to bromeliads. 4. Our results provide the novel observations that predators in one ecosystem not only directly reduce taxa whose life cycles cross-ecosystem boundaries, but also indirectly facilitate taxa whose life cycles are entirely within the second ecosystem. This compensatory response between cross-ecosystem and within-ecosystem taxa may have led to an attenuation of top-down effects across ecosystem boundaries. In addition, our results add to a growing consensus that species identity is an important determinant of community structure and ecosystem functioning. Thus, the composition of both terrestrial and aquatic food webs may affect the strength of cross-ecosystem interactions.

  13. Linking ecosystems, food webs, and fish production: subsidies in salmonid watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wipfli, Mark S.; Baxter, Colden V.

    2010-01-01

    Physical characteristics of riverine habitats, such as large wood abundance, pool geometry and abundance, riparian vegetation cover, and surface flow conditions, have traditionally been thought to constrain fish production in these ecosystems. Conversely, the role of food resources (quantity and quality) in controlling fish production has received far less attention and consideration, though they can also be key productivity drivers. Traditional freshwater food web illustrations have typically conveyed the notion that most fish food is produced within the local aquatic habitat itself, but the concepts and model we synthesize in this article show that most fish food comes from external or very distant sources—including subsidies from marine systems borne from adult returns of anadromous fishes, from fishless headwater tributaries that transport prey to downstream fish, and from adjacent streamside vegetation and associated habitats. The model we propose further illustrates how key trophic pathways and food sources vary through time and space throughout watersheds. Insights into how food supplies affect fishes can help guide how we view riverine ecosystems, their structure and function, their interactions with marine and terrestrial systems, and how we manage natural resources, including fish, riparian habitats, and forests.

  14. Effects of magnesium, chromium, iron and zinc from food supplements on selected aquatic organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosnir, Jasna; Puntarić, Dinko; Cvetković, Zelimira; Pollak, Lea; Barusić, Lidija; Klarić, Ivana; Miskulin, Maja; Puntarić, Ida; Puntarić, Eda; Milosević, Milan

    2013-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of uncontrolled environmental disposal of food supplements containing magnesium (Mg), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) on selected aquatic organisms including freshwater algae Scenedesmus subspicatus and Raphidocelis subcapitata, water flea Daphnia magna and duckweed Lemna minor. Thirty different food supplements containing Mg, Cr, Fe and Zn were analyzed. Results were expressed as effective concentration 50 (EC50), i.e. growth inhibiting Mg, Cr, Fe and Zn (mg/L) concentration immobilizing 50% of treated organisms. Particular metal EC50 differed significantly (p food supplements containing Mg, Cr, Fe and Zn exerts adverse effects on aquatic organisms. Therefore, legal provisions should regulate both the utilization and disposal of food supplements into the environment.

  15. Microplastics in aquatic food chain : sources, measurement, occurrence and potential health risks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hollman, P.C.H.; Bouwmeester, H.; Peters, R.J.B.

    2013-01-01

    Pollution of the environment with plastics is a growing problem, and is expected to persist for hundreds to thousands of years. As a result microplastics, plastic particles with size smaller than 5 mm, are ubiquitously present in the aquatic food chain. The present literature review shows that the i

  16. Extinction risk and structure of a food web model

    CERN Document Server

    PÈ©kalski, A; Bena, I; Droz, M

    2007-01-01

    We investigate in detail the model of a trophic web proposed by Amaral and Meyer [Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 652 (1999)]. We focused on small-size systems that are relevant for real biological food webs and for which the fluctuations are playing an important role. We show, using Monte Carlo simulations, that such webs can be non-viable, leading to extinction of all species in small and/or weakly coupled systems. Estimations of the extinction times and survival chances are also given. We show that before the extinction the fraction of highly-connected species ("omnivores") is increasing. Viable food webs exhibit a pyramidal structure, where the density of occupied niches is higher at lower trophic levels, and moreover the occupations of adjacent levels are closely correlated. We also demonstrate that the distribution of the lengths of food chains has an exponential character and changes weakly with the parameters of the model. On the contrary, the distribution of avalanche sizes of the extinct species depends strong...

  17. A concept of food-web structure in organic arable farming systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeding, F.W.; Snoo, de G.R.

    2003-01-01

    A proposal for a descriptive or topological farm food web is derived from field observations and from references in literature. Important themes in the food-web theory are tentatively applied to this preliminary model, explaining differences between local farm food-web structures and how they are re

  18. Aquatic insects as the main food resource of fish the community in a Neotropical reservoir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Vidotto-Magnoni

    Full Text Available We evaluated the feeding of fish species of the Nova Avanhandava Reservoir, low Tietê River, São Paulo State, Brazil. Fishes were collected in two stretches of the reservoir: Santa Bárbara (14 samples and Bonito (two samples between September 2002 and March 2004, using gill and seining nets. The results of stomach contents analysis were expressed with the frequency of occurrence and gravimetric method, combined in the Alimentary Index (AI. The 20 species studied consumed 52 food items, grouped in 10 food categories: aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, crustaceans, fish, macroinvertebrates, microcrustaceans, algae, vegetal matter, detritus/sediment and scales. The aquatic insects (mainly Chironomidae, Odonata and Ephemeroptera were the most common food resources, consumed by 18 species. The diet composition of the community (species grouped indicated that the dominant food category in the diet of fishes was aquatic insects (AI = 77.6%, followed by crustaceans (AI = 7.1%. Four trophic guilds were identified according a cluster analysis (Pearson distance: insectivorous (10 species, omnivorous (4 species, detritivorous (3 species and piscivorous/carcinophagous (3 species. Despite the highest number of species, the insectivorous guild was responsible for more than 80% in captures in number and biomass (CPUEn and CPUEb. The low values of niche breadth presented by all species, along with the low values of diet overlap between species pairs indicate a high degree of food resources partitioning among species. The aquatic insects, despite being the main food resource of insectivorous fishes, also complemented the diet of other species, which demonstrate the importance of this food resource for the fish community, sustaining a high diversity, abundance and biomass of fishes.

  19. Designing Industrial Networks Using Ecological Food Web Metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layton, Astrid; Bras, Bert; Weissburg, Marc

    2016-10-18

    Biologically Inspired Design (biomimicry) and Industrial Ecology both look to natural systems to enhance the sustainability and performance of engineered products, systems and industries. Bioinspired design (BID) traditionally has focused on a unit operation and single product level. In contrast, this paper describes how principles of network organization derived from analysis of ecosystem properties can be applied to industrial system networks. Specifically, this paper examines the applicability of particular food web matrix properties as design rules for economically and biologically sustainable industrial networks, using an optimization model developed for a carpet recycling network. Carpet recycling network designs based on traditional cost and emissions based optimization are compared to designs obtained using optimizations based solely on ecological food web metrics. The analysis suggests that networks optimized using food web metrics also were superior from a traditional cost and emissions perspective; correlations between optimization using ecological metrics and traditional optimization ranged generally from 0.70 to 0.96, with flow-based metrics being superior to structural parameters. Four structural food parameters provided correlations nearly the same as that obtained using all structural parameters, but individual structural parameters provided much less satisfactory correlations. The analysis indicates that bioinspired design principles from ecosystems can lead to both environmentally and economically sustainable industrial resource networks, and represent guidelines for designing sustainable industry networks.

  20. Food web heterogeneity and succession in created saltmarshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordstrom, M C; Demopoulos, Amanda; Whitcraft, CR; Rismondo, A.; McMillan, P.; Gonzales, J P; Levin, L A

    2015-01-01

    1. Ecological restoration must achieve functional as well as structural recovery. Functional metrics for reestablishment of trophic interactions can be used to complement traditional monitoring of structural attributes. In addition, topographic effects on food web structure provide added information within a restoration context; often, created sites may require spatial heterogeneity to effectively match structure and function of natural habitats. 2. We addressed both of these issues in our study of successional development of benthic food web structure, with focus on bottom–up driven changes in macroinvertebrate consumer assemblages in the salt marshes of the Venice Lagoon, Italy. We combined quantified estimates of the changing community composition with stable isotope data (13C:12C and 15N:14N) to compare the general trophic structure between created (2–14 years) marshes and reference sites and along topographic elevation gradients within salt marshes. 3. Macrofaunal invertebrate consumers exhibited local, habitat-specific trophic patterns. Stable isotope-based trophic structure changed with increasing marsh age, in particular with regards to mid-elevation (Salicornia) habitats. In young marshes, the mid-elevation consumer signatures resembled those of unvegetated ponds. The mid elevation of older and natural marshes had a more distinct Salicornia-zone food web, occasionally resembling that of the highest (Sarcocornia-dominated) elevation. In summary, this indicates that primary producers and availability of vascular plant detritus structure consumer trophic interactions and the flow of carbon. 4. Functionally different consumers, subsurface-feeding detritivores (Oligochaeta) and surface grazers (Hydrobia sp.), showed distinct but converging trajectories of isotopic change over time, indicating that successional development may be asymmetric between ‘brown’ (detrital) guilds and ‘green’ (grazing) guilds in the food web. 5. Synthesis and applications

  1. Uranium in the Near-shore Aquatic Food Chain: Studies on Periphyton and Asian Clams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bunn, Amoret L.; Miley, Terri B.; Eslinger, Paul W.; Brandt, Charles A.; Napier, Bruce A.

    2007-12-31

    The benthic aquatic organisms in the near-shore environment of the Columbia River are the first biological receptors that can be exposed to groundwater contaminants coming from the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site. The primary contaminant of concern in the former nuclear fuels processing area at the Site, known as the 300 Area, is uranium. Currently, there are no national clean up criteria for uranium and ecological receptors. This report summarizes efforts to characterize biological uptake of uranium in the food chain of the benthic aquatic organisms and provide information to be used in future assessments of uranium and the ecosystem.

  2. Ingestion and transfer of microplastics in the planktonic food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setälä, Outi; Fleming-Lehtinen, Vivi; Lehtiniemi, Maiju

    2014-02-01

    Experiments were carried out with different Baltic Sea zooplankton taxa to scan their potential to ingest plastics. Mysid shrimps, copepods, cladocerans, rotifers, polychaete larvae and ciliates were exposed to 10 μm fluorescent polystyrene microspheres. These experiments showed ingestion of microspheres in all taxa studied. The highest percentage of individuals with ingested spheres was found in pelagic polychaete larvae, Marenzelleria spp. Experiments with the copepod Eurytemora affinis and the mysid shrimp Neomysis integer showed egestion of microspheres within 12 h. Food web transfer experiments were done by offering zooplankton labelled with ingested microspheres to mysid shrimps. Microscopy observations of mysid intestine showed the presence of zooplankton prey and microspheres after 3 h incubation. This study shows for the first time the potential of plastic microparticle transfer via planktonic organisms from one trophic level (mesozooplankton) to a higher level (macrozooplankton). The impacts of plastic transfer and possible accumulation in the food web need further investigations.

  3. The assembly, collapse and restoration of food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Andy; Allesina, Stefano; Lafferty, Kevin; Pascual, Mercedes

    2009-01-01

    Darwin chose the metaphor of a 'tangled bank' to conclude the 'Origin of species'. Two centuries after Darwin's birth, we are still untangling the complex ecological networks he has pondered. In particular, studies of food webs provide important insights into how natural ecosystems function (Pascual & Dunne 2005). Although the nonlinear interactions between many species creates challenges of scale, resolution of data and significant computational constraints, the last 10 years have seen significant advances built on the earlier classic studies of Cohen, May, Pimm, Polis, Lawton and Yodzis (May 1974; Cohen 1978; Pimm 1982; Briand & Cohen 1984, 1987; Yodzis 1989; Cohen et al. 1990; Pimm et al. 1991; Yodzis & Innes 1992; Yodzis 1998). These gains stem from advances in computing power and the collation of more comprehensive data from a broader array of empirical food webs.

  4. Nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria stimulates production in Baltic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlson, Agnes M L; Duberg, Jon; Motwani, Nisha H; Hogfors, Hedvig; Klawonn, Isabell; Ploug, Helle; Barthel Svedén, Jennie; Garbaras, Andrius; Sundelin, Brita; Hajdu, Susanna; Larsson, Ulf; Elmgren, Ragnar; Gorokhova, Elena

    2015-06-01

    Filamentous, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria form extensive summer blooms in the Baltic Sea. Their ability to fix dissolved N2 allows cyanobacteria to circumvent the general summer nitrogen limitation, while also generating a supply of novel bioavailable nitrogen for the food web. However, the fate of the nitrogen fixed by cyanobacteria remains unresolved, as does its importance for secondary production in the Baltic Sea. Here, we synthesize recent experimental and field studies providing strong empirical evidence that cyanobacterial nitrogen is efficiently assimilated and transferred in Baltic food webs via two major pathways: directly by grazing on fresh or decaying cyanobacteria and indirectly through the uptake by other phytoplankton and microbes of bioavailable nitrogen exuded from cyanobacterial cells. This information is an essential step toward guiding nutrient management to minimize noxious blooms without overly reducing secondary production, and ultimately most probably fish production in the Baltic Sea.

  5. Flows of dioxins and furans in coastal food webs: inverse modeling, sensitivity analysis, and applications of linear system theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saloranta, Tuomo M; Andersen, Tom; Naes, Kristoffer

    2006-01-01

    Rate constant bioaccumulation models are applied to simulate the flow of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in the coastal marine food web of Frierfjorden, a contaminated fjord in southern Norway. We apply two different ways to parameterize the rate constants in the model, global sensitivity analysis of the models using Extended Fourier Amplitude Sensitivity Test (Extended FAST) method, as well as results from general linear system theory, in order to obtain a more thorough insight to the system's behavior and to the flow pathways of the PCDD/Fs. We calibrate our models against observed body concentrations of PCDD/Fs in the food web of Frierfjorden. Differences between the predictions from the two models (using the same forcing and parameter values) are of the same magnitude as their individual deviations from observations, and the models can be said to perform about equally well in our case. Sensitivity analysis indicates that the success or failure of the models in predicting the PCDD/F concentrations in the food web organisms highly depends on the adequate estimation of the truly dissolved concentrations in water and sediment pore water. We discuss the pros and cons of such models in understanding and estimating the present and future concentrations and bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in aquatic food webs.

  6. Simulating food web dynamics along a gradient: quantifying human influence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferenc Jordán

    Full Text Available Realistically parameterized and dynamically simulated food-webs are useful tool to explore the importance of the functional diversity of ecosystems, and in particular relations between the dynamics of species and the whole community. We present a stochastic dynamical food web simulation for the Kelian River (Borneo. The food web was constructed for six different locations, arrayed along a gradient of increasing human perturbation (mostly resulting from gold mining activities along the river. Along the river, the relative importance of grazers, filterers and shredders decreases with increasing disturbance downstream, while predators become more dominant in governing eco-dynamics. Human activity led to increased turbidity and sedimentation which adversely impacts primary productivity. Since the main difference between the study sites was not the composition of the food webs (structure is quite similar but the strengths of interactions and the abundance of the trophic groups, a dynamical simulation approach seemed to be useful to better explain human influence. In the pristine river (study site 1, when comparing a structural version of our model with the dynamical model we found that structurally central groups such as omnivores and carnivores were not the most important ones dynamically. Instead, primary consumers such as invertebrate grazers and shredders generated a greater dynamical response. Based on the dynamically most important groups, bottom-up control is replaced by the predominant top-down control regime as distance downstream and human disturbance increased. An important finding, potentially explaining the poor structure to dynamics relationship, is that indirect effects are at least as important as direct ones during the simulations. We suggest that our approach and this simulation framework could serve systems-based conservation efforts. Quantitative indicators on the relative importance of trophic groups and the mechanistic modeling

  7. Simulating food web dynamics along a gradient: quantifying human influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordán, Ferenc; Gjata, Nerta; Mei, Shu; Yule, Catherine M

    2012-01-01

    Realistically parameterized and dynamically simulated food-webs are useful tool to explore the importance of the functional diversity of ecosystems, and in particular relations between the dynamics of species and the whole community. We present a stochastic dynamical food web simulation for the Kelian River (Borneo). The food web was constructed for six different locations, arrayed along a gradient of increasing human perturbation (mostly resulting from gold mining activities) along the river. Along the river, the relative importance of grazers, filterers and shredders decreases with increasing disturbance downstream, while predators become more dominant in governing eco-dynamics. Human activity led to increased turbidity and sedimentation which adversely impacts primary productivity. Since the main difference between the study sites was not the composition of the food webs (structure is quite similar) but the strengths of interactions and the abundance of the trophic groups, a dynamical simulation approach seemed to be useful to better explain human influence. In the pristine river (study site 1), when comparing a structural version of our model with the dynamical model we found that structurally central groups such as omnivores and carnivores were not the most important ones dynamically. Instead, primary consumers such as invertebrate grazers and shredders generated a greater dynamical response. Based on the dynamically most important groups, bottom-up control is replaced by the predominant top-down control regime as distance downstream and human disturbance increased. An important finding, potentially explaining the poor structure to dynamics relationship, is that indirect effects are at least as important as direct ones during the simulations. We suggest that our approach and this simulation framework could serve systems-based conservation efforts. Quantitative indicators on the relative importance of trophic groups and the mechanistic modeling of eco

  8. Interactive Effects of Metals and PAHs on Benthic Food Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-14

    In particular, we are interested in how contaminants influence foodweb interactions among these groups of organisms. OBJECTIVES Our research examines...merely by monitoring the abundance of various groups of organisms, but by determining their physiological responses and trophic interactions (i.e... Interactive Effects of Metals and PAHs on Benthic Food Webs Kevin R. Carman (PI) Dept. of Biological Sciences Louisiana State University Baton Rouge

  9. Multiple anthropogenic stressors and the structural properties of food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Gorman, Eoin J; Fitch, Jayne E; Crowe, Tasman P

    2012-03-01

    Coastal environments are among the most productive on the planet, providing a wide range of ecosystem services. Development and exploitation mean that they are faced with stresses from a number of anthropogenic sources. Such stresses are typically studied in isolation, but multiple stressors can combine in unexpected ways to alter the structure of ecological systems. Here, we experimentally explore the impacts of inorganic nutrients and organic matter on a range of food web properties. We find that these two stressors combine additively to produce significant increases in connectance and mean food chain length. Such increases are typically associated with enhanced robustness to secondary extinctions and productivity, respectively. Despite these apparent beneficial effects, we find a simplification of web structure in terms of taxon richness and diversity, and altered proportions of basal and top species. These effects are driven by a reduction in community assembly and lower consistency in a range of system properties as a result of the multiple stressors. Consequently, impacted food webs are likely to be more vulnerable to human- or climate-induced perturbations in the long-term.

  10. Tracking the autochthonous carbon transfer in stream biofilm food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risse-Buhl, Ute; Trefzger, Nicolai; Seifert, Anne-Gret; Schönborn, Wilfried; Gleixner, Gerd; Küsel, Kirsten

    2012-01-01

    Food webs in the rhithral zone rely mainly on allochthonous carbon from the riparian vegetation. However, autochthonous carbon might be more important in open canopy streams. In streams, most of the microbial activity occurs in biofilms, associated with the streambed. We followed the autochthonous carbon transfer toward bacteria and grazing protozoa within a stream biofilm food web. Biofilms that developed in a second-order stream (Thuringia, Germany) were incubated in flow channels under climate-controlled conditions. Six-week-old biofilms received either ¹³C- or ¹²C-labeled CO₂, and uptake into phospholipid fatty acids was followed. The dissolved inorganic carbon of the flow channel water became immediately labeled. In biofilms grown under 8-h light/16-h dark conditions, more than 50% of the labeled carbon was incorporated in biofilm algae, mainly filamentous cyanobacteria, pennate diatoms, and nonfilamentous green algae. A mean of 29% of the labeled carbon reached protozoan grazer. The testate amoeba Pseudodifflugia horrida was highly abundant in biofilms and seemed to be the most important grazer on biofilm bacteria and algae. Hence, stream biofilms dominated by cyanobacteria and algae seem to play an important role in the uptake of CO₂ and transfer of autochthonous carbon through the microbial food web.

  11. Emergence of evolutionary cycles in size-structured food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritterskamp, Daniel; Bearup, Daniel; Blasius, Bernd

    2016-11-01

    The interplay of population dynamics and evolution within ecological communities has been of long-standing interest for ecologists and can give rise to evolutionary cycles, e.g. taxon cycles. Evolutionary cycling was intensely studied in small communities with asymmetric competition; the latter drives the evolutionary processes. Here we demonstrate that evolutionary cycling arises naturally in larger communities if trophic interactions are present, since these are intrinsically asymmetric. To investigate the evolutionary dynamics of a trophic community, we use an allometric food web model. We find that evolutionary cycles emerge naturally for a large parameter ranges. The origin of the evolutionary dynamics is an intrinsic asymmetry in the feeding kernel which creates an evolutionary ratchet, driving species towards larger bodysize. We reveal different kinds of cycles: single morph cycles, and coevolutionary and mixed cycling of complete food webs. The latter refers to the case where each trophic level can have different evolutionary dynamics. We discuss the generality of our findings and conclude that ongoing evolution in food webs may be more frequent than commonly believed.

  12. Semantic annotation of Web data applied to risk in food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hignette, Gaëlle; Buche, Patrice; Couvert, Olivier; Dibie-Barthélemy, Juliette; Doussot, David; Haemmerlé, Ollivier; Mettler, Eric; Soler, Lydie

    2008-11-30

    A preliminary step to risk in food assessment is the gathering of experimental data. In the framework of the Sym'Previus project (http://www.symprevius.org), a complete data integration system has been designed, grouping data provided by industrial partners and data extracted from papers published in the main scientific journals of the domain. Those data have been classified by means of a predefined vocabulary, called ontology. Our aim is to complement the database with data extracted from the Web. In the framework of the WebContent project (www.webcontent.fr), we have designed a semi-automatic acquisition tool, called @WEB, which retrieves scientific documents from the Web. During the @WEB process, data tables are extracted from the documents and then annotated with the ontology. We focus on the data tables as they contain, in general, a synthesis of data published in the documents. In this paper, we explain how the columns of the data tables are automatically annotated with data types of the ontology and how the relations represented by the table are recognised. We also give the results of our experimentation to assess the quality of such an annotation.

  13. Toxicity and transfer of polyvinylpyrrolidone-coated silver nanowires in an aquatic food chain consisting of algae, water fleas, and zebrafish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chae, Yooeun; An, Youn-Joo, E-mail: anyjoo@konkuk.ac.kr

    2016-04-15

    Highlights: • Trophic transfer of silver nanowires (AgNWs) was studied in an aquatic food chain. • The transfer of AgNWs from algae to fish via water fleas was observed. • Toxicity of long AgNWs on aquatic organisms is higher than that of short ones. • AgNWs damage the gut of water fleas and may cause undernourishment. • Quantity of lipid droplets increased with increasing exposure concentration. - Abstract: Nanomaterials of various shapes and dimensions are widely used in the medical, chemical, and electronic industries. Multiple studies have reported the ecotoxicological effects of nanaoparticles when released in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; however, information on the toxicity of silver nanowires (AgNWs) to freshwater organisms and their transfer through the food webs is limited. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the toxicity of 10- and 20-μm-long AgNWs to the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the water flea Daphnia magna, and the zebrafish and study their movement through this three-species food chain using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods as well as optical techniques. We found that AgNWs directly inhibited the growth of algae and destroyed the digestive organs of water fleas. The results showed that longer AgNWs (20 μm) were more toxic than shorter ones (10 μm) to both algae and water fleas, but shorter AgNWs were accumulated more than longer ones in the body of the fish. Overall, this study suggests that AgNWs are transferred through food chains, and that they affect organisms at higher trophic levels, potentially including humans. Therefore, further studies that take into account environmental factors, food web complexity, and differences between nanomaterials are required to gain better understanding of the impact of nanomaterials on natural communities and human health.

  14. Mercury and selenium accumulation in the Colorado River food web, Grand Canyon, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, David M; Rosi-Marshall, Emma; Kennedy, Theodore A; Cross, Wyatt F; Baxter, Colden V

    2015-10-01

    Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) biomagnify in aquatic food webs and are toxic to fish and wildlife. The authors measured Hg and Se in organic matter, invertebrates, and fishes in the Colorado River food web at sites spanning 387 river km downstream of Glen Canyon Dam (AZ, USA). Concentrations were relatively high among sites compared with other large rivers (mean wet wt for 6 fishes was 0.17-1.59 μg g(-1) Hg and 1.35-2.65 μg g(-1) Se), but consistent longitudinal patterns in Hg or Se concentrations relative to the dam were lacking. Mercury increased (slope = 0.147) with δ(15) N, a metric of trophic position, indicating biomagnification similar to that observed in other freshwater systems. Organisms regularly exceeded exposure risk thresholds for wildlife and humans (6-100% and 56-100% of samples for Hg and Se, respectfully, among risk thresholds). In the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Hg and Se concentrations pose exposure risks for fish, wildlife, and humans, and the findings of the present study add to a growing body of evidence showing that remote ecosystems are vulnerable to long-range transport and subsequent bioaccumulation of contaminants. Management of exposure risks in Grand Canyon will remain a challenge, as sources and transport mechanisms of Hg and Se extend far beyond park boundaries.

  15. Mercury and selenium accumulation in the Colorado River food web, Grand Canyon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, David M.; E.J. Rosi-Marshall,; Kennedy, Theodore A.; W.F. Cross,; C.V. Baxter,

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) biomagnify in aquatic food webs and are toxic to fish and wildlife. The authors measured Hg and Se in organic matter, invertebrates, and fishes in the Colorado River food web at sites spanning 387 river km downstream of Glen Canyon Dam (AZ, USA). Concentrations were relatively high among sites compared with other large rivers (mean wet wt for 6 fishes was 0.17–1.59 μg g–1 Hg and 1.35–2.65 μg g–1 Se), but consistent longitudinal patterns in Hg or Se concentrations relative to the dam were lacking. Mercury increased (slope = 0.147) with δ15N, a metric of trophic position, indicating biomagnification similar to that observed in other freshwater systems. Organisms regularly exceeded exposure risk thresholds for wildlife and humans (6–100% and 56–100% of samples for Hg and Se, respectfully, among risk thresholds). In the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Hg and Se concentrations pose exposure risks for fish, wildlife, and humans, and the findings of the present study add to a growing body of evidence showing that remote ecosystems are vulnerable to long-range transport and subsequent bioaccumulation of contaminants. Management of exposure risks in Grand Canyon will remain a challenge, as sources and transport mechanisms of Hg and Se extend far beyond park boundaries. Environ Toxicol Chem2015;9999:1–10

  16. Aquatic food production modules in bioregenerative life support systems based on higher plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluem, V.; Paris, F.

    Most bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS) are based on gravitropic higher plants which exhibit growth and seed generation disturbances in microgravity. Even when used for a lunar or martian base the reduced gravity may induce a decreased productivity in comparison to Earth. Therefore, the implementation of aquatic biomass production modules in higher plant and/or hybrid BLSS may compensate for this and offer, in addition, the possibility to produce animal protein for human nutrition. It was shown on the SLS-89 and SLS-90 space shuttle missions with the C.E.B.A.S.-MINI MODULE that the edible non gravitropic rootless higher aquatic plant Ceratophyllum demeresum exhibits an undisturbed high biomass production rate in space and that the teleost fish species, Xiphophorus helleri, adapts rapidly to space conditions without loss of its normal reproductive functions. Based on these findings a series of ground-based aquatic food production systems were developed which are disposed for utilization in space. These are plant production bioreactors for the species mentioned above and another suitable candidate, the lemnacean (duckweed) species, Wolffia arrhiza. Moreover, combined intensive aquaculture systems with a closed food loop between herbivorous fishes and aquatic and land plants are being developed which may be suitable for integration into a BLSS of higher complexity.

  17. Biomagnification of mercury through lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) food webs of lakes with different physical, chemical and biological characteristics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kidd, Karen A., E-mail: kiddk@unbsj.ca [Canadian Rivers Institute and Biology Department, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB, Canada E2L 4L5 (Canada); Muir, Derek C.G., E-mail: derek.muir@ec.gc.ca [Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, Canada L7R 4A6 (Canada); Evans, Marlene S., E-mail: marlene.evans@ec.gc.ca [Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, Environment Canada, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 3H5 (Canada); Wang, Xioawa, E-mail: xiaowa.wang@ec.gc.ca [Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, Canada L7R 4A6 (Canada); Whittle, Mike [Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, Canada L7R 4A6 (Canada); Swanson, Heidi K., E-mail: heidikswanson@yahoo.ca [Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E9 (Canada); Johnston, Tom, E-mail: tjohnston@laurentian.ca [Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Biology Department, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada P3E 2C6 (Canada); Guildford, Stephanie, E-mail: sguildfo@d.umn.edu [Department of Biology and Large Lakes Observatory, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2205 5th St., Duluth, MN, 55812 (United States)

    2012-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) biomagnification in aquatic ecosystems remains a concern because this pollutant is known to affect the health of fish-eating wildlife and humans, and the fish themselves. The 'rate' of mercury biomagnification is being assessed more frequently using stable nitrogen isotope ratios ({delta}{sup 15}N), a measure of relative trophic position of biota within a food web. Within food webs and across diverse systems, log-transformed Hg concentrations are significantly and positively related to {delta}{sup 15}N and the slopes of these models vary from one study to another for reasons that are not yet understood. Here we compared the rates of Hg biomagnification in 14 lake trout lakes from three provinces in Canada to understand whether any characteristics of the ecosystems explained this among-system variability. Several fish species, zooplankton and benthic invertebrates were collected from these lakes and analyzed for total Hg (fish only), methyl Hg (invertebrates) and stable isotopes ({delta}{sup 15}N; {delta}{sup 13}C to assess energy sources). Mercury biomagnification rates varied significantly across systems and were higher for food webs of larger (surface area), higher nutrient lakes. However, the slopes were not predictive of among-lake differences in Hg in the lake trout. Results indicate that among-system differences in the rates of Hg biomagnification seen in the literature may be due, in part, to differences in ecosystem characteristics although the mechanisms for this variability are not yet understood. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Mercury biomagnifies through aquatic food webs to toxic levels in top predator fishes. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Among-system differences in mercury transfer through food webs occur but have not been explained. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Diverse lakes supporting lake trout were compared to understand the ecosystem processes that affect mercury biomagnification. Black

  18. Heavy metals determination in aquatic species for food purposes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Locatelli, C.; Torsi, G. [Bologna Univ., Bologna (Italy). Dept. of Chemistry G. Ciamician

    2001-02-01

    New analytical procedures and sample mineralizations are proposed regarding the determination of arsenic, selenium, copper, lead, cadmium, zinc and mercury in matrices involved in food chain as mussel, clams and fishes. As regards As, Se, Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn determinations. H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}-HNO{sub 3} acidic mixture is used for the digestion is performed using a concentrated supra pure H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}-K{sub 2}Cr{sub 2}O{sub 7} mixture and the results are compared with those from other conventional methods (DPASV) are employed for determining simultaneously selenium, arsenic and copper, lead, cadmium, zinc, respectively, while mercury determination is carried out by the cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry (CV-AAS) with reduction with SnCl{sub 2}. The voltammetric measurements were performed using a conventional three-electrode cell and the ammonia-ammonium chloride buffer (ph 9.3) as supporting electrolyte. For all the elements, in addition to the detection limits, precision and accuracy data are also reported: the former, expressed as relative standard deviation (S{sub r}), and the latter, expressed as relative error (e), are in all cases between 3 to 6%. [Italian] Viene proposta una nuova procedura analitica ed una nuova mineralizzazione del campione per la determinazione di arsenico, selenio, rame, piombo, cadmio, zinco e mercurio in matrici coinvolte nella catena alimentare come mitili e pesci. Per la determinazione di As, Se, Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn, le matrici sono state mineralizzate con una miscela acida H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}-HNO{sub 3}. Nel caso del Hg, la mineralizzazione del campione e' stata effettuata mediante una miscela H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}-K{sub 2}Cr{sub 2}O{sub 7} ed i risultati confrontati con quelli ottenuti impiegando altri metodi convenzionali. Per la simultanea determinazione di arsenico, selenio, rame, piombo, cadmio, zinco, sono state impiegate la voltammetria differenziale pulsata catodica (DPCSV) ed anodica (DPASV), mentre il mercurio e

  19. Bioaccumulation of toxaphene congeners in the lake superior food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muir, D.C.G.; Whittle, D.M.; De Vault, D. S.; Bronte, C.R.; Karlsson, H.; Backus, S.; Teixeira, C.

    2004-01-01

    The bioaccumulation and biotransformation of toxaphene was examined in the food webs of Lake Superior and Siskiwit Lake (Isle Royale) using congener specific analysis as well as stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen to characterize food webs. Toxaphene concentrations (calculated using technical toxaphene) in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from the western basin of Lake Superior (N = 95) averaged (±SD) 889 ± 896 ng/g wet wt and 60 ± 34 ng/g wet wt in Siskiwit Lake. Major congeners in lake trout were B8-789 (P38), B8-2226 (P44), B9-1679 (P50), and B9-1025 (P62). Toxaphene concentrations were found to vary seasonally, especially in lower food web organisms in Lake Superior and to a lesser extent in Siskiwit Lake. Toxaphene concentrations declined significantly in lake herring (Coregonus artedii), rainbow smelt (Omerus mordax), and slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) as well as in zooplankton (> 102 &mn;m) and Mysis (Mysis relicta) between May and October. The seasonal variation may reflect seasonal shifts in the species abundance within the zooplankton community. Trophic magnification factors (TMF) derived from regressions of toxaphene congener concentrations versus δ15N were > 1 for most octa- and nonachlorobornanes in Lake Superior except B8-1413 (P26) and B9-715. Log bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for toxaphene congeners in lake trout (ng/g lipid/ng/L dissolved) ranged from 4.54 to 9.7 and were significantly correlated with log octanol-water partition coefficients. TMFs observed for total toxaphene and congener B9-1679 in Lake Superior were similar to those in Arctic lakes, as well as to previous studies in the Great Lakes, which suggests that the bioaccumulation behavior of toxaphene is similar in pelagic food webs of large, cold water systems. However, toxaphene concentrations were lower in lake trout from Siskiwit Lake and lakes in northwestern Ontario than in Lake Superior possibly because of shorter food chains and greater reliance on zooplankton or

  20. Mesoscale symmetries explain dynamical equivalence of food webs

    CERN Document Server

    Aufderheide, Helge; Gross, Thilo

    2012-01-01

    A present challenge in complex systems is to identify mesoscale structures that have distinct dynamical implications. In this paper we present a detailed investigation of a previously observed dynamical equivalence of certian ecological food webs. We show that this equivalence is rooted in mesoscale symmetries that exist in these webs. Certain eigenvectors of the Jacobian describing dynamical modes of the system, such as specific instabilities or responses to perturbations, localize on these symmetric motifs. On the one hand this means that by removing a symmetry from the network one obtains a system which has identical dynamics except for the removal of the localized mode. This explains the previously observed equivalence. On the other hand it means that we can identify dynamical modes that only depend on the symmetric motif. Symmetric structures thus provide an example for mesoscale network motifs having distinct and exact implications for the dynamics.

  1. Accumulation and fluxes of mercury in terrestrial and aquatic food chains with special reference to Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Lodenius

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is known for its biomagnification especially in aquatic food chains and for its toxic effects on different organisms including man. In Finland mercury has formerly been used in industry and agriculture and in addition many anthropogenic activities may increase the mercury levels in ecosystems. Phenyl mercury was widely used as slimicide in the pulp and paper industry in the 1950s and 1960s. In the chlor-alkali industry metallic mercury was used as catalyst at three plants. The most toxic form of mercury, methyl mercury, may be formed in soils, water, sediments and organisms. Many factors, including microbial activity, temperature, oxygen status etc., affect the methylation rate. In the lake ecosystem bioaccumulation of methyl mercury is very strong. In early 1980s there was a restriction of fishing concerning approximately 4000 km2 of lakes and sea areas because of mercury pollution. In aquatic systems we still find elevated concentrations near former emission sources. Long-range atmospheric transport and mechanical operations like ditching and water regulation may cause increased levels of mercury in the aquatic ecosystems. In the Finnish agriculture organic mercury compounds were used for seed dressing until 1992. Although the amounts used were substantial the concentrations in agricultural soils have remained rather low. In terrestrial food chains bioaccumulation is normally weak with low or moderate concentration at all ecosystem levels. Due to a weak uptake through roots terrestrial, vascular plants normally contain only small amounts of mercury. There is a bidirectional exchange of mercury between vegetation and atmosphere. Contrary to vascular plants, there is a very wide range of concentrations in fungi. Mercury may pose a threat to human health especially when accumulated in aquatic food chains.

  2. Nutrient enrichment reduces constraints on material flows in a detritus-based food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Wyatt F; Wallace, J Bruce; Rosemond, Amy D

    2007-10-01

    Most aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are experiencing increased nutrient availability, which is affecting their structure and function. By altering community composition and productivity of consumers, enrichment can indirectly cause changes in the pathways and magnitude of material flows in food webs. These changes, in turn, have major consequences for material storage and cycling in the ecosystem. Understanding mechanisms and predicting consequences of nutrient-induced changes in material flows requires a quantitative food web approach that combines information on consumer energetics and consumer-resource stoichiometry. We examined effects of a whole-system experimental nutrient enrichment on the trophic basis of production and the magnitude and pathways of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) flows in a detritus-based stream food web. We compared the response of the treated stream to an adjacent reference stream throughout the study. Dietary composition and elemental flows varied considerably among invertebrate functional feeding groups. During nutrient enrichment, increased flows of leaf litter and amorphous detritus to shredders and gatherers accounted for most of the altered flows of C from basal resources to consumers. Nutrient enrichment had little effect on patterns of material flows but had large positive effects on the magnitude of C, N, and P flows to consumers (mean increase of 97% for all elements). Nutrient-specific food webs revealed similar flows of N and P to multiple functional groups despite an order of magnitude difference among groups in consumption of C. Secondary production was more strongly related to consumption of nutrients than C, and increased material flows were positively related to the degree of consumer-resource C:P and C:N imbalances. Nutrient enrichment resulted in an increased proportion of detrital C inputs consumed by primary consumers (from -15% to 35%) and a decreased proportion of invertebrate prey consumed by

  3. Nutrient subsidies to belowground microbes impact aboveground food web interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Jes; Megonigal, J Patrick; Denno, Robert F

    2006-06-01

    Historically, terrestrial food web theory has been compartmentalized into interactions among aboveground or belowground communities. In this study we took a more synthetic approach to understanding food web interactions by simultaneously examining four trophic levels and investigating how nutrient (nitrogen and carbon) and detrital subsidies impact the ability of the belowground microbial community to alter the abundance of aboveground arthropods (herbivores and predators) associated with the intertidal cord grass Spartina alterniflora. We manipulated carbon, nitrogen, and detrital resources in a field experiment and measured decomposition rate, soil nitrogen pools, plant biomass and quality, herbivore density, and arthropod predator abundance. Because carbon subsidies impact plant growth only indirectly (microbial pathways), whereas nitrogen additions both directly (plant uptake) and indirectly (microbial pathways) impact plant primary productivity, we were able to assess the effect of both belowground soil microbes and nutrient availability on aboveground herbivores and their predators. Herbivore density in the field was suppressed by carbon supplements. Carbon addition altered soil microbial dynamics (net potential ammonification, litter decomposition rate, DON [dissolved organic N] concentration), which limited inorganic soil nitrogen availability and reduced plant size as well as predator abundance. Nitrogen addition enhanced herbivore density by increasing plant size and quality directly by increasing inorganic soil nitrogen pools, and indirectly by enhancing microbial nitrification. Detritus adversely affected aboveground herbivores mainly by promoting predator aggregation. To date, the effects of carbon and nitrogen subsidies on salt marshes have been examined as isolated effects on either the aboveground or the belowground community. Our results emphasize the importance of directly addressing the soil microbial community as a factor that influences

  4. Eelgrass (Zostera marina) food web structure in different environmental settings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thormar, Jonas; Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Baden, Susanne;

    2016-01-01

    his study compares the structure of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) meadows and associated food webs in two eelgrass habitats in Denmark, differing in exposure, connection to the open sea, nutrient enrichment and water transparency. Meadow structure strongly reflected the environmental conditions...... in each habitat. The eutrophicated, protected site had higher biomass of filamentous algae, lower eelgrass biomass and shoot density, longer and nar- rower leaves, and higher above to below ground biomass ratio compared to the less nutri- ent-enriched and more exposed site. The faunal community...

  5. Land use alters the resistance and resilience of soil food webs to drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Liiri, Mira E.; Bjørnlund, Lisa; Bowker, Matthew A.; Christensen, Søren; Setälä, Heikki; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Soils deliver several ecosystem services including carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling, which are of central importance to climate mitigation and sustainable food production. Soil biota play an important role in carbon and nitrogen cycling, and, although the effects of land use on soil food webs are well documented the consequences for their resistance and resilience to climate change are not known. We compared the resistance and resilience to drought--which is predicted to increase under climate change of soil food webs of two common land-use systems: intensively managed wheat with a bacterial-based soil food web and extensively managed grassland with a fungal-based soil food web. We found that the fungal-based food web, and the processes of C and N loss it governs, of grassland soil was more resistant, although not resilient, and better able to adapt to drought than the bacterial-based food web of wheat soil. Structural equation modelling revealed that fungal-based soil food webs and greater microbial evenness mitigated C and N loss. Our findings show that land use strongly affects the resistance and resilience of soil food webs to climate change, and that extensively managed grassland promotes more resistant, and adaptable, fungal-based soil food webs.

  6. Soil food web structure after wood ash application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Louise Hindborg; Qin, Jiayi; Cruz-Paredes, Carla

    In 2006, the European Council established a mandatory target of 20 % renewable energy of consumption by 2020. Part of the replacement is burning biomass for heating and electricity. ~ Whole tree biomass harvesting for biofuel combustion intensifies removal of nutrients from the by applying ash from...... the consequences of returning wood ash to biofuel producing coniferous forest. We that the change in pH and increased availability of nutrients after ash application to forest floor can facilitate an increase in the bacteria to fungi ratio with possible effects for the soil food by applying ash of different...... concentrations to experimental plots in a coniferous forest the soil will be collected with varying intervals and subsequently analyzed. The food web included several trophic levels; bacteria/fungi, protozoa, nematodes, enchytraeids and microarthropods and arthropods. Results from 2014 indicated that bacteria...

  7. Quantitative approaches to the analysis of stable isotope food web data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Stephanie N; Olden, Julian D; Solomon, Christopher T; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2007-11-01

    Ecologists use stable isotopes (delta13C, delta15N) to better understand food webs and explore trophic interactions in ecosystems. Traditionally, delta13C vs. delta15N bi-plots have been used to describe food web structure for a single time period or ecosystem. Comparisons of food webs across time and space are increasing, but development of statistical approaches for testing hypotheses regarding food web change has lagged behind. Here we present statistical methodologies for quantitatively comparing stable isotope food web data. We demonstrate the utility of circular statistics and hypothesis tests for quantifying directional food web differences using two case studies: an arthropod salt marsh community across a habitat gradient and a freshwater fish community from Lake Tahoe, USA, over a 120-year time period. We calculated magnitude and mean angle of change (theta) for each species in food web space using mean delta13C and delta15N of each species as the x, y coordinates. In the coastal salt marsh, arthropod consumers exhibited a significant shift toward dependence on Spartina, progressing from a habitat invaded by Phragmites to a restored Spartina habitat. In Lake Tahoe, we found that all species from the freshwater fish community shifted in the same direction in food web space toward more pelagic-based production with the introduction of nonnative Mysis relicta and onset of cultural eutrophication. Using circular statistics to quantitatively analyze stable isotope food web data, we were able to gain significant insight into patterns and changes in food web structure that were not evident from qualitative comparisons. As more ecologists incorporate a food web perspective into ecosystem analysis, these statistical tools can provide a basis for quantifying directional food web differences from standard isotope data.

  8. Application of information theory methods to food web reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moniz, L.J.; Cooch, E.G.; Ellner, S.P.; Nichols, J.D.; Nichols, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    In this paper we use information theory techniques on time series of abundances to determine the topology of a food web. At the outset, the food web participants (two consumers, two resources) are known; in addition we know that each consumer prefers one of the resources over the other. However, we do not know which consumer prefers which resource, and if this preference is absolute (i.e., whether or not the consumer will consume the non-preferred resource). Although the consumers and resources are identified at the beginning of the experiment, we also provide evidence that the consumers are not resources for each other, and the resources do not consume each other. We do show that there is significant mutual information between resources; the model is seasonally forced and some shared information between resources is expected. Similarly, because the model is seasonally forced, we expect shared information between consumers as they respond to the forcing of the resources. The model that we consider does include noise, and in an effort to demonstrate that these methods may be of some use in other than model data, we show the efficacy of our methods with decreasing time series size; in this particular case we obtain reasonably clear results with a time series length of 400 points. This approaches ecological time series lengths from real systems.

  9. Enhancing food engineering education with interactive web-based simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandros Koulouris

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In the traditional deductive approach in teaching any engineering topic, teachers would first expose students to the derivation of the equations that govern the behavior of a physical system and then demonstrate the use of equations through a limited number of textbook examples. This methodology, however, is rarely adequate to unmask the cause-effect and quantitative relationships between the system variables that the equations embody. Web-based simulation, which is the integration of simulation and internet technologies, has the potential to enhance the learning experience by offering an interactive and easily accessible platform for quick and effortless experimentation with physical phenomena.This paper presents the design and development of a web-based platform for teaching basic food engineering phenomena to food technology students. The platform contains a variety of modules (“virtual experiments” covering the topics of mass and energy balances, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. In this paper, the design and development of three modules for mass balances and heat transfer is presented. Each webpage representing an educational module has the following features: visualization of the studied phenomenon through graphs, charts or videos, computation through a mathematical model and experimentation.  The student is allowed to edit key parameters of the phenomenon and observe the effect of these changes on the outputs. Experimentation can be done in a free or guided fashion with a set of prefabricated examples that students can run and self-test their knowledge by answering multiple-choice questions.

  10. Scaling Behaviors of Weighted Food Webs as Energy Transportation Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Jiang; 10.1016/j.jtbi.2010.03.024

    2010-01-01

    Food webs can be regarded as energy transporting networks in which the weight of each edge denotes the energy flux between two species. By investigating 21 empirical weighted food webs as energy flow networks, we found several ubiquitous scaling behaviors. Two random variables $A_i$ and $C_i$ defined for each vertex $i$, representing the total flux (also called vertex intensity) and total indirect effect or energy store of $i$, were found to follow power law distributions with the exponents $\\alpha\\approx 1.32$ and $\\beta\\approx 1.33$, respectively. Another scaling behavior is the power law relationship, $C_i\\sim A_i^\\eta$, where $\\eta\\approx 1.02$. This is known as the allometric scaling power law relationship because $A_i$ can be treated as metabolism and $C_i$ as the body mass of the sub-network rooted from the vertex $i$, according to the algorithm presented in this paper. Finally, a simple relationship among these power law exponents, $\\eta=(\\alpha-1)/(\\beta-1)$, was mathematically derived and tested by ...

  11. Evidence for the persistence of food web structure after amphibian extirpation in a Neotropical stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnum, Thomas R; Drake, John M; Colón-Gaud, Checo; Rugenski, Amanda T; Frauendorf, Therese C; Connelly, Scott; Kilham, Susan S; Whiles, Matt R; Lips, Karen R; Pringle, Catherine M

    2015-08-01

    Species losses are predicted to simplify food web structure, and disease-driven amphibian declines in Central America offer an opportunity to test this prediction. Assessment of insect community composition, combined with gut content analyses, was used to generate periphyton-insect food webs for a Panamanian stream, both pre- and post-amphibian decline. We then used network analysis to assess the effects of amphibian declines on food web structure. Although 48% of consumer taxa, including many insect taxa, were lost between pre- and post-amphibian decline sampling dates, connectance declined by less than 3%. We then quantified the resilience of food web structure by calculating the number of expected cascading extirpations from the loss of tadpoles. This analysis showed the expected effects of species loss on connectance and linkage density to be more than 60% and 40%, respectively, than were actually observed. Instead, new trophic linkages in the post-decline food web reorganized the food web topology, changing the identity of "hub" taxa, and consequently reducing the effects of amphibian declines on many food web attributes. Resilience of food web attributes was driven by a combination of changes in consumer diets, particularly those of insect predators, as well as the appearance of generalist insect consumers, suggesting that food web structure is maintained by factors independent of the original trophic linkages.

  12. Phytoplankton chytridiomycosis: fungal parasites of phytoplankton and their imprints on the food web dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Télesphore eSIME - NGANDO

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Parasitism is one of the earlier and common ecological interactions in the nature, occurring in almost all environments. Microbial parasites typically are characterized by their small size, short generation time, and high rates of reproduction, with simple life cycle occurring generally within a single host. They are diverse and ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems, comprising viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Recently, environmental 18S-rDNA surveys of microbial eukaryotes have unveiled major infecting agents in pelagic systems, consisting primarily of the fungal order of Chytridiales (chytrids. Chytrids are considered the earlier branch of the Eumycetes and produce motile, flagellated zoospores, characterized by a small size (2-6 µm and a single, posterior flagellum. The existence of these dispersal propagules includes chytrids within the so-called group of zoosporic fungi, which are particularly adapted to the plankton lifestyle where they infect a wide variety of hosts, including fishes, eggs, zooplankton, algae, and other aquatic fungi but primarily freshwater phytoplankton. Related ecological implications are huge because chytrids can killed their hosts, release substrates for microbial processes, and provide nutrient-rich particles as zoospores and short fragments of filamentous inedible hosts for the grazer food chain. Furthermore, based on the observation that phytoplankton chytridiomycosis preferentially impacts the larger size species, blooms of such species (e.g. filamentous cyanobacteria may not totally represent trophic bottlenecks. Besides, chytrid epidemics represent an important driving factor in phytoplankton seasonal successions. In this review, I summarize the knowledge on the diversity, community structure, quantitative importance, and functional roles of fungal chytrids, primarily those who are parasites of phytoplankton, and infer the ecological implications and potentials for the food web dynamics and properties.

  13. Changes in Sport Fish Mercury Concentrations from Food Web Shifts Suggest Partial Decoupling from Atmospheric Deposition in Two Colorado Reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Brian A; Johnson, Brett M; Lepak, Jesse M

    2017-02-01

    Partial decoupling of mercury (Hg) loading and observed Hg concentrations ([Hg]) in biotic and abiotic samples has been documented in aquatic systems. We studied two Colorado reservoirs to test whether shifts in prey for sport fish would lead to changes in [Hg] independent of external atmospheric Hg deposition. We compared sport fish total mercury concentrations ([T-Hg]) and macroinvertebrate (chironomids and crayfish) methylmercury concentrations ([MeHg]) before and after food web shifts occurred in both reservoirs. We also monitored wet atmospheric Hg deposition and sediment [T-Hg] and [MeHg] at each reservoir. We found rapid shifts in Hg bioaccumulation in each reservoir's sport fish, and these changes could not be attributed to atmospheric Hg deposition. Our study shows that trends in atmospheric deposition, environmental samples (e.g., sediments), and samples of species at the low trophic levels (e.g., chironomids and crayfish) may not accurately reflect conditions that result in fish consumption advisories for high trophic level sport fish. We suggest that in the short-term, monitoring fish [Hg] is necessary to adequately protect human health because natural and anthropogenic perturbations to aquatic food-webs that affect [Hg] in sport fish will continue regardless of trends in atmospheric deposition.

  14. Warming shifts top-down and bottom-up control of pond food web structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shurin, Jonathan B; Clasen, Jessica L; Greig, Hamish S; Kratina, Pavel; Thompson, Patrick L

    2012-11-05

    The effects of global and local environmental changes are transmitted through networks of interacting organisms to shape the structure of communities and the dynamics of ecosystems. We tested the impact of elevated temperature on the top-down and bottom-up forces structuring experimental freshwater pond food webs in western Canada over 16 months. Experimental warming was crossed with treatments manipulating the presence of planktivorous fish and eutrophication through enhanced nutrient supply. We found that higher temperatures produced top-heavy food webs with lower biomass of benthic and pelagic producers, equivalent biomass of zooplankton, zoobenthos and pelagic bacteria, and more pelagic viruses. Eutrophication increased the biomass of all organisms studied, while fish had cascading positive effects on periphyton, phytoplankton and bacteria, and reduced biomass of invertebrates. Surprisingly, virus biomass was reduced in the presence of fish, suggesting the possibility for complex mechanisms of top-down control of the lytic cycle. Warming reduced the effects of eutrophication on periphyton, and magnified the already strong effects of fish on phytoplankton and bacteria. Warming, fish and nutrients all increased whole-system rates of net production despite their distinct impacts on the distribution of biomass between producers and consumers, plankton and benthos, and microbes and macrobes. Our results indicate that warming exerts a host of indirect effects on aquatic food webs mediated through shifts in the magnitudes of top-down and bottom-up forcing.

  15. Application of vascular aquatic plants for pollution removal, energy and food production in a biological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolverton, B. C.; Barlow, R. M.; Mcdonald, R. C.

    1975-01-01

    Vascular aquatic plants such as water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) (Mart.) Solms and alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides) (Mart.) Griesb., when utilized in a controlled biological system (including a regular program of harvesting to achieve maximum growth and pollution removal efficiency), may represent a remarkably efficient and inexpensive filtration and disposal system for toxic materials and sewage released into waters near urban and industrial areas. The harvested and processed plant materials are sources of energy, fertilizer, animal feed, and human food. Such a system has industrial, municipal, and agricultural applications.

  16. The adaptational strategies of the hindlimb muscles in the Tenrecidae species including the aquatic web-footed tenrec (Limnogale mergulus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Hideki; Yonezawa, Takahiro; Rakotondraparany, Felix; Sasaki, Motoki; Hasegawa, Masami

    2006-07-01

    The hindlimb muscles in four species of Tenrecidae (Oryzoryctinae: Talazac long-tailed tenrec and web-footed tenrec, Tenrecinae: lesser hedgehog tenrec, and streaked tenrec), were examined macroscopically. The weight ratios of the muscles to the body in the oryzoryctinid species are larger than those in Tenrecinae, since the Oryzoryctinae species have an obviously smaller body from the evolutionary point of view. It can be primarily pointed out that the adaptation of the body size is different between the two subfamilies, and secondarily, that functional adaptation to locomotion is complete within each subfamily. The weight data and the morphological findings demonstrate that the web-footed tenrec possesses an extraordinary large M. semimembranosus in comparison to the Talazac long-tailed tenrec in their weight ratios. This muscle may act as a strong flexor motor in the knee joint during the aquatic locomotion of the web-footed tenrec. Since the other muscles of the web-footed tenrec are similar to those of the Talazac long-tailed tenrec regards weight ratio data, we think that the web-footed tenrec may have derived from a terrestrial ancestor such as the long-tailed tenrecs. In Tenrecinae the streaked tenrec is equipped with larger Mm. adductores, M. semimembranosus and M. triceps surae than the lesser hedgehog tenrec. This species is adapted to fossorial life derived from non-specialized ancestors within the evolutionary lines of the spiny tenrecs.

  17. Food and Beverage Brands that Market to Children and Adolescents on the Internet: A Content Analysis of Branded Web Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Anna E.; Story, Mary

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To identify food and beverage brand Web sites featuring designated children's areas, assess marketing techniques present on those industry Web sites, and determine nutritional quality of branded food items marketed to children. Design: Systematic content analysis of food and beverage brand Web sites and nutrient analysis of food and…

  18. The probabilistic niche model reveals substantial variation in the niche structure of empirical food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard J; Purves, Drew W

    2011-09-01

    The structure of food webs, complex networks of interspecies feeding interactions, plays a crucial role in ecosystem resilience and function, and understanding food web structure remains a central problem in ecology. Previous studies have shown that key features of empirical food webs can be reproduced by low-dimensional "niche" models. Here we examine the form and variability of food web niche structure by fitting a probabilistic niche model to 37 empirical food webs, a much larger number of food webs than used in previous studies. The model relaxes previous assumptions about parameter distributions and hierarchy and returns parameter estimates for each species in each web. The model significantly outperforms previous niche model variants and also performs well for several webs where a body-size-based niche model performs poorly, implying that traits other than body size are important in structuring these webs' niche space. Parameter estimates frequently violate previous models' assumptions: in 19 of 37 webs, parameter values are not significantly hierarchical, 32 of 37 webs have nonuniform niche value distributions, and 15 of 37 webs lack a correlation between niche width and niche position. Extending the model to a two-dimensional niche space yields networks with a mixture of one- and two-dimensional niches and provides a significantly better fit for webs with a large number of species and links. These results confirm that food webs are strongly niche-structured but reveal substantial variation in the form of the niche structuring, a result with fundamental implications for ecosystem resilience and function.

  19. Weighting and indirect effects identify keystone species in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lei; Zhang, Huayong; O'Gorman, Eoin J; Tian, Wang; Ma, Athen; Moore, John C; Borrett, Stuart R; Woodward, Guy

    2016-09-01

    Species extinctions are accelerating globally, yet the mechanisms that maintain local biodiversity remain poorly understood. The extinction of species that feed on or are fed on by many others (i.e. 'hubs') has traditionally been thought to cause the greatest threat of further biodiversity loss. Very little attention has been paid to the strength of those feeding links (i.e. link weight) and the prevalence of indirect interactions. Here, we used a dynamical model based on empirical energy budget data to assess changes in ecosystem stability after simulating the loss of species according to various extinction scenarios. Link weight and/or indirect effects had stronger effects on food-web stability than the simple removal of 'hubs', demonstrating that both quantitative fluxes and species dissipating their effects across many links should be of great concern in biodiversity conservation, and the potential for 'hubs' to act as keystone species may have been exaggerated to date.

  20. Soil food web structure after wood ash application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, L. H.; Qin, J.; Krogh, Paul Henning

    In 2006, the European Council established a mandatory target of 20 % renewable energy of the total energy consumption by 2020. Part of the replacement is burning biomass for heating and electricity instead of fossil fuels. Whole-tree biomass harvesting for biofuel combustion intensifies removal...... between three Danish universities, other research institutions and stake-holders that aims to investigate the consequences of returning wood ash to biofuel producing coniferous forest. We hypothesize that the change in pH and increased availability of nutrients after ash application to the forest floor...... can facilitate an increase in the bacteria to fungi ratio with possible cascading effects for the soil food web structure. This is tested by applying ash of different concentrations to experimental plots in a coniferous forest. During the course of the project soil samples will be collected...

  1. Global multi-level analysis of the 'scientific food web'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazloumian, Amin; Helbing, Dirk; Lozano, Sergi; Light, Robert P; Börner, Katy

    2013-01-01

    We introduce a network-based index analyzing excess scientific production and consumption to perform a comprehensive global analysis of scholarly knowledge production and diffusion on the level of continents, countries, and cities. Compared to measures of scientific production and consumption such as number of publications or citation rates, our network-based citation analysis offers a more differentiated picture of the 'ecosystem of science'. Quantifying knowledge flows between 2000 and 2009, we identify global sources and sinks of knowledge production. Our knowledge flow index reveals, where ideas are born and consumed, thereby defining a global 'scientific food web'. While Asia is quickly catching up in terms of publications and citation rates, we find that its dependence on knowledge consumption has further increased.

  2. Aquatic Food Plants and their Consumer Birds at Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Hardoi, Northern India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaushalendra Kumar Jha

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available One of the Bird Sanctuaries of Uttar Pradesh, Sandi, was selected for studying some ecological aspects like, aquatic food plants, their food calendar and dependent birds of migratory as well as resident origin. The study site is considered as an ideal wetland. This is located at 27o15’ N and 79o55’ E. Thirty four food plant species were identified to be eaten by 16 birds.These plants were the species of Alloteropsis, Arundo, Azolla, Ceratophyllum, Chloris, Commelina, Cyperus, Echinochloa, Eichhornia, Eleocharis, Hydrilla, Ipomoea, Jussiaea, Lemna, Najas, Nelumbo, Nymphea, Nymphoides, Oryza, Pistia, Polygonum, Potamogeton, Scirpus, Spirodela, Trapa, Typha, Vallisneria, and Wolffia. Common consumer birds eating plant parts were Coot, Pochards, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwal, Gargany, Goose, Whistling-duck, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler, and Swamphen. These are primarily the migratory birds except Coot, Whistling-duck and Swamphen. Spot-billed Duck, and Indian Moorhen were occasionally seen eating submerged hydrophytes and filamentous slimy green algae. On the basis of multi-strata growth of plants in the Sanctuary a wetland profile was prepared. Food calendar i.e., availability of palatable parts of plants during different months was recorded. Information collected in the study could be used for habitat management, especially the weed removal and ensuring food sustainability for the vegetarian birds.

  3. Shifts in the trophic base of intermittent stream food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekar, Matthew P.; Magoulick, Daniel D.; Huxel, G.R.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal variation in the trophic base of stream food webs is critical for predicting population and community stability, and ecosystem function. We used stable isotope ratios (13C/12C, and 15N/14N) to characterize the trophic base of two streams in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas, U.S.A. We predicted that autochthonous resources would be more important during the spring and summer and allochthonous resources would be more important in the winter due to increased detritus inputs from the riparian zone during autumn leaf drop. We predicted that stream communities would demonstrate increased reliance on autochthonous resources at sites with larger watersheds and greater canopy openness. The study was conducted at three low-order sites in the Mulberry River Drainage (watershed area range: 81-232 km2) seasonally in 2006 and 2007. We used circular statistics to examine community-wide shifts in isotope space among fish and invertebrate consumers in relation to basal resources, including detritus and periphyton. Mixing models were used to quantify the relative contribution of autochthonous and allochthonous energy sources to individual invertebrate consumers. Significant isotopic shifts occurred but results varied by season and site indicating substantial variation in the trophic base of stream food webs. In terms of temporal variation, consumers shifted toward periphyton in the summer during periods of low discharge, but results varied during the interval between summer and winter. Our results did not demonstrate increased reliance on periphyton with increasing watershed area or canopy openness, and detritus was important at all the sites. In our study, riffle-pool geomorphology likely disrupted the expected spatial pattern and stream drying likely impacted the availability and distribution of basal resources.

  4. Biological vs. physical mixing effects on benthic food web dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Braeckman

    Full Text Available Biological particle mixing (bioturbation and solute transfer (bio-irrigation contribute extensively to ecosystem functioning in sediments where physical mixing is low. Macrobenthos transports oxygen and organic matter deeper into the sediment, thereby likely providing favourable niches to lower trophic levels (i.e., smaller benthic animals such as meiofauna and bacteria and thus stimulating mineralisation. Whether this biological transport facilitates fresh organic matter assimilation by the metazoan lower part of the food web through niche establishment (i.e., ecosystem engineering or rather deprives them from food sources, is so far unclear. We investigated the effects of the ecosystem engineers Lanice conchilega (bio-irrigator and Abra alba (bioturbator compared to abiotic physical mixing events on survival and food uptake of nematodes after a simulated phytoplankton bloom. The (13C labelled diatom Skeletonema costatum was added to 4 treatments: (1 microcosms containing the bioturbator, (2 microcosms containing the bio-irrigator, (3 control microcosms and (4 microcosms with abiotic manual surface mixing. Nematode survival and subsurface peaks in nematode density profiles were most pronounced in the bio-irrigator treatment. However, nematode specific uptake (Δδ(13C of the added diatoms was highest in the physical mixing treatment, where macrobenthos was absent and the diatom (13C was homogenised. Overall, nematodes fed preferentially on bulk sedimentary organic material rather than the added diatoms. The total C budget (µg C m(-2, which included TO(13C remaining in the sediment, respiration, nematode and macrobenthic uptake, highlighted the limited assimilation by the metazoan benthos and the major role of bacterial respiration. In summary, bioturbation and especially bio-irrigation facilitated the lower trophic levels mainly over the long-term through niche establishment. Since the freshly added diatoms represented only a limited food

  5. Soil and Freshwater and Marine Sediment Food Webs: Their Structure and Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adams Krumins, J.; van Oevelen, D.; Bezemer, T.M.; de Deyn, G.B.; Hol, W.H.G.; van Donk, E.; de Boer, W.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Middelburg, J.J.; Monroy, F.; Soetaert, K.; Thébault, E.; van de Koppel, J.; van Veen, J.A.; Viketoft, M.; van der Putten, W.H.

    2013-01-01

    The food webs of terrestrial soils and of freshwater and marine sediments depend on adjacent aboveground or pelagic ecosystems for organic matter input that provides nutrients and energy. There are important similarities in the flow of organic matter through these food webs and how this flow feeds b

  6. Can You Build It? Using Manipulatives to Assess Student Understanding of Food-Web Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grumbine, Richard

    2012-01-01

    This article outlines an exercise that assesses student knowledge of food-web and energy-flow concepts. Students work in teams and use manipulatives to build food-web models based on criteria assigned by the instructor. The models are then peer reviewed according to guidelines supplied by the instructor.

  7. Anti-predator defence and the complexity-stability relationship of food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kondoh, M.

    2007-01-01

    The mechanism for maintaining complex food webs has been a central issue in ecology because theory often predicts that complexity (higher the species richness, more the interactions) destabilizes food webs. Although it has been proposed that prey anti-predator defence may affect the stability of pre

  8. Effects of food web complexity on top-down control in tropical lakes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pujoni, Diego Guimarães Florencio; Maia-Barbosa, Paulina Maria; Barbosa, Francisco Antônio Rodrigues; Fragoso, Carlos Ruberto; Nes, van Egbert H.

    2016-01-01

    Top-down control in ecosystems is dependent on food web structure. In this study, we developed 126 models describing different trophic link combinations in order to assess the effects of food web structure on the top-down response of shallow tropical lakes. We evaluated the effects of the presenc

  9. Food web flows through a sub-arctic deep-sea benthic community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gontikaki, E.; Van Oevelen, D.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Prof. Witte, U.

    2011-01-01

    The benthic food web of the deep Faroe–Shetland Channel (FSC) was modelled by using the linear inverse modelling methodology. The reconstruction of carbon pathways by inverse analysis was based on benthic oxygen uptake rates, biomass data and transfer of labile carbon through the food web as reveale

  10. Food webs: a ladder for picking strawberries or a practical tool for practical problems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memmott, Jane

    2009-06-27

    While food webs have provided a rich vein of research material over the last 50 years, they have largely been the subject matter of the pure ecologist working in natural habitats. While there are some notable exceptions to this trend, there are, as I explain in this paper, many applied questions that could be answered using a food web approach. The paper is divided into two halves. The first half provides a brief review of six areas where food webs have begun to be used as an applied tool: restoration ecology, alien species, biological control, conservation ecology, habitat management and global warming. The second half outlines five areas in which a food web approach could prove very rewarding: urban ecology, agroecology, habitat fragmentation, cross-habitat food webs and ecosystem services.

  11. Structure and dynamics of Lithocolletis ringoniella-Parasitoids food web in apple orchards of Shaanxi, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Li

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The formation and evolution of food web is a self-organizing process. A food web, L. ringoniella-Parasitoids food web, was proposed in present study. With the apple pest Lithocolletis ringoniella as the basic host, four parasitoids, Apanteles theivorae, Sympiesis sericeicornis, Ageniaspis testaceipes, and Sympiesis Foerst are included in the food web. In this food web, A. theivorae and A. testaceipes are primary parasitoids of L. ringoniella. A. theivorae mainly parasitizes apodous larva of L. ringoniella while A. testaceipes only chooses L. ringoniella egg to parasitize (egg-larva endoparasitization. S. Foerst and S. sericeicornis are facultative hyper-parasitoids. They can parasitize not only the larvae and pupae of L. ringoniella, but also A. theivorae. S. sericeicornis can be hyper-parasitized by S. Foerst. The occurrence mechanism and population dynamics of L. ringoniella and parasitoids, and parasitization effect of parasitoids in apple orchards of Shaanxi, China, were described in detail.

  12. Legacy effects of drought on plant growth and the soil food web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Vries, Franciska; Liiri, Mira; Strandmark, Lisa Bjørnlund

    2012-01-01

    the potential to feed back on each other's performance. In a greenhouse experiment, we compared legacy effects of repeated drought on plant growth and the soil food web in two contrasting land-use systems: extensively managed grassland, rich in C and with a fungal-based food web, and intensively managed wheat...... lower in C and with a bacterial-based food web. Moreover, we assessed the effect of plant presence on the recovery of the soil food web after drought. Drought legacy effects increased plant growth in both systems, and a plant strongly reduced N leaching. Fungi, bacteria, and their predators were more...... resilient after drought in the grassland soil than in the wheat soil. The presence of a plant strongly affected the composition of the soil food web, and alleviated the effects of drought for most trophic groups, regardless of the system. This effect was stronger for the bottom trophic levels, whose...

  13. Effects of Seasonal and Spatial Differences in Food Webs on Mercury Concentrations in Fish in the Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, C.; Bemis, B. E.; Wankel, S. D.; Rawlik, P. S.; Lange, T.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.

    2002-05-01

    A clear understanding of the aquatic food web is essential for determining the entry points and subsequent biomagnification pathways of contaminants such as methyl-mercury (MeHg) in the Everglades. Anthropogenic changes in nutrients can significantly affect the entry points of MeHg by changing food web structure from one dominated by algal productivity to one dominated by macrophytes and associated microbial activity. These changes in the base of the food web can also influence the distribution of animals within the ecosystem, and subsequently the bioaccumulation of MeHg up the food chain. As part of several collaborations with local and other federal agencies, more than 7000 Everglades samples were collected in 1995-99, and analysed for d13C and d15N. Many organisms were also analysed for d34S, gut contents, total Hg, and MeHg. Carbon isotopes effectively distinguish between two main types of food webs: ones where algae is the dominant base of the food web, which are characteristic of relatively pristine marsh sites with long hydroperiods, and ones where macrophyte debris appears to be a significant source of nutrients, which are apparently characteristic of shorter hydroperiod sites, and nutrient-impacted marshes and canals. Many organisms show significant (5-12%) spatial and temporal differences in d13C and d15N values across the Everglades. These differences may reflect site and season-specific differences in the relative importance of algae vs. macrophyte debris to the food web. However, there is a lack of evidence that these sites otherwise differ in food chain length (as determined by d15N values). This conclusion is generally supported by gut contents and mercury data. Furthermore, there are no statistically significant differences between the Delta d15N (predator-algae) values at pristine marsh, nutrient-impacted marsh, or canal sites. The main conclusions from this preliminary comparison of gut contents, stable isotope, and Hg data are: (1) there is

  14. Local food web management increases resilience and buffers against global change effects on freshwaters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Ekvall, Mattias K.; Hansson, Lars-Anders

    2016-07-01

    A major challenge for ecological research is to identify ways to improve resilience to climate-induced changes in order to secure the ecosystem functions of natural systems, as well as ecosystem services for human welfare. With respect to aquatic ecosystems, interactions between climate warming and the elevated runoff of humic substances (brownification) may strongly affect ecosystem functions and services. However, we hitherto lack the adaptive management tools needed to counteract such global-scale effects on freshwater ecosystems. Here we show, both experimentally and using monitoring data, that predicted climatic warming and brownification will reduce freshwater quality by exacerbating cyanobacterial growth and toxin levels. Furthermore, in a model based on long-term data from a natural system, we demonstrate that food web management has the potential to increase the resilience of freshwater systems against the growth of harmful cyanobacteria, and thereby that local efforts offer an opportunity to secure our water resources against some of the negative impacts of climate warming and brownification. This allows for novel policy action at a local scale to counteract effects of global-scale environmental change, thereby providing a buffer period and a safer operating space until climate mitigation strategies are effectively established.

  15. Food webs and carbon flux in the Barents Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassmann, Paul; Reigstad, Marit; Haug, Tore; Rudels, Bert; Carroll, Michael L.; Hop, Haakon; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Falk-Petersen, Stig; Denisenko, Stanislav G.; Arashkevich, Elena; Slagstad, Dag; Pavlova, Olga

    2006-10-01

    Within the framework of the physical forcing, we describe and quantify the key ecosystem components and basic food web structure of the Barents Sea. Emphasis is given to the energy flow through the ecosystem from an end-to-end perspective, i.e. from bacteria, through phytoplankton and zooplankton to fish, mammals and birds. Primary production in the Barents is on average 93 g C m -2 y -1, but interannually highly variable (±19%), responding to climate variability and change (e.g. variations in Atlantic Water inflow, the position of the ice edge and low-pressure pathways). The traditional focus upon large phytoplankton cells in polar regions seems less adequate in the Barents, as the cell carbon in the pelagic is most often dominated by small cells that are entangled in an efficient microbial loop that appears to be well coupled to the grazing food web. Primary production in the ice-covered waters of the Barents is clearly dominated by planktonic algae and the supply of ice biota by local production or advection is small. The pelagic-benthic coupling is strong, in particular in the marginal ice zone. In total 80% of the harvestable production is channelled through the deep-water communities and benthos. 19% of the harvestable production is grazed by the dominating copepods Calanus finmarchicus and C. glacialis in Atlantic or Arctic Water, respectively. These two species, in addition to capelin ( Mallotus villosus) and herring ( Clupea harengus), are the keystone organisms in the Barents that create the basis for the rich assemblage of higher trophic level organisms, facilitating one of the worlds largest fisheries (capelin, cod, shrimps, seals and whales). Less than 1% of the harvestable production is channelled through the most dominating higher trophic levels such as cod, harp seals, minke whales and sea birds. Atlantic cod, seals, whales, birds and man compete for harvestable energy with similar shares. Climate variability and change, differences in recruitment

  16. Aquatic pollution increases use of terrestrial prey subsidies by stream fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Pomeranz, Justin F.; Todd, Andrew S.; Walters, David M.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Wanty, Richard B.

    2016-01-01

    Stream food webs are connected with their riparian zones through cross-ecosystem movements of energy and nutrients. The use and impact of terrestrial subsidies on aquatic consumers is determined in part by in situ biomass of aquatic prey. Thus, stressors such as aquatic pollutants that greatly reduce aquatic secondary production could increase the need for and reliance of stream consumers on terrestrial resource subsidies.

  17. Trophic groups and modules: two levels of group detection in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gauzens, Benoit; Thébault, Elisa; Lacroix, Gérard; Legendre, Stéphane

    2015-05-06

    Within food webs, species can be partitioned into groups according to various criteria. Two notions have received particular attention: trophic groups (TGs), which have been used for decades in the ecological literature, and more recently, modules. The relationship between these two group concepts remains unknown in empirical food webs. While recent developments in network theory have led to efficient methods for detecting modules in food webs, the determination of TGs (groups of species that are functionally similar) is largely based on subjective expert knowledge. We develop a novel algorithm for TG detection. We apply this method to empirical food webs and show that aggregation into TGs allows for the simplification of food webs while preserving their information content. Furthermore, we reveal a two-level hierarchical structure where modules partition food webs into large bottom-top trophic pathways, whereas TGs further partition these pathways into groups of species with similar trophic connections. This provides new perspectives for the study of dynamical and functional consequences of food-web structure, bridging topological and dynamical analysis. TGs have a clear ecological meaning and are found to provide a trade-off between network complexity and information loss.

  18. Analyzing trophic transfer of heavy metals for food webs in the newly-formed wetlands of the Yellow River Delta, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cui Baoshan, E-mail: cuibs@bnu.edu.cn [State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Zhang Qijun [State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Zhang Kejiang [Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4 (Canada); Liu Xinhui; Zhang Honggang [State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China)

    2011-05-15

    Nine heavy metals sampled from water, sediments, and aquatic organisms in the newly-formed wetlands of the Yellow River Delta (YRD) of China were analyzed to evaluate their concentrations and trophic transfer in food webs. The stable carbon ({delta}{sup 13}C) and nitrogen ({delta}{sup 15}N) isotopes were used to investigate trophic interactions. Results show that most of heavy metals detected in water and sediments are lower than that in Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta. The longest food web is approximately 4 with the highest trophic level of birds. The difference of heavy metal concentrations between endangered Saunders's Gull and other three kinds of protected birds is not obvious. Cd, Zn, and Hg were identified to have an increase with the trophic level (TL), while As, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Pb show an opposite trend, however, the biomagnification of the selected nine heavy metals in the food webs is not significant. - Highlights: > Heavy metal content in newly-formed wetlands is lower than that in similar regions. > There is a trophic level-dependent accumulation of heavy metals in food webs. > The longest food web is approximately 4 with the highest trophic level of birds. > Cd, Zn, and Hg were identified to increase with the trophic level. > The difference of metal content between Saunders's Gull and other birds isn't obvious. - The newly-formed wetlands show slight heavy metal contamination and weak biomagnification through the food webs in the Yellow River Delta.

  19. Dispersed oil disrupts microbial pathways in pelagic food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice C Ortmann

    Full Text Available Most of the studies of microbial processes in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill focused on the deep water plume, and not on the surface communities. The effects of the crude oil and the application of dispersants on the coastal microbial food web in the northern Gulf of Mexico have not been well characterized even though these regions support much of the fisheries production in the Gulf. A mesocosm experiment was carried out to determine how the microbial community off the coast of Alabama may have responded to the influx of surface oil and dispersants. While the addition of glucose or oil alone resulted in an increase in the biomass of ciliates, suggesting transfer of carbon to higher trophic levels was likely; a different effect was seen in the presence of dispersant. The addition of dispersant or dispersed oil resulted in an increase in the biomass of heterotrophic prokaryotes, but a significant inhibition of ciliates, suggesting a reduction in grazing and decrease in transfer of carbon to higher trophic levels. Similar patterns were observed in two separate experiments with different starting nutrient regimes and microbial communities suggesting that the addition of dispersant and dispersed oil to the northern Gulf of Mexico waters in 2010 may have reduced the flow of carbon to higher trophic levels, leading to a decrease in the production of zooplankton and fish on the Alabama shelf.

  20. Dispersed oil disrupts microbial pathways in pelagic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortmann, Alice C; Anders, Jennifer; Shelton, Naomi; Gong, Limin; Moss, Anthony G; Condon, Robert H

    2012-01-01

    Most of the studies of microbial processes in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill focused on the deep water plume, and not on the surface communities. The effects of the crude oil and the application of dispersants on the coastal microbial food web in the northern Gulf of Mexico have not been well characterized even though these regions support much of the fisheries production in the Gulf. A mesocosm experiment was carried out to determine how the microbial community off the coast of Alabama may have responded to the influx of surface oil and dispersants. While the addition of glucose or oil alone resulted in an increase in the biomass of ciliates, suggesting transfer of carbon to higher trophic levels was likely; a different effect was seen in the presence of dispersant. The addition of dispersant or dispersed oil resulted in an increase in the biomass of heterotrophic prokaryotes, but a significant inhibition of ciliates, suggesting a reduction in grazing and decrease in transfer of carbon to higher trophic levels. Similar patterns were observed in two separate experiments with different starting nutrient regimes and microbial communities suggesting that the addition of dispersant and dispersed oil to the northern Gulf of Mexico waters in 2010 may have reduced the flow of carbon to higher trophic levels, leading to a decrease in the production of zooplankton and fish on the Alabama shelf.

  1. Animal diversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Florian D.; Brose, Ulrich; Rall, Björn C.; Guill, Christian

    2016-10-01

    Species diversity is changing globally and locally, but the complexity of ecological communities hampers a general understanding of the consequences of animal species loss on ecosystem functioning. High animal diversity increases complementarity of herbivores but also increases feeding rates within the consumer guild. Depending on the balance of these counteracting mechanisms, species-rich animal communities may put plants under top-down control or may release them from grazing pressure. Using a dynamic food-web model with body-mass constraints, we simulate ecosystem functions of 20,000 communities of varying animal diversity. We show that diverse animal communities accumulate more biomass and are more exploitative on plants, despite their higher rates of intra-guild predation. However, they do not reduce plant biomass because the communities are composed of larger, and thus energetically more efficient, plant and animal species. This plasticity of community body-size structure reconciles the debate on the consequences of animal species loss for primary productivity.

  2. Mercury in the pelagic food web of Lake Champlain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Eric K; Chen, Celia; Kamman, Neil; Shanley, James; Chalmers, Ann; Jackson, Brian; Taylor, Vivien; Smeltzer, Eric; Stangel, Pete; Shambaugh, Angela

    2012-04-01

    Lake Champlain continues to experience mercury contamination resulting in public advisories to limit human consumption of top trophic level fish such as walleye. Prior research suggested that mercury levels in biota could be modified by differences in ecosystem productivity as well as mercury loadings. We investigated relationships between mercury in different trophic levels in Lake Champlain. We measured inorganic and methyl mercury in water, seston, and two size fractions of zooplankton from 13 sites representing a range of nutrient loading conditions and productivity. Biomass varied significantly across lake segments in all measured ecosystem compartments in response to significant differences in nutrient levels. Local environmental factors such as alkalinity influenced the partitioning of mercury between water and seston. Mercury incorporation into biota was influenced by the biomass and mercury content of different ecosystem strata. Pelagic fish tissue mercury was a function of fish length and the size of the mercury pool associated with large zooplankton. We used these observations to parameterize a model of mercury transfers in the Lake Champlain food web that accounts for ecosystem productivity effects. Simulations using the mercury trophic transfer model suggest that reductions of 25-75% in summertime dissolved eplimnetic total mercury will likely allow fish tissue mercury concentrations to drop to the target level of 0.3 μg g(-1) in a 40-cm fish in all lake segments. Changes in nutrient loading and ecosystem productivity in eutrophic segments may delay any response to reduced dissolved mercury and may result in increases in fish tissue mercury.

  3. The impact of biological invasions on the Wadden Sea food web (INFOWEB)

    OpenAIRE

    de la Vega, Camille; Schückel, Ulrike; Jung, Sarina; Asmus, Harald; Asmus, Ragnhild; Kröncke, Ingrid; C. J. M. Philippart; van der Veer, Henk

    2012-01-01

    Invasive species are a general issue common of every seas in the world. Impacts of biological invasion on the food web of the Wadden Sea will be figure out through 3 related positions (Sarina Jung, PhD student ; Camille de la Vega, PhD student ; Ulrike Schueckel, Post doctoral student) included in the INFOWEB project. To investigate the impact of invasive species on the food web, a good comprehension of the trophic relation and energy fluxes between the different compartments of the food web ...

  4. Learning from visualizing and Interacting with the Semantic Web Dog Food

    OpenAIRE

    Gravier, Christophe; Subercaze, Julien

    2012-01-01

    International audience; Semantic Web conferences such as WWW and ISWC fos- tered a collaborative e ort for the leveraging of Linked Data about con- ferences people, papers and talks. This e ort gave birth to the Semantic Web Conference Corpus, a.k.a. the Semantic Web Dog Food Corpus. Many other conferences and journals contributed afterwards to this cor- pus, so that it is today a representative semantic data archive about our research community activities and progression. These metadata are ...

  5. Changes in patterns of persistent halogenated compounds through a pelagic food web in the Baltic Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stephansen, Diana Agnete; Svendsen, Tore Christian; Vorkamp, Katrin

    2012-01-01

    The concentrations and patterns of persistent halogenated compounds (PHCs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were examined in a pelagic food web from the southern Baltic Sea consisting...

  6. Impact of global changes and biotic interactions on food webs in lakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas

    analysis of the main communities inhabiting shallow lakes. To assess the consequences of increased air temperatures, space-for-time substitution comparisons were performed of the food webs, community structure and potential cascading effects in two sets of lakes located in remote islands with similar...... of the most studied stressors on shallow lakes so far; and it may interact with the other stressors related to global change with profound negative effects on shallow lake food webs. The aim of this thesis was to study the effects of different stressors related to global change on food web structure...... and the functioning of shallow lakes, with particular emphasis on enhanced air temperatures (objective 1), salinisation (objective 2) and species invasions (objective 3). A stable isotope approach and stomach content analyses of fish were used in order to characterise the food web structure, combined with structure...

  7. Non-random food-web assembly at habitat edges increases connectivity and functional redundancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta, Guadalupe; Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Rand, Tatyana A; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2017-04-01

    Habitat fragmentation dramatically alters the spatial configuration of landscapes, with the creation of artificial edges affecting community structure and dynamics. Despite this, it is not known how the different food webs in adjacent habitats assemble at their boundaries. Here we demonstrate that the composition and structure of herbivore-parasitoid food webs across edges between native and plantation forests are not randomly assembled from those of the adjacent communities. Rather, elevated proportions of abundant, interaction-generalist parasitoid species at habitat edges allowed considerable interaction rewiring, which led to higher linkage density and less modular networks, with higher parasitoid functional redundancy. This was despite high overlap in host composition between edges and interiors. We also provide testable hypotheses for how food webs may assemble between habitats with lower species overlap. In an increasingly fragmented world, non-random assembly of food webs at edges may increasingly affect community dynamics at the landscape level.

  8. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bezemer, T M; Fountain, M T; Barea, J M

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers...... and providers of resources to the soil food web, are of vital importance for the composition, structure, and functioning of soil communities. However, whether natural soil food webs that are completely open to immigration and emigration differ underneath individual plants remains unknown. In a biodiversity......, and functioning of the complete soil food webs of 58 individual plants, belonging to two of the plant species, Lotus corniculatus (Fabaceae) and Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae). We isolated and identified more than 150 taxa/groups of soil organisms. The soil community composition and structure of the entire...

  9. Potential impacts of ocean acidification on the Puget Sound food web (NCEI Accession 0134852)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The ecosystem impacts of ocean acidification (OA) were explored by imposing scenarios designed to mimic OA on a food web model of Puget Sound, a large estuary in the...

  10. Energy and nutrient flows connecting coastal wetland food webs to land and lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Both landscape character and hydrologic forces (principally, tributary discharge and seiches) can influence utilization of externally-derived energy and nutrients in coastal wetland food webs. We quantified the contribution of internal vs external energy and nutrients among wetla...

  11. 20th century human pressures drive reductions in deepwater oxygen leading to losses of benthic methane-based food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belle, Simon; Millet, Laurent; Verneaux, Valérie; Lami, Andrea; David, Etienne; Murgia, Laurie; Parent, Claire; Musazzi, Simona; Gauthier, Emilie; Bichet, Vincent; Magny, Michel

    2016-04-01

    Freshwater lakes play a key role in the global carbon cycle as sinks (organic carbon sequestration) and sources (greenhouse gas emissions). Understanding the carbon cycle response to environmental changes is becoming a crucial challenge in the context of global warming and the preponderance of human pressures. We reconstructed the long-term (1500 years) evolution of trophic functioning of the benthic food web, based on methanotrophic ancient DNA and chironomid isotope analyses). In addition, human land use is also reconstructed in three different lakes (eastern France, Jura Mountains). Our findings confirm that the benthic food web can be highly dependent on methane-derived carbon (up to 50% of the chironomid biomass) and reveal that the activation of this process can correspond to a natural functioning or be a consequence of anthropic perturbation. The studied lakes also showed a similar temporal evolution over the last century with the disappearance of the profundal aquatic insects (Chironomidae, Diptera), considered as keystone for the whole lake food web (e.g., coupling benthic-pelagic), inducing a potential collapse in the transfer of methane to top consumers. This functional state, also called the dead zone expansion, was caused by the change in human land-use occurring at the beginning of the 20th century. The strong modification of agro-pastoral practices (e.g., fertilization practices, intensive grazing, and sewage effluent) modified the influx of nutrients (by diffuse and/or point-source inputs) and induced a significant increase in the trophic status and organic matter sedimentation to reach unprecedented values. Further studies should be planned to assess dead zone expansion and, according to the regime shift theory, to provide environmental tipping points for sustainable resource management.

  12. Integrating Ecosystem Engineering and Food Web Ecology: Testing the Effect of Biogenic Reefs on the Food Web of a Soft-Bottom Intertidal Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Smet, Bart; Fournier, Jérôme; De Troch, Marleen; Vincx, Magda; Vanaverbeke, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The potential of ecosystem engineers to modify the structure and dynamics of food webs has recently been hypothesised from a conceptual point of view. Empirical data on the integration of ecosystem engineers and food webs is however largely lacking. This paper investigates the hypothesised link based on a field sampling approach of intertidal biogenic aggregations created by the ecosystem engineer Lanice conchilega (Polychaeta, Terebellidae). The aggregations are known to have a considerable impact on the physical and biogeochemical characteristics of their environment and subsequently on the abundance and biomass of primary food sources and the macrofaunal (i.e. the macro-, hyper- and epibenthos) community. Therefore, we hypothesise that L. conchilega aggregations affect the structure, stability and isotopic niche of the consumer assemblage of a soft-bottom intertidal food web. Primary food sources and the bentho-pelagic consumer assemblage of a L. conchilega aggregation and a control area were sampled on two soft-bottom intertidal areas along the French coast and analysed for their stable isotopes. Despite the structural impacts of the ecosystem engineer on the associated macrofaunal community, the presence of L. conchilega aggregations only has a minor effect on the food web structure of soft-bottom intertidal areas. The isotopic niche width of the consumer communities of the L. conchilega aggregations and control areas are highly similar, implying that consumer taxa do not shift their diet when feeding in a L. conchilega aggregation. Besides, species packing and hence trophic redundancy were not affected, pointing to an unaltered stability of the food web in the presence of L. conchilega.

  13. Food web topology and parasites in the pelagic zone of a subarctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundsen, P.-A.; Lafferty, K.D.; Knudsen, R.; Primicerio, R.; Klemetsen, A.; Kuris, A.M.

    2009-01-01

    Parasites permeate trophic webs with their often complex life cycles, but few studies have included parasitism in food web analyses. Here we provide a highly resolved food web from the pelagic zone of a subarctic lake and explore how the incorporation of parasites alters the topology of the web. 2. Parasites used hosts at all trophic levels and increased both food-chain lengths and the total number of trophic levels. Their inclusion in the network analyses more than doubled the number of links and resulted in an increase in important food-web characteristics such as linkage density and connectance. 3. More than half of the parasite taxa were trophically transmitted, exploiting hosts at multiple trophic levels and thus increasing the degree of omnivory in the trophic web. 4. For trophically transmitted parasites, the number of parasite-host links exhibited a positive correlation with the linkage density of the host species, whereas no such relationship was seen for nontrophically transmitted parasites. Our findings suggest that the linkage density of free-living species affects their exposure to trophically transmitted parasites, which may be more likely to adopt highly connected species as hosts during the evolution of complex life cycles. 5. The study supports a prominent role for parasites in ecological networks and demonstrates that their incorporation may substantially alter considerations of food-web structure and functioning. ?? 2009 British Ecological Society.

  14. The role of seagrass-associated resources in an estuarine benthic food web

    OpenAIRE

    Vafeiadou, Anna-Maria; Materatski, Patrick; Adão, Helena; Troch, Marleen; Moens, Tom

    2014-01-01

    Benthos have a key role in marine food webs by linking primary production to higher trophic levels, enhancing energy and nutrient transfer between the sediments and the pelagic zone. In seagrass ecosystems trophic relations are complex due to large resource variability. This study focuses on the benthic food web in a Zostera noltii seagrass habitat (Mira Estuary, Portugal). We examined resource utilization of the most abundant macroand meiobenthic taxa at genus, species or fami...

  15. Potential for Biomagnification of Contaminants within Marine and Freshwater Food Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-11-01

    biomagnify within the food web. Heavy metals were examined in fishe’s from the Chao Phraya River Estuary in Thailand (Polprasert 1982). The average Cr... Chao - Phraya River EstuarySThail1and. Water Res. 16:775-784. Potter, L., D. Kidd, and D. Standiford. 1975. Mercury Levels in Lake Powell: Bioamplification...contents in an 39 S epibenthic food web. Polprasert (1982) also ranked fishes in the Chao Phr~ya River Estuary according to trophic level. Based upon the

  16. Aquatic insects as the main food resource of fish the community in a Neotropical reservoir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Vidotto-Magnoni

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated the feeding of fish species of the Nova Avanhandava Reservoir, low Tietê River, São Paulo State, Brazil. Fishes were collected in two stretches of the reservoir: Santa Bárbara (14 samples and Bonito (two samples between September 2002 and March 2004, using gill and seining nets. The results of stomach contents analysis were expressed with the frequency of occurrence and gravimetric method, combined in the Alimentary Index (AI. The 20 species studied consumed 52 food items, grouped in 10 food categories: aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, crustaceans, fish, macroinvertebrates, microcrustaceans, algae, vegetal matter, detritus/sediment and scales. The aquatic insects (mainly Chironomidae, Odonata and Ephemeroptera were the most common food resources, consumed by 18 species. The diet composition of the community (species grouped indicated that the dominant food category in the diet of fishes was aquatic insects (AI = 77.6%, followed by crustaceans (AI = 7.1%. Four trophic guilds were identified according a cluster analysis (Pearson distance: insectivorous (10 species, omnivorous (4 species, detritivorous (3 species and piscivorous/carcinophagous (3 species. Despite the highest number of species, the insectivorous guild was responsible for more than 80% in captures in number and biomass (CPUEn and CPUEb. The low values of niche breadth presented by all species, along with the low values of diet overlap between species pairs indicate a high degree of food resources partitioning among species. The aquatic insects, despite being the main food resource of insectivorous fishes, also complemented the diet of other species, which demonstrate the importance of this food resource for the fish community, sustaining a high diversity, abundance and biomass of fishes.Neste estudo foi avaliada a dieta das espécies de peixes do reservatório de Nova Avanhandava, baixo rio Tietê, Estado de São Paulo, Brasil. Os peixes foram coletados em dois

  17. The role of microorganisms in a planktonic food web of a floodplain lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segovia, Bianca Trevizan; Pereira, Danielle Goeldner; Bini, Luis Mauricio; de Meira, Bianca Ramos; Nishida, Verônica Sayuri; Lansac-Tôha, Fabio Amodêo; Velho, Luiz Felipe Machado

    2015-02-01

    Food webs include complex ecological interactions that define the flow of matter and energy, and are fundamental in understanding the functioning of an ecosystem. Temporal variations in the densities of communities belonging to the planktonic food web (i.e., microbial: bacteria, flagellate, and ciliate; and grazing: zooplankton and phytoplankton) were investigated, aiming to clarify the interactions between these organisms and the dynamics of the planktonic food web in a floodplain lake. We hypothesized that hydrological pulse determines the path of matter and energy flow through the planktonic food web of this floodplain lake. Data were collected monthly from March 2007 to February 2008 at three different sites in Guaraná Lake (Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil). The path analysis provided evidence that the dynamics of the planktonic food web was strongly influenced by the hydrological pulse. The high-water period favored interactions among the organisms of the microbial loop, rather than their relationships with zooplankton and phytoplankton. Therefore, in this period, the strong interaction among the organisms of the grazing food chain suggests that the microbial loop functions as a sink of matter and energy. In turn, in the low-water period, higher primary productivity appeared to favor different interactions between the components of the grazing food chain and microorganisms, which would function as a link to the higher trophic levels.

  18. The impact of nonlinear functional responses on the long-term evolution of food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drossel, Barbara; McKane, Alan J; Quince, Christopher

    2004-08-21

    We investigate the long-term web structure emerging in evolutionary food web models when different types of functional responses are used. We find that large and complex webs with several trophic layers arise only if the population dynamics is such that it allows predators to focus on their best prey species. This can be achieved using modified Lotka-Volterra or Holling/Beddington functional responses with effective couplings that depend on the predator's efficiency at exploiting the prey, or a ratio-dependent functional response with adaptive foraging. In contrast, if standard Lotka-Volterra or Holling/Beddington functional responses are used, long-term evolution generates webs with almost all species being basal, and with additionally many links between these species. Interestingly, in all cases studied, a large proportion of weak links result naturally from the evolution of the food webs.

  19. Effects of developmental stage, salts, and food presence on aquatic toxicological endpoints using Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donkin, S.G.; Williams, P.L. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Environmental Health Science

    1995-12-31

    The objective of this study was to standardize the testing protocol for aquatic toxicity tests with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Several variables which may be important in determining the test outcome were investigated in a randomized block design. Concentration-response data were obtained on nematodes of various developmental stages exposed to four metals (Cd, Pb, Cu, and Hg) and a water-soluble organic toxicant, sodium Pentachlorophenate (PCP), under conditions of varied solvent medium (with or without salts and with or without a bacterial food source). The endpoints measured were 24 and 96-h mortality, as well as development of larval stages to adulthood and evidence of reproduction. The results suggest that nematodes of various ages respond similarly to a given toxicant for all endpoints measured, although adults cultured from eggs appeared more sensitive than adults cultured from dauer larvae. The most important environmental variable in determining toxicity was the medium in which the tests were conducted. The presence of potassium and sodium salts in the medium significantly (p<0.05) reduced the toxicity of many test samples. The presence of bacteria had little effect on 24-h tests with salts, but was important in 96-h survival and development. Based on sensitivity and ease of handling, adults cultured from eggs are recommended in both 24-h and 96-h mortality (LC50 value) tests, as well as 96-h reproduction tests.

  20. Reconciling the role of terrestrial leaves in pond food webs: a whole-ecosystem experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holgerson, Meredith A; Post, David M; Skelly, David K

    2016-07-01

    Terrestrial carbon and nutrients can subsidize the detrital pool of freshwater ecosystems; yet, the importance of terrestrial subsidies to lake and pond food webs is uncertain and debated. Terrestrial detritus is expected to have the greatest impact on food webs when water bodies are small and shallow with low levels of incident light. Temporary forested ponds fit this description and are often assumed to have a leaf detritus-based food web, but this has not been quantified. In a whole-ecosystem experiment, we traced the flow of isotopically enriched leaf litter to primary producers and consumers in a small, forested pond. We found that terrestrial leaves provided nutrients to algae, offering an indirect pathway in which leaf litter can enter the food web. Terrestrial leaves were also consumed directly, and larval caddisfly (Limnephilus sp.) shredders likely mobilized leaf nutrients to other consumers, a process overlooked in many previous small-scale experiments that did not incorporate shredders. Unexpectedly, most consumers relied heavily upon algal food pathways despite low light and net heterotrophic conditions. Overall, our study highlights the interconnectedness of algal and leaf litter pathways in small pond food webs, and emphasizes that algal pathways are prevalent and important even in small, shaded ponds with high loads of terrestrial leaf litter.

  1. Soil invertebrate/micro-invertebrate interactions: disproportionate effects of species on food web structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J C; DeRuiter, P C; Hunt, H W

    1993-06-01

    The preservation of biodiversity requires an appreciation of food web structure and an understanding of how disturbance alters their structure and function. Theoretical and empirical studies of food webs demonstrate that food webs possess a regular structure. Food chain length appears limited to three to four transfers, and, complexity and diversity are constrained. When ecosystem energetics are considered, species within food webs are seen to form interactive assemblages that process matter at different rates and respond to disturbance differently. Disturbance may affect the diversity of a system, or, may influence the relative importance of one species assemblage over another. Moreover, predicting the impact of disturbance on a system is difficult as species that comprise and process a small fraction of the system's biomass may control a disproportionate fraction of the system's biomass and diversity. Seven food webs at four sites were used in a modeling exercise to demonstrate this point. Field studies involving the role of mycorrhizal fungi yielded results consistent with the modeling studies as the types of plant species present, the level of production and the diversity of production were related to the levels of mycorrhizal fungi in the soils following disturbance. The results indicate that all species are important to ecosystem structure and function and that the monitoring of ecosystems and conservation efforts should expand their emphasis to the preservation of ecosystem integrity as well as that of individual species.

  2. The meaning of functional trait composition of food webs for ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravel, Dominique; Albouy, Camille; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-05-19

    There is a growing interest in using trait-based approaches to characterize the functional structure of animal communities. Quantitative methods have been derived mostly for plant ecology, but it is now common to characterize the functional composition of various systems such as soils, coral reefs, pelagic food webs or terrestrial vertebrate communities. With the ever-increasing availability of distribution and trait data, a quantitative method to represent the different roles of animals in a community promise to find generalities that will facilitate cross-system comparisons. There is, however, currently no theory relating the functional composition of food webs to their dynamics and properties. The intuitive interpretation that more functional diversity leads to higher resource exploitation and better ecosystem functioning was brought from plant ecology and does not apply readily to food webs. Here we appraise whether there are interpretable metrics to describe the functional composition of food webs that could foster a better understanding of their structure and functioning. We first distinguish the various roles that traits have on food web topology, resource extraction (bottom-up effects), trophic regulation (top-down effects), and the ability to keep energy and materials within the community. We then discuss positive effects of functional trait diversity on food webs, such as niche construction and bottom-up effects. We follow with a discussion on the negative effects of functional diversity, such as enhanced competition (both exploitation and apparent) and top-down control. Our review reveals that most of our current understanding of the impact of functional trait diversity on food web properties and functioning comes from an over-simplistic representation of network structure with well-defined levels. We, therefore, conclude with propositions for new research avenues for both theoreticians and empiricists.

  3. Food web accumulation of cyclic siloxanes in Lake Mjøsa, Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgå, Katrine; Fjeld, Eirik; Kierkegaard, Amelie; McLachlan, Michael S

    2012-06-05

    The biomagnification of the cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4), decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) and dodecamethylcyclohexatetrasiloxane (D6) was analyzed in the Lake Mjøsa food web in Norway from zooplankton and Mysis to planktivorous and piscivorous fish. The trophic magnification factor (TMF) for D5 was determined and compared with TMFs of several legacy contaminants: polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners 153 and 180, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners 47 and 99, and p,p'-DDE. D5 showed TMF significantly greater than 1, implying food web biomagnification (TMF = 2.28, CI: 1.22-4.29). This contrasts with two studies that reported TMF < 1, which may reflect variability in TMF between food webs. The Lake Mjøsa D5 TMF was sensitive to the species included at the higher trophic level; whole food web TMF differed from TMF excluding smelt (Osmerus eperlanus) or brown trout (Salmo trutta) (TMF(-SMELT) = 1.62, CI: 0.96-2.72; TMF(-TROUT) = 3.58, CI: 1.82-7.03). For legacy contaminants (e.g., PCB-153 and PCB-180), the TMFs were less sensitive to the food web composition, and a better model fit was obtained compared to D5. The differences in biomagnification behavior between D5 and the legacy contaminants suggest that the biomagnification of D5 is being governed by species-specific properties such as biotransformation rate or tissue distribution that differ from those of legacy contaminants.

  4. Internet food marketing strategies aimed at children and adolescents: a content analysis of food and beverage brand web sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Kristi; Story, Mary; Harnack, Lisa

    2006-09-01

    Americans are spending an increasing amount of time using "new media" like the Internet. There has been little research examining food and beverage Web sites' content and marketing practices, especially those that attract children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to conduct a content analysis of food- and beverage-brand Web sites and the marketing techniques and advertising strategies present on these sites. The top five brands in eight food and beverage categories, 40 brands in total, were selected based on annual sales data from Brandweek magazine's annual "Superbrands" report. Data were collected using a standardized coding form. The results show a wide variety of Internet marketing techniques and advertising strategies targeting children and adolescents. "Advergaming" (games in which the advertised product is part of the game) was present on 63% of the Web sites. Half or more of the Web sites used cartoon characters (50%) or spokescharacters (55%), or had a specially designated children's area (58%) with a direct link from the homepage. With interactive media still in its developmental stage, there is a need to develop safeguards for children. Food and nutrition professionals need to advocate for responsible marketing techniques that will support the health of children.

  5. Hydrological and Biogeochemical Controls on Seasonal and Spatial Differences in Food Webs in the Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, C.; Wankel, S. D.; Bemis, B. E.; Rawlik, P. S.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Lange, T.

    2002-05-01

    Stable isotopes can be used to determine the relative trophic positions of biota within a food web, and to improve our understanding of the biomagnification of contaminants. Plants at the base of the food web uptake dissolved organic carbon (DIC) and nitrogen (DIN) for growth, and their tissue reflects the isotopic composition of these sources. Animals then mirror the isotopic composition of the primary producers, as modified by consumer-diet fractionations at successive trophic steps. During 1995-99, we collected algae, macrophyte, invertebrate, and fish samples from 15 USGS sites in the Everglades and analyzed them for d13C and d15N with the goal of characterizing seasonal and spatial differences in food web relations. Carbon isotopes effectively distinguish between two main types of food webs: ones where algae is the dominant base of the food web, which are characteristic of relatively pristine marsh sites with long hydroperiods, and ones where macrophyte debris appears to be a significant source of nutrients, which are apparently characteristic of shorter hydroperiod sites, and nutrient-impacted marshes and canals. There usually is an inverse relation between d13C and d15N of organisms over time, especially in more pristine environments, reflecting seasonal changes in the d13C of DIC and the d15N of DIN. The d13C and d15N of algae also show strong positive correlations with seasonal changes in water levels. This variability is substantially damped up the food chain, probably because of the longer integration times of animals vs. plants. We speculate that these seasonal shifts in water level result in changes in biogeochemical reactions and nutrient levels, with corresponding variations in the d15N and d13C of biota. For example, small changes in water level may change the balance of photosynthesis, bacterial respiration, and atmospheric exchange reactions that control the d13C of DIC. Such changes will probably also affect the d15N of dissolved inorganic N (DIN

  6. The rapid return of marine-derived nutrients to a freshwater food web following dam removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonra, Christopher M; Sager-Fradkin, Kimberly A.; Morley, Sarah A; Duda, Jeff; Marra, Peter P.

    2015-01-01

    Dam removal is increasingly being recognized as a viable river restoration action. Although the main beneficiaries of restored connectivity are often migratory fish populations, little is known regarding recovery of other parts of the freshwater food web, particularly terrestrial components. We measured stable isotopes in key components to the freshwater food web: salmon, freshwater macroinvertebrates and a river specialist bird, American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus), before and after removal of the Elwha Dam, WA, USA. Less than a year after dam removal, salmon returned to the system and released marine-derived nutrients (MDN). In that same year we documented an increase in stable-nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios in American dippers. These results indicate that MDN from anadromous fish, an important nutrient subsidy that crosses the aquatic–terrestrial boundary, can return rapidly to food webs after dams are removed which is an important component of ecosystem recovery.

  7. The structure of the pelagic food web in relation to water column structure in the Skagerrak

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; Kaas, H.; Kruse, B.

    1990-01-01

    by a doming of the pycnocline, with a deep mixed layer along the periphery and a very shallow pycnocline in central parts. Average phytoplankton size increased with the depth of the upper mixed layer, and the central stratified area was characterized by small flagellates while large and chain-forming diatoms...... on particle surface area rather than particle volume or chl a, and showed a distributional pattern that was nearly the inverse of the distribution of copepod activity. That is, peak bacterial growth rates occurred in central, stratified parts and lower rates were found along the margin with a deep mixed layer....... Thus a 'microbial loop' type of food web seemed to be evolving in the central, strongly stratified parts of the Skagerrak, while a shorter 'classical' type of food web appeared to dominate along the margin. The relation between food web structure and vertical mixing processes observed on oceanwide...

  8. Differences in fatty acid composition between aquatic and terrestrial insects used as food in human nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaneto, Diego; Tommaseo-Ponzetta, Mila; Galli, Claudio; Risé, Patrizia; Glew, Robert H; Paoletti, Maurizio G

    2011-01-01

    Edible insects may be a source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA). The aim of this article is to test for differences in aquatic and terrestrial insects used in human nutrition. We implemented linear models and discovered that differences in the proportion of LC-PUFA between aquatic and terrestrial insects do exist, with terrestrial insects being significantly richer in particular omega-6 fatty acids. In conclusion, any kind of insect may provide valuable sources of LC-PUFA. Because terrestrial insects are more abundant and easier to collect, they can be considered a better source of LC-PUFA than aquatic ones.

  9. Parasites affect food web structure primarily through increased diversity and complexity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Dunne

    Full Text Available Comparative research on food web structure has revealed generalities in trophic organization, produced simple models, and allowed assessment of robustness to species loss. These studies have mostly focused on free-living species. Recent research has suggested that inclusion of parasites alters structure. We assess whether such changes in network structure result from unique roles and traits of parasites or from changes to diversity and complexity. We analyzed seven highly resolved food webs that include metazoan parasite data. Our analyses show that adding parasites usually increases link density and connectance (simple measures of complexity, particularly when including concomitant links (links from predators to parasites of their prey. However, we clarify prior claims that parasites "dominate" food web links. Although parasites can be involved in a majority of links, in most cases classic predation links outnumber classic parasitism links. Regarding network structure, observed changes in degree distributions, 14 commonly studied metrics, and link probabilities are consistent with scale-dependent changes in structure associated with changes in diversity and complexity. Parasite and free-living species thus have similar effects on these aspects of structure. However, two changes point to unique roles of parasites. First, adding parasites and concomitant links strongly alters the frequency of most motifs of interactions among three taxa, reflecting parasites' roles as resources for predators of their hosts, driven by trophic intimacy with their hosts. Second, compared to free-living consumers, many parasites' feeding niches appear broader and less contiguous, which may reflect complex life cycles and small body sizes. This study provides new insights about generic versus unique impacts of parasites on food web structure, extends the generality of food web theory, gives a more rigorous framework for assessing the impact of any species on trophic

  10. Some topological properties of arthropod food webs in paddy fields of South China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LiQin Jiang

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available To explore the topological properties of paddy arthropod food webs is of significance for understanding natural equilibrium of rice pests. In present study, we used Pajek software to analyze the topological properties of four full arthropod food webs in South China. The results showed that predators were significantly abundant than preys, and the proportion of predators to preys (3.07 was significantly higher than previously reported by Cohen in 1977 (1.33. In the food webs, the number of top species was the largest, accounted for about 50% of the total. The number of intermediate-intermediate links was far greater than the other three links. The average degree of paddy arthropod food webs is 6.0, 6.04, 5.74 and 7.75, respectively. Average degree and link density did not change significantly with the change of the number of species, but the connectance reduced significantly. In the paddy ecosystems, the increase of species diversity does not lead to an increase proportionally to the links among species. The link density and connectance of food webs of early season rice field were less than that from late season rice field. Cycles of all food webs cycles were 0. The maximum chain length of the basal species was 3, and the largest chain length of the top species was typically 2 or 3. Neutral insects were found to play a very important role in the paddy ecosystem. Nilaparvata lugens and Sogatella furcifera were found to be the dominant species of rice pests. Pardosa pseudoannulata, Tetragnatha maxillosa, Pirata subparaticus, Arctosa stigmosa and Clubiona corrugate were identified as the important predatory species that may effectively control the pest population. The keystone species calculated from keystone index and network analysis are analogous, indicating either keystone index or network analysis can be used in the analysis of keystone species.

  11. Impacts of food web structure and feeding behavior on mercury exposure in Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMeans, Bailey C; Arts, Michael T; Fisk, Aaron T

    2015-03-15

    Benthic and pelagic food web components in Cumberland Sound, Canada were explored as sources of total mercury (THg) to Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) via both bottom-up food web transfer and top-down shark feeding behavior. Log10THg increased significantly with δ(15)N and trophic position from invertebrates (0.01 ± 0.01 μg · g(-1) [113 ± 1 ng · g(-1)] dw in copepods) to Greenland Sharks (3.54 ± 1.02 μg · g(-1)). The slope of the log10THg vs. δ(15)N linear regression was higher for pelagic compared to benthic food web components (excluding Greenland Sharks, which could not be assigned to either food web), which resulted from THg concentrations being higher at the base of the benthic food web (i.e., in benthic than pelagic primary consumers). However, feeding habitat is unlikely to consistently influence shark THg exposure in Cumberland Sound because THg concentrations did not consistently differ between benthic and pelagic shark prey. Further, size, gender and feeding behavior (inferred from stable isotopes and fatty acids) were unable to significantly explain THg variability among individual Greenland Sharks. Possible reasons for this result include: 1) individual sharks feeding as generalists, 2) high overlap in THg among shark prey, and 3) differences in turnover time between ecological tracers and THg. This first assessment of Greenland Shark THg within an Arctic food web revealed high concentrations consistent with biomagnification, but low ability to explain intra-specific THg variability. Our findings of high THg levels and consumption of multiple prey types, however, suggest that Greenland Sharks acquire THg through a variety of trophic pathways and are a significant contributor to the total biotic THg pool in northern seas.

  12. Parasites affect food web structure primarily through increased diversity and complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Jennifer A.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Kuris, Armand M.; Martinez, Neo D.; McLaughlin, John P.; Mouritsen, Kim N.; Poulin, Robert; Reise, Karsten; Stouffer, Daniel B.; Thieltges, David W.; Williams, Richard J.; Zander, Claus Dieter

    2013-01-01

    Comparative research on food web structure has revealed generalities in trophic organization, produced simple models, and allowed assessment of robustness to species loss. These studies have mostly focused on free-living species. Recent research has suggested that inclusion of parasites alters structure. We assess whether such changes in network structure result from unique roles and traits of parasites or from changes to diversity and complexity. We analyzed seven highly resolved food webs that include metazoan parasite data. Our analyses show that adding parasites usually increases link density and connectance (simple measures of complexity), particularly when including concomitant links (links from predators to parasites of their prey). However, we clarify prior claims that parasites ‘‘dominate’’ food web links. Although parasites can be involved in a majority of links, in most cases classic predation links outnumber classic parasitism links. Regarding network structure, observed changes in degree distributions, 14 commonly studied metrics, and link probabilities are consistent with scale-dependent changes in structure associated with changes in diversity and complexity. Parasite and free-living species thus have similar effects on these aspects of structure. However, two changes point to unique roles of parasites. First, adding parasites and concomitant links strongly alters the frequency of most motifs of interactions among three taxa, reflecting parasites’ roles as resources for predators of their hosts, driven by trophic intimacy with their hosts. Second, compared to free-living consumers, many parasites’ feeding niches appear broader and less contiguous, which may reflect complex life cycles and small body sizes. This study provides new insights about generic versus unique impacts of parasites on food web structure, extends the generality of food web theory, gives a more rigorous framework for assessing the impact of any species on trophic

  13. Impact of freshwater influx on microzooplankton mediated food web in a tropical estuary (Cochin backwaters - India)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jyothibabu, R.; Madhu, N.V.; Jayalakshmi, K.V.; Balachandran, K.K.; Shiyas, C.C.; Martin, G.D.; Nair, K.K.C.

    in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean. Deep Sea Research 40, 479 ? 493. Burkill, P. H., Leaky, R. J. G., Owens, N. J. P., and Mantoura, R. F. C., 1993b. Synechococcus and its importance to the microbial food web of the northwestern Indian Ocean, In: Biogeochemical...-1 Impact of fresh water influx on microzooplankton mediated food web in a tropical estuary (Cochin backwaters - India) R. Jyothibabu A, B, N.V. Madhu A, K.V. Jayalakshmi A, K. K. Balachandran A, C. A. Shiyas A, G. D. Martin A and K. K. C. Nair A A...

  14. Climate change-contaminant interactions in marine food webs: Toward a conceptual framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alava, Juan José; Cheung, William W L; Ross, Peter S; Sumaila, U Rashid

    2017-02-17

    Climate change is reshaping the way in which contaminants move through the global environment, in large part by changing the chemistry of the oceans and affecting the physiology, health, and feeding ecology of marine biota. Climate change-associated impacts on structure and function of marine food webs, with consequent changes in contaminant transport, fate, and effects, are likely to have significant repercussions to those human populations that rely on fisheries resources for food, recreation, or culture. Published studies on climate change-contaminant interactions with a focus on food web bioaccumulation were systematically reviewed to explore how climate change and ocean acidification may impact contaminant levels in marine food webs. We propose here a conceptual framework to illustrate the impacts of climate change on contaminant accumulation in marine food webs, as well as the downstream consequences for ecosystem goods and services. The potential impacts on social and economic security for coastal communities that depend on fisheries for food are discussed. Climate change-contaminant interactions may alter the bioaccumulation of two priority contaminant classes: the fat-soluble persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as the protein-binding methylmercury (MeHg). These interactions include phenomena deemed to be either climate change dominant (i.e., climate change leads to an increase in contaminant exposure) or contaminant dominant (i.e., contamination leads to an increase in climate change susceptibility). We illustrate the pathways of climate change-contaminant interactions using case studies in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. The important role of ecological and food web modeling to inform decision-making in managing ecological and human health risks of chemical pollutants contamination under climate change is also highlighted. Finally, we identify the need to develop integrated policies that manage the

  15. Stabilization of chaotic and non-permanent food-web dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, R. J.; Martinez, N. D.

    2004-03-01

    Several decades of dynamical analyses of food-web networks[CITE] have led to important insights into the effects of complexity, omnivory and interaction strength on food-web stability[CITE]. Several recent insights[CITE] are based on nonlinear bioenergetic consumer-resource models[CITE] that display chaotic behavior in three species food chains[CITE] which can be stabilized by omnivory[CITE] and weak interaction of a fourth species[CITE]. We slightly relax feeding on low-density prey in these models by modifying standard food-web interactions known as “typeII” functional responses[CITE]. This change drastically alters the dynamics of realistic systems containing up to ten species. Our modification stabilizes chaotic dynamics in three species systems and reduces or eliminates extinctions and non-persistent chaos[CITE] in ten species systems. This increased stability allows analysis of systems with greater biodiversity than in earlier work and suggests that dynamic stability is not as severe a constraint on the structure of large food webs as previously thought. The sensitivity of dynamical models to small changes in the predator-prey functional response well within the range of what is empirically observed suggests that functional response is a crucial aspect of species interactions that must be more precisely addressed in empirical studies.

  16. Higher mass-independent isotope fractionation of methylmercury in the pelagic food web of Lake Baikal (Russia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrot, Vincent; Pastukhov, Mikhail V; Epov, Vladimir N; Husted, Søren; Donard, Olivier F X; Amouroux, David

    2012-06-01

    Mercury undergoes several transformations that influence its stable isotope composition during a number of environmental and biological processes. Measurements of Hg isotopic mass-dependent (MDF) and mass-independent fractionation (MIF) in food webs may therefore help to identify major sources and processes leading to significant bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg). In this work, δ(13)C, δ(15)N, concentration of Hg species (MeHg, inorganic Hg), and stable isotopic composition of Hg were determined at different trophic levels of the remote and pristine Lake Baikal ecosystem. Muscle of seals and different fish as well as amphipods, zooplankton, and phytoplankton were specifically investigated. MDF during trophic transfer of MeHg leading to enrichment of heavier isotopes in the predators was clearly established by δ(202)Hg measurements in the pelagic prey-predator system (carnivorous sculpins and top-predator seals). Despite the low concentrations of Hg in the ecosystem, the pelagic food web reveals very high MIF Δ(199)Hg (3.15-6.65‰) in comparison to coastal fish (0.26-1.65‰) and most previous studies in aquatic organisms. Trophic transfer does not influence MIF signature since similar Δ(199)Hg was observed in sculpins (4.59 ± 0.55‰) and seal muscles (4.62 ± 0.60‰). The MIF is suggested to be mainly controlled by specific physical and biogeochemical characteristics of the water column. The higher level of MIF in pelagic fish of Lake Baikal is mainly due to the bioaccumulation of residual MeHg that is efficiently turned over and photodemethylated in deep oligotrophic and stationary (i.e., long residence time) freshwater columns.

  17. Pollutant dehalogenation capability may depend on the trophic evolutionary history of the organism: PBDEs in freshwater food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mireia Bartrons

    Full Text Available Organohalogen compounds are some of the most notorious persistent pollutants disturbing the Earth biosphere. Although human-made, these chemicals are not completely alien to living systems. A large number of natural organohalogens, part of the secondary metabolism, are involved in chemical trophic interactions. Surprisingly, the relationship between organisms' trophic position and synthetic organohalogen biotransformation capability has not been investigated. We studied the case for polybromodiphenyl ethers (PBDE, a group of flame-retardants of widespread use in the recent years, in aquatic food webs from remote mountain lakes. These relatively simple ecosystems only receive pollution by atmospheric transport. A large predominance of the PBDE congener currently in use in Europe, BDE-209, largely dominated the PBDE composition of the basal resources of the food web. In contrast, primary consumers (herbivores and detritivores showed a low proportion of BDE-209, and dominance of several less brominated congeners (e.g. BDE-100, BDE47. Secondary consumers (predators showed large biomagnification of BDE-209 compare to other congeners. Finally, top predator fish characterized by low total PBDE concentrations. Examination of the bromine stable isotopic composition indicates that primary consumers showed higher PBDE biotransformation capability than secondary consumers. We suggest that the evolutionary response of primary consumers to feeding deterrents would have pre-adapted them for PBDE biotransformation. The observed few exceptions, some insect taxa, can be interpreted in the light of the trophic history of the evolutionary lineage of the organisms. Bromine isotopic composition in fish indicates that low PBDE values are due to not only biotransformation but also to some other process likely related to transport. Our finding illustrates that organohalogen compounds may strongly disturb ecosystems even at low concentrations, since the species lacking

  18. Role of detritus in a spatial food web model with diffusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekalski, Andrzej; Szwabiński, Janusz

    2014-05-01

    One of the central themes in modern ecology is the enduring debate on whether there is a relationship between the complexity of a biological community and its stability. In this paper, we focus on the role of detritus and spatial dispersion on the stability of ecosystems. Using Monte Carlo simulations we analyze two three-level models of food webs: a grazing one with the basal species (i.e., primary producers) having unlimited food resources and a detrital one in which the basal species uses detritus as a food resource. While the vast majority of theoretical studies neglects detritus, from our results it follows that the detrital food web is more stable than its grazing counterpart, because the interactions mediated by detritus damp out fluctuations in species' densities. Since the detritus model is the more complex one in terms of interaction patterns, our results provide evidence for the advocates of the complexity as one of the factors enhancing stability of ecosystems.

  19. Balanced nitrogen economy as a flexible strategy on yield stabilizing and quality of aquatic food crops in wetland ecosystem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    A.; M.; Puste; P.; K.; Sarkar; D.; K.; Das

    2005-01-01

    In wetland ecosystem, nitrogen along with other elements and its management is most imperative for the production of so many aquatic food, non-food and beneficial medicinal plants and for the improvement of soil and water characteristics. With great significant importance of INM (integrated nutrient management) as sources, emphasizing on management on nitrogen as a key element and its divergence, a case study was undertaken on such aquatic food crops (starch and protein-rich, most popular and remunerative) in the farmers' field of low-lying randomized block design, where, three important aquatic food crops (water chestnut (Trapa bispinosa Roxb.), makhana (Eurya/e ferox Salisb.) and water lily (Nymphaea spp.) as major factor and eleven combinations of organic and inorganic sources of nutrients as sub-factor was considered in the experiment. It revealed from the results that the production of fresh kernels or nuts of water chestnut (8.57 t ha-1), matured nut yield of makhana (3.06 t ha-1) and flower stalks of water-lily as vegetables (6.38 t ha-1) including its nutritional quality (starch, protein, sugar and minerals) was remarkably influenced with the application of both organic (neem oilcake @ 0.2 t ha-1) and inorganic sources (NPK @ 30:20:20 kg ha-1 along with spraying of NPK @ 0.5% each over crop canopy at 20 days interval after transplanting) than the other INM combinations applied to the crops. Among the crops, highest WCYE (water chestnut yield equivalence) exhibited in makhana due to its high price of popped-form in the country, which is being exported to other countries at now. Sole application of both (organic and inorganic sources) with lower range did not produce any significant outcome from the study and exhibited lower value for all the crops.Besides production of food crops, INM also greatly influenced the soil and water characterization and it was favourably reflected in this study. The physico-chemical characteristics of soil (textural class, p

  20. The mass balance of production and consumption: Supporting policy-makers for aquatic food security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, A. S.; Ferreira, J. G.; Vale, C.; Johansen, J.

    2017-03-01

    This work addresses divergences between data on consumption and availability for wild-caught and farmed fish, and normalisation of reported production data, to support integrated fisheries and aquaculture management. The methodologies developed, centred on improved parameterisation and on mass balance closure, were tested in two case studies: (i) the cod fishery in Europe, with particular emphasis on Iceland and the United Kingdom; and (ii) the overall balance of aquatic products for Portugal, the ICES member with the most diverse range of landed marine species. Data for consumption, Illegal, Unreported, or Unregulated (IUU) catch, and official availability statistics were used to identify discrepancies between consumption and official availability data. The identification of discrepancies between supply and demand, when coupled with source-discriminated data, showed a pattern where products with no unmet demand tend to display a considerable IUU percentage-above 9% in three cases (hake, sardine, and horse mackerel). By contrast with fished products with an over-met demand such as cod (144%) and sardine (124%), farmed species display low Optimal Consumption Level (OCL) satisfaction. Atlantic salmon, gilthead seabream, and European seabass register 45%, 58% and 44% respectively; this suggests a considerable unmet demand for these products and/or a high volume of undeclared fish reaching consumers, which may be due to the lack of landings control that exists for wild-caught fish. Improvements to production estimates using live-weight coefficients illustrate the impacts of seafood processing. Different processing methods can generate variations in live-weight estimates, leading to errors in officially reported data, and expose the limitations of the current statistical methods. As an example, the corrected per capita consumption for Portugal for 2014 (the latest FAO data) increases from 57 to 66 kg ind-1 y-1, which places the country as the second-greatest consumer in

  1. Structure and functioning of intertidal food webs along an avian flyway: a omparative approach using stable isotopes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Catry, T.; Lourenco, P.M.; Lopes, R.J.; Carneiro, C.; Alves, J.A.; Costa, J.; Rguibi-Idrissi, H.; Bearhop, S.; Piersma, T.; Granadeiro, J.P.

    2016-01-01

    Food webs and trophic dynamics of coastal systems have been the focus of intense research throughout the world, as they prove to be critical in understanding ecosystem processes and functions. However, very few studies have undertaken a quantitative comparison of entire food webs from a key consumer

  2. Letter: Variable and complex food web structures revealed by exploring missing trophic links between birds and biofilm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuwae, T.; Miyoshi, E.; Hosokawa, S.; Amano, T.; Moriya, T.; Kondoh, M.; Ydenberg, R.C.; Elner, R.W.

    2012-01-01

    Food webs are comprised of a network of trophic interactions and are essential to elucidating ecosystem processes and functions. However, the presence of unknown, but critical networks hampers understanding of complex and dynamic food webs in nature. Here, we empirically demonstrate a missing link,

  3. Food web of the intertidal rocky shore of the west Portuguese coast - Determined by stable isotope analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinagre, Catarina; Mendonça, Vanessa; Narciso, Luís; Madeira, Carolina

    2015-09-01

    The characterization of food web structure, energy pathways and trophic linkages is essential for the understanding of ecosystem functioning. Isotopic analysis was performed on food web components of the rocky intertidal ecosystem in four sites along the Portuguese west coast. The aim was to 1) determine the general food web structure, 2) estimate the trophic level of the dominant organisms and 3) track the incorporation of organic carbon of different origins in the diet of the top consumers. In this food web, fish are top consumers, followed by shrimp. Anemones and gastropods are intermediate consumers, while bivalves and zooplankton are primary consumers. Macroalgae Bifurcaria bifurcata, Ulva lactuca, Fucus vesiculosus, Codium sp. and phytoplankton are the dominant producers. Two energy pathways were identified, pelagic and benthic. Reliance on the benthic energy pathway was high for many of the consumers but not as high as previously observed in subtidal coastal food webs. The maximum TL was 3.3, which is indicative of a relatively short food web. It is argued that the diet of top consumers relies directly on low levels of the food web to a considerable extent, instead of on intermediate levels, which shortens the trophic length of the food web.

  4. Food web interactions and nutrients dynamics in polyculture ponds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rahman, M.M.

    2006-01-01

    Artificial feed and fertilizers are the main sources of nutrients supporting fish growth in aquaculture ponds. The majority of the added nutrients are lost to the sediment, where they are no longer available for natural food production. By increasing resuspension of the sediment through the introduc

  5. Association between the Hygiene Index Values of Live Fresh Aquatic Products and Food-Borne Diarrhea in the Population of the Ningbo Area in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijun Zhang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the association of the hygiene index values of live fresh aquatic products and food-borne diarrhea in the population of the Ningbo area in China. Volatile basic nitrogen (VBN, histamine (HIS, indole, tetrodotoxin (TTX, and paralytic, neurotoxic, amnesic and diarrhetic shellfish poisons (PSP, NSP, ASP, and DSP, respectively in the samples of live fresh aquatic products and food-borne diarrhea cases in six studied districts were analyzed. Results indicate that the incidence rate of food-borne diarrhea is related to the hygiene index values. Aside from VBN, the main risk factors related to food-borne diarrhea in edible aquatic products include DSP (in marine fish, shrimp, and other shellfishes, NSP, and ASP (in marine shrimp and crab. Hygiene index values among different species were significantly different. No significant difference in the monitoring index values was found among the six different studied districts. The reported cases of food-borne diarrhea were positively associated with VBN and DSP in aquatic products in Haishu, Jiangbei, Zhenhai, and Beilun, as well as VBN and NSP in aquatic products in Jiangdong and Yinzhou. In conclusion, VBN, DSP, NSP, and ASP are important risk factors for the occurring of food-borne diarrhea in the population of the Ningbo area in China.

  6. Forecasting the impacts of silver and bighead carp on the Lake Erie food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, H.; Rutherford, E.S.; Mason, D.M.; Breck, J.T.; Wittmann, M.E.; Cooke, R.M.; Lodge, D.M.; Rothlisberger, J.D.; Zhu, Z.; Johnson, T.B.

    2016-01-01

    Nonindigenous bigheaded carps (Bighead Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and Silver Carp H. molitrix; hereafter, “Asian carps” [AC]) threaten to invade and disrupt food webs and fisheries in the Laurentian Great Lakes through their high consumption of plankton. To quantify the potential effects of AC

  7. The soil food web revisited: Diverse and widespread mycophagous soil protists

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Koller, R.; Hünninghaus, M.; Dumack, K.; Urich, T.; Bonkowski, M.

    2016-01-01

    Soil protists are commonly suggested being solely bacterivorous, serving together with bacterivorous nematodes as the main controllers of the bacterial energy channel in soil food webs. In contrast, the fungal energy channel is assumed to be controlled by arthropods and mycophagous nematodes. This p

  8. A thermodynamic perspective on food webs: Quantifying entropy production within detrital-based ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meysman, F.J.R.; Bruers, S.

    2007-01-01

    Because ecosystems fit so nicely the framework of a “dissipative system”, a better integration of thermodynamic and ecological perspectives could benefit the quantitative analysis of ecosystems. One obstacle is that traditional food web models are solely based upon the principles of mass and energy

  9. Carbon flows in the benthic food web at the deep-sea observatory HAUSGARTEN (Fram Strait)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Oevelen, D.; Bergmann, M.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Bauerfeind, E.; Hasemann, C.; Klages, M.; Schewe, I.; Soltwedel, T.; Budaeva, N.E.

    2011-01-01

    The HAUSGARTEN observatory is located in the eastern Fram Strait (Arctic Ocean) and used as long-term monitoring site to follow changes in the Arctic benthic ecosystem. Linear inverse modelling was applied to decipher carbon flows among the compartments of the benthic food web at the central HAUSGAR

  10. Status and trends in the structure of Arctic benthic food webs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Kędra

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Ongoing climate warming is causing a dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, and it is projected that the Arctic Ocean will become seasonally ice-free by 2040. Many studies of local Arctic food webs now exist, and with this review paper we aim to synthesize these into a large-scale assessment of the current status of knowledge on the structure of various Arctic marine food webs and their response to climate change, and to sea-ice retreat in particular. Key drivers of ecosystem change and potential consequences for ecosystem functioning and Arctic marine food webs are identified along the sea-ice gradient, with special emphasis on the following regions: seasonally ice-free Barents and Chukchi seas, loose ice pack zone of the Polar Front and Marginal Ice Zone, and permanently sea-ice covered High Arctic. Finally, we identify knowledge gaps in different Arctic marine food webs and provide recommendations for future studies.

  11. Status and trends in the structure of Arctic benthic food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kędra, M.; Moritz, C.; Choy, E.S.; David, C.; Degen, R.; Duerksen, S.; Ellingsen, I.; Górska, B.; Grebmeier, J.M.; Kirievskaya, D.; van Oevelen, D.; Piwosz, K.; Samuelsen, A.; We? slawski, J.M.

    2015-01-01

    Ongoing climate warming is causing a dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, and it is projected that the Arctic Ocean will become seasonally ice-free by 2040. Many studies of local Arctic food webs now exist, and with this review paper we aim to synthesize these into a large-scale assessment

  12. Canyon conditions impact carbon flows in food webs of three sections of the Nazare canyon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oevelen, D.; Soetaert, K.; Garcia, R.; de Stigter, H.C.; Cunha, M.R.; Pusceddu, A.; Danovaro, R.; Garcia, R.

    2011-01-01

    Submarine canyons transport large amounts of sediment and organic matter (OM) from the continental shelf to the abyssal plain. Three carbon-based food web models were constructed for the upper (300-750 m water depth), middle (2700-3500 m) and lower section (4000-5000 m) of the Nazare canyon (eastern

  13. Estuarine consumers utilize marine, estuarine and terrestrial organic matter and provide connectivity among these food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    The flux of organic matter (OM) across ecosystem boundaries can influence estuarine food web dynamics and productivity. However, this process is seldom investigated taking into account all the adjacent ecosystems (e.g. ocean, river, land) and different hydrological settings (i.e....

  14. Phylogeny determines the role of helminth parasites in intertidal food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poulin, R.; Krasnov, B.R.; Pilosof, S.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2013-01-01

    1.Parasites affect interactions among species in food webs and should be considered in any analysis of the structure, dynamics or resilience of trophic networks.2.However, the roles of individual parasite species, such as their importance as connectors within the network, and what factors determine

  15. Parasites Affect Food Web Structure Primarily through Increased Diversity and Complexity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dunne, J.A.; Lafferty, K.D.; Dobson, A.P.; Hechinger, R.F.; Kuris, A.M.; Martinez, N.D.; McLaughlin, J.P.; Mouritsen, K.N.; Poulin, R.; Reise, K.; Stouffer, D.B.; Thieltges, D.W.; Williams, R.J.; Zander, C.D.

    2013-01-01

    Comparative research on food web structure has revealed generalities in trophic organization, produced simple models, and allowed assessment of robustness to species loss. These studies have mostly focused on free-living species. Recent research has suggested that inclusion of parasites alters struc

  16. Combined effects of global climate change and regional ecosystem drivers on an exploited marine food web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niiranen, S.; Yletyinen, J.; Tomczak, M.T.;

    2013-01-01

    approach to project how the interaction of climate, nutrient loads, and cod fishing may affect the future of the open Central Baltic Sea food web. Regionally downscaled global climate scenarios were, in combination with three nutrient load scenarios, used to drive an ensemble of three regional...

  17. Impacts of food web structure and feeding behavior on mercury exposure in Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McMeans, Bailey C., E-mail: bcmcmeans@gmail.com [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada); Arts, Michael T. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada); National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, PO Box 5050, Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6 (Canada); Fisk, Aaron T. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada)

    2015-03-15

    Benthic and pelagic food web components in Cumberland Sound, Canada were explored as sources of total mercury (THg) to Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) via both bottom-up food web transfer and top-down shark feeding behavior. Log{sub 10}THg increased significantly with δ{sup 15}N and trophic position from invertebrates (0.01 ± 0.01 μg·g{sup −1} [113 ± 1 ng·g{sup −1}] dw in copepods) to Greenland Sharks (3.54 ± 1.02 μg·g{sup −1}). The slope of the log{sub 10}THg vs. δ{sup 15}N linear regression was higher for pelagic compared to benthic food web components (excluding Greenland Sharks, which could not be assigned to either food web), which resulted from THg concentrations being higher at the base of the benthic food web (i.e., in benthic than pelagic primary consumers). However, feeding habitat is unlikely to consistently influence shark THg exposure in Cumberland Sound because THg concentrations did not consistently differ between benthic and pelagic shark prey. Further, size, gender and feeding behavior (inferred from stable isotopes and fatty acids) were unable to significantly explain THg variability among individual Greenland Sharks. Possible reasons for this result include: 1) individual sharks feeding as generalists, 2) high overlap in THg among shark prey, and 3) differences in turnover time between ecological tracers and THg. This first assessment of Greenland Shark THg within an Arctic food web revealed high concentrations consistent with biomagnification, but low ability to explain intra-specific THg variability. Our findings of high THg levels and consumption of multiple prey types, however, suggest that Greenland Sharks acquire THg through a variety of trophic pathways and are a significant contributor to the total biotic THg pool in northern seas. - Highlights: • THg significantly increased with δ{sup 15}N from invertebrates to Greenland Sharks. • THg increased with δ{sup 15}N at a faster rate through the pelagic than

  18. Mercury bioaccumulation in the food web of Three Gorges Reservoir (China): Tempo-spatial patterns and effect of reservoir management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Jun [College of Fisheries, Huazhong Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Freshwater Animal Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture, Wuhan 430070 (China); Freshwater Aquaculture Collaborative Innovation Center of Hubei Province, Wuhan 430070 (China); Zhou, Qiong, E-mail: hainan@mail.hzau.edu.cn [College of Fisheries, Huazhong Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Freshwater Animal Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture, Wuhan 430070 (China); Freshwater Aquaculture Collaborative Innovation Center of Hubei Province, Wuhan 430070 (China); Yuan, Gailing; He, Xugang [College of Fisheries, Huazhong Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Freshwater Animal Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture, Wuhan 430070 (China); Freshwater Aquaculture Collaborative Innovation Center of Hubei Province, Wuhan 430070 (China); Xie, Ping [College of Fisheries, Huazhong Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Freshwater Animal Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture, Wuhan 430070 (China); Donghu Experimental Station of Lake Ecosystems, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology of China, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072 (China)

    2015-09-15

    Tempo-spatial patterns of mercury bioaccumulation and tropho-dynamics, and the potential for a reservoir effect were evaluated in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR, China) from 2011 to 2012, using total mercury concentrations (THg) and stable isotopes (δ{sup 13}C and δ{sup 15}N) of food web components (seston, aquatic invertebrates and fish). Hg concentrations in aquatic invertebrates and fish indicated a significant temporal trend associated with regular seasonal water-level manipulation. This includes water level lowering to allow for storage of water during the wet season (summer); a decrease of water levels from September to June providing a setting for flood storage. Hg concentrations in organisms were the highest after flooding. Higher Hg concentrations in fish were observed at the location farthest from the dam. Hg concentrations in water and sediment were correlated. Compared with the reservoirs of United States and Canada, TGR had lower trophic magnification factors (0.046–0.066), that are explained primarily by organic carbon concentrations in sediment, and the effect of “growth dilution”. Based on comparison before and after the impoundment of TGR, THg concentration in biota did not display an obvious long-term reservoir effect due to (i) short time since inundation, (ii) regular water discharge associated with water-level regulation, and/or (iii) low organic matter content in the sediment. - Highlights: • Hg concentrations were measured in biota of the main stem of 3 Gorges Reservoir. • Fish Hg concentration post-flood period > pre-flood period > flood period. • Fish Hg concentrations were the highest farthest from the dam. • THg in fish 2 years after inundation were the same as before impoundment. • Low biomagnification was ascribed to low DOC content in the sediment.

  19. Predator diversity and identity drive interaction strength and trophic cascades in a food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Sonja B; Berlow, Eric L; Rank, Nathan E; Smiley, John; Brose, Ulrich

    2008-01-01

    Declining predator diversity may drastically affect the biomass and productivity of herbivores and plants. Understanding how changes in predator diversity can propagate through food webs to alter ecosystem function is one of the most challenging ecological research topics today. We studied the effects of predator removal in a simple natural food web in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California (USA). By excluding the predators of the third trophic level of a food web in a full-factorial design, we monitored cascading effects of varying predator diversity and composition on the herbivorous beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis and the willow Salix orestera, which compose the first and second trophic levels of the food web. Decreasing predator diversity increased herbivore biomass and survivorship, and consequently increased the amount of plant biomass consumed via a trophic cascade. Despite this simple linear mean effect of diversity on the strength of the trophic cascade, we found additivity, compensation, and interference in the effects of multiple predators on herbivores and plants. Herbivore survivorship and predator-prey interaction strengths varied with predator diversity, predator identity, and the identity of coexisting predators. Additive effects of predators on herbivores and plants may have been driven by temporal niche separation, whereas compensatory effects and interference occurred among predators with a similar phenology. Together, these results suggest that while the general trends of diversity effects may appear linear and additive, other information about species identity was required to predict the effects of removing individual predators. In a community that is not temporally well-mixed, predator traits such as phenology may help predict impacts of species loss on other species. Information about predator natural history and food web structure may help explain variation in predator diversity effects on trophic cascades and ecosystem function.

  20. Automated discovery of food webs from ecological data using logic-based machine learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohan, David A; Caron-Lormier, Geoffrey; Muggleton, Stephen; Raybould, Alan; Tamaddoni-Nezhad, Alireza

    2011-01-01

    Networks of trophic links (food webs) are used to describe and understand mechanistic routes for translocation of energy (biomass) between species. However, a relatively low proportion of ecosystems have been studied using food web approaches due to difficulties in making observations on large numbers of species. In this paper we demonstrate that Machine Learning of food webs, using a logic-based approach called A/ILP, can generate plausible and testable food webs from field sample data. Our example data come from a national-scale Vortis suction sampling of invertebrates from arable fields in Great Britain. We found that 45 invertebrate species or taxa, representing approximately 25% of the sample and about 74% of the invertebrate individuals included in the learning, were hypothesized to be linked. As might be expected, detritivore Collembola were consistently the most important prey. Generalist and omnivorous carabid beetles were hypothesized to be the dominant predators of the system. We were, however, surprised by the importance of carabid larvae suggested by the machine learning as predators of a wide variety of prey. High probability links were hypothesized for widespread, potentially destabilizing, intra-guild predation; predictions that could be experimentally tested. Many of the high probability links in the model have already been observed or suggested for this system, supporting our contention that A/ILP learning can produce plausible food webs from sample data, independent of our preconceptions about "who eats whom." Well-characterised links in the literature correspond with links ascribed with high probability through A/ILP. We believe that this very general Machine Learning approach has great power and could be used to extend and test our current theories of agricultural ecosystem dynamics and function. In particular, we believe it could be used to support the development of a wider theory of ecosystem responses to environmental change.

  1. Automated discovery of food webs from ecological data using logic-based machine learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Bohan

    Full Text Available Networks of trophic links (food webs are used to describe and understand mechanistic routes for translocation of energy (biomass between species. However, a relatively low proportion of ecosystems have been studied using food web approaches due to difficulties in making observations on large numbers of species. In this paper we demonstrate that Machine Learning of food webs, using a logic-based approach called A/ILP, can generate plausible and testable food webs from field sample data. Our example data come from a national-scale Vortis suction sampling of invertebrates from arable fields in Great Britain. We found that 45 invertebrate species or taxa, representing approximately 25% of the sample and about 74% of the invertebrate individuals included in the learning, were hypothesized to be linked. As might be expected, detritivore Collembola were consistently the most important prey. Generalist and omnivorous carabid beetles were hypothesized to be the dominant predators of the system. We were, however, surprised by the importance of carabid larvae suggested by the machine learning as predators of a wide variety of prey. High probability links were hypothesized for widespread, potentially destabilizing, intra-guild predation; predictions that could be experimentally tested. Many of the high probability links in the model have already been observed or suggested for this system, supporting our contention that A/ILP learning can produce plausible food webs from sample data, independent of our preconceptions about "who eats whom." Well-characterised links in the literature correspond with links ascribed with high probability through A/ILP. We believe that this very general Machine Learning approach has great power and could be used to extend and test our current theories of agricultural ecosystem dynamics and function. In particular, we believe it could be used to support the development of a wider theory of ecosystem responses to environmental

  2. The role of ammonites in the Mesozoic marine food web revealed by jaw preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruta, Isabelle; Landman, Neil; Rouget, Isabelle; Cecca, Fabrizio; Tafforeau, Paul

    2011-01-07

    Ammonites are prominent in macroevolutionary studies because of their abundance and diversity in the fossil record, but their paleobiology and position in the marine food web are not well understood due to the lack of preserved soft tissue. We present three-dimensional reconstructions of the buccal apparatus in the Mesozoic ammonite Baculites with the use of synchrotron x-ray microtomography. Buccal mass morphology, combined with the coexistence of food remains found in the buccal mass, suggests that these ammonites fed on plankton. This diet may have extended to all aptychophoran ammonites, which share the same buccal mass morphology. Understanding the role of these ammonites in the Mesozoic food web provides insights into their radiation in the Early Jurassic, as well as their extinction at the end of the Cretaceous/early Paleogene.

  3. Interaction strength combinations and the overfishing of a marine food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bascompte, Jordi; Melián, Carlos J; Sala, Enric

    2005-04-12

    The stability of ecological communities largely depends on the strength of interactions between predators and their prey. Here we show that these interaction strengths are structured nonrandomly in a large Caribbean marine food web. Specifically, the cooccurrence of strong interactions on two consecutive levels of food chains occurs less frequently than expected by chance. Even when they occur, these strongly interacting chains are accompanied by strong omnivory more often than expected by chance. By using a food web model, we show that these interaction strength combinations reduce the likelihood of trophic cascades after the overfishing of top predators. However, fishing selectively removes predators that are overrepresented in strongly interacting chains. Hence, the potential for strong community-wide effects remains a threat.

  4. From projected species distribution to food-web structure under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albouy, Camille; Velez, Laure; Coll, Marta; Colloca, Francesco; Le Loc'h, François; Mouillot, David; Gravel, Dominique

    2014-03-01

    Climate change is inducing deep modifications in species geographic ranges worldwide. However, the consequences of such changes on community structure are still poorly understood, particularly the impacts on food-web properties. Here, we propose a new framework, coupling species distribution and trophic models, to predict climate change impacts on food-web structure across the Mediterranean Sea. Sea surface temperature was used to determine the fish climate niches and their future distributions. Body size was used to infer trophic interactions between fish species. Our projections reveal that 54 fish species of 256 endemic and native species included in our analysis would disappear by 2080-2099 from the Mediterranean continental shelf. The number of feeding links between fish species would decrease on 73.4% of the continental shelf. However, the connectance of the overall fish web would increase on average, from 0.26 to 0.29, mainly due to a differential loss rate of feeding links and species richness. This result masks a systematic decrease in predator generality, estimated here as the number of prey species, from 30.0 to 25.4. Therefore, our study highlights large-scale impacts of climate change on marine food-web structure with potential deep consequences on ecosystem functioning. However, these impacts will likely be highly heterogeneous in space, challenging our current understanding of climate change impact on local marine ecosystems.

  5. C and P in aquatic food chain: A review on C:P stoichiometry and PUFA regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saikia S.K.

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Carbon (C and phosphorous (P regulation in aquatic food chains are transferred from lower to upper trophic levels primarily as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs and C:P stoichiometry. The majority of C is transferred through algal based pathway. Microbial loop, though optionally contributes to C transfer, highly constrained by P limitation and bacterial predator type. Lack of essential PUFAs in bacteria is also responsible for its low trophic transfer of C. The seston size and algal taxonomic variations directly affect herbivore through P-dependent food quality and de novo synthesis of PUFAs. Change in algal community over a gradient could therefore determine C transfer. Feeding nature (herbivorous or carnivorous and predator sizes also regulate transfer efficiency of C and P to upper trophic levels. As trophic levels move up, P-limitation becomes higher compared to autotrophs. For Daphnia, as mostly studied aquatic herbivore member, P limitation becomes critical at C:P > 300 indicating excess C is not always invited under P-deficient situations. However, as a part of homeostasis mechanism for trophic upgrading, conversion of algal-zooplankton interface from qualitative to quantitative could minimize such critical C:P regulation at higher trophic levels. Protists, in turn, with high clearance rate by zooplankton predator could also compensate qualitative effect.

  6. Spatial guilds in the Serengeti food web revealed by a Bayesian group model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward B Baskerville

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Food webs, networks of feeding relationships in an ecosystem, provide fundamental insights into mechanisms that determine ecosystem stability and persistence. A standard approach in food-web analysis, and network analysis in general, has been to identify compartments, or modules, defined by many links within compartments and few links between them. This approach can identify large habitat boundaries in the network but may fail to identify other important structures. Empirical analyses of food webs have been further limited by low-resolution data for primary producers. In this paper, we present a Bayesian computational method for identifying group structure using a flexible definition that can describe both functional trophic roles and standard compartments. We apply this method to a newly compiled plant-mammal food web from the Serengeti ecosystem that includes high taxonomic resolution at the plant level, allowing a simultaneous examination of the signature of both habitat and trophic roles in network structure. We find that groups at the plant level reflect habitat structure, coupled at higher trophic levels by groups of herbivores, which are in turn coupled by carnivore groups. Thus the group structure of the Serengeti web represents a mixture of trophic guild structure and spatial pattern, in contrast to the standard compartments typically identified. The network topology supports recent ideas on spatial coupling and energy channels in ecosystems that have been proposed as important for persistence. Furthermore, our Bayesian approach provides a powerful, flexible framework for the study of network structure, and we believe it will prove instrumental in a variety of biological contexts.

  7. Trophic magnification of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the marine food web from coastal area of Bohai Bay, North China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Mihua; Tao, Ping; Wang, Man; Jia, Hongliang; Li, Yi-Fan

    2016-06-01

    Trophic transfer of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in aquatic ecosystems is an important criterion for assessing their environmental risk. This study analyzed 13 PBDEs in marine organisms collected from coastal area of Bohai Bay, China. The concentrations of total PBDEs (Σ13PBDEs) ranged from 12 ± 1.1 ng/g wet weight (ww) to 230 ± 54 ng/g ww depending on species. BDE-47 was the predominant compound, with a mean abundance of 20.21 ± 12.97% of total PBDEs. Stable isotopic ratios of carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) were analyzed to determine the food web structure and trophic level respectively. Trophic magnification factors (TMFs) of PBDEs were assessed as the slope of lipid equivalent concentrations regressed against trophic levels. Significant positive relationships were found for Σ13PBDEs and eight PBDE congeners (BDE-28, BDE-47, BDE-49, BDE-66, BDE-85, BDE-99, BDE-100 and BDE-154). Monte-Carlo simulations showed that the probabilities of TMF >1 were 100% for Σ13PBDEs, BDE-47, BDE-85, BDE-99 and BDE-100, 99% for DE-28, BDE-49, BDE-66 and BDE-154, 94% for BDE-153, and 35% for BDE-17.

  8. FoodWiki: a Mobile App Examines Side Effects of Food Additives Via Semantic Web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çelik Ertuğrul, Duygu

    2016-02-01

    In this article, a research project on mobile safe food consumption system (FoodWiki) is discussed that performs its own inferencing rules in its own knowledge base. Currently, the developed rules examines the side effects that are causing some health risks: heart disease, diabetes, allergy, and asthma as initial. There are thousands compounds added to the processed food by food producers with numerous effects on the food: to add color, stabilize, texturize, preserve, sweeten, thicken, add flavor, soften, emulsify, and so forth. Those commonly used ingredients or compounds in manufactured foods may have many side effects that cause several health risks such as heart disease, hypertension, cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, allergies, alzheimer etc. according to World Health Organization. Safety in food consumption, especially by patients in these risk groups, has become crucial, given that such health problems are ranked in the top ten health risks around the world. It is needed personal e-health knowledge base systems to help patients take control of their safe food consumption. The systems with advanced semantic knowledge base can provide recommendations of appropriate foods before consumption by individuals. The proposed FoodWiki system is using a concept based search mechanism that performs on thousands food compounds to provide more relevant information.

  9. Microbial food web contributions to bottom water hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagg, Michael; Sato, Riki; Liu, Hongbin; Bianchi, Thomas S.; Green, Rebecca; Powell, Rodney

    2008-05-01

    Nutrients from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya Rivers greatly stimulate biological production in the 'classical' food web on the inner shelf of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Portions of this production, especially large diatoms and zooplankton fecal pellets, sink and decompose in the bottom water, consuming oxygen and contributing to the annual development of an extensive zone of bottom water hypoxia, typically >15,000 km 2 since 1993. The microbial food web is also active in the Mississippi River plume, but consists of small organisms that sink slowly. This 'recycling' food web has not been considered as a significant contributor to vertical flux and hypoxia. However, gelatinous zooplankton, especially pelagic appendicularians such as Oikopleura dioica, mediate the conversion of microbial web organisms to organic particles with high sinking rates. When pelagic appendicularians are abundant in coastal regions of the northern Gulf of Mexico, they stimulate the rapid vertical transfer of microbial web productivity in the surface layer, which is only 5-15 m thick in the coastal hypoxic region, to the sub-pycnocline layer that becomes hypoxic each summer. In this paper we present results from two studies examining the significance of this pathway. In both 2002 and 2004, we observed high production rates of appendicularians in coastal waters. Discarded gelatinous houses and fecal pellets from the appendicularian populations often provided more than 1 g m -2 d -1 of organic carbon for the establishment and maintenance of hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This source of organic matter flux is especially important in regions far from the river plumes and during periods of low river discharge. Autotrophic elements of this food web are primarily supported by recycled inorganic nutrients originating in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. Sources of dissolved organic matter (DOM) supporting the heterotrophic components of this microbial food web may include in situ

  10. Isotopic studies in Pacific Panama mangrove estuaries reveal lack of effect of watershed deforestation on food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viana, Inés G; Valiela, Ivan; Martinetto, Paulina; Monteiro Pierce, Rita; Fox, Sophia E

    2015-02-01

    Stable isotopic N, C, and S in food webs of 8 mangrove estuaries on the Pacific coast of Panama were measured to 1) determine whether the degree of deforestation of tropical forests on the contributing watersheds was detectable within the estuarine food web, and 2) define external sources of the food webs within the mangrove estuaries. Even though terrestrial rain forest cover on the contributing watersheds differed between 23 and 92%, the effect of deforestation was not detectable on stable isotopic values in food webs present at the mouth of the receiving estuaries. We used stable isotopic measures to identify producers or organic sources that supported the estuarine food web. N isotopic values of consumers spanned a broad range, from about 2.7 to 12.3‰. Mean δ(15)N of primary producers and organic matter varied from 3.3 for macroalgae to 4.7‰ for suspended particulate matter and large particulate matter. The δ(13)C consumer data varied between -26 and -9‰, but isotopic values of the major apparent producers or organic matter sampled could not account for this range variability. The structure of the food web was clarified when we added literature isotopic values of microphytobenthos and coralline algae, suggesting that these, or other producers with similar isotopic signature, may be part of the food webs.

  11. Food web flows through a sub-arctic deep-sea benthic community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gontikaki, E.; van Oevelen, D.; Soetaert, K.; Witte, U.

    2011-11-01

    The benthic food web of the deep Faroe-Shetland Channel (FSC) was modelled by using the linear inverse modelling methodology. The reconstruction of carbon pathways by inverse analysis was based on benthic oxygen uptake rates, biomass data and transfer of labile carbon through the food web as revealed by a pulse-chase experiment. Carbon deposition was estimated at 2.2 mmol C m -2 d -1. Approximately 69% of the deposited carbon was respired by the benthic community with bacteria being responsible for 70% of the total respiration. The major fraction of the labile detritus flux was recycled within the microbial loop leaving merely 2% of the deposited labile phytodetritus available for metazoan consumption. Bacteria assimilated carbon at high efficiency (0.55) but only 24% of bacterial production was grazed by metazoans; the remaining returned to the dissolved organic matter pool due to viral lysis. Refractory detritus was the basal food resource for nematodes covering ∼99% of their carbon requirements. On the contrary, macrofauna seemed to obtain the major part of their metabolic needs from bacteria (49% of macrofaunal consumption). Labile detritus transfer was well-constrained, based on the data from the pulse-chase experiment, but appeared to be of limited importance to the diet of the examined benthic organisms (food web. Overall, this study provided a unique insight into the functioning of a deep-sea benthic community and demonstrated how conventional data can be exploited further when combined with state-of-the-art modelling approaches.

  12. Fish mediate high food web connectivity in the lower reaches of a tropical floodplain river.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardine, Timothy D; Pusey, Bradley J; Hamilton, Stephen K; Pettit, Neil E; Davies, Peter M; Douglas, Michael M; Sinnamon, Vivian; Halliday, Ian A; Bunn, Stuart E

    2012-03-01

    High levels of hydrological connectivity during seasonal flooding provide significant opportunities for movements of fish between rivers and their floodplains, estuaries and the sea, possibly mediating food web subsidies among habitats. To determine the degree of utilisation of food sources from different habitats in a tropical river with a short floodplain inundation duration (~2 months), stable isotope ratios in fishes and their available food were measured from three habitats (inundated floodplain, dry season freshwater, coastal marine) in the lower reaches of the Mitchell River, Queensland (Australia). Floodplain food sources constituted the majority of the diet of large-bodied fishes (barramundi Lates calcarifer, catfish Neoarius graeffei) captured on the floodplain in the wet season and for gonadal tissues of a common herbivorous fish (gizzard shad Nematalosa come), the latter suggesting that critical reproductive phases are fuelled by floodplain production. Floodplain food sources also subsidised barramundi from the recreational fishery in adjacent coastal and estuarine areas, and the broader fish community from a freshwater lagoon. These findings highlight the importance of the floodplain in supporting the production of large fishes in spite of the episodic nature and relatively short duration of inundation compared to large river floodplains of humid tropical regions. They also illustrate the high degree of food web connectivity mediated by mobile fish in this system in the absence of human modification, and point to the potential consequences of water resource development that may reduce or eliminate hydrological connectivity between the river and its floodplain.

  13. Biomagnification Profiles of Trace Elements through the Food Web of an Integrated Shrimp Mangrove Farm in Ba Ria Vung Tau, South Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen P.C. Tu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Ba Ria Vung Tau (BRVT, a Vietnamese province with one of the fastest growing economies in the country, faces significant environmental challenges, including increased contamination of rivers and estuaries with urban and industrial wastes. Approach: Concentrations of 23 trace elements and stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N were analyzed in suspended particulate matter, one species of peanut worm, one species of octopus, six species of crustaceans and 13 species of fish collected from an integrated shrimp mangrove farm in the BRVT. Results: Concentrations of Cu, Zn, Se, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb and Bi in octopus, Mn, Sr and Ba in crustaceans and Hg in fish were the highest among organisms analyzed. Using δ15N values to identify trophic positions, we found that Zn, Se and Hg biomagnified through the food web. The slope for Hg (0.048 was remarkably lower than those reported for other aquatic food webs. In contrast, the concentrations of most trace elements followed reverse trends (i.e., decreasing concentrations with increasing trophic level. Trace element concentrations we measured in organisms were within safe levels for human consumption according to criteria established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF in the UK. However, concentrations of Cu in black tiger shrimps and octopus and Zn in Commerson's glassy fish were higher than the MAFF guidelines. Conclusion: The results of this study highlight the usefulness of δ13C and δ15N as a tool not only for elucidating the trophic position of biota, but also for tracing contaminants within food webs.

  14. Tracing organophosphorus and brominated flame retardants and plasticizers in an estuarine food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandsma, Sicco H; Leonards, Pim E G; Leslie, Heather A; de Boer, Jacob

    2015-02-01

    Nine organophosphorus flame retardants (PFRs) were detected in a pelagic and benthic food web of the Western Scheldt estuary, The Netherlands. Concentrations of several PFRs were an order of magnitude higher than those of the brominated flame retardants (BFRs). However, the detection frequency of the PFRs (6-56%) was lower than that of the BFRs (50-97%). Tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP), tris(isobutyl) phosphate (TIBP) and tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCIPP) were the dominant PFRs in sediment with median concentrations of 7.0, 8.1 and 1.8 ng/g dry weight (dw), respectively. PFR levels in the suspended particular matter (SPM) were 2-12 times higher than that in sediment. TBOEP, TCIPP, TIBP, tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) and tris(phenyl) phosphate (TPHP) were found in organisms higher in the estuarine food web. The highest PFR concentrations in the benthic food web were found in sculpin, goby and lugworm with median concentrations of 17, 7.4, 4.6 and 2.0 ng/g wet weight (ww) for TBOEP, TIBP, TCIPP and TPHP, respectively. Comparable levels were observed in the pelagic food web, BDE209 was the predominant PBDE in sediment and SPM with median concentrations up to 9.7 and 385 ng/g dw, respectively. BDE47 was predominant in the biotic compartment of the food web with highest median levels observed in sculpin and common tern eggs of 79 ng/g lipid weight (lw) (2.5 ng/g ww) and 80 ng/g lw (11 ng/g ww), respectively. Trophic magnification was observed for all PBDEs with the exception of BDE209. Indications of trophic magnification of PFRs were observed in the benthic food web for TBOEP, TCIPP and TCEP with tentative trophic magnification factors of 3.5, 2.2 and 2.6, respectively (pwebs. The relative high PFR levels in several fish species suggest high emissions and substantial exposure of organisms to PFRs in the Western Scheldt.

  15. Food-Web Complexity in Guaymas Basin Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portail, Marie; Olu, Karine; Dubois, Stanislas F; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Gelinas, Yves; Menot, Lénaick; Sarrazin, Jozée

    In the Guaymas Basin, the presence of cold seeps and hydrothermal vents in close proximity, similar sedimentary settings and comparable depths offers a unique opportunity to assess and compare the functioning of these deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. The food webs of five seep and four vent assemblages were studied using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. Although the two ecosystems shared similar potential basal sources, their food webs differed: seeps relied predominantly on methanotrophy and thiotrophy via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle and vents on petroleum-derived organic matter and thiotrophy via the CBB and reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycles. In contrast to symbiotic species, the heterotrophic fauna exhibited high trophic flexibility among assemblages, suggesting weak trophic links to the metabolic diversity of chemosynthetic primary producers. At both ecosystems, food webs did not appear to be organised through predator-prey links but rather through weak trophic relationships among co-occurring species. Examples of trophic or spatial niche differentiation highlighted the importance of species-sorting processes within chemosynthetic ecosystems. Variability in food web structure, addressed through Bayesian metrics, revealed consistent trends across ecosystems. Food-web complexity significantly decreased with increasing methane concentrations, a common proxy for the intensity of seep and vent fluid fluxes. Although high fluid-fluxes have the potential to enhance primary productivity, they generate environmental constraints that may limit microbial diversity, colonisation of consumers and the structuring role of competitive interactions, leading to an overall reduction of food-web complexity and an increase in trophic redundancy. Heterogeneity provided by foundation species was identified as an additional structuring factor. According to their biological activities, foundation species may have the potential to partly release the

  16. Food-Web Complexity in Guaymas Basin Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olu, Karine; Dubois, Stanislas F.; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Gelinas, Yves; Menot, Lénaick; Sarrazin, Jozée

    2016-01-01

    In the Guaymas Basin, the presence of cold seeps and hydrothermal vents in close proximity, similar sedimentary settings and comparable depths offers a unique opportunity to assess and compare the functioning of these deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. The food webs of five seep and four vent assemblages were studied using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. Although the two ecosystems shared similar potential basal sources, their food webs differed: seeps relied predominantly on methanotrophy and thiotrophy via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle and vents on petroleum-derived organic matter and thiotrophy via the CBB and reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycles. In contrast to symbiotic species, the heterotrophic fauna exhibited high trophic flexibility among assemblages, suggesting weak trophic links to the metabolic diversity of chemosynthetic primary producers. At both ecosystems, food webs did not appear to be organised through predator-prey links but rather through weak trophic relationships among co-occurring species. Examples of trophic or spatial niche differentiation highlighted the importance of species-sorting processes within chemosynthetic ecosystems. Variability in food web structure, addressed through Bayesian metrics, revealed consistent trends across ecosystems. Food-web complexity significantly decreased with increasing methane concentrations, a common proxy for the intensity of seep and vent fluid fluxes. Although high fluid-fluxes have the potential to enhance primary productivity, they generate environmental constraints that may limit microbial diversity, colonisation of consumers and the structuring role of competitive interactions, leading to an overall reduction of food-web complexity and an increase in trophic redundancy. Heterogeneity provided by foundation species was identified as an additional structuring factor. According to their biological activities, foundation species may have the potential to partly release the

  17. From ontology selection and semantic web to an integrated information system for food-borne diseases and food safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xianghe; Peng, Yun; Meng, Jianghong; Ruzante, Juliana; Fratamico, Pina M; Huang, Lihan; Juneja, Vijay; Needleman, David S

    2011-01-01

    Several factors have hindered effective use of information and resources related to food safety due to inconsistency among semantically heterogeneous data resources, lack of knowledge on profiling of food-borne pathogens, and knowledge gaps among research communities, government risk assessors/managers, and end-users of the information. This paper discusses technical aspects in the establishment of a comprehensive food safety information system consisting of the following steps: (a) computational collection and compiling publicly available information, including published pathogen genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data; (b) development of ontology libraries on food-borne pathogens and design automatic algorithms with formal inference and fuzzy and probabilistic reasoning to address the consistency and accuracy of distributed information resources (e.g., PulseNet, FoodNet, OutbreakNet, PubMed, NCBI, EMBL, and other online genetic databases and information); (c) integration of collected pathogen profiling data, Foodrisk.org ( http://www.foodrisk.org ), PMP, Combase, and other relevant information into a user-friendly, searchable, "homogeneous" information system available to scientists in academia, the food industry, and government agencies; and (d) development of a computational model in semantic web for greater adaptability and robustness.

  18. Aquatic fungi: targeting the forgotten in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossart, Hans-Peter; Rojas-Jimenez, Keilor

    2016-06-01

    Fungi constitute important and conspicuous components of aquatic microbial communities, but their diversity and functional roles remain poorly characterized. New methods and conceptual frameworks are required to accurately describe their ecological roles, involvement in global cycling processes, and utility for human activities, considering both cultivation-independent techniques as well as experiments in laboratory and in natural ecosystems. Here we highlight recent developments and extant knowledge gaps in aquatic mycology, and provide a conceptual model to expose the importance of fungi in aquatic food webs and related biogeochemical processes.

  19. Impact of biodiversity loss on production in complex marine food webs mitigated by prey-release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Tak; Farnsworth, Keith D; Reid, David G; Rossberg, Axel G

    2015-03-23

    Public concern over biodiversity loss is often rationalized as a threat to ecosystem functioning, but biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relations are hard to empirically quantify at large scales. We use a realistic marine food-web model, resolving species over five trophic levels, to study how total fish production changes with species richness. This complex model predicts that BEF relations, on average, follow simple Michaelis-Menten curves when species are randomly deleted. These are shaped mainly by release of fish from predation, rather than the release from competition expected from simpler communities. Ordering species deletions by decreasing body mass or trophic level, representing 'fishing down the food web', accentuates prey-release effects and results in unimodal relationships. In contrast, simultaneous unselective harvesting diminishes these effects and produces an almost linear BEF relation, with maximum multispecies fisheries yield at ≈40% of initial species richness. These findings have important implications for the valuation of marine biodiversity.

  20. Community diversity, structure and carbon footprint of nematode food web following reforestation on degraded Karst soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ning; Li, Hui; Tang, Zheng; Li, Zhongfang; Tian, Jing; Lou, Yilai; Li, Jianwei; Li, Guichun; Hu, Xiaomin

    2016-06-01

    We examined community diversity, structure and carbon footprint of nematode food web along a chronosequence of T. Sinensis reforestation on degraded Karst. In general, after the reforestation: a serious of diversity parameters and community indices (Shannon-Weinier index (H‧), structure index (SI), etc.) were elevated; biomass ratio of fungivores to bacterivores (FFC/BFC), and fungi to bacteria (F/B) were increased, and nematode channel ratio (NCR) were decreased; carbon footprints of all nematode trophic groups, and biomass of bacteria and fungi were increased. Our results indicate that the Karst aboveground vegetation restoration was accompanied with belowground nematode food web development: increasing community complexity, function and fungal dominance in decomposition pathway, and the driving forces included the bottom-up effect (resource control), connectedness of functional groups, as well as soil environments.

  1. Food-web structure in low- and high-dimensional trophic niche spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossberg, Axel G.; Brännström, Åke; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2010-01-01

    A question central to modelling and, ultimately, managing food webs concerns the dimensionality of trophic niche space, that is, the number of independent traits relevant for determining consumer–resource links. Food-web topologies can often be interpreted by assuming resource traits to be specified by points along a line and each consumer's diet to be given by resources contained in an interval on this line. This phenomenon, called intervality, has been known for 30 years and is widely acknowledged to indicate that trophic niche space is close to one-dimensional. We show that the degrees of intervality observed in nature can be reproduced in arbitrary-dimensional trophic niche spaces, provided that the processes of evolutionary diversification and adaptation are taken into account. Contrary to expectations, intervality is least pronounced at intermediate dimensions and steadily improves towards lower- and higher-dimensional trophic niche spaces. PMID:20462875

  2. Community diversity, structure and carbon footprint of nematode food web following reforestation on degraded Karst soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ning; Li, Hui; Tang, Zheng; Li, Zhongfang; Tian, Jing; Lou, Yilai; Li, Jianwei; Li, Guichun; Hu, Xiaomin

    2016-01-01

    We examined community diversity, structure and carbon footprint of nematode food web along a chronosequence of T. Sinensis reforestation on degraded Karst. In general, after the reforestation: a serious of diversity parameters and community indices (Shannon-Weinier index (H′), structure index (SI), etc.) were elevated; biomass ratio of fungivores to bacterivores (FFC/BFC), and fungi to bacteria (F/B) were increased, and nematode channel ratio (NCR) were decreased; carbon footprints of all nematode trophic groups, and biomass of bacteria and fungi were increased. Our results indicate that the Karst aboveground vegetation restoration was accompanied with belowground nematode food web development: increasing community complexity, function and fungal dominance in decomposition pathway, and the driving forces included the bottom-up effect (resource control), connectedness of functional groups, as well as soil environments. PMID:27311984

  3. Salinity shapes food webs in shallow lakes: implications for increasing aridity with climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas; Yu, Jinlei; Gutierrez, Maria Florencia

    2015-01-01

    A reduction in runoff and higher evaporation rates are expected to occur towards 2050 in arid and semiarid regions of the world, resulting in a reduction of water level and salinization of inland waters. Besides the natural process of catchment erosion, human activities such as irrigation of crops...... may also increase salinization. Reduced biodiversity in freshwater systems is the most commonly reported effect of salinization, which may have implications for food web structure and likely for ecosystem functioning as well. The objective of the study was to analyze the effects of salinity...... on community and food web structure in 24 lakes along a wide salinity gradient, from freshwater (0.5 g L-1) to hypersaline lakes (115 g L-1), in a semiarid region in North West China. Fish, zooplankton and macroinvertebrate communities were sampled during July 2014 for determination of taxonomy and size...

  4. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons alter the structure of oceanic and oligotrophic microbial food webs

    KAUST Repository

    Cerezo, Maria Isabel

    2015-11-01

    One way organic pollutants reach remote oceanic regions is by atmospheric transport. During the Malaspina-2010 expedition, across the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, we analyzed the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) effects on oceanic microbial food webs. We performed perturbation experiments adding PAHs to classic dilution experiments. The phytoplankton growth rates were reduced by more than 5 times, being Prochlorococcus spp. the most affected. 62% of the experiments showed a reduction in the grazing rates due to the presence of PAHs. For the remaining experiments, grazing usually increased likely due to cascading effects. We identified changes in the slope of the relation between the growth rate and the dilution fraction induced by the pollutants, moving from no grazing to V-shape, or to negative slope, indicative of grazing increase by cascade effects and alterations of the grazers\\' activity structure. Our perturbation experiments indicate that PAHs could influence the structure oceanic food-webs structure.

  5. Adaptive behaviour, tri-trophic food-web stability and damping of chaos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Andre; Mariani, Patrizio; Pigolotti, Simone

    2012-01-01

    We examine the effect of adaptive foraging behaviour within a tri-trophic food web with intra-guild predation. The intra-guild prey is allowed to adjust its foraging effort so as to achieve an optimal per capita growth rate in the face of realized feeding, predation risk and foraging cost. Adaptive...... directly. The latter condition is a general criterion for the feasibility of intra-guild predation as a trophic mode. Under these conditions, we demonstrate rigorously that adaptive behaviour will always promote stability of community dynamics in the sense that the region of parameter space in which...... fitness-seeking behaviour of the intra-guild prey has a stabilizing effect on the tri-trophic food-web dynamics provided that (i) a finite optimal foraging effort exists and (ii) the trophic transfer efficiency from resource to predator via the intra-guild prey is greater than that from the resource...

  6. Biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants along a high-altitude aquatic food chain in the Tibetan Plateau: Processes and mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jiao; Wang, Xiaoping; Wang, Chuanfei; Gong, Ping; Wang, Xiruo; Yao, Tandong

    2017-01-01

    Biomagnification of some persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has been found in marine and freshwater food chains; however, due to the relatively short food chains in high-altitude alpine lakes, whether trophic transfer would result in the biomagnification of POPs is not clear. The transfer of various POPs, including organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), along the aquatic food chain in Nam Co Lake (4700 m), in the central Tibetan Plateau, was studied. The POPs levels in the water, sediment and biota [plankton, invertebrates and fish (Gymnocypris namensis)] of Nam Co were generally low, with concentrations comparable to those reported for the remote Arctic. The composition profiles of POPs in the fish were different from that in the water, but similar to their food. DDEs, DDDs, PCB 138, 153 and 180 displayed significant positive correlations with trophic levels, with trophic magnification factors (TMFs) ranged between 1.5 and 4.2, implying these chemicals can undergo final biomagnification along food chain. A fugacity-based dynamic bioaccumulation model was applied to the fish with localized parameters, by which the simulated concentrations were comparable to the measured data. Modeling results showed that most compounds underwent net gill loss and net gut uptake; only when the net result of the combined gut and gill fluxes would be positive, bioaccumulation could eventually occur. The net accumulation flux increased with fish age, which was caused by the continuous increase of gut uptake by aged fish. Due to the oligotrophic condition, efficient food absorption is likely the key factor that influences the gut POPs uptake. Long residence times with half-lives up to two decades were found for the higher chlorinated PCBs in Gymnocypris namensis.

  7. Concomitant predation on parasites is highly variable but constrains the ways in which parasites contribute to food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirtwill, Alyssa R; Stouffer, Daniel B

    2015-05-01

    Previous analyses of empirical food webs (the networks of who eats whom in a community) have revealed that parasites exert a strong influence over observed food web structure and alter many network properties such as connectance and degree distributions. It remains unclear, however, whether these community-level effects are fully explained by differences in the ways that parasites and free-living species interact within a food web. To rigorously quantify the interrelationship between food web structure, the types of species in a web and the distinct types of feeding links between them, we introduce a shared methodology to quantify the structural roles of both species and feeding links. Roles are quantified based on the frequencies with which a species (or link) appears in different food web motifs - the building blocks of networks. We hypothesized that different types of species (e.g. top predators, basal resources, parasites) and different types of links between species (e.g. classic predation, parasitism, concomitant predation on parasites along with their hosts) will show characteristic differences in their food web roles. We found that parasites do indeed have unique structural roles in food webs. Moreover, we demonstrate that different types of feeding links (e.g. parasitism, predation or concomitant predation) are distributed differently in a food web context. More than any other interaction type, concomitant predation appears to constrain the roles of parasites. In contrast, concomitant predation links themselves have more variable roles than any other type of interaction. Together, our results provide a novel perspective on how both species and feeding link composition shape the structure of an ecological community and vice versa.

  8. Linking Intertidal and Subtidal Food Webs: Consumer-Mediated Transport of Intertidal Benthic Microalgal Carbon

    OpenAIRE

    Chang-Keun Kang; Hyun Je Park; Eun Jung Choy; Kwang-Sik Choi; Kangseok Hwang; Jong-Bin Kim

    2015-01-01

    We examined stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios for a large variety of consumers in intertidal and subtidal habitats, and their potential primary food sources [i.e., microphytobenthos (MPB), phytoplankton, and Phragmites australis] in a coastal bay system, Yeoja Bay of Korea, to test the hypothesis that the transfer of intertidal MPB-derived organic carbon to the subtidal food web can be mediated by motile consumers. Compared to a narrow δ13C range (-18 to -16‰) of offshore consumers, a...

  9. Optimization of Aquatic-Terrestrial Ecosystem in Relation to Soil Nitrogen Status for the Cultivation of Fish and Aquatic Food Crops of the Indian Subtropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.M. Puste

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available A case study was undertaken during wet and postwet seasons to improve the perennial and alternate submerged saucer-shaped ponded lands (tal and semi-tal lands in the coasts and northeastern plains of the Indian subtropics through pisciculture and cultivation of starch- and protein-rich aquatic food crops like water chestnut (Trapa bispinosa Roxb. and makhana or fox nut (Euryale ferox Salisb.. The study revealed that the physico-chemical properties of soils (pH, organic C, organic matter, available N, P, and K as well as quality of water (pH, EC, BOD, COD, CO3+, HCO3�, NO3-N, SO4-S, and Cl�, growing fish, makhana, and water chestnut was remarkably influenced by different moisture regimes and exhibited a significant improvement of soil health. The amount of organic C, available N, P, and K content were found significantly highest in the treatment where makhana was grown under alternate flooding and drying situation with a depth >2 m as compared to other treatments. Such enrichment of soil fertility, particularly in available N and P content, might be due to the accumulation of considerable amounts of biomass and fish excreta and their subsequent decomposition in situ in the soils. Therefore, the present study suggests that the N-enriched soil may effectively be utilized further for growing subsequent arable crops surroundings during summer season, which not only saves the amount of applied N fertilizer but also increases the apparent N efficiency with simultaneous increase in yield, and would benefit the farmers in this region.

  10. Macroalgal detritus and food-web subsidies along an Arctic fjord depth-gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E Renaud

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Tight coupling between pelagic and benthic communities is accepted as a general principle on Arctic shelves. Whereas this paradigm has been useful for guiding ecological research, it has perhaps led to a disproportionate focus on POM and ice algae as the most likely sources of carbon for the benthic food web. Arctic shelves are complex systems, including banks, fjords, and trough systems up to 350 m or more in depth. In this stable-isotope study, thirteen different potential carbon sources were analysed for their contribution to the food-webs of Isfjorden, Svalbard. A mixing model with herbivorous copepods and grazing sea urchins as end-members was applied to determine the relative contributions of the most likely carbon sources to pelagic and benthic taxa. Most taxa from the benthos feed on a broad mixture of POM and macroalgal detritus, even at depths down to 410 m. Most suspension-feeding bivalves had isotopic signals consistent with more than a 50% contribution from kelps and rockweeds. In contrast, nearly all pelagic species had diets consistent with an overwhelming contribution of pelagic POM. These results indicate that macroalgal detritus can contribute significantly to near-shore Arctic food-webs, a trophic link that may increase if macroalgae increase in the Arctic as predicted. These weaker quantitative links between pelagic and benthic components of coastal systems highlight the need for thorough sampling of potential carbon-baselines in food-web studies. A large detrital-carbon component in diets of Arctic benthos may dampen the impacts of strong seasonality in polar primary producers, leading to higher ecosystem resilience, but may also result in lower secondary productivity.

  11. Species Diversity and Food-web Complexity in the Caves of Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liz Price

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Besides microbes a wide variety of cave animals inhabit various caves of Malaysia, ranging from tiny invertebrates through to small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and bats. Evidence even supports the visitation of elephants to some caves. In the present report the food web complexity and the species diversity that exist in Malaysian caves is described on the basis of direct sightings. Furthermore, the major threats to the present status of such caves are also discussed.

  12. Fatty acids as biomarkers for food web structure in the eastern North Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrens, J.; Aluwihare, L.; Stephens, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Resulting from a NSF funded REU program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2015, this research utilized gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to analyze the fatty acid composition of suspended particulate organic matter (POM) and zooplankton (ZP; primarily copepods). Samples analyzed for this study were collected simultaneously from surface waters approximately 9 miles off the coast of San Diego in June 2015. I was testing the hypothesis that essential fatty acids in ZP should reflect their diet, in particular, distinguishing contributions from a microbial versus traditional food web. Food web structure in this region of the ocean has been shown to be sensitive to climate change on inter-annual and longer timescales. Thus, a proxy that identifies restructuring of food webs would be useful for examining the response of ocean ecosystems to future climate change. Lipids were extracted from ZP and POM using a modified Bligh and Dyer method with sonication. Following saponification free fatty acids and other lipids were further purified using column chromatography. Polar functional groups in lipids were then methylated prior to GC-MS analysis. In addition, 2-dimensional GCxGC with time of flight MS was used to distinguish polyunsaturated fatty acid isomers. My poster will present initial findings of shared fatty acids of zooplankton and POM suspended material from the Northern Pacific collection site. Further research will be focused on analyzing the hydrogen isotope composition of fatty acids in zooplankton and suspended DOM obtained at the collection site to further characterize and increase certainty on the role of microbes and phytoplankton in the region's food-web to distinguish prokaryotic and eukaryotic sources.

  13. Food web structure and vulnerability of a deep-sea ecosystem in the NW Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Christensen, Villy; Company, Joan B.; Ramírez-Llodra, Eva; Sardà, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    There is increasing fishing pressure on the continental margins of the oceans, and this raises concerns about the vulnerability of the ecosystems thriving there. The current knowledge of the biology of deep-water fish species identifies potential reduced resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. However, there are extreme difficulties in sampling the deep sea, resulting in poorly resolved and indirectly obtained food-web relationships. Here, we modelled the flows and biomasses of a Mediterrane...

  14. Visualizing the Food-Web Effects of Fishing for Tunas in the Pacific Ocean

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    Jefferson T. Hinke

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available We use food-web models to develop visualizations to compare and evaluate the interactions of tuna fisheries with their supporting food webs in the eastern tropical Pacific (ETP and the central north Pacific (CNP Oceans. In the ETP and CNP models, individual fisheries use slightly different food webs that are defined by the assemblage of targeted tuna species. Distinct energy pathways are required to support different tuna species and, consequently, the specific fisheries that target different tuna assemblages. These simulations suggest that catches of tunas, sharks, and billfishes have lowered the biomass of the upper trophic levels in both systems, whereas increases in intermediate and lower trophic level animals have accompanied the decline of top predators. Trade-offs between fishing and predation mortality rates that occur when multiple fisheries interact with their respective food webs may lead to smaller changes in biomass than if only the effect of a single fishery is considered. Historical simulations and hypothetical management scenarios further demonstrate that the effects of longline and purse seine fisheries have been strongest in upper trophic levels, but that lower trophic levels may respond more strongly to purse-seine fisheries. The apex predator guild has responded most strongly to longlining. Simulations of alternative management strategies that attempt to rebuild shark and billfish populations in each ecosystem reveal that (1 changes in longlining more effectively recover top predator populations than do changes in purse seining and (2 restrictions on both shallow-set longline gear and shark finning may do more to recover top predators than do simple reductions in fishing effort.

  15. Benthic and pelagic pathways of methylmercury bioaccumulation in estuarine food webs of the northeast United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Celia Y; Borsuk, Mark E; Bugge, Deenie M; Hollweg, Terill; Balcom, Prentiss H; Ward, Darren M; Williams, Jason; Mason, Robert P

    2014-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a contaminant of global concern that bioaccumulates and bioamagnifies in marine food webs. Lower trophic level fauna are important conduits of MeHg from sediment and water to estuarine and coastal fish harvested for human consumption. However, the sources and pathways of MeHg to these coastal fisheries are poorly known particularly the potential for transfer of MeHg from the sediment to biotic compartments. Across a broad gradient of human land impacts, we analyzed MeHg concentrations in food webs at ten estuarine sites in the Northeast US (from the Hackensack Meadowlands, NJ to the Gulf of Maine). MeHg concentrations in water column particulate material, but not in sediments, were predictive of MeHg concentrations in fish (killifish and Atlantic silversides). Moreover, MeHg concentrations were higher in pelagic fauna than in benthic-feeding fauna suggesting that MeHg delivery to the water column from methylation sites from within or outside of the estuary may be an important driver of MeHg bioaccumulation in estuarine pelagic food webs. In contrast, bulk sediment MeHg concentrations were only predictive of concentrations of MeHg in the infaunal worms. Our results across a broad gradient of sites demonstrate that the pathways of MeHg to lower trophic level estuarine organisms are distinctly different between benthic deposit feeders and forage fish. Thus, even in systems with contaminated sediments, transfer of MeHg into estuarine food webs maybe driven more by the efficiency of processes that determine MeHg input and bioavailability in the water column.

  16. Benthic and pelagic pathways of methylmercury bioaccumulation in estuarine food webs of the northeast United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celia Y Chen

    Full Text Available Methylmercury (MeHg is a contaminant of global concern that bioaccumulates and bioamagnifies in marine food webs. Lower trophic level fauna are important conduits of MeHg from sediment and water to estuarine and coastal fish harvested for human consumption. However, the sources and pathways of MeHg to these coastal fisheries are poorly known particularly the potential for transfer of MeHg from the sediment to biotic compartments. Across a broad gradient of human land impacts, we analyzed MeHg concentrations in food webs at ten estuarine sites in the Northeast US (from the Hackensack Meadowlands, NJ to the Gulf of Maine. MeHg concentrations in water column particulate material, but not in sediments, were predictive of MeHg concentrations in fish (killifish and Atlantic silversides. Moreover, MeHg concentrations were higher in pelagic fauna than in benthic-feeding fauna suggesting that MeHg delivery to the water column from methylation sites from within or outside of the estuary may be an important driver of MeHg bioaccumulation in estuarine pelagic food webs. In contrast, bulk sediment MeHg concentrations were only predictive of concentrations of MeHg in the infaunal worms. Our results across a broad gradient of sites demonstrate that the pathways of MeHg to lower trophic level estuarine organisms are distinctly different between benthic deposit feeders and forage fish. Thus, even in systems with contaminated sediments, transfer of MeHg into estuarine food webs maybe driven more by the efficiency of processes that determine MeHg input and bioavailability in the water column.

  17. Longer and less overlapping food webs in anthropogenically disturbed marine ecosystems: confirmations from the past.

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    Fabiana Saporiti

    Full Text Available The human exploitation of marine resources is characterised by the preferential removal of the largest species. Although this is expected to modify the structure of food webs, we have a relatively poor understanding of the potential consequences of such alteration. Here, we take advantage of a collection of ancient consumer tissues, using stable isotope analysis and SIBER to assess changes in the structure of coastal marine food webs in the South-western Atlantic through the second half of the Holocene as a result of the sequential exploitation of marine resources by hunter-gatherers, western sealers and modern fishermen. Samples were collected from shell middens and museums. Shells of both modern and archaeological intertidal herbivorous molluscs were used to reconstruct changes in the stable isotopic baseline, while modern and archaeological bones of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens, South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis and Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus were used to analyse changes in the structure of the community of top predators. We found that ancient food webs were shorter, more redundant and more overlapping than current ones, both in northern-central Patagonia and southern Patagonia. These surprising results may be best explained by the huge impact of western sealing on pinnipeds during the fur trade period, rather than the impact of fishing on fish populations. As a consequence, the populations of pinnipeds at the end of the sealing period were likely well below the ecosystem's carrying capacity, which resulted in a release of intraspecific competition and a shift towards larger and higher trophic level prey. This in turn led to longer and less overlapping food webs.

  18. Longer and less overlapping food webs in anthropogenically disturbed marine ecosystems: confirmations from the past.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saporiti, Fabiana; Bearhop, Stuart; Silva, Laura; Vales, Damián G; Zenteno, Lisette; Crespo, Enrique A; Aguilar, Alex; Cardona, Luis

    2014-01-01

    The human exploitation of marine resources is characterised by the preferential removal of the largest species. Although this is expected to modify the structure of food webs, we have a relatively poor understanding of the potential consequences of such alteration. Here, we take advantage of a collection of ancient consumer tissues, using stable isotope analysis and SIBER to assess changes in the structure of coastal marine food webs in the South-western Atlantic through the second half of the Holocene as a result of the sequential exploitation of marine resources by hunter-gatherers, western sealers and modern fishermen. Samples were collected from shell middens and museums. Shells of both modern and archaeological intertidal herbivorous molluscs were used to reconstruct changes in the stable isotopic baseline, while modern and archaeological bones of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens, South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis and Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus were used to analyse changes in the structure of the community of top predators. We found that ancient food webs were shorter, more redundant and more overlapping than current ones, both in northern-central Patagonia and southern Patagonia. These surprising results may be best explained by the huge impact of western sealing on pinnipeds during the fur trade period, rather than the impact of fishing on fish populations. As a consequence, the populations of pinnipeds at the end of the sealing period were likely well below the ecosystem's carrying capacity, which resulted in a release of intraspecific competition and a shift towards larger and higher trophic level prey. This in turn led to longer and less overlapping food webs.

  19. Transient dynamics and food-web complexity in the Lotka-Volterra cascade model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, X; Cohen, J E

    2001-04-22

    How does the long-term behaviour near equilibrium of model food webs correlate with their short-term transient dynamics? Here, simulations of the Lotka -Volterra cascade model of food webs provide the first evidence to answer this question. Transient behaviour is measured by resilience, reactivity, the maximum amplification of a perturbation and the time at which the maximum amplification occurs. Model food webs with a higher probability of local asymptotic stability may be less resilient and may have a larger transient growth of perturbations. Given a fixed connectance, the sizes and durations of transient responses to perturbations increase with the number of species. Given a fixed number of species, as connectance increases, the sizes and durations of transient responses to perturbations may increase or decrease depending on the type of link that is varied. Reactivity is more sensitive to changes in the number of donor-controlled links than to changes in the number of recipient-controlled links, while resilience is more sensitive to changes in the number of recipient-controlled links than to changes in the number of donor-controlled links. Transient behaviour is likely to be one of the important factors affecting the persistence of ecological communities.

  20. The response of the soil microbial food web to extreme rainfall under different plant systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Feng; Pan, Kaiwen; Tariq, Akash; Zhang, Lin; Sun, Xiaoming; Li, Zilong; Wang, Sizhong; Xiong, Qinli; Song, Dagang; Olatunji, Olusanya Abiodun

    2016-11-01

    An agroforestry experiment was conducted that involved four planting systems: monoculture of the focal species Zanthoxylum bungeanum and mixed cultures of Z. bungeanum and Capsicum annuum, Z. bungeanum and Medicago sativa and Z. bungeanum and Glycine max. Soil microbial food web (microorganisms and nematodes) was investigated under manipulated extreme rainfall in the four planting systems to assess whether presence of neighbor species alleviated the magnitude of extreme rainfall on nutrient uptake of the focal species by increasing the stability of soil food web. Our results indicate that in the focal species and G. max mixed culture, leaf nitrogen contents of the focal species were higher than in the monoculture and in the other mixed cultures under extreme rainfall. This result was mainly due to the significant increase under extreme rainfall of G. max species root biomass, resulting in enhanced microbial resistance and subsequent net nitrogen mineralization rate and leaf nitrogen uptake for the focal species. Differences in functional traits of neighbors had additive effects and led to a marked divergence of soil food-web resistance and nutrient uptake of the focal species. Climate change can indirectly alleviate focal species via its influence on their neighbors.

  1. The response of the soil microbial food web to extreme rainfall under different plant systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Feng; Pan, Kaiwen; Tariq, Akash; Zhang, Lin; Sun, Xiaoming; Li, Zilong; Wang, Sizhong; Xiong, Qinli; Song, Dagang; Olatunji, Olusanya Abiodun

    2016-01-01

    An agroforestry experiment was conducted that involved four planting systems: monoculture of the focal species Zanthoxylum bungeanum and mixed cultures of Z. bungeanum and Capsicum annuum, Z. bungeanum and Medicago sativa and Z. bungeanum and Glycine max. Soil microbial food web (microorganisms and nematodes) was investigated under manipulated extreme rainfall in the four planting systems to assess whether presence of neighbor species alleviated the magnitude of extreme rainfall on nutrient uptake of the focal species by increasing the stability of soil food web. Our results indicate that in the focal species and G. max mixed culture, leaf nitrogen contents of the focal species were higher than in the monoculture and in the other mixed cultures under extreme rainfall. This result was mainly due to the significant increase under extreme rainfall of G. max species root biomass, resulting in enhanced microbial resistance and subsequent net nitrogen mineralization rate and leaf nitrogen uptake for the focal species. Differences in functional traits of neighbors had additive effects and led to a marked divergence of soil food-web resistance and nutrient uptake of the focal species. Climate change can indirectly alleviate focal species via its influence on their neighbors. PMID:27874081

  2. Using food web dominator trees to catch secondary extinctions in action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodini, Antonio; Bellingeri, Michele; Allesina, Stefano; Bondavalli, Cristina

    2009-06-27

    In ecosystems, a single extinction event can give rise to multiple 'secondary' extinctions. Conservation effort would benefit from tools that help forecast the consequences of species removal. One such tool is the dominator tree, a graph-theoretic algorithm that when applied to food webs unfolds their complex architecture, yielding a simpler topology made of linear pathways that are essential for energy delivery. Each species along these chains is responsible for passing energy to the taxa that follow it and, as such, it is indispensable for their survival. To assess the predictive potential of the dominator tree, we compare its predictions with the effects that followed the collapse of the capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the Barents Sea ecosystem. To this end, we first compiled a food web for this ecosystem, then we built the corresponding dominator tree and, finally, we observed whether model predictions matched the empirical observations. This analysis shows the potential and the drawbacks of the dominator trees as a tool for understanding the causes and consequences of extinctions in food webs.

  3. Carbon fluxes through food webs of the eastern equatorial Pacific: an inverse approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Tammi L.; Jackson, George A.; Ducklow, Hugh W.; Roman, Michael R.

    2004-09-01

    We used inverse and network analyses to examine food web interactions at 0°, 140°W during EqPac time-series cruises in March-April and October 1992. Our goal was to characterize carbon flows and trophic transfers while synthesizing the available information into a complete picture of ecosystem dynamics. The inverse approach allowed us to trace the pathway of fixed carbon through a representative food web and to characterize the role of various food web components in the recycling of carbon within, and export of carbon from, the euphotic zone. The key findings of these analyses were: (1) primary production of the larger phytoplankton size classes was most often dominated by the prymnesiophytes and pelagophytes and not by the diatoms, (2) picoplankton primary production was not always balanced by protozoan and microzooplankton grazing, despite conventional views of balanced microbial producer/grazer interactions in this system, (3) the picoplankton played an important direct + indirect role in the export of carbon from the euphotic zone through a pathway involving production of detritus from picoplankton carbon and subsequent grazing of this picoplankton-based detritus by the mesozooplankton, and (4) export of carbon through consumption of mesozooplankton by higher trophic levels was of the same magnitude as DOC export (9-25 mmol C m -2 d -1), yet this pathway is rarely considered in equatorial carbon balances.

  4. Determinants of Web-based CSR Disclosure in the Food Industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Sommer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose –Web-based CSR disclosure provides a variety of advantages for firms. Determining factors for web-based CSR disclosure have been analyzed in several papers. However, only limited research has been conducted on both, the food industry and small and midsized enterprises. This paper is one contribution to fill this gap as we investigate web-based CSR communication of food processors including SME.Design/methodology/approach – We analyzed corporate communication on the websites of 71 food producers from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany using dictionary-based content analysis. Based on an ordered logit model the relationship between CSR communication and size, profitability, indebtedness and closeness to market was estimated. Economic data were obtained from the commercial database DAFNE.Findings – Our results reveal that larger firms provide relatively more CSR information than smaller firms. There was no significant relationship between CSR disclosure and profitability or indebtedness of a company and an ambiguous relationship with regard to the determinant ‘closeness to market’. Regarding the different areas of communication we found that social compared to environmental aspects were underrepresented.Practical implications – Social aspects of CSR could be used for differentiation in the market. Furthermore, as smaller firms provide relatively less information on CSR it might be worthwhile to analyze the central impediments for CSR communication for those companies.Originality/Value – This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion about firms’ CSR communication. From a convenience sample of 71 food processing firms, including SME, it provides insight regarding the determinants for CSR disclosure on firms’ websites. With the focus on the food industry and the inclusion of SME we contribute with our study to two under-researched areas.

  5. Humans strengthen bottom-up effects and weaken trophic cascades in a terrestrial food web.

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    Tyler B Muhly

    Full Text Available Ongoing debate about whether food webs are primarily regulated by predators or by primary plant productivity, cast as top-down and bottom-up effects, respectively, may becoming superfluous. Given that most of the world's ecosystems are human dominated we broadened this dichotomy by considering human effects in a terrestrial food-web. We studied a multiple human-use landscape in southwest Alberta, Canada, as opposed to protected areas where previous terrestrial food-web studies have been conducted. We used structural equation models (SEMs to assess the strength and direction of relationships between the density and distribution of: (1 humans, measured using a density index; (2 wolves (Canis lupus, elk (Cervus elapahus and domestic cattle (Bos taurus, measured using resource selection functions, and; (3 forage quality, quantity and utilization (measured at vegetation sampling plots. Relationships were evaluated by taking advantage of temporal and spatial variation in human density, including day versus night, and two landscapes with the highest and lowest human density in the study area. Here we show that forage-mediated effects of humans had primacy over predator-mediated effects in the food web. In our parsimonious SEM, occurrence of humans was most correlated with occurrence of forage (β = 0.637, p<0.0001. Elk and cattle distribution were correlated with forage (elk day: β = 0.400, p<0.0001; elk night: β = 0.369, p<0.0001; cattle day: β = 0.403, p<0.0001; cattle, night: β = 0.436, p<0.0001, and the distribution of elk or cattle and wolves were positively correlated during daytime (elk: β = 0.293, p <0.0001, cattle: β = 0.303, p<0.0001 and nighttime (elk: β = 0.460, p<0.0001, cattle: β = 0.482, p<0.0001. Our results contrast with research conducted in protected areas that suggested human effects in the food web are primarily predator-mediated. Instead, human influence on vegetation may strengthen

  6. Intraguild interactions between spiders and ants and top-down control in a grassland food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Platner, Christian

    2007-01-01

    In most terrestrial ecosystems ants (Formicidae) as eusocial insects and spiders (Araneida) as solitary trappers and hunters are key predators. To study the role of predation by these generalist predators in a dry grassland, we manipulated densities of ants and spiders (natural and low density) in a two-factorial field experiment using fenced plots. The experiment revealed strong intraguild interactions between ants and spiders. Higher densities of ants negatively affected the abundance and biomass of web-building spiders. The density of Linyphiidae was threefold higher in plots without ant colonies. The abundance of Formica cunicularia workers was significantly higher in spider-removal plots. Also, population size of springtails (Collembola) was negatively affected by the presence of wandering spiders. Ants reduced the density of Lepidoptera larvae. In contrast, the abundance of coccids (Ortheziidae) was positively correlated with densities of ants. To gain a better understanding of the position of spiders, ants and other dominant invertebrate groups in the studied food web and important trophic links, we used a stable isotope analysis ((15)N and (13)C). Adult wandering spiders were more enriched in (15)N relative to (14)N than juveniles, indicating a shift to predatory prey groups. Juvenile wandering and web-building spiders showed delta(15)N ratios just one trophic level above those of Collembola, and they had similar delta(13)C values, indicating that Collembola are an important prey group for ground living spiders. The effects of spiders demonstrated in the field experiment support this result. We conclude that the food resource of spiders in our study system is largely based on the detrital food web and that their effects on herbivores are weak. The effects of ants are not clear-cut and include predation as well as mutualism with herbivores. Within this diverse predator guild, intraguild interactions are important structuring forces.

  7. Indirect Energy Flows in Niche Model Food Webs: Effects of Size and Connectance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Shevtsov

    Full Text Available Indirect interactions between species have long been of interest to ecologists. One such interaction type takes place when energy or materials flow via one or more intermediate species between two species with a direct predator-prey relationship. Previous work has shown that, although each such flow is small, their great number makes them important in ecosystems. A new network analysis method, dynamic environ approximation, was used to quantify the fraction of energy flowing from prey to predator over paths of length greater than 1 (flow indirectness or FI in a commonly studied food web model. Web structure was created using the niche model and dynamics followed the Yodzis-Innes model. The effect of food web size (10 to 40 species and connectance (0.1 to 0.48 on FI was examined. For each of 250 model realizations run for each pair of size and connectance values, the FI of every predator-prey interaction in the model was computed and then averaged over the whole network. A classification and regression tree (CART analysis was then used to find the best predictors of FI. The mean FI of the model food webs is 0.092, with a standard deviation of 0.0279. It tends to increase with system size but peaks at intermediate connectance levels. Of 27 potential predictor variables, only five (mean path length, dominant eigenvalue of the adjacency matrix, connectance, mean trophic level and fraction of species belonging to intermediate trophic levels were selected by the CART algorithm as best accounting for variation in the data; mean path length and the dominant eigenvalue of the adjacency matrix were dominant.

  8. The impact of 850,000 years of climate changes on the structure and dynamics of mammal food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hedvig K Nenzén

    Full Text Available Most evidence of climate change impacts on food webs comes from modern studies and little is known about how ancient food webs have responded to climate changes in the past. Here, we integrate fossil evidence from 71 fossil sites, body-size relationships and actualism to reconstruct food webs for six large mammal communities that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula at different times during the Quaternary. We quantify the long-term dynamics of these food webs and study how their structure changed across the Quaternary, a period for which fossil data and climate changes are well known. Extinction, immigration and turnover rates were correlated with climate changes in the last 850 kyr. Yet, we find differences in the dynamics and structural properties of Pleistocene versus Holocene mammal communities that are not associated with glacial-interglacial cycles. Although all Quaternary mammal food webs were highly nested and robust to secondary extinctions, general food web properties changed in the Holocene. These results highlight the ability of communities to re-organize with the arrival of phylogenetically similar species without major structural changes, and the impact of climate change and super-generalist species (humans on Iberian Holocene mammal communities.

  9. Food web structure of the coastal area adjacent to the Tagus estuary revealed by stable isotope analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinagre, C.; Máguas, C.; Cabral, H. N.; Costa, M. J.

    2012-01-01

    The identification of energy sources, pathways and trophic linkages among organisms is crucial for the understanding of food web dynamics. Stable isotopes were used to identify the trophic level of food web components and track the incorporation of organic matter of different origins in the coastal ecosystem adjacent to the Tagus estuary. It was shown that the river Tagus is a major source of organic carbon to this system. Also, the wide difference in δ 13C among the primary consumers allowed the identification of the pelagic and the benthic energy pathways. The maximum trophic level observed was 2.4 for Sepia officinalis. This value is indicative of a short food web. It was concluded that the diet of the upper trophic level species relies directly on the lower food web levels to a considerable extent, instead of relying mostly on intermediate trophic level species. Moreover, the δ 15N values of primary consumers were very close to that of particulate organic matter, probably due to poorly known processes occurring at the basis of the food web. This lowers the trophic length of the whole food web. Reliance on benthic affinity prey was high for all upper trophic level secondary consumers.

  10. Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of perfluorinated compounds in a eutrophic freshwater food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jian; Guo, Chang-Sheng; Zhang, Yuan; Meng, Wei

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the bioaccumulation of perfluorinated compounds from a food web in Taihu Lake in China was investigated. The organisms included egret bird species, carnivorous fish, omnivorous fish, herbivorous fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton, zoobenthos and white shrimp. Isotope analysis by δ(13)C and δ(15)N indicated that the carnivorous fish and egret were the top predators in the studied web, occupying trophic levels intermediate between 3.66 and 4.61, while plankton was at the lowest trophic level. Perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs) with 9-12 carbons were significantly biomagnified, with trophic magnification factors (TMFs) ranging from 2.1 to 3.7. The TMF of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) (2.9) was generally comparable to or lower than those of the PFCAs in the same food web. All hazard ratio (HR) values reported for PFOS and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) were less than unity, suggesting that the detected levels would not cause any immediate health effects to the people in Taihu Lake region through the consumption of shrimps and fish.

  11. Factors affecting biotic mercury concentrations and biomagnification through lake food webs in the Canadian high Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lescord, Gretchen L., E-mail: glescord@gmail.com [University of New Brunswick/Canadian Rivers Institute, 100 Tucker Park Rd, Saint John, NB E2L 4A6 (Canada); Kidd, Karen A. [University of New Brunswick/Canadian Rivers Institute, 100 Tucker Park Rd, Saint John, NB E2L 4A6 (Canada); Kirk, Jane L. [Environment Canada, Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, 867 Lakeshore Rd, Burlington, ON L7S 1A1 (Canada); O' Driscoll, Nelson J. [Acadia University, 15 University Ave, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 (Canada); Wang, Xiaowa; Muir, Derek C.G. [Environment Canada, Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, 867 Lakeshore Rd, Burlington, ON L7S 1A1 (Canada)

    2015-03-15

    In temperate regions of Canada, mercury (Hg) concentrations in biota and the magnitude of Hg biomagnification through food webs vary between neighboring lakes and are related to water chemistry variables and physical lake features. However, few studies have examined factors affecting the variable Hg concentrations in landlocked Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) or the biomagnification of Hg through their food webs. We estimated the food web structure of six high Arctic lakes near Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada, using stable carbon (δ{sup 13}C) and nitrogen (δ{sup 15}N) isotopes and measured Hg (total Hg (THg) in char, the only fish species, and methylmercury (MeHg) in chironomids and zooplankton) concentrations in biota collected in 2010 and 2011. Across lakes, δ{sup 13}C showed that benthic carbon (chironomids) was the dominant food source for char. Regression models of log Hg versus δ{sup 15}N (of char and benthic invertebrates) showed positive and significant slopes, indicting Hg biomagnification in all lakes, and higher slopes in some lakes than others. However, no principal components (PC) generated using all water chemistry data and physical characteristics of the lakes predicted the different slopes. The PC dominated by aqueous ions was a negative predictor of MeHg concentrations in chironomids, suggesting that water chemistry affects Hg bioavailability and MeHg concentrations in these lower-trophic-level organisms. Furthermore, regression intercepts were predicted by the PCs dominated by catchment area, aqueous ions, and MeHg. Weaker relationships were also found between THg in small char or MeHg in pelagic invertebrates and the PCs dominated by catchment area, and aqueous nitrate and MeHg. Results from these high Arctic lakes suggest that Hg biomagnification differs between systems and that their physical and chemical characteristics affect Hg concentrations in lower-trophic-level biota. - Highlights: • Mercury (Hg) in Arctic char and invertebrates

  12. Parasites reduce food web robustness because they are sensitive to secondary extinction as illustrated by an invasive estuarine snail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2009-01-01

    A robust food web is one in which few secondary extinctions occur after removing species. We investigated how parasites affected the robustness of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh food web by conducting random species removals and a hypothetical, but plausible, species invasion. Parasites were much more likely than free-living species to suffer secondary extinctions following the removal of a free-living species from the food web. For this reason, the food web was less robust with the inclusion of parasites. Removal of the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, resulted in a disproportionate number of secondary parasite extinctions. The exotic Japanese mud snail, Batillaria attramentaria, is the ecological analogue of the native California horn snail and can completely replace it following invasion. Owing to the similarities between the two snail species, the invasion had no effect on predator–prey interactions. However, because the native snail is host for 17 host-specific parasites, and the invader is host to only one, comparison of a food web that includes parasites showed significant effects of invasion on the native community. The hypothetical invasion also significantly reduced the connectance of the web because the loss of 17 native trematode species eliminated many links.

  13. Determining the trophic guilds of fishes and macroinvertebrates in a seagrass food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luczkovich, J.J.; Ward, G.P.; Johnson, J.C.; Christian, R.R.; Baird, D.; Neckles, H.; Rizzo, W.M.

    2002-01-01

    We established trophic guilds of macroinvertebrate and fish taxa using correspondence analysis and a hierarchical clustering strategy for a seagrass food web in winter in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. To create the diet matrix, we characterized the trophic linkages of macroinvertebrate and fish taxa present in Halodule wrightii seagrass habitat areas within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (Florida) using binary data, combining dietary links obtained from relevant literature for macroinvertebrates with stomach analysis of common fishes collected during January and February of 1994. Heirarchical average-linkage cluster analysis of the 73 taxa of fishes and macroinvertebrates in the diet matrix yielded 14 clusters with diet similarity ??? 0.60. We then used correspondence analysis with three factors to jointly plot the coordinates of the consumers (identified by cluster membership) and of the 33 food sources. Correspondence analysis served as a visualization tool for assigning each taxon to one of eight trophic guilds: herbivores, detritivores, suspension feeders, omnivores, molluscivores, meiobenthos consumers, macrobenthos consumers, and piscivores. These trophic groups, cross-classified with major taxonomic groups, were further used to develop consumer compartments in a network analysis model of carbon flow in this seagrass ecosystem. The method presented here should greatly improve the development of future network models of food webs by providing an objective procedure for aggregating trophic groups.

  14. Biokinetic food chain modeling of waterborne selenium pulses into aquatic food chains: Implications for water quality criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeForest, David K; Pargee, Suzanne; Claytor, Carrie; Canton, Steven P; Brix, Kevin V

    2016-04-01

    We evaluated the use of biokinetic models to predict selenium (Se) bioaccumulation into model food chains after short-term pulses of selenate or selenite into water. Both periphyton- and phytoplankton-based food chains were modeled, with Se trophically transferred to invertebrates and then to fish. Whole-body fish Se concentrations were predicted based on 1) the background waterborne Se concentration, 2) the magnitude of the Se pulse, and 3) the duration of the Se pulse. The models were used to evaluate whether the US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA's) existing acute Se criteria and their recently proposed intermittent Se criteria would be protective of a whole-body fish Se tissue-based criterion of 8.1 μg g(-1) dry wt. Based on a background waterborne Se concentration of 1 μg L(-1) and pulse durations of 1 d and 4 d, the Se pulse concentrations predicted to result in a whole-body fish Se concentration of 8.1 μg g(-1) dry wt in the most conservative model food chains were 144 and 35 μg L(-1), respectively, for selenate and 57 and 16 μg L(-1), respectively, for selenite. These concentrations fall within the range of various acute Se criteria recommended by the USEPA based on direct waterborne toxicity, suggesting that these criteria may not always be protective against bioaccumulation-based toxicity that could occur after short-term pulses. Regarding the USEPA's draft intermittent Se criteria, the biokinetic modeling indicates that they may be overly protective for selenate pulses but potentially underprotective for selenite pulses. Predictions of whole-body fish Se concentrations were highly dependent on whether the food chain was periphyton- or phytoplankton-based, because the latter had much greater Se uptake rate constants. Overall, biokinetic modeling provides an approach for developing acute Se criteria that are protective against bioaccumulation-based toxicity after trophic transfer, and it is also a useful tool for evaluating averaging

  15. Changes in the Lake Michigan food web following dreissenid mussel invasions: A synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madenjian, Charles P.; Bunnell, David B.; Warner, David M.; Pothoven, Steven A.; Fahnenstiel, Gary L.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Vanderploeg, Henry A.; Tsehaye, Iyob; Claramunt, Randall M.; Clark, Richard D

    2015-01-01

    Using various available time series for Lake Michigan, we examined changes in the Lake Michigan food web following the dreissenid mussel invasions and identified those changes most likely attributable to these invasions, thereby providing a synthesis. Expansion of the quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) population into deeper waters, which began around 2004, appeared to have a substantial predatory effect on both phytoplankton abundance and primary production, with annual primary production in offshore (> 50 m deep) waters being reduced by about 35% by 2007. Primary production likely decreased in nearshore waters as well, primarily due to predatory effects exerted by the quagga mussel expansion. The drastic decline inDiporeia abundance in Lake Michigan during the 1990s and 2000s has been attributed to dreissenid mussel effects, but the exact mechanism by which the mussels were negatively affecting Diporeia abundance remains unknown. In turn, decreased Diporeiaabundance was associated with reduced condition, growth, and/or energy density in alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsonii), and bloater (Coregonus hoyi). However, lake-wide biomass of salmonines, top predators in the food web, remained high during the 2000s, and consumption of alewives by salmonines actually increased between the 1980–1995 and 1996–2011 time periods. Moreover, abundance of the lake whitefish population, which supports Lake Michigan's most valuable commercial fishery, remained at historically high levels during the 2000s. Apparently, counterbalancing mechanisms operating within the complex Lake Michigan food web have enabled salmonines and lake whitefish to retain relatively high abundances despite reduced primary production.

  16. Disruption of the lower food web in Lake Ontario: Did it affect alewife growth or condition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Gorman, R.; Prindle, S.E.; Lantry, J.R.; Lantry, B.F.

    2008-01-01

    From the early 1980s to the late 1990s, a succession of non-native invertebrates colonized Lake Ontario and the suite of consequences caused by their colonization became known as "food web disruption". For example, the native burrowing amphipod Diporeia spp., a key link in the profundal food web, declined to near absence, exotic predaceous cladocerans with long spines proliferated, altering the zooplankton community, and depth distributions of fishes shifted. These changes had the potential to affect growth and condition of planktivorous alewife Alosa pseudoharengus, the most abundant fish in the lake. To determine if food web disruption affected alewife, we used change-point analysis to examine alewife growth and adult alewife condition during 1976-2006 and analysis-of-variance to determine if values between change points differed significantly. There were no change points in growth during the first year of life. Of three change points in growth during the second year of life, one coincided with the shift in springtime distribution of alewife to deeper water but it was not associated with a significant change in growth. After the second year of life, no change points in growth were evident, although growth in the third year of life spiked in those years when Bythotrephes, the largest of the exotic cladocerans, was abundant suggesting that it was a profitable prey item for age-2 fish. We detected two change points in condition of adult alewife in fall, but the first occurred in 1981, well before disruption began. A second change point occurred in 2003, well after disruption began. After the springtime distribution of alewife shifted deeper during 1992-1994, growth in the first two years of life became more variable, and growth in years of life two and older became correlated (P < 0.05). In conclusion, food web disruption had no negative affect on growth and condition of alewife in Lake Ontario although it appears to have resulted in growth in the first two years of

  17. The impact of in situ Fe fertilisation on the microbial food web in the Southern Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Julie A.; Safi, Karl

    During the Southern Ocean iron release experiment (SOIREE) in February 1999, the composition and dynamics of the microbial food web were studied. SOIREE was a mesoscale experiment with four infusions of Fe into the patch to elevate Fe concentrations inside the patch. During the 13 d experiment, samples were collected from the mixed layer inside and outside the patch for the enumeration of bacteria, picophytoplankton, phyto and heterotrophic nanoflagellates, ciliates, and for estimation of bacterial production and microzooplankton grazing. Inside the patch, bacterial numbers remained constant throughout SOIREE although bacterial production increased three-fold. A strong relationship between the increase in bacterial and primary production suggested that dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen, rather than Fe, potentially limited bacterial growth. The picophytoplankton population, was composed solely of eukaryotic cells and increased three-fold over the first 7 d of the experiment before decreasing to initial concentrations of approximately 4000 cells ml -1. In contrast to the bacterial and picophytoplankton populations, the nanophytoflagellate population increased six-fold in numbers and 23-fold in biomass. This resulted in a three-fold increase in carbon flow through the microbial food web inside the patch by the end of the experiment. The increased carbon flow resulted in a small increase in total microzooplankton biomass. Ciliate abundances tripled and biomass, doubled; however, the ciliate population only contributed 3-10% of the microzooplankton biomass, which was dominated by the heterotrophic nanoflagellate population. The heterotrophic nanoflagellate numbers decreased three-fold by the end of the experiment; however, there was no significant change in biomass throughout the experiment. The changes in the dynamics and structure of the microbial food web during the SOIREE experiment suggest that microzooplankton grazing controlled the bacterial and possibly the

  18. Food-web structure and ecosystem services: insights from the Serengeti

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Andy

    2009-01-01

    The central organizing theme of this paper is to discuss the dynamics of the Serengeti grassland ecosystem from the perspective of recent developments in food-web theory. The seasonal rainfall patterns that characterize the East African climate create an annually oscillating, large-scale, spatial mosaic of feeding opportunities for the larger ungulates in the Serengeti; this in turn creates a significant annual variation in the food available for their predators. At a smaller spatial scale, periodic fires during the dry season create patches of highly nutritious grazing that are eaten in preference to the surrounding older patches of less palatable vegetation. The species interactions between herbivores and plants, and carnivores and herbivores, are hierarchically nested in the Serengeti food web, with the largest bodied consumers on each trophic level having the broadest diets that include species from a large variety of different habitats in the ecosystem. The different major habitats of the Serengeti are also used in a nested fashion; the highly nutritious forage of the short grass plains is available only to the larger migratory species for a few months each year. The longer grass areas, the woodlands and kopjes (large partially wooded rocky islands in the surrounding mosaic of grassland) contain species that are resident throughout the year; these species often have smaller body size and more specialized diets than the migratory species. Only the larger herbivores and carnivores obtain their nutrition from all the different major habitat types in the ecosystem. The net effect of this is to create a nested hierarchy of subchains of energy flow within the larger Serengeti food web; these flows are seasonally forced by rainfall and operate at different rates in different major branches of the web. The nested structure that couples sequential trophic levels together interacts with annual seasonal variation in the fast and slow chains of nutrient flow in a way that

  19. Prey or predator – expanding the food web role of sandeel (Ammodytes marinus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eigaard, Ole Ritzau; Deurs, Mikael van; Behrens, Jane;

    2014-01-01

    We report an unexpected observation of lesser sandeel Ammodytes marinus foraging on juveniles and late larval stages of the same species. This recording sheds new light on the cannibalistic and piscivorous capacity of forage fish and raises a number of questions about the role of forage fish...... in marine food webs. In 2012 and 2013 the stomachs of 748 sandeels from 36 different commercial sandeel hauls in the central North Sea were opened. 9% of these stomachs contained late stage sandeel larvae. In order to better understand the cannibalistic nature of sandeels, we made a detailed analysis...... in North Sea sandeel stocks, but it may also add a new element to the complexity of energy flow in marine food chains...

  20. Entry of Oil to the Coastal Planktonic Food Web During the Deepwater Horizon Spill (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, W. M.; Condon, R. H.; Carmichael, R. H.; D'Ambra, I.; Patterson, H. K.; Hernandez, F. J., Jr.

    2010-12-01

    After the explosion and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) on 22 April 2010, an estimated 780,000 m3 of Sweet Louisiana Crude (SLC) and 205,000 mT of methane were released into the northern Gulf of Mexico over an 85 d period. A great deal of controversy ensued regarding the application of unprecedented volumes of chemical dispersants both at the surface and at depth. One of the consequences of dispersing such large volumes of oil into the water column was the difficulty of tracking its fate over distance and through the food web. Most of the attention to date has been on large underwater plumes of oil, and scant evidence exists for subsea oil in warm (>25 °C), shallow shelf waters due to rapid weathering and utilization by prokaryotes. A large pool of isotopically depleted carbon from released oil and methane is presumably available to zooplankton and zooplankton-eating fish and invertebrates via prokaryotic consumers. Thus, carbon isotopic depletion extending into marine zooplankton grazers, a pathway mediated by the microbial food web, is a good proxy for food web modification by the spill. We employed δ13C as a tracer of oil-derived carbon incorporation into the lower marine food web across the middle and inner continental shelf. During June-August 2010, we followed two particle size classes: the nominally 1 μm - 0.2 mm “small suspended particulate” and the >0.2-2 mm “mesozooplankton” fractions, with the former considered likely food particle size for the latter. A clear pattern of δ13C depletion occurring in each fraction at middle and inner shelf stations was consistent with two sequential northward pulses of surface oil slicks from DWH. Relative to early June, an isotopic shift of -1 to -3 ‰ (toward weathered and fresh oil, -27.23 ± 0.03 ‰ and -27.34 ± 0.34 ‰, respectively) occurred during the peak of areal coverage of oil over the sites in late June 2010. Recovery of this depletion was 2-4 wks. A third pulse of residual oil

  1. Short-term effects of different genetically modified maize varieties on arthropod food web properties: an experimental field assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szénási, Ágnes; Pálinkás, Zoltán; Zalai, Mihály; Schmitz, Oswald J; Balog, Adalbert

    2014-01-01

    There is concern that genetically modified (GM) plants may have adverse affects on the arthropod biodiversity comprising agricultural landscapes. The present study report on a two year field experimental test of whether four different genotypic lines, some are novel with no previous field tests, of GM maize hybrids alter the structure of arthropod food webs that they harbour, relative to non-GM maize (control) that is widely used in agriculture. The different GM genotypes produced either Bt toxins, conferred glyphosate tolerance or a combination of the two traits. Quantitative food web analysis, based on short-term assessment assigning a total of 243,896 arthropod individuals collected from the treatments to their positions in food webs, revealed that complex and stable food webs persisted in each maize treatment. Moreover, food web structure remained relatively unchanged by the GM-genotype. The results suggest that at least in short-term period these particular GM maize genotypes will not have adverse effects on arthropod biota of agricultural landscapes.

  2. Donor-Control of Scavenging Food Webs at the Land-Ocean Interface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A Schlacher

    Full Text Available Food webs near the interface of adjacent ecosystems are potentially subsidised by the flux of organic matter across system boundaries. Such subsidies, including carrion of marine provenance, are predicted to be instrumental on open-coast sandy shores where in situ productivity is low and boundaries are long and highly permeable to imports from the sea. We tested the effect of carrion supply on the structure of consumer dynamics in a beach-dune system using broad-scale, repeated additions of carcasses at the strandline of an exposed beach in eastern Australia. Carrion inputs increased the abundance of large invertebrate scavengers (ghost crabs, Ocypode spp., a numerical response most strongly expressed by the largest size-class in the population, and likely due to aggregative behaviour in the short term. Consumption of carrion at the beach-dune interface was rapid and efficient, driven overwhelmingly by facultative avian scavengers. This guild of vertebrate scavengers comprises several species of birds of prey (sea eagles, kites, crows and gulls, which reacted strongly to concentrations of fish carrion, creating hotspots of intense scavenging activity along the shoreline. Detection of carrion effects at several trophic levels suggests that feeding links arising from carcasses shape the architecture and dynamics of food webs at the land-ocean interface.

  3. Methylmercury bioaccumulation in stream food webs declines with increasing primary production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, David; D.F. Raikow,; C.R. Hammerschmidt,; M.G. Mehling,; A. Kovach,; J.T. Oris,

    2015-01-01

    Opposing hypotheses posit that increasing primary productivity should result in either greater or lesser contaminant accumulation in stream food webs. We conducted an experiment to evaluate primary productivity effects on MeHg accumulation in stream consumers. We varied light for 16 artificial streams creating a productivity gradient (oxygen production =0.048–0.71 mg O2 L–1 d–1) among streams. Two-level food webs were established consisting of phytoplankton/filter feeding clam, periphyton/grazing snail, and leaves/shredding amphipod (Hyalella azteca). Phytoplankton and periphyton biomass, along with MeHg removal from the water column, increased significantly with productivity, but MeHg concentrations in these primary producers declined. Methylmercury concentrations in clams and snails also declined with productivity, and consumer concentrations were strongly correlated with MeHg concentrations in primary producers. Heterotroph biomass on leaves, MeHg in leaves, and MeHg in Hyalella were unrelated to stream productivity. Our results support the hypothesis that contaminant bioaccumulation declines with stream primary production via the mechanism of bloom dilution (MeHg burden per cell decreases in algal blooms), extending patterns of contaminant accumulation documented in lakes to lotic systems.

  4. Human Impacts and Climate Change Influence Nestedness and Modularity in Food-Web and Mutualistic Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuhiro Takemoto

    Full Text Available Theoretical studies have indicated that nestedness and modularity-non-random structural patterns of ecological networks-influence the stability of ecosystems against perturbations; as such, climate change and human activity, as well as other sources of environmental perturbations, affect the nestedness and modularity of ecological networks. However, the effects of climate change and human activities on ecological networks are poorly understood. Here, we used a spatial analysis approach to examine the effects of climate change and human activities on the structural patterns of food webs and mutualistic networks, and found that ecological network structure is globally affected by climate change and human impacts, in addition to current climate. In pollination networks, for instance, nestedness increased and modularity decreased in response to increased human impacts. Modularity in seed-dispersal networks decreased with temperature change (i.e., warming, whereas food web nestedness increased and modularity declined in response to global warming. Although our findings are preliminary owing to data-analysis limitations, they enhance our understanding of the effects of environmental change on ecological communities.

  5. Dreissenid mussels are not a "dead end" in Great Lakes food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madenijan, Charles P.; Pothoven, Steven A.; Schneeberger, Philip J.; Ebener, Mark P.; Mohr, Lloyd C.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Bence, James R.

    2010-01-01

    Dreissenid mussels have been regarded as a “dead end” in Great Lakes food webs because the degree of predation on dreissenid mussels, on a lakewide basis, is believed to be low. Waterfowl predation on dreissenid mussels in the Great Lakes has primarily been confined to bays, and therefore its effects on the dreissenid mussel population have been localized rather than operating on a lakewide level. Based on results from a previous study, annual consumption of dreissenid mussels by the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) population in central Lake Erie averaged only 6 kilotonnes (kt; 1 kt = one thousand metric tons) during 1995–2002. In contrast, our coupling of lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) population models with a lake whitefish bioenergetics model revealed that lake whitefish populations in Lakes Michigan and Huron consumed 109 and 820 kt, respectively, of dreissenid mussels each year. Our results indicated that lake whitefish can be an important predator on dreissenid mussels in the Great Lakes, and that dreissenid mussels do not represent a “dead end” in Great Lakes food webs. The Lake Michigan dreissenid mussel population has been estimated to be growing more than three times faster than the Lake Huron dreissenid mussel population during the 2000s. One plausible explanation for the higher population growth rate in Lake Michigan would be the substantially higher predation rate by lake whitefish on dreissenid mussels in Lake Huron.

  6. Contrasting Food Web Factor and Body Size Relationships with Hg and Se Concentrations in Marine Biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, Roxanne; Frisk, Michael; Fisher, Nicholas S.

    2013-01-01

    Marine fish and shellfish are primary sources of human exposure to mercury, a potentially toxic metal, and selenium, an essential element that may protect against mercury bioaccumulation and toxicity. Yet we lack a thorough understanding of Hg and Se patterns in common marine taxa, particularly those that are commercially important, and how food web and body size factors differ in their influence on Hg and Se patterns. We compared Hg and Se content among marine fish and invertebrate taxa collected from Long Island, NY, and examined associations between Hg, Se, body length, trophic level (measured by δ15N) and degree of pelagic feeding (measured by δ13C). Finfish, particularly shark, had high Hg content whereas bivalves generally had high Se content. Both taxonomic differences and variability were larger for Hg than Se, and Hg content explained most of the variation in Hg:Se molar ratios among taxa. Finally, Hg was more strongly associated with length and trophic level across taxa than Se, consistent with a greater degree of Hg bioaccumulation in the body over time, and biomagnification through the food web, respectively. Overall, our findings indicate distinct taxonomic and ecological Hg and Se patterns in commercially important marine biota, and these patterns have nutritional and toxicological implications for seafood-consuming wildlife and humans. PMID:24019976

  7. Influence of developmental stage, salts and food presence on various end points using Caenorhabditis elegans for aquatic toxicity testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donkin, S.G.; Williams, P.L. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)

    1995-12-01

    This study used a randomized block design to investigate the importance of several variables in using the free-living soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, for aquatic toxicity testing. Concentration-response data were obtained on nematodes of various developmental stages exposed to four metals (Cd, Pb, Cu, and Hg) and a water-soluble organic toxicant, sodium pentachlorophenate (PCP), under conditions of varied solvent medium (with or without salts and with or without a bacterial food source). The end points measured were 24- and 96-h mortality LC50 value, as well as development of larval stages to adulthood and evidence of reproduction. The results suggest that nematodes of various ages respond similarity to a given toxicant for all end points measured, although adults cultured from eggs appeared more sensitive than adults cultured from dauer larvae. The most important environmental variable in determining toxicity was the medium in which the tests were conducted. The presence of potassium and sodium salts in the medium significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the toxicity of many test samples. The presence of bacteria had little effect on 24-h tests with salts, but was important in 96-h survival and development. Based on sensitivity and ease of handling, adults cultured from eggs are recommended in both 24h and 96-h tests.

  8. Linking Intertidal and Subtidal Food Webs: Consumer-Mediated Transport of Intertidal Benthic Microalgal Carbon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Chang-Keun; Park, Hyun Je; Choy, Eun Jung; Choi, Kwang-Sik; Hwang, Kangseok; Kim, Jong-Bin

    2015-01-01

    We examined stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios for a large variety of consumers in intertidal and subtidal habitats, and their potential primary food sources [i.e., microphytobenthos (MPB), phytoplankton, and Phragmites australis] in a coastal bay system, Yeoja Bay of Korea, to test the hypothesis that the transfer of intertidal MPB-derived organic carbon to the subtidal food web can be mediated by motile consumers. Compared to a narrow δ13C range (-18 to -16‰) of offshore consumers, a broad δ13C range (-18 to -12‰) of both intertidal and subtidal consumers indicated that 13C-enriched sources of organic matter are an important trophic source to coastal consumers. In the intertidal areas, δ13C of most consumers overlapped with or was 13C-enriched relative to MPB. Despite the scarcity of MPB in the subtidal, highly motile consumers in subtidal habitat had nearly identical δ13C range with many intertidal foragers (including crustaceans and fish), overlapping with the range of MPB. In contrast, δ13C values of many sedentary benthic invertebrates in the subtidal areas were similar to those of offshore consumers and more 13C-depleted than motile foragers, indicating high dependence on phytoplankton-derived carbon. The isotopic mixing model calculation confirms that the majority of motile consumers and also some of subtidal sedentary ones depend on intertidal MPB for more than a half of their tissue carbon. Finally, although further quantitative estimates are needed, these results suggest that direct foraging by motile consumers on intertidal areas, and thereby biological transport of MPB-derived organic carbon to the subtidal areas, may provide important trophic connection between intertidal production and the nearshore shallow subtidal food webs.

  9. Linking Intertidal and Subtidal Food Webs: Consumer-Mediated Transport of Intertidal Benthic Microalgal Carbon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang-Keun Kang

    Full Text Available We examined stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios for a large variety of consumers in intertidal and subtidal habitats, and their potential primary food sources [i.e., microphytobenthos (MPB, phytoplankton, and Phragmites australis] in a coastal bay system, Yeoja Bay of Korea, to test the hypothesis that the transfer of intertidal MPB-derived organic carbon to the subtidal food web can be mediated by motile consumers. Compared to a narrow δ13C range (-18 to -16‰ of offshore consumers, a broad δ13C range (-18 to -12‰ of both intertidal and subtidal consumers indicated that 13C-enriched sources of organic matter are an important trophic source to coastal consumers. In the intertidal areas, δ13C of most consumers overlapped with or was 13C-enriched relative to MPB. Despite the scarcity of MPB in the subtidal, highly motile consumers in subtidal habitat had nearly identical δ13C range with many intertidal foragers (including crustaceans and fish, overlapping with the range of MPB. In contrast, δ13C values of many sedentary benthic invertebrates in the subtidal areas were similar to those of offshore consumers and more 13C-depleted than motile foragers, indicating high dependence on phytoplankton-derived carbon. The isotopic mixing model calculation confirms that the majority of motile consumers and also some of subtidal sedentary ones depend on intertidal MPB for more than a half of their tissue carbon. Finally, although further quantitative estimates are needed, these results suggest that direct foraging by motile consumers on intertidal areas, and thereby biological transport of MPB-derived organic carbon to the subtidal areas, may provide important trophic connection between intertidal production and the nearshore shallow subtidal food webs.

  10. Seasonal variation in accumulation of persistent organic pollutants in an Arctic marine benthic food web

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Evenset, A., E-mail: anita.evenset@akvaplan.niva.no [Akvaplan-niva. Fram Centre, Tromsø (Norway); University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø (Norway); Hallanger, I.G. [University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø (Norway); Tessmann, M. [Akvaplan-niva. Fram Centre, Tromsø (Norway); Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Research, University of Hamburg (Germany); Warner, N. [Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Fram Centre, Tromsø (Norway); Ruus, A. [Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Oslo (Norway); Borgå, K. [Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Oslo (Norway); Department of Biosciences, P.O. Box 1066, Blindern 0316, Oslo (Norway); Gabrielsen, G.W. [Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø (Norway); Christensen, G. [Akvaplan-niva. Fram Centre, Tromsø (Norway); Renaud, P.E. [Akvaplan-niva. Fram Centre, Tromsø (Norway); University Centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen (Norway)

    2016-01-15

    The aim of the present study was to investigate seasonal variation in persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations, as well as food-web biomagnification, in an Arctic, benthic marine community. Macrozoobenthos, demersal fish and common eiders were collected both inside and outside of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, during May, July and October 2007. The samples were analysed for a selection of legacy chlorinated POPs. Overall, low levels of POPs were measured in all samples. Although POP levels and accumulation patterns showed some seasonal variation, the magnitude and direction of change was not consistent among species. Overall, seasonality in bioaccumulation in benthic biota was less pronounced than in the pelagic system in Kongsfjorden. In addition, the results indicate that δ{sup 15}N is not a good predictor for POP-levels in benthic food chains. Other factors, such as feeding strategy (omnivory, necrophagy versus herbivory), degree of contact with the sediment, and a high dependence on particulate organic matter (POM), with low POP-levels and high δ{sup 15}N-values (due to bacterial isotope enrichment), seem to govern the uptake of the different POPs and result in loads deviating from what would be expected consulting the trophic position alone. - Highlights: • Seasonal variation in POP biomagnification was investigated in a benthic food web. • Levels of POPs are generally low in benthic species from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. • POP-concentrations varied with season, but direction of change varied among taxa. • No POP-biomagnification, except for cis-nonachlor, was detected in this study. • δ{sup 15}N-values does not seem to be a good proxy for trophic level in macrozoobenthos.

  11. Assessing the trophic position and ecological role of squids in marine ecosystems by means of food-web models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Marta; Navarro, Joan; Olson, Robert J.; Christensen, Villy

    2013-10-01

    We synthesized available information from ecological models at local and regional scales to obtain a global picture of the trophic position and ecological role of squids in marine ecosystems. First, static food-web models were used to analyze basic ecological parameters and indicators of squids: biomass, production, consumption, trophic level, omnivory index, predation mortality diet, and the ecological role. In addition, we developed various dynamic temporal simulations using two food-web models that included squids in their parameterization, and we investigated potential impacts of fishing pressure and environmental conditions for squid populations and, consequently, for marine food webs. Our results showed that squids occupy a large range of trophic levels in marine food webs and show a large trophic width, reflecting the versatility in their feeding behaviors and dietary habits. Models illustrated that squids are abundant organisms in marine ecosystems, and have high growth and consumption rates, but these parameters are highly variable because squids are adapted to a large variety of environmental conditions. Results also show that squids can have a large trophic impact on other elements of the food web, and top-down control from squids to their prey can be high. In addition, some squid species are important prey of apical predators and may be keystone species in marine food webs. In fact, we found strong interrelationships between neritic squids and the populations of their prey and predators in coastal and shelf areas, while the role of squids in open ocean and upwelling ecosystems appeared more constrained to a bottom-up impact on their predators. Therefore, large removals of squids will likely have large-scale effects on marine ecosystems. In addition, simulations confirm that squids are able to benefit from a general increase in fishing pressure, mainly due to predation release, and quickly respond to changes triggered by the environment. Squids may thus

  12. Web Data Mining and Social Media Analysis for better Communication in Food Safety Crises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian H. Meyer

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Although much effort is made to prevent risks arising from food, food-borne diseases are an ever-present threat to the consumers’ health. The consumption of fresh food that is contaminated with pathogens like fungi, viruses or bacteria can cause food poisoning that leads to severe health damages or even death. The outbreak of Shiga Toxin-producing enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC in Germany and neighbouring countries in 2011 has shown this dramatically. Nearly 4.000 people were reported of being affected and more than 50 people died during the so called EHEC-crisis. As a result the consumers’ trust in the safety of fruits and vegetables decreased sharply.In situations like that quick decisions and reaction from public authorities as well as from privately owned companies are important: Food crisis managers have to identify and track back contaminated products and they have to withdraw them from the market. At the same time they have to inform the stakeholders about potential threats and recent developments. This is a particularly challenging task, because when an outbreak is just detected, information about the actual scope is sparse and the demand for information is high. Thus, ineffective communication among crisis managers and towards the public can result in inefficient crisis management, health damages and a major loss of trust in the food system. This is why crisis communication is a crucial part of successful crisis management, whereas the quality of crisis communication largely depends on the availability of and the access to relevant information.In order to improve the availability of information, we have explored how information from public accessible internet sources like Twitter or Wikipedia can be harnessed for food crisis communication. In this paper we are going to report on some initial insight from a web mining and social media analysis approach to monitor health and food related issues that can develop into a potential

  13. The zooplankton food web under East Antarctic pack ice - A stable isotope study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Zhongnan; Swadling, Kerrie M.; Meiners, Klaus M.; Kawaguchi, So; Virtue, Patti

    2016-09-01

    Understanding how sea ice serves zooplankton species during the food-limited season is crucial information to evaluate the potential responses of pelagic food webs to changes in sea-ice conditions in the Southern Ocean. Stable isotope analyses (13C/12C and 15N/14N) were used to compare the dietary preferences and trophic relationships of major zooplankton species under pack ice during two winter-spring transitions (2007 and 2012). During sampling, furcilia of Euphausia superba demonstrated dietary plasticity between years, herbivory when feeding on sea-ice biota, and with a more heterotrophic diet when feeding from both the sea ice and the water column. Carbon isotope signatures suggested that the pteropod Limacina helicina, small copepods Oithona spp., ostracods and amphipods relied heavily on sea-ice biota. Post larval E. superba and omnivorous krill Thysanoessa macrura consumed both water column and ice biota, but further investigations are needed to estimate the contribution from each source. Large copepods and chaetognaths overwintered on a water column-based diet. Our study suggests that warm and permeable sea ice is more likely to provide food for zooplankton species under the ice than the colder ice.

  14. Sustainability of the Lake Superior fish community: Interactions in a food web context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchell, James F.; Cox, Sean P.; Harvey, Chris J.; Johnson, Timothy B.; Mason, Doran M.; Schoen, Kurt K.; Aydin, Kerim; Bronte, Charles; Ebener, Mark; Hansen, Michael; Hoff, Michael; Schram, Steve; Schreiner, Don; Walters, Carl J.

    2000-01-01

    The restoration and rehabilitation of the native fish communities is a long-term goal for the Laurentian Great Lakes. In Lake Superior, the ongoing restoration of the native lake trout populations is now regarded as one of the major success stories in fisheries management. However, populations of the deepwater morphotype (siscowet lake trout) have increased much more substantially than those of the nearshore morphotype (lean lake trout), and the ecosystem now contains an assemblage of exotic species such as sea lamprey, rainbow smelt, and Pacific salmon (chinook, coho, and steelhead). Those species play an important role in defining the constraints and opportunities for ecosystem management. We combined an equilibrium mass balance model (Ecopath) with a dynamic food web model (Ecosim) to evaluate the ecological consequences of future alternative management strategies and the interaction of two different sets of life history characteristics for fishes at the top of the food web. Relatively rapid turnover rates occur among the exotic forage fish, rainbow smelt, and its primary predators, exotic Pacific salmonids. Slower turnover rates occur among the native lake trout and burbot and their primary prey—lake herring, smelt, deepwater cisco, and sculpins. The abundance of forage fish is a key constraint for all salmonids in Lake Superior. Smelt and Mysis play a prominent role in sustaining the current trophic structure. Competition between the native lake trout and the exotic salmonids is asymmetric. Reductions in the salmon population yield only a modest benefit for the stocks of lake trout, whereas increased fishing of lake trout produces substantial potential increases in the yields of Pacific salmon to recreational fisheries. The deepwater or siscowet morphotype of lake trout has become very abundant. Although it plays a major role in the structure of the food web it offers little potential for the restoration of a valuable commercial or recreational fishery

  15. Global Patterns in Ecological Indicators of Marine Food Webs: A Modelling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heymans, Johanna Jacomina; Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy

    2014-01-01

    Background Ecological attributes estimated from food web models have the potential to be indicators of good environmental status given their capabilities to describe redundancy, food web changes, and sensitivity to fishing. They can be used as a baseline to show how they might be modified in the future with human impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, or overfishing. Methodology In this study ecological network analysis indicators of 105 marine food web models were tested for variation with traits such as ecosystem type, latitude, ocean basin, depth, size, time period, and exploitation state, whilst also considering structural properties of the models such as number of linkages, number of living functional groups or total number of functional groups as covariate factors. Principal findings Eight indicators were robust to model construction: relative ascendency; relative overhead; redundancy; total systems throughput (TST); primary production/TST; consumption/TST; export/TST; and total biomass of the community. Large-scale differences were seen in the ecosystems of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with the Western Atlantic being more complex with an increased ability to mitigate impacts, while the Eastern Atlantic showed lower internal complexity. In addition, the Eastern Pacific was less organised than the Eastern Atlantic although both of these systems had increased primary production as eastern boundary current systems. Differences by ecosystem type highlighted coral reefs as having the largest energy flow and total biomass per unit of surface, while lagoons, estuaries, and bays had lower transfer efficiencies and higher recycling. These differences prevailed over time, although some traits changed with fishing intensity. Keystone groups were mainly higher trophic level species with mostly top-down effects, while structural/dominant groups were mainly lower trophic level groups (benthic primary producers such as seagrass and macroalgae

  16. Fire affects root decomposition, soil food web structure, and carbon flow in tallgrass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, E. Ashley; Denef, Karolien; Milano de Tomasel, Cecilia; Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Wall, Diana H.

    2016-05-01

    Root litter decomposition is a major component of carbon (C) cycling in grasslands, where it provides energy and nutrients for soil microbes and fauna. This is especially important in grasslands where fire is common and removes aboveground litter accumulation. In this study, we investigated whether fire affects root decomposition and C flow through the belowground food web. In a greenhouse experiment, we applied 13C-enriched big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) root litter to intact tallgrass prairie soil cores collected from annually burned (AB) and infrequently burned (IB) treatments at the Konza Prairie Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Incorporation of 13C into microbial phospholipid fatty acids and nematode trophic groups was measured on six occasions during a 180-day decomposition study to determine how C was translocated through the soil food web. Results showed significantly different soil communities between treatments and higher microbial abundance for IB. Root decomposition occurred rapidly and was significantly greater for AB. Microbes and their nematode consumers immediately assimilated root litter C in both treatments. Root litter C was preferentially incorporated in a few groups of microbes and nematodes, but depended on burn treatment: fungi, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and fungivore nematodes for AB and only omnivore nematodes for IB. The overall microbial pool of root-litter-derived C significantly increased over time but was not significantly different between burn treatments. The nematode pool of root-litter-derived C also significantly increased over time, and was significantly higher for the AB treatment at 35 and 90 days after litter addition. In conclusion, the C flow from root litter to microbes to nematodes is not only measurable but also significant, indicating that higher nematode trophic levels are critical components of C flow during root decomposition, which, in turn, is significantly affected by fire. Not

  17. Assimilation of aged organic carbon in a glacial river food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellman, J.; Hood, E. W.; Raymond, P. A.; Bozeman, M.; Hudson, J.; Arimitsu, M.

    2013-12-01

    Identifying the key sources of organic carbon supporting fish and invertebrate consumers is fundamental to our understanding of stream ecosystems. Recent laboratory bioassays highlight that aged organic carbon from glacier environments is highly bioavailable to stream bacteria relative to carbon originating from ice-free areas. However, there is little evidence suggesting that this aged, bioavailable organic carbon is also a key basal carbon source for stream metazoa. We used natural abundance of Δ14C, δ13C, and δ15N to determine if fish and invertebrate consumers are subsidized by aged organic carbon in a glacial river in southeast Alaska. We collected biofilm, leaf litter, three different species of macroinvertebrates, and resident juvenile salmonids from a reference stream and two sites (one site is directly downstream of the glacial outflow and one site is upstream of the tidal estuary) on the heavily glaciated Herbert River. Key producers, fish, and invertebrate consumers in the reference stream had carbon isotope values that ranged from -26 to -30‰ for δ13C and from -12 to 53‰ for Δ14C, reflecting a food web sustained mainly on contemporary primary production. In contrast, biofilm in the two glacial sites was highly Δ14C depleted (-203 to -215‰) relative to the reference site. Although biofilm may consist of both bacteria and benthic algae utilizing carbon depleted in Δ14C, δ13C values for biofilm (-24.1‰), dissolved inorganic carbon (-5.9‰), and dissolved organic carbon (-24.0‰) suggest that biofilm consist of bacteria sustained in part by glacier-derived, aged organic carbon. Invertebrate consumers (mean Δ14C of -80.5, mean δ13C of -26.5) and fish (mean Δ14C of -63.3, mean δ13C of -25.7) in the two glacial sites had carbon isotope values similar to biofilm. These results similarly show that aged organic carbon is incorporated into the metazoan food web. Overall, our findings indicate that continued watershed deglaciation and

  18. The bioenergetic consequences of invasive-induced food web disruption to Lake Ontario alewives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Thomas J.; O'Gorman, Robert; Sprules, W. Gary; Lantry, B.F.

    2010-01-01

    Alewives Alosa pseudoharengus are the dominant prey fish in Lake Ontario, and their response to ecological change can alter the structure and function of the Lake Ontario food web. Using stochastic population-based bioenergetic models of Lake Ontario alewives for 1987–1991 and 2001–2005, we evaluated changes to alewife production, consumption, and associated bioenergetic ratios after invasive-induced food web disruption. After the disruption, mean biomass of alewives declined from 28.0 to 14.6 g/m2, production declined from 40.8 to 13.6 g·m−2·year−1, and consumption declined from 342.1 to 137.2 g·m−2·year−1, but bootstrapping of error sources suggested that the changes were not statistically significant. Population-based bioenergetic ratios of production to biomass (P/B ratio), total consumption to biomass (Q/B ratio), and production efficiency did not change. Pathways of energy flow measured as prey-group-specific Q/B ratios changed significantly between the two time periods for invasive predatory cladocerans (from 0.6 to 1.3), Mysis diluviana (from 0.4 to 2.5), and other prey (from 0.8 to 0.1), but the observed decline in the zooplankton Q/B ratio (from 10.6 to 5.5) was not significant. Gross production efficiency did not change; values ranged from 8% to 15%. Age-group mean gross conversion efficiency (GCE) declined with age; GCE ranged from 7.5% to 11.0% for yearlings, was approximately 5% for age-2 alewives, and was less than 2% for age-3 and older alewives. The GCE increased significantly between the time periods for yearling alewives. Our analyses support the hypothesis that after 2003, alewives could not sustain their growth while feeding on zooplankton closer to shore. Modeling of observed spatial variation in diet and alternative occupied temperatures demonstrates the potential for reducing consumption by alewives. Our results suggest that Lake Ontario alewives can exploit spatial heterogeneity in resource patches and thermal habitat to

  19. Global patterns in ecological indicators of marine food webs: a modelling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Jacomina Heymans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ecological attributes estimated from food web models have the potential to be indicators of good environmental status given their capabilities to describe redundancy, food web changes, and sensitivity to fishing. They can be used as a baseline to show how they might be modified in the future with human impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, or overfishing. METHODOLOGY: In this study ecological network analysis indicators of 105 marine food web models were tested for variation with traits such as ecosystem type, latitude, ocean basin, depth, size, time period, and exploitation state, whilst also considering structural properties of the models such as number of linkages, number of living functional groups or total number of functional groups as covariate factors. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eight indicators were robust to model construction: relative ascendency; relative overhead; redundancy; total systems throughput (TST; primary production/TST; consumption/TST; export/TST; and total biomass of the community. Large-scale differences were seen in the ecosystems of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with the Western Atlantic being more complex with an increased ability to mitigate impacts, while the Eastern Atlantic showed lower internal complexity. In addition, the Eastern Pacific was less organised than the Eastern Atlantic although both of these systems had increased primary production as eastern boundary current systems. Differences by ecosystem type highlighted coral reefs as having the largest energy flow and total biomass per unit of surface, while lagoons, estuaries, and bays had lower transfer efficiencies and higher recycling. These differences prevailed over time, although some traits changed with fishing intensity. Keystone groups were mainly higher trophic level species with mostly top-down effects, while structural/dominant groups were mainly lower trophic level groups (benthic primary producers such as

  20. Burning management in the tallgrass prairie affects root decomposition, soil food web structure and carbon flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, E. A.; Denef, K.; Milano de Tomasel, C.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Wall, D. H.

    2015-09-01

    Root litter decomposition is a major component of carbon (C) cycling in grasslands, where it provides energy and nutrients for soil microbes and fauna. This is especially important in grasslands where fire is a common management practice and removes aboveground litter accumulation. In this study, we investigated whether fire affects root decomposition and C flow through the belowground food web. In a greenhouse experiment, we applied 13C-enriched big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) root litter to intact tallgrass prairie soil cores collected from annually burned (AB) and infrequently burned (IB) treatments at the Konza Prairie Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Incorporation of 13C into microbial phospholipid fatty acids and nematode trophic groups was measured on six occasions during a 180-day decomposition study to determine how C was translocated through the soil food web. Results showed significantly different soil communities between treatments and higher microbial abundance for IB. Root decomposition occurred rapidly and was significantly greater for AB. Microbes and their nematode consumers immediately assimilated root litter C in both treatments. Root litter C was preferentially incorporated in a few groups of microbes and nematodes, but depended on burn treatment: fungi, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and fungivore nematodes for AB and only omnivore nematodes for IB. The overall microbial pool of root litter-derived C significantly increased over time but was not significantly different between burn treatments. The nematode pool of root litter-derived C also significantly increased over time, and was significantly higher for the AB treatment at 35 and 90 days after litter addition. In conclusion, the C flow from root litter to microbes to nematodes is not only measurable, but significant, indicating that higher nematode trophic levels are critical components of C flow during root decomposition which, in turn, is significantly

  1. Stable isotope analysis of a newly established macrofaunal food web 1.5 years after the Hebei Spirit oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Eunah; Park, Hyun Je; Bergamino, Leandro; Choi, Kwang-Sik; Choy, Eun Jung; Yu, Ok Hwan; Lee, Tae Won; Park, Heung-Sik; Shim, Won Joon; Kang, Chang-Keun

    2015-01-15

    We examined trophic relationships in a newly established community 1.5 years after the Hebei Spirit oil spill on the west coast of Korea. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios in consumers and their potential food sources were compared between the oil-spill site and reference site, located 13.5 km from the oil-spill spot. The isotopic mixing model and a novel circular statistics rejected the influx of petrogenic carbon into the community and identified spatial consistencies such as the high contributions of microphytobenthos, food-chain length, and the isotopic niche of each feeding guild between sites. We suggested that high level of trophic plasticity and the prevalence of omnivory of consumers may promote the robustness of food web against the oil contamination. Furthermore, we highlighted the need of holistic approaches including different functional groups to quantify changes in the food web structure and assess the influence of different perturbations including oil spill.

  2. Species response to environmental change: impacts of food web interactions and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Jason P; Moran, Nancy A; Ives, Anthony R

    2009-03-01

    How environmental change affects species abundances depends on both the food web within which species interact and their potential to evolve. Using field experiments, we investigated both ecological and evolutionary responses of pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum), a common agricultural pest, to increased frequency of episodic heat shocks. One predator species ameliorated the decrease in aphid population growth with increasing heat shocks, whereas a second predator did not, with this contrast caused by behavioral differences between predators. We also compared aphid strains with stably inherited differences in heat tolerance caused by bacterial endosymbionts and showed the potential for rapid evolution for heat-shock tolerance. Our results illustrate how ecological and evolutionary complexities should be incorporated into predictions of the consequences of environmental change for species' populations.

  3. Rapid evolution buffers ecosystem impacts of viruses in a microbial food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennon, Jay T; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2008-11-01

    Predation and parasitism often regulate population dynamics, community interactions, and ecosystem functioning. The strength of these top-down pressures is variable, however, and may be influenced by both ecological and evolutionary processes. We conducted a chemostat experiment to assess the direct and indirect effects of viruses on a marine microbial food web comprised of an autotrophic host (Synechococcus) and non-target heterotrophic bacteria. Viruses dramatically altered the host population dynamics, which in turn influenced phosphorus resource availability and the stoichiometric allocation of nutrients into microbial biomass. These virus effects diminished with time, but could not be attributed to changes in the abundance or composition of heterotrophic bacteria. Instead, attenuation of the virus effects coincided with the detection of resistant host phenotypes, suggesting that rapid evolution buffered the effect of viruses on nutrient cycling. Our results demonstrate that evolutionary processes are important for community dynamics and ecosystem processes on ecologically relevant time scales.

  4. Mercury and element accumulation in a freshwater food web of a Chinese reservoir

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Razavi, R.; Cole, I; Chan, W.; Wang, Y.; Campbell, L. [Queen' s Univ., Kingston, ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Reservoirs are frequently used to cultivate freshwater fish in China. This paper reported on a study of a reservoir in the eastern plains lake region of China, where elevated mercury concentrations have been observed in both wild and farmed fish species, as well as in top trophic predators such as yellow catfish. The study examined food web biomagnification trends for mercury and several other elements in both wild and farmed fish. Fish from several feeding guilds were purchased from various sources and analyzed. Results of the study showed distinct isotopic patterns in both the farmed and wild fish. Results of the study will be used to evaluate the effects of reservoir construction in freshwater environments. Mercury and element bioaccumulation trends were also discussed.

  5. Contrasting time trends of organic contaminants in Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brink, Nico W; Riddle, Martin J; van den Heuvel-Greve, Martine; van Franeker, Jan Andries

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate that pelagic Antarctic seabirds show significant decreases in concentrations of some persistent organic pollutants. Trends in Adélie penguins and Southern fulmars fit in a general pattern revealed by a broad literature review. Downward trends are also visible in pelagic fish, contrasting sharply with steady or increasing concentrations in Antarctic benthic organisms. Transfer of contaminants between Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs is associated with seasonal sea-ice dynamics which may influence the balance between the final receptors of contaminants under different climatic conditions. This complicates the predictability of future trends of emerging compounds in the Antarctic ecosystem, such as of the brominated compounds that we detected in Antarctic petrels. The discrepancy in trends between pelagic and benthic organisms shows that Antarctic biota are still final receptors of globally released organic contaminants and it remains questionable whether the total environmental burden of contaminants in the Antarctic ecosystem is declining.

  6. The delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic food web: Why sea ice matters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pucko, M.; Stern, Gary; Macdonald, Robie

    2015-01-01

    For decades sea ice has been perceived as a physical barrier for the loading of contaminants to the Arctic Ocean. We show that sea ice, in fact, facilitates the delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic marine food web through processes that: 1) are independent of contaminant physical...... the concentrations of legacy organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and current-use pesticides (CUPs) in melt pond water in the Beaufort Sea, Canadian High Arctic, in 2008, at near-gas exchange equilibriumbased on Henry's lawconstants (HLCs), air concentrations and exchange dynamics. CUPs currently present the highest...... to multi-year ice and, therefore, the dynamic balance between contaminant inventories and contaminant deposition to the surface ocean is being widely affected by the large-scale icescape transition taking place in the Arctic....

  7. Global Multi-Level Analysis of the ‘Scientific Food Web'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazloumian, Amin; Helbing, Dirk; Lozano, Sergi; Light, Robert P.; Börner, Katy

    2013-01-01

    We introduce a network-based index analyzing excess scientific production and consumption to perform a comprehensive global analysis of scholarly knowledge production and diffusion on the level of continents, countries, and cities. Compared to measures of scientific production and consumption such as number of publications or citation rates, our network-based citation analysis offers a more differentiated picture of the `ecosystem of science'. Quantifying knowledge flows between 2000 and 2009, we identify global sources and sinks of knowledge production. Our knowledge flow index reveals, where ideas are born and consumed, thereby defining a global `scientific food web'. While Asia is quickly catching up in terms of publications and citation rates, we find that its dependence on knowledge consumption has further increased.

  8. Googling food webs: can an eigenvector measure species' importance for coextinctions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Allesina

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available A major challenge in ecology is forecasting the effects of species' extinctions, a pressing problem given current human impacts on the planet. Consequences of species losses such as secondary extinctions are difficult to forecast because species are not isolated, but interact instead in a complex network of ecological relationships. Because of their mutual dependence, the loss of a single species can cascade in multiple coextinctions. Here we show that an algorithm adapted from the one Google uses to rank web-pages can order species according to their importance for coextinctions, providing the sequence of losses that results in the fastest collapse of the network. Moreover, we use the algorithm to bridge the gap between qualitative (who eats whom and quantitative (at what rate descriptions of food webs. We show that our simple algorithm finds the best possible solution for the problem of assigning importance from the perspective of secondary extinctions in all analyzed networks. Our approach relies on network structure, but applies regardless of the specific dynamical model of species' interactions, because it identifies the subset of coextinctions common to all possible models, those that will happen with certainty given the complete loss of prey of a given predator. Results show that previous measures of importance based on the concept of "hubs" or number of connections, as well as centrality measures, do not identify the most effective extinction sequence. The proposed algorithm provides a basis for further developments in the analysis of extinction risk in ecosystems.

  9. Fukushima 137Cs at the base of planktonic food webs off Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, Z.; Fisher, N. S.; Gobler, C. J.; Buesseler, K. O.; George, J. A.; Breier, C. F.; Nishikawa, J.

    2015-12-01

    The potential bioaccumulation of 137Cs in marine food webs off Japan became a concern following the release of radioactive contaminants from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the coastal ocean. Previous studies suggest that 137Cs activities increase with trophic level in pelagic food webs, however, the bioaccumulation of 137Cs from seawater to primary producers, to zooplankton has not been evaluated in the field. Since phytoplankton are frequently the largest component of suspended particulate matter (SPM) we used SPM concentrations and particle-associated 137Cs to understand bioaccumulation of 137Cs in through trophic pathways in the field. We determined particle-associated 137Cs for samples collected at 20 m depth from six stations off Japan three months after the initial release from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. At 20 m SPM ranged from 0.65 to 1.60 mg L-1 and rapidly declined with depth. The ratios of particulate organic carbon to chlorophyll a suggested that phytoplankton comprised much of the SPM in these samples. 137Cs activities on particles accounted for on average 0.04% of the total 137Cs in seawater samples, and measured concentration factors of 137Cs on small suspended particles were comparatively low (∼102). However, when 137Cs in crustacean zooplankton was derived based only on modeling dietary 137Cs uptake, we found predicted and measured 137Cs concentrations in good agreement. We therefore postulate the possibility that the dietary route of 137Cs bioaccumulation (i.e., phytoplankton ingestion) could be largely responsible for the measured levels in the copepod-dominated (%) zooplankton assemblages in Japanese coastal waters. Finally, our data did not support the notion that zooplankton grazing on phytoplankton results in a biomagnification of 137Cs.

  10. Tracing carbon flow through coral reef food webs using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton

    2015-11-21

    Coral reefs support spectacularly productive and diverse communities in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world’s oceans. Debate continues, however, on the degree to which reef biomass is supported by new water column production, benthic primary production, and recycled detrital carbon (C). We coupled compound-specific stable C isotope ratio (δ13C) analyses with Bayesian mixing models to quantify C flow from primary producers to coral reef fishes across multiple feeding guilds and trophic positions in the Red Sea. Analyses of reef fishes with putative diets composed primarily of zooplankton (Amblyglyphidodon indicus), benthic macroalgae (Stegastes nigricans), reef-associated detritus (Ctenochaetus striatus), and coral tissue (Chaetodon trifascialis) confirmed that δ13C values of essential amino acids from all baseline C sources were both isotopically diagnostic and accurately recorded in consumer tissues. While all four source end-members contributed to the production of coral reef fishes in our study, a single-source end-member often dominated dietary C assimilation of a given species, even for highly mobile, generalist top predators. Microbially reworked detritus was an important secondary C source for most species. Seascape configuration played an important role in structuring resource utilization patterns. For instance, Lutjanus ehrenbergii showed a significant shift from a benthic macroalgal food web on shelf reefs (71 ± 13 % of dietary C) to a phytoplankton-based food web (72 ± 11 %) on oceanic reefs. Our work provides insights into the roles that diverse C sources play in the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and illustrates a powerful fingerprinting method to develop and test nutritional frameworks for understanding resource utilization.

  11. Food web structure and vulnerability of a deep-sea ecosystem in the NW Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Christensen, Villy; Company, Joan B.; Ramírez-Llodra, Eva; Sardà, Francisco

    2013-05-01

    There is increasing fishing pressure on the continental margins of the oceans, and this raises concerns about the vulnerability of the ecosystems thriving there. The current knowledge of the biology of deep-water fish species identifies potential reduced resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. However, there are extreme difficulties in sampling the deep sea, resulting in poorly resolved and indirectly obtained food-web relationships. Here, we modelled the flows and biomasses of a Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystem, the Catalan Sea continental slope at depths of 1000-1400 m. This is the first model of a deep-water ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea. The objectives were to (a) quantitatively describe the food web structure of the ecosystem, (b) examine the role of key species in the ecosystem, and (c) explore the vulnerability of this deep-sea ecosystem to potential future fishing exploitation. We used the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) modelling approach and software to model the ecosystem. The trophic model included 18 consumers, a marine snow group, and a sediment detritus group. Trophic network analysis identified low levels of consumer biomass cycling and low system omnivory index when compared with expected values of marine ecosystems, and higher cycling and omnivory when compared with available EwE models of shallower areas of the Mediterranean Sea. The majority of flows in the ecosystem were concentrated at the trophic level of first-order consumers (TL 2). Benthic invertebrates and demersal sharks were identified to have key ecological roles in the ecosystem. We used the dynamic temporal model Ecosim to simulate expansion of the red-shrimp benthic trawl fishery that currently operates at shallower depths, down to 800 m depth. The simulations showed reductions in fish biomass and that the state of the deep continental slope ecosystem in the western Mediterranean seems to be the result of a long-term succession process, which has reached ecological stability, and is

  12. Reciprocal diversification in a complex plant-herbivore-parasitoid food web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bokma Folmer

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plants, plant-feeding insects, and insect parasitoids form some of the most complex and species-rich food webs. According to the classic escape-and-radiate (EAR hypothesis, these hyperdiverse communities result from coevolutionary arms races consisting of successive cycles of enemy escape, radiation, and colonization by new enemy lineages. It has also been suggested that "enemy-free space" provided by novel host plants could promote host shifts by herbivores, and that parasitoids could similarly drive diversification of gall form in insects that induce galls on plants. Because these central coevolutionary hypotheses have never been tested in a phylogenetic framework, we combined phylogenetic information on willow-galling sawflies with data on their host plants, gall types, and enemy communities. Results We found that evolutionary shifts in host plant use and habitat have led to dramatic prunings of parasitoid communities, and that changes in gall phenotype can provide "enemy-free morphospace" for millions of years even in the absence of host plant shifts. Some parasites have nevertheless managed to colonize recently-evolved gall types, and this has apparently led to adaptive speciation in several enemy groups. However, having fewer enemies does not in itself increase speciation probabilities in individual sawfly lineages, partly because the high diversity of the enemy community facilitates compensatory attack by remaining parasite taxa. Conclusion Taken together, our results indicate that niche-dependent parasitism is a major force promoting ecological divergence in herbivorous insects, and that prey divergence can cause speciation in parasite lineages. However, the results also show that the EAR hypothesis is too simplistic for species-rich food webs: instead, diversification seems to be spurred by a continuous stepwise process, in which ecological and phenotypic shifts in prey lineages are followed by a lagged evolutionary

  13. The impact of anticyclonic mesoscale structures on microbial food webs in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Christaki

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The abundance and activity of the major members of the heterotrophic microbial community – from viruses to ciliates – were studied along a longitudinal transect across the Mediterranean Sea in the summer of 2008. The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by a west to the east gradient of deepening of DCM (deep chlorophyll maximum and increasing oligotrophy reflected in gradients of heterotrophic microbial biomass and production. However, within this longitudinal trend, hydrological mesoscale features exist and likely influence microbial dynamics. We show here the importance of mesoscale structures by a description of the structure and function of the microbial food web through an investigation of 3 geographically distant eddies within a longitudinal transect. Three selected sites each located in the center of an anticyclonic eddy were intensively investigated: in the Algero-Provencal Basin (St. A, the Ionian Basin (St. B, and the Levantine Basin (St. C. The 3 geographically distant eddies showed the lowest values of the different heterotrophic compartments of the microbial food web, and except for viruses in site C, all stocks were higher in the neighboring stations outside the eddies. During our study the 3 eddies showed equilibrium between GCP (Gross Community Production and DCR (Dark Community Respiration; moreover, the west-east (W-E gradient was evident in terms of heterotrophic biomass but not in terms of production. Means of integrated PPp values were higher at site B (~190 mg C m−2 d−1 and about 15% lower at sites A and C (~160 mg C m−2 d−1. Net community production fluxes were similar at all three stations exhibiting equilibrium between gross community production and dark community respiration.

  14. Tracing carbon flow through coral reef food webs using a compound-specific stable isotope approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kelton W; Thorrold, Simon R; Houghton, Leah A; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-03-01

    Coral reefs support spectacularly productive and diverse communities in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world's oceans. Debate continues, however, on the degree to which reef biomass is supported by new water column production, benthic primary production, and recycled detrital carbon (C). We coupled compound-specific stable C isotope ratio (δ(13)C) analyses with Bayesian mixing models to quantify C flow from primary producers to coral reef fishes across multiple feeding guilds and trophic positions in the Red Sea. Analyses of reef fishes with putative diets composed primarily of zooplankton (Amblyglyphidodon indicus), benthic macroalgae (Stegastes nigricans), reef-associated detritus (Ctenochaetus striatus), and coral tissue (Chaetodon trifascialis) confirmed that δ(13)C values of essential amino acids from all baseline C sources were both isotopically diagnostic and accurately recorded in consumer tissues. While all four source end-members contributed to the production of coral reef fishes in our study, a single-source end-member often dominated dietary C assimilation of a given species, even for highly mobile, generalist top predators. Microbially reworked detritus was an important secondary C source for most species. Seascape configuration played an important role in structuring resource utilization patterns. For instance, Lutjanus ehrenbergii showed a significant shift from a benthic macroalgal food web on shelf reefs (71 ± 13 % of dietary C) to a phytoplankton-based food web (72 ± 11 %) on oceanic reefs. Our work provides insights into the roles that diverse C sources play in the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and illustrates a powerful fingerprinting method to develop and test nutritional frameworks for understanding resource utilization.

  15. Combined effects of global climate change and regional ecosystem drivers on an exploited marine food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niiranen, Susa; Yletyinen, Johanna; Tomczak, Maciej T; Blenckner, Thorsten; Hjerne, Olle; Mackenzie, Brian R; Müller-Karulis, Bärbel; Neumann, Thomas; Meier, H E Markus

    2013-11-01

    Changes in climate, in combination with intensive exploitation of marine resources, have caused large-scale reorganizations in many of the world's marine ecosystems during the past decades. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is one of the systems most affected. In addition to being exposed to persistent eutrophication, intensive fishing, and one of the world's fastest rates of warming in the last two decades of the 20th century, accelerated climate change including atmospheric warming and changes in precipitation is projected for this region during the 21st century. Here, we used a new multimodel approach to project how the interaction of climate, nutrient loads, and cod fishing may affect the future of the open Central Baltic Sea food web. Regionally downscaled global climate scenarios were, in combination with three nutrient load scenarios, used to drive an ensemble of three regional biogeochemical models (BGMs). An Ecopath with Ecosim food web model was then forced with the BGM results from different nutrient-climate scenarios in combination with two different cod fishing scenarios. The results showed that regional management is likely to play a major role in determining the future of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. By the end of the 21st century, for example, the combination of intensive cod fishing and high nutrient loads projected a strongly eutrophicated and sprat-dominated ecosystem, whereas low cod fishing in combination with low nutrient loads resulted in a cod-dominated ecosystem with eutrophication levels close to present. Also, nonlinearities were observed in the sensitivity of different trophic groups to nutrient loads or fishing depending on the combination of the two. Finally, many climate variables and species biomasses were projected to levels unseen in the past. Hence, the risk for ecological surprises needs to be addressed, particularly when the results are discussed in the ecosystem-based management context.

  16. Localised mixing and heterogeneity in the plankton food web in a frontal region of the Sargasso Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Katherine; Bendtsen, Joøgen; Christensen, Jens Tang;

    2014-01-01

    influence the plankton food web, as indicated by elevated values/concentrations of (1) primary production, (2) variable fluorescence (F-v/F-m) and (3) total seston. In addition, the fraction of the total biomass of both copepods and nauplii found closest to the DCM in the frontal region correlated...

  17. Trophic efficiency of plankton food webs: Observations from the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay, Southeast Coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Anjusha, A.; Jyothibabu, R.; Jagadeesan, L.; Mohan, A.P.; Sudheesh, K.; Krishna, K.; Ullas, N.; Deepak, M.P.

    This paper introduces the structure and trophic efficiency of plankton food webs in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) and the Palk Bay (PB) - two least studied marine environments located between India and Sri Lanka. The study is based on the results...

  18. Plankton food web and its seasonal dynamics in a large monsoonal estuary (Cochin backwaters, India)-significance of mesohaline region

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sooria, P.M.; Jyothibabu, R.; Anjusha, A.; Vineetha, G.; Vinita, J.; Lallu, K.R.; Paul, M.; Jagadeesan, L.

    The paper presents the ecology and dynamics of plankton food web in the Cochin backwaters (CBW), the largest monsoonal estuary along the west coast of India. The data source is a time series measurement carried out in the CBW during the Spring...

  19. Canyon conditions impact carbon flows in food webs of three sections of the Nazaré canyon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Oevelen, D.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Garcia, R.; De Stigter, H.; Cunha, M.R.; Pusceddu, A.; Danovaro, R.

    2011-01-01

    Submarine canyons transport large amounts of sediment and organic matter (OM) from the continental shelf to the abyssal plain. Three carbon-based food web models were constructed for the upper (300–750 m water depth), middle (2700–3500 m) and lower section (4000–5000 m) of the Nazaré canyon (eastern

  20. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, M.T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; Hal, R. van; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; Ruiter, P.C. de; Scheu, S.; Setala, H.; Smilauer, P.; Putten, W.H. van der

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and provi

  1. Selective alteration of soil food web components by invasive giant goldenrod Solidago gigantea in two distinct habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quist, C.W.; Vervoort, M.T.W.; Van Megen, H.; Gort, G.; Bakker, J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Helder, J.

    2014-01-01

    Apart from relatively well-studied aboveground effects, invasive plant species will also impact the soil food web. So far, most research has been focusing on primary decomposers, while studies on effects at higher trophic levels are relatively scarce. Giant goldenrod Solidago gigantea, native to Nor

  2. Selective alteration of soil food web components by invasive Giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) in two distinct habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quist, C.W.; Vervoort, M.T.W.; Megen, van H.H.B.; Gort, G.; Bakker, J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Helder, J.

    2014-01-01

    Apart from relatively well-studied aboveground effects, invasive plant species will also impact the soil food web. So far, most research has been focusing on primary decomposers, while studies on effects at higher trophic levels are relatively scarce. Giant goldenrod Solidago gigantea, native to Nor

  3. Dangerous relations in the Arctic marine food web: Interactions between toxin producing Pseudo-nitzschia diatoms and Calanus copepodites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hardardottir, Sara; Pancic, Marina; Tammilehto, Anna;

    2015-01-01

    Diatoms of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia produce domoic acid (DA), a toxin that is vectored in the marine food web, thus causing serious problems for marine organisms and humans. In spite of this, knowledge of interactions between grazing zooplankton and diatoms is restricted. In this study, we exam...

  4. Establishment of trophic continuum in the food web of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea ecosystem: Insight from carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAI Deling; LI Hongyan; TANG Qisheng; SUN Yao

    2005-01-01

    Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) are used to study the trophic structure of food web in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea ecosystem. The trophic continuum of pelagic food web from phytoplankton to top preyer was elementarily established, and a trophic structure diagram in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea was outlined in combination with carbon isotopic data of benthic organisms, which is basically consistent with and makes some improvements on the simplified Yellow Sea food web and the trophic structure diagram drawn based on the biomass of main resource population during 1985―1986. This result indicates that the stable isotope method is a potential useful means for further studying the complete marine food web trophic continuum from viruses to top predators and food web stability.

  5. Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of mercury and selenium in african sub-tropical fluvial reservoirs food webs (Burkina Faso.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ousséni Ouédraogo

    Full Text Available The bioaccumulation and biomagnification of mercury (Hg and selenium (Se were investigated in sub-tropical freshwater food webs from Burkina Faso, West Africa, a region where very few ecosystem studies on contaminants have been performed. During the 2010 rainy season, samples of water, sediment, fish, zooplankton, and mollusks were collected from three water reservoirs and analysed for total Hg (THg, methylmercury (MeHg, and total Se (TSe. Ratios of δ13C and δ15N were measured to determine food web structures and patterns of contaminant accumulation and transfer to fish. Food chain lengths (FCLs were calculated using mean δ15N of all primary consumer taxa collected as the site-specific baseline. We report relatively low concentrations of THg and TSe in most fish. We also found in all studied reservoirs short food chain lengths, ranging from 3.3 to 3.7, with most fish relying on a mixture of pelagic and littoral sources for their diet. Mercury was biomagnified in fish food webs with an enrichment factor ranging from 2.9 to 6.5 for THg and from 2.9 to 6.6 for MeHg. However, there was no evidence of selenium biomagnification in these food webs. An inverse relationship was observed between adjusted δ15N and log-transformed Se:Hg ratios, indicating that Se has a lesser protective effect in top predators, which are also the most contaminated animals with respect to MeHg. Trophic position, carbon source, and fish total length were the factors best explaining Hg concentration in fish. In a broader comparison of our study sites with literature data for other African lakes, the THg biomagnification rate was positively correlated with FCL. We conclude that these reservoir systems from tropical Western Africa have low Hg biomagnification associated with short food chains. This finding may partly explain low concentrations of Hg commonly reported in fish from this area.

  6. Effects of Elimination of Alligator Weed on Certain Aquatic Plants and the Value of these Plants as Waterfowl Foods

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The effects of elimination of alligatorweed by granular silvex on the abundance of 12 species of aquatic plants were studied on the Santee National Wildlife Refuge,...

  7. Trophic structure in a seabird host-parasite food web: insights from stable isotope analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Gómez-Díaz

    Full Text Available Ecological studies on food webs rarely include parasites, partly due to the complexity and dimensionality of host-parasite interaction networks. Multiple co-occurring parasites can show different feeding strategies and thus lead to complex and cryptic trophic relationships, which are often difficult to disentangle by traditional methods. We analyzed stable isotope ratios of C ((13C/(12C, delta(13C and N ((15N/(14N, delta(15N of host and ectoparasite tissues to investigate trophic structure in 4 co-occurring ectoparasites: three lice and one flea species, on two closely related and spatially segregated seabird hosts (Calonectris shearwaters. delta(13C isotopic signatures confirmed feathers as the main food resource for the three lice species and blood for the flea species. All ectoparasite species showed a significant enrichment in delta(15N relatively to the host tissue consumed (discrimination factors ranged from 2 to 5 per thousand depending on the species. Isotopic differences were consistent across multiple host-ectoparasite locations, despite of some geographic variability in baseline isotopic levels. Our findings illustrate the influence of both ectoparasite and host trophic ecology in the isotopic structuring of the Calonectris ectoparasite community. This study highlights the potential of stable isotope analyses in disentangling the nature and complexity of trophic relationships in symbiotic systems.

  8. Transformation of chiral polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a stream food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, V.D.; Walters, D.M.; Lee, C.M.

    2010-01-01

    The enantiomeric composition of chiral PCB congeners was determined in Twelvemile Creek (Clemson, SC) to examine potential mechanisms of biotransformation in a stream food web. We measured enantiomeric fractions (EFs) of six PCB atropisomers (PCBs 84, 91, 95, 136, 149, and 174) in surface sediment, fine benthic organic matter (FBOM), coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM), periphyton, Asian clam, mayflies, yellowfin shiner, and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) using gas chromatography (GC-ECD). Nonracemic EFs of PCBs 91, 95, 136, and 149 were measured in almost all samples. Enantiomeric compositions of PCBs 84 and 174 were infrequently detected with racemic EFs measured in samples except for a nonracemic EF of PCB 84 in clams. Nonracemic EFs of PCBs 91, 136, and 149 in SPMDs may be due to desorption of nonracemic residues from FBOM. EFs for some atropisomers were significantly different among FBOM, CPOM, and periphyton, suggesting that their microbial communities have different biotransformation processes. Nonracemic EFs in clams and fish suggest both in vivo biotransformation and uptake of nonracemic residues from their food sources. Longitudinal variability in EFs was generally low among congeners observed in matrices. ?? 2010 American Chemical Society.

  9. Water quality management in Lake Kinneret (Israel: hydrological and food web perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moshe GOPHEN

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available Long term (1969-2001 data record of nutrient and plankton temporal distribution, and hydrological parameters in Lake Kinneret, combined with metabolic parameters of zooplankton, which were experimentally measured, were statistically (ANOVA analyzed. Trophic relations between food web compartments were quantitatively considered to evaluate directional combination of ecological forces. Monthly data of inflow discharges, and lake volume were used to calculate residence time values and the data were incorporated into the ecological analysis. The seasonal fluctuations of the hydrological parameters, nutrients, and plankton inventories represent typical subtropical climate conditions: high level in winter and low in summer months. It was found that nitrogen inventories in the lake declined and the biomass of grazable phytoplankton was enhanced since early 1980’s. Dissolved phosphorus was decreased mostly in summer months when the lake is nutrient limited, as a result of phytoplankton uptake. Zooplankton was declined until 1993 and increased later. Zooplankton preferably feed on chlorophytes and diatoms with supplemental resources of detritus, bacteria and protozoa. The most abundant zooplanktivorous fish, Lavnun (Bleak, Acanthobrama spp. populated the lake very densely during 1993-95 and biomanipulation management of subsidized fishery caused lowering of predation pressure resulted in zooplankton enhancement and suppression of additional primary produced matter. It is concluded that zooplankton in Lake Kinneret is not food limited and fishery management (Lavnun removal might be efficient to enhance zooplankton grazing capacity and algal suppression if phosphorus flux is reduced. Long term changes of nano-phytoplankton are affected by both phosphorus availability and zooplankton grazing and fish predation has a significant impact on zooplankton density. Fishery management aimed at algal suppression might be efficient if phosphorus supply is reduced

  10. Impact of non-native terrestrial mammals on the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin S Strong

    Full Text Available The island of Newfoundland is unique because it has as many non-native terrestrial mammals as native ones. The impacts of non-native species on native flora and fauna can be profound and invasive species have been identified as one of the primary drivers of species extinction. Few studies, however, have investigated the effects of a non-native species assemblage on community and ecosystem properties. We reviewed the literature to build the first terrestrial mammal food web for the island of Newfoundland and then used network analyses to investigate how the timing of introductions and trophic position of non-native species has affected the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web in Newfoundland. The first non-native mammals (house mouse and brown rat became established in Newfoundland with human settlement in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Coyotes and southern red-backed voles are the most recent mammals to establish themselves on the island in 1985 and 1998, respectively. The fraction of intermediate species increased with the addition of non-native mammals over time whereas the fraction of basal and top species declined over time. This increase in intermediate species mediated by non-native species arrivals led to an overall increase in the terrestrial mammal food web connectance and generality (i.e. mean number of prey per predator. This diverse prey base and sources of carrion may have facilitated the natural establishment of coyotes on the island. Also, there is some evidence that the introduction of non-native prey species such as the southern red-backed vole has contributed to the recovery of the threatened American marten. Long-term monitoring of the food web is required to understand and predict the impacts of the diverse novel interactions that are developing in the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland.

  11. The shallow benthic food web structure in the high Arctic does not follow seasonal changes in the surrounding environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kędra, Monika; Kuliński, Karol; Walkusz, Wojciech; Legeżyńska, Joanna

    2012-12-01

    Seasonality, quality and quantity of food resources strongly affect fitness and survival of polar fauna. Most research conducted in polar areas has been carried out during the summer, rarely including aspects of seasonality; therefore, there are gaps in our knowledge of the structure of food webs in the Arctic, particularly information is lacking on the possible shifts in winter feeding strategies of organisms. This study is the first to compare potential shifts in benthic food-web structure between winter and summer in a shallow-water Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard). Winter data were collected in March when conditions are representative of winter and when Arctic shallow benthic fauna is likely to be most affected by absence of fresh food supply as opposed to summer (August). Samples of particulate suspended organic matter (POM), settled organic matter, surface sediment and benthic organisms were taken and analyzed for stable isotopes signatures (δ13C and δ15N). Four relative trophic levels (TL) were distinguished in both winter and summer, and no differences in the structure of benthic food web were found between seasons. Our study shows that the shallow sublittoral benthos depends on primary production, fresh and reworked settled organic matter and, to a certain degree, on terrestrial input. We also demonstrate that shallow water polar benthic fauna is characterized by a high level of omnivory and feeds at multiple trophic levels showing strong resilience to changing seasonal conditions.

  12. EcoCasting: Using NetLogo models of aquatic ecosystems to teach scientific inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzby, C. K.; Jona, K.

    2010-12-01

    The EcoCasting project from the Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) at Northwestern University has developed a computer model-based curriculum for high school environmental science classes to study complexity in aquatic ecosystems. EcoCasting aims to deliver cutting edge scientific research on bioaccumulation in invaded Great Lakes food webs to high school classes. Scientists and environmental engineers at Northwestern are investigating unusual bioaccumulation patterns in invaded food webs of the Great Lakes. High school students are exploring this authentic data to understand what is causing the anomalies in the data. Students use a series of NetLogo agent-based models of an aquatic ecosystem to study how toxins accumulate in the food web. Using these models, students learn about predator-prey relationships, bioaccumulation, and invasive species. Students are confronted with contradictory data collected by scientists and investigate alternative food web mechanisms at work. By studying the individual variables, students learn common scientific principles. When multiple variables are combined in a unifying model, students learn that the interactions lead to unexpected outcomes. Students learn about the complexity of the ecosystem and gain proficiency interpreting computer models and scientific data collection in this curriculum. Model of aquatic food chain

  13. Invasive plants have different effects on trophic structure of green and brown food webs in terrestrial ecosystems: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCary, Matthew A; Mores, Robin; Farfan, Monica A; Wise, David H

    2016-03-01

    Although invasive plants are a major source of terrestrial ecosystem degradation worldwide, it remains unclear which trophic levels above the base of the food web are most vulnerable to plant invasions. We performed a meta-analysis of 38 independent studies from 32 papers to examine how invasive plants alter major groupings of primary and secondary consumers in three globally distributed ecosystems: wetlands, woodlands and grasslands. Within each ecosystem we examined if green (grazing) food webs are more sensitive to plant invasions compared to brown (detrital) food webs. Invasive plants have strong negative effects on primary consumers (detritivores, bacterivores, fungivores, and/or herbivores) in woodlands and wetlands, which become less abundant in both green and brown food webs in woodlands and green webs in wetlands. Plant invasions increased abundances of secondary consumers (predators and/or parasitoids) only in woodland brown food webs and green webs in wetlands. Effects of invasive plants on grazing and detrital food webs clearly differed between ecosystems. Overall, invasive plants had the most pronounced effects on the trophic structure of wetlands and woodlands, but caused no detectable changes to grassland trophic structure.

  14. Out of the Dark: Establishing a Large-Scale Field Experiment to Assess the Effects of Artificial Light at Night on Species and Food Webs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie I. J. Holzhauer

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Artificial light at night (ALAN is one of the most obvious hallmarks of human presence in an ecosystem. The rapidly increasing use of artificial light has fundamentally transformed nightscapes throughout most of the globe, although little is known about how ALAN impacts the biodiversity and food webs of illuminated ecosystems. We developed a large-scale experimental infrastructure to study the effects of ALAN on a light-naïve, natural riparian (i.e., terrestrial-aquatic ecosystem. Twelve street lights (20 m apart arranged in three rows parallel to an agricultural drainage ditch were installed on each of two sites located in a grassland ecosystem in northern Germany. A range of biotic, abiotic, and photometric data are collected regularly to study the short- and long-term effects of ALAN on behavior, species interactions, physiology, and species composition of communities. Here we describe the infrastructure setup and data collection methods, and characterize the study area including photometric measurements. None of the measured parameters differed significantly between sites in the period before illumination. Results of one short-term experiment, carried out with one site illuminated and the other acting as a control, demonstrate the attraction of ALAN by the immense and immediate increase of insect catches at the lit street lights. The experimental setup provides a unique platform for carrying out interdisciplinary research on sustainable lighting.

  15. Following the flow of ornithogenic nutrients through the Arctic marine coastal food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Balazy, Piotr

    2017-04-01

    Arctic colonial seabirds are recognized as effective fertilizers of terrestrial ecosystems by delivering marine-origin nutrients to the vicinities of their nesting sites. A proportion of this ornithogenic matter is then thought to return to the sea and, concentrated within a smaller area, locally provides additional nutrients for the nearshore marine communities. The aim of this study was to assess the presence and impact of local ornithogenic enrichment on two important elements of the Arctic coastal food web: (1) the planktonic pathway originating in the surface water, and (2) the benthic pathway based on benthic primary production. We sampled two areas in Isfjorden (Spitsbergen): one located below a coastal mixed breeding colony of guillemots and kittiwakes, and a control area not influenced by the colony. Slightly higher nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ15N) were found in particulate organic matter suspended in the surface water (POM), sedimentary organic matter (SOM) from outside the zone of dense kelp forest, and the predatory/scavenging whelks Buccinum sp. collected below the seabird colony (the components recognized as following the planktonic path). In contrast, no ornithogenic isotopic enrichment was detected in the herbivorous gastropod Margarites helicinus or in SOM from the kelp zone (benthic path). The data are compatible with those obtained from the same location a year before, showing δ15N enrichment in predatory/scavenging hermit crabs Pagurus pubescens below the seabird, and no such changes in kelps Saccharina latissima or their presumed consumers, sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (Zmudczyńska-Skarbek et al., 2015a). The results suggest that, in the conditions of periodic, short-term pulses of ornithogenic nutrient inputs to the local marine environment, which typify the short High Arctic summer, planktonic organisms are the initial organisms to incorporate these nutrients before transfer to the benthic food web via pelagic

  16. Regulation of intertidal food webs by avian predators on New England rocky shores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Julie C; Shulman, Myra J; Wood, Megan; Witman, Jon D; Lozyniak, Sara

    2007-04-01

    Although there is a large body of research on food webs in rocky intertidal communities, most of the emphasis has been on the marine benthic components. Effects of avian predation on highly mobile predators such as crabs, remains practically unstudied in rocky shore ecosystems. The crab, Cancer borealis, is an important component of the diet of gulls (Larus marinus, L. argentatus) at the Isles of Shoals, Maine, USA. C. borealis prey include the predatory gastropod Nucella lapillus L., the herbivore Littorina littorea, and mussels Mytilus edulis L. We hypothesized that gulls reduce abundance of C. borealis in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal, thereby allowing C. borealis prey to persist in high numbers. A study of crab tidal migration showed that C. borealis density nearly doubled at high tide compared to low tide; thus, crabs from a large subtidal source population migrate into the intertidal zone during high tides and either emigrate or are removed by gulls during low tides. Results from a small-scale (1 m2) predator caging experiment in the low intertidal zone indicated that enclosed crabs significantly reduced L. littorea abundance when protected from gull predation. In a much larger-scale gull exclusion experiment, densities of C. borealis increased significantly during low and high tides in exclosures relative to the controls. C. borealis density was inversely correlated with changes in the abundance of two mesopredators Carcinus maenas and Nucella lapillus, and with the space-occupier M. edulis. There was a similar negative correlation between abundance of C. borealis and the change in abundance of the herbivore L. littorea, but the trend was not significant. Mortality of tethered L. littorea was associated with C. borealis density across sites. However, preferred algae did not change in response to L. littorea density during the experiment. Thus, we found suggestive, but not conclusive, evidence for a three-level cascade involving gulls, crabs, and L

  17. Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in a marine food web from Liaodong Bay, North China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xindong; Zhang, Haijun; Yao, Ziwei; Zhao, Xiaofeng; Wang, Longxing; Wang, Zhen; Chen, Jiping; Chen, Jingwen

    2013-09-15

    The concentrations of 21 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) congeners were analyzed in organisms within a marine food web collected from the Liaodong Bay, North China. The total concentrations of PBDEs in all samples ranged from 0.87 to 91.4 ng g(-1) lipid weight (lw). BDE-47 was the predominant congener and had a concentration ranging from 0.30 to 36.1 ng g(-1) lw. The trophic magnification factors (TMF) of the PBDEs were calculated using the trophic levels obtained from the stable nitrogen isotope ratios. The TMF value of ∑PBDEs was 3.50 for the entire food web and 2.21 for the food web excluding seabirds. Four concentration ratios, BDE-99/BDE-100, BDE-99/BDE-47, BDE-153/BDE-154 and BDE-183/BDE-154, decreased linearly with the increase of the trophic levels in the invertebrates and the fishes (pPBDEs were steadily metabolized in the trophic transfer process along the food chain.

  18. Canyon conditions impact carbon flows in food webs of three sections of the Nazaré canyon

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oevelen, Dick; Soetaert, Karline; Garcia, R.; de Stigter, Henko C.; Cunha, Marina R.; Pusceddu, Antonio; Danovaro, Roberto

    2011-12-01

    Submarine canyons transport large amounts of sediment and organic matter (OM) from the continental shelf to the abyssal plain. Three carbon-based food web models were constructed for the upper (300-750 m water depth), middle (2700-3500 m) and lower section (4000-5000 m) of the Nazaré canyon (eastern Atlantic Ocean) using linear inverse modeling to examine how the food web is influenced by the characteristics of the respective canyon section. The models were based on an empirical dataset consisting of biomass and carbon processing data, and general physiological data constraints from the literature. Environmental conditions, most notably organic matter (OM) input and hydrodynamic activity, differed between the canyon sections and strongly affected the benthic food web structure. Despite the large difference in depth, the OM inputs into the food webs of the upper and middle sections were of similar magnitude (7.98±0.84 and 9.30±0.71 mmol C m -2 d -1, respectively). OM input to the lower section was however almost 6-7 times lower (1.26±0.03 mmol C m -2 d -1). Carbon processing in the upper section was dominated by prokaryotes (70% of total respiration), though there was a significant meiofaunal (21%) and smaller macrofaunal (9%) contribution. The high total faunal contribution to carbon processing resembles that found in shallower continental shelves and upper slopes, although the meiofaunal contribution is surprisingly high and suggest that high current speeds and sediment resuspension in the upper canyon favor the role of the meiofauna. The high OM input and conditions in the accreting sediments of the middle canyon section were more beneficial for megafauna (holothurians), than for the other food web compartments. The high megafaunal biomass (516 mmol C m -2), their large contribution to respiration (56% of total respiration) and secondary production (0.08 mmol C m -2 d -1) shows that these accreting sediments in canyons are megafaunal hotspots in the deep

  19. Food web analysis reveals effects of pH on mercury bioaccumulation at multiple trophic levels in streams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jardine, Timothy D., E-mail: tim.jardine@usask.ca [Canadian Rivers Institute and Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5 (Canada); Kidd, Karen A. [Canadian Rivers Institute and Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5 (Canada); O’ Driscoll, Nelson [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 (Canada)

    2013-05-15

    Highlights: ► We examine biomagnification of Hg through stream food webs using δ15 N. ► Slopes of methyl Hg vs. trophic level were higher than total Hg vs. trophic level. ► Biomagnification from predatory insects to fish was related to pH of the water. ► Biomagnification at lower trophic levels was related to dietary concentrations. ► These trends can explain variation in field-measured Hg in food webs. -- Abstract: Biomagnification processes and the factors that govern them, including those for mercury (Hg), are poorly understood in streams. Total and methyl Hg concentrations and relative trophic position (using δ{sup 15}N) were analyzed in biofilm and invertebrates from 21 streams in New Brunswick, Canada to assess food web biomagnification leading to the common minnow blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus), a species known to have Hg concentrations that are higher in low pH waters. Biomagnification slopes within stream food webs measured using Hg vs. δ{sup 15}N or corresponding trophic levels (TL) differed depending on the chemical species analyzed, with total Hg exhibiting increases of 1.3–2.5 per TL (mean slope of total Hg vs. δ{sup 15}N = 0.14 ± 0.06 S.D., range = 0.06–0.20) and methyl Hg showing a more pronounced increase of 2.8 to 6.0 per TL (mean slope of methyl Hg vs. δ{sup 15}N = 0.30 ± 0.08 S.D., range = 0.22–0.39). While Hg biomagnification slopes through the entire food web (Trophic Magnification Factors, TMFs) were not influenced by water chemistry (pH), dietary concentrations of methyl Hg strongly influenced biomagnification factors (BMFs) for consumer-diet pairs within the food web at lower trophic levels, and BMFs between dace and predatory invertebrates were significantly higher in low pH waters. These analyses, coupled with observations of higher Hg in primary producers in streams with low pH, suggest that pH influences both baseline concentrations and biomagnification of Hg in these systems. Because higher Hg

  20. Effect of substrate on periphyton communities and relationships among food web components in shallow hypertrophic lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasz Mieczan

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available We studied the role of natural (common reed and artificial substrata (bamboo in structuring the abundance and taxonomic composition of periphyton assemblages. Investigations were conducted in a shallow, hypertrophic lake situated in the area of Polesie Lubelskie (Eastern Poland. Periphyton communities (algae, ciliates, small metazoa and chironomids on both types of substratum were sampled monthly, from May to November of 2007. Water samples for chemical analysis were collected together with biological samples. We selected the group of ten environmental variables which are the most important in determining the habitat conditions in highly eutrophic lakes: temperature, Secchi disc visibility, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, periphytic chlorophyll-a, N-NO3, N-NH4, TP, P-PO4 and total organic carbon (TOC. The abundances of periphytic algae, ciliates, metazoa and chironomids were significantly affected by season and substrate. On natural substrata, in all studied months, periphyton communities showed higher abundances. The results of PCA analysis confirmed the distinction between periphyton communities on natural and artificial substrata. The Monte Carlo permutation test showed that the periphyton communities on common reed were the most significantly affected by temperature, N-NO3, Secchi disc visibility and TOC. The communities on artificial substrata were significantly influenced by temperature, P-PO4 and TOC. On natural substrata biomass of periphytic algae was significantly negatively correlated with abundances of all groups of potential grazers (ciliates, metazoa, chironomids. On artificial substrata the relations between components of periphytic food web were stronger; correlation coefficients between algae, protists and chironomids were significant at P<0.01. The results of analysis indicate that periphytic algae can play an important role as food source for higher trophic levels. These interactions are less significant on natural (reed

  1. Foraging mode affects the evolution of egg size in generalist predators embedded in complex food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdeny-Vilalta, O; Fox, C W; Wise, D H; Moya-Laraño, J

    2015-06-01

    Ecological networks incorporate myriad biotic interactions that determine the selection pressures experienced by the embedded populations. We argue that within food webs, the negative scaling of abundance with body mass and foraging theory predict that the selective advantages of larger egg size should be smaller for sit-and-wait than active-hunting generalist predators, leading to the evolution of a difference in egg size between them. Because body mass usually scales negatively with predator abundance and constrains predation rate, slightly increasing egg mass should simultaneously allow offspring to feed on more prey and escape from more predators. However, the benefits of larger offspring would be relatively smaller for sit-and-wait predators because (i) due to their lower mobility, encounters with other predators are less common, and (ii) they usually employ a set of alternative hunting strategies that help to subdue relatively larger prey. On the other hand, for active predators, which need to confront prey as they find them, body-size differences may be more important in subduing prey. This difference in benefits should lead to the evolution of larger egg sizes in active-hunting relative to sit-and-wait predators. This prediction was confirmed by a phylogenetically controlled analysis of 268 spider species, supporting the view that the structure of ecological networks may serve to predict relevant selective pressures acting on key life history traits.

  2. Cryptic biodiversity effects: importance of functional redundancy revealed through addition of food web complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philpott, Stacy M; Pardee, Gabriella L; Gonthier, David J

    2012-05-01

    Interactions between predators and the degree of functional redundancy among multiple predator species may determine whether herbivores experience increased or decreased predation risk. Specialist parasites can modify predator behavior, yet rarely have cascading effects on multiple predator species and prey been evaluated. We examined influences of specialist phorid parasites (Pseudacteon spp.) on three predatory ant species and herbivores in a coffee agroecosystem. Specifically, we examined whether changes in ant richness affected fruit damage by the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) and whether phorids altered multi-predator effects. Each ant species reduced borer damage, and without phorids, increasing predator richness did not further decrease borer damage. However, with phorids, activity of one ant species was reduced, indicating that the presence of multiple ant species was necessary to limit borer damage. In addition, phorid presence revealed synergistic effects of multiple ant species, not observed without the presence of this parasite. Thus, a trait-mediated cascade resulting from a parasite-induced predator behavioral change revealed the importance of functional redundancy, predator diversity, and food web complexity for control of this important pest.

  3. Extinction cascades partially estimate herbivore losses in a complete Lepidoptera--plant food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearse, Ian S; Altermatt, Florian

    2013-08-01

    The loss of species from an ecological community can have cascading effects leading to the extinction of other species. Specialist herbivores are highly diverse and may be particularly susceptible to extinction due to host plant loss. We used a bipartite food web of 900 Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) herbivores and 2403 plant species from Central Europe to simulate the cascading effect of plant extinctions on Lepidoptera extinctions. Realistic extinction sequences of plants, incorporating red-list status, range size, and native status, altered subsequent Lepidoptera extinctions. We compared simulated Lepidoptera extinctions to the number of actual regional Lepidoptera extinctions and found that all predicted scenarios underestimated total observed extinctions but accurately predicted observed extinctions attributed to host loss (n = 8, 14%). Likely, many regional Lepidoptera extinctions occurred for reasons other than loss of host plant alone, such as climate change and habitat loss. Ecological networks can be useful in assessing a component of extinction risk to herbivores based on host loss, but further factors may be equally important.

  4. Selecting indicator portfolios for marine species and food webs: a Puget sound case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershner, Jessi; Samhouri, Jameal F; James, C Andrew; Levin, Phillip S

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) has emerged as a promising approach for maintaining the benefits humans want and need from the ocean, yet concrete approaches for implementing EBM remain scarce. A key challenge lies in the development of indicators that can provide useful information on ecosystem status and trends, and assess progress towards management goals. In this paper, we describe a generalized framework for the methodical and transparent selection of ecosystem indicators. We apply the framework to the second largest estuary in the United States - Puget Sound, Washington - where one of the most advanced EBM processes is currently underway. Rather than introduce a new method, this paper integrates a variety of familiar approaches into one step-by-step approach that will lead to more consistent and reliable reporting on ecosystem condition. Importantly, we demonstrate how a framework linking indicators to policy goals, as well as a clearly defined indicator evaluation and scoring process, can result in a portfolio of useful and complementary indicators based on the needs of different users (e.g., policy makers and scientists). Although the set of indicators described in this paper is specific to marine species and food webs, we provide a general approach that could be applied to any set of management objectives or ecological system.

  5. Selecting indicator portfolios for marine species and food webs: a Puget sound case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessi Kershner

    Full Text Available Ecosystem-based management (EBM has emerged as a promising approach for maintaining the benefits humans want and need from the ocean, yet concrete approaches for implementing EBM remain scarce. A key challenge lies in the development of indicators that can provide useful information on ecosystem status and trends, and assess progress towards management goals. In this paper, we describe a generalized framework for the methodical and transparent selection of ecosystem indicators. We apply the framework to the second largest estuary in the United States - Puget Sound, Washington - where one of the most advanced EBM processes is currently underway. Rather than introduce a new method, this paper integrates a variety of familiar approaches into one step-by-step approach that will lead to more consistent and reliable reporting on ecosystem condition. Importantly, we demonstrate how a framework linking indicators to policy goals, as well as a clearly defined indicator evaluation and scoring process, can result in a portfolio of useful and complementary indicators based on the needs of different users (e.g., policy makers and scientists. Although the set of indicators described in this paper is specific to marine species and food webs, we provide a general approach that could be applied to any set of management objectives or ecological system.

  6. Microbial food webs and metabolic state across oligotrophic waters of the Mediterranean Sea during summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Christaki

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The abundance and activity of the major members of the heterotrophic microbial community – from viruses to ciliates – were studied along a longitudinal transect across the Mediterranean Sea in the summer of 2008. The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by a west to-east gradient of deepening of DCM (deep chlorophyll maximum and increasing oligotrophy reflected in gradients of biomass and production. However, within this well documented longitudinal trend, hydrological mesoscale features exist and likely influence microbial dynamics. Here we present data from a W-E transect of 17 stations during the period of summer stratification. Along the transect the production and fate of organic matter was investigated at three selected sites each one located in the centre of an anticyclonic eddy: in the Algero-Provencal Basin (St. A, the Ionian Basin (St. B, and the Levantine Basin (St. C. The 3 geographically distant eddies showed low values of the different heterotrophic compartments of the microbial food web, and except for viruses in site C, all integrated (0–150 m stocks were higher in reference stations located in the same basin outside the eddies. During our study the 3 eddies showed equilibrium between GPP (Gross Primary Production and DCR (Dark Community Respiration. Integrated PPp (Particulate Primary Production values at A, B and C varied from ~140 to ~190 mg C m−2.

  7. Effects of food web changes on Mysis diluviana diet in Lake Ontario

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Brian P.; Rudstam, Lars G.; Watkins, James M.; Holda, Toby J.; Weidel, Brian C.

    2017-01-01

    Mysids are important benthic-pelagic omnivores in many deep-lake food webs, yet quantitative data on their diet are limited. We explored the trophic role of Mysis diluviana in offshore Lake Ontario using samples collected in May, July, and September 2013 with a focus on seasonal and ontogenetic patterns in herbivory and zooplanktivory using two approaches. We hypothesized that Mysis diet in 2013 differs from the last investigation in 1995 in response to changes in pelagic prey over 1995 to 2013. Gut fluorescence indicated high grazing by adult and juvenile Mysis in May 2013. In July, smaller mysids were more herbivorous than larger individuals, a pattern that was less pronounced in September. Microscopic gut analysis showed copepods, including Limnocalanus, were common in diets of both size groups in May. In July, mainly cladocerans were consumed, including Cercopagis pengoi which represents a change from a past investigation that preceded Cercopagis invasion in the lake. Our results are consistent with earlier observations of a larger proportion of algae in mysid diets in spring, transitioning to relatively more zooplanktivory and use of cladocerans in the summer and fall. Higher chlorophyll content in small mysids in July than in September may be associated with the presence of a deep chlorophyll layer in July that had largely dissipated by September. Overall, Mysis in Lake Ontario continues to be a generalist omnivore, incorporating new prey items and exhibiting higher herbivory in spring.

  8. Seasonal pathways of organic matter within the Avilés submarine canyon: Food web implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Romero, Sonia; Molina-Ramírez, Axayacatl; Höfer, Juan; Duineveld, Gerard; Rumín-Caparrós, Aitor; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna; Canals, Miquel; Acuña, José Luis

    2016-11-01

    The transport and fate of organic matter (OM) sources within the Avilés submarine canyon (Cantabrian Sea, Southern Bay of Biscay) were studied using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. The isotopic composition of settling particles and deep bottom sediments closely resembled that of surface particulate OM, and there were no marked differences in the isotopic composition of settling particles inside and outside of the AC. This indicates that the Avilés Canyon (AC) receives inputs of sinking OM mostly from the upper water column and less through advective near-bottom down-canyon transport. Sinking OM fluxes are of marine and terrestrial origin in proportions which vary seasonally. Analysis of δ13C in the canyon fauna indicates a dependence on OM mainly produced by marine phytoplankton. A tight coupling of isotopic signatures between pelagic organisms and benthic suspension feeders reflects an active biological vertical transport of OM from the surface to the deep-sea. The food web presented seasonal variations in the trophic niche width and the amplitude of the primary carbon sources, reflecting seasonality in the availability of fresh particulate OM. Those seasonal changes are larger for benthic organisms of lower trophic levels.

  9. Diastereomer-specific bioaccumulation of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in a coastal food web, Western Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haukas, Marianne, E-mail: mha@fkd.dep.no [Norwegian Institute for Air Research, NO-2027 Kjeller (Norway); Department of Biology, University of Oslo, NO-0316 Oslo (Norway); Hylland, Ketil [Department of Biology, University of Oslo, NO-0316 Oslo (Norway); Norwegian Institute for Water Research, NO-0349 Oslo (Norway); Nygard, Torgeir [Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, NO-7485 Trondheim (Norway); Berge, John Arthur [Norwegian Institute for Water Research, NO-0349 Oslo (Norway); Mariussen, Espen [Norwegian Institute for Air Research, NO-2027 Kjeller (Norway); Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, NO-2007 Kjeller (Norway)

    2010-11-01

    The present study reports diastereomer-specific accumulation of HBCD from a point source in five marine species representing a typical food web in a Norwegian coastal area. Samples of mussels, polychaetes, crabs and seabird eggs were analyzed for the diastereomers {alpha}-, {beta}- and {gamma}-HBCD, as well as lipid content and stable isotopes of nitrogen ({sup 15}N/{sup 14}N) to estimate trophic level. Accumulated HBCD did not correlate well with lipid content for most of the species, thus wet-weight based concentrations were included in an assessment of biomagnification. In contrast to {beta}- and {gamma}-HBCD, the {alpha}-diastereomer increased significantly with trophic level, resulting in magnification factors > 1 in this coastal marine ecosystem. Data for poikilotherms did not show the same positive correlation between the {alpha}-diastereomer and trophic position as homeotherms. The apparent biomagnification of the {alpha}-HBCD could be due to bioisomerization or diastereomer-specific elimination that differed between poikilotherms and homeotherms.

  10. Free-living nematodes in the freshwater food web: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-03-01

    Free-living nematodes are well-recognized as an abundant and ubiquitous component of benthic communities in inland waters. Compelling evidence from soil and marine ecosystems has highlighted the importance of nematodes as trophic intermediaries between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the paucity of empirical evidence of their role in freshwater ecosystems has hampered their inclusion in our understanding of freshwater food web functioning. This literature survey provides an overview of research efforts in the field of freshwater nematode ecology and of the complex trophic interactions between free-living nematodes and microbes, other meiofauna, macro-invertebrates, and fishes. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an appreciation of the potential of emerging approaches for the evaluation of nematode trophic ecology, we point out research gaps and recommend relevant directions for further research. The latter include (i) interactions of nematodes with protozoans and fungi; (ii) nonconsumptive effects of nematodes on microbial activity and the effects of nematodes on associated key ecosystem processes (decomposition, primary production); and (iii) the feeding selectivity and intraspecific feeding variability of nematodes and their potential impacts on the structure of benthic communities.

  11. Changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning of a large, shallow Chinese lake during the 1950s, 1980s and 2000s

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kong, Xiangzhen; He, Wei; Liu, Wenxiu

    2016-01-01

    validated by the stable isotope-determined trophic level (TL) for each functional group, which indicated an acceptable model performance. Over time, we observed a collapse of the food web toward a simplified structure and decreasing biodiversity and trophic interactions. The lake ecosystem was approaching......Food web structure dynamics and ecosystem functioning are strongly linked, and both are indispensable in evaluating ecosystem development in lakes under multiple anthropogenic stressors. However, model-based approaches concerning the changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning...

  12. Grazer traits, competition, and carbon sources to a headwater-stream food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeely, Camille; Finlay, Jacques C; Power, Mary E

    2007-02-01

    We investigated the effect of grazing by a dominant invertebrate grazer (the caddisfly Glossosoma penitum) on the energy sources used by other consumers in a headwater-stream food web. Stable isotope studies in small, forested streams in northern California have shown that G. penitum larvae derive most of their carbon from algae, despite low algal standing crops. We hypothesized that the caddisfly competes with other primary consumers (including mayflies) for algal food and increases their reliance on terrestrial detritus. Because Glossosoma are abundant and defended from predators by stone cases, their consumption of algal energy may reduce its transfer up the food chain. We removed Glossosoma (natural densities >1000 caddisflies/m2) from five approximately 4 m2) stream sections during the summer of 2000 and measured responses of algae, invertebrate primary consumers, and invertebrate predators. The treatment reduced Glossosoma biomass by 80-90%. We observed a doubling in chlorophyll a per area in sections with reduced Glossosoma abundance and aggregative increases in the biomass of undefended primary consumers. Heptageniid mayfly larvae consumed more algae (as measured by stable carbon isotope ratios and gut content analysis) in caddisfly removal plots at the end of the 60-day experiment, although not after one month. We did not see isotopic evidence of increased algal carbon in invertebrate predators, however. Patterns of caddisfly and mayfly diets in the surrounding watershed suggested that mayfly diets are variable and include algae and detrital carbon in variable proportions, but scraping caddisflies consume primarily algae. Caddisfly and mayfly diets are more similar in larger, more productive streams where the mayflies assimilate more algae. Isotopic analysis, in combination with measurements of macroinvertebrate abundance and biomass in unmanipulated plots, suggested that a substantial portion of the invertebrate community (>50% of biomass) was supported

  13. Zinc isotope ratios of bones and teeth as new dietary indicators: results from a modern food web (Koobi Fora, Kenya)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaouen, Klervia; Beasley, Melanie; Schoeninger, Margaret; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Richards, Michael P.

    2016-05-01

    In order to explore the possibilities of using zinc (Zn) stable isotope ratios as dietary indicators, we report here on the measurements of the ratio of stable isotopes of zinc (66Zn/64Zn, expressed here as δ66Zn) in bioapatite (bone and dental enamel) of animals from a modern food web in the Koobi Fora region of the Turkana Basin in Kenya. We demonstrate that δ66Zn values in both bone and enamel allow a clear distinction between carnivores and herbivores from this food web. Differences were also observed between browsers and grazers as well as between carnivores that consumed bone (i.e. hyenas) compared to those that largely consume flesh (i.e. lions). We conclude that Zn isotope ratio measurements of bone and teeth are a new and promising dietary indicator.

  14. Temporal characterization of mercury accumulation at different trophic levels and implications for metal biomagnification along a coastal food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, P G; Pereira, E; Duarte, A C; Azeiteiro, U M

    2014-10-15

    The main goal of this study was to assess temporal mercury variations along an estuarine food web to evaluate the mercury contamination level of the system and the risks that humans are exposed to, due to mercury biomagnification. The highest mercury concentrations in the sediments and primary producers (macrophytes) were observed during winter sampling. Instead, the highest mercury concentrations in the water, suspended particulate matter as well as in the zooplanktonic and suprabenthic communities were observed during summer sampling. Evidences of mercury biomagnification along the food web were corroborated by the positive biomagnification factors, particularly for omnivorous macrobenthic species. Comparing the mercury levels at distinct components with several environmental quality criteria it suggests that sediments, water and edible species (e.g., bivalve Scrobicularia plana and the crustacean Carcinus maenas) presented higher mercury levels than the values accepted by legislation which represent a matter of concern for the environment and human health.

  15. How does litter quality and site heterogeneity interact on decomposer food webs of a semi-natural forest?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandmark, Lisa Bjørnlund; Christensen, Søren

    2005-01-01

    canopies at two topographically different sites, above and below a slope, respectively, to cover variable environmental conditions. Litter was collected after 2, 4 and 9 months of decomposition. Extensive decay prevented analysis of ash after 9 months. Density of bacteria (CFU), active fungal mycelium (FDA...... in the decomposer food web, site effects were also detected and nematode functional groups responded more to site than to litter quality early on in the decomposition process.......The relative importance of litter quality and site heterogeneity on population dynamics of decomposer food webs was investigated in a semi-natural mixed deciduous forest in Denmark. Litterbags containing beech or ash leaves were placed in four plots. Plots were located within gaps and under closed...

  16. Food webs patterns in species-poor insular lakes resemble climate-related patterns in continental lakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas; Amsinck, Susanne Lildal; Goncalves, Vitor;

    2015-01-01

    Space-for-time substitution studies (SFTS, e.g. latitudinal gradient analyses) are often used to unravel climate effects on lake biota, and have shown a reduction in size, changes in diet and more frequent reproduction of fish in warmer climates, with cascading effects such as lower zooplankton...... island groups with contrasting climates but similar seasonality: The Faroe Islands (cold; 6.5±2.8°C) and the Azores (warm; 17.3±2.9°C). We analysed community and food web structure using a stable isotopes approach investigating fish, macro-invertebrates, and zooplankton in 20 lakes. We found a smaller...... mean body size of fish in the Azorean lakes even if standardised by maximum length of the fish species present, suggesting a higher predation pressure on zooplankton and consequently higher phytoplankton abundance at the same nutrient levels. A triangular shape of the food web, with wider carbon range...

  17. Effects of nitrate addition and iron speciation on trace element transfer in coastal food webs under phosphate and iron enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shun-Xing; Liu, Feng-Jiao; Zheng, Feng-Ying; Zuo, Yue-Gang; Huang, Xu-Guang

    2013-06-01

    Coastal organisms are often exposed to both iron enrichment and eutrophication. Trace elements transfer in coastal food webs are critical for marine life and therefore influence coastal ecosystem function and the global carbon cycle. However, how these exposures affect algal element uptake and the subsequent element transfer to marine copepods (Tigriopus japonicus) is unknown. Here we investigated the effects of nitrate addition and iron speciation (Fe (OH)3 or EDTA-Fe) on the biological uptake of Cu, Zn, and Se under phosphate and iron enrichment, using Thalassiosira weissflogii, Skeletonema costatum, and Chlorella vulgaris as model marine algae. Algal element adsorption/absorption generally increased with increasing macronutrient concentrations. Algal element assimilation efficiencies depended on iron speciation and marine algae species. Element assimilation efficiencies of copepods were significantly correlated to the intracellular element concentrations in algal cells. Element uptake and transfer were controlled by eutrophication, iron speciation, and algal species in coastal food webs.

  18. Mercury and selenium in seston, marine plankton and fish (Sardinella brasiliensis) as a tool for understanding a tropical food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seixas, Tércia Guedes; Moreira, Isabel; Kehrig, Helena Amaral

    2015-12-15

    Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) concentrations were evaluated in a planktivorous fish and four size classes of organisms (FSCO), collected at an oligotrophic bay in the Southeastern Brazilian coast. No significant spatial differences between Hg and Se were found in the FSCO within the five sampling points in the bay. Hg and Se concentrations increased with successive increases in the size class of the analyzed plankton, i.e. approximately 3-and 2-fold, respectively, from microplankton to macroplankton. Hg and Se biomagnified throughout the planktonic food web. The smallest size class of organism, seston, composed of both biotic and abiotic portions, and fish showed the highest Hg concentrations. This indicates that Hg is not biomagnifying in the base of the bay food web. Selenium concentrations in fish were approximately 5.9 times higher than those in seston. Hg and Se concentrations in fish were approximately 3.5 and 14.6 times higher than those found in the plankton, respectively.

  19. How does shape affect predator- prey interactions in fish? Implications for marine food web structure and dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Cachera, Marie; Villanueva, Ching-maria; Ernande, Bruno; Baheux, Mickael; Rouquette, Manuel; Chambord, Sophie; Lefebvre, Sebastien

    2011-01-01

    Each species pertains to a given functional niche, depending on its relationships with others species and its interactions with the abiotic environment. Understanding inter-specific interactions is critical to know and predict ecosystems' structure, functioning and dynamics, but also their response to anthropogenic impacts. Predator-prey relationship is one of the main biotic interactions as it both determines the survival of the prey and the predator and is the keystone of food webs. Unra...

  20. Estimating effects of tidal power projects and climate change on threatened and endangered marine species and their food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, D Shallin; Greene, Correigh M; Good, Thomas P

    2013-12-01

    Marine hydrokinetic power projects will operate as marine environments change in response to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. We considered how tidal power development and stressors resulting from climate change may affect Puget Sound species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) and their food web. We used risk tables to assess the singular and combined effects of tidal power development and climate change. Tidal power development and climate change posed risks to ESA-listed species, and risk increased with incorporation of the effects of these stressors on predators and prey of ESA-listed species. In contrast, results of a model of strikes on ESA-listed species from turbine blades suggested that few ESA-listed species are likely to be killed by a commercial-scale tidal turbine array. We applied scenarios to a food web model of Puget Sound to explore the effects of tidal power and climate change on ESA-listed species using more quantitative analytical techniques. To simulate development of tidal power, we applied results of the blade strike model. To simulate environmental changes over the next 50 years, we applied scenarios of change in primary production, plankton community structure, dissolved oxygen, ocean acidification, and freshwater flooding events. No effects of tidal power development on ESA-listed species were detected from the food web model output, but the effects of climate change on them and other members of the food web were large. Our analyses exemplify how natural resource managers might assess environmental effects of marine technologies in ways that explicitly incorporate climate change and consider multiple ESA-listed species in the context of their ecological community. Estimación de los Efectos de Proyectos de Energía de las Mareas y el Cambio Climático sobre Especies Marinas Amenazadas y en Peligro y su Red Alimentaria.

  1. From ontology selection and semantic web to the integrated information system of food-borne diseases and food safety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Over the last three decades, the rapid explosion of information and resources on human food-borne diseases and food safety has provided the ability to rapidly determine and interpret the mechanisms of survival and pathogenesis of food-borne pathogens. However, several factors have hindered effective...

  2. The probabilistic niche model reveals the niche structure and role of body size in a complex food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Williams

    Full Text Available The niche model has been widely used to model the structure of complex food webs, and yet the ecological meaning of the single niche dimension has not been explored. In the niche model, each species has three traits, niche position, diet position and feeding range. Here, a new probabilistic niche model, which allows the maximum likelihood set of trait values to be estimated for each species, is applied to the food web of the Benguela fishery. We also developed the allometric niche model, in which body size is used as the niche dimension. About 80% of the links in the empirical data are predicted by the probabilistic niche model, a significant improvement over recent models. As in the niche model, species are uniformly distributed on the niche axis. Feeding ranges are exponentially distributed, but diet positions are not uniformly distributed below the predator. Species traits are strongly correlated with body size, but the allometric niche model performs significantly worse than the probabilistic niche model. The best-fit parameter set provides a significantly better model of the structure of the Benguela food web than was previously available. The methodology allows the identification of a number of taxa that stand out as outliers either in the model's poor performance at predicting their predators or prey or in their parameter values. While important, body size alone does not explain the structure of the one-dimensional niche.

  3. When should we expect early bursts of trait evolution in comparative data? Predictions from an evolutionary food web model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, T; Harmon, L J; Shurin, J B

    2012-09-01

    Conceptual models of adaptive radiation predict that competitive interactions among species will result in an early burst of speciation and trait evolution followed by a slowdown in diversification rates. Empirical studies often show early accumulation of lineages in phylogenetic trees, but usually fail to detect early bursts of phenotypic evolution. We use an evolutionary simulation model to assemble food webs through adaptive radiation, and examine patterns in the resulting phylogenetic trees and species' traits (body size and trophic position). We find that when foraging trade-offs result in food webs where all species occupy integer trophic levels, lineage diversity and trait disparity are concentrated early in the tree, consistent with the early burst model. In contrast, in food webs in which many omnivorous species feed at multiple trophic levels, high levels of turnover of species' identities and traits tend to eliminate the early burst signal. These results suggest testable predictions about how the niche structure of ecological communities may be reflected by macroevolutionary patterns.

  4. Determination of trophic relationships within a Bohai Bay food web using stable δ15N and δ13C analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WAN Yi; HU Jianying; AN Lihui; AN Wei; YANG Min; Itoh Mitsuaki; Hattori Tatsuya; TAO Shu

    2005-01-01

    This study measured stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in phytoplankton, zooplankton, five invertebrates species, eight fishes species and three seabirds species collected in Bohai Bay. δ13C ranged from -25.38‰ to -11.08‰ showing a relative low enrichment in the food web from Bohai Bay. The mean δ13C of mullet is higher than that of other organisms, and this might be due to that mullet is migration fish and feeds mainly on inshore sources. δ15N ranged from 4.08‰ to 13.98‰, and showed a step-wise enrichment with trophic level of 3.8‰. The δ15N enrichment factor was used to construct an isotopic food web model to establish trophic relationships within this marine food web. According to this model, exact trophic levels of all organisms were estimated as 1.46-2.10, 1.91-3.32, 2.55-4.23 and 2.98-4.28 for plankton, invertebrates, fishes, and seabirds.

  5. Optimal defense strategies in an idealized microbial food web under trade-off between competition and defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Våge, Selina; Storesund, Julia E; Giske, Jarl; Thingstad, T Frede

    2014-01-01

    Trophic mechanisms that can generate biodiversity in food webs include bottom-up (growth rate regulating) and top-down (biomass regulating) factors. The top-down control has traditionally been analyzed using the concepts of "Keystone Predation" (KP) and "Killing-the-Winner" (KtW), predominately occuring in discussions of macro- and micro-biological ecology, respectively. Here we combine the classical diamond-shaped food web structure frequently discussed in KP analyses and the KtW concept by introducing a defense strategist capable of partial defense. A formalized description of a trade-off between the defense-strategist's competitive and defensive ability is included. The analysis reveals a complex topology of the steady state solution with strong relationships between food web structure and the combination of trade-off, defense strategy and the system's nutrient content. Among the results is a difference in defense strategies corresponding to maximum biomass, production, or net growth rate of invading individuals. The analysis thus summons awareness that biomass or production, parameters typically measured in field studies to infer success of particular biota, are not directly acted upon by natural selection. Under coexistence with a competition specialist, a balance of competitive and defensive ability of the defense strategist was found to be evolutionarily stable, whereas stronger defense was optimal under increased nutrient levels in the absence of the pure competition specialist. The findings of success of different defense strategies are discussed with respect to SAR11, a highly successful bacterial clade in the pelagic ocean.

  6. Contamination of an arctic terrestrial food web with marine-derived persistent organic pollutants transported by breeding seabirds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choy, Emily S., E-mail: echoy087@uottawa.c [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 (Canada); Kimpe, Linda E., E-mail: linda.kimpe@uottawa.c [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 (Canada); Mallory, Mark L., E-mail: mark.mallory@ec.gc.c [Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Iqaluit, NU, X0A 0H0 (Canada); Smol, John P., E-mail: smolj@queensu.c [Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), Department of Biology, Queen' s University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6 (Canada); Blais, Jules M., E-mail: jules.blais@uottawa.c [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    At Cape Vera, Devon Island (Nunavut, Canada), a colony of northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) concentrates and releases contaminants through their guano to the environment. We determined whether persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from seabirds were transferred to coastal food webs. Snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) were the most contaminated species, with {Sigma}PCB and {Sigma}DDT (mean: 168, 106 ng/g ww) concentrations surpassing environmental guidelines for protecting wildlife. When examined collectively, PCB congeners and DDT in jewel lichen (Xanthoria elegans) were lower in samples taken farther from the seabird colony, and increased with increasing {delta}{sup 15}N values. However, only concentrations of p'p-DDE:{Sigma}DDT and PCB-95 were significantly correlated inversely with distance from the seabird cliffs. Linkages between marine-derived POPs and their concentrations in terrestrial mammals were less clear. Our study provides novel contaminant data for these species and supports biovector transport as a source of organic contaminants to certain components of the terrestrial food web. - This study provides evidence of contaminant transport by seabirds to a coastal Arctic food web.

  7. Sea lamprey carcasses exert local and variable food web effects in a nutrient-limited Atlantic coastal stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Daniel M.; Coghlan Jr., Stephen M.; Zydlewski, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Resource flows from adjacent ecosystems are critical in maintaining structure and function of freshwater food webs. Migrating sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) deliver a pulsed marine-derived nutrient subsidy to rivers in spring when the metabolic demand of producers and consumers are increasing. However, the spatial and temporal dynamics of these nutrient subsidies are not well characterized. We used sea lamprey carcass additions in a small stream to examine changes in nutrients, primary productivity, and nutrient assimilation among consumers. Algal biomass increased 57%–71% immediately adjacent to carcasses; however, broader spatial changes from multiple-site carcass addition may have been influenced by canopy cover. We detected assimilation of nutrients (via δ13C and δ15N) among several macroinvertebrate families including Heptageniidae, Hydropsychidae, and Perlidae. Our research suggests that subsidies may evoke localized patch-scale effects on food webs, and the pathways of assimilation in streams are likely coupled to adjacent terrestrial systems. This research underscores the importance of connectivity in streams, which may influence sea lamprey spawning and elicit varying food web responses from carcass subsidies due to fine-scale habitat variables.

  8. Congener-specific accumulation and trophic transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls in spider crab food webs revealed by stable isotope analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodin, N. [IFREMER, DCN-BE, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France); LPTC-UMR 5472 CNRS, Universite de Bordeaux 1, 351 cours de la Liberation, 33400 Talence (France)], E-mail: bodin.nathalie@caramail.com; Le Loc' h, F. [IRD, UR 070 RAP, Centre de Recherche Halieutique, Avenue Jean Monnet, B.P. 171, 34203 Sete Cedex (France); Caisey, X.; Le Guellec, A.-M.; Abarnou, A.; Loizeau, V. [IFREMER, DCN-BE, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France); Latrouite, D. [IFREMER, DCB-STH, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France)

    2008-01-15

    Polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) and stable isotopes ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) were analyzed in the spider crab (Maja brachydactyla) food web from the Iroise Sea (Western Brittany) and the Seine Bay (Eastern English Channel). PCB concentrations were all significantly higher in organisms from the Seine Bay than those from the Iroise Sea. PCB patterns were strongly related to the feeding mode of the species, and increased influence of higher chlorinated congeners was highlighted with trophic position of the organisms. PCB concentrations (lipid normalized) were significantly related to the isotopically derived trophic level (TL) in spider crab food webs. The highest trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were calculated for the congeners with 2,4,5-substitution, and were lower in the Seine Bay compared to the Iroise Sea. The confrontation of PCB and TL data also revealed biotransformation capacity of decapod crustaceans for specific congeners based on structure-activity relations. - The influence of feeding mode and trophic position on the fate of PCBs in spider crab food webs is discussed by using a stable isotopic approach.

  9. Food webs including parasites, biomass, body sizes, and life stages for three California/Baja California estuaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; McLaughlin, John P.; Fredensborg, Brian L.; Huspeni, Todd C.; Lorda, Julio; Sandhu, Parwant K.; Shaw, Jenny C.; Torchin, Mark E.; Whitney, Kathleen L.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2001-01-01

    This data set presents food webs for three North American Pacific coast estuaries and a “Metaweb” composed of the species/stages compiled from all three estuaries. The webs have four noteworthy attributes: (1) parasites (infectious agents), (2) body-size information, (3) biomass information, and (4) ontogenetic stages of many animals with complex life cycles. The estuaries are Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California (CSM); Estero de Punta Banda, Baja California (EPB); and Bahía Falsa in Bahía San Quintín, Baja California (BSQ). Most data on species assemblages and parasitism were gathered via consistent sampling that acquired body size and biomass information for plants and animals larger than ∼1 mm, and for many infectious agents (mostly metazoan parasites, but also some microbes). We augmented this with information from additional published sources and by sampling unrepresented groups (e.g., plankton). We estimated free-living consumer–resource links primarily by extending a previously published version of the CSM web (which the current CSM web supplants) and determined most parasite consumer–resource links from direct observation. We recognize 21 possible link types including four general interactions: predators consuming prey, parasites consuming hosts, predators consuming parasites, and parasites consuming parasites. While generally resolved to the species level, we report stage-specific nodes for many animals with complex life cycles. We include additional biological information for each node, such as taxonomy, lifestyle (free-living, infectious, commensal, mutualist), mobility, and residency. The Metaweb includes 500 nodes, 314 species, and 11 270 links projected to be present given appropriate species' co-occurrences. Of these, 9247 links were present in one or more of the estuarine webs. The remaining 2023 links were not present in the estuaries but are included here because they may occur in other places or times. Initial analyses have examined

  10. Central Puget Sound Ecopath/Ecosim model biological parameters - Developing food web models for ecosystem-based management applications in Puget Sound

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project is developing food web models for ecosystem-based management applications in Puget Sound. It is primarily being done by NMFS FTEs and contractors, in...

  11. Central Puget Sound Ecopath/Ecosim model outputs - Developing food web models for ecosystem-based management applications in Puget Sound

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project is developing food web models for ecosystem-based management applications in Puget Sound. It is primarily being done by NMFS FTEs and contractors, in...

  12. Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Compost from Food Waste: Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

    Science.gov (United States)

    This page contains information about the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar Series titled Compost from Food Waste:Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

  13. New parasites and predators follow the introduction of two fish species to a subarctic lake: implications for food-web structure and functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundsen, Per-Arne; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Knudsen, Rune; Primicerio, Raul; Kristoffersen, Roar; Klemetsen, Anders; Kuris, Armand M.

    2012-01-01

    Introduced species can alter the topology of food webs. For instance, an introduction can aid the arrival of free-living consumers using the new species as a resource, while new parasites may also arrive with the introduced species. Food-web responses to species additions can thus be far more complex than anticipated. In a subarctic pelagic food web with free-living and parasitic species, two fish species (arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus) have known histories as deliberate introductions. The effects of these introductions on the food web were explored by comparing the current pelagic web with a heuristic reconstruction of the pre-introduction web. Extinctions caused by these introductions could not be evaluated by this approach. The introduced fish species have become important hubs in the trophic network, interacting with numerous parasites, predators and prey. In particular, five parasite species and four predatory bird species depend on the two introduced species as obligate trophic resources in the pelagic web and could therefore not have been present in the pre-introduction network. The presence of the two introduced fish species and the arrival of their associated parasites and predators increased biodiversity, mean trophic level, linkage density, and nestedness; altering both the network structure and functioning of the pelagic web. Parasites, in particular trophically transmitted species, had a prominent role in the network alterations that followed the introductions.

  14. Food-web inferences of stable isotope spatial patterns in copepods and yellowfin tuna in the pelagic eastern Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Robert J.; Popp, Brian N.; Graham, Brittany S.; López-Ibarra, Gladis A.; Galván-Magaña, Felipe; Lennert-Cody, Cleridy E.; Bocanegra-Castillo, Noemi; Wallsgrove, Natalie J.; Gier, Elizabeth; Alatorre-Ramírez, Vanessa; Ballance, Lisa T.; Fry, Brian

    2010-07-01

    Evaluating the impacts of climate and fishing on oceanic ecosystems requires an improved understanding of the trophodynamics of pelagic food webs. Our approach was to examine broad-scale spatial relationships among the stable N isotope values of copepods and yellowfin tuna ( Thunnus albacares), and to quantify yellowfin tuna trophic status in the food web based on stable-isotope and stomach-contents analyses. Using a generalized additive model fitted to abundance-weighted-average δ 15N values of several omnivorous copepod species, we examined isotopic spatial relationships among yellowfin tuna and copepods. We found a broad-scale, uniform gradient in δ 15N values of copepods increasing from south to north in a region encompassing the eastern Pacific warm pool and parts of several current systems. Over the same region, a similar trend was observed for the δ 15N values in the white muscle of yellowfin tuna caught by the purse-seine fishery, implying limited movement behavior. Assuming the omnivorous copepods represent a proxy for the δ 15N values at the base of the food web, the isotopic difference between these two taxa, “ ΔYFT-COP,” was interpreted as a trophic-position offset. Yellowfin tuna trophic-position estimates based on their bulk δ 15N values were not significantly different than independent estimates based on stomach contents, but are sensitive to errors in the trophic enrichment factor and the trophic position of copepods. An apparent inshore-offshore, east to west gradient in yellowfin tuna trophic position was corroborated using compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids conducted on a subset of samples. The gradient was not explained by the distribution of yellowfin tuna of different sizes, by seasonal variability at the base of the food web, or by known ambit distances (i.e. movements). Yellowfin tuna stomach contents did not show a regular inshore-offshore gradient in trophic position during 2003-2005, but the trophic

  15. Cephalopods as vectors of harmful algal bloom toxins in marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Vanessa M; Lopes, Ana Rita; Costa, Pedro; Rosa, Rui

    2013-09-06

    Here we summarize the current knowledge on the transfer and accumulation of harmful algal bloom (HAB)-related toxins in cephalopods (octopods, cuttlefishes and squids). These mollusks have been reported to accumulate several HAB-toxins, namely domoic acid (DA, and its isomers), saxitoxin (and its derivatives) and palytoxin (and palytoxin-like compounds) and, therefore, act as HAB-toxin vectors in marine food webs. Coastal octopods and cuttlefishes store considerably high levels of DA (amnesic shellfish toxin) in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG)--the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6%) is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas) is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG > kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue) reaching 971 μg kg⁻¹ and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg⁻¹ (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg⁻¹ in shellfish). Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  16. Cephalopods as Vectors of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Marine Food Webs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Rosa

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Here we summarize the current knowledge on the transfer and accumulation of harmful algal bloom (HAB-related toxins in cephalopods (octopods, cuttlefishes and squids. These mollusks have been reported to accumulate several HAB-toxins, namely domoic acid (DA, and its isomers, saxitoxin (and its derivatives and palytoxin (and palytoxin-like compounds and, therefore, act as HAB-toxin vectors in marine food webs. Coastal octopods and cuttlefishes store considerably high levels of DA (amnesic shellfish toxin in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG—the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6% is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs, these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG >> kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue reaching 971 μg kg−1 and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg−1 (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg−1 in shellfish. Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  17. Autochthonous and allochthonous contributions of organic carbon to microbial food webs in Svalbard fjords

    KAUST Repository

    Holding, Johnna M.

    2017-03-27

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are causing sea ice and glaciers to melt at record breaking rates, which has consequences for carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean that are yet to be fully understood. Microbial carbon cycling is driven by internal processing of in situ produced organic carbon (OC), however recent research suggests that melt water from sea ice and glaciers could introduce an allochthonous source of OC to the microbial food web with ramifications for the metabolic balance of plankton communities. In this study, we characterized autochthonous and allochthonous sources of OC to the Western Svalbard fjord system using stable isotopes of carbon. We quantified δ13C of eukaryotic and prokaryotic planktonic groups using polar lipid-derived fatty acids as biomarkers in addition to measuring δ13C of marine particulate OC and dissolved OC from glacial runoff. δ13C of bacteria (−22.5‰) was higher than that of glacial runoff OC (−28.5‰) and other phytoplankton groups (−24.7 to −29.1‰), which suggests that marine bacteria preferentially use a third source of OC. We present a Bayesian three-source δ13C mixing model whereby ∼ 60% of bacteria carbon is derived from OC in sea ice, and the remaining carbon is derived from autochthonous production and glacial-derived OC. These results suggest that subsidies of OC from melting glaciers will not likely influence microbial carbon cycling in Svalbard fjords in the future and that further research is needed to determine the effects of melting sea ice on microbial carbon cycling in fjord systems and elsewhere in the Arctic Ocean.

  18. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasso, Rebecka L., E-mail: rlb1196@uncw.edu [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Polito, Michael J. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Lynch, Heather J. [Ecology and Evolution Department, 640 Life Sciences Bldg., Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (United States); Naveen, R. [Oceanites Inc., PO Box 15259, Chevy Chase, MD 20825 (United States); Emslie, Steven D. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States)

    2012-11-15

    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adelie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell {delta}{sup 15}N or {delta}{sup 13}C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Three species of Pygoscelis

  19. The Food Web of Boiling Springs Lake Appears Dominated by the Heterolobosean Tetramitus thermacidophilus Strain BSL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeder, William H H; Sanck, Jessica; Hirst, Marissa; Dawson, Scott C; Wolfe, Gordon V

    2015-01-01

    We studied the protist grazers of Boiling Springs Lake (BSL), an acid geothermal feature in Lassen Volcanic National Park, using a combination of culture and genetic approaches. The major predator in BSL is a vahlkampfiid ameba closely related (95% 18S+ITS rRNA identity) to Tetramitus thermacidophilus, a heterolobose ameboflagellate recently isolated from volcanic geothermal acidic sites in Europe and Russia, as well as an uncultured heterolobosean from the nearby Iron Mountain acid mine drainage site. Tetramitus thermacidophilus strain BSL is capable of surviving the physical extremes of BSL, with optimal growth at 38-50 °C and pH 2-5. This bacterivore also ingested conidiospores of the ascomycete Phialophora sp., but ultrastructural observations reveal the latter may not be readily digested, and conidia were not separable from the ameoboflagellate culture, suggesting a possible symbiosis. DGGE fingerprint transects studies showed the organism is restricted to near-lake environs, and we detected an average of ~500 viable cysts/cm(3) sediment on the shoreline. Other grazing protists were isolated from lakeshore environments, including the lobose amebae Acanthamoeba sp. and Hartmannella sp., and the kinetoplastid flagellate Bodo sp., but none could tolerate both low pH and high temperature. These appear to be restricted to cooler near lake geothermal features, which also contain other potential grazer morphotypes observed but not successfully cultured, including ciliates, euglenids, testate amebae, and possible cercozoans. We compare the food web of BSL with other acidic or geothermal sites, and discuss the impact of protists in this unique environment.

  20. The delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic food web: why sea ice matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pućko, Monika; Stern, Gary A; Macdonald, Robie W; Jantunen, Liisa M; Bidleman, Terry F; Wong, Fiona; Barber, David G; Rysgaard, Søren

    2015-02-15

    For decades sea ice has been perceived as a physical barrier for the loading of contaminants to the Arctic Ocean. We show that sea ice, in fact, facilitates the delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic marine food web through processes that: 1) are independent of contaminant physical-chemical properties (e.g. 2-3-fold increase in exposure to brine-associated biota), and 2) depend on physical-chemical properties and, therefore, differentiate between contaminants (e.g. atmospheric loading of contaminants to melt ponds over the summer, and their subsequent leakage to the ocean). We estimate the concentrations of legacy organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and current-use pesticides (CUPs) in melt pond water in the Beaufort Sea, Canadian High Arctic, in 2008, at near-gas exchange equilibrium based on Henry's law constants (HLCs), air concentrations and exchange dynamics. CUPs currently present the highest risk of increased exposures through melt pond loading and drainage due to the high ratio of melt pond water to seawater concentration (Melt pond Enrichment Factor, MEF), which ranges from 2 for dacthal to 10 for endosulfan I. Melt pond contaminant enrichment can be perceived as a hypothetical 'pump' delivering contaminants from the atmosphere to the ocean under ice-covered conditions, with 2-10% of CUPs annually entering the Beaufort Sea via this input route compared to the standing stock in the Polar Mixed Layer of the ocean. The abovementioned processes are strongly favored in first-year ice compared to multi-year ice and, therefore, the dynamic balance between contaminant inventories and contaminant deposition to the surface ocean is being widely affected by the large-scale icescape transition taking place in the Arctic.

  1. Standard Guide for Irradiation of Finfish and Aquatic Invertebrates Used as Food to Control Pathogens and Spoilage Microorganisms

    CERN Document Server

    American Society for Testing and Materials. Philadelphia

    2009-01-01

    1.1 This guide outlines procedures and operations for the irradiation of raw, untreated, fresh (chilled), or frozen finfish and aquatic invertebrates, while ensuring that the irradiated product is safe and wholesome. 1.1.1 Aquatic invertebrates include molluscs, crustacea, echinoderms, etc. 1.1.1.1 Molluscs include bivalve shellfish, such as clams, mussels, and oysters; snails; and cephalopods, such as squid and octopus. 1.1.1.2 Crustacea include shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, crabs, prawns and crayfish. 1.1.1.3 Echinoderms include sea urchins and sea cucumbers. 1.2 This guide covers absorbed doses used to reduce the microbial and parasite populations in aquatic invertebrates and finfish. Such doses typically are below 10 kGy (1). 1.3 The use of reduced-oxygen packaging (vacuum or modified atmosphere, and including products packed in oil) with irradiated, raw product is not covered by this guide. The anaerobic environment created by reduced-oxygen packaging provides the potential for outgrowth o...

  2. An algorithm for calculation of degree distribution and detection of network type: with application in food webs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WenJun Zhang

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available In present study a Java algorithm to calculate degree distribution and detect network type was presented. Some indices, e.g., aggregation index, coefficient of variation, skewness, etc., were first suggested for detecting network type. Network types of some food webs reported in Interaction Web Database were determined using the algorithm. The results showed that the degree of most food webs was power law or exponentially distributed and they were complex networks. Different from classical distribution patterns (bionomial distribution, Poisson distribution, and power law distribution, etc., both network type and network complexity can be calculated and compared using the indices above. We suggest that they should be used in the network analysis. In addition, we defined E, E=s2-u, where u and s2 is mean and variance of degree respectively, as the entropy of network. A more complex network has the larger entropy. If E is not greater than 0, the network is a random network and, it is a complex network if E is greater than 0.

  3. Distribution and accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the food web of Nansi Lake, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guizhai; Pan, Zhaoke; Wang, Xiaoming; Mo, Xiaojie; Li, Xiaoming

    2015-04-01

    The concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed in water, sediment, and biota (aquatic plant, shrimp, and fish) of Nansi Lake by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The concentrations of total PAHs were 27.54-55.04 ng L(-1) in water, 80.31-639.23 ng g(-1) dry weight (dw) in sediments, 20.92-192.78 ng g(-1) dw in aquatic plants, and 67.3-533.9 ng g(-1) dw in fish and shrimp muscles. The ratios of phenanthrene to anthracene (Ph/An), fluoranthene to pyrene (Flu/Pyr), and low molecular weight to high molecular weight (LMW/HMW) in sediment indicated that the sources of the PAHs were a mixture of pyrolytic and petrogenic contamination at most sampling sites in Nansi Lake. The composition profile of PAHs in plants was similar to that in water and animals with 2-3 ring PAHs being dominant. The 4-6 ring PAHs were the dominant PAH compounds in sediment. There is a positive correlation between sediment and aquatic plants, but their PAH composition profiles were different, implying that aquatic plant absorption of PAHs from sediment is selective and the accumulation of PAHs in aquatic plants is different. The concentration of PAHs in fish showed a positive correlation with plants, reflecting that the PAHs in fish are mainly absorbed from aquatic plants rather than directly from the water. Bioaccumulation of LMW PAHs in aquatic biota was higher than HMW PAHs. The biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) values of total PAHs in the plants Potamogeton lucens Linn and Ceratophyllum demersum Linn were higher than that in most animals. The BSAF values of total PAHs in animals were in the following order: Cyprinus carpio>Macrobrachium nipponense>Carassius auratus>Channa argus. There was no significant relationship between PAH bioaccumulation and trophic levels in Nansi Lake. Risk assessment of PAHs in water, sediment, and animals indicated that the water environment of Nansi Lake is safe at present. It is worthwhile to note that benzo [a

  4. Stable isotope analyses of web-spinning spider assemblages along a headwater stream in Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Sean P; Cuevas, Elvira; Ramírez, Alonso

    2015-01-01

    Web-spinning spiders that inhabit stream channels are considered specialists of aquatic ecosystems and are major consumers of emerging aquatic insects, while other spider taxa are more commonly found in riparian forests and as a result may consume more terrestrial insects. To determine if there was a difference in spider taxa abundance between riverine web-spinning spider assemblages within the stream channel and the assemblages 10 m into the riparian forest, we compared abundances for all web-spinning spiders along a headwater stream in El Yunque National Forest in northeast Puerto Rico. By using a nonmetric dimensional scaling (NMDS) abundance analysis we were able to see a clear separation of the two spider assemblages. The second objective of the study was to determine if aquatic insects contributed more to the diet of the spider assemblages closest to the stream channel and therefore stable isotope analyses of δ (15)N and δ (13)C for web-spinning spiders along with their possible prey were utilized. The results of the Bayesian mixing model (SIAR) however showed little difference in the diets of riverine (0 m), riparian (10 m) and upland (25 m) spiders. We found that aquatic insects made up ∼50% of the diet for web-spinning spiders collected at 0 m, 10 m, and 25 m from the stream. This study highlights the importance of aquatic insects as a food source for web-spinning spiders despite the taxonomic differences in assemblages at different distances from the stream.

  5. Seasonal variation exceeds effects of salmon carcass additions on benthic food webs in the Elwha River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, S.A.; Coe, H.J.; Duda, J.J.; Dunphy, L.S.; McHenry, M.L.; Beckman, B.R.; Elofson, M.; Sampson, E. M.; Ward, L.

    2016-01-01

    Dam removal and other fish barrier removal projects in western North America are assumed to boost freshwater productivity via the transport of marine-derived nutrients from recolonizing Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). In anticipation of the removal of two hydroelectric dams on the Elwha River in Washington State, we tested this hypothesis with a salmon carcass addition experiment. Our study was designed to examine how background nutrient dynamics and benthic food webs vary seasonally, and how these features respond to salmon subsidies. We conducted our experiment in six side channels of the Elwha River, each with a spatially paired reference and treatment reach. Each reach was sampled on multiple occasions from October 2007 to August 2008, before and after carcass placement. We evaluated nutrient limitation status; measured water chemistry, periphyton, benthic invertebrates, and juvenile rainbow trout (O. mykiss) response; and traced salmon-derived nutrient uptake using stable isotopes. Outside of winter, algal accrual was limited by both nitrogen and phosphorous and remained so even in the presence of salmon carcasses. One month after salmon addition, dissolved inorganic nitrogen levels doubled in treatment reaches. Two months after addition, benthic algal accrual was significantly elevated. We detected no changes in invertebrate or fish metrics, with the exception of 15N enrichment. Natural seasonal variability was greater than salmon effects for the majority of our response metrics. Yet seasonality and synchronicity of nutrient supply and demand are often overlooked in nutrient enhancement studies. Timing and magnitude of salmon-derived nitrogen utilization suggest that uptake of dissolved nutrients was favored over direct consumption of carcasses. The highest proportion of salmon-derived nitrogen was incorporated by herbivores (18–30%) and peaked 1–2 months after carcass addition. Peak nitrogen enrichment in predators (11–16%) occurred 2–3

  6. Nitrogen Fuelling of the Pelagic Food Web of the Tropical Atlantic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Sandel

    Full Text Available We estimated the relative contribution of atmosphere (ic Nitrogen (N input (wet and dry deposition and N fixation to the epipelagic food web by measuring N isotopes of different functional groups of epipelagic zooplankton along 23°W (17°N-4°S and 18°N (20-24°W in the Eastern Tropical Atlantic. Results were related to water column observations of nutrient distribution and vertical diffusive flux as well as colony abundance of Trichodesmium obtained with an Underwater Vision Profiler (UVP5. The thickness and depth of the nitracline and phosphocline proved to be significant predictors of zooplankton stable N isotope values. Atmospheric N input was highest (61% of total N in the strongly stratified and oligotrophic region between 3 and 7°N, which featured very high depth-integrated Trichodesmium abundance (up to 9.4×10(4 colonies m(-2, strong thermohaline stratification and low zooplankton δ15N (~2‰. Relative atmospheric N input was lowest south of the equatorial upwelling between 3 and 5°S (27%. Values in the Guinea Dome region and north of Cape Verde ranged between 45 and 50%, respectively. The microstructure-derived estimate of the vertical diffusive N flux in the equatorial region was about one order of magnitude higher than in any other area (approximately 8 mmol m(-2 d(1. At the same time, this region received considerable atmospheric N input (35% of total. In general, zooplankton δ15N and Trichodesmium abundance were closely correlated, indicating that N fixation is the major source of atmospheric N input. Although Trichodesmium is not the only N fixing organism, its abundance can be used with high confidence to estimate the relative atmospheric N input in the tropical Atlantic (r2 = 0.95. Estimates of absolute N fixation rates are two- to tenfold higher than incubation-derived rates reported for the same regions. Our approach integrates over large spatial and temporal scales and also quantifies fixed N released as dissolved

  7. Nitrogen Fuelling of the Pelagic Food Web of the Tropical Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandel, Vera; Kiko, Rainer; Brandt, Peter; Dengler, Marcus; Stemmann, Lars; Vandromme, Pieter; Sommer, Ulrich; Hauss, Helena

    2015-01-01

    We estimated the relative contribution of atmosphere (ic Nitrogen (N) input (wet and dry deposition and N fixation) to the epipelagic food web by measuring N isotopes of different functional groups of epipelagic zooplankton along 23°W (17°N-4°S) and 18°N (20-24°W) in the Eastern Tropical Atlantic. Results were related to water column observations of nutrient distribution and vertical diffusive flux as well as colony abundance of Trichodesmium obtained with an Underwater Vision Profiler (UVP5). The thickness and depth of the nitracline and phosphocline proved to be significant predictors of zooplankton stable N isotope values. Atmospheric N input was highest (61% of total N) in the strongly stratified and oligotrophic region between 3 and 7°N, which featured very high depth-integrated Trichodesmium abundance (up to 9.4×10(4) colonies m(-2)), strong thermohaline stratification and low zooplankton δ15N (~2‰). Relative atmospheric N input was lowest south of the equatorial upwelling between 3 and 5°S (27%). Values in the Guinea Dome region and north of Cape Verde ranged between 45 and 50%, respectively. The microstructure-derived estimate of the vertical diffusive N flux in the equatorial region was about one order of magnitude higher than in any other area (approximately 8 mmol m(-2) d(1)). At the same time, this region received considerable atmospheric N input (35% of total). In general, zooplankton δ15N and Trichodesmium abundance were closely correlated, indicating that N fixation is the major source of atmospheric N input. Although Trichodesmium is not the only N fixing organism, its abundance can be used with high confidence to estimate the relative atmospheric N input in the tropical Atlantic (r2 = 0.95). Estimates of absolute N fixation rates are two- to tenfold higher than incubation-derived rates reported for the same regions. Our approach integrates over large spatial and temporal scales and also quantifies fixed N released as dissolved inorganic

  8. Arsenic, cobalt and chromium food web biodilution in a Patagonia mountain lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revenga, J E; Campbell, L M; Arribére, M A; Ribeiro Guevara, S

    2012-07-01

    Mussels, Diplon chilensis, from Lake Moreno, a double-basined mountain lake in southern Argentina, is known to have elevated concentrations of chromium (Cr, > 25 μg g⁻¹ dry weight DW) and arsenic (As, 35 μg g⁻¹ DW), attributed to untreated sewage. To further understand the trophodynamics of Cr, As and cobalt (Co), we investigated concentrations and transfer throughout the food web in each basin of Lake Moreno. Each basin differs in morphology in that the gently-sloping Lake Moreno West has more littoral habitat than deeper Lake Moreno East with its higher proportion of pelagic habitat. Despite the morphological differences, both basins share similar water quality parameters and species assemblages. As a result, Lake Moreno provides an exceptional opportunity to compare trophodynamics of elements that enable us to hypothesize pelagic-littoral habitat coupling in response to lake morphology as the underlying factor influencing both Cr pathway and Co and As trophodynamic modeling. Using stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) and carbon (δ¹³C) to characterize metals trophodynamics in each basin, biodilution of As, Cr and Co were indicated by negative regressions. This is confirmed by elevated As, Co and Cr concentrations in phytoplankton (11.3±5.7, 7.4±4.9, 44.5±40.7 μg g⁻¹ DW respectively), while zooplankton and biofilm had the next elevated concentrations. Those elevated concentrations are in contrast with lower concentrations in sport fish such as rainbow trout (0.5±0.5, 0.2±0.3, 1.8±1.2 μg g⁻¹ DW). Higher concentrations of Cr in fish were associated with higher proportion of benthic/littoral prey items in western basin, and were confirmed by significant correlation with δ¹³C values. Arsenic, Co and Cr concentrations in fish, while elevated, do not post health risks to human or wildlife consumers.

  9. Comparative biomass structure and estimated carbon flow in food webs in the deep Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Gilbert T.; Wei, Chihlin; Nunnally, Clifton; Haedrich, Richard; Montagna, Paul; Baguley, Jeffrey G.; Bernhard, Joan M.; Wicksten, Mary; Ammons, Archie; Briones, Elva Escobar; Soliman, Yousra; Deming, Jody W.

    2008-12-01

    A budget of the standing stocks and cycling of organic carbon associated with the sea floor has been generated for seven sites across a 3-km depth gradient in the NE Gulf of Mexico, based on a series of reports by co-authors on specific biotic groups or processes. The standing stocks measured at each site were bacteria, Foraminifera, metazoan meiofauna, macrofauna, invertebrate megafauna, and demersal fishes. Sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) by the sediment-dwelling organisms was measured at each site using a remotely deployed benthic lander, profiles of oxygen concentration in the sediment pore water of recovered cores and ship-board core incubations. The long-term incorporation and burial of organic carbon into the sediments has been estimated using profiles of a combination of stable and radiocarbon isotopes. The total stock estimates, carbon burial, and the SCOC allowed estimates of living and detrital carbon residence time within the sediments, illustrating that the total biota turns over on time scales of months on the upper continental slope but this is extended to years on the abyssal plain at 3.6 km depth. The detrital carbon turnover is many times longer, however, over the same depths. A composite carbon budget illustrates that total carbon biomass and associated fluxes declined precipitously with increasing depth. Imbalances in the carbon budgets suggest that organic detritus is exported from the upper continental slope to greater depths offshore. The respiration of each individual "size" or functional group within the community has been estimated from allometric models, supplemented by direct measurements in the laboratory. The respiration and standing stocks were incorporated into budgets of carbon flow through and between the different size groups in hypothetical food webs. The decline in stocks and respiration with depth were more abrupt in the larger forms (fishes and megafauna), resulting in an increase in the relative predominance of

  10. Microbial food web in an oligotrophic high mountain lake (Jöri Lake III, Switzerland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferdinand SCHANZ

    1999-08-01

    Full Text Available Jöri Lake III (2512 m a.s.l., zm = 22 m, A = 57.81 ´ 103 m2, V = 601.1 ´ 103 m3 is situated in the Vereina region in the eastern part of the Swiss Alps. We studied microbial grazing on bacteria and bacterial productivity during the ice-free period. The lake normally gets thermally stratified for two months between July and September. In 1996, chlorophyll-a concentrations varied from 0.5 to 2.0 μg l-1 with maximum values just below the thermocline (6 m depth, in 1997, they were between 0.6 and 5.0 μg l-1 with maximum values at 10 m depth – several meters below the thermocline. Bacterial densities varied between 0.7 and 1.7 ´ 106 ml-1 with maxima in the thermocline, one to two meters above the chlorophyll maximum. The areal bacterial biomass (volume beneath 1 m2 to a depth of 8 m was 10 μg C l-1 which remained more or less constant for the periods investigated. In 1997, bacterial growth rate and production rates were determined using [3H]-thymidine incorporation. The rates were as low as 0.002 to 0.006 h-1 and 0.01 to 0.03 μg C l-1 h-1, respectively. We found a carbon ratio of bacteria, phytoplankton, and autotrophic picoplancton (APP of 1.5:1.1:1 which shows a rather high abundance of bacteria and autotrophic picoplankton (APP compared to larger phytoplankton. Bacterial growth followed a temperature dependence similar to the one observed for bacteria from Lake Zürich, a prealpine and mesotrophic lake which was studied for comparison. Microbial food web in Jöri Lake III was not top down controlled during the periods of our study and mixotrophic algae like Dinobryon cylindricum var. alpinum and autotrophic nanoflagellates (ANF were the dominant bacterial grazers observed.

  11. A compilation of radionuclide transfer factors for the plant, meat, milk, and aquatic food pathways and the suggested default values for the RESRAD code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Y.Y.; Biwer, B.M.; Yu, C.

    1993-08-01

    The ongoing development and revision of the RESRAD computer code at Argonne National Laboratory requires update of radionuclide transfer factors for the plant, meat, milk, and aquatic food pathways. Default values for these transfer factors used in published radiological assessment reports are compiled and compared with values used in RESRAD. The differences among the reported default values used in different radiological assessment codes and reports are also discussed. In data comparisons, values used in more recent reports are given more weight because more recent experimental work tends to be conducted under better-defined laboratory or field conditions. A new default value is suggested for RESRAD if one of the following conditions is met: (1) values used in recent reports are an order of magnitude higher or lower than the default value currently used in RESRAD, or (2) the same default value is used in several recent radiological assessment reports.

  12. New Method for Determining Isotopic Values of Glutamic Acid and Phenylalanine for Estimation of Precise Trophic Position in Food Web Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamath, T.; Broek, T.; McCarthy, M.

    2012-12-01

    Compound Specific Isotope Analysis of Amino Acids (CSI-AA) has emerged as a highly precise new method of determining trophic levels of both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Multiple studies have now shown that δ15N values for glutamic acid (Glu) and phenylalanine (Phe) can be coupled to provide extremely precise estimates of trophic position in diverse food web studies. The standard gas chromatography—isotope ratio mass spectrometer (GC-IRMS) approach is presently limited to a select number of labs since necessary equipment is both expensive and not widely accessible. Furthermore, typical GC-IRMS δ15N precision (±1‰) is significantly lower than usual bulk δ15N values (±0.1‰), thus presenting a considerable setback for precise trophic level calculations. In this study, we develop a new dual-column method to purify Glu and Phe using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Phe is purified using an analytical scale reverse phase column embedded with anionic ion-pairing reagents and collected using automated fraction collection. Glu is separated from the non-polar amino acids using the same column and further purified using a hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) cation and anion-exchange column and collected via automated fraction collection. Isotopic analysis of the purified AAs is then conducted on an elemental analyzer—isotope ratio mass spectrometer (EA-IRMS). As a test of this method, we present and compare the trophic position of five marine organisms—cyanobacteria, deep-sea bamboo coral, juvenile and adult white sea bass, and harbor seal, calculated using Glu and Phe δ15N values produced by both GC-IRMS and our HPLC-EA-IRMS approach. The preliminary results of this study suggest that the HPLC-EA-IRMS method is a viable alternative to GC-IRMS, which should allow accurate trophic position estimates to be made by more researchers using more readily available instrumentation.

  13. 14C as a tracer of labile organic matter in Antarctic benthic food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purinton, Brett L.; DeMaster, David J.; Thomas, Carrie J.; Smith, Craig R.

    2008-11-01

    14C measurements were made on surface plankton, particle-trap material, surface sediment, benthic invertebrate gut contents, and body tissue samples to assess the effectiveness of this radioisotope as a tracer of labile organic carbon in Antarctic benthic food webs. Samples were collected on five cruises to the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) shelf between November 1999 and March 2001 as part of the Food for Benthos on the ANtarctic Continental-Shelf (FOODBANCS) Project. The 14C contents of the body tissues from a variety of deposit feeders (-126±13 per mil) were substantially enriched relative to the surface sediment (-234±13 per mil) and statistically similar to the organic matter collected in plankton tows (-135±10 per mil), indicating that recently produced marine plankton are the primary source of nutrition for these deposit feeders on the West Antarctic shelf. Selective ingestion was the primary feeding strategy used by echiuran worms and certain holothurians (i.e. Peniagone vignoni) for incorporating labile organic carbon into their tissues as demonstrated by the large differences (105±13 per mil) between surface sediment and gut content 14C activities. In contrast, digestive and/or assimilatory selection was the predominant strategy used by an irregular urchin ( Amphipneustes lorioli) and several other holothurians ( Protelpidia murrayi, Bathyplotes fuscivinculum and the head-down conveyor belt feeder, Molpadia musculus), as demonstrated by large differences (42±7 per mil) between the 14C activities of their foregut or whole-gut organic contents and their body tissues. Despite large fluctuations in carbon export from the euphotic zone, benthic feeding strategies remained essentially constant over the 15-month sampling period. No seasonal variation was evident in either the 14C abundance of the deposit-feeder body tissues, or in the 14C abundance of their gut contents. The mean 14C abundance in the body tissues of the two sub-surface deposit feeders ( A

  14. Trophic efficiency of plankton food webs: Observations from the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay, Southeast Coast of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anjusha, A.; Jyothibabu, R.; Jagadeesan, L.; Mohan, Arya P.; Sudheesh, K.; Krishna, Kiran; Ullas, N.; Deepak, M. P.

    2013-04-01

    This paper introduces the structure and trophic efficiency of plankton food webs in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) and the Palk Bay (PB) — two least studied marine environments located between India and Sri Lanka. The study is based on the results obtained from a field sampling exercise carried out in the GoM and the PB in March 2010 (Spring Intermonsoon — SIM), September 2010 (Southwest Monsoon — SWM) and January 2011 (Northeast Monsoon — NEM). Based on multivariate analysis of major environmental parameters during different seasons, it was possible to clearly segregate the GoM and the PB into separate clusters, except during the SWM. This segregation of the GoM and the PB was closely linked with the seasonally reversing ocean currents in the region, as evident from the MIKE 21 flow model results. During the period of relatively low phytoplankton biomass (microbial loop was significantly high — both in the GoM and the PB. During the SIM, the carbon biomass available in the plankton food web was significantly higher in the PB (av. 122.8 ± 47.60 mg C m- 3) than in the GoM (av. 81.89 ± 35.50 mg C m- 3). This was due to a strong microbial loop in the former region. In the GoM, phytoplankton contributed a considerable portion (> 50%) of the carbon biomass during the SWM and the NEM, whereas, microbial loop contributed significantly (80%) during the SIM. The microbial loop was predominant in the PB throughout the study period, being as high as 83% of the total plankton biomass during the SIM. As compared to the PB, the mesozooplankton biomass was higher in the GoM during the SWM and the NEM and lower during the SIM. The relatively high mesozooplankton stock in the PB during the SIM was closely linked with a strong microbial loop, which contributed the major share (av. 101.6 ± 24.3 mg C m- 3) of the total organic carbon available in the food web (av. 126.6 ± 24.3 mg C m- 3). However, when microbial loop contributed > 65% of the total organic carbon available in

  15. Understanding the geographical development of social movements: a web-link analysis of Slow Food

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendrikx, B.; Dormans, S.E.M.; Lagendijk, A.; Thelwall, M.

    2017-01-01

    Slow Food (SF) is a global, grassroots movement aimed at enhancing and sustaining local food cultures and traditions worldwide. Since its establishment in the 1980s, Slow Food groups have emerged across the world and embedded in a wide range of different contexts. In this article, we explain how the

  16. Mercury Speciation and Bioaccumulation In Riparian and Upland Food Webs of the White Mountains Region, New Hampshire, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodenhouse, N.; Gebauer, R.; Lowe, W.; McFarland, K.; Bank, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    The soils and foods webs associated with mid to high elevation, forested, headwater streams are potential hotspots for mercury methylation and bioaccumulation but are not well studied. We tested the hypothesis that spatial variation in mercury bioaccumulation in upland taxa associated with headwater streams can be explained by variation in soil conditions promoting Hg methylation such as soil moisture, pH, and sulfur and organic matter content. We sampled at high (c. 700m) and mid elevation (c. 500m) in northern hardwood forest adjacent to and away from (75m) replicate headwater streams in the Hubbard Brook and Jeffers Brook watersheds of the White Mountains region, New Hampshire, USA. These forested watersheds differed primarily in soil calcium content and pH. We measured and assessed spatial variation in total Hg (THg) and methyl Hg (MeHg) concentrations in soils, insects, spiders, salamanders and birds. We also tested whether trophic position, as determined by nitrogen stable isotopes, was a major predictor of Hg bioaccumulation across these riparian and upland forest taxa. We found elevated levels of THg in all measured components of the food web, and conditions for methylation were better in the upland forest sites compared to the riparian sites located adjacent to headwater streams. Both THg and MeHg in biota were positively correlated with trophic position as indicated by 15N enrichment. In fact, trophic position was a better predictor of THg and MeHg content than spatial location, but the spatial patterning of bioaccumulation differed among taxa. Our data show that that significant Hg bioaccumulation and biomagnification can occur in soils and food webs of mid to high elevation temperate deciduous forests of the Northeast. They also suggest that mercury methylation in forested watersheds is a widespread phenomenon and not limited to areas with high soil moisture, such as lotic environments.

  17. Optimal defense strategies in an idealized microbial food web under trade-off between competition and defense.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selina Våge

    Full Text Available Trophic mechanisms that can generate biodiversity in food webs include bottom-up (growth rate regulating and top-down (biomass regulating factors. The top-down control has traditionally been analyzed using the concepts of "Keystone Predation" (KP and "Killing-the-Winner" (KtW, predominately occuring in discussions of macro- and micro-biological ecology, respectively. Here we combine the classical diamond-shaped food web structure frequently discussed in KP analyses and the KtW concept by introducing a defense strategist capable of partial defense. A formalized description of a trade-off between the defense-strategist's competitive and defensive ability is included. The analysis reveals a complex topology of the steady state solution with strong relationships between food web structure and the combination of trade-off, defense strategy and the system's nutrient content. Among the results is a difference in defense strategies corresponding to maximum biomass, production, or net growth rate of invading individuals. The analysis thus summons awareness that biomass or production, parameters typically measured in field studies to infer success of particular biota, are not directly acted upon by natural selection. Under coexistence with a competition specialist, a balance of competitive and defensive ability of the defense strategist was found to be evolutionarily stable, whereas stronger defense was optimal under increased nutrient levels in the absence of the pure competition specialist. The findings of success of different defense strategies are discussed with respect to SAR11, a highly successful bacterial clade in the pelagic ocean.

  18. Key species and impact of fishery through food web analysis: A case study from Baja California Sur, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocchi, Marta; Scotti, Marco; Micheli, Fiorenza; Bodini, Antonio

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) aims to support the protection of natural ecosystems and to improve economic activities. It requires considering all of the actors interacting in social-ecological systems (e.g., fish and fishers) in the understanding that their interplay determines the dynamic behavior of the single actors as well as that of the system as a whole. Connections are thus central to EBM. Within the ecological dimension of socio-ecological systems, interactions between species define such connections. Understanding how connections affect ecosystem and species dynamics is often impaired by a lack of data. We propose food web network analysis as a tool to help bridge the gap between EBM theory and practice in data-poor contexts, and illustrate this approach through its application to a coastal marine ecosystem in Baja California Sur, Mexico. First, we calculated centrality indices to identify which key (i.e., most central) species must be considered when designing strategies for sustainable resource management. Second, we analyzed the resilience of the system by measuring changes in food web structure due to the local extinction of vulnerable species (i.e., by mimicking the possible effect of excessive fishing pressure). The consequences of species removals were quantified in terms of impacts on global structural indices and species' centrality indices. Overall, we found that this coastal ecosystem shows high resilience to species loss. We identified species (e.g., Octopus sp. and the kelp bass, Paralabrax clathratus) whose protection could further decrease the risk of potential negative impacts of fishing activities on the Baja California Sur food web. This work introduces an approach that can be applied to other ecosystems to aid the implementation of EBM in data-poor contexts.

  19. Facilitation and predation structure a grassland detrital food web: the responses of soil nematodes to isopod processing of litter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastow, Justin L

    2011-09-01

    1. Detritus can support successive consumers, whose interactions may be structured by changes in the condition of their shared resource. One model of such species interactions is a processing chain, in which consumers feeding on the resource in a less processed state change the resource condition for subsequent consumers. 2. In a series of experiments, the hypothesis was tested that a common detritivore, the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber, affects soil nematodes through the processing of plant litter. Different detrital resources were added to soil from a California coastal prairie in order to simulate litter processing by the detritivore. Treatments that included only whole grass litter corresponded to detrital food webs lacking detritivores, while treatments that included mixtures of P. scaber faeces and grass litter corresponded to different densities or feeding rates of P. scaber. 3. Simulated litter processing by P. scaber increased the abundance of bacterivorous nematodes by between 32% and 202% after 24-44 days in laboratory experiments, but had no effect on fungivorous or predaceous nematodes. 4. In a subsequent field experiment, however, fungivorous nematodes were suppressed by isopod litter processing while bacterivores showed no response. Instead, P. scaber processing of litter increased the abundance of predaceous nematodes in the field experiment by 176%. 5. When simulated litter processing of litter was crossed in laboratory experiments with predaceous nematode addition (comparable to the response of predators in the field experiment), the abundance of bacterivores was increased by isopod processing of litter (by an average of 122%), but suppressed by elevated densities of predaceous nematodes (by an average of 41%). 6. This suggests that litter processing by P. scaber facilitates the bacterial channel of the soil food web, but that predaceous nematodes suppress the response of bacterivores in the field. Processing chain interactions may

  20. Pathways of organic matter through food webs of diverse habitats in the regulated Nakdong River estuary (Korea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choy, Eun Jung; An, Soonmo; Kang, Chang-Keun

    2008-06-01

    The benthic macroinvertebrates of the Nakdong River estuary were sampled at three different habitats: two salt marsh ( Scirpus triqueter and Phragmites australis) beds and a bare intertidal flat. Fishes were sampled in the main channel. The trophic importance of marsh vascular plants, microphytobenthos, and riverine and channel particulate organic matter to macroinvertebrate and fish production was studied using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope tracers. There was a dramatic change in coverage of macrophytes (salt marshes and seagrass) after the construction of an estuarine barrage in 1987 in the Nakdong River estuary, with the S. triqueter bed increasing, the P. australis bed decreasing, and Zostera marina habitats being nearly lost. Although the invertebrate δ 13C were within a narrower range than those of the primary producers, the values varied considerably among consumers in these habitats. However, the isotope signatures of consumers showed similarities among different habitats. Cluster analysis based on their isotopic similarity suggested that the isotope variability among species was related more to functional feeding groups than to habitats or taxonomic groups. While δ 13C values of suspension feeders were close to that of the channel POM (mainly phytoplankton), other benthic feeders and predators had δ 13C similar to that of microphytobenthos. Isotopic mixing model estimates suggest that algal sources, including microphytobenthos and phytoplankton, play an important role in supporting the benthic food web. Despite the huge productivity of emergent salt marshes, the contribution of the marsh-derived organic matter to the estuarine food webs appears to be limited to some nutrition for some invertebrates just within marsh habitats, with little on the bare intertidal flats or in the channel fish communities. Isotope signatures of the channel fishes also confirm that algal sources are important in supporting fish nutrition. Our findings suggest that

  1. Comparative validity of the ASSO–Food Frequency Questionnaire for the web-based assessment of food and nutrients intake in adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garden Tabacchi

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: A new web-based food frequency questionnaire (the ASSO–FFQ was developed within the ASSO Project funded by the Italian Ministry of Health. Objective: The aim of the present study is to assess the validity of the ASSO–FFQ at food groups, energy, and nutrients level. Design and subjects: The validation study compared the ASSO–FFQ against a weighted food record (WFR measuring foods, beverages and supplements intake, compiled during the week following the ASSO–FFQ administration. Ninety-two subjects aged 14–17, recruited from secondary schools in Palermo (Italy, completed the ASSO–FFQ and WFR. The intake of 24 food groups, energy, and 52 nutrients were taken as main outcomes. Tests for paired observations, Spearman and Pearson's correlation coefficients (cc, kappa statistics and classification in quintiles, Bland–Altman plots and multiple regressions, on untransformed and transformed data were used for the statistical analysis. Results: High cc (≥0.40 were found for soft drinks, milk, tea/coffee, vegetables, and lactose; fair energy-adjusted cc (0.25–0.40 for water, alcoholic drinks, breakfast cereals, fishery products, savory food, fruit juice, eggs, and 19 nutrients. The subjects classified in the same or adjacent quintile for food groups ranged from 40% (alcoholic drinks to 100% (dried fruit; for energy and nutrients from 43% (phosphorus, thiamin, niacin to 77% (lactose. Mean differences were not significant for water, soft drinks, meat, sweets, animal fats, milk and white bread, and vitamin B12 and folate. Limits of Agreement were broad for all food groups and nutrients. School, gender, alcohol consumption and between meals mainly affected most food groups’ intake differences. Gender stratification showed females had increased Pearson's cc for energy and 28 nutrients, such as almost all fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Conclusions: The ASSO–FFQ could be applied in epidemiological studies for the

  2. Localised mixing and heterogeneity in the plankton food web in a frontal region of the Sargasso Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Katherine; Bendtsen, Joøgen; Christensen, Jens Tang

    2014-01-01

    the diatom communities at 10 m and > 100 m (in the deep chlorophyll maximum, DCM) than in other parts of the frontal region. Thorpe displacements supported the hypothesis of elevated mixing intensities around these stations, as did vertical mixing rates inferred from stratification and vertical current shear...... influence the plankton food web, as indicated by elevated values/concentrations of (1) primary production, (2) variable fluorescence (F-v/F-m) and (3) total seston. In addition, the fraction of the total biomass of both copepods and nauplii found closest to the DCM in the frontal region correlated...

  3. A multitrophic model to quantify the effects of marine viruses on microbial food webs and ecosystem processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weitz, Joshua S.; Stock, Charles A.; Wilhelm, Steven W.

    2015-01-01

    ecosystem models to include a virus component, specifically parameterized for processes taking place in the ocean euphotic zone. Crucially, we are able to solve this model analytically, facilitating evaluation of model behavior under many alternative parameterizations. Analyses reveal that the addition...... that viruses can have significant stimulatory effects across whole-ecosystem scales. We suggest that existing efforts to predict carbon and nutrient cycling without considering virus effects are likely to miss essential features of marine food webs that regulate global biogeochemical cycles.The ISME Journal...

  4. Early Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia based on food-web and energy-flow models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsukawa, M.; Saiki, K.; Ito, M.; Obata, I.; Nichols, D.J.; Lockley, M.G.; Kukihara, R.; Shibata, K.

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, there has been global interest in the environments and ecosystems around the world. It is helpful to reconstruct past environments and ecosystems to help understand them in the present and the future. The present environments and ecosystems are an evolving continuum with those of the past and the future. This paper demonstrates the contribution of geology and paleontology to such continua. Using fossils, we can make an estimation of past population density as an ecosystem index based on food-web and energy-flow models. Late Mesozoic nonmarine deposits are distributed widely on the eastern Asian continent and contain various kinds of fossils such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, bivalves, gastropods, insects, ostracodes, conchostracans, terrestrial plants, and others. These fossil organisms are useful for late Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem reconstruction using food-web and energy-flow models. We chose Early Cretaceous fluvio-lacustrine basins in the Choyr area, southeastern Mongolia, and the Tetori area, Japan, for these analyses and as a potential model for reconstruction of other similar basins in East Asia. The food-web models are restored based on taxa that occurred in these basins. They form four or five trophic levels in an energy pyramid consisting of rich primary producers at its base and smaller biotas higher in the food web. This is the general energy pyramid of a typical ecosystem. Concerning the population densities of vertebrate taxa in 1 km2 in these basins, some differences are recognized between Early Cretaceous and the present. For example, Cretaceous estimates suggest 2.3 to 4.8 times as many herbivores and 26.0 to 105.5 times the carnivore population. These differences are useful for the evaluation of past population densities of vertebrate taxa. Such differences may also be caused by the different metabolism of different taxa. Preservation may also be a factor, and we recognize that various problems occur in

  5. Ecosystem ecology meets adaptive management: food web response to a controlled flood on the Colorado River, Glen Canyon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Wyatt F.; Baxter, Colden V.; Donner, Kevin C.; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J.; Kennedy, Theodore A.; Hall, Robert O.; Wellard Kelly, Holly A.; Rogers, R. Scott

    2011-01-01

    Large dams have been constructed on rivers to meet human demands for water, electricity, navigation, and recreation. As a consequence, flow and temperature regimes have been altered, strongly affecting river food webs and ecosystem processes. Experimental high-flow dam releases, i.e., controlled floods, have been implemented on the Colorado River, USA, in an effort to reestablish pulsed flood events, redistribute sediments, improve conditions for native fishes, and increase understanding of how dam operations affect physical and biological processes. We quantified secondary production and organic matter flows in the food web below Glen Canyon dam for two years prior and one year after an experimental controlled flood in March 2008. Invertebrate biomass and secondary production declined significantly following the flood (total biomass, 55% decline; total production, 56% decline), with most of the decline driven by reductions in two nonnative invertebrate taxa, Potamopyrgus antipodarum and Gammarus lacustris. Diatoms dominated the trophic basis of invertebrate production before and after the controlled flood, and the largest organic matter flows were from diatoms to the three most productive invertebrate taxa (P. antipodarum, G. lacustris, and Tubificida). In contrast to invertebrates, production of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) increased substantially (194%) following the flood, despite the large decline in total secondary production of the invertebrate assemblage. This counterintuitive result is reconciled by a post-flood increase in production and drift concentrations of select invertebrate prey (i.e., Chironomidae and Simuliidae) that supported a large proportion of trout production but had relatively low secondary production. In addition, interaction strengths, measured as species impact values, were strongest between rainbow trout and these two taxa before and after the flood, demonstrating that the dominant consumer—resource interactions were not

  6. Food-web traits of the North Aegean Sea ecosystem (Eastern Mediterranean) and comparison with other Mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsagarakis, K.; Coll, M.; Giannoulaki, M.; Somarakis, S.; Papaconstantinou, C.; Machias, A.

    2010-06-01

    A mass-balance trophic model was built to describe the food-web traits of the North Aegean Sea (Strymonikos Gulf and Thracian Sea, Greece, Eastern Mediterranean) during the mid-2000s and to explore the impacts of fishing. This is the first food-web model representing the Aegean Sea, and results were presented and discussed in comparison to other previous ecosystems modelled from the western and the central areas of the basin (South Catalan and North-Central Adriatic Seas). Forty functional groups were defined, covering the entire trophic spectrum from lower to higher trophic levels. Emphasis was placed on commercial invertebrates and fish. The potential ecological role of the invasive ctenophore, Mnemiopsis leidyi, and several vulnerable groups (e.g., dolphins) was also explored. Results confirmed the spatial productivity patterns known for the Mediterranean Sea showing, for example, that the total biomass is highest in N.C. Adriatic and lowest in N. Aegean Sea. Accordingly, food-web flows and several ecosystem indicators like the mean transfer efficiency were influenced by these patterns. Nevertheless, all three systems shared some common features evidencing similarities of Mediterranean Sea ecosystems such as dominance of the pelagic fraction in terms of flows and strong benthic-pelagic coupling of zooplankton and benthic invertebrates through detritus. The importance of detritus highlighted the role of the microbial food-web, which was indirectly considered through detritus dynamics. Ciliates, mesozooplankton and several benthic invertebrate groups were shown as important elements of the ecosystem linking primary producers and detritus with higher trophic levels in the N. Aegean Sea. Adult anchovy was shown as the most important fish group in terms of production, consumption and overall effect on the rest of the ecological groups in the model, in line with results from the Western Mediterranean Sea. The five fishing fleets considered (both artisanal and

  7. Food-web composition affects cross-ecosystem interactions and subsidies

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    P>1. Ecosystems may affect each other through trophic interactions that cross ecosystem boundaries as well as via the transfer of subsidies, but these effects can vary depending on the identity of species involved in the interaction.2. In this study, we manipulated two terrestrial bromeliad-living spider species (Aglaoctenus castaneus, Corinna gr. rubripes) that have variable hunting modes, to test their individual and combined effects on aquatic invertebrate community structure and ecosystem...

  8. Trophic ecology of Atlantic seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri: Intertidal benthic microalgae support the subtidal food web off Suriname

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willems, Tomas; De Backer, Annelies; Kerkhove, Thomas; Dakriet, Nyasha Nanseerà; De Troch, Marleen; Vincx, Magda; Hostens, Kris

    2016-12-01

    A combination of stomach content analyses and dual stable isotope analyses was used to reveal the trophic ecology of Atlantic seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri off the coast of Suriname. This coastal penaeid shrimp species has a rather omnivorous diet, feeding opportunistically on both animal prey and primary food sources. The species is a predator of hyperbenthic crustaceans, including copepods, amphipods and the luciferid shrimp Lucifer faxoni, which are mainly preyed upon during daytime, when these prey typically reside near the seabed. Benthic microalgae (BM) from intertidal mudflats and offshore sedimentary organic matter (SOM) were important primary food sources. Due to their depleted 13C values, coastal sedimentary and suspended organic matter, and carbon from riverine and mangrove-derived detritus were not incorporated by X. kroyeri. An ontogenetic diet shift was observed from postlavae to juveniles and adults. Adult X. kroyeri were located higher in the food chain, mainly preying on larger benthic organisms. Intertidal BM were an important food source for all life stages of X. kroyeri, contributing up to 64% to the overall diet based on a Bayesian mixing model. Because X. kroyeri is the main epibenthic organism found at high densities in nearshore waters up to 30 m depth, the species plays a crucial role in transferring energy from low trophic level prey and primary food sources up to higher levels in the food chain. Our results indicate that primary production on intertidal mudflats, through BM, forms an important energy source for the subtidal turbid-water food web in muddy tropical coasts. Conservation of intertidal areas and their associated mangrove systems will therefore likely benefit coastal shrimp production and fisheries in tropical ecosystems.

  9. Aquatic plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, T. V.; Sand-Jensen, K.

    2006-01-01

    Aquatic fl owering plants form a relatively young plant group on an evolutionary timescale. The group has developed over the past 80 million years from terrestrial fl owering plants that re-colonised the aquatic environment after 60-100 million years on land. The exchange of species between...... terrestrial and aquatic environments continues today and is very intensive along stream banks. In this chapter we describe the physical and chemical barriers to the exchange of plants between land and water....

  10. Visualizing aquatic bacteria by light and transmission electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Thiago P; Noyma, Natália P; Duque, Thabata L A; Gamalier, Juliana P; Vidal, Luciana O; Lobão, Lúcia M; Chiarini-Garcia, Hélio; Roland, Fábio; Melo, Rossana C N

    2014-01-01

    The understanding of the functional role of aquatic bacteria in microbial food webs is largely dependent on methods applied to the direct visualization and enumeration of these organisms. While the ultrastructure of aquatic bacteria is still poorly known, routine observation of aquatic bacteria by light microscopy requires staining with fluorochromes, followed by filtration and direct counting on filter surfaces. Here, we used a new strategy to visualize and enumerate aquatic bacteria by light microscopy. By spinning water samples from varied tropical ecosystems in a cytocentrifuge, we found that bacteria firmly adhere to regular slides, can be stained by fluorochoromes with no background formation and fast enumerated. Significant correlations were found between the cytocentrifugation and filter-based methods. Moreover, preparations through cytocentrifugation were more adequate for bacterial viability evaluation than filter-based preparations. Transmission electron microscopic analyses revealed a morphological diversity of bacteria with different internal and external structures, such as large variation in the cell envelope and capsule thickness, and presence or not of thylakoid membranes. Our results demonstrate that aquatic bacteria represent an ultrastructurally diverse population and open avenues for easy handling/quantification and better visualization of bacteria by light microscopy without the need of filter membranes.

  11. Invasive mussels alter the littoral food web of a large lake: stable isotopes reveal drastic shifts in sources and flow of energy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted Ozersky

    Full Text Available We investigated how establishment of invasive dreissenid mussels impacted the structure and energy sources of the littoral benthic food web of a large temperate lake. We combined information about pre- and postdreissenid abundance, biomass, and secondary production of the littoral benthos with results of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis of archival (predreissenid and recent (postdreissenid samples of all common benthic taxa. This approach enabled us to determine the importance of benthic and sestonic carbon to the littoral food web before, and more than a decade after dreissenid establishment. Long term dreissenid presence was associated with a 32-fold increase in abundance, 6-fold increase in biomass, and 14-fold increase in secondary production of the littoral benthos. Dreissenids comprised a large portion of the post-invasion benthos, making up 13, 38, and 56% of total abundance, biomass, and secondary production, respectively. The predreissenid food web was supported primarily by benthic primary production, while sestonic material was relatively more important to the postdreissenid food web. The absolute importance of both sestonic material and benthic primary production to the littoral benthos increased considerably following dreissenid establishment. Our results show drastic alterations to food web structure and suggest that dreissenid mussels redirect energy and material from the water column to the littoral benthos both through biodeposition of sestonic material as well as stimulation of benthic primary production.

  12. 食品安全风险评估在我国水产品中的应用%Application of Food Safety Risk Assessment in China,s Aquatic Products Fields

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李佳; 郑建中; 程景民

    2012-01-01

    In the field of aquatic products, the traditional food safety assessment mechanism is defective in solving the complex problem of safety of aquatic products. As a food safety supervision, Food safety risk assessment is one of the important methods to ensure food security.Through the definition of food safety risk assessment, this article introduces its important position in Foreign food safety system, discusses how to effectively make the food safety risk assessment applied in the field of aquatic products in China, improving the safety index of aquatic products and giving the management perspective and evaluation.%在水产品领域中,传统的食品安全评估机制在解决现今复杂多变的水产品安全问题中存在诸多不足。食品安全风险评估作为食品安全监管的一种重要措施,是目前实现食品安全最有效的一种手段。本文通过对食品安全风险评估定义,介绍其在国外食品安全体系中的重要地位,讨论如何有效地将食品安全风险评估应用于我国的水产品领域中,以提高水产品的安全指数,并给出管理展望和评价。

  13. A Web-Based geographical information system prototype on Portuguese traditional food products

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies Portuguese traditional food products use certification labels from EU quality schemes to distinguish from other food products. With the number of traditional food products increasing every year, how to manage the information more efficiently and how to spread the information to the public more clearly and interactively become the challenges. Considering the geogra...

  14. The influence of predator--prey population dynamics on the long-term evolution of food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drossel, B; Higgs, P G; McKane, A J

    2001-01-01

    We develop a set of equations to describe the population dynamics of many interacting species in food webs. Predator-prey interactions are nonlinear, and are based on ratio-dependent functional responses. The equations account for competition for resources between members of the same species, and between members of different species. Predators divide their total hunting/foraging effort between the available prey species according to an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS). The ESS foraging behaviour does not correspond to the predictions of optimal foraging theory. We use the population dynamics equations in simulations of the Webworld model of evolving ecosystems. New species are added to an existing food web due to speciation events, whilst species become extinct due to coevolution and competition. We study the dynamics of species-diversity in Webworld on a macro-evolutionary time-scale. Coevolutionary interactions are strong enough to cause continuous overturn of species, in contrast to our previous Webworld simulations with simpler population dynamics. Although there are significant fluctuations in species diversity because of speciation and extinction, very large-scale extinction avalanches appear to be absent from the dynamics, and we find no evidence for self-organized criticality.

  15. Indications for the tracking of elevated nitrogen levels through the fungal route in a soil food web

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hogervorst, R.F.; Dijkhuis, M.A.J.; Schaar, M.A. van der; Berg, M.P.; Verhoef, H.A

    2003-11-01

    Elevated levels of N in soil can be tracked via fungi in the soil food web. - The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of elevated N in dead organic matter on the growth of fungi and to establish the consequences for the development of microbivores. Therefore, three fungal species were cultured on Scots pine litter differing in N content. The growth of the soil fungal species Trichoderma koningii, Penicillium glabrum and Cladosporium cladosporioides was directly influenced by the N content (ranging from 1.25 to 2.19% N) of the substrate. For all three fungal species maximum growth was highest at intermediate N content (1.55%) of the substrate. The fungivorous collembolan Orchesella cincta reached highest asymptotic body mass when fed with C. cladosporioides, grown on litter medium with intermediate N content (1.55%). The growth of O. cincta was lower when fed with C. cladosporioides from litter medium with the highest N content (2.19%). Similar results were obtained in mesocosm experiments in which pine litter with three levels of N (1.11, 1.78, 2.03% N) was used as substrate for the fungi. On litter with the highest N content (2.03%) hyphal length and asymptotic body mass of O. cincta were reduced. The results show that the N content of the substrate determines the growth of both fungi and fungivores, and suggest that elevated levels of N in soil track through the fungal part of the soil food web.

  16. Bacterioplankton communities of Crater Lake, OR: Dynamic changes with euphotic zone food web structure and stable deep water populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbach, E.; Vergin, K.L.; Larson, G.L.; Giovannoni, S.J.

    2007-01-01

    The distribution of bacterial and archaeal species in Crater Lake plankton varies dramatically over depth and with time, as assessed by hybridization of group-specific oligonucleotides to RNA extracted from lakewater. Nonmetric, multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis of relative bacterial phylotype densities revealed complex relationships among assemblages sampled from depth profiles in July, August and September of 1997 through 1999. CL500-11 green nonsulfur bacteria (Phylum Chloroflexi) and marine Group I crenarchaeota are consistently dominant groups in the oxygenated deep waters at 300 and 500 m. Other phylotypes found in the deep waters are similar to surface and mid-depth populations and vary with time. Euphotic zone assemblages are dominated either by ??-proteobacteria or CL120-10 verrucomicrobia, and ACK4 actinomycetes. MDS analyses of euphotic zone populations in relation to environmental variables and phytoplankton and zooplankton population structures reveal apparent links between Daphnia pulicaria zooplankton population densities and microbial community structure. These patterns may reflect food web interactions that link kokanee salmon population densities to community structure of the bacterioplankton, via fish predation on Daphnia with cascading consequences to Daphnia bacterivory and predation on bacterivorous protists. These results demonstrate a stable bottom-water microbial community. They also extend previous observations of food web-driven changes in euphotic zone bacterioplankton community structure to an oligotrophic setting. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  17. Effects of internal phosphorus loadings and food-web structure on the recovery of a deep lake from eutrophication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepori, Fabio; Roberts, James J.

    2017-01-01

    We used monitoring data from Lake Lugano (Switzerland and Italy) to assess key ecosystem responses to three decades of nutrient management (1983–2014). We investigated whether reductions in external phosphorus loadings (Lext) caused declines in lake phosphorus concentrations (P) and phytoplankton biomass (Chl a), as assumed by the predictive models that underpinned the management plan. Additionally, we examined the hypothesis that deep lakes respond quickly to Lext reductions. During the study period, nutrient management reduced Lext by approximately a half. However, the effects of such reduction on P and Chl a were complex. Far from the scenarios predicted by classic nutrient-management approaches, the responses of P and Chl a did not only reflect changes in Lext, but also variation in internal P loadings (Lint) and food-web structure. In turn, Lint varied depending on basin morphometry and climatic effects, whereas food-web structure varied due to apparently stochastic events of colonization and near-extinction of key species. Our results highlight the complexity of the trajectory of deep-lake ecosystems undergoing nutrient management. From an applied standpoint, they also suggest that [i] the recovery of warm monomictic lakes may be slower than expected due to the development of Lint, and that [ii] classic P and Chl a models based on Lext may be useful in nutrient management programs only if their predictions are used as starting points within adaptive frameworks.

  18. Stable-isotope analysis of a deep-sea benthic-fish assemblage: evidence of an enriched benthic food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, M D; Ebert, D A; Cailliet, G M

    2012-04-01

    In this study, fishes and invertebrates collected from the continental slope (1000 m) of the eastern North Pacific Ocean were analysed using stable-isotope analysis (SIA). Resulting trophic positions (T(P) ) were compared to known diets and habitats from the literature. Dual isotope plots indicated that most species groups (invertebrates and fishes) sorted as expected along the carbon and nitrogen axes, with less intraspecific variability than interspecific variability. Results also indicated an isotopically distinct benthic and pelagic food web, as the benthic food web was more enriched in both nitrogen and carbon isotopes. Trophic positions from SIA supported this finding, resulting in the assignment of fishes to different trophic positions from those expected based on published dietary information. These differences can be explained largely by the habitat of the prey and the percentage of the diet that was scavenged. A mixing model estimated dietary contributions of prey similar to those of the known diet of Bathyraja trachura from stomach-content analysis (SCA). Linear regressions indicated that trophic positions calculated from SIA and SCA, when plotted against B. trachura total length for 32 individuals, exhibited similar variation and patterns. Only the T(P) from SCA yielded significant results (stomach content: P 0·05).

  19. Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Gibson, Rachel; Polaszek, Andrew; Morris, Rebecca J; Craze, Paul G; Planqué, Robert; Symondson, William O C; Memmott, Jane

    2009-03-01

    While many studies have demonstrated that organic farms support greater levels of biodiversity, it is not known whether this translates into better provision of ecosystem services. Here we use a food-web approach to analyse the community structure and function at the whole-farm scale. Quantitative food webs from 10 replicate pairs of organic and conventional farms showed that organic farms have significantly more species at three trophic levels (plant, herbivore and parasitoid) and significantly different network structure. Herbivores on organic farms were attacked by more parasitoid species on organic farms than on conventional farms. However, differences in network structure did not translate into differences in robustness to simulated species loss and we found no difference in percentage parasitism (natural pest control) across a variety of host species. Furthermore, a manipulative field experiment demonstrated that the higher species richness of parasitoids on the organic farms did not increase mortality of a novel herbivore used to bioassay ecosystem service. The explanation for these differences is likely to include inherent differences in management strategies and landscape structure between the two farming systems.

  20. Latitudinal variation in top-down and bottom-up control of a salt marsh food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marczak, L B; Ho, C K; Wieski, K; Vu, H; Denno, R F; Pennings, S C

    2011-02-01

    The shrub Iva frutescens, which occupies the terrestrial border of U.S. Atlantic Coast salt marshes, supports a food web that varies strongly across latitude. We tested whether latitudinal variation in plant quality (higher at high latitudes), consumption by omnivores (a crab, present only at low latitudes), consumption by mesopredators (ladybugs, present at all latitudes), or the life history stage of an herbivorous beetle could explain continental-scale field patterns of herbivore density. In a mesocosm experiment, crabs exerted strong top-down control on herbivorous beetles, ladybugs exerted strong top-down control on aphids, and both predators benefited plants through trophic cascades. Latitude of plant origin had no effect on consumers. Herbivorous beetle density was greater if mesocosms were stocked with beetle adults rather than larvae, and aphid densities were reduced in the "adult beetle" treatment. Treatment combinations representing high and low latitudes produced patterns of herbivore density similar to those in the field. We conclude that latitudinal variation in plant quality is less important than latitudinal variation in top consumers and competition in mediating food web structure. Climate may also play a strong role in structuring high-latitude salt marshes by limiting the number of herbivore generations per growing season and causing high overwintering mortality.

  1. Consistency in trophic magnification factors of cyclic methyl siloxanes in pelagic freshwater food webs leading to brown trout.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgå, Katrine; Fjeld, Eirik; Kierkegaard, Amelie; McLachlan, Michael S

    2013-12-17

    Cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes (cVMS) concentrations were analyzed in the pelagic food web of two Norwegian lakes (Mjøsa, Randsfjorden), and in brown trout (Salmo trutta) and Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) collected in a reference lake (Femunden), in 2012. Lakes receiving discharge from wastewater treatment plants (Mjøsa and Randsfjorden) had cVMS concentrations in trout that were up to 2 orders of magnitude higher than those in Femunden, where most samples were close to the limit of quantification (LOQ). Food web biomagnification of cVMS in Mjøsa and Randsfjorden was quantified by estimation of trophic magnification factors (TMFs). TMF for legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) were analyzed for comparison. Both decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6) biomagnified with TMFs of 2.9 (2.1-4.0) and 2.3 (1.8-3.0), respectively. Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) was below the LOQ in the majority of samples and had substantially lower biomagnification than for D5 and D6. The cVMS TMFs did not differ between the lakes, whereas the legacy POP TMFs were higher in Mjøsa than inRandsfjorden. Whitefish had lower cVMS bioaccumulation compared to legacy POPs, and affected the TMF significance for cVMS, but not for POPs. TMFs of D5 and legacy contaminants in Lake Mjøsa were consistent with those previously measured in Mjøsa.

  2. Impacts of changing food webs in Lake Ontario: Implications of dietary fatty acids on growth of alewives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, R.J.; Demarche, C.J.; Honeyfield, D.C.

    2011-01-01

    Declines in the abundance and condition of Great Lakes Alewives have been reported periodically during the last two decades, and the reasons for these declines remain unclear. To better understand how food web changes may influence Alewife growth and Wisconsin growth model predictions, we fed Alewives isocaloric diets high in omega-6 fatty acids (corn oil) or high in omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil). Alewives were fed the experimental diets at either 1% ("low ration") or 3% ("high ration") of their wet body weight per day. After six weeks, Alewives maintained on the high ration diets were significantly larger than those fed the low ration diets. Moreover, Alewives given the high ration fish oil diet were significantly larger than those maintained on the high ration corn oil diet after six weeks of growth. Body lipid, energy density and total body energy of Alewives on the high ration diets were significantly higher than those fed the low ration diets, and total body energy was significantly higher in Alewives given the high ration fish oil diet compared to those on the high ration corn oil diet. The current Wisconsin bioenergetics model underestimated growth and overestimated food consumption by Alewives in our study. Alewife thiaminase activity was similar among treatment groups. Overall, our results suggest that future food web changes in Lake Ontario, particularly if they involve decreases in the abundance of lipid rich prey items such as Mysis, may reduce Alewife growth rates and total body energy due to reductions in the availability of dietary omega-3 fatty acids. ?? 2011 AEHMS.

  3. Review on environmental alterations propagating from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco; Gergs, René; Brühl, Carsten A; Diehl, Dörte; Entling, Martin H; Fahse, Lorenz; Frör, Oliver; Jungkunst, Hermann F; Lorke, Andreas; Schäfer, Ralf B; Schaumann, Gabriele E; Schwenk, Klaus

    2015-12-15

    Terrestrial inputs into freshwater ecosystems are a classical field of environmental science. Resource fluxes (subsidy) from aquatic to terrestrial systems have been less studied, although they are of high ecological relevance particularly for the receiving ecosystem. These fluxes may, however, be impacted by anthropogenically driven alterations modifying structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems. In this context, we reviewed the peer-reviewed literature for studies addressing the subsidy of terrestrial by aquatic ecosystems with special emphasis on the role that anthropogenic alterations play in this water-land coupling. Our analysis revealed a continuously increasing interest in the coupling of aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems between 1990 and 2014 (total: 661 studies), while the research domains focusing on abiotic (502 studies) and biotic (159 studies) processes are strongly separated. Approximately 35% (abiotic) and 25% (biotic) of the studies focused on the propagation of anthropogenic alterations from the aquatic to the terrestrial system. Among these studies, hydromorphological and hydrological alterations were predominantly assessed, whereas water pollution and invasive species were less frequently investigated. Less than 5% of these studies considered indirect effects in the terrestrial system e.g. via food web responses, as a result of anthropogenic alterations in aquatic ecosystems. Nonetheless, these very few publications indicate far-reaching consequences in the receiving terrestrial ecosystem. For example, bottom-up mediated responses via soil quality can cascade over plant communities up to the level of herbivorous arthropods, while top-down mediated responses via predatory spiders can cascade down to herbivorous arthropods and even plants. Overall, the current state of knowledge calls for an integrated assessment on how these interactions within terrestrial ecosystems are affected by propagation of aquatic ecosystem alterations. To fill

  4. Structure and dynamics of food webs in the water column on shelf and slope grounds of the western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valls, M.; Sweeting, C. J.; Olivar, M. P.; Fernández de Puelles, M. L.; Pasqual, C.; Polunin, N. V. C.; Quetglas, A.

    2014-10-01

    Benthic-pelagic coupling is an important process connecting species throughout the water column, particularly, in deep-sea systems where faunal assemblages can be dense if indirectly sustained by production from the above. Through stable isotope analyses, this study explored the sources of production, trophic structure, and bentho-pelagic coupling in two locations with contrasting oceanographic conditions from the western Mediterranean, in the Balearic (BsB) and the Algerian (AsB) sub-basins. The samples of 89 dominant species (23 decapods, 19 cephalopods, 33 fishes, among the other taxa), inhabiting the hyperbenthic and pelagic domains, from the shelf break (250 m), upper slope (650 m), and middle slope (850 m) were analyzed. Results suggested long food webs of approximately four trophic levels (TrLs) that were sustained by planktonic source material in shallower waters and degraded particulate organic matter of planktonic origin in deeper waters. Most of the collected species (70%) occupied intermediate trophic positions between the 3rd and 4th TrLs. The species δ15N and δ13C values exhibited a broad range, consistent with the high diversity that might be attributed to the oligotrophic conditions. As the depth increased, stronger segregation occurred between the trophic groups, and spatial differences were found among consumers of the two locations. Species in the AsB always had consistently higher δ15N values than in the BsB, which could possibly be attributed to the basal δ15N that was present through the food web. Despite the contrasting basin characteristics, a similarly close bentho-pelagic coupling pattern was observed at both locations, except at the deepest ground, especially at the AsB, where the mean δ13C values from the hyperbenthic and pelagic compartments were more distant. This could be related to the higher degree of reworking of organic matter in the AsB. Overall, these findings suggested the need for a depth-stratified approach to analyze

  5. Abundance and biomass responses of microbial food web components to hydrology and environmental gradients within a floodplain of the River Danube.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palijan, Goran

    2012-07-01

    This study investigated the relationships of time-dependent hydrological variability and selected microbial food web components. Samples were collected monthly from the Kopački Rit floodplain in Croatia, over a period of 19 months, for analysis of bacterioplankton abundance, cell size and biomass; abundance of heterotrophic nanoflagellates and nanophytoplankton; and concentration of chlorophyll a. Similar hydrological variability at different times of the year enabled partition of seasonal effects from hydrological changes on microbial community properties. The results suggested that, unlike some other studies investigating sites with different connectivity, bacterioplankton abundance, and phytoplankton abundance and biomass increased during lentic conditions. At increasing water level, nanophytoplankton showed lower sensitivity to disturbance in comparison with total phytoplankton biomass: this could prolong autotrophic conditions within the floodplain. Bacterioplankton biomass, unlike phytoplankton, was not impacted by hydrology. The bacterial biomass less affected by hydrological changes can be an important additional food component for the floodplain food web. The results also suggested a mechanism controlling bacterial cell size independent of hydrology, as bacterial cell size was significantly decreased as nanoflagellate abundance increased. Hydrology, regardless of seasonal sucession, has the potential to structure microbial food webs, supporting microbial development during lentic conditions. Conversely, other components appear unaffected by hydrology or may be more strongly controlled by biotic interactions. This research, therefore, adds to understanding on microbial food web interactions in the context of flood and flow pulses in river-floodplain ecosystems.

  6. Productivity, disturbance and ecosystem size have no influence on food chain length in seasonally connected rivers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle M Warfe

    Full Text Available The food web is one of the oldest and most central organising concepts in ecology and for decades, food chain length has been hypothesised to be controlled by productivity, disturbance, and/or ecosystem size; each of which may be mediated by the functional trophic role of the top predator. We characterised aquatic food webs using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes from 66 river and floodplain sites across the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia to determine the relative importance of productivity (indicated by nutrient concentrations, disturbance (indicated by hydrological isolation and ecosystem size, and how they may be affected by food web architecture. We show that variation in food chain length was unrelated to these classic environmental determinants, and unrelated to the trophic role of the top predator. This finding is a striking exception to the literature and is the first published example of food chain length being unaffected by any of these determinants. We suggest the distinctive seasonal hydrology of northern Australia allows the movement of fish predators, linking isolated food webs and potentially creating a regional food web that overrides local effects of productivity, disturbance and ecosystem size. This finding supports ecological theory suggesting that mobile consumers promote more stable food webs. It also illustrates how food webs, and energy transfer, may function in the absence of the human modifications to landscape hydrological connectivity that are ubiquitous in more populated regions.

  7. Two Sides of the Same Coin? Analysis of the Web-Based Social Media with Regard to the Image of the Agri-Food Sector in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justus Boehm

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available  Never before has food been as safe and secure as it is today, but simultaneously, society has become increasingly critical towards agricultural and food related issues. This two-sided development between society and agribusiness will be analyzed using Framing Theory. A quantitative semantic analysis was applied to evaluate the web-based social media in Germany. 50,931 web posts were collected covering 21 issues identified as relevant for the agri-food sector. The results show that all contentious issues are mainly framed in a two-sided way. The modern productivity-driven industry is judged as a negative development, trends returning to a more natural food production are seen as positive.

  8. Dangerous relations in the Arctic marine food web: Interactions between toxin producing Pseudo-nitzschia diatoms and Calanus copepodites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hardardottir, Sara; Pancic, Marina; Tammilehto, Anna;

    2015-01-01

    Diatoms of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia produce domoic acid (DA), a toxin that is vectored in the marine food web, thus causing serious problems for marine organisms and humans. In spite of this, knowledge of interactions between grazing zooplankton and diatoms is restricted. In this study, we...... examined the interactions between Calanus copepodites and toxin producing Pseudo-nitzschia. The copepodites were fed with different concentrations of toxic P. seriata and a strain of P. obtusa that previously was tested to be non-toxic. The ingestion rates did not differ among the diets (P. seriata, P......%) suggesting the response to be chemically mediated. The induced response was also triggered when copepodites grazed on another diatom, supporting the hypothesis that the cues originate from the copepodite. Neither pH nor nutrient concentrations explained the induced DA production. Unexpectedly, P. obtusa also...

  9. Benthic suspension feeders: their paramount role in littoral marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gili, J M; Coma, R

    1998-08-01

    In recent years, particular attention has been paid to coupling and energy transfer between benthos and plankton. Because of their abundance, certain benthic suspension feeders have been shown to have a major impact in marine ecosystems. They capture large quantities of particles and might directly regulate primary production and indirectly regulate secondary production in littoral food chains. Suspension feeders develop dense, three-dimensional communities whose structural complexity depends on flow speed. It has been postulated that these communities can self-organize to enhance food capture and thus establish boundary systems capable of successfully exploiting a less structured system, namely, the plankton.

  10. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes and metal concentration in food webs from a mining-impacted coastal lagoon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marin-Guirao, Lazaro [Departamento de Ecologia e Hidrologia, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de Murcia, 30100-Murcia (Spain)], E-mail: lamarin@um.es; Lloret, Javier; Marin, Arnaldo [Departamento de Ecologia e Hidrologia, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de Murcia, 30100-Murcia (Spain)

    2008-04-01

    Two food