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Sample records for aquatic food web

  1. Mycoloop: chytrids in aquatic food webs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maiko eKagami

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Parasites are ecologically significant in various ecosystems through their role in shaping food web structure, facilitating energy transfer, and controlling disease. Here in this review, we mainly focus on parasitic chytrids, the dominant parasites in aquatic ecosystems, and explain their roles in aquatic food webs, particularly as prey for zooplankton. Chytrids have a free-living zoosporic stage, during which they actively search for new hosts. Zoospores are excellent food for zooplankton in terms of size, shape, and nutritional quality. In the field, densities of chytrids can be high, ranging from 101-109 spores L-1. When large inedible phytoplankton species are infected by chytrids, nutrients within host cells are transferred to zooplankton via the zoospores of parasitic chytrids. This new pathway, the ‘mycoloop,’ may play an important role in shaping aquatic ecosystems, by altering sinking fluxes or determining system stability. The grazing of zoospores by zooplankton may also suppress outbreaks of parasitic chytrids. A food web model demonstrated that the contribution of the mycoloop to zooplankton production increased with nutrient availability and was also dependent on the stability of the system. Further studies with advanced molecular tools are likely to discover greater chytrid diversity and evidence of additional mycoloops in lakes and oceans.

  2. Species interactions and energy transfer in aquatic food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Nielsen, Jens Munk

    2015-01-01

    Food webs are structured by intricate nodes of species interactions which govern the flow of organic matter in natural systems. Despite being long recognized as a key component in ecology, estimation of food web functioning is still challenging due to the difficulty in accurately measuring species interactions within a food web. Novel tracing methods that estimate species diet uptake and trophic position are therefore needed for assessing food web dynamics. The focus of this thesis is the use...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Effects of climate on size structure and functioning of aquatic food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lacerot, G.

    2010-01-01

    In aquatic food webs, the role of body size is notoriously strong. It is also well known that temperature has an effect on body size. For instance, Bergmann’s rule states that body size increases from warm to cold climates. This thesis addresses the question how climate shapes the size structure of

  6. 40 CFR 230.31 - Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic organisms in the food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic organisms in the food web. 230.31 Section 230.31 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN DUMPING SECTION 404(b)(1) GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFICATION OF DISPOSAL SITES FOR DREDGED OR FILL MATERIAL...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Biomagnification of mercury in aquatic food webs: a worldwide meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavoie, Raphael A; Jardine, Timothy D; Chumchal, Matthew M; Kidd, Karen A; Campbell, Linda M

    2013-01-01

    The slope of the simple linear regression between log10 transformed mercury (Hg) concentration and stable nitrogen isotope values (δ(15)N), hereafter called trophic magnification slope (TMS), from several trophic levels in a food web can represent the overall degree of Hg biomagnification. We compiled data from 69 studies that determined total Hg (THg) or methyl Hg (MeHg) TMS values in 205 aquatic food webs worldwide. Hg TMS values were compared against physicochemical and biological factors hypothesized to affect Hg biomagnification in aquatic systems. Food webs ranged across 1.7 ± 0.7 (mean ± SD) and 1.8 ± 0.8 trophic levels (calculated using δ(15)N from baseline to top predator) for THg and MeHg, respectively. The average trophic level (based on δ(15)N) of the upper-trophic-level organisms in the food web was 3.7 ± 0.8 and 3.8 ± 0.8 for THg and MeHg food webs, respectively. For MeHg, the mean TMS value was 0.24 ± 0.08 but varied from 0.08 to 0.53 and was, on average, 1.5 times higher than that for THg with a mean of 0.16 ± 0.11 (range: -0.19 to 0.48). Both THg and MeHg TMS values were significantly and positively correlated with latitude. TMS values in freshwater sites increased with dissolved organic carbon and decreased with total phosphorus and atmospheric Hg deposition. Results suggest that Hg biomagnification through food webs is highest in cold and low productivity systems; however, much of the among-system variability in TMS values remains unexplained. We identify critical data gaps and provide recommendations for future studies that would improve our understanding of global Hg biomagnification. PMID:24151937

  9. Hydrogen Isotope Fractionation in Aquatic Primary Producers: Implications for Food Web Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hondula, K. L.; Pace, M. L.; Cole, J. J.; Batt, R. D.

    2011-12-01

    Hydrogen in the organic matter of aquatic plants has a lower relative abundance of the deuterium isotope in comparison to hydrogen in the surrounding water due to a series of fractionation processes including photosynthesis and the biosynthesis of lipids. Expected differences between the deuterium values of different types of plant tissue have been used to observe terrestrial contributions to aquatic food webs and to discriminate organic matter sources in 3-isotope studies with more precision than in 2-isotope studies, however some values used in these studies are derived from an estimated fractionation value (ɛ) between water and plant tissue. We found significant differences in fractionation values between different groups of aquatic plants sampled from three system types: lakes, river, and coastal lagoon. Fractionation values between water and plant tissue of macrophytes and marine macroalgae were more similar to those of terrestrial plants and distinctly different than those of benthic microalgae and phytoplankton. Incorporating the variability in fractionation values between plant types will improve models and experimental designs used in isotopic food web studies for aquatic systems.

  10. Terrestrial contributions to the aquatic food web in the middle Yangtze River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianzhu; Gu, Binhe; Huang, Jianhui; Han, Xingguo; Lin, Guanghui; Zheng, Fawen; Li, Yuncong

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the carbon sources supporting aquatic consumers in large rivers is essential for the protection of ecological integrity and for wildlife management. The relative importance of terrestrial and algal carbon to the aquatic food webs is still under intensive debate. The Yangtze River is the largest river in China and the third longest river in the world. The completion of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) in 2003 has significantly altered the hydrological regime of the middle Yangtze River, but its immediate impact on carbon sources supporting the river food web is unknown. In this study, potential production sources from riparian and the main river channel, and selected aquatic consumers (invertebrates and fish) at an upstream constricted-channel site (Luoqi), a midstream estuarine site (Huanghua) and a near dam limnetic site (Maoping) of the TGD were collected for stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) and IsoSource analyses. Model estimates indicated that terrestrial plants were the dominant carbon sources supporting the consumer taxa at the three study sites. Algal production appeared to play a supplemental role in supporting consumer production. The contribution from C4 plants was more important than that of C3 plants at the upstream site while C3 plants were the more important carbon source to the consumers at the two impacted sites (Huanghua and Maoping), particularly at the midstream site. There was no trend of increase in the contribution of autochthonous production from the upstream to the downstream sites as the flow rate decreased dramatically along the main river channel due to the construction of TGD. Our findings, along with recent studies in rivers and lakes, are contradictory to studies that demonstrate the importance of algal carbon in the aquatic food web. Differences in system geomorphology, hydrology, habitat heterogeneity, and land use may account for these contradictory findings reported in various studies. PMID:25047656

  11. Terrestrial contributions to the aquatic food web in the middle Yangtze River.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianzhu Wang

    Full Text Available Understanding the carbon sources supporting aquatic consumers in large rivers is essential for the protection of ecological integrity and for wildlife management. The relative importance of terrestrial and algal carbon to the aquatic food webs is still under intensive debate. The Yangtze River is the largest river in China and the third longest river in the world. The completion of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD in 2003 has significantly altered the hydrological regime of the middle Yangtze River, but its immediate impact on carbon sources supporting the river food web is unknown. In this study, potential production sources from riparian and the main river channel, and selected aquatic consumers (invertebrates and fish at an upstream constricted-channel site (Luoqi, a midstream estuarine site (Huanghua and a near dam limnetic site (Maoping of the TGD were collected for stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N and IsoSource analyses. Model estimates indicated that terrestrial plants were the dominant carbon sources supporting the consumer taxa at the three study sites. Algal production appeared to play a supplemental role in supporting consumer production. The contribution from C4 plants was more important than that of C3 plants at the upstream site while C3 plants were the more important carbon source to the consumers at the two impacted sites (Huanghua and Maoping, particularly at the midstream site. There was no trend of increase in the contribution of autochthonous production from the upstream to the downstream sites as the flow rate decreased dramatically along the main river channel due to the construction of TGD. Our findings, along with recent studies in rivers and lakes, are contradictory to studies that demonstrate the importance of algal carbon in the aquatic food web. Differences in system geomorphology, hydrology, habitat heterogeneity, and land use may account for these contradictory findings reported in various studies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Thomas; Ventura, Marc; Andersen, Nils; O'Brien, Diane M; Piatkowski, Uwe; McCarthy, Matthew D

    2013-01-01

    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(13)C patterns among amino acids (δ(13)CAA) could distinguish between multiple aquatic and terrestrial primary production sources. We found that δ(13)CAA patterns in contrast to bulk δ(13)C values distinguished between carbon derived from algae, seagrass, terrestrial plants, bacteria and fungi. Furthermore, we showed for two aquatic producers that their δ(13)CAA patterns were largely unaffected by different environmental conditions despite substantial shifts in bulk δ(13)C 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(13)C 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. PMID:24069196

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Development of a dynamic model for estimating the food web transfer of chemicals in small aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nfon, Erick; Armitage, James M; Cousins, Ian T

    2011-11-15

    A dynamic combined fate and food web model was developed to estimate the food web transfer of chemicals in small aquatic ecosystems (i.e. ponds). A novel feature of the modeling approach is that aquatic macrophytes (submerged aquatic vegetation) were included in the fate model and were also a food item in the food web model. The paper aims to investigate whether macrophytes are effective at mitigating chemical exposure and to compare the modeling approach developed here with previous modeling approaches recommended in the European Union (EU) guideline for risk assessment of pesticides. The model was used to estimate bioaccumulation of three hypothetical chemicals of varying hydrophobicity in a pond food web comprising 11 species. Three different macrophyte biomass densities were simulated in the model experiments to determine the influence of macrophytes on fate and bioaccumulation. Macrophytes were shown to have a significant effect on the fate and food web transfer of highly hydrophobic compounds with log KOW>=5. Modeled peak concentrations in biota were highest for the scenarios with the lowest macrophyte biomass density. The distribution and food web transfer of the hypothetical compound with the lowest hydrophobicity (log KOW=3) was not affected by the inclusion of aquatic macrophytes in the pond environment. For the three different hypothetical chemicals and at all macrophyte biomass densities, the maximum predicted concentrations in the top predator in the food web model were at least one order of magnitude lower than the values estimated using methods suggested in EU guidelines. The EU guideline thus provides a highly conservative estimate of risk. In our opinion, and subject to further model evaluation, a realistic assessment of dynamic food web transfer and risk can be obtained using the model presented here. PMID:21962596

  16. The Role of Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Aquatic Food Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perhar, G.; Arhonditsis, G. B.

    2009-05-01

    Highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) are important molecules transferred across the plant-animal interface in aquatic food webs. Defined here as carbon chains of length 18 (carbons) or more, with a double bond in the third (Omega 3) or sixth (Omega 6) bond from the methyl end, HUFAs are formed in primary producers (phytoplankton). With limited abilities to synthesize de novo, consumers and higher trophic organisms are required to obtain their HUFAs primarily from diet. Bioconversion of HUFAs from one form to another is in theory possible, as is synthesis via elongation and the transformation of a saturated to highly saturated fatty acid, but the enzymes required for these processes are absent in most species. HUFAs are hypothesized to be somatic growth limiting compounds for herbivorous zooplankton and have been shown to be critical for juvenile fish growth and wellbeing. Zooplankton tend to vary their fatty acid concentrations, collection strategies and utilization methods based on taxonomy, and various mechanisms have been suggested to account for these differences i.e., seasonal and nervous system hypotheses. Considering also the facts that copepods overwinter in an active state while daphnids overwinter as resting eggs, and that copepods tend to accumulate Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) through collection and bioconversion, while daphnids focus on Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), one can link high DHA concentrations to active overwintering; but both EPA and DHA have similar melting points, putting DHA's cold weather adaptation abilities into question. Another characteristic setting copepods apart from daphnids is nervous system complexity: copepod axons are coated in thick myelin sheaths, permitting rapid neural processing, such as rapid prey attack and intelligent predator avoidance; DHA may be required for the proper functioning of copepod neurons. Recent modeling results have suggested food webs with high quality primary producers (species high in HUFAs, i

  17. Stable isotopes dissect aquatic food webs from the top to the bottom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelburg, J.J.

    2014-01-01

    Stable isotopes have been used extensively to study food-web functioning, that is, the flow of energy and matter among organisms. Traditional food-web studies are based on the natural variability of isotopes and are limited to larger organisms that can be physically separated from their environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. 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.

    be defined as any dead organic matter and its associated microbiota. The detrital pathway is the most important one through which the energy of coastal macrophytic primary producers is channelled into the food web of adjacent waters. The salient features...

  20. Use of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios to assess the effects of environmental contaminants on aquatic food webs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this study, the value of carbon (δ 13C) and nitrogen (δ 15N) stable isotope ratios were determined in nymphs of a top-predator, the common backswimmer (Notonecta glauca L.), collected in 18 m3 outdoor freshwater mesocosms used to assess the fate and ecotoxicological effects of a diphenyl ether herbicide, fomesafen, applied alone or in combination with Agral 90[reg] (mixture of polyethoxylated derivatives of nonylphenol). Both treatments had a negative effect on δ 13C values which may reflect changes in carbon fluxes across food webs in the treated ponds associated with a shift in phytoplankton structure. A decrease in δ 15N values was observed in the nymphs collected in mixture-treated ponds, which was presumably due to an increase in the abundance of rotifers and Chironominae larvae in these ponds. These preliminary results indicate that stable isotope ratios may be used as shortcuts to detect qualitative or quantitative shifts in the structure of aquatic food webs caused by pollutants. - Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios may be used to detect the impact of pollutants on aquatic food webs

  1. Terrestrial-aquatic linkage in stream food webs along a forest chronosequence: multi-isotopic evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Naoto F; Togashi, Hiroyuki; Kato, Yoshiyazu; Yoshimura, Mayumi; Kohmatsu, Yukihiro; Yoshimizu, Chikage; Ogawa, Nanako O; Ohte, Nobuhito; Tokuchi, Naoko; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Tayasu, Ichiro

    2016-05-01

    Long-term monitoring of ecosystem succession provides baseline data for conservation and management, as well as for understanding the dynamics of underlying biogeochemical processes. We examined the effects of deforestation and subsequent afforestation of a riparian forest of Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) on stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) and natural abundances of radiocarbon (Δ¹⁴C) in stream biota in the Mt. Gomadan Experimental Forest and the Wakayama Forest Research Station, Kyoto University, central Japan. Macroinvertebrates, periphytic algae attached to rock surfaces (periphyton), and leaf litter of terrestrial plants were collected from six headwater streams with similar climate, topography, and bedrock geology, except for the stand ages of riparian forests (from 3 to 49 yr old in five stands and > 90 yr old in one reference stand). Light intensity and δ¹³C values of both periphyton and macroinvertebrates decreased synchronously with forest age in winter. A Bayesian mixing model indicates that periphyton contributions to the stream food webs are maximized in 23-yr-old forests. Except for grazers, most macroinvertebrates showed Δ¹⁴C values similar to those of terrestrial leaf litter, reflecting the influence of modern atmospheric CO₂ Δ¹⁴C values. On the other hand, the Δ¹⁴C values of both periphyton and grazers (i.e., aquatic primary consumers) were significantly lower than that of modern atmospheric CO₂, and were lowest in 23-yr-old forest stands. Previous studies show that root biomass of C. japonica peaks at 15-30 yr after planting. These evidences suggest that soil CO₂ released by root respiration and dispersed by groundwater weathers carbonate substrata, and that dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) with low Δ¹⁴C is incorporated into stream periphyton and some macroinvertebrates. The ecological response in the studied streams to clear-cutting and replanting of Japanese cedar is much

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. Highlights: • Mercury was studied in the food web of Lake Moreno, Nahuel Huapi National Park. • Mercury trophic transfer was assessed by nitrogen stable isotope (δ15N) analysis. • Selenium was determined showing consistent source in pelagic and littoral organisms. • High mercury concentrations, mostly inorganic, were determined in plankton. • No mercury biomagnification was observed in Lake Moreno food web

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arcagni, Marina [Laboratorio de Análisis por Activación Neutrónica, Centro Atómico Bariloche, CNEA, Av. Bustillo km 9.5, 8400 Bariloche (Argentina); Campbell, Linda [Faculty of Science, Saint Mary' s University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3C3 (Canada); Arribére, María A. [Laboratorio de Análisis por Activación Neutrónica, Centro Atómico Bariloche, CNEA, Av. Bustillo km 9.5, 8400 Bariloche (Argentina); Instituto Balseiro, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (Argentina); Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark [U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd./MS 480, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (United States); Rizzo, Andrea [Laboratorio de Análisis por Activación Neutrónica, Centro Atómico Bariloche, CNEA, Av. Bustillo km 9.5, 8400 Bariloche (Argentina); CONICET (Argentina); Ribeiro Guevara, Sergio, E-mail: ribeiro@cab.cnea.gov.ar [Laboratorio de Análisis por Activación Neutrónica, Centro Atómico Bariloche, CNEA, Av. Bustillo km 9.5, 8400 Bariloche (Argentina)

    2013-06-01

    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{sup −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{sup −1} DW). Juvenile and small fish species feeding upon plankton had higher [THg] (0.2 to 8 μg g{sup −1} muscle DW) compared to large piscivore fish species (0.1 to 1.6 μg g{sup −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{sup −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. Highlights: • Mercury was studied in the food web of Lake Moreno, Nahuel Huapi National Park. • Mercury trophic transfer was assessed by nitrogen stable isotope (δ{sup 15}N) analysis. • Selenium was determined showing consistent source in pelagic and littoral organisms. • High mercury concentrations, mostly inorganic, were determined in plankton. • No mercury biomagnification was observed in Lake Moreno food web.

  10. 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.

  11. Analysis of biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants in the aquatic food web of the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Tu, Nguyen Phuc Cam; Watanabe, Michio X; Okuda, Noboru; Omori, Koji; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Tuyen, Bui Cach; Takeuchi, Ichiro

    2008-05-01

    The present study elucidated the biomagnification profiles of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) through a tropical aquatic food web of Vietnam based on trophic characterization using stable nitrogen analysis. Various biological samples collected from the main stream of the Mekong Delta were provided for the analysis for both POPs, and stable nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios. Of the POPs analyzed, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs) were the predominant contaminants with concentrations ranging from 0.058 to 12 ng/g wet weight, followed by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at 0.017-8.9 ng/g, chlordane compounds (CHLs) at 0.0043-0.76 ng/g, tris-4-chlorophenyl methane (TCPMe) at N.D.-0.26 ng/g, hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs) at N.D.-0.20 ng/g and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) at 0.0021-0.096 ng/g. Significant positive increases of concentrations in DDTs, CHLs, and TCPMe against the stable nitrogen ratio (delta(15)N) were detected, while, concentrations of HCHs and HCB showed no significant increase. The slopes of the regression equations between the log-transformed concentrations of these POPs and delta(15)N were used as indices of biomagnification. The slopes of the POPs for which positive biomagnification was detected ranged from 0.149 to 0.177 on a wet weight basis. The slopes of DDTs and CHLs were less than those reported for a marine food web of the Arctic Ocean, indicating that less biomagnification had occurred in the tropical food web. Of the isomers of CHLs, unlike the studies of the Arctic Ocean, oxychlordane did not undergo significant biomagnification through the food web of the Mekong Delta. This difference is considered to be due to a lack of marine mammals, which might metabolize cis- and trans-chlordane to oxychlordane, in the Mekong Delta ecosystem. The biomagnification profile of TCPMe is reported for the first time in the present study. PMID:18313720

  12. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza-Carranza, Manuel; Sepúlveda-Lozada, Alejandra; Dias-Ferreira, Celia; Geissen, Violette

    2016-03-01

    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 bioaccumulation of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, V, Zn) in suspended load, sediment, primary producers, mollusks, crustaceans, and fish, in a deltaic lagoon habitat in the Tabasco coast, with the aim to assess the potential ecological risk in that important wetland. Zn showed the highest concentrations, e.g., in suspended load (mean of 159.58 mg kg(-1)) and aquatic consumers (15.43-171.71 mg kg(-1)), particularly Brachyura larvae and ichthyoplankton (112.22-171.71 mg kg(-1)), followed by omnivore Callinectes sp. crabs (113.81-128.07 mg kg(-1)). The highest bioconcentration factors (BCF) of Zn were observed for planktivore and omnivore crustaceans (3.06-3.08). Zn showed a pattern of distribution in the food web through two pathways: the pelagic (where the higher concentrations were found), and the benthic (marsh plants, sediment, mollusk, fish). The other heavy metals had lower occurrences in the food web. Nevertheless, high concentrations of Ni and Cr were found in phytoplankton and sediment (37.62-119.97 mg kg(-1)), and V in epiphytes (68.64 mg kg(-1)). Ni, Cr, and Cd concentrations in sediments surpassed international and national threshold values, and Cd entailed a "considerable" potential risk. These heavy metals are most likely transferred into the food web up to fishes through the benthic pathway. Most of the collected fishes are residents in this type of habitat and have commercial importance. Our results show that the total potential ecological risk in the area can be considered as "moderate". Nevertheless, heavy metal values were similar or surpassed the values from other highly industrialized tropical coastal regions. PMID:26708770

  14. 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...

  15. Intra-lake stable isotope ratio variation in selected fish species and their possible carbon sources in Lake Kyoga (Uganda): implications for aquatic food web studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mbabazi, D.; Makanga, B.; Orach-Meza, F.; Hecky, R.E.; Balirwa, J.S.; Ogutu-Ohwayo, R.; Verburg, P.H.; Chapman, L.; Muhumuza, E.

    2010-01-01

    The stable isotopes of nitrogen (delta 15N) and carbon (delta 13C) provide powerful tools for quantifying trophic relationships and carbon flow to consumers in food webs; however, the isotopic signatures of organisms vary within a lake. Assessment of carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures in a suit

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. An Evaluation of the Food Web Dynamics and Predator Prey Interactions in Scofield Reservoir

    OpenAIRE

    Winters, Lisa K.

    2014-01-01

    Aquatic food webs are comprised of complex spatial and temporal interactions within and among trophic levels. Human manipulations, such as construction of reservoirs, enhance uncertainties in our understanding of aquatic food web structure. Reservoirs are novel ecosystems which contain a unique composition of species. Species introductions into reservoirs may disrupt interactions within an already complex and poorly understood food web. In Scofield Reservoir in central Utah, a rapidly expa...

  20. 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 second with oxidation in salted herring. The mechanisms responsible for initiation of protein oxidation are unclear, but it is generally accepted that free radical species initiating lipid oxidation can also initiate protein oxidation. The chapter focuses on interaction between protein and lipid...... 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...

  1. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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, δ13C, δ15N), 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-fishery closure.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Insect symbionts in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Ailsa H C; Parker, Benjamin J; Hrček, Jan; Henry, Lee M; Godfray, H Charles J

    2016-09-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. Infochemicals structure marine, terrestrial and freshwater food webs: Implications for ecological informatics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, M.; Vet, L.E.M.; Wackers, F.L.; Middelburg, J.J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Mooij, W.M.; Heip, C.H.R.; Donk, van E.

    2006-01-01

    Here we consider how information transfer shapes interactions in aquatic and terrestrial food webs. All organisms, whether they are dead or alive, release certain chemicals into their environment. These can be used as infochemicals by any other individual in the food web that has the biological mach

  8. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukhdeo Michael VK

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This review explores some of the reasons why food webs seem to contain relatively few parasite species when compared to the full diversity of free living species in the system. At present, there are few coherent food web theories to guide scientific studies on parasites, and this review posits that the methods, directions and questions in the field of food web ecology are not always congruent with parasitological inquiry. For example, topological analysis (the primary tool in food web studies focuses on only one of six important steps in trematode life cycles, each of which requires a stable community dynamic to evolve. In addition, these transmission strategies may also utilize pathways within the food web that are not considered in traditional food web investigations. It is asserted that more effort must be focused on parasite-centric models, and a central theme is that many different approaches will be required. One promising approach is the old energetic perspective, which considers energy as the critical resource for all organisms, and the currency of all food web interactions. From the parasitological point of view, energy can be used to characterize the roles of parasites at all levels in the food web, from individuals to populations to community. The literature on parasite energetics in food webs is very sparse, but the evidence suggests that parasite species richness is low in food webs because parasites are limited by the quantity of energy available to their unique lifestyles.

  9. Machine Vision Applications to Aquatic Foods: A Review

    OpenAIRE

    Bahar Gümüş; Balaban, Murat Ö.; Ünlüsayın, Mustafa

    2011-01-01

    Machine vision (MV) is a rapid, economic, consistent and objective inspection and evaluation technique. This non- destructive method has applications in the aquatic food industry. MV can perform many functions at once in an aquatic food processing line: sorting by species, by size, and by visual quality attributes, as well as automated portioning. In this review, the mode of operation and the components of a MV system are introduced, its applications to foods are briefly di...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Robert J. Naiman; Alldredge, J. 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.

    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...

  13. 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.

  14. Integrating ecosystem engineering and food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sanders, Dirk; Jones, Clive G.; Thebault, Elisa; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; van der Heide, Tjisse; van Belzen, Jim; Barot, Sebastien

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem engineering, the physical modification of the environment by organisms, is a common and often influential process whose significance to food web structure and dynamics is largely unknown. In the light of recent calls to expand food web studies to include non-trophic interactions, we explor

  15. Impact of invasive plants on food webs and pathways

    OpenAIRE

    Sikai Wang; Qiang Sheng; Tianjiang Chu; Bo Li; Jiakuan Chen; Jihua Wu

    2013-01-01

    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 chan...

  16. Robust Patterns in Food Web Structure

    OpenAIRE

    Camacho Castro, Juan; Guimerà, Roger; Nunes Amaral, Luís A.

    2001-01-01

    We analyze the properties of seven community food webs from a variety of environments, including freshwater, marine-freshwater interfaces, and terrestrial environments. We uncover quantitative unifying patterns that describe the properties of the diverse trophic webs considered and suggest that statistical physics concepts such as scaling and universality may be useful in the description of ecosystems. Specifically, we find that several quantities characterizing these diverse food webs obey f...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naiman, Robert J; Alldredge, J 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

    2012-12-26

    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. PMID:23197837

  18. Food Web Topology in High Mountain Lakes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sánchez-Hernández

    Full Text Available Although diversity and limnology of alpine lake systems are well studied, their food web structure and properties have rarely been addressed. Here, the topological food webs of three high mountain lakes in Central Spain were examined. We first addressed the pelagic networks of the lakes, and then we explored how food web topology changed when benthic biota was included to establish complete trophic networks. We conducted a literature search to compare our alpine lacustrine food webs and their structural metrics with those of 18 published lentic webs using a meta-analytic approach. The comparison revealed that the food webs in alpine lakes are relatively simple, in terms of structural network properties (linkage density and connectance, in comparison with lowland lakes, but no great differences were found among pelagic networks. The studied high mountain food webs were dominated by a high proportion of omnivores and species at intermediate trophic levels. Omnivores can exploit resources at multiple trophic levels, and this characteristic might reduce competition among interacting species. Accordingly, the trophic overlap, measured as trophic similarity, was very low in all three systems. Thus, these alpine networks are characterized by many omnivorous consumers with numerous prey species and few consumers with a single or few prey and with low competitive interactions among species. The present study emphasizes the ecological significance of omnivores in high mountain lakes as promoters of network stability and as central players in energy flow pathways via food partitioning and enabling energy mobility among trophic levels.

  19. Methylmercury biomagnification in an Arctic pelagic food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruus, Anders; Øverjordet, Ida B; Braaten, Hans Fredrik V; Evenset, Anita; Christensen, Guttorm; Heimstad, Eldbjørg S; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Borgå, Katrine

    2015-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic element that enters the biosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources, and emitted gaseous Hg enters the Arctic from lower latitudes by long-range transport. In aquatic systems, anoxic conditions favor the bacterial transformation of inorganic Hg to methylmercury (MeHg), which has a greater potential for bioaccumulation than inorganic Hg and is the most toxic form of Hg. The main objective of the present study was to quantify the biomagnification of MeHg in a marine pelagic food web, comprising species of zooplankton, fish, and seabirds, from the Kongsfjorden system (Svalbard, Norway), by use of trophic magnification factors. As expected, tissue concentrations of MeHg increased with increasing trophic level in the food web, though at greater rates than observed in several earlier studies, especially at lower latitudes. There was strong correlation between MeHg and total Hg concentrations through the food web as a whole. The concentration of MeHg in kittiwake decreased from May to October, contributing to seasonal differences in trophic magnification factors. The ecology and physiology of the species comprising the food web in question may have a large influence on the magnitude of the biomagnification. A significant linear relationship was also observed between concentrations of selenium and total Hg in birds but not in zooplankton, suggesting the importance of selenium in Hg detoxification for individuals with high Hg concentrations. PMID:26274519

  20. 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.

  1. Integrating food web diversity, structure and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooney, Neil; McCann, Kevin S

    2012-01-01

    Given the unprecedented rate of species extinctions facing the planet, understanding the causes and consequences of species diversity in ecosystems is of paramount importance. Ecologists have investigated both the influence of environmental variables on species diversity and the influence of species diversity on ecosystem function and stability. These investigations have largely been carried out without taking into account the overarching stabilizing structures of food webs that arise from evolutionary and successional processes and that are maintained through species interactions. Here, we argue that the same large-scale structures that have been purported to convey stability to food webs can also help to understand both the distribution of species diversity in nature and the relationship between species diversity and food web stability. Specifically, the allocation of species diversity to slow energy channels within food webs results in the skewed distribution of interactions strengths that has been shown to confer stability to complex food webs. We end by discussing the processes that might generate and maintain the structured, stable and diverse food webs observed in nature. PMID:21944861

  2. How does abundance scale with body size in coupled size-structured food webs?

    OpenAIRE

    Julia L Blanchard; Jennings, Simon; Law, Richard; Castle, Matthew D.; Mccloghrie, Paul; Rochet, Marie-joelle; Benoit, Eric

    2009-01-01

    Widely observed macro-ecological patterns in log abundance vs. log body mass of organisms can be explained by simple scaling theory based on food (energy) availability across a spectrum of body sizes. The theory predicts that when food availability falls with body size (as in most aquatic food webs where larger predators eat smaller prey), the scaling between log N vs. log m is steeper than when organisms of different sizes compete for a shared unstructured resource (e.g. autotrophs, herbivor...

  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. Food Web Structure Shapes the Morphology of Teleost Fish Brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunds, Nicholas B; McCann, Kevin S; Laberge, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Previous work showed that teleost fish brain size correlates with the flexible exploitation of habitats and predation abilities in an aquatic food web. Since it is unclear how regional brain changes contribute to these relationships, we quantitatively examined the effects of common food web attributes on the size of five brain regions in teleost fish at both within-species (plasticity or natural variation) and between-species (evolution) scales. Our results indicate that brain morphology is influenced by habitat use and trophic position, but not by the degree of littoral-pelagic habitat coupling, despite the fact that the total brain size was previously shown to increase with habitat coupling in Lake Huron. Intriguingly, the results revealed two potential evolutionary trade-offs: (i) relative olfactory bulb size increased, while relative optic tectum size decreased, across a trophic position gradient, and (ii) the telencephalon was relatively larger in fish using more littoral-based carbon, while the cerebellum was relatively larger in fish using more pelagic-based carbon. Additionally, evidence for a within-species effect on the telencephalon was found, where it increased in size with trophic position. Collectively, these results suggest that food web structure has fundamentally contributed to the shaping of teleost brain morphology. PMID:27216606

  5. Food Web Structure Shapes the Morphology of Teleost Fish Brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunds, Nicholas B; McCann, Kevin S; Laberge, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Previous work showed that teleost fish brain size correlates with the flexible exploitation of habitats and predation abilities in an aquatic food web. Since it is unclear how regional brain changes contribute to these relationships, we quantitatively examined the effects of common food web attributes on the size of five brain regions in teleost fish at both within-species (plasticity or natural variation) and between-species (evolution) scales. Our results indicate that brain morphology is influenced by habitat use and trophic position, but not by the degree of littoral-pelagic habitat coupling, despite the fact that the total brain size was previously shown to increase with habitat coupling in Lake Huron. Intriguingly, the results revealed two potential evolutionary trade-offs: (i) relative olfactory bulb size increased, while relative optic tectum size decreased, across a trophic position gradient, and (ii) the telencephalon was relatively larger in fish using more littoral-based carbon, while the cerebellum was relatively larger in fish using more pelagic-based carbon. Additionally, evidence for a within-species effect on the telencephalon was found, where it increased in size with trophic position. Collectively, these results suggest that food web structure has fundamentally contributed to the shaping of teleost brain morphology.

  6. Trait- and size-based descriptions of trophic links in freshwater food webs: current status and perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    Boukal, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Biotic interactions in aquatic communities are dominated by predation, and the distribution of trophic link strengths in aquatic food webs crucially impacts their dynamics and stability. Although individual body size explains a large proportion of variation in trophic link strengths in aquatic habitats, current predominately body size-based views can gain additional realism by incorporating further traits. Functional traits that potentially affect the strength of trophic links can be classifi...

  7. 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

  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. IsoWeb: A Bayesian Isotope Mixing Model for Diet Analysis of the Whole Food Web

    OpenAIRE

    Taku Kadoya; Yutaka Osada; Gaku Takimoto

    2012-01-01

    Quantitative description of food webs provides fundamental information for the understanding of population, community, and ecosystem dynamics. Recently, stable isotope mixing models have been widely used to quantify dietary proportions of different food resources to a focal consumer. Here we propose a novel mixing model (IsoWeb) that estimates diet proportions of all consumers in a food web based on stable isotope information. IsoWeb requires a topological description of a food web, and stabl...

  10. 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.

  11. Host Centrality in Food Web Networks Determines Parasite Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Tavis K Anderson; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.

    2011-01-01

    Background Parasites significantly alter topological metrics describing food web structure, yet few studies have explored the relationship between food web topology and parasite diversity. Methods/Principal Findings This study uses quantitative metrics describing network structure to investigate the relationship between the topology of the host food web and parasite diversity. Food webs were constructed for four restored brackish marshes that vary in species diversity, time post restoration a...

  12. Host Centrality in Food Web Networks Determines Parasite Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Tavis K Anderson; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Parasites significantly alter topological metrics describing food web structure, yet few studies have explored the relationship between food web topology and parasite diversity. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study uses quantitative metrics describing network structure to investigate the relationship between the topology of the host food web and parasite diversity. Food webs were constructed for four restored brackish marshes that vary in species diversity, time post restoration...

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Evolutionary food web models in fragmented landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Allhoff, Korinna Theresa

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystems all over the world currently experience dramatic changes in their environment. The direct consequences are increased extinction rates. Food webs, which are networks of predator-prey interactions, provide a basic understanding of ecosystems and therefore help to identify reasonable conservation strategies. In this thesis, I analyze evolutionary metacommunities, which can be modeled as evolutionary networks of networks: The outer networks represent fragmented landscapes of sever...

  17. Bioaccumulation patterns of methyl mercury and essential fatty acids in lacustrine planktonic food webs and fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kainz, Martin; Telmer, Kevin; Mazumder, Asit

    2006-09-01

    Organisms of the planktonic food web convey essential nutrients as well as contaminants to animals at higher trophic levels. We measured concentrations of methyl mercury (MeHg) and essential fatty acids (EFAs, key nutrients for aquatic food webs) in four size categories of planktonic organisms - seston (10-64 microm), micro-(100-200 microm), meso-(200-500 microm), and macrozooplankton (>500 microm) - as well as total mercury (THg) and EFAs in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in coastal lakes. We demonstrate that, in all lakes during this summer sampling, MeHg concentrations of planktonic organisms increase significantly with plankton size, independent of their taxonomic composition, and that their MeHg accumulation patterns predict significantly THg concentrations in rainbow trout (R2=0.71, pzooplankton size fraction. Moreover, concentrations of individual EFA compounds in rainbow trout are consistently lower, with the exception of docosahexaenoic acid, than those in macrozooplankton. The continuous increase of MeHg concentrations in aquatic organisms, therefore, differs from patterns of EFA accumulation in zooplankton and fish. We interpret these contrasting accumulation patterns of MeHg and EFA compounds as the inability of aquatic organisms to regulate the assimilation of dietary MeHg, whereas the rate of EFA retention may be controlled to optimize their physiological performance. Therefore, we conclude that bioaccumulation patterns of Hg in these aquatic food webs are not controlled by lipid solubility and/or the retention of EFA compounds. PMID:16226794

  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. PMID:16913129

  19. 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,

  20. Stable nitrogen isotopic composition of amino acids reveals food web structure in stream ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Naoto F; Kato, Yoshikazu; Togashi, Hiroyuki; Yoshimura, Mayumi; Yoshimizu, Chikage; Okuda, Noboru; Tayasu, Ichiro

    2014-07-01

    The stable N isotopic composition of individual amino acids (SIAA) has recently been used to estimate trophic positions (TPs) of animals in several simple food chain systems. However, it is unknown whether the SIAA is applicable to more complex food web analysis. In this study we measured the SIAA of stream macroinvertebrates, fishes, and their potential food sources (periphyton and leaf litter of terrestrial C3 plants) collected from upper and lower sites in two streams having contrasting riparian landscapes. The stable N isotope ratios of glutamic acid and phenylalanine confirmed that for primary producers (periphyton and C3 litter) the TP was 1, and for primary consumers (e.g., mayfly and caddisfly larvae) it was 2. We built a two-source mixing model to estimate the relative contributions of aquatic and terrestrial sources to secondary and higher consumers (e.g., stonefly larva and fishes) prior to the TP calculation. The estimated TPs (2.3-3.5) roughly corresponded to their omnivorous and carnivorous feeding habits, respectively. We found that the SIAA method offers substantial advantages over traditional bulk method for food web analysis because it defines the food web structure based on the metabolic pathway of amino groups, and can be used to estimate food web structure under conditions where the bulk method cannot be used. Our result provides evidence that the SIAA method is applicable to the analysis of complex food webs, where heterogeneous resources are mixed. PMID:24719209

  1. Food web structure in oil sands reclaimed wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalenko, K E; Ciborowski, J J H; Daly, C; Dixon, D G; Farwell, A J; Foote, A L; Frederick, K R; Costa, J M Gardner; Kennedy, K; Liber, K; Roy, M C; Slama, C A; Smits, J E G

    2013-07-01

    Boreal wetlands play an important role in global carbon balance. However, their ecosystem function is threatened by direct anthropogenic disturbance and climate change. Oil sands surface mining in the boreal regions of Western Canada denudes tracts of land of organic materials, leaves large areas in need of reclamation, and generates considerable quantities of extraction process-affected materials. Knowledge and validation of reclamation techniques that lead to self-sustaining wetlands has lagged behind development of protocols for reclaiming terrestrial systems. It is important to know whether wetlands reclaimed with oil sands process materials can be restored to levels equivalent to their original ecosystem function. We approached this question by assessing carbon flows and food web structure in naturally formed and oil sands-affected wetlands constructed in 1970-2004 in the postmining landscape. We evaluated whether a prescribed reclamation strategy, involving organic matter amendment, accelerated reclaimed wetland development, leading to wetlands that were more similar to their natural marsh counterparts than wetlands that were not supplemented with organic matter. We measured compartment standing stocks for bacterioplankton, microbial biofilm, macrophytes, detritus, and zoobenthos; concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and residual naphthenic acids; and microbial production, gas fluxes, and aquatic-terrestrial exports (i.e., aquatic insect emergence). The total biomass of several biotic compartments differed significantly between oil sands and reference wetlands. Submerged macrophyte biomass, macroinvertebrate trophic diversity, and predator biomass and richness were lower in oil sands-affected wetlands than in reference wetlands. There was insufficient evidence to conclude that wetland age and wetland amendment with peat-mineral mix mitigate effects of oil sands waste materials on the fully aquatic biota. Although high variability was observed within

  2. Food Enterprise Web Design Based on User Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Wang

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available 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. 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.

  4. Linking Water Quality and Quantity in Environmental Flow Assessment in Deteriorated Ecosystems: A Food Web View

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 alte...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Haerter, Jan O.; Namiko Mitarai; Kim Sneppen

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. Consequences of symbiosis for food web dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooi, B W; Kuijper, L D J; Kooijman, S A L M

    2004-09-01

    Basic Lotka-Volterra type models in which mutualism (a type of symbiosis where the two populations benefit both) is taken into account, may give unbounded solutions. We exclude such behaviour using explicit mass balances and study the consequences of symbiosis for the long-term dynamic behaviour of a three species system, two prey and one predator species in the chemostat. We compose a theoretical food web where a predator feeds on two prey species that have a symbiotic relationships. In addition to a species-specific resource, the two prey populations consume the products of the partner population as well. In turn, a common predator forages on these prey populations. The temporal change in the biomass and the nutrient densities in the reactor is described by ordinary differential equations (ODE). Since products are recycled, the dynamics of these abiotic materials must be taken into account as well, and they are described by odes in a similar way as the abiotic nutrients. We use numerical bifurcation analysis to assess the long-term dynamic behaviour for varying degrees of symbiosis. Attractors can be equilibria, limit cycles and chaotic attractors depending on the control parameters of the chemostat reactor. These control parameters that can be experimentally manipulated are the nutrient density of the inflow medium and the dilution rate. Bifurcation diagrams for the three species web with a facultative symbiotic association between the two prey populations, are similar to that of a bi-trophic food chain; nutrient enrichment leads to oscillatory behaviour. Predation combined with obligatory symbiotic prey-interactions has a stabilizing effect, that is, there is stable coexistence in a larger part of the parameter space than for a bi-trophic food chain. However, combined with a large growth rate of the predator, the food web can persist only in a relatively small region of the parameter space. Then, two zero-pair bifurcation points are the organizing centers. In

  8. 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…

  9. Infectious disease agents mediate interaction in food webs and ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Selakovic, S.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Heesterbeek, J.A.P.

    2014-01-01

    Infectious agents are part of food webs and ecosystems via the relationship with their host species that, in turn, interact with both hosts and non-hosts. Through these interactions, infectious agents influence food webs in terms of structure, functioning and stability. The present literature shows

  10. Host centrality in food web networks determines parasite diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tavis K Anderson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Parasites significantly alter topological metrics describing food web structure, yet few studies have explored the relationship between food web topology and parasite diversity. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study uses quantitative metrics describing network structure to investigate the relationship between the topology of the host food web and parasite diversity. Food webs were constructed for four restored brackish marshes that vary in species diversity, time post restoration and levels of parasitism. Our results show that the topology of the food web in each brackish marsh is highly nested, with clusters of generalists forming a distinct modular structure. The most consistent predictors of parasite diversity within a host were: trophic generality, and eigenvector centrality. These metrics indicate that parasites preferentially colonise host species that are highly connected, and within modules of tightly interacting species in the food web network. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that highly connected free-living species within the food web may represent stable trophic relationships that allow for the persistence of complex parasite life cycles. Our data demonstrate that the structure of host food webs can have a significant effect on the establishment of parasites, and on the potential for evolution of complex parasite life cycles.

  11. 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

  12. Infectious disease agents mediate interaction in food webs and ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Selakovic, Sanja; de Ruiter, P.C.; Heesterbeek, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Infectious agents are part of food webs and ecosystems via the relationship with their host species that, in turn, interact with both hosts and non-hosts. Through these interactions, infectious agents influence food webs in terms of structure, functioning and stability. The present literature shows

  13. 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...... 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...... resistance. Our results show that the predicted size-spectrum exponent is borne out in the simulated food webs even with few species, albeit with a systematic bias. The predicted maximum trophic level turns out to be an upper limit since simulated food webs may have a lower number of trophic levels...

  14. 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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of this report are to provide a fundamental understanding of aquatic food webs in the Columbia River Basin and to illustrate and summarize their influences on native fish restoration efforts. The spatial scope addresses tributaries, impoundments, the free-flowing Columbia and Snake rivers, as well as the estuary and plume. Achieving the Council's vision for the Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Program (NPCC 2009-09) of sustaining a "productive and diverse community" that provides "abundant" harvest, is best accomplished through a time-prioritized action plan, one that complements other approaches while addressing important challenges and uncertainties related to the Basin's food webs. Note that the oceanic food webs, although of immense importance in sustaining fish populations, are not considered beyond the plume since they involve an additional set of complex and rapidly evolving issues. An analysis of oceanic food webs of relevance to the Columbia River requires a separately focused effort (e.g., Hoegh- Guldberg and Bruno 2010).

  18. Transfer of mercury in the marine food web of West Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigét, F; Møller, P; Dietz, R; Nielsen, T G; Asmund, G; Strand, J; Larsen, M M; Hobson, K A

    2007-08-01

    Total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg) and stable isotopes of nitrogen (delta(15)N) and carbon (delta(13)C) were measured in three invertebrate, five fish, three seabird and three marine mammal species of central West Greenland to investigate trophic transfer of mercury in this Arctic marine food web. The food web magnification factor (FWMF) estimated as the slope of the regression between the natural logarithm of THg or MeHg concentrations (mg kg(-1) dw) and tissue delta(15)N ( per thousand) was estimated to 0.183 (SE = 0.052) for THg and 0.339 (SE = 0.075) for MeHg. The FWMFs were not only comparable with those reported for other Arctic marine food webs but also with quite different food webs such as freshwater lakes in the sub-Arctic, East Africa and Papua New Guinea. This suggests similar mechanisms of mercury assimilation and isotopic (delta(15)N) discrimination among a broad range of aquatic taxa and underlines the possibility of broad ecosystem comparisons using the combined contaminant and stable isotope approach. PMID:17671670

  19. Fluctuations in density of an outbreak species drive diversity cascades in food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Eveleigh, Eldon S.; McCann, Kevin S.; Peter C McCarthy; Steven J. Pollock; Lucarotti, Christopher J.; Morin, Benoit; McDougall, George A.; Strongman, Douglas B.; Huber, John T.; Umbanhowar, James; Faria, Lucas D. B.

    2007-01-01

    Patterns in food-web structure have frequently been examined in static food webs, but few studies have attempted to delineate patterns that materialize in food webs under nonequilibrium conditions. Here, using one of nature's classical nonequilibrium systems as the food-web database, we test the major assumptions of recent advances in food-web theory. We show that a complex web of interactions between insect herbivores and their natural enemies displays significant architectural flexibility o...

  20. 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

  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. PMID:26380710

  2. 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...... 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...

  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. Using food-web theory to conserve ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald-Madden, E; Sabbadin, R; Game, E T; Baxter, P W J; Chadès, I; Possingham, H P

    2016-01-01

    Food-web theory can be a powerful guide to the management of complex ecosystems. However, we show that indices of species importance common in food-web and network theory can be a poor guide to ecosystem management, resulting in significantly more extinctions than necessary. We use Bayesian Networks and Constrained Combinatorial Optimization to find optimal management strategies for a wide range of real and hypothetical food webs. This Artificial Intelligence approach provides the ability to test the performance of any index for prioritizing species management in a network. While no single network theory index provides an appropriate guide to management for all food webs, a modified version of the Google PageRank algorithm reliably minimizes the chance and severity of negative outcomes. Our analysis shows that by prioritizing ecosystem management based on the network-wide impact of species protection rather than species loss, we can substantially improve conservation outcomes. PMID:26776253

  5. Barcoding a quantified food web: crypsis, concepts, ecology and hypotheses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Alex Smith

    Full Text Available The efficient and effective monitoring of individuals and populations is critically dependent on correct species identification. While this point may seem obvious, identifying the majority of the more than 100 natural enemies involved in the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana--SBW food web remains a non-trivial endeavor. Insect parasitoids play a major role in the processes governing the population dynamics of SBW throughout eastern North America. However, these species are at the leading edge of the taxonomic impediment and integrating standardized identification capacity into existing field programs would provide clear benefits. We asked to what extent DNA barcoding the SBW food web would alter our understanding of the diversity and connectence of the food web and the frequency of generalists vs. specialists in different forest habitats. We DNA barcoded over 10% of the insects collected from the SBW food web in three New Brunswick forest plots from 1983 to 1993. For 30% of these specimens, we amplified at least one additional nuclear region. When the nodes of the food web were estimated based on barcode divergences (using molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTU or phylogenetic diversity (PD--the food web became much more diverse and connectence was reduced. We tested one measure of food web structure (the "bird feeder effect" and found no difference compared to the morphologically based predictions. Many, but not all, of the presumably polyphagous parasitoids now appear to be morphologically-cryptic host-specialists. To our knowledge, this project is the first to barcode a food web in which interactions have already been well-documented and described in space, time and abundance. It is poised to be a system in which field-based methods permit the identification capacity required by forestry scientists. Food web barcoding provided an effective tool for the accurate identification of all species involved in the cascading effects of

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:26828363

  8. 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.

  9. The inverse niche model for food webs with parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Christopher P.; Pascual, Mercedes; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2010-01-01

    Although parasites represent an important component of ecosystems, few field and theoretical studies have addressed the structure of parasites in food webs. We evaluate the structure of parasitic links in an extensive salt marsh food web, with a new model distinguishing parasitic links from non-parasitic links among free-living species. The proposed model is an extension of the niche model for food web structure, motivated by the potential role of size (and related metabolic rates) in structuring food webs. The proposed extension captures several properties observed in the data, including patterns of clustering and nestedness, better than does a random model. By relaxing specific assumptions, we demonstrate that two essential elements of the proposed model are the similarity of a parasite's hosts and the increasing degree of parasite specialization, along a one-dimensional niche axis. Thus, inverting one of the basic rules of the original model, the one determining consumers' generality appears critical. Our results support the role of size as one of the organizing principles underlying niche space and food web topology. They also strengthen the evidence for the non-random structure of parasitic links in food webs and open the door to addressing questions concerning the consequences and origins of this structure.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Depth-specific Analyses of the Lake Superior Food Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Characteristics of large, deep aquatic systems include depth gradients in community composition, in the quality and distribution of food resources, and in the strategies that organisms use to obtain their nutrition. In Lake Superior, nearshore communities that rely upon a combina...

  13. An experimental test of a fundamental food web motif.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rip, Jason M K; McCann, Kevin S; Lynn, Denis H; Fawcett, Sonia

    2010-06-01

    Large-scale changes to the world's ecosystem are resulting in the deterioration of biostructure-the complex web of species interactions that make up ecological communities. A difficult, yet crucial task is to identify food web structures, or food web motifs, that are the building blocks of this baroque network of interactions. Once identified, these food web motifs can then be examined through experiments and theory to provide mechanistic explanations for how structure governs ecosystem stability. Here, we synthesize recent ecological research to show that generalist consumers coupling resources with different interaction strengths, is one such motif. This motif amazingly occurs across an enormous range of spatial scales, and so acts to distribute coupled weak and strong interactions throughout food webs. We then perform an experiment that illustrates the importance of this motif to ecological stability. We find that weak interactions coupled to strong interactions by generalist consumers dampen strong interaction strengths and increase community stability. This study takes a critical step by isolating a common food web motif and through clear, experimental manipulation, identifies the fundamental stabilizing consequences of this structure for ecological communities. PMID:20129988

  14. The use of stable isotopes for food web analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, E; Mizutani, H; Minagawa, M

    1991-01-01

    General aspects in isotope biogeochemistry was summarized with emphasis on delta 15N and delta 13C contents in plants and animals in natural ecosystems. In the estuary, the variation of isotope ratios were principally governed by the mixing of land-derived organic matter, marine phytoplankton, and seagrasses. A clear cut linear relationship between animal delta 15N and its trophic level was obtained in the Antarctic food chain system. Several current efforts to use the stable isotopes for food web analysis were demonstrated for some terrestrial and marine systems as well as human food web. PMID:1910519

  15. Modelling Size Structured Food Webs Using a Modified Niche Model with Two Predator Traits

    OpenAIRE

    Klecka, Jan

    2014-01-01

    The structure of food webs is frequently described using phenomenological stochastic models. A prominent example, the niche model, was found to produce artificial food webs resembling real food webs according to a range of summary statistics. However, the size structure of food webs generated by the niche model and real food webs has not yet been rigorously compared. To fill this void, I use a body mass based version of the niche model and compare prey-predator body mass allometry and predato...

  16. Bioaccumulation and trophic magnification of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors in a Mediterranean river food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhí, Albert; Acuña, Vicenç; Barceló, Damià; Huerta, Belinda; Mor, Jordi-Rene; Rodríguez-Mozaz, Sara; Sabater, Sergi

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence exists that emerging pollutants such as pharmaceuticals (PhACs) and endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) can be bioaccumulated by aquatic organisms. However, the relative role of trophic transfers in the acquisition of emerging pollutants by aquatic organisms remains largely unexplored. In freshwater ecosystems, wastewater treatment plants are a major source of PhACs and EDCs. Here we studied the entrance of emerging pollutants and their flow through riverine food webs in an effluent-influenced river. To this end we assembled a data set on the composition and concentrations of a broad spectrum of PhACs (25 compounds) and EDCs (12 compounds) in water, biofilm, and three aquatic macroinvertebrate taxa with different trophic positions and feeding strategies (Ancylus fluviatilis, Hydropsyche sp., Phagocata vitta). We tested for similarities in pollutant levels among these compartments, and we compared observed bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) to those predicted by a previously-developed empirical model based on octanol-water distribution coefficients (Dow). Despite a high variation in composition and levels of emerging pollutants across food web compartments, observed BAFs in Hydropsyche and Phagocata matched, on average, those already predicted. Three compounds (the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, the lipid regulator gemfibrozil, and the flame retardant TBEP) were detected in water, biofilm and (at least) one macroinvertebrate taxa. TBEP was the only compound present in all taxa and showed magnification across trophic levels. This suggests that prey consumption may be, in some cases, a significant exposure route. This study advances the notion that both waterborne exposure and trophic interactions need to be taken into account when assessing the potential ecological risks of emerging pollutants in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:26170111

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (δ15N), 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 δ15N 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 (δ15N; δ13C 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: ► Mercury biomagnifies through aquatic food webs to toxic levels in top predator fishes. ► Among-system differences in mercury transfer through food webs occur but have not been explained. ► Diverse lakes supporting lake trout were compared to understand the ecosystem processes that affect mercury biomagnification. ► Higher biomagnification of mercury was found in larger, higher nutrient lakes. ► Results show that the food web processing of mercury is related to

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26752412

  1. Reducing methylmercury accumulation in the food webs of San Francisco Bay and its local watersheds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, J.A., E-mail: jay@sfei.org [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 (United States); Looker, R.E. [San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612 (United States); Yee, D. [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 (United States); Marvin-Di Pasquale, M. [U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division/MS 480, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (United States); Grenier, J.L. [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 (United States); Austin, C.M. [San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612 (United States); McKee, L.J.; Greenfield, B.K. [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 (United States); Brodberg, R. [California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95812 (United States); Blum, J.D. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2012-11-15

    San Francisco Bay (California, USA) and its local watersheds present an interesting case study in estuarine mercury (Hg) contamination. This review focuses on the most promising avenues for attempting to reduce methylmercury (MeHg) contamination in Bay Area aquatic food webs and identifying the scientific information that is most urgently needed to support these efforts. Concern for human exposure to MeHg in the region has led to advisories for consumption of sport fish. Striped bass from the Bay have the highest average Hg concentration measured for this species in USA estuaries, and this degree of contamination has been constant for the past 40 years. Similarly, largemouth bass in some Bay Area reservoirs have some of the highest Hg concentrations observed in the entire US. Bay Area wildlife, particularly birds, face potential impacts to reproduction based on Hg concentrations in the tissues of several Bay species. Source control of Hg is one of the primary possible approaches for reducing MeHg accumulation in Bay Area aquatic food webs. Recent findings (particularly Hg isotope measurements) indicate that the decades-long residence time of particle-associated Hg in the Bay is sufficient to allow significant conversion of even the insoluble forms of Hg into MeHg. Past inputs have been thoroughly mixed throughout this shallow and dynamic estuary. The large pool of Hg already present in the ecosystem dominates the fraction converted to MeHg and accumulating in the food web. Consequently, decreasing external Hg inputs can be expected to reduce MeHg in the food web, but it will likely take many decades to centuries before those reductions are achieved. Extensive efforts to reduce loads from the largest Hg mining source (the historic New Almaden mining district) are underway. Hg is spread widely across the urban landscape, but there are a number of key sources, source areas, and pathways that provide opportunities to capture larger quantities of Hg and reduce loads

  2. Reducing methylmercury accumulation in the food webs of San Francisco Bay and its local watersheds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    San Francisco Bay (California, USA) and its local watersheds present an interesting case study in estuarine mercury (Hg) contamination. This review focuses on the most promising avenues for attempting to reduce methylmercury (MeHg) contamination in Bay Area aquatic food webs and identifying the scientific information that is most urgently needed to support these efforts. Concern for human exposure to MeHg in the region has led to advisories for consumption of sport fish. Striped bass from the Bay have the highest average Hg concentration measured for this species in USA estuaries, and this degree of contamination has been constant for the past 40 years. Similarly, largemouth bass in some Bay Area reservoirs have some of the highest Hg concentrations observed in the entire US. Bay Area wildlife, particularly birds, face potential impacts to reproduction based on Hg concentrations in the tissues of several Bay species. Source control of Hg is one of the primary possible approaches for reducing MeHg accumulation in Bay Area aquatic food webs. Recent findings (particularly Hg isotope measurements) indicate that the decades-long residence time of particle-associated Hg in the Bay is sufficient to allow significant conversion of even the insoluble forms of Hg into MeHg. Past inputs have been thoroughly mixed throughout this shallow and dynamic estuary. The large pool of Hg already present in the ecosystem dominates the fraction converted to MeHg and accumulating in the food web. Consequently, decreasing external Hg inputs can be expected to reduce MeHg in the food web, but it will likely take many decades to centuries before those reductions are achieved. Extensive efforts to reduce loads from the largest Hg mining source (the historic New Almaden mining district) are underway. Hg is spread widely across the urban landscape, but there are a number of key sources, source areas, and pathways that provide opportunities to capture larger quantities of Hg and reduce loads

  3. Key features of intertidal food webs that support migratory shorebirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blanche Saint-Béat

    Full Text Available The migratory shorebirds of the East Atlantic flyway land in huge numbers during a migratory stopover or wintering on the French Atlantic coast. The Brouage bare mudflat (Marennes-Oléron Bay, NE Atlantic is one of the major stopover sites in France. The particular structure and function of a food web affects the efficiency of carbon transfer. The structure and functioning of the Brouage food web is crucial for the conservation of species landing within this area because it provides sufficient food, which allows shorebirds to reach the north of Europe where they nest. The aim of this study was to describe and understand which food web characteristics support nutritional needs of birds. Two food-web models were constructed, based on in situ measurements that were made in February 2008 (the presence of birds and July 2008 (absence of birds. To complete the models, allometric relationships and additional data from the literature were used. The missing flow values of the food web models were estimated by Monte Carlo Markov Chain--Linear Inverse Modelling. The flow solutions obtained were used to calculate the ecological network analysis indices, which estimate the emergent properties of the functioning of a food-web. The total activities of the Brouage ecosystem in February and July are significantly different. The specialisation of the trophic links within the ecosystem does not appear to differ between the two models. In spite of a large export of carbon from the primary producer and detritus in winter, the higher recycling leads to a similar retention of carbon for the two seasons. It can be concluded that in February, the higher activity of the ecosystem coupled with a higher cycling and a mean internal organization, ensure the sufficient feeding of the migratory shorebirds.

  4. Trait- and size-based descriptions of trophic links in freshwater food webs: current status and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S. Boukal

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Biotic interactions in aquatic communities are dominated by predation, and the distribution of trophic link strengths in aquatic food webs crucially impacts their dynamics and stability. Although individual body size explains a large proportion of variation in trophic link strengths in aquatic habitats, current predominately body size-based views can gain additional realism by incorporating further traits. Functional traits that potentially affect the strength of trophic links can be classified into three groups: i body size, ii traits that identify the spatiotemporal overlap between the predators and their prey, and iii predator foraging and prey vulnerability traits, which are readily available for many taxa. Relationship between these trait groups and trophic link strength may be further modified by population densities, habitat complexity, temperature and other abiotic factors. I propose here that this broader multi-trait framework can utilize concepts, ideas and existing data from research on metabolic ecology, ecomorphology, animal personalities and role of habitats in community structuring. The framework can be used to investigate non-additive effects of traits on trophic interactions, shed more light on the structuring of local food webs and evaluate the merits of taxonomic and functional group approaches in the description of predator-prey interactions. Development of trait- and size-based descriptions of food webs could be particularly fruitful in limnology given the relative paucity of well resolved datasets in standing waters. 

  5. Analytical solution of a model for complex food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Camacho Castro, Juan; Guimerà, Roger; Amaral, Luís A. Nunes

    2002-01-01

    We investigate numerically and analytically a recently proposed model for food webs [Nature {\\bf 404}, 180 (2000)] in the limit of large web sizes and sparse interaction matrices. We obtain analytical expressions for several quantities with ecological interest, in particular the probability distributions for the number of prey and the number of predators. We find that these distributions have fast-decaying exponential and Gaussian tails, respectively. We also find that our analytical expressi...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (δ202Hg and Δ199Hg) 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 δ202Hg and Δ199Hg 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 δ202Hg and Δ199Hg values estimated for IHg are consistent with other studies that measured forest floor in temperate forests. The Δ199Hg 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 δ202Hg and Δ199Hg 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 Δ199Hg values for high trophic level insects and compared these insects at multiple distances perpendicular to the lake shoreline. The Δ199Hg 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 pathways across

  13. 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.

  14. Food webs of two intermittently open estuaries receiving 15N-enriched sewage effluent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadwen, Wade L.; Arthington, Angela H.

    2007-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope signatures were used to assess the response of food webs to sewage effluent discharged into two small intermittently open estuaries in northern New South Wales, Australia. One of these systems, Tallows Creek, has a history of direct sewage inputs, whilst the other, Belongil Creek, receives wastewater via an extensive wetland treatment system. The food webs of both systems were driven by algal sources of carbon, reflecting high autotrophic productivity in response to the nutrients entering the system from sewage effluent. All aquatic biota collected from Tallows Creek had significantly enriched δ15N signatures relative to their conspecifics from Belongil Creek, indicating that sewage nitrogen had been assimilated and transferred throughout the Tallows Creek food web. These δ15N values were higher than those reported from studies in permanently open estuaries receiving sewage effluent. We suggest that these enriched signatures and the transfer of nitrogen throughout the entire food web reflect differences in hydrology and associated nitrogen cycling processes between permanently open and intermittently open estuaries. Although all organisms in Tallows Creek were generally 15N-enriched, isotopically light (less 15N-enriched) individuals of estuary perchlet ( Ambassis marianus) and sea mullet ( Mugil cephalus) were also collected. These individuals were most likely recent immigrants into Tallows Creek, as this system had only recently been opened to the ocean. This isotopic discrimination between resident (enriched) and immigrant (significantly less enriched) individuals can provide information on fish movement patterns and the role of heavily polluted intermittently open estuaries in supporting commercially and recreationally valuable estuarine species.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 information needed for such an evaluation is not available yet

  16. 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

  17. Ecohydrological Modeling of Food Webs in Stream Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul-Aziz, O. I.; Wilson, B. N.; Gulliver, J. S.

    2007-12-01

    Dynamic biological processes in streams and rivers are essential aspects of ecohydrology. Numerical modeling of river food webs provides a useful vehicle for gaining insights into the scaling, self-organization and critical responses of these biological processes. Existing modeling literature is mostly limited to food webs with two or three trophic levels applied to marine or lake ecosystems. However, river ecosystems are distinctively different. They have a characteristic shorter residence time. Natural drivers (e.g., watershed and channel hydrology and geomorphology) as well as direct anthropogenic activities in rivers (e.g., building dams and reservoirs) play a vital role in shaping river food webs. Of particular interests are the benthic and non-benthic zones that have different physical, chemical and biological compositions. The authors developed food web models to capture the long- term dynamics of the total as well as that of the benthic and non-benthic zones in an interactive manner by emphasizing hydrologic drivers along with other environmental and geomorphologic constraints. These models are applied to several floodplain streams and rivers in Minnesota.

  18. Reconciling complexity with stability in naturally assembling food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neutel, Anje-Margriet; Heesterbeek, Johan A.P.; van de Koppel, Johan; Hoenderboom, Guido; Vos, An; Kaldeway, Coen; Berendse, Frank; Ruiter, Peter C. de

    2007-01-01

    Understanding how complex food webs assemble through time is fundamental both for ecological theory and for the development of sustainable strategies of ecosystem conservation and restoration. The build-up of complexity in communities is theoretically difficult, because in random-pattern models comp

  19. Aquatic food security:insights into challenges and solutions from an analysis of interactions between fisheries, aquaculture, food safety, human health, fish and human welfare, economy and environment

    OpenAIRE

    Jennings, Simon; Stentiford, Grant D.; Leocadio, Ana M.; Jeffery, Keith R; Metcalfe, Julian D.; Katsiadaki, Ioanna; Auchterlonie, Neil A.; Mangi, Stephen C.; Pinnegar, John K.; Ellis, Tim; Peeler, Edmund J; Luisetti, Tiziana; Baker-Austin, Craig; Brown, Mary; Catchpole, Thomas L.

    2016-01-01

    Fisheries and aquaculture production, imports, exports and equitability of distribution determine the supply of aquatic food to people. Aquatic food security is achieved when a food supply is sufficient, safe, sustainable, shockproof and sound: sufficient, to meet needs and preferences of people; safe, to provide nutritional benefit while posing minimal health risks; sustainable, to provide food now and for future generations; shock-proof, to provide resilience to shocks in production systems...

  20. 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.

  1. Dynamics in a three species food-web system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, K.; Gakkhar, S.

    2016-04-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of a three species food-web system is discussed. The food-web comprises of one predator and two logistically growing competing species. The predator species is taking food from one of the competitors with Holling type II functional response. Another competitor is the amensal species for the predator of first species. The system is shown to be positive and bounded. The stability of various axial points, boundary points and interior point has been investigated. The persistence of the system has been studied. Numerical simulation has been performed to show the occurrence of Hopf bifurcation and stable limit cycle about the interior point. The presence of second competitor and its interaction with predator gives more complex dynamics than the simple prey-predator system. The existence of transcritical bifurcation has been established about two axial points. The existence of periodic attractor having period-2 solution has been shown, when amensal coefficient is chosen as bifurcation parameter.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Benchmarking successional progress in a quantitative food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Boit

    Full Text Available Central to ecology and ecosystem management, succession theory aims to mechanistically explain and predict the assembly and development of ecological communities. Yet processes at lower hierarchical levels, e.g. at the species and functional group level, are rarely mechanistically linked to the under-investigated system-level processes which drive changes in ecosystem properties and functioning and are comparable across ecosystems. As a model system for secondary succession, seasonal plankton succession during the growing season is readily observable and largely driven autogenically. We used a long-term dataset from large, deep Lake Constance comprising biomasses, auto- and heterotrophic production, food quality, functional diversity, and mass-balanced food webs of the energy and nutrient flows between functional guilds of plankton and partly fish. Extracting population- and system-level indices from this dataset, we tested current hypotheses about the directionality of successional progress which are rooted in ecosystem theory, the metabolic theory of ecology, quantitative food web theory, thermodynamics, and information theory. Our results indicate that successional progress in Lake Constance is quantifiable, passing through predictable stages. Mean body mass, functional diversity, predator-prey weight ratios, trophic positions, system residence times of carbon and nutrients, and the complexity of the energy flow patterns increased during succession. In contrast, both the mass-specific metabolic activity and the system export decreased, while the succession rate exhibited a bimodal pattern. The weighted connectance introduced here represents a suitable index for assessing the evenness and interconnectedness of energy flows during succession. Diverging from earlier predictions, ascendency and eco-exergy did not increase during succession. Linking aspects of functional diversity to metabolic theory and food web complexity, we reconcile

  7. The Effects of Urbanization on the Food Web of a Mid-order Stream in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detweiler, A. M.; Hershey, A. E.; Moulton, T. P.; Brito, E. F.

    2005-05-01

    Stream degradation caused by point source and non-point source pollution, loss of riparian vegetation, erosion and sedimentation can alter aquatic food webs. Due to the lack of proper sewage treatment, the main polluter in urban streams of Brazil is raw sewage. The purpose of this study is to determine if sewage-derived carbon and nitrogen are incorporated into the aquatic system and how this may affect the food web. We collected food web components at four sites along an urban stream, Rio Paineiras, and a reference stream, Rio Andorinha. Samples were analyzed for natural abundance of 13C and 15N. Raw sewage signatures were distinct and enriched compared to primary sources. Riparian vegetation and CPOM samples became significantly more enriched in 15N along the urban stream, compared to the reference stream. Periphyton 15N and 13C signatures were not significantly different between streams. Fish (Astyanax hastatus and Poecilids) showed some incorporation of sewage-derived 13C and 15N, in distinct trophic groups. Macroinvertebrate Hetaerina sp. reflected some incorporation of sewage-derived 15N. We also observed a reduction in functional feeding groups in the sewage-influenced reach of Rio Paineiras. Collectors, gatherers, and shredders were absent as stream degradation increased. Downstream communities were composed mostly of fish.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...... 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...... with varying intervals and subsequently analyzed. The food web analysis includes several trophic levels; bacteria/fungi, protozoa, nematodes, enchytraeids, microarthropods and arthropods. The initial results indicate that bacteria and protozoa are stimulated in the uppermost soil layer (0-3 cm) two months...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Allometry, temperature, and the stability of food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Rall, Björn Christian

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms driving stability in natural ecosystems is of crucial importance, especially in the current context of global change. A classic paradigm in ecology was that complex food webs (the “who eats whom” of natural ecosystems) should be unstable. This paradigm, however, was based on simple mathematical models. Throughout the last decades, scientists proposed solutions to the contradictions between the predictions of simple models and the observation of the complexity of n...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:16494250

  16. Rescaling the trophic structure of marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussey, Nigel E; Macneil, M Aaron; McMeans, Bailey C; Olin, Jill A; Dudley, Sheldon F J; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P; Fennessy, Sean T; Fisk, Aaron T

    2014-02-01

    Measures of trophic position (TP) are critical for understanding food web interactions and human-mediated ecosystem disturbance. Nitrogen stable isotopes (δ(15) N) provide a powerful tool to estimate TP but are limited by a pragmatic assumption that isotope discrimination is constant (change in δ(15) N between predator and prey, Δ(15) N = 3.4‰), resulting in an additive framework that omits known Δ(15) N variation. Through meta-analysis, we determine narrowing discrimination from an empirical linear relationship between experimental Δ(15) N and δ(15) N values of prey consumed. The resulting scaled Δ(15) N framework estimated reliable TPs of zooplanktivores to tertiary piscivores congruent with known feeding relationships that radically alters the conventional structure of marine food webs. Apex predator TP estimates were markedly higher than currently assumed by whole-ecosystem models, indicating perceived food webs have been truncated and species-interactions over simplified. The scaled Δ(15) N framework will greatly improve the accuracy of trophic estimates widely used in ecosystem-based management. PMID:24308860

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Stable isotopes reveal food web modifications along the upstream-downstream gradient of a temperate stream

    OpenAIRE

    Hette-Tronquart, N.; Belliard, J.; Tales, E.; Oberdorff, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    The upstream-downstream gradient (UDG) is a key feature of streams. For instance food webs are assumed to change from upstream to downstream. We tested this hypothesis in a small European river catchment (937 km(2)), and examined whether food web modifications are related to structural (i.e. food web composition) or functional changes (i.e. alteration of linkages within the web). We adopted a double approach at two levels of organisation (assemblage and species levels) using two isotopic metr...

  1. Black carbon inclusive multichemical modeling of PBDE and PCB biomagnification and -transformation in estuarine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Paolo, Carolina; Gandhi, Nilima; Bhavsar, Satyendra P; Van den Heuvel-Greve, Martine; Koelmans, Albert A

    2010-10-01

    Bioavailability and bioaccumulation of polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) are affected by adsorption on black carbon (BC) and metabolism in biota, respectively. Recent studies have addressed these two processes separately, illustrating their importance in assessing contaminant dynamics. In order to properly examine biomagnification of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and PBDEs in an estuarine food-web, here we set up a black carbon inclusive multichemical model. A dual domain sorption model, which accounted for sorption to organic matter (OM) and black carbon (BC), was used to estimate aqueous phase concentrations from the measured chemical concentrations in suspended solids. We adapted a previously published multichemical model that tracks the movement of a parent compound and its metabolites in each organism and within its food web. First, the model was calibrated for seven PCB congeners assuming negligible metabolism. Subsequently, PBDE biomagnification was modeled, including biotransformation and bioformation of PBDE congeners, keeping the other model parameters the same. The integrated model was capable of predicting trophic magnification factors (TMF) within error limits. PBDE metabolic half-lives ranged 21-415 days and agreed to literature data. The results showed importance of including BC as an adsorbing phase, and biotransformation and bioformation of PBDEs for a proper assessment of their dynamics in aquatic systems. PMID:20828201

  2. Invasive crayfish as vectors of mercury in freshwater food webs of the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Branden L.; Willacker, James J.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Pearl, Christopher A.; Adams, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species are important drivers of environmental change in aquatic ecosystems and can alter habitat characteristics, community composition, and ecosystem energetics. Such changes have important implications for many ecosystem processes, including the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of contaminants through food webs. Mercury concentrations were measured in 2 nonnative and 1 native crayfish species from western Oregon (USA). Nonnative red swamp crayfish had mercury concentrations similar to those in native signal crayfish (0.29 ± 0.05 µg/g dry wt and 0.36 ± 0.06 µg/g dry wt, respectively), whereas the nonnative ringed crayfish had lower mercury concentrations (0.10 ± 0.02 µg/g dry wt) than either of the other species. The mean energy content of muscle was similar between the native signal crayfish and nonnative ringed crayfish but was significantly higher in the nonnative red swamp crayfish. Across species, mercury concentrations were negatively correlated with energy density. Such energetic differences could exacerbate changes in mercury transfer through trophic pathways of food webs, especially via alterations to the growth dynamics of consumers. Thus, it is important to consider the role of energy content in determining effective mercury exposure even when mercury concentrations on a per-unit mass basis do not differ between species.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Fatty acids as a tool to understand microbial diversity and their role in food webs of Mediterranean temporary ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho, Carla C C R; Caramujo, Maria-José

    2014-01-01

    Temporary Mediterranean ponds are complex ecosystems which support a high diversity of organisms that include heterotrophic microorganisms, algae, crustaceans, amphibians and higher plants, and have the potential to supply food and a resting place to migratory birds. The role of heterotrophs at the base of the food web in providing energy to the higher trophic levels was studied in temporary ponds in Central and Southern Portugal. The relative quantification of the hetero and autotrophic biomass at the base of the food web in each pond was derived from the polar fatty acid (PLFA) composition of seston through the application of the matrix factorization program CHEMTAX that used specific PLFA and their relative proportion as markers for e.g., classes of bacteria, algae and fungi. The species composition of the culturable microbial communities was identified through their fatty acid profiles. The biomass in the lower trophic level of some ponds presented an even proportion of auto to heterotrophic organisms whilst either bacteria or algae dominated in others. In a selected subset of ponds, the incorporation of bacterial fatty acids was observed to occur in potentially herbivorous zooplankton crustacean. Zooplankton consumed and incorporated bacterial fatty acids into their body tissues, including into their phospholipids, which indicates that energy of heterotrophic origin contributes to the aquatic food webs of temporary ponds. PMID:24786844

  8. Fatty Acids as a Tool to Understand Microbial Diversity and Their Role in Food Webs of Mediterranean Temporary Ponds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla C. C. R. de Carvalho

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Temporary Mediterranean ponds are complex ecosystems which support a high diversity of organisms that include heterotrophic microorganisms, algae, crustaceans, amphibians and higher plants, and have the potential to supply food and a resting place to migratory birds. The role of heterotrophs at the base of the food web in providing energy to the higher trophic levels was studied in temporary ponds in Central and Southern Portugal. The relative quantification of the hetero and autotrophic biomass at the base of the food web in each pond was derived from the polar fatty acid (PLFA composition of seston through the application of the matrix factorization program CHEMTAX that used specific PLFA and their relative proportion as markers for e.g., classes of bacteria, algae and fungi. The species composition of the culturable microbial communities was identified through their fatty acid profiles. The biomass in the lower trophic level of some ponds presented an even proportion of auto to heterotrophic organisms whilst either bacteria or algae dominated in others. In a selected subset of ponds, the incorporation of bacterial fatty acids was observed to occur in potentially herbivorous zooplankton crustacean. Zooplankton consumed and incorporated bacterial fatty acids into their body tissues, including into their phospholipids, which indicates that energy of heterotrophic origin contributes to the aquatic food webs of temporary ponds.

  9. Mercury biomagnification in the food web of a neotropical stream

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwon, Sae Yun, E-mail: saeyunk@umich.edu [School of Environmental Studies and Department of Biology, Queen' s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6 (Canada); McIntyre, Peter B. [Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 (United States); Flecker, Alexander S. [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 (United States); Campbell, Linda M. [School of Environmental Studies and Department of Biology, Queen' s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6 (Canada)

    2012-02-15

    Anthropogenic and natural mercury (Hg) contamination have been a major concern in South America since the early 1900s, but it remains unclear whether Hg levels pose a hazard to human health in regions that lack point sources. We studied Hg biomagnification patterns in the food web of Rio Las Marias, an Andean piedmont stream in northern Venezuela, which supports a major subsistence fishery. Mercury concentrations and trophic positions in the food web (based on stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon) were characterized for 24 fish species representing seven trophic guilds (piscivore, generalized carnivore, omnivore, invertivore, algivore, terrestrial herbivore, detritivore). Mercury showed significant biomagnification through the food web, but vertical trophic position explained little of the variation. Muscle Hg concentrations also increased with body mass across the food web. Trophic guild assignments offered a useful alternative to explicit analysis of vertical trophic position; piscivores showed the highest Hg concentrations and terrestrial herbivores had the lowest. There were no consistent seasonal differences in Hg concentrations within the 5 species sampled during both the wet and dry seasons, suggesting that bioavailability is unaffected by strong seasonal variation in rainfall. From a human health perspective, many medium- to large-bodied species that are commonly eaten had Hg concentrations that exceeded International Marketing Limit (IML) (0.5 {mu}g/g) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines (0.2 {mu}g/g) for consumption. We conclude that Hg concentrations may pose a health concern for local subsistence fishermen and their families. Our results suggest a need to perform risk assessment and better understand contaminant levels in subsistence and commercial fisheries even in areas that lack known Hg point sources. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Heavily-fished species often had Hg concentrations exceeding consumption guidelines. Black

  10. Rescaling the trophic structure of marine food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Hussey, Nigel E.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; McMeans, Bailey C; Olin, Jill A; Dudley, Sheldon FJ; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P.; Fennessy, Sean T; Fisk, Aaron T.

    2013-01-01

    Measures of trophic position (TP) are critical for understanding food web interactions and human-mediated ecosystem disturbance. Nitrogen stable isotopes (δ15N) provide a powerful tool to estimate TP but are limited by a pragmatic assumption that isotope discrimination is constant (change in δ15N between predator and prey, Δ15N = 3.4‰), resulting in an additive framework that omits known Δ15N variation. Through meta-analysis, we determine narrowing discrimination from an empirical linear rela...

  11. Mercury biomagnification in the food web of a neotropical stream

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anthropogenic and natural mercury (Hg) contamination have been a major concern in South America since the early 1900s, but it remains unclear whether Hg levels pose a hazard to human health in regions that lack point sources. We studied Hg biomagnification patterns in the food web of Río Las Marías, an Andean piedmont stream in northern Venezuela, which supports a major subsistence fishery. Mercury concentrations and trophic positions in the food web (based on stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon) were characterized for 24 fish species representing seven trophic guilds (piscivore, generalized carnivore, omnivore, invertivore, algivore, terrestrial herbivore, detritivore). Mercury showed significant biomagnification through the food web, but vertical trophic position explained little of the variation. Muscle Hg concentrations also increased with body mass across the food web. Trophic guild assignments offered a useful alternative to explicit analysis of vertical trophic position; piscivores showed the highest Hg concentrations and terrestrial herbivores had the lowest. There were no consistent seasonal differences in Hg concentrations within the 5 species sampled during both the wet and dry seasons, suggesting that bioavailability is unaffected by strong seasonal variation in rainfall. From a human health perspective, many medium- to large-bodied species that are commonly eaten had Hg concentrations that exceeded International Marketing Limit (IML) (0.5 μg/g) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines (0.2 μg/g) for consumption. We conclude that Hg concentrations may pose a health concern for local subsistence fishermen and their families. Our results suggest a need to perform risk assessment and better understand contaminant levels in subsistence and commercial fisheries even in areas that lack known Hg point sources. - Highlights: ► Heavily-fished species often had Hg concentrations exceeding consumption guidelines. ► Hg biomagnification rates were

  12. How does abundance scale with body size in coupled size-structured food webs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, Julia L; Jennings, Simon; Law, Richard; Castle, Matthew D; McCloghrie, Paul; Rochet, Marie-Joëlle; Benoît, Eric

    2009-01-01

    1. Widely observed macro-ecological patterns in log abundance vs. log body mass of organisms can be explained by simple scaling theory based on food (energy) availability across a spectrum of body sizes. The theory predicts that when food availability falls with body size (as in most aquatic food webs where larger predators eat smaller prey), the scaling between log N vs. log m is steeper than when organisms of different sizes compete for a shared unstructured resource (e.g. autotrophs, herbivores and detritivores; hereafter dubbed 'detritivores'). 2. In real communities, the mix of feeding characteristics gives rise to complex food webs. Such complexities make empirical tests of scaling predictions prone to error if: (i) the data are not disaggregated in accordance with the assumptions of the theory being tested, or (ii) the theory does not account for all of the trophic interactions within and across the communities sampled. 3. We disaggregated whole community data collected in the North Sea into predator and detritivore components and report slopes of log abundance vs. log body mass relationships. Observed slopes for fish and epifaunal predator communities (-1.2 to -2.25) were significantly steeper than those for infaunal detritivore communities (-0.56 to -0.87). 4. We present a model describing the dynamics of coupled size spectra, to explain how coupling of predator and detritivore communities affects the scaling of log N vs. log m. The model captures the trophic interactions and recycling of material that occur in many aquatic ecosystems. 5. Our simulations demonstrate that the biological processes underlying growth and mortality in the two distinct size spectra lead to patterns consistent with data. Slopes of log N vs. log m were steeper and growth rates faster for predators compared to detritivores. Size spectra were truncated when primary production was too low for predators and when detritivores experienced predation pressure. 6. The approach also allows

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Radiocobalt cycling in a small mammal food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cobalt-60 seeping from a nearby radioactive liquid waste trench on the Oak Ridge reservation into a temperate deciduous forest ecosystem provided a source of environmental contamination where its dispersion through a small mammal food web could be studied. Maximum radiocobalt concentrations in the soil were found in the upper 5 cm of 15 cm cores. Transient mammals such as the opossum and the raccoon had small amounts of 60Co in their tissues (0.5 and 1.0 pCi/gm, respectively), while the permanent mammal residents including the short-tailed shrew (80 pCi/g), white-footed mouse (50 pCi/g), golden mouse (50 pCi/g) and the eastern chipmunk (20 pCi/g) had from 27 to more than 100 times that of the transient mammals. The persistent occurrence of 60Co in the small mammals tissues indicated its importance in the food web. Of the potential mammalian food items present in the area, only earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus) contained high levels of 60Co activity (greater than 56 nCi/gm dry wt.). Earthworms collected from the seepage channel eliminated 70 percent of their body burden (gut contents) of 60Co during the first 24-hour period, but retained the remaining 30 percent (tissue accumulation) for more than 11 weeks. Tissue retention by earthworms and the utilization of numerous burrows by mammals along the seepage channel during the summer months suggested that earthworms constituted a major link in the small mammal food chain. (U.S.)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Olson, Robert J.; Watters, George M.; Kerim Aydin; Isaac C Kaplan; Jefferson T. Hinke; James F. K. Kitchell

    2004-01-01

    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 differe...

  17. High-resolution food webs based on nitrogen isotopic composition of amino acids

    OpenAIRE

    Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Steffan, Shawn A.; Ogawa, Nanako O.; Ishikawa, Naoto F.; SASAKI, Yoko; TSUCHIYA, Masashi; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2014-01-01

    Food webs are known to have myriad trophic links between resource and consumer species. While herbivores have well-understood trophic tendencies, the difficulties associated with characterizing the trophic positions of higher-order consumers have remained a major problem in food web ecology. To better understand trophic linkages in food webs, analysis of the stable nitrogen isotopic composition of amino acids has been introduced as a potential means of providing accurate trophic position esti...

  18. 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.

  19. Invasions and extinctions reshape coastal marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrnes, Jarrett E; Reynolds, Pamela L; Stachowicz, John J

    2007-01-01

    The biodiversity of ecosystems worldwide is changing because of species loss due to human-caused extinctions and species gain through intentional and accidental introductions. Here we show that the combined effect of these two processes is altering the trophic structure of food webs in coastal marine systems. This is because most extinctions ( approximately 70%) occur at high trophic levels (top predators and other carnivores), while most invasions are by species from lower trophic levels (70% macroplanktivores, deposit feeders, and detritivores). These opposing changes thus alter the shape of marine food webs from a trophic pyramid capped by a diverse array of predators and consumers to a shorter, squatter configuration dominated by filter feeders and scavengers. The consequences of the simultaneous loss of diversity at top trophic levels and gain at lower trophic levels is largely unknown. However, current research suggests that a better understanding of how such simultaneous changes in diversity can impact ecosystem function will be required to manage coastal ecosystems and forecast future changes. PMID:17356703

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chae, Yooeun; An, Youn-Joo

    2016-04-01

    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 (20μm) were more toxic than shorter ones (10μm) 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. PMID:26854872

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Karen A; Muir, Derek C G; Evans, Marlene S; Wang, Xioawa; Whittle, Mike; Swanson, Heidi K; Johnston, Tom; Guildford, Stephanie

    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 (δ(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 δ(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 (δ(15)N; δ(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. PMID:22982939

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Integrating ecosystem engineering and food web ecology: testing the effect of biogenic reefs on the food web of a soft-bottom intertidal area

    OpenAIRE

    De Smet, B; Fournier, J.; de Troch, M.; Vincx, M.; Vanaverbeke, J.

    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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braeckman, Ulrike; Provoost, Pieter; Moens, Tom; Soetaert, Karline; Middelburg, Jack J; Vincx, Magda; Vanaverbeke, Jan

    2011-01-01

    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 (13)C 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(13)C) of the added diatoms was highest in the physical mixing treatment, where macrobenthos was absent and the diatom (13)C 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(13)C 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 source

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Oceanography and the base of the pelagic food web in the southern Indian Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Andre; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel; Middelboe, Mathias;

    2015-01-01

    Processes governing productivity at the base of the pelagic food web of the southern Indian Ocean are influenced primarily by physical–chemical conditions with implications for the structure and function of the entire pelagic food web. Here, we report observations along a great circle transect from...

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Florian Sommer; Jeanette Klink; Daniela Senkl; Monika Hartmann

    2015-01-01

    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 website...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    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...

  3. Food web architecture and basal resources interact to determine biomass and stoichiometric cascades along a benthic food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael D Guariento

    Full Text Available Understanding the effects of predators and resources on primary producers has been a major focus of interest in ecology. Within this context, the trophic cascade concept especially concerning the pelagic zone of lakes has been the focus of the majority of these studies. However, littoral food webs could be especially interesting because base trophic levels may be strongly regulated by consumers and prone to be light limited. In this study, the availability of nutrients and light and the presence of an omnivorous fish (Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus were manipulated in enclosures placed in a humic coastal lagoon (Cabiúnas Lagoon, Macaé - RJ to evaluate the individual and interactive effects of resource availability (nutrients and light and food web configuration on the biomass and stoichiometry of periphyton and benthic grazers. Our findings suggest that light and nutrients interact to determine periphyton biomass and stoichiometry, which propagates to the consumer level. We observed a positive effect of the availability of nutrients on periphytic biomass and grazers' biomass, as well as a reduction of periphytic C∶N∶P ratios and an increase of grazers' N and P content. Low light availability constrained the propagation of nutrient effects on periphyton biomass and induced higher periphytic C∶N∶P ratios. The effects of fish presence strongly interacted with resource availability. In general, a positive effect of fish presence was observed for the total biomass of periphyton and grazer's biomass, especially with high resource availability, but the opposite was found for periphytic autotrophic biomass. Fish also had a significant effect on periphyton stoichiometry, but no effect was observed on grazers' stoichiometric ratios. In summary, we observed that the indirect effect of fish predation on periphyton biomass might be dependent on multiple resources and periphyton nutrient stoichiometric variation can affect consumers' stoichiometry.

  4. 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

  5. Multiple sources of isotopic variation in a terrestrial arthropod community: challenges for disentangling food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Matthew P; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2007-08-01

    Documenting trophic links in a food web has traditionally required complex exclusion experiments coupled with extraordinarily labor-intensive direct observations of predator foraging. Newer techniques such as stable isotope analysis (SIA) may facilitate relatively quick and accurate assessments of consumer feeding behavior. Ratios of N and C isotopes are thought to be useful for determining species' trophic position (e.g., 1 degrees consumer, 2 degrees consumer, or omnivore) and their original carbon source (e.g., C3 or C4 plants; terrestrial or marine nutrients). Thus far, however, applications of stable isotopes to terrestrial arthropod food webs have suggested that high taxon-specific variation may undermine the effectiveness of this method. We applied stable isotope analysis to a pear orchard food web, in which biological control of a dominant pest, pear psylla (Cacopsylla pyricola), involves primarily generalist arthropod predators with a high frequency of omnivory. We found multiple sources of isotopic variation in this food web, including differences among plant tissues; time, stage, and taxon-specific differences among herbivores (despite similar feeding modes); and high taxon-specific variation among predators (with no clear evidence of omnivory). Collectively, these multiple sources of isotopic variation blur our view of the structure of this food web. Idiosyncrasies in consumer trophic shifts make ad hoc application of SIA to even moderately complex food webs intractable. SIA may not be a generally applicable "quick and dirty" method for delineating terrestrial food web structure-not without calibration of specific consumer food trophic shifts. PMID:17716468

  6. The Impact of 850,000 Years of Climate Changes on the Structure and Dynamics of Mammal Food Webs

    OpenAIRE

    Hedvig K Nenzén; Montoya, Daniel; Varela, Sara

    2014-01-01

    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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27386957

  9. Trophic transfer of contaminants in a changing arctic marine food web: Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Melissa A; McMeans, Bailey C; Tomy, Gregg T; Rosenberg, Bruno; Ferguson, Steven H; Morris, Adam; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2012-09-18

    Contaminant dynamics in arctic marine food webs may be impacted by current climate-induced food web changes including increases in transient/subarctic species. We quantified food web organochlorine transfer in the Cumberland Sound (Nunavut, Canada) arctic marine food web in the presence of transient species using species-specific biomagnification factors (BMFs), trophic magnification factors (TMFs), and a multifactor model that included δ(15)N-derived trophic position and species habitat range (transient versus resident), and also considered δ(13)C-derived carbon source, thermoregulatory group, and season. Transient/subarctic species relative to residents had higher prey-to-predator BMFs of biomagnifying contaminants (1.4 to 62 for harp seal, Greenland shark, and narwhal versus 1.1 to 20 for ringed seal, arctic skate, and beluga whale, respectively). For contaminants that biomagnified in a transient-and-resident food web and a resident-only food web scenario, TMFs were higher in the former (2.3 to 10.1) versus the latter (1.7 to 4.0). Transient/subarctic species have higher tissue contaminant levels and greater BMFs likely due to higher energetic requirements associated with long-distance movements or consumption of more contaminated prey in regions outside of Cumberland Sound. These results demonstrate that, in addition to climate change-related long-range transport/deposition/revolatilization changes, increasing numbers of transient/subarctic animals may alter food web contaminant dynamics.

  10. Trophic transfer of contaminants in a changing arctic marine food web: Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Melissa A; McMeans, Bailey C; Tomy, Gregg T; Rosenberg, Bruno; Ferguson, Steven H; Morris, Adam; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2012-09-18

    Contaminant dynamics in arctic marine food webs may be impacted by current climate-induced food web changes including increases in transient/subarctic species. We quantified food web organochlorine transfer in the Cumberland Sound (Nunavut, Canada) arctic marine food web in the presence of transient species using species-specific biomagnification factors (BMFs), trophic magnification factors (TMFs), and a multifactor model that included δ(15)N-derived trophic position and species habitat range (transient versus resident), and also considered δ(13)C-derived carbon source, thermoregulatory group, and season. Transient/subarctic species relative to residents had higher prey-to-predator BMFs of biomagnifying contaminants (1.4 to 62 for harp seal, Greenland shark, and narwhal versus 1.1 to 20 for ringed seal, arctic skate, and beluga whale, respectively). For contaminants that biomagnified in a transient-and-resident food web and a resident-only food web scenario, TMFs were higher in the former (2.3 to 10.1) versus the latter (1.7 to 4.0). Transient/subarctic species have higher tissue contaminant levels and greater BMFs likely due to higher energetic requirements associated with long-distance movements or consumption of more contaminated prey in regions outside of Cumberland Sound. These results demonstrate that, in addition to climate change-related long-range transport/deposition/revolatilization changes, increasing numbers of transient/subarctic animals may alter food web contaminant dynamics. PMID:22957980

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Food web magnificaton of persistent organic pollutants in poikilotherms and homeotherms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hop, Haakon; Borgá, Katrine; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Kleivane, Lars; Skaare, Janneche Utne

    2002-06-15

    Food web magnification of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) was determined for the Barents Sea food web using 615N as a continuous variable for assessing trophic levels (TL). The food web investigated comprised zooplankton, ice fauna and fish (poikilotherms, TL 1.7-3.3), and seabirds and seals (homeotherms, TL 3.3-4.2), with zooplankton representing the lowest and glaucous gull the highest trophic level. Concentrations of lipophilic and persistent organochlorines were orders of magnitude higher in homeotherms than in poikilotherms. These compounds had significantly higher rates of increase per trophic level in homeotherms relative to poikilotherms, with the highest food web magnification factors (FWMFs) for cischlordane and p,p'-DDE. Some compounds, such as transnonachlor and HCB, had similar rates of increase throughout the food web, whereas compounds that are more readily eliminated (gamma-HCH) showed no relationship with trophic level. It is preferable to calculate FWMFs with regard to thermal groups, because the different energy requirements and biotransformation abilities between poikilotherms and homeotherms may give different rates of contaminant increase with trophic level. When biomagnification is compared between ecosystems, FWMFs are preferable to single predator-prey biomagnification factors. FWMFs represent a trophic level increase of contaminants that is average for the food chain rather than an increase for a specific predator-prey relationship. The Barents Sea FWMFs were generally comparable to those determined for marine food webs with similar food chain lengths in the Canadian Arctic. PMID:12099454

  16. Anthropogenic and natural sources of acidity and metals and their influence on the structure of stream food webs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We compared food web structure in 20 streams with either anthropogenic or natural sources of acidity and metals or circumneutral water chemistry in New Zealand. Community and diet analysis indicated that mining streams receiving anthropogenic inputs of acidic and metal-rich drainage had much simpler food webs (fewer species, shorter food chains, less links) than those in naturally acidic, naturally high metal, and circumneutral streams. Food webs of naturally high metal streams were structurally similar to those in mining streams, lacking fish predators and having few species. Whereas, webs in naturally acidic streams differed very little from those in circumneutral streams due to strong similarities in community composition and diets of secondary and top consumers. The combined negative effects of acidity and metals on stream food webs are clear. However, elevated metal concentrations, regardless of source, appear to play a more important role than acidity in driving food web structure. - Highlights: ► Food webs in acid mine drainage impacted streams are small and extremely simplified. ► Conductivity explained differences in food web properties between streams. ► Number of links and web size accounted for much dissimilarity between food webs. ► Food web structure was comparable in naturally acidic and circumneutral streams. - Food web structure differs in streams with anthropogenic and natural sources of acidity and metals.

  17. Food web effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in an outdoor freshwater mesocosm experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovanović, Boris; Bezirci, Gizem; Çağan, Ali Serhan; Coppens, Jan; Levi, Eti E; Oluz, Zehra; Tuncel, Eylül; Duran, Hatice; Beklioğlu, Meryem

    2016-09-01

    Over the course of 78 days, nine outdoor mesocosms, each with 1350 L capacity, were situated on a pontoon platform in the middle of a lake and exposed to 0 μg L(-1) TiO2, 25 μg L(-1) TiO2 or 250 μg L(-1) TiO2 nanoparticles in the form of E171 TiO2 human food additive five times a week. Mesocosms were inoculated with sediment, phytoplankton, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, macrophytes and fish before exposure, ensuring a complete food web. Physicochemical parameters of the water, nutrient concentrations, and biomass of the taxa were monitored. Concentrations of 25 μg L(-1) TiO2 and 250 μg L(-1) TiO2 caused a reduction in available soluble reactive phosphorus in the mesocosms by 15 and 23%, respectively, but not in the amount of total phosphorus. The biomass of Rotifera was significantly reduced by 32 and 57% in the TiO2 25 μg L(-1) and TiO2 250 μg L(-1) treatments, respectively, when compared to the control; however, the biomass of the other monitored groups-Cladocera, Copepoda, phytoplankton, macrophytes, chironomids and fish-remained unaffected. In conclusion, environmentally relevant concentrations of TiO2 nanoparticles may negatively affect certain parameters and taxa of the freshwater lentic aquatic ecosystem. However, these negative effects are not significant enough to affect the overall function of the ecosystem, as there were no cascade effects leading to a major change in its trophic state or primary production. PMID:26901391

  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

    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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas

    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...... 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......, accordingly, stronger cascading effects on the lower trophic levels could be traced in the Azorean lakes. However, in contrast to expectations, no effect on the trophic position of fish was found, but the shape of the food web structure was more triangular in the (cold) Faroese lakes that were also...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart De Smet

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Trophic magnification of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in an estuarine food web of the Ariake Sea, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Jun; Imuta, Yuki; Komorita, Tomohiro; Yamada, Katsumasa; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Ishihara, Fumitaka; Nakashima, Naoya; Sakai, Jun; Arizono, Koji; Koga, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate trophic biomagnification of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in an estuary of the Ariake Sea, Japan, we measured concentrations of 209 PCB congeners and 28 PBDE congeners, and nitrogen stable isotope (δ(15)N) levels in living aquatic organisms. The trophic magnification factor (TMF) for ΣPCBs (all 209 congeners) was 1.52, and TMFs for 58 PCB congeners ranged from 0.90 to 3.28. In contrast, TMF for ΣPBDEs was 1.17, and TMFs for 7 PBDE congeners ranged from 0.46 to 1.66. TMFs of PCB and PBDE congeners in this study were lower than those in marine food webs, and were similar to those in a lake food web. However, although negative relationships were observed between TMF and log octanol-water partition coefficient (KOW) values among PCB congeners in this study (log KOW up to 7), positive relationships have been reported in several other studies. In the present estuary, PCB concentrations in sea bass may not reach a steady state because sea bass are migratory species. Therefore, TMFs of highly chlorinated congeners with high log KOW values take longer to reach the steady state and may not increase with increasing log KOW. PMID:25240773

  6. 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.

  7. Eutrophication and overfishing in temperate nearshore pelagic food webs: a network perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Vasas, V.; C. Lancelot; Rousseau, V.; F. Jordán

    2007-01-01

    We investigated the effects of human activities on the pelagic food web structure of nearshore marine ecosystems. Their generic structure was established on the basis of literature review and analyzed by qualitative structural network analysis. Two main issues were addressed: (1) the role of species capable of forming harmful algal blooms (HABs) and red tides (Noctiluca spp.), as well as the role of jellyfish, in eutrophicated systems; (2) the contribution of human influences on food webs, fo...

  8. Compartments in a marine food web associated with phylogeny, body mass, and habitat structure

    OpenAIRE

    Rezende, Enrico L.; Eva M. Albert; Fortuna, Miguel A.; Bascompte, Jordi

    2009-01-01

    A long-standing question in community ecology is whether food webs are organized in compartments, where species within the same compartment interact frequently among themselves, but show fewer interactions with species from other compartments. Finding evidence for this community organization is important since compartmentalization may strongly affect food web robustness to perturbation. However, few studies have found unequivocal evidence of compartments, and none has quantifie...

  9. Resource edibility and trophic exploitation in an old-field food web.

    OpenAIRE

    Schmitz, O J

    1994-01-01

    I tested a food web model that predicts how environmental productivity (nutrient supply) and top carnivores should mediate interactions among herbivores, edible plants, and plants that are resistant to herbivory because they possess anti-herbivore defenses. Feeding trials with the dominant grasshopper herbivore at the study site confirmed that certain plant species were resistant to herbivory because of protection by pubescent leaves and stems. Experimental food webs with various numbers of t...

  10. 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.

  11. Analysis on Transport of Food Logistics Based on Web and GIS Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Xu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The transport of food logistics has higher requirements on the design and selection, path customer’s geographical information positioning, etc. The application of network and GIS technology in the field of logistics transportation of food will enhance the efficiency of delivering food logistics, which can lower the cost of the transportation logistic of food at the same time. This study is based on Web and GIS, taking them as the key point, through the analysis of the effect of network and GIS technology on food logistics transportation system, discussing the application of network as well as the application of GIS technology in food logistics system.

  12. Depth-specific Analyses of the Lake Superior Food Web, oral presentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Characteristics of large, deep aquatic systems include depth gradients in community composition, in the quality and distribution of food resources, and in the strategies that organisms use to obtain their nutrition. In Lake Superior, nearshore communities that rely upon a combina...

  13. The effects of mixotrophy on the stability and dynamics of a simple planktonic food web model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jost, C.; Lawrence, C.A.; Campolongo, F.; Van de Bund, W.J.; Hill, S.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    2004-01-01

    Recognition of the microbial loop as an important part of aquatic ecosystems disrupted the notion of simple linear food chains. However, current research suggests that even the microbial loop paradigm is a gross simplification of microbial interactions due to the presence of mixotrophs—organisms tha

  14. 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.

  15. Stable isotope evidence of long-term changes in North Sea food web structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Katherine; Christensen, Jens Tang

    2008-01-01

    coast. Porpoises collected after ~1960 had significantly lower d15N than porpoises collected earlier. This change in d15N implies that fundamental changes in food web structure in, or nutrient availability to, the North Sea have taken place over the last ~150 yr and that most of the change occurred over...... web has occurred during this period and we have not been able to find material that would allow us to test the assumption that there has been no temporal development of d15N at the lowest levels of the food web. Thus, we cannot eliminate the possibility that the change in d15N in harbour porpoise...... skeletons reported here may be a reflection of a change in the isotope signature of nitrogen entering the food web. Regardless of its underlying cause, the recorded change in isotopic signature in harbour porpoises is noteworthy as it represents the first fisheries-independent documentation of a long...

  16. Microhistological characteristics of selected aquatic plants of Florida, with techniques for the study of manatee food habits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurst, L.A.; Beck, C.A.

    1988-01-01

    This study was initiated in 1978 to develop a technique of identifying and quantifying the digestive tract contents of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and to serve as a manual for the identification and analysis of ingesta collected from manatee carcasses salvaged in Florida. This report includes key microhistological characters found useful in identifying fragments of 83 plant species and three invertebrate groups. Many species of aquatic and wetland plants and invertebrates are available to manatees in Florida as potential foods.

  17. 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.

  18. Evidence of three-level trophic transfer of quantum dots in an aquatic food chain by using bioimaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Woo-Mi; An, Youn-Joo

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we demonstrated the three-level trophic transfer of quantum dots (QDs) within the aquatic food chain. Using bioimaging, we observed QD transfer from protozoa (Astasia longa) to zooplankton (Moina macrocopa) to fish (Danio rerio). Bioimaging is an effective tool that can improve our understanding of the delivery of nanomaterials in vivo. Measurement with an intravital multiphoton laser scanning microscope visually proved the transfer of QDs from the first to the second and the second to the third levels. As QDs may be passed from lower organisms to humans via the food chain, our findings have implications for the safety of their use. PMID:25119416

  19. 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. PMID:27114571

  20. Defining ecospace of Arctic marine food webs using a novel quantitative approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, M.; Loseto, L. L.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic is currently facing unprecedented change with developmental, physical and climatological changes. Food webs within the marine Arctic environment are highly susceptible to anthropogenic stressors and have thus far been understudied. Stable isotopes, in conjunction with a novel set of metrics, may provide a framework that allows us to understand which areas of the Arctic are most vulnerable to change. The objective of this study was to use linear distance metrics applied to stable isotopes to a) define and quantify four Arctic marine food webs in ecospace; b) enable quantifiable comparisons among the four food webs and with other ecosystems; and, c) evaluate vulnerability of the four food webs to anthropogenic stressors such as climate change. The areas studied were Hudson Bay, Beaufort Sea, Lancaster Sound and North Water Polynya. Each region was selected based on the abundance of previous research and published and available stable isotope data in peer-review literature. We selected species to cover trophic levels ranging from particulate matter to polar bears with consideration of pelagic, benthic and ice-associated energy pathways. We interpret higher diversity in baseline carbon energy as signifying higher stability in food web structure. Based on this, the Beaufort Sea food web had the highest stability; the Beaufort Sea food web occupied the largest isotopic niche space and was supported by multiple carbon sources. Areas with top-down control system, such as Lancaster Sound and North Water Polynya, would be the first to experience an increase in trophic redundancy and possible hardships from external stressors, as they have fewer basal carbon sources and greater numbers of mid-high level consumers. We conclude that a diverse carbon energy based ecosystem such as the Beaufort Sea and Hudson Bay regions are more resilient to change than a top down control system.

  1. The effects of food web structure on ecosystem function exceeds those of precipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trzcinski, M Kurtis; Srivastava, Diane S; Corbara, Bruno; Dézerald, Olivier; Leroy, Céline; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2016-09-01

    Ecosystems are being stressed by climate change, but few studies have tested food web responses to changes in precipitation patterns and the consequences to ecosystem function. Fewer still have considered whether results from one geographic region can be applied to other regions, given the degree of community change over large biogeographic gradients. We assembled, in one field site, three types of macroinvertebrate communities within water-filled bromeliads. Two represented food webs containing both a fast filter feeder-microbial and slow detritivore energy channels found in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, and one represented the structurally simpler food webs in French Guiana, which only contained the fast filter feeder-microbial channel. We manipulated the amount and distribution of rain entering bromeliads and examined how food web structure mediated ecosystem responses to changes in the quantity and temporal distribution of precipitation. Food web structure affected the survival of functional groups in general and ecosystem functions such as decomposition and the production of fine particulate organic matter. Ecosystem processes were more affected by decreased precipitation than were the abundance of micro-organisms and metazoans. In our experiments, the sensitivity of the ecosystem to precipitation change was primarily revealed in the food web dominated by the single filter feeder-microbial channel because other top-down and bottom-up processes were weak or absent. Our results show stronger effects of food web structure than precipitation change per se on the functioning of bromeliad ecosystems. Consequently, we predict that ecosystem function in bromeliads throughout the Americas will be more sensitive to changes in the distribution of species, rather than to the direct effects caused by changes in precipitation. PMID:27120013

  2. Nutrition Content of Food and Beverage Products on Web Sites Popular With Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingas, Elena O.; Bukofzer, Eliana

    2009-01-01

    We assessed the nutritional quality of branded food and beverage products advertised on 28 Web sites popular with children. Of the 77 advertised products for which nutritional information was available, 49 met Institute of Medicine criteria for foods to avoid, 23 met criteria for foods to neither avoid nor encourage, and 5 met criteria for foods to encourage. There is a need for further research on the nature and extent of food and beverage advertising online to aid policymakers as they assess the impact of this marketing on children. PMID:19443816

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lijun Zhang; Lu Lu; Liye Shu; Jianjun Chen; Baobo Zou; Qi Zhou; Yuanliang Gu; Jinshun Zhao; Xialu Lin

    2015-01-01

    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 r...

  4. 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.

  5. How habitat-modifying organisms structure the food web of two coastal ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Zee, Els M; Angelini, Christine; Govers, Laura L; Christianen, Marjolijn J A; Altieri, Andrew H; van der Reijden, Karin J; Silliman, Brian R; van de Koppel, Johan; van der Geest, Matthijs; van Gils, Jan A; van der Veer, Henk W; Piersma, Theunis; de Ruiter, Peter C; Olff, Han; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2016-03-16

    The diversity and structure of ecosystems has been found to depend both on trophic interactions in food webs and on other species interactions such as habitat modification and mutualism that form non-trophic interaction networks. However, quantification of the dependencies between these two main interaction networks has remained elusive. In this study, we assessed how habitat-modifying organisms affect basic food web properties by conducting in-depth empirical investigations of two ecosystems: North American temperate fringing marshes and West African tropical seagrass meadows. Results reveal that habitat-modifying species, through non-trophic facilitation rather than their trophic role, enhance species richness across multiple trophic levels, increase the number of interactions per species (link density), but decrease the realized fraction of all possible links within the food web (connectance). Compared to the trophic role of the most highly connected species, we found this non-trophic effects to be more important for species richness and of more or similar importance for link density and connectance. Our findings demonstrate that food webs can be fundamentally shaped by interactions outside the trophic network, yet intrinsic to the species participating in it. Better integration of non-trophic interactions in food web analyses may therefore strongly contribute to their explanatory and predictive capacity. PMID:26962135

  6. FOODS FOR KIDS: A WEB-BASED INTERVENTION PILOT STUDY

    OpenAIRE

    Krohn, Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The Food for Kids (FFK) website was created as a novel tool for children to compare differences for total calories, total fat, sugar and dietary fiber in foods. The feasibility of using the tool was tested in 7-11 year old children (n=25). FFK is a visual display using Dust and Magnet (DnM) technology, which "pulls" food towards the constituent (in this case total calories, total fat, sugar and dietary fiber) each in one corner of a square by the foods concentration of these items...

  7. Is benthic food web structure related to diversity of marine macrobenthic communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokołowski, A.; Wołowicz, M.; Asmus, H.; Asmus, R.; Carlier, A.; Gasiunaité, Z.; Grémare, A.; Hummel, H.; Lesutiené, J.; Razinkovas, A.; Renaud, P. E.; Richard, P.; Kędra, M.

    2012-08-01

    Numerical structure and the organisation of food webs within macrozoobenthic communities has been assessed in the European waters (Svalbard, Barents Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea) to address the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Abundance and classical species diversity indices (S, H', J) of macrofaunal communities were related to principal attributes of food webs (relative trophic level and food chain length, FCL) that were determined from carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values. Structure of marine macrobenthos varies substantially at a geographical scale; total abundance ranges from 63 ind. m-2 to 34,517 ind. m-2, species richness varies from 3 to 166 and the Shannon-Weaver diversity index from 0.26 to 3.26 while Pielou's evenness index is below 0.73. The major source of energy for macrobenthic communities is suspended particulate organic matter, consisting of phytoplankton and detrital particles, sediment particulate organic matter, and microphytobenthos in varying proportions. These food sources support the presence of suspension- and deposit-feeding communities, which dominate numerically on the sea floor. Benthic food webs include usually four to five trophic levels (FCL varies from 3.08 to 4.86). Most species are assigned to the second trophic level (primary consumers), fewer species are grouped in the third trophic level (secondary consumers), and benthic top predators are the least numerous. Most species cluster primarily at the lowest trophic level that is consistent with the typical organization of pyramidal food webs. Food chain length increases with biodiversity, highlighting a positive effect of more complex community structure on food web organisation. In more diverse benthic communities, energy is transferred through more trophic levels while species-poor communities sustain a shorter food chain.

  8. Food web assembly at the landscape scale: Using stable isotopes to reveal changes in trophic structure during succession

    OpenAIRE

    Schrama, Maarten; Jouta, Jeltje; Berg, Matty P.; Olff, Han

    2013-01-01

    Food webs are increasingly evaluated at the landscape scale, accounting for spatial interactions involving different nutrient and energy channels. Also, while long viewed as static, food webs are increasingly seen as dynamic entities that assemble during vegetation succession. The next necessary step is, therefore, to link nutrient flows between ecosystems to local food web assembly processes. In this study, we used a 100-year salt marsh succession in which we investigated the long-term chang...

  9. 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

  10. More than a meal: integrating non-feeding interactions into food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kéfi, Sonia; Berlow, Eric L.; Wieters, Evie A.; Navarrete, Sergio A.; Petchey, Owen L.; Wood, Spencer A.; Boit, Alice; Joppa, Lucas N.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Williams, Richard J.; Martinez, Neo D.; Menge, Bruce A.; Blanchette, Carol A.; Iles, Alison C.; Brose, Ulrich

    2012-01-01

    Organisms eating each other are only one of many types of well documented and important interactions among species. Other such types include habitat modification, predator interference and facilitation. However, ecological network research has been typically limited to either pure food webs or to networks of only a few (<3) interaction types. The great diversity of non-trophic interactions observed in nature has been poorly addressed by ecologists and largely excluded from network theory. Herein, we propose a conceptual framework that organises this diversity into three main functional classes defined by how they modify specific parameters in a dynamic food web model. This approach provides a path forward for incorporating non-trophic interactions in traditional food web models and offers a new perspective on tackling ecological complexity that should stimulate both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the patterns and dynamics of diverse species interactions in nature.

  11. Determination of keystone species in CSM food web: A topological analysis of network structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LiQin Jiang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The importance of a species is correlated with its topological properties in a food web. Studies of keystone species provide the valuable theory and evidence for conservation ecology, biodiversity, habitat management, as well as the dynamics and stability of the ecosystem. Comparing with biological experiments, network methods based on topological structure possess particular advantage in the identification of keystone species. In present study, we quantified the relative importance of species in Carpinteria Salt Marsh food web by analyzing five centrality indices. The results showed that there were large differences in rankings species in terms of different centrality indices. Moreover, the correlation analysis of those centralities was studied in order to enhance the identifying ability of keystone species. The results showed that the combination of degree centrality and closeness centrality could better identify keystone species, and the keystone species in the CSM food web were identified as, Stictodora hancocki, small cyathocotylid, Pygidiopsoides spindalis, Phocitremoides ovale and Parorchis acanthus.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:24630590

  16. 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

  17. High-resolution food webs based on nitrogen isotopic composition of amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Steffan, Shawn A; Ogawa, Nanako O; Ishikawa, Naoto F; Sasaki, Yoko; Tsuchiya, Masashi; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2014-06-01

    Food webs are known to have myriad trophic links between resource and consumer species. While herbivores have well-understood trophic tendencies, the difficulties associated with characterizing the trophic positions of higher-order consumers have remained a major problem in food web ecology. To better understand trophic linkages in food webs, analysis of the stable nitrogen isotopic composition of amino acids has been introduced as a potential means of providing accurate trophic position estimates. In the present study, we employ this method to estimate the trophic positions of 200 free-roaming organisms, representing 39 species in coastal marine (a stony shore) and 38 species in terrestrial (a fruit farm) environments. Based on the trophic positions from the isotopic composition of amino acids, we are able to resolve the trophic structure of these complex food webs. Our approach reveals a high degree of trophic omnivory (i.e., noninteger trophic positions) among carnivorous species such as marine fish and terrestrial hornets.This information not only clarifies the trophic tendencies of species within their respective communities, but also suggests that trophic omnivory may be common in these webs. PMID:25360278

  18. Intraspecific differences in plant chemotype determine the structure of arthropod food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bálint, János; Zytynska, Sharon E; Salamon, Rozália Veronika; Mehrparvar, Mohsen; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schmitz, Oswald J; Benedek, Klára; Balog, Adalbert

    2016-03-01

    It is becoming increasingly appreciated that the structure and functioning of ecological food webs are controlled by the nature and level of plant chemicals. It is hypothesized that intraspecific variation in plant chemical resistance, in which individuals of a host-plant population exhibit genetic differences in their chemical contents (called 'plant chemotypes'), may be an important determinant of variation in food web structure and functioning. We evaluated this hypothesis using field assessments and plant chemical assays in the tansy plant Tanacetum vulgare L. (Asteraceae). We examined food webs in which chemotypes of tansy plants are the resource for two specialized aphids, their predators and mutualistic ants. The density of the ant-tended aphid Metopeurum fuscoviride was significantly higher on particular chemotypes (borneol) than others. Clear chemotype preferences between predators were also detected. Aphid specialist seven-spotted ladybird beetles (Coccinella septempunctata) were more often found on camphor plants, while significantly higher numbers of the polyphagous nursery web spider (Pisaura mirabilis) were observed on borneol plants. The analysis of plant chemotype effects on the arthropod community clearly demonstrates a range of possible outcomes between plant-aphid-predator networks. The findings help to offer a deeper insight into how one important factor--plant chemical content--influences which species coexist within a food web on a particular host plant and the nature of their trophic linkages. PMID:26581421

  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. Mangrove detrital system: decomposition processes and their role in estuarine food webs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fell, J.W.

    1978-01-01

    The report describes a research program directed to the role of the decomposition of leaf material from the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) in the food web of estuaries, how these processes work and what alterations can be expected with environmental perturbations. The program was designed to examine the following components of the decomposition process involving carbon and nitrogen inputs/outputs: (1) the role of nitrogen fixation in the decomposition process; (2) the role of fungi in the secondary phase of decomposition; (3) the fate of detrital particles via /sup 13/C//sup 12/C; (4) the role leachates in food webs; and (5) invertebrate utilization of detritus. 19 references. (ACR)

  1. Organochlorine pollution in tropical rivers (Guadeloupe): Role of ecological factors in food web bioaccumulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coat, Sophie, E-mail: coatsophie@gmail.com [EA 926 DYNECAR, Laboratoire de Biologie Marine, UFR Sciences, Universite des Antilles et de la Guyane, BP592, 97159 Pointe-a-Pitre Cedex (France); Monti, Dominique, E-mail: dominique.monti@univ-ag.fr [EA 926 DYNECAR, Laboratoire de Biologie Marine, UFR Sciences, Universite des Antilles et de la Guyane, BP592, 97159 Pointe-a-Pitre Cedex (France); Legendre, Pierre, E-mail: pierre.legendre@umontreal.ca [Departement de Sciences Biologique, Universite de Montreal, C.P. 6128, succursale A, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7 (Canada); Bouchon, Claude, E-mail: claude.bouchon@univ-ag.fr [EA 926 DYNECAR, Laboratoire de Biologie Marine, UFR Sciences, Universite des Antilles et de la Guyane, BP592, 97159 Pointe-a-Pitre Cedex (France); Massat, Felix, E-mail: fmassat@ladrome.fr [LDA26, laboratoire Departemental d' Analyses de la Drome, 27 avenue Lautagne, 26000 Valence (France); Lepoint, Gilles, E-mail: g.lepoint@ulg.ac.be [MARE Centre, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Universite de Liege, Bat. B6, 4000 Sart Tilman, Belgique (Belgium)

    2011-06-15

    Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and stable isotope ratios of nitrogen and carbon were measured in a tropical freshwater ecosystem to evaluate the contamination level of biota and examine the bioaccumulation patterns of pollutants through the food web. Chemical analyses showed a general and heavy contamination of the entire food web. They revealed the strong accumulation of pollutants by juveniles of diadromous fishes and shrimps, as they re-enter the river. The role of ecological factors in the bioaccumulation of pesticides was evaluated. Whereas the most persistent pollutants (chlordecone and monohydro-chlordecone) were related to the organisms diet and habitat, bioaccumulation of {beta}-HCH was only influenced by animal lipid content. The biomagnification potential of chlordecone through the food chain has been demonstrated. It highlighted the importance of trophic transfer in this compound bioaccumulation process. In contrast, bioconcentration by passive diffusion from water seemed to be the main exposure route of biota to {beta}-HCH. - Highlights: > We measured OC pesticides and stable isotope ratios in a tropical stream. > Results showed a strong and ubiquitous contamination of the entire food web. > Diadromous juveniles strongly accumulated pollutants when they re-enter the river. > The most persistent pollutant (chlordecone) was related to species diet and habitat. > {beta}-HCH was only influenced by animal lipid content. - This paper determines the bioaccumulation and transfer processes of organochlorine pesticides within the stream food web in Guadeloupe (Caribbean).

  2. Organochlorine pollution in tropical rivers (Guadeloupe): Role of ecological factors in food web bioaccumulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and stable isotope ratios of nitrogen and carbon were measured in a tropical freshwater ecosystem to evaluate the contamination level of biota and examine the bioaccumulation patterns of pollutants through the food web. Chemical analyses showed a general and heavy contamination of the entire food web. They revealed the strong accumulation of pollutants by juveniles of diadromous fishes and shrimps, as they re-enter the river. The role of ecological factors in the bioaccumulation of pesticides was evaluated. Whereas the most persistent pollutants (chlordecone and monohydro-chlordecone) were related to the organisms diet and habitat, bioaccumulation of β-HCH was only influenced by animal lipid content. The biomagnification potential of chlordecone through the food chain has been demonstrated. It highlighted the importance of trophic transfer in this compound bioaccumulation process. In contrast, bioconcentration by passive diffusion from water seemed to be the main exposure route of biota to β-HCH. - Highlights: → We measured OC pesticides and stable isotope ratios in a tropical stream. → Results showed a strong and ubiquitous contamination of the entire food web. → Diadromous juveniles strongly accumulated pollutants when they re-enter the river. → The most persistent pollutant (chlordecone) was related to species diet and habitat. → β-HCH was only influenced by animal lipid content. - This paper determines the bioaccumulation and transfer processes of organochlorine pesticides within the stream food web in Guadeloupe (Caribbean).

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 δ13C and δ15N 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. -- Highlights: • Biomagnification of PFCs in the food web of a eutrophic freshwater lake was studied. • Carnivorous fish and egret were the top predators while plankton was at the lowest trophic level. • PFCAs with 9–12 carbons were significantly biomagnified. • TMF of PFOS was comparable to or lower than those of the PFCAs in the same food web. • PFOS and PFOA would not cause health effects to the people via diet consumption. -- PFCs were found to be bioaccumulated and biomagnified in a food web from a eutrophic freshwater lake in subtropical area

  6. Evolutionary conservation of species' roles in food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Stouffer, D. B.; Sales-Pardo, M.; Sirer, M. I.; Bascompte, J.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of ecological networks (the web of interactions between species in a community) demonstrate an intricate link between a community’s structure and its long-term viability. It remains unclear, however, how much a community’s persistence depends on the identities of the species present, or how much the role played by each species varies as a function of the community in which it is found. We measured species’ roles by studying how species are embedded within the overall network and th...

  7. Selective processes for bioaccumulative up-take of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Arctic food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Carlsson, Pernilla Marianne

    2013-01-01

    The overall aim of the present study was to elucidate selective environmental up-take processes in Arctic food webs that lead to the bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POP) in food items consumed by Arctic indigenous people. In addition, this study aimed to increase the scientific understanding of the principles behind climate change related influences on transport processes of contaminants. Svalbard and Nuuk, Greenland were chosen as study areas since they represent Arctic con...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carlos J Melián; Bascompte, Jordi; Sala, Enric

    2005-01-01

    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 nonran- domly 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 accompa- nied by strong omnivory more often than expected ...

  9. Trophic relationships in a tropical stream food web assessed by stable isotope analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Coat, Sophie; Monti, Dominique; Bouchon, Claude; Lepoint, Gilles

    2009-01-01

    1. Stable isotope analysis, coupled with dietary data from the literature, was used to investigate trophic patterns of freshwater fauna in a tropical stream food web (Guadeloupe, French West Indies). 2. Primary producers (biofilm, algae and plant detritus of terrestrial origin) showed distinct delta C-13 signatures, which allowed for a powerful discrimination of carbon sources. Both autochthonous (C-13-enriched signatures) and allochthonous (C-13-depleted signatures) resources enter the food ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Liiri, Mira E.; Bjørnlund, Lisa; Bowker, Matthew A.; Christensen, Søren; Setälä, Heikki M.; 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 u...

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:26275753

  13. 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

  14. Literature review of available techniques to characterize marine and estuarine food webs; with emphasis for application in the model OMEGA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lange, de H.J.; Brink, van den N.W.

    2006-01-01

    Food webs can be characterized by use of markers. These are increasingly used in food web studies since they are the only tool that can be used to infer relations through multiple trophic levels. Such a marker is a characteristic of an organism that can be objectively measured and evaluated as an in

  15. Food web assembly at the landscape scale : Using stable isotopes to reveal changes in trophic structure during succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schrama, Maarten; Jouta, Jeltje; Berg, Matty P.; Olff, Han

    2013-01-01

    Food webs are increasingly evaluated at the landscape scale, accounting for spatial interactions involving different nutrient and energy channels. Also, while long viewed as static, food webs are increasingly seen as dynamic entities that assemble during vegetation succession. The next necessary ste

  16. Structure and functioning of intertidal food webs along an avian flyway : A comparative approach using stable isotopes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Catry, Teresa; Lourenço, Pedro M.; Lopes, Ricardo J.; Carneiro, Camilo; Alves, José A.; Costa, Joana; Rguibi-Idrissi, Hamid; Bearhop, Stuart; Piersma, Theunis; Granadeiro, José P.

    2016-01-01

    1. 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 consu

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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....

  20. Effects of light reduction on food webs and associated ecosystem services of Yaquina Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reduced water clarity can affect estuarine primary production but little is known of its subsequent effects to consumer guilds or ecosystem services. We investigated those effects using inverse analysis of modeled food webs of the lower (polyhaline) and upper (mesohaline) reache...

  1. 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–chemic...

  2. 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

  3. Cascading effects from predator removal depend on resource availability in a benthic food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sieben, Katrin; Rippen, Anneke D.; Eriksson, Britas Klemens

    2011-01-01

    We tested joint effects of predator loss and increased resource availability on the grazers' trophic level and the propagation of trophic interactions in a benthic food web by excluding larger predatory fish from cages and manipulating nutrients in the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea. The combination

  4. 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

  5. Carbon and nitrogen flows through the benthic food web of a photic subtidal sandy sediment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Evrard, V.P.E.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Heip, C.H.R.; Huettel, M.; Xenopoulos, M.A.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen flows within the food web of a subtidal sandy sediment were studied using stable isotope natural abundances and tracer addition. Natural abundances of 13C and 15N stable isotopes of the consumers and their potential benthic and pelagic resources were measured. δ13C data revealed

  6. 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

  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. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 δ15N 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. δ15N 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 δ15N from invertebrates to Greenland Sharks. • THg increased with δ15N at a faster rate through the pelagic than benthic food web. • Benthic primary consumers had

  10. Radioactive cesium. Dynamics and transport in forestal food-webs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report summarises results from a radioecological study during 1994-1995 concerning turnover, redistribution and loss of radioactive Cesium (134 and 137) in boreal forest ecosystems, as well as uptake and transfer in important food-chains over moose, vole and vegetation. The basis for this report are 9 publications published 1994-95. These reports are presented in summary form. 9 refs, 17 figs

  11. 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.

  12. Warming-induced changes in predation, extinction and invasion in an ectotherm food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifert, Linda I; Weithoff, Guntram; Gaedke, Ursula; Vos, Matthijs

    2015-06-01

    Climate change will alter the forces of predation and competition in temperate ectotherm food webs. This may increase local extinction rates, change the fate of invasions and impede species reintroductions into communities. Invasion success could be modulated by traits (e.g., defenses) and adaptations to climate. We studied how different temperatures affect the time until extinction of species, using bitrophic and tritrophic planktonic food webs to evaluate the relative importance of predatory overexploitation and competitive exclusion, at 15 and 25 °C. In addition, we tested how inclusion of a subtropical as opposed to a temperate strain in this model food web affects times until extinction. Further, we studied the invasion success of the temperate rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus into the planktonic food web at 15 and 25 °C on five consecutive introduction dates, during which the relative forces of predation and competition differed. A higher temperature dramatically shortened times until extinction of all herbivore species due to carnivorous overexploitation in tritrophic systems. Surprisingly, warming did not increase rates of competitive exclusion among the tested herbivore species in bitrophic communities. Including a subtropical herbivore strain reduced top-down control by the carnivore at high temperature. Invasion attempts of temperate B. calyciflorus into the food web always succeeded at 15 °C, but consistently failed at 25 °C due to voracious overexploitation by the carnivore. Pre-induction of defenses (spines) in B. calyciflorus before the invasion attempt did not change its invasion success at the high temperature. We conclude that high temperatures may promote local extinctions in temperate ectotherms and reduce their chances of successful recovery. PMID:25564019

  13. Influence of trophic position on organochlorine concentrations and compositional patterns in a marine food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruus, Anders; Ugland, Karl Inne; Skaare, Janneche Utne

    2002-11-01

    The accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDTs (p,p'-DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane], o,p'-DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethane], p,p'-DDD [1,1,-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane], o.p'-DDD [1,1-dichloro-2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethane], and p,p'-DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethene]), chlordanes (trans-chlordane, cis-chlordane, trans-nonachlor, cis-nonachlor and oxychlordane), hexachlorocyclohexanes (alpha-, beta-, and gamma-isomers), hexachlorobenzene, and mirex was investigated in a marine food web from southeastern Norway. The food web consisted of the polychaete Nereis diversicolor, lesser sandeel (Ammodytes tobianus), three species of gobys (Gobiusculus flavescens, Pomatoschistus sp., and Gobius niger), bullrout (Myoxocephalus scorpius), cod (Gadus morhua), herring gull (Larus argentatus), and harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). The results show that interspecies differences in organochlorine (OC) compositional patterns in the food web depend on several factors (allometric, biochemical, physical, and physicochemical) specific to both the chemicals and the organisms. The importance of dietary accumulation and metabolic capacity increases toward higher trophic levels, while the OC patterns are to a larger extent determined by the lipophilicity and water solubility of the compounds at lower trophic levels. Furthermore, stable nitrogen isotopes provided a continuous measure of trophic position, rendering us capable of quantifying the increases in the concentrations of sigma PCB, sigma dichorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and sigma chlordane (CHL) and the percentages of highly chlorinated PCBs through the food web. The information provided may be important for future modeling of the fate of organochlorine contaminants in marine food webs. PMID:12389914

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (δ13C and δ15N) 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

  16. Chemolithoautotrophy supports macroinvertebrate food webs and affects diversity and stability in groundwater communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Benjamin T; Engel, Annette Summers; Nowlin, Weston H; Schwartz, Benjamin F

    2016-06-01

    The prevailing paradigm in subterranean ecology is that below-ground food webs are simple, limited to one or two trophic levels, and composed of generalist species because of spatio-temporally patchy food resources and pervasive energy limitation. This paradigm is based on relatively few studies of easily accessible, air-filled caves. However, in some subterranean ecosystems, chemolithoautotrophy can subsidize or replace surface-based allochthonous inputs of photosynthetically derived organic matter (OM) as a basal food resource and promote niche specialization and evolution of higher trophic levels. Consequently, the current subterranean trophic paradigm fails to account for variation in resources, trophic specialization, and food chain length in some subterranean ecosystems. We reevaluated the subterranean food web paradigm by examining spatial variation in the isotopic composition of basal food resources and consumers, food web structure, stygobiont species diversity, and chromophoric organic matter (CDOM), across a geochemical gradient in a large and complex groundwater system, the Edwards Aquifer in Central Texas (USA). Mean δ13C values of stygobiont communities become increasingly more negative along the gradient of photosynthetic OM sources near the aquifer recharge zone to chemolithoautotrophic OM sources closer to the freshwater-saline water interface (FWSWI) between oxygenated freshwater and anoxic, sulfide-rich saline water. Stygobiont community species richness declined with increasing distance from the FWSWI. Bayesian mixing models were used to estimate the relative importance of photosynthetic OM and chemolithoautorophic OM for stygobiont communities at three biogeochemically distinct sites. The contribution of chemolithoautotrophic OM to consumers at these sites ranged between 25% and 69% of total OM utilized and comprised as much as 88% of the diet for one species. In addition, the food web adjacent to the FWSWI had greater trophic diversity when

  17. Chemolithoautotrophy supports macroinvertebrate food webs and affects diversity and stability in groundwater communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Benjamin T; Engel, Annette Summers; Nowlin, Weston H; Schwartz, Benjamin F

    2016-06-01

    The prevailing paradigm in subterranean ecology is that below-ground food webs are simple, limited to one or two trophic levels, and composed of generalist species because of spatio-temporally patchy food resources and pervasive energy limitation. This paradigm is based on relatively few studies of easily accessible, air-filled caves. However, in some subterranean ecosystems, chemolithoautotrophy can subsidize or replace surface-based allochthonous inputs of photosynthetically derived organic matter (OM) as a basal food resource and promote niche specialization and evolution of higher trophic levels. Consequently, the current subterranean trophic paradigm fails to account for variation in resources, trophic specialization, and food chain length in some subterranean ecosystems. We reevaluated the subterranean food web paradigm by examining spatial variation in the isotopic composition of basal food resources and consumers, food web structure, stygobiont species diversity, and chromophoric organic matter (CDOM), across a geochemical gradient in a large and complex groundwater system, the Edwards Aquifer in Central Texas (USA). Mean δ13C values of stygobiont communities become increasingly more negative along the gradient of photosynthetic OM sources near the aquifer recharge zone to chemolithoautotrophic OM sources closer to the freshwater-saline water interface (FWSWI) between oxygenated freshwater and anoxic, sulfide-rich saline water. Stygobiont community species richness declined with increasing distance from the FWSWI. Bayesian mixing models were used to estimate the relative importance of photosynthetic OM and chemolithoautorophic OM for stygobiont communities at three biogeochemically distinct sites. The contribution of chemolithoautotrophic OM to consumers at these sites ranged between 25% and 69% of total OM utilized and comprised as much as 88% of the diet for one species. In addition, the food web adjacent to the FWSWI had greater trophic diversity when

  18. Food web structure in exotic and native mangroves: A Hawaii-Puerto Rico comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, A.W.J.; Fry, B.; Smith, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    Plant invasions can fundamentally alter detrital inputs and the structure of detritus-based food webs. We examined the detrital pathways in mangrove food webs in native (Puerto Rican) and introduced (Hawaiian) Rhizophora mangle forests using a dual isotope approach and a mixing model. Based on trophic-level fractionation of 0-1??? for ?? 13C and 2-3??? for ?? 15N, among the invertebrates, only nematodes, oligochaetes, and nereid polychaetes from native mangroves exhibited stable isotopes consistent with a mangrove-derived diet. Certain fauna, in particular tubificid oligochaetes, had ?? 13C values consistent with the consumption of mangrove leaves, but they were depleted in 15N, suggesting their primary nitrogen source was low in 15N, and was possibly N 2-fixing bacteria. In introduced mangroves, all feeding groups appeared to rely heavily on non-mangrove sources, especially phytoplankton inputs. Mixing model results and discriminant analysis showed clear separation of introduced and native mangrove sites based on differential food source utilization within feeding groups, with stronger and more diverse use of benthic foods observed in native forests. Observed differences between native and invasive mangrove food webs may be due to Hawaiian detritivores being poorly adapted to utilizing the tannin-rich, nitrogen-poor mangrove detritus. In addition, differential utilization of mangrove detritus between native and introduced mangroves may be a consequence of forest age. We postulate that increasing mangrove forest age may promote diversification of bacterial food webs important in N and S cycling. Our results also suggest a potentially important role for sulfur bacteria in supporting the most abundant infaunal consumers, nematodes, in the most mature systems. ?? 2007 Springer-Verlag.

  19. Food web structure in exotic and native mangroves: a Hawaii-Puerto Rico comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W J; Fry, Brian; Smith, Craig R

    2007-09-01

    Plant invasions can fundamentally alter detrital inputs and the structure of detritus-based food webs. We examined the detrital pathways in mangrove food webs in native (Puerto Rican) and introduced (Hawaiian) Rhizophora mangle forests using a dual isotope approach and a mixing model. Based on trophic-level fractionation of 0-1 per thousand for delta(13)C and 2-3 per thousand for delta(15)N, among the invertebrates, only nematodes, oligochaetes, and nereid polychaetes from native mangroves exhibited stable isotopes consistent with a mangrove-derived diet. Certain fauna, in particular tubificid oligochaetes, had delta(13)C values consistent with the consumption of mangrove leaves, but they were depleted in (15)N, suggesting their primary nitrogen source was low in (15)N, and was possibly N(2)-fixing bacteria. In introduced mangroves, all feeding groups appeared to rely heavily on non-mangrove sources, especially phytoplankton inputs. Mixing model results and discriminant analysis showed clear separation of introduced and native mangrove sites based on differential food source utilization within feeding groups, with stronger and more diverse use of benthic foods observed in native forests. Observed differences between native and invasive mangrove food webs may be due to Hawaiian detritivores being poorly adapted to utilizing the tannin-rich, nitrogen-poor mangrove detritus. In addition, differential utilization of mangrove detritus between native and introduced mangroves may be a consequence of forest age. We postulate that increasing mangrove forest age may promote diversification of bacterial food webs important in N and S cycling. Our results also suggest a potentially important role for sulfur bacteria in supporting the most abundant infaunal consumers, nematodes, in the most mature systems. PMID:17587064

  20. Marine Communities of North Sea Offshore Platforms, and the Use of Stable Isotopes to Explore Artificial Reef Food Webs

    OpenAIRE

    Guerin, Andrew James

    2009-01-01

    Stable isotope methods offer a powerful means of investigating trophic interactions, allowing assessment of the relative importance of multiple nutrient sources to biological assemblages, as well as estimation of the trophic positions of consumers. Differences in the isotope ratios of consumers between habitats can thus indicate differences in the structures of food webs, or the contributions of different food sources to those food webs. Isotope methods were used to compare ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:26590979

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Using a food-web model to assess the trophic structure and energy flows in Daya Bay, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zuozhi; Xu, Shannan; Qiu, Yongsong

    2015-12-01

    Daya Bay, is one of the largest and most important semi-closed bays along the southern coast of China. Due to the favorable geomorphological and climatic conditions, this bay has become an important conservation zone of aquatic germplasm resources in South China Sea. To characterize the trophic structure, ecosystem properties and keystone species, a food-web model for Daya Bay has been developed by the means of a mass-balance approach using the Ecopath with Ecosim software. The mean trophic transfer efficiency for the entire ecosystem as a whole is 10.9% while the trophic level II is 5.1%. The primary- and secondary-producers, including phytoplankton, zooplankton and micro-zoobenthos demonstrated the important overall impacts on the rest of the groups based on mixed trophic impact (MIT) analysis and are classified as the keystone groups. The analysis of ecosystem attributes indicated that ecosystem of Daya Bay can be categorized as an immature one and/or is in the degraded stage. A comparison of this model with other coastal ecosystems, including Kuosheng Bay, Tongoy Bay, Beibu Gulf and Cadiz Gulf, underpinned that the ecosystem of Daye Bay is an obviously stressed system and is more vulnerable to the external disturbance. In general, our study indicates that a holistic approach is needed to minimize the impacts of anthropogenic activities to ensure the sustainability of the ecosystem in the future.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Application of nitrogen stable isotope analysis in size-based marine food web and macroecological research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Simon; Barnes, Carolyn; Sweeting, Christopher J; Polunin, Nicholas V C

    2008-06-01

    Interacting human and environmental pressures influence the structure and dynamics of marine food webs. To describe and predict the effects of these pressures, theoretical advances need to be supported by a capacity to validate the underlying models and assumptions. Here, we review recent applications of nitrogen stable isotope analysis in marine food web and macroecological research, with a focus on work that has paralleled a resurgence of interest in the development and application of size-based models. Nitrogen stable isotope data have been used to estimate intra- and inter-specific variation in trophic level, predator-prey size ratios, transfer efficiency, food chain length, relationships between predator and prey species diversity and the dynamics of energy use. Many of these estimates have contributed to the development, testing and parameterisation of food web and ecosystem models, some of which have been used to establish baselines for assessing the scale of human impacts. The interpretation of results depends on assumed fractionation but, when supported by sensitivity analyses and experimental validation, nitrogen stable isotope data provide valuable insights into the structuring of marine communities and ecosystems. PMID:18438766

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:25481652

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25799523

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossberg, Axel G; Brännström, Ake; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2010-12-01

    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

  18. 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...

  19. Extinction Dynamics and Evolution of a Survivability-Based Multi-Level Food-Web Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, B. W.; Boulter, C. J.

    A multi-level evolution model where forced extinctions occur throughout the system based on a species fitness value (or survivability) is developed that is essentially the fusion of the evolution model of Bak and Sneppen and the food-web model of Amaral and Meyer. This model is found to describe the fossil record and behave as a self-organized critical system with a power law exponent of approximately 2, but is also found to be remarkably similar to a model that causes the forced extinctions randomly throughout the system. To explain this result we show that fitness is nearly randomly distributed with a slight peak in forced extinction (due to fitness) in the middle levels. These findings lend strong support to the hypothesis that coextinction effects (propagated through a food-web) provide a robust explanation of the fossil record, independent of the mechanism for species competition.

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    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...... 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...

  3. 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

  4. Experimental warming transforms multiple predator effects in a grassland food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Brandon T; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2009-12-01

    This experimental study tests new theory for multiple predator effects on communities by using warming to alter predator habitat use and hence direct and indirect interactions in a grassland food web containing two dominant spider predator species, a dominant grasshopper herbivore and grass and herb plants. Experimental warming further offers insight into how climate change might alter direct and indirect effects. Under ambient environmental conditions, spiders used habitat in spatially complementary locations. Consistent with predictions, the multiple predator effect on grasshoppers and on plants was the average of the individual predator effects. Warming strengthened the single predator effects. It also caused the spider species to overlap lower in the vegetation canopy. Consistent with predictions, the system was transformed into an intraguild predation system with the consequent extinction of one spider species. The results portend climate caused loss of predator diversity with important consequences for food web structure and function. PMID:19780788

  5. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CRFAW)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This abstract provided details of the Carbon Dynamics, Food Web Structure and Reclamation Strategies in Athabasca Oil Sands Wetlands (CFRAW) program, a collaboration between oil sands industry partners and university laboratories. CFRAW researchers are investigating the effects of mine tailings and process waters on the development, health, and function of wetland communities in post-mining landscapes. The aim of the program is to accurately predict how quickly the reclaimed wetlands will approach conditions seen in reference wetland systems. The program is also examining the effects of hydrocarbons as a surrogate source of carbon after they are metabolized by bacteria. The biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands are also being studied. Flux estimates will be used to determine if wetlands amended with peat will maintain their productivity. A conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets is also being developed.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    The concentrations and patterns of persistent halogenated compounds (PHCs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, hexachlorohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were examined in a pelagic food web from the southern Baltic Sea consisting of......-normalized concentrations were found in brown trout. Salmon and brown trout were similar in their PHC pattern suggesting similar food sources. Variation in PHC patterns among trophic levels was not smaller than that among geographically distinct locations, confirming the importance of comparable trophic levels for the...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Free-Living Nematodes in the Freshwater Food Web: A Review

    OpenAIRE

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    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 provi...

  10. 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.

  11. Transgenic wheat and non-target impacts on insect herbivores and food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Von Burg, S K

    2011-01-01

    This PhD thesis combines research on ecological risks of genetically modified (GM) plants with plant-insect interactions and food web ecology. In this chapter I will review the current global state of GM crops, give a short overview over the concerns about ecological impacts of GM plants and introduce the study system. At the end of the chapter the goals of this thesis are stated.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

    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 th...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Olson

    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.

  16. 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...

  17. Modeling food web interactions in benthic deep-sea ecosystems. A practical guide

    OpenAIRE

    Soetaert, K.E.R.; Van Oevelen, D.J.

    2009-01-01

    Deep-sea benthic systems are notoriously difficult to sample. Even more than for other benthic systems, many flows among biological groups cannot be directly measured, and data sets remain incomplete and uncertain. In such cases, mathematical models are often used to quantify unmeasured biological interactions. Here, we show how to use so-called linear inverse models (LIMs) to reconstruct material and energy flows through food webs in which the number of measurements is a fraction of the tota...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 nem...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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. PMID:25076042

  1. Cephalopods as Vectors of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Marine Food Webs

    OpenAIRE

    Rui Rosa; Pedro Costa; Lopes, Vanessa M.; Ana Rita Lopes

    2013-01-01

    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...

  2. Mercury biomagnification in the food web of Lake Tanganyika (Tanzania, East Africa)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, L. [School of Environmental Studies and Department of Biology, Queen' s University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L-3N6 (Canada)], E-mail: linda.campbell@queensu.ca; Verburg, Piet [National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, PO Box 11-115, Hamilton 3251 (New Zealand); Dixon, D.G. [Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue, Waterloo (Canada); Hecky, R.E. [Large Lakes Observatory, University of Minnesota, Duluth, 10 University Drive 204 RLBDuluth, MN 55812-2496 (United States)

    2008-09-01

    Lake Tanganyika is a globally important lake with high endemic biodiversity. Millions of people in the lake basin depend on several fish species for consumption. Due to the importance of fish consumption as an exposure route of mercury to humans, we sampled Lake Tanganyika in 2000 to assess total mercury concentrations and biomagnification of total mercury through the food web. Stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analyses of food web structure indicate a complex food web with overlapping omnivory with some specialist fish species. Stable nitrogen isotope analyses further confirm that mercury is biomagnifying through the Tanganyika food web at rates similar to those seen in Lakes Malawi and Victoria, the other two African Great Lakes. Most collected fish species and all invertebrate species had mercury concentrations below 0.2 {mu}g Hg/g wet weight. However, several fish species, Ctenochromis horei (average 0.15 {mu}g/g ww), Neolamprologus boulengeri (0.2 {mu}g/g ww) , Bathybates spp.spp. (0.21 {mu}g/g ww), Mastacembelus cunningtoni (0.22 {mu}g/g ww) and Clarias theodorae (0.22 {mu}g/g ww) approached or slightly exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO)'s recommended guideline of 0.2 {mu}g Hg/g for vulnerable populations with high rates of fish consumption. Two individuals of the piscivorous fish species Lates microlepis (0.54, 0.78 {mu}g/g ww) and a Polypterus congicus (1.3 {mu}g/g ww) exceeded the international marketing limit value of 0.5 {mu}g/g ww. Because C. theodorae and L. microlepis are also important market fish species, there is a need to monitor mercury concentrations in internationally marketed fish from Lake Tanganikya to ensure that those fish do not present a risk to human consumers.

  3. 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.

  4. Detection of transgenic cp4 epsps genes in the soil food web

    OpenAIRE

    Hart, Miranda M.; Powell, Jeff R.; Gulden, Robert H.; Levy-Booth, David J.; Dunfield, Kari E.; K Peter Pauls; Swanton, Clarence J.; John N Klironomos; Trevors, Jack T.

    2009-01-01

    The persistence and movement of transgenic DNA in agricultural and natural systems is largely unknown. This movement poses a threat of horizontal gene transfer and possible proliferation of genetically modified DNA into the general environment. To assess the persistence of transgenic DNA in a field of Roundup Ready® corn, we quantified the presence of the transgene for glyphosate tolerance within a soil food web. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we identified the cp4 epsps transgene in bulk ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Liz Price

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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...

  7. Local adaptation to temperature conserves top-down control in a grassland food web

    OpenAIRE

    Barton, Brandon T.

    2011-01-01

    A fundamental limitation in many climate change experiments is that tests represent relatively short-term ‘shock’ experiments and so do not incorporate the phenotypic plasticity or evolutionary change that may occur during the gradual process of climate change. However, capturing this aspect of climate change effects in an experimental design is a difficult challenge that few studies have accomplished. I examined the effect of temperature and predator climate history in food webs composed of ...

  8. Mercury biomagnification in the food web of Lake Tanganyika (Tanzania, East Africa)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lake Tanganyika is a globally important lake with high endemic biodiversity. Millions of people in the lake basin depend on several fish species for consumption. Due to the importance of fish consumption as an exposure route of mercury to humans, we sampled Lake Tanganyika in 2000 to assess total mercury concentrations and biomagnification of total mercury through the food web. Stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analyses of food web structure indicate a complex food web with overlapping omnivory with some specialist fish species. Stable nitrogen isotope analyses further confirm that mercury is biomagnifying through the Tanganyika food web at rates similar to those seen in Lakes Malawi and Victoria, the other two African Great Lakes. Most collected fish species and all invertebrate species had mercury concentrations below 0.2 μg Hg/g wet weight. However, several fish species, Ctenochromis horei (average 0.15 μg/g ww), Neolamprologus boulengeri (0.2 μg/g ww) , Bathybates spp.spp. (0.21 μg/g ww), Mastacembelus cunningtoni (0.22 μg/g ww) and Clarias theodorae (0.22 μg/g ww) approached or slightly exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO)'s recommended guideline of 0.2 μg Hg/g for vulnerable populations with high rates of fish consumption. Two individuals of the piscivorous fish species Lates microlepis (0.54, 0.78 μg/g ww) and a Polypterus congicus (1.3 μg/g ww) exceeded the international marketing limit value of 0.5 μg/g ww. Because C. theodorae and L. microlepis are also important market fish species, there is a need to monitor mercury concentrations in internationally marketed fish from Lake Tanganikya to ensure that those fish do not present a risk to human consumers

  9. 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. PMID:19451123

  10. Linking Food Webs and Biogeochemical Processes in Wetlands: Insights From Sulfur Isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stricker, C. A.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Rye, R. O.

    2005-05-01

    To better understand the transfer of nutrients into prairie wetland food webs we have investigated the cycling of S (via S isotope systematics and geochemistry) in a prairie wetland landscape by characterizing sources (ground water, interstitial water, surface water) and processes in a small catchment comprised of four wetlands in eastern South Dakota. We focused on S to derive process information that is not generally available from carbon isotopes alone. The wetlands chosen for study spanned a considerable range in SO4 concentration (0.1-13.6 mM), which corresponded with landscape position. Ground water δ34SSO4 values remained relatively constant (mean = -13.2 per mil) through time. However, δ34SSO4 values of wetland surface waters ranged from -2.9 to -30.0 per mil (CDT) and were negatively correlated with SO4 concentrations (pOdonata: Anax sp.) consumers were significantly related to surface water δ34SSO4 values (p<0.05) suggesting that food web components were responding to changes in the isotopic composition of the S source. Both primary and secondary consumer δ34S signatures differed between wetlands (ANOVA, p<0.05). These data illustrate the complexity of S cycling in prairie wetlands and the influence of wetland hydrologic and biogeochemical processes on prairie wetland food webs. Additionally, this work has demonstrated that sulfur isotopes can provide unique source and process information that cannot be derived from traditional carbon and nitrogen isotope studies.

  11. Nitrogen addition and warming independently influence the belowground micro-food web in a temperate steppe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Li

    Full Text Available Climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen (N deposition are known to influence ecosystem structure and functioning. However, our understanding of the interactive effect of these global changes on ecosystem functioning is relatively limited, especially when it concerns the responses of soils and soil organisms. We conducted a field experiment to study the interactive effects of warming and N addition on soil food web. The experiment was established in 2006 in a temperate steppe in northern China. After three to four years (2009-2010, we found that N addition positively affected microbial biomass and negatively influenced trophic group and ecological indices of soil nematodes. However, the warming effects were less obvious, only fungal PLFA showed a decreasing trend under warming. Interestingly, the influence of N addition did not depend on warming. Structural equation modeling analysis suggested that the direct pathway between N addition and soil food web components were more important than the indirect connections through alterations in soil abiotic characters or plant growth. Nitrogen enrichment also affected the soil nematode community indirectly through changes in soil pH and PLFA. We conclude that experimental warming influenced soil food web components of the temperate steppe less than N addition, and there was little influence of warming on N addition effects under these experimental conditions.

  12. 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.

  13. Biomagnification of mercury in selected species from an Arctic marine food web in Svalbard

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaeger, Iris, E-mail: iris@akvaplan.niva.no [Norwegian Polar Institute, N-9296 Tromso (Norway); University of Tromso, Institute of Biology, N-9037 Tromso (Norway); Hop, Haakon; Gabrielsen, Geir W. [Norwegian Polar Institute, N-9296 Tromso (Norway)

    2009-08-01

    Concentrations and biomagnification of total mercury (TotHg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were studied in selected species from the pelagic food web in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Twelve species of zooplankton, fish and seabirds, were sampled representing a gradient of trophic positions in the Svalbard marine food web. TotHg and MeHg were analysed in liver, muscle and/or whole specimens. The present study is the first to provide MeHg levels in seabirds from the Svalbard area. The relative MeHg levels decreased with increasing levels of TotHg in seabird tissues. Stable isotopes of nitrogen ({delta}{sup 15}N) were used to determine the trophic levels and the rate of biomagnification of mercury in the food web. A linear relationship between mercury levels and trophic position was found for all seabird species combined and their trophic level, but there was no relationship within species. Biomagnification factors were all > 1 for both TotHg and MeHg, indicating biomagnification from prey to predator. TotHg levels in the different seabirds were similar to levels detected in the Kongsfjorden area in the 1990s.

  14. Biomagnification of mercury in selected species from an Arctic marine food web in Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeger, Iris; Hop, Haakon; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2009-08-01

    Concentrations and biomagnification of total mercury (TotHg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were studied in selected species from the pelagic food web in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Twelve species of zooplankton, fish and seabirds, were sampled representing a gradient of trophic positions in the Svalbard marine food web. TotHg and MeHg were analysed in liver, muscle and/or whole specimens. The present study is the first to provide MeHg levels in seabirds from the Svalbard area. The relative MeHg levels decreased with increasing levels of TotHg in seabird tissues. Stable isotopes of nitrogen (delta(15)N) were used to determine the trophic levels and the rate of biomagnification of mercury in the food web. A linear relationship between mercury levels and trophic position was found for all seabird species combined and their trophic level, but there was no relationship within species. Biomagnification factors were all >1 for both TotHg and MeHg, indicating biomagnification from prey to predator. TotHg levels in the different seabirds were similar to levels detected in the Kongsfjorden area in the 1990s. PMID:19454364

  15. Land Use Affects Carbon Sources to the Pelagic Food Web in a Small Boreal Lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinta, Päivi; van Hardenbroek, Maarten; Jones, Roger I; Kankaala, Paula; Rey, Fabian; Szidat, Sönke; Wooller, Matthew J; Heiri, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Small humic forest lakes often have high contributions of methane-derived carbon in their food webs but little is known about the temporal stability of this carbon pathway and how it responds to environmental changes on longer time scales. We reconstructed past variations in the contribution of methanogenic carbon in the pelagic food web of a small boreal lake in Finland by analyzing the stable carbon isotopic composition (δ13C values) of chitinous fossils of planktivorous invertebrates in sediments from the lake. The δ13C values of zooplankton remains show several marked shifts (approx. 10 ‰), consistent with changes in the proportional contribution of carbon from methane-oxidizing bacteria in zooplankton diets. The results indicate that the lake only recently (1950s) obtained its present state with a high contribution of methanogenic carbon to the pelagic food web. A comparison with historical and palaeobotanical evidence indicates that this most recent shift coincided with agricultural land-use changes and forestation of the lake catchment and implies that earlier shifts may also have been related to changes in forest and land use. Our study demonstrates the sensitivity of the carbon cycle in small forest lakes to external forcing and that the effects of past changes in local land use on lacustrine carbon cycling have to be taken into account when defining environmental and ecological reference conditions in boreal headwater lakes. PMID:27487044

  16. Guano-Derived Nutrient Subsidies Drive Food Web Structure in Coastal Ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizzini, Salvatrice; Signa, Geraldina; Mazzola, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    A stable isotope study was carried out seasonally in three coastal ponds (Marinello system, Italy) affected by different gull guano input to investigate the effect of nutrient subsidies on food web structure and dynamics. A marked 15N enrichment occurred in the pond receiving the highest guano input, indicating that gull-derived fertilization (guanotrophication) had a strong localised effect and flowed across trophic levels. The main food web response to guanotrophication was an overall erosion of the benthic pathway in favour of the planktonic. Subsidized primary consumers, mostly deposit feeders, switched their diet according to organic matter source availability. Secondary consumers and, in particular, fish from the guanotrophic pond, acted as couplers of planktonic and benthic pathways and showed an omnivorous trophic behaviour. Food web structure showed substantial variability among ponds and a marked seasonality in the subsidized one: an overall simplification was evident only in summer when guano input maximises its trophic effects, while higher trophic diversity and complexity resulted when guano input was low to moderate. PMID:26953794

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    Intermonsoon (March–May) and the Southwest Monsoon (June–September). The plankton food web consisting of autotrophic/heterotrophic picoplankton, autotrophic/ heterotrophic nanoplankton, microzooplankton, and mesozooplankton was quantified in relation...

  20. Asynchronous food-web pathways could buffer the response of Serengeti predators to El Niño southern oscillation

    OpenAIRE

    Sinclair, A R E; Metzger, K.L.; Fryxell, J.M.; Packer, C; Byrom, A.E.; Craft, M.E.; Hampson, K.; Lembo, T.; Durant, S.M.; Forrester, G.J.; Bukombe, J.; Mchetto, J.; Dempewolf, J.; Hilborn, R.; Cleaveland, S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how entire ecosystems maintain stability in the face of climatic and human disturbance is one of the most fundamental challenges in ecology. Theory suggests that a crucial factor determining the degree of ecosystem stability is simply the degree of synchrony with which different species in ecological food webs respond to environmental stochasticity. Ecosystems in which all food-web pathways are affected similarly by external disturbance should amplify variability in top carnivor...

  1. Literature review of available techniques to characterize marine and estuarine food webs; with emphasis for application in the model OMEGA

    OpenAIRE

    Lange, de, E.C.M.; Brink, van den, R.B.A.

    2006-01-01

    Food webs can be characterized by use of markers. These are increasingly used in food web studies since they are the only tool that can be used to infer relations through multiple trophic levels. Such a marker is a characteristic of an organism that can be objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes. These include fatty acids, stable isotopes, and molecular markers such as immunological markers and DNA markers. This report presents the results of a literatu...

  2. Do stable isotopes reflect the food web development in regenerating ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothe, J; Gleixner, G

    2000-01-01

    We evaluated the use of delta15N- and delta13C-values to monitor the development of food web complexity and biodiversity in a regenerating ecosystem. Therefore a model food chain was established feeding cultivated woodlice (Porcellio dilatatus) on a cellulolytic fungus (Chaetomium globosum) grown on cellulose paper. Two diets of different quality (C:N ratios of 54 vs. 200) with different delta15N- (1.3% vs. 3.1%) but identical delta13C-values caused low and high dietary stress in animals of treatment A and B, respectively. After an incubation time of 7 weeks amount, elemental and isotopic composition of collected faeces and exuviae as well as woodlice and remaining food were determined. The increase of delta15N-values of woodlice relative to the diet was 5.7% and 2.5% in treatments A and B, respectively, whereas delta13C-shifts were 1.0% and 1.6%, showing a reverse relationship. Modelling of elemental and isotopic mass balances indicated that faeces recycling explains the unexpected high 15N-enrichments. Moreover, 13C-enrichments were positively correlated to the degree of starvation. Considering the effects of starvation and recycling of faeces, stable isotopes represent a useful tool to elucidate trophic interactions in regenerating food webs. PMID:11501706

  3. Evidence supporting the importance of terrestrial carbon in a large-river food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeug, Steven C; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2008-06-01

    Algal carbon has been increasingly recognized as the primary carbon source supporting large-river food webs; however, many of the studies that support this contention have focused on lotic main channels during low-flow periods. The flow variability and habitat-heterogeneity characteristic of these systems has the potential to significantly influence food web structure and must be integrated into models of large-river webs. We used stable-isotope analysis and IsoSource software to model terrestrial and algal sources of organic carbon supporting consumer taxa in the main channel and oxbow lakes of the Brazos River, Texas, USA, during a period of frequent hydrologic connectivity between these habitat types. Standardized sampling was conducted monthly to collect production sources and consumer species used in isotopic analysis. Predictability of hydrologic connections between habitat types was based on the previous 30 years of flow data. IsoSource mixing models identified terrestrial C3 macrophytes (riparian origin) as the primary carbon source supporting virtually all consumers in the main channel and most consumers in oxbow lakes. Small-bodied consumers (oxbow lakes assimilated large fractions of algal carbon whereas this pattern was not apparent in the main channel. Estimates of detritivore trophic positions based on delta15N values indicated that terrestrial material was likely assimilated via invertebrates rather than directly from detritus. High flows in the river channel influenced algal standing stock, and differences in the importance of terrestrial and algal production sources among consumers in channel vs. oxbow habitats were associated with patterns of flooding. The importance of terrestrial material contradicts the findings of recent studies of large-river food webs that have emphasized the importance of algal carbon and indicates that there can be significant spatial, temporal, and taxonomic variation in carbon sources supporting consumers in large rivers

  4. 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.

  5. In situ Treatment with Activated Carbon Reduces Bioaccumulation in Aquatic Food Chains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kupryianchyk, D.; Rakowska, M.I.; Roessink, I.; Reichman, E.P.; Grotenhuis, J.T.C.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2013-01-01

    In situ activated carbon (AC) amendment is a new direction in contaminated sediment management, yet its effectiveness and safety have never been tested on the level of entire food chains including fish. Here we tested the effects of three different AC treatments on hydrophobic organic chemical (HOC)

  6. Seasonality in contaminant accumulation in Arctic marine pelagic food webs using trophic magnification factor as a measure of bioaccumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallanger, Ingeborg G; Warner, Nicholas A; Ruus, Anders; Evenset, Anita; Christensen, Guttorm; Herzke, Dorte; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Borgå, Katrine

    2011-05-01

    Seasonality in biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants (POPs; polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, and brominated flame retardants) in Arctic marine pelagic food webs was investigated in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Norway. Trophic magnification factors (TMFs; average factor change in concentration between two trophic levels) were used to measure food web biomagnification in biota in May, July, and October 2007. Pelagic zooplankton (seven species), fish (five species), and seabirds (two species) were included in the study. For most POP compounds, highest TMFs were found in July and lowest were in May. Seasonally changing TMFs were a result of seasonally changing POP concentrations and the δ¹⁵N-derived trophic positions of the species included in the food web. These seasonal differences in TMFs were independent of inclusion/exclusion of organisms based on physiology (i.e., warm- versus cold-blooded organisms) in the food web. The higher TMFs in July, when the food web consisted of a higher degree of boreal species, suggest that future warming of the Arctic and increased invasion by boreal species can result in increased food web magnification. Knowledge of the seasonal variation in POP biomagnification is a prerequisite for understanding changes in POP biomagnification caused by climate change.

  7. 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.

  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. Evidence of butyltin biomagnification along the Northern Adriatic food-web (Mediterranean Sea) elucidated by stable isotope ratios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortibuoni, Tomaso; Noventa, Seta; Rampazzo, Federico; Gion, Claudia; Formalewicz, Malgorzata; Berto, Daniela; Raicevich, Saša

    2013-04-01

    The biomagnification of tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin (DBT), monobutyltin (MBT), and total butyltins (ΣBT) was analyzed in the Northern Adriatic food-web (Mediterranean) considering trophodynamic interactions among species and carbon sources in the food-web. Although it is acknowledged that these contaminants bioaccumulate in marine organisms, it is still controversial whether they biomagnify along food-webs. A wide range of species was considered, from plankton feeders to top predators, whose trophic level (TL) was assessed measuring the biological enrichment of nitrogen stable isotopes (δ(15)N). Carbon isotopic signature (δ(13)C) was used to trace carbon sources in the food-web (terrestrial vs marine). At least one butyltin species was detected in the majority of samples, and TBT was the predominant contaminant. A significant positive relationship was found between TL and butyltin concentrations, implying food-web biomagnification. Coherently, the Trophic Magnification Factor resulted higher than 1, ranging between 3.88 for ΣBT and 4.62 for DBT. A negative but not significant correlation was instead found between δ(13)C and butyltin concentrations, indicating a slight decreasing gradient of contaminants concentrations in species according to the coastal influence as carbon source in their diet. However, trophodynamic mechanisms are likely more important factors in determining butyltin distribution in the Northern Adriatic food-web. PMID:23465397

  10. Seasonality in contaminant accumulation in Arctic marine pelagic food webs using trophic magnification factor as a measure of bioaccumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallanger, Ingeborg G; Warner, Nicholas A; Ruus, Anders; Evenset, Anita; Christensen, Guttorm; Herzke, Dorte; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Borgå, Katrine

    2011-05-01

    Seasonality in biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants (POPs; polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, and brominated flame retardants) in Arctic marine pelagic food webs was investigated in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Norway. Trophic magnification factors (TMFs; average factor change in concentration between two trophic levels) were used to measure food web biomagnification in biota in May, July, and October 2007. Pelagic zooplankton (seven species), fish (five species), and seabirds (two species) were included in the study. For most POP compounds, highest TMFs were found in July and lowest were in May. Seasonally changing TMFs were a result of seasonally changing POP concentrations and the δ¹⁵N-derived trophic positions of the species included in the food web. These seasonal differences in TMFs were independent of inclusion/exclusion of organisms based on physiology (i.e., warm- versus cold-blooded organisms) in the food web. The higher TMFs in July, when the food web consisted of a higher degree of boreal species, suggest that future warming of the Arctic and increased invasion by boreal species can result in increased food web magnification. Knowledge of the seasonal variation in POP biomagnification is a prerequisite for understanding changes in POP biomagnification caused by climate change. PMID:21312250

  11. Seasonal food web structures and sympagic pelagic coupling in the European Arctic revealed by stable isotopes and a two-source food web model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Søreide, Janne E.; Hop, Haakon; Carroll, Michael L.; Falk-Petersen, Stig; Hegseth, Else Nøst

    2006-10-01

    We simultaneously followed stable carbon ( δ13C) and nitrogen ( δ15N) isotopes in a two-source food web model to determine trophic levels and the relative importance of open water- and ice-associated food sources (phytoplankton vs. ice algae) in the lower marine food web in the European Arctic during four seasons. The model is based upon extensive seasonal data from 1995 to 2001. Phytoplankton, represented by samples of particulate organic matter from open water (Pelagic-POM) and ice algae, represented by samples from the underside of the ice (Ice-POM), were isotopically different. Ice-POM was generally dominated by the typical ice diatoms Nitzschia frigida and Melosira arctica and was more enriched than Pelagic-POM in 13C ( δ13C = -20‰ vs. -24‰), but less enriched in 15N ( δ15N = 1.8‰ vs. 4.0‰). However, when dominated by pelagic algae, Ice-POM was enriched in 13C and 15N similarly to Pelagic-POM. The derived trophic enrichment factors for δ15N (Δ N = 3.4‰) and δ13C (Δ C = 0.6‰) were similar in both pelagic and sympagic (ice-associated) systems, although the Δ C for the sympagic system was variable. Trophic level (TL) range for zooplankton (TL = 1.8-3.8) was similar to that of ice fauna (TL = 1.9-3.7), but ice amphipods were generally less enriched in δ15N than zooplankton, reflecting lower δ15N in Ice-POM compared to Pelagic-POM. For bulk zooplankton, TLs and carbon sources changed little seasonally, but the proportion of herbivores was higher during May-September than in October and March. Overall, we found that the primary carbon source for zooplankton was Pelagic-POM (mean 74%), but depending on species, season and TL, substantial carbon (up to 50%) was supplied from the sympagic system. For bulk ice fauna, no major changes were found in TLs or carbon sources from summer to autumn. The primary carbon source for ice fauna was Ice-POM (mean 67%), although ice fauna with TL > 3 (adult Onisimus nanseni and juvenile polar cod) primarily

  12. Impact of proliferation strategies on food web viability in a model with closed nutrient cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szwabiński, Janusz

    2012-11-01

    A food web model with a closed nutrient cycle is presented and analyzed via Monte Carlo simulations. The model consists of three trophic levels, each of which is populated by animals of one distinct species. While the species at the intermediate level feeds on the basal species, and is eaten by the predators living at the highest level, the basal species itself uses the detritus of animals from higher levels as the food resource. The individual organisms remain localized, but the species can invade new lattice areas via proliferation. The impact of different proliferation strategies on the viability of the system is investigated. From the phase diagrams generated in the simulations it follows that in general a strategy with the intermediate level species searching for food is the best for the survival of the system. The results indicate that both the intermediate and top level species play a critical role in maintaining the structure of the system.

  13. Nutrient enrichment and food web composition affect ecosystem metabolism in an experimental seagrass habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda C Spivak

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Food web composition and resource levels can influence ecosystem properties such as productivity and elemental cycles. In particular, herbivores occupy a central place in food webs as the species richness and composition of this trophic level may simultaneously influence the transmission of resource and predator effects to higher and lower trophic levels, respectively. Yet, these interactions are poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using an experimental seagrass mesocosm system, we factorially manipulated water column nutrient concentrations, food chain length, and diversity of crustacean grazers to address two questions: (1 Does food web composition modulate the effects of nutrient enrichment on plant and grazer biomasses and stoichiometry? (2 Do ecosystem fluxes of dissolved oxygen and nutrients more closely reflect above-ground biomass and community structure or sediment processes? Nutrient enrichment and grazer presence generally had strong effects on biomass accumulation, stoichiometry, and ecosystem fluxes, whereas predator effects were weaker or absent. Nutrient enrichment had little effect on producer biomass or net ecosystem production but strongly increased seagrass nutrient content, ecosystem flux rates, and grazer secondary production, suggesting that enhanced production was efficiently transferred from producers to herbivores. Gross ecosystem production (oxygen evolution correlated positively with above-ground plant biomass, whereas inorganic nutrient fluxes were unrelated to plant or grazer biomasses, suggesting dominance by sediment microbial processes. Finally, grazer richness significantly stabilized ecosystem processes, as predators decreased ecosystem production and respiration only in the zero- and one- species grazer treatments. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, our results indicate that consumer presence and species composition strongly influence ecosystem responses to nutrient enrichment, and

  14. Novel laboratory approaches to multi-purpose aquatic bioregenerative closed-loop food production systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, V; Andriske, M; Kreuzberg, K; Paassen, U; Schreibman, M P; Voeste, D

    1998-01-01

    Based on the construction principle of the Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System (C.E.B.A.S.) two novel combined animal-plant production systems were developed in laboratory scale the first of which is dedicated to mid-term operation in closed state up to two years. In principle both consist of the "classic" C.E.B.A.S. subcomponents: animal tank (Zoological Component), plant cultivators (Botanical Component), ammonia converting bacteria filter (Microbial Component) and data acquisition/control unit (Electronical Component). The innovative approach in the first system is the utilization of minimally three aquatic plant cultivators for different species. In this one the animal tank has a volume of about 160 liters and is constructed as an "endless-way system" surrounding a central unit containing the heat exchanger and the bacteria filter with volumes of about 1.5 liters each. A suspension plant cultivator (1 liter) for the edible duckweed Wolffia arrhiza is externally connected. The second plant cultivator is a meandric microalgal bioreactor for filamentous green algae. The third plant growth facility is a chamber with about 2.5 liters volume for cultivation of the "traditional" C.E.B.A.S. plant species, the rootless buoyant Ceratophyllum demersum. Both latter units are illuminated with 9 W fluorescent lamps. In the current experiment the animal tank contains the live-bearing teleost fish Xiphophorus helleri and the small pulmonate water snail Biomphalaria glabrata because their physiological adaptation to the closed system conditions is well known from many previous C.E.B.A.S. experiments. The water temperature is maintained at 25 degrees C and the oxygen level is regulated between 4 and 7 mg/l by switching on and off the plant cultivator illuminations according to a suitable pattern thus utilizing solely the oxygen produced by photosynthesis. The animals and the microorganisms of filter and biofilm provide the plants with a sufficient amount of carbon

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) 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, δ13C showed that benthic carbon (chironomids) was the dominant food source for char. Regression models of log Hg versus δ15N (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 from 6 Arctic lakes were

  16. 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

  17. In situ treatment with activated carbon reduces bioaccumulation in aquatic food chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kupryianchyk, D; Rakowska, M I; Roessink, I; Reichman, E P; Grotenhuis, J T C; Koelmans, A A

    2013-05-01

    In situ activated carbon (AC) amendment is a new direction in contaminated sediment management, yet its effectiveness and safety have never been tested on the level of entire food chains including fish. Here we tested the effects of three different AC treatments on hydrophobic organic chemical (HOC) concentrations in pore water, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, and fish (Leuciscus idus melanotus). AC treatments were mixing with powdered AC (PAC), mixing with granular AC (GAC), and addition-removal of GAC (sediment stripping). The AC treatments resulted in a significant decrease in HOC concentrations in pore water, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, macrophytes, and fish. In 6 months, PAC treatment caused a reduction of accumulation of polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) in fish by a factor of 20, bringing pollutant levels below toxic thresholds. All AC treatments supported growth of fish, but growth was inhibited in the PAC treatment, which was likely explained by reduced nutrient concentrations, resulting in lower zooplankton (i.e., food) densities for the fish. PAC treatment may be advised for sites where immediate ecosystem protection is required. GAC treatment may be equally effective in the longer term and may be adequate for vulnerable ecosystems where longer-term protection suffices. PMID:23544454

  18. Characterisation (δ13C and δ15N isotopes) of the food webs in a New Zealand stream in the Waitakere Ranges, with emphasis on the trophic level of the endemic frog Leiopelma hochstetteri

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leiopelma hochstetteri, the most widespread of New Zealand's native frogs, is recognised as threatened, and is fully protected by legislation. As a first step to characterise the diet and trophic level of L. hochstetteri within streams in the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses were undertaken on a variety of sympatric terrestrial and aquatic plant and animal species, including adult frogs. These results show that: (1) aquatic and terrestrial food webs are linked by terrestrial inputs into the stream; (2) invertebrate and vertebrate predators separate well into distinct trophic groups, and (3) L. hochstetteri occupies an intermediate trophic position among predators, with a diet, at least as an adult, comprising terrestrial invertebrates. Shortfin eels and banded kokopu are identified as potential predators of L. hochstetteri, but data for rats are inconclusive. These results have important implications for the conservation of New Zealand native frog species and riparian stream habitat. (author). 75 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab

  19. Revealing species-specific trophic links in soil food webs: molecular identification of scarab predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juen, A; Traugott, M

    2007-04-01

    Soil food webs are particularly important in terrestrial systems, but studying them is difficult. Here we report on the first study to apply a molecular approach to identify species-specific trophic interactions in below-ground food webs. To identify the invertebrate predator guild of the garden chafer Phyllopertha horticola (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) whose root-feeding larvae can be highly abundant in grasslands, a specific DNA marker was developed. It allowed detection of P. horticola egg and white grub meals within the gut content of Poecilus versicolor (Coleoptera, Carabidae) larvae for up to 24 h post-feeding. Soil samples from an alpine grassland revealed a diverse below-ground macro-invertebrate community with earthworms, P. horticola larvae, and centipedes as well as beetle larvae as the most abundant detritivores, herbivores, and predators, respectively. Garden chafer DNA was detected in 18.6%, 4.1%, and 4.4% of field-collected Geophilidae (n = 124), beetle larvae (n = 159), and Lithobiidae (n = 49), respectively. We conclude that most of the investigated predators actively preyed on P. horticola, as secondary predation is unlikely to be detected in below-ground systems. Moreover, scavenging most likely contributes only to a small percentage of the revealed trophic links due to the low availability of carrion. Sampling date did not influence prey detection rates, indicating that both P. horticola eggs and larvae were preyed on. Only 2.7% of the below-ground predators tested positive for earthworms, an alternative, highly abundant prey, suggesting that P. horticola represents an important prey source for centipedes and predatory beetle larvae during summer within the soil food web. PMID:17391275

  20. Use of Metabolic Inhibitors to Characterize Ecological Interactions in an Estuarine Microbial Food Web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLorenzo, M.E.; Lewitus, A.J.; Scott, G.I.; Ross, P.E.

    2001-10-01

    Understanding microbial food web dynamics is complicated by the multitude of competitive or interdependent trophic interactions involved in material and energy flow. Metabolic inhibitors can be used to gain information on the relative importance of trophic pathways by uncoupling selected microbial components and examining the net effect on ecosystem structure and function. A eukaryotic growth inhibitor (cycloheximide), a prokaryotic growth inhibitor (antibiotic mixture), and an inhibitor of photosynthesis (DCMU) were used to examine the trophodynamics of microbial communities from the tidal creek in North Inlet, a salt marsh estuary near Georgetown, South Carolina. Natural microbial communities were collected in the spring, summer, and fall after colonization onto polyurethane foam substrates deployed in the tidal creek. Bacterial abundance and productivity, heterotrophic ciliate and flagellate abundance, and phototrophic productivity, biomass, and biovolume were measured at five time points after inhibitor additions. The trophic responses of the estuarine microbial food web to metabolic inhibitors varied with season. In the summer, a close interdependency among phototrophs, bacteria, and protozoa was indicated, and the important influence of microzooplanktonic nutrient recycling was evident (i.e., a positive feedback loop). In the fall, phototroph and bacteria interactions were competitive rather than interdependent, and grazer nutrient regeneration did not appear to be an important regulatory factor for bacterial or phototrophic activities. The results indicate a seasonal shift in microbial food web structure and function in North Inlet, from a summer community characterized by microbial loop dynamics to a more linear trophic system in the fall. This study stresses the important role of microbial loops in driving primary and secondary production in estuaries such as North Inlet that are tidally dominated by fluctuations in nutrient supply and a summer

  1. Age and trophic position dominate bioaccumulation of mercury and organochlorines in the food web of Lake Washington

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Understanding the mechanisms of bioaccumulation in food webs is critical to predicting which food webs are at risk for higher rates of bioaccumulation that endanger the health of upper-trophic predators, including humans. Mercury and organochlorines were measured concurrently with stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon in key fishes and invertebrates of Lake Washington to explore important pathways of bioaccumulation in this food web. Across the food web, age and trophic position together were highly significant predictors of bioaccumulation. Trophic position was more important than age for predicting accumulation of mercury, ΣDDT, and Σ-chlordane, whereas age was more important than trophic position for predicting PCB. Excluding age from the analysis inflated the apparent importance of trophic position to bioaccumulation for all contaminants. Benthic and pelagic habitats had similar potential to bioaccumulate contaminants, although higher Σ-chlordane concentrations in organisms were weakly associated with more benthic carbon signals. In individual fish species, contaminant concentrations increased with age, size, and trophic position (δ15N), whereas relationships with carbon source (δ13C) were not consistent. Lipid concentrations were correlated with contaminant concentrations in some but not all fishes, suggesting that lipids were not involved mechanistically in bioaccumulation. Contaminant concentrations in biota did not vary among littoral sites. Collectively, these results suggest that age may be an important determinant of bioaccumulation in many food webs and could help explain a significant amount of the variability in apparent biomagnification rates among food webs. As such, effort should be made when possible to collect information on organism age in addition to stable isotopes when assessing food webs for rates of biomagnification

  2. Dynamics of Leslie-Gower type generalist predator in a tri-trophic food web system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priyadarshi, A.; Gakkhar, S.

    2013-11-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of a tri-trophic food web system consists of Leslie-Gower type generalist predator has been explored. The system is bounded under certain conditions. The Hopf-bifurcation has been established in the phase planes. The bifurcation diagrams exhibit coexistence of all three species in the form of periodic/chaotic solutions. The "snail-shell" chaotic attractor has very high Lyapunov exponents. The coexistence in the form of stable equilibrium is also possible for lower values of parameters. The two-parameter bifurcation diagrams are drawn for critical parameters.

  3. Population regulation and role of mesozooplankton in shaping marine pelagic food webs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas

    1998-01-01

    Copepods constitute the majority of the mesozooplankton in the oceans. By eating and being eaten copepods have implications for the flow of matter and energy in the pelagic environment. I first consider population regulation mechanisms in copepods by briefly reviewing estimates of growth and mort......Copepods constitute the majority of the mesozooplankton in the oceans. By eating and being eaten copepods have implications for the flow of matter and energy in the pelagic environment. I first consider population regulation mechanisms in copepods by briefly reviewing estimates of growth...... activity for plankton food webs, particularly their role in retarding vertical fluxes and, thus, the loss of material from the euphotic zone...

  4. Trophodynamics of some PFCs and BFRs in a western Canadian Arctic marine food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomy, Gregg T; Pleskach, Kerri; Ferguson, Steve H; Hare, Jonathon; Stern, Gary; Macinnis, Gordia; Marvin, Chris H; Loseto, Lisa

    2009-06-01

    The trophodynamics of per- and polyfluorinated compounds and bromine-based flame retardants were examined in components of a marine food web from the western Canadian Arctic. The animals studied and their relative trophic status in the food web, established using stable isotopes of nitrogen (delta15N), were beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) > ringed seal (Phoca hispida) > Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) > Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) approximately equal to Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis) > pelagic amphipod (Themisto libellula) > Arctic copepod (Calanus hyperboreus). For the brominated diphenyl ethers, the lipid adjusted concentrations of the seven congeners analyzed (Sigma7BDEs: -47, -85, -99, -100, -153, -154, and -209) ranged from 205.4 +/- 52.7 ng/g in Arctic cod to 2.6 +/- 0.4 ng/g in ringed seals. Mean Sigma7BDEs concentrations in Arctic copepods, 16.4 ng/g (n = 2, composite sample), were greater than those in the top trophic level (TL) marine mammals and suggests that (i) Arctic copepods are an important dietary component that delivers BDEs to the food web and (ii) because these compounds are bioaccumulative, metabolism and depletion of BDE congeners in top TL mammals is an important biological process. There were differences in the concentration profiles of the isomers of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in the food web. The most notable difference was observed for beluga, where the alpha-isomer was enriched (accounting for approximately 90% of the SigmaHBCD body burden), relative to its primary prey species, Arctic cod, where the alpha-isomer accounted for only 20% of the SigmaHBCD body burden (beta: 4% and gamma: 78%). For the C8-C11 perfluorinated carboxylic acids, the trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were all greater than unity and increased with increasing carbon chain length. PFOS and its neutral precursor, PFOSA, also had TMF values greater than one. There were also pronounced differences in the PFOSA to PFOS ratio in ringed seal (0.04) and in

  5. Spatial heterogeneity in the structure of the planktonic food web in the North Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Kathrine; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel; Bo Pedersen, Flemming;

    1998-01-01

    were associated with subsurface chlorophyll peaks. The 480:665 nm absorption ratio suggested that phytoplankton located in surface waters were nutrient depleted and the ratio of phytoplankton carbon to bacterial carbon was generally low, suggesting that bacteria played an important role in nutrient...... production as well as the greatest percentage of total water column primary production being channelled into copepods were recorded. The regions where subsurface phytoplankton peaks were predicted to form were, thus, characterised by a 'classical' food web in which energy is efficiently transferred...

  6. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Biomagnification of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls in a highly contaminated freshwater food web from South China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    To evaluate the biomagnification extent of polybrominated diphenyls ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a highly contaminated freshwater food web from South China, trophic magnification factors (TMFs) for 18 PBDE congeners and 53 PCB congeners were calculated. The TMF values ranged 0.26-4.47 for PBDEs and 0.75-5.10 for PCBs. Forty-five of 53 PCBs and BDEs 47, 100 and 154 had TMFs greater than one, suggesting their biomagnification in the present food web. The TMFs for PBDEs were generally smaller than those for PCBs with the same degree of halogenation, indicating a lower biomagnification potential for PBDEs compared to PCBs. For PCBs, it followed a parabolic relationship between TMFs and log KOW (octanol-water partition coefficient). However, this relationship was not significant for PBDEs, possibly due to the more complex behaviors of PBDEs in the food web (e.g., metabolism), compared to that of PCBs. - Forty-five of 53 PCBs magnified in the freshwater food web, while only BDEs 47, 100 and 154 significantly magnified in the same food web

  11. Trophodynamics of hexabromocyclododecanes and several other non-PBDE brominated flame retardants in a freshwater food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jiang-Ping; Guan, Yun-Tao; Zhang, Ying; Luo, Xiao-Jun; Zhi, Hui; Chen, She-Jun; Mai, Bi-Xian

    2010-07-15

    Several currently used non-polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) brominated flame retardants (BFRs), including hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), hexabromobenzene (HBB), pentabromoethylbenzene (PBEB), and pentabromotoluene (PBT), are examined in the components of a freshwater food web from an electronic waste recycling site, South China. All these BFRs are detectable in the food web, with average concentrations of 13.9-868, 1.71-518, Food web magnification is observed for (+)-alpha-, (-)-alpha-, (+/-)-alpha-, and total HBCDs, and HBB, with trophic magnification factors (TMFs) of 2.22, 2.18, 2.19, 1.82, and 1.46, respectively; whereas there is trophic dilution of BTBPE and PBT through the food web. The TMFs for (+)-alpha-, (-)-alpha-, and (+/-)-alpha-HBCDs are comparable to those of PBDEs detected previously in the same food web. Biota samples show a shift from gamma- toward alpha-HBCD compared with the suspended particles, sediment, and HBCD technical mixtures, with a significant increase of alpha-HBCD on ascending trophic levels. Except for alpha-HBCD in suspended particles and sediment, all the HBCD enantiomers detected are nonracemic in the environmental matrix. In biota, nonracemic residues of alpha-HBCD were observed in mud carp and crucian carp; beta-HBCD in prawn, mud carp, and crucian carp; and gamma-HBCD in water snake, with preferences for (+)-alpha-, (-)-beta-, and (+)-gamma-HBCDs. PMID:20575536

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Pyrodiversity is the coupling of biodiversity and fire regimes in food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Steve I.; Johnson, Chris N.; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D.

    2016-01-01

    Fire positively and negatively affects food webs across all trophic levels and guilds and influences a range of ecological processes that reinforce fire regimes, such as nutrient cycling and soil development, plant regeneration and growth, plant community assembly and dynamics, herbivory and predation. Thus we argue that rather than merely describing spatio-temporal patterns of fire regimes, pyrodiversity must be understood in terms of feedbacks between fire regimes, biodiversity and ecological processes. Humans shape pyrodiversity both directly, by manipulating the intensity, severity, frequency and extent of fires, and indirectly, by influencing the abundance and distribution of various trophic guilds through hunting and husbandry of animals, and introduction and cultivation of plant species. Conceptualizing landscape fire as deeply embedded in food webs suggests that the restoration of degraded ecosystems requires the simultaneous careful management of fire regimes and native and invasive plants and animals, and may include introducing new vertebrates to compensate for extinctions that occurred in the recent and more distant past. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The interaction of fire and mankind’. PMID:27216526

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro; Kajihara, Kosuke

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27322185

  16. Contrasting food web factor and body size relationships with Hg and Se concentrations in marine biota.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roxanne Karimi

    Full Text Available 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 δ(15N and degree of pelagic feeding (measured by δ(13C. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 δ(15)N) and degree of pelagic feeding (measured by δ(13)C). 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

  19. Local adaptation to temperature conserves top-down control in a grassland food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Brandon T

    2011-10-22

    A fundamental limitation in many climate change experiments is that tests represent relatively short-term 'shock' experiments and so do not incorporate the phenotypic plasticity or evolutionary change that may occur during the gradual process of climate change. However, capturing this aspect of climate change effects in an experimental design is a difficult challenge that few studies have accomplished. I examined the effect of temperature and predator climate history in food webs composed of herbaceous plants, generalist grasshopper herbivores and spider predators across a natural 4.8°C temperature gradient spanning 500 km in northeastern USA. In these grasslands, the effects of rising temperatures on the plant community are indirect and arise via altered predator-herbivore interactions. Experimental warming had no direct effect on grasshoppers, but reduced predation risk effects by causing spiders from all study sites to seek thermal refuge lower in the plant canopy. However, spider thermal tolerance corresponded to spider origin such that spiders from warmer study sites tolerated higher temperatures than spiders from cooler study sites. As a consequence, the magnitude of the indirect effect of spiders on plants did not differ along the temperature gradient, although a reciprocal transplant experiment revealed significantly different effects of spider origin on the magnitude of top-down control. These results suggest that variation in predator response to warming may maintain species interactions and associated food web processes when faced with long term, chronic climate warming. PMID:21367789

  20. Determination of mesopelagic food web structure for ecological impact assessment of carbon dioxide ocean sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mito, S.; Kita, J.; Ohsumi, T. [Research Inst. of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Kyoto (Japan)

    2005-07-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) ocean sequestration refers to the intentional injection of anthropogenic CO{sub 2} into the deep-sea to prevent global warming. This paper explored the impact that CO{sub 2} ocean sequestration may have on the deep-sea ecosystem, with particular reference to determining the food web structure in the deep-sea by stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen ({delta}1{sup 3C} and {delta}{sup 15}N). Through the metabolism of organisms, the heavier isotope is accumulated in their body while the lighter isotope is excreted to the ambient environment. Isotope ratios in the organisms become heavier with the increase in the trophic level because of their feeding habits over the long term. The enrichment of the isotope ratios at a single feeding process were reported from -1 to +2 per cent for {delta}1{sup 3C} and from +2 to +5 per cent for {delta}{sup 15}N. These values provide information on the prey and the trophic level, respectively. The structure of mesopelagic food web was considered because of its simplicity and limited food source. The potential biological impacts induced by CO{sub 2} ocean sequestration can be categorized into acute and chronic. Acute impacts could be determined by laboratory and field experiments and assessed by simulation models. However, chronic effects, such as sublethal effects of CO{sub 2} on the population dynamics and biodiversity those directly related to the marine ecosystem, would be difficult to verify by means of laboratory experiments and to assess using ecosystem models. Rather, induced alteration of the marine ecosystem would be reflected in food web structure. It was concluded that the intentional injection of CO{sub 2} into the deep-sea will result in alteration of the trophic position of each organism. It is expected that such a change in the ecosystem could be monitored by means of stable isotope ratios of the organism. 9 refs., 1 tab., 4 figs.

  1. 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.

  2. Trophic relationships in an Arctic food web and implications for trace metal transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tissues of subsistence-harvested Arctic mammals were analyzed for silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), and total mercury (THg). Muscle (or total body homogenates of potential fish and invertebrate prey) was analyzed for stable carbon (δ 13C) and nitrogen (δ 15N) isotopes to establish trophic interactions within the Arctic food chain. Food web magnification factors (FWMFs) and biomagnification factors for selected predator-prey scenarios (BMFs) were calculated to describe pathways of heavy metals in the Alaskan Arctic. FWMFs in this study indicate that magnification of selected heavy metals in the Arctic food web is not significant. Biomagnification of Cd occurs mainly in kidneys; calculated BMFs are higher for hepatic THg than renal THg for all predator-prey scenarios with the exception of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). In bears, the accumulation of renal THg is approximately 6 times higher than in liver. Magnification of hepatic Ag is minimal for all selected predator-prey scenarios. Though polar bears occupy a higher trophic level than belugas (Delphinapterus leucas), based on δ 15N, the metal concentrations are either not statistically different between the two species or lower for bears. Similarly, concentrations of renal and hepatic Cd are significantly lower or not statistically different in polar bears compared to ringed (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus), their primary prey. THg, on the other hand, increased significantly from seal to polar bear tissues. Mean δ 15N was lowest in muscle of Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and foxes also show the lowest levels of Hg, Cd and Ag in liver and kidney compared to the other species analyzed. These values are in good agreement with a diet dominated by terrestrial prey. Metal deposition in animal tissues is strongly dependent on biological factors such as diet, age, sex, body condition and health, and caution should be taken when interpreting magnification of dynamic and actively regulated trace metals

  3. Effects of terrestrial input on macrobenthic food webs of coastal sea are detected by stable isotope analysis in Gaeta Gulf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Careddu, Giulio; Costantini, Maria Letizia; Calizza, Edoardo; Carlino, Pasquale; Bentivoglio, Flavia; Orlandi, Lucia; Rossi, Loreto

    2015-03-01

    Stable isotope analysis (SIA) of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) was used to analyse the macrobenthic food web dynamics in the Gulf of Gaeta (Tyrrhenian sea, Central Italy) under the influence of discharge from the river Garigliano. Specimens of macrobenthic invertebrates and organic matter (Phytoplankton, detritus and Sediment Organic Matter, SOM) were sampled in eight subtidal sampling sites in the Gulf and subjected to SIA. Bayesian Stable Isotope Mixing Models were used to quantify the proportional contribution of each basal resource to macrobenthic primary consumer diets. The food web topology of each sampling site was also reconstructed and the key food web metrics (connectance, linkage density, mean chain length) were calculated in order to detect potential effects of the river plume at all trophic levels. The δ13C signatures of basal resources indicated that bulk organic matter in the Gulf has two main inputs: a) autochthonous, derived from marine primary producers (phytoplankton, seagrass detritus), predominant in the northern part of the Gulf, far from the river mouth, and b) allochthonus, derived from inputs of terrigenous detritus, predominant in the southern part, near the mouth of the river Garigliano. A spatial transition was observed in the main component of primary consumer diets, from phytoplankton (north-western sampling sites) to allochthonous detritus (south-eastern sampling sites), with important influences on the structure of the food webs. Approaching the river mouth we also observed a simplification of network topology in terms of a decrease in the number of species, linkage density and mean food web chain length. Our study provides insight into coastal benthic food web and ecosystem functioning as influenced by river mouths, with particular emphasis on the linkages between pelagic-benthic and terrestrial systems, even on the local scale.

  4. Influence of chemical and biological factors on trophic transfer of persistent organic pollutants in the northwater polynya marine food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisk, A T; Hobson, K A; Norstrom, R J

    2001-02-15

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and stable isotopes of nitrogen (delta 15N) were measured in zooplankton (6 species), a benthic invertebrate (Anonyx nugax), Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), seabirds (6 species), and ringed seals (Phoca hispida) collected in 1998 in the Northwater Polynya to examine effects of biological and chemical factors on trophic transfer of POPs in an Arctic marine food web. Strong positive relationships were found between recalcitrant POP concentrations (lipid corrected) and trophic level based on stable isotopes of nitrogen, providing clear evidence of POP biomagnification in Arctic marine food webs. Food web magnification factors (FWMFs), derived from the slope of the POP--trophic level relationship, provided an overall magnification factor for the food web but over and underestimated biomagnification factors (BMFs) based on predator--prey concentrations in poikilotherms (fish) and homeotherms (seabirds and mammals), respectively. Greater biomagnification in homeotherms was attributed to their greater energy requirement and subsequent feeding rates. Within the homeotherms, seabirds had greater BMFs than ringed seals, consistent with greater energy demands in birds. Scavenging from marine mammal carcasses and accumulation in more contaminated winter habitats were considered important variables in seabird BMFs. Metabolic differences between species resulted in lower than expected BMFs, which would not be recognized in whole food web trophic level--POP relationships. The use of sigma POP groups, such as sigma PCB, is problematic because FWMFs and BMFs varied considerably between individual POPs. FWMFs of recalcitrant POPs had a strong positive relationship with log octanol--water partition coefficient (Kow). Results of this study show the utility of using delta 15N to characterize trophic level and trophic transfer of POPs but highlight the effects of species and chemical differences on trophic transfer of POPs that can be overlooked when

  5. 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

  6. Food web dynamics in the Scotia Sea in summer: A stable isotope study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stowasser, G.; Atkinson, A.; McGill, R. A. R.; Phillips, R. A.; Collins, M. A.; Pond, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    The pelagic food web of the Scotia Sea was studied by analysing natural abundances of nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes of primary producers and pelagic consumers, sampled from the seasonal ice edge in the south to the Antarctic Polar Front in the north. The analysis covered, within a single mid-summer period, particulate organic matter (POM) and 38 taxa, ranging from suspension feeding copepods and salps to omnivorous euphausiids, pelagic fish and higher, land-based predators including fur seals, penguins and flying birds. Spatial variation in δ 15N of POM correlated well with nutrient availability and primary productivity. Latitudinal differences in δ 13C of POM were closely linked to variations in temperature, nutrients and productivity depending on the frontal region sampled. This translated to equivalent (although smaller) regional δ 13C differences among higher trophic levels. The trophic positions of species based on isotope values broadly agreed with previously published dietary data with three important exceptions. First, the carnivorous amphipod Themisto gaudichaudii had anomalously low δ 15N values. Second, Euphausia superba had δ 15N values that were also surprisingly low, considering the abundant literature suggesting its omnivory. Third, the copepod Rhincalanus gigas, considered a suspension feeder, had unexpectedly high δ 15N values rather more in keeping with omnivorous feeding. The consumer δ 15N values ranged from 1.2‰ (min.) measured in Salpa thompsoni (designated here as trophic level (TL) 2 across all regions) to 15.2‰ (max.) measured in white-chinned petrels ( Procellaria aequinoctialis, calculated as TL5 relative to the TL2 of salps). Excluding seabirds, the resulting food chain length of 3.7 TL (above POM at TL1) was lower than in most other Southern Ocean and temperate marine pelagic ecosystems. The majority (60%) of vertebrate predators occupied only 1-1.5 trophic levels above the herbivorous suspension feeders such as krill

  7. The Probabilistic Niche Model Reveals the Niche Structure and Role of Body Size in a Complex Food Web

    OpenAIRE

    Richard J Williams; Ananthi Anandanadesan; Drew Purves

    2010-01-01

    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 w...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Mechanisms affecting recovery in an upwelling food web: The case of the southern Humboldt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neira, Sergio; Moloney, Coleen L.; Cury, Philippe; Mullon, Christian; Christensen, Villy

    2009-12-01

    Although bottom-up forcing and overfishing are known to induce shifts in ecosystem states, system changes and their reversibility under each factor are still poorly understood. In this paper, dynamic food web simulations are conducted to evaluate when and why ecological thresholds may be exceeded, and whether bottom-up forcing or fishing is more likely to induce irreversible ecosystem states. Simulations are conducted using a calibrated food web model of the upwelling system off central Chile (33-39°S) and the Ecopath with Ecosim software version 5.1. The effects of fishing scenarios are explored by changing fishing mortality according to trophic level. The effects of bottom-up forcing scenarios are explored by changing phytoplankton biomass, as a function of sea temperature, at El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and decadal scales. Simulations are carried out for 150 years and impacts, system recovery and regime shifts from each scenario are evaluated using trophodynamic indicators and limit reference points for biomass of functional groups as proxies of food web state and ecological thresholds, respectively. Proportionally distributed fishing along trophic levels is the least harmful fishing scenario, resulting in biomass limit reference points rarely being exceeded and high system recovery. Concentrating fishing at higher and lower trophic levels more likely causes reference points to be exceeded and induces ecosystem changes with low-to-medium recovery potential. No limit reference points are exceeded (or regime shift induced) under ENSO-scale bottom-up forcing. Decadal scale bottom-up forcing has different effects on the system depending on the sequence in which the high and low phytoplankton biomass periods are simulated. A shift from low phytoplankton biomass towards high phytoplankton biomass does not result in biomass limit reference points being exceeded, whereas the opposite sequence results in a large number of limit reference points being exceeded

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:25467873

  15. Link flexibility: evidence for environment-dependent adaptive foraging in a food web time-series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henri, D C; Van Veen, F J F

    2016-06-01

    Temporal variability in the distribution of feeding links in a food web can be an important stabilizing factor for these complex systems. Adaptive foraging and prey choice have been hypothesized to cause this link flexibility as organisms adjust their behavior to variation in the prey community. Here, we analyze a 10-yr time series of monthly aphid-parasitoid-secondary-parasitoid networks and show that interaction strengths for polyphagous secondary parasitoids are generally biased toward the larger host species within their fundamental niche; however, in months of higher competition for hosts, size-based biases are reduced. The results corroborate a previous hypothesis stating that host selectivity of parasitoids should be correlated to the relative likelihood of egg limitation vs. time limitation. Our results evince adaptation of foraging behavior to varying conditions affects the distribution of host-parasitoid link strengths, where link-rewiring may be integral to stability in complex communities. PMID:27459769

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Behaviorally plastic host-plant use by larval Lepidoptera in tri-trophic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Michael S

    2016-04-01

    Plant-insect interactions research emphasizes adaptive plasticity of plants and carnivores, such as parasitoids, implying a relatively passive role of herbivores. Current work is addressing this deficit, with exciting studies of behavioral plasticity of larval Lepidoptera (caterpillars). Here I use select examples to illustrate the diversity of behaviorally plastic host-plant use by caterpillars, including anti-predator tactics, self-medication, and evasion of dynamic plant defenses, as proof of the agency of caterpillar behavior in plant-insect interactions. I emphasize the significance of adaptive behavioral plasticity of caterpillars in the context of tri-trophic interactions. Recent research on trait-mediated indirect interactions places adaptive behavioral plasticity of herbivores at the center of community and food web dynamics, with far-reaching consequences of issues such as community stability. PMID:27436647

  19. 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.

  20. Food webs of a sandy beach macroinvertebrate community using stable isotopes analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombini, Isabella; Brilli, Mauro; Fallaci, Mario; Gagnarli, Elena; Chelazzi, Lorenzo

    2011-09-01

    The study examines the food webs of macroinvertebrates along a gradient from the sandy shore to a dune slack in the retrodune. The study was conducted at the Maremma Regional Park in an area subjected to beach progradation. Transects with pitfall traps were set perpendicular to the sea to capture macroinvertebrates, whereas vegetation biomass was evaluated using quadrats. Marine allochthonous material was also examined. Stable isotopes of δ 13C and δ 15N were analysed both in plants and macroinvertebrates of marine and terrestrial origins. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to group species with similar values. Multi-source mixing models were used to analyse the contribution of carbon of marine origin to the diets, to calculate trophic levels and to estimate the diets of certain species. The results indicate a decrease in the contribution of marine carbon in the diets of terrestrial macroinvertebrates along the sea-land axis.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...... restoration experiment we first compared the soil nematode communities of 228 individual plants belonging to eight herbaceous species. We included grass, leguminous, and non-leguminous species. Each individual plant grew intermingled with other species, but all plant species had a different nematode community....... Moreover, nematode communities were more similar when plant individuals were growing in the same as compared to different plant communities, and these effects were most apparent for the groups of bacterivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous nematodes. Subsequently, we analyzed the composition, structure...

  3. Mercury and element accumulation in a freshwater food web of a Chinese reservoir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  4. 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,...

  5. 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.

  6. Fatty Acids as a Tool to Understand Microbial Diversity and Their Role in Food Webs of Mediterranean Temporary Ponds

    OpenAIRE

    Carla C. C. R. de Carvalho; Maria-José Caramujo

    2014-01-01

    Temporary Mediterranean ponds are complex ecosystems which support a high diversity of organisms that include heterotrophic microorganisms, algae, crustaceans, amphibians and higher plants, and have the potential to supply food and a resting place to migratory birds. The role of heterotrophs at the base of the food web in providing energy to the higher trophic levels was studied in temporary ponds in Central and Southern Portugal. The relative quantification of the hetero and autotrophic bio...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Methanogenic food web in the gut contents of methane-emitting earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae from Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Kristin; Hunger, Sindy; Brown, George G; Tsai, Siu M; Cerri, Carlos C; Conrad, Ralf; Drake, Harold L

    2015-08-01

    The anoxic saccharide-rich conditions of the earthworm gut provide an ideal transient habitat for ingested microbes capable of anaerobiosis. It was recently discovered that the earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae from Brazil can emit methane (CH4) and that ingested methanogens might be associated with this emission. The objective of this study was to resolve trophic interactions of bacteria and methanogens in the methanogenic food web in the gut contents of E. eugeniae. RNA-based stable isotope probing of bacterial 16S rRNA as well as mcrA and mrtA (the alpha subunit of methyl-CoM reductase and its isoenzyme, respectively) of methanogens was performed with [(13)C]-glucose as a model saccharide in the gut contents. Concomitant fermentations were augmented by the rapid consumption of glucose, yielding numerous products, including molecular hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), formate, acetate, ethanol, lactate, succinate and propionate. Aeromonadaceae-affiliated facultative aerobes, and obligate anaerobes affiliated to Lachnospiraceae, Veillonellaceae and Ruminococcaceae were associated with the diverse fermentations. Methanogenesis was ongoing during incubations, and (13)C-labeling of CH4 verified that supplemental [(13)C]-glucose derived carbon was dissimilated to CH4. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens affiliated with Methanobacteriaceae and Methanoregulaceae were linked to methanogenesis, and acetogens related to Peptostreptoccocaceae were likewise found to be participants in the methanogenic food web. H2 rather than acetate stimulated methanogenesis in the methanogenic gut content enrichments, and acetogens appeared to dissimilate supplemental H2 to acetate in methanogenic enrichments. These findings provide insight on the processes and associated taxa potentially linked to methanogenesis and the turnover of organic carbon in the alimentary canal of methane-emitting E. eugeniae. PMID:25615437

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Food web analysis in two permanently open temperate estuaries: consequences of saltmarsh loss?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Carl J; Hyndes, Glenn A; Lavery, Paul S

    2007-09-01

    Saltmarsh vegetation, seston and microphytobenthos are all conspicuous components of most temperate estuaries and they potentially contribute to the estuarine food chain. Yet their relative contributions are unclear, as is the significance of saltmarsh losses through natural and human-induced impacts. This study aimed to quantitatively determine the contribution of various types of primary producers to detritus in the Walpole-Nornalup Estuary and Leschenault Inlet, two permanently open estuaries in SW Australia, and, estimate the flow of different types of detritus to higher trophic levels, using carbon ((13)C) and nitrogen ((15)N) stable isotopes as tracers. Results of the mixing model indicated that seston, microphytobenthos and to some extent seagrass and fringing saltmarsh were the main contributors to the detrital pool in both estuaries. However, the relative contribution of different primary producers varied both within and between estuaries. The contribution of saltmarsh was higher at sites close to rivers and dense fringing vegetation, while seston, microphytobenthos and seagrass dominated the detrital material at other sites. Benthic harpacticoid copepods were shown to feed on detritus though they appeared to actively select for different components of the detritus depending on site and estuary. Isotopic signatures of other consumers indicated that fish and invertebrates derived nutrients from MPB and detritus, either directly as food or indirectly through feeding on invertebrates. The overall contribution of saltmarsh to detritus was lower in Leschenault Inlet than in Walpole-Nornalup Estuary, possibly as a result of increased clearing of fringing vegetation around Leschenault Inlet. This pattern was however not reflected in harpacticoid food. Therefore, although losses of fringing saltmarsh around estuaries have the potential to significantly affect estuarine food webs, the significance of such losses will be site- and estuary-dependent. PMID:17382379

  13. Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in a marine food web from Liaodong Bay, North China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • BDE-47 was the dominating congener in organisms of the Liaodong Bay. • The length of food chain played an important role on the TMFs. • PBDEs were steadily metabolized in the trophic transfer process along the food chain. -- Abstract: 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 (p < 0.01). The results suggested that the PBDEs were steadily metabolized in the trophic transfer process along the food chain

  14. Changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning of a large, shallow Chinese lake during the 1950s, 1980s and 2000s

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kong, Xiangzhen; He, Wei; Liu, Wenxiu; Yang, Bin; Xu, Fuliu; Jørgensen, Sven Erik; Mooij, W.M.

    2016-01-01

    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 in a ce

  15. 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...

  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

    mixing may 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...

  17. A freshwater food web model for the combined effects of nutrients and insecticide stress and subsequent recovery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Traas, T.P.; Janse, J.H.; Brink, van den P.J.; Brock, T.C.M.; Aldenberg, T.

    2004-01-01

    A microcosm experiment that addressed the interaction between eutrophication processes and contaminants was analyzed using a food web model. Both direct and indirect effects of nutrient additions and a single insecticide application (chlorpyrifos) on biomass dynamics and recovery of functional group

  18. Risk assessment of bioaccumulation in the food webs of two marine AMOEBE species: common tern and harbor seal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed RH; Mensink BJWG; Vethaak AD; Luttik R; Rijksinstituut voor Kust en Zee; ACT; RIKZ

    1995-01-01

    A model has been developed for calculating Maximum Permissible Concentrations (MPCs) in water for chemicals accumulating in food webs of sea birds and mammals. Calculations are carried out for two marine AMOEBE species: common tern (Sterna hirundo) and harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and five chemical

  19. Bioaccumulation of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in selected species from the Barents Sea food web

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haukas, Marianne [Norwegian Polar Institute, NO-9296 Tromso (Norway) and Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromso, NO-9037 Tromso (Norway)]. E-mail: m.haukaas@nilu.no; Berger, Urs [Norwegian Institute for Air Research, NO-9296 Tromso (Norway); Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm (Sweden); Hop, Haakon [Norwegian Polar Institute, NO-9296 Tromso (Norway); Gulliksen, Bjorn [Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromso, NO-9037 Tromso (Norway); Gabrielsen, Geir W. [Norwegian Polar Institute, NO-9296 Tromso (Norway)

    2007-07-15

    The present study reports concentrations and biomagnification potential of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in species from the Barents Sea food web. The examined species included sea ice amphipod (Gammarus wilkitzkii), polar cod (Boreogadus saida), black guillemot (Cepphus grylle) and glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus). These were analyzed for PFAS, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the predominant of the detected PFAS. Trophic levels and food web transfer of PFAS were determined using stable nitrogen isotopes ({delta} {sup 15}N). No correlation was found between PFOS concentrations and trophic level within species. However, a non-linear relationship was established when the entire food web was analyzed. Biomagnification factors displayed values >1 for perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), PFOS and {sigma}PFAS(7). Multivariate analyses showed that the degree of trophic transfer of PFAS is similar to that of PCB, DDT and PBDE, despite their accumulation through different pathways. - The first comprehensive survey of fluoroorganic contamination in an European Arctic marine food web.

  20. Plant species identity and diversity effects on different trophic levels of nematodes in the soil food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Deyn, G.B.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Van Ruijven, J.; Berendse, F.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2004-01-01

    Previous studies on biodiversity and soil food web composition have mentioned plant species identity, as well as plant species diversity as the main factors affecting the abundance and diversity of soil organisms. However, most studies have been carried out under limitations of time, space, or appro

  1. Functional ecology of aquatic phagotrophic protists–concepts, limitations, and perspectives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weisse, Thomas; Anderson, Ruth; Arndt, Hartmut;

    2016-01-01

    in aquatic food webs. This is not an exhaustive review; rather, we focus on conceptual issues, in particular on the numerical and functional response of these organisms. We discuss the evolution of concepts and define parameters to evaluate predator-prey dynamics ranging from Lotka......, food, turbulence) affecting feeding, growth, and survival of protist populations. We briefly consider intraspecific variability of some key parameters and constraints inherent in laboratory microcosm experiments. We then upscale the significance of phagotrophic protists in food webs to the ocean level...

  2. 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.

  3. Establishment of trophic continuum in the food web of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea ecosystem: insight from carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Deling; Li, Hongyan; Tang, Qisheng; Sun, Yao

    2005-12-01

    Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (delta (13)C and delta (15)N) 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. PMID:16483132

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Dynamic Mental Representations of Habitual Behaviours: Food Choice on a Web-Based Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Gaspar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available AimRather than being rigid, habitual behaviours may be determined by dynamic mental representations that can adapt to context changes. This adaptive potential may result from particular conditions dependent on the interaction between two sources of mental constructs activation: perceived context applicability and cognitive accessibility.MethodTwo web-shopping simulations offering the choice between habitually chosen and non-habitually chosen food products were presented to participants. This considered two choice contexts differing in the habitual behaviour perceived applicability (low vs. high and a measure of habitual behaviour chronicity.ResultsStudy 1 demonstrated a perceived applicability effect, with more habitual (non-organic than non-habitual (organic food products chosen in a high perceived applicability (familiar than in a low perceived applicability (new context. The adaptive potential of habitual behaviour was evident in the habitual products choice consistency across three successive choices, despite the decrease in perceived applicability. Study 2 evidenced the adaptive potential in strong habitual behaviour participants – high chronic accessibility – who chose a habitual product (milk more than a non-habitual product (orange juice, even when perceived applicability was reduced (new context.ConclusionResults portray consumers as adaptive decision makers that can flexibly cope with changes in their (inner and outer choice contexts.

  8. Climate warming strengthens indirect interactions in an old-field food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Brandon T; Beckerman, Andrew P; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2009-09-01

    Climate change is expected to alter trophic interactions within food chains, but predicting the fate of particular species is difficult because the predictions hinge on knowing exactly how climate influences direct and indirect interactions. We used two complementary approaches to examine how climate change may alter trophic interactions within an old-field food web composed of herbaceous plants, grasshopper herbivores, and spider predators. We synthesized data spanning 15 years of experimentation during which interannual mean growing season temperature varied by 2 degrees C and precipitation by 2.5 cm. We also manipulated temperature within mesocosms to test the affect of temperature on primary production and strength of direct and indirect trophic interactions. Both approaches produced similar results: plant production was not directly affected by temperature or precipitation, but the strength of top-down indirect effects on grasses and forbs increased by 30-40% per 1 degrees C. Hence, the net effect of climate change was to strengthen top-down control of this terrestrial system. PMID:19769112

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evenset, A; Hallanger, I G; Tessmann, M; Warner, N; Ruus, A; Borgå, K; Gabrielsen, G W; Christensen, G; Renaud, P E

    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(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(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. PMID:26519572

  10. Exposure and food web transfer of pharmaceuticals in ospreys (Pandion haliaetus): Predictive model and empirical data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarus, Rebecca; Rattner, Barnett A.; Du, Bowen; McGowan, Peter C.; Blazer, Vicki; Ottinger, Mary Ann

    2015-01-01

    The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a well-known sentinel of environmental contamination, yet no studies have traced pharmaceuticals through the water–fish–osprey food web. A screening-level exposure assessment was used to evaluate the bioaccumulation potential of 113 pharmaceuticals and metabolites, and an artificial sweetener in this food web. Hypothetical concentrations in water reflecting “wastewater effluent dominated” or “dilution dominated” scenarios were combined with pH-specific bioconcentration factors (BCFs) to predict uptake in fish. Residues in fish and osprey food intake rate were used to calculate the daily intake (DI) of compounds by an adult female osprey. Fourteen pharmaceuticals and a drug metabolite with a BCF greater than 100 and a DI greater than 20 µg/kg were identified as being most likely to exceed the adult human therapeutic dose (HTD). These 15 compounds were also evaluated in a 40 day cumulative dose exposure scenario using first-order kinetics to account for uptake and elimination. Assuming comparable absorption to humans, the half-lives (t1/2) for an adult osprey to reach the HTD within 40 days were calculated. For 3 of these pharmaceuticals, the estimated t1/2 in ospreys was less than that for humans, and thus an osprey might theoretically reach or exceed the HTD in 3 to 7 days. To complement the exposure model, 24 compounds were quantified in water, fish plasma, and osprey nestling plasma from 7 potentially impaired locations in Chesapeake Bay. Of the 18 analytes detected in water, 8 were found in fish plasma, but only 1 in osprey plasma (the antihypertensive diltiazem). Compared to diltiazem detection rate and concentrations in water (10/12 detects, water. Diltiazem was found in all 69 osprey plasma samples (540–8630 ng/L), with 41% of these samples exceeding maximum concentrations found in fish. Diltiazem levels in fish and osprey plasma were below the human therapeutic plasma concentration (30 000

  11. 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

  12. Trophic transfer of persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) within an Arctic marine food web from the southern Beaufort-Chukchi Seas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The trophic status and biomagnification of persistent OCs within the near-shore Beaufort-Chukchi Seas food web from Barrow, AK is discussed. - Stable isotope values (δ13C, δ15N) and concentrations of persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) were determined to evaluate the near-shore marine trophic status of biota and biomagnification of OCs from the southern Beaufort-Chukchi Seas (1999-2000) near Barrow, AK. The biota examined included zooplankton (Calanus spp.), fish species such as arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), and fourhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis), along with marine mammals, including bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus). The isotopically derived trophic position of biota from the Beaufort-Chukchi Seas marine food web, avian fauna excluded, is similar to other coastal food webs in the Arctic. Concentrations of OCs in marine mammals were significantly greater than in fish and corresponded with determined trophic level. In general, OCs with the greatest food web magnification factors (FWMFs) were those either formed due to biotransformation (e.g. p,p'-DDE, oxychlordane) or considered recalcitrant (e.g. β-HCH, 2,4,5-Cl substituted PCBs) in most biota, whereas concentrations of OCs that are considered to be readily eliminated (e.g. γ-HCH) did not correlate with trophic level. Differences in physical-chemical properties of OCs, feeding strategy and possible biotransformation were reflected in the variable biomagnification between fish and marine mammals. The FWMFs in the Beaufort-Chukchi Seas region were consistent with reported values in the Canadian Arctic and temperate food webs, but were statistically different than FWMFs from the Barents and White Seas, indicating that the spatial variability of OC contamination in top-level marine Arctic predators is attributed to

  13. 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.

  14. Trophic transfer of persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) within an Arctic marine food web from the southern Beaufort-Chukchi Seas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoekstra, P.F.; O' Hara, T.M.; Fisk, A.T.; Borgaa, K.; Solomon, K.R.; Muir, D.C.G

    2003-08-01

    The trophic status and biomagnification of persistent OCs within the near-shore Beaufort-Chukchi Seas food web from Barrow, AK is discussed. - Stable isotope values ({delta}{sup 13}C, {delta}{sup 15}N) and concentrations of persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) were determined to evaluate the near-shore marine trophic status of biota and biomagnification of OCs from the southern Beaufort-Chukchi Seas (1999-2000) near Barrow, AK. The biota examined included zooplankton (Calanus spp.), fish species such as arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), and fourhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis), along with marine mammals, including bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus). The isotopically derived trophic position of biota from the Beaufort-Chukchi Seas marine food web, avian fauna excluded, is similar to other coastal food webs in the Arctic. Concentrations of OCs in marine mammals were significantly greater than in fish and corresponded with determined trophic level. In general, OCs with the greatest food web magnification factors (FWMFs) were those either formed due to biotransformation (e.g. p,p'-DDE, oxychlordane) or considered recalcitrant (e.g. {beta}-HCH, 2,4,5-Cl substituted PCBs) in most biota, whereas concentrations of OCs that are considered to be readily eliminated (e.g. {gamma}-HCH) did not correlate with trophic level. Differences in physical-chemical properties of OCs, feeding strategy and possible biotransformation were reflected in the variable biomagnification between fish and marine mammals. The FWMFs in the Beaufort-Chukchi Seas region were consistent with reported values in the Canadian Arctic and temperate food webs, but were statistically different than FWMFs from the Barents and White Seas, indicating that the spatial variability of OC contamination in top

  15. 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.

  16. Fatty acid transfer in the food web of a coastal Mediterranean lagoon: Evidence for high arachidonic acid retention in fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koussoroplis, Apostolos-Manuel; Bec, Alexandre; Perga, Marie-Elodie; Koutrakis, Emmanuil; Bourdier, Gilles; Desvilettes, Christian

    2011-02-01

    The transfer of fatty acids (FAs) in the food web of a Mediterranean lagoon was studied using FA compositional patterns across several trophic levels. The structure of the food web was inferred from C and N stable isotopes values and an isotope mixing model was used in order to estimate the relative contribution of the different potential food sources to the biomass of consumers. Bidimensional plots of FA composition of food web components against their δ 15N values indicated a general trend of increasing proportions of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) with increasing trophic levels while the proportions of saturated fatty acids (SAFAs) and 18-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) decreased. Using the relative contributions of food sources to consumers and their FA compositions, a model was built in order to estimate the PUFA composition of consumer mixed diets which was compared to consumer PUFA profiles. The latter allowed the identification of the PUFAs which were mostly enriched/retained in consumer lipids. There was a surprisingly high retention of arachidonic acid (ARA), a trend which challenges the idea of low ARA needs in marine fish and suggests the important physiological role of this essential FA for fish in estuarine environments.

  17. 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

  18. How do we share food? Feeding of four amphibian species from an aquatic habitat in south–western Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogdan, H. V.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The feeding of four amphibian species (Triturus cristatus, Lissotriton vulgaris, Bombina variegata, Pelophylax ridibundus was studied in 2011, in south–western Romania. The diet of the newts was uniform and mostly composed of aquatic preys The diet of the anurans was more diversified, comprising more prey taxa, mostly terrestrial. The trophic niches of the two newt species overlapped highly but differed from those of the anurans. The trophic niches of the anurans differed from one another. The differences among the four species’ diets were determined by the use of different trophic resources, originating from different environments, and by their different sizes. The newts’ diet was less diversified because the aquatic habitat was small and poor in trophic availability. The anurans used the aquatic habitat as a base from where they captured terrestrial preys in the surrounding terrestrial environment.

  19. Tracing carbon flow in an arctic marine food web using fatty acid-stable isotope analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budge, S M; Wooller, M J; Springer, A M; Iverson, S J; McRoy, C P; Divoky, G J

    2008-08-01

    Global warming and the loss of sea ice threaten to alter patterns of productivity in arctic marine ecosystems because of a likely decline in primary productivity by sea ice algae. Estimates of the contribution of ice algae to total primary production range widely, from just 3 to >50%, and the importance of ice algae to higher trophic levels remains unknown. To help answer this question, we investigated a novel approach to food web studies by combining the two established methods of stable isotope analysis and fatty acid (FA) analysis--we determined the C isotopic composition of individual diatom FA and traced these biomarkers in consumers. Samples were collected near Barrow, Alaska and included ice algae, pelagic phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish, seabirds, pinnipeds and cetaceans. Ice algae and pelagic phytoplankton had distinctive overall FA signatures and clear differences in delta(13)C for two specific diatom FA biomarkers: 16:4n-1 (-24.0+/-2.4 and -30.7+/-0.8 per thousand, respectively) and 20:5n-3 (-18.3+/-2.0 and -26.9+/-0.7 per thousand, respectively). Nearly all delta(13)C values of these two FA in consumers fell between the two stable isotopic end members. A mass balance equation indicated that FA material derived from ice algae, compared to pelagic diatoms, averaged 71% (44-107%) in consumers based on delta(13)C values of 16:4n-1, but only 24% (0-61%) based on 20:5n-3. Our estimates derived from 16:4n-1, which is produced only by diatoms, probably best represented the contribution of ice algae relative to pelagic diatoms. However, many types of algae produce 20:5n-3, so the lower value derived from it likely represented a more realistic estimate of the proportion of ice algae material relative to all other types of phytoplankton. These preliminary results demonstrate the potential value of compound-specific isotope analysis of marine lipids to trace C flow through marine food webs and provide a foundation for future work. PMID:18481094

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Food web analysis reveals effects of pH on mercury bioaccumulation at multiple trophic levels in streams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 δ15N) 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. δ15N 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. δ15N = 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. δ15N = 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 concentrations in the diets of

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:25861114

  6. Lead bioaccessibility in food web intermediates and the influence on ecological risk characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Claire A; Bennett, Joseph R; Koch, Iris; Reimer, Kenneth J

    2007-08-15

    Models simulating gastric conditions of mammalian (eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus; short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda) and avian (American robin, Turdus migratorius) receptors were used to investigate the proportion of lead (Pb) mobilized into the digestive juices (the bioaccessible fraction) from soil, earthworms, and vegetation collected at a rifle and pistol (RP) range in eastern Ontario, Canada. Pb concentrations averaged 5044 mg kg(-1) in RP range surface soils, 727 mg kg(-1) in earthworm tissue, and 2945 mg kg(-1) in unwashed vegetation. For mammalian gastric models, the bioaccessible fraction of Pb in soils was 66 +/- 22%, in earthworm tissue was 77 +/- 14%, and in unwashed vegetation was 50 +/- 37%. For the avian gastric model, the bioaccessible fraction of Pb in soil was 53 +/- 43% and in earthworm tissue was 73 +/- 13%. The incorporation of soil and food web intermediate bioaccessibility data into standard risk calculations resulted in predicted risk being reduced for all receptors. The inclusion of bioaccessibility during ecological risk assessment affords a more realistic estimate of contaminant exposure, and is a valuable tool for use in contaminated sites management. PMID:17874804

  7. 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.

  8. Glacial runoff strongly influences food webs in Gulf of Alaska fjords

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arimitsu, M.; Piatt, J. F.; Mueter, F. J.

    2015-12-01

    Melting glaciers contribute large volumes of freshwater to the Gulf of Alaska coast. Rates of glacier volume loss have increased markedly in recent decades, raising concern about the eventual loss of glaciers as a source of freshwater in coastal waters. To better understand the influence of glacier melt water on fjord ecosystems, we sampled oceanography, nutrients, zooplankton, forage fish, and seabirds within four fjords in the coastal Gulf of Alaska. We used generalized additive models and geostatistics to identify the range of influence of glacier runoff in fjords of varying estuarine and topographic complexity. We also modeled the responses of chlorophyll a concentration, copepod biomass, fish and seabird abundance to physical, nutrient and biotic predictor variables. Physical and nutrient signatures of glacial runoff extended 10-20 km into coastal fjords. Glacially modified physical gradients and among-fjord differences explained 66% of the variation in phytoplankton abundance, which drives ecosystem structure at higher trophic levels. Copepod, euphausiid, fish and seabird distribution and abundance were also related to environmental gradients that could be traced to glacial freshwater input. Seabird density was predicted by prey availability and silica concentrations, which may indicate upwelling areas where this nutrient is in excess. Similarities in ecosystem structure among fjords were due to influx of cold, fresh, sediment and nutrient laden water, while differences were due to fjord topography and the relative importance of estuarine vs. ocean influences. We anticipate continued changes in the volume and magnitude of glacial runoff will affect coastal marine food webs in the future.

  9. Biomagnification of mercury through a subtropical coastal food web off southwest Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thera, Jennifer C; Rumbold, Darren G

    2014-01-01

    Total mercury and stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ(15) N) were measured in samples from 57 species of invertebrates (17 species) and finfish (40 species) from the coastal waters off southwest Florida, USA, to evaluate the biomagnification of mercury through the food web. Mercury concentrations (wet wt) and δ(15) N values were highly variable among species, ranging from 0.004 mg/kg in an unidentified species of brittlestar (class Ophiuroidea) to 2.839 ± 1.39 mg/kg in king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) and from 4.67‰ in a Florida fighting conch (Strombus alatus) to 13.68‰ in crevalle jack (Caranx hippos). In general, observed Hg levels were in the upper range of levels previously reported for other Gulf populations. Species means of log-transformed Hg concentrations were positively correlated with δ(15) N (p < 0.001, r(2)  = 0.66) and had a slope of 0.21. A trophic magnification factor of 5.05 was calculated from the relationship between log-transformed mean Hg concentrations and trophic level (calculated from δ(15) N), indicating that Hg increased by a factor of 5 with each increase in trophic level. The log10 [Hg]-δ(15) N slope and trophic magnification factor were also in the upper range of values reported from other regions and ecosystems. PMID:24123350

  10. Geomorphology controls the trophic base of stream food webs in a boreal watershed .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smits, Adrianne P; Schindler, Daniel E; Brett, Michael T

    2015-07-01

    Abstract. Physical attributes of rivers control the quantity and quality of energy sources available to consumers, but it remains untested whether geomorphic conditions of whole watersheds affect the assimilation of different resources by stream organisms. We compared the fatty acid (FA) compositions of two invertebrate taxa (caddisflies, mayflies) collected from 16 streams in southwest Alaska, USA, to assess how assimilation of terrestrial organic matter (OM) and algae varied across a landscape gradient in watershed features. We found relatively higher assimilation of algae in high-gradient streams compared with low-gradient streams, and the opposite pattern for assimilation of terrestrial OM and microbes. The strength of these patterns was more pronounced for caddisflies than mayflies. Invertebrates from low-gradient watersheds had FA markers unique to methane-oxidizing bacteria and sulfate-reducing microbes, indicating a contribution of anaerobic pathways to primary consumers. Diversity of FA composition was highest in watersheds of intermediate slopes that contain both significant terrestrial inputs as well as high algal biomass. By controlling the accumulation rate and processing of terrestrial OM, watershed features influence the energetic base of food webs in boreal streams. PMID:26378300

  11. 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.

  12. Mining-related metals in terrestrial food webs of the upper Clark Fork River basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pastorok, R.A.; LaTier, A.J.; Butcher, M.K.; Ginn, T.C. [PTI Environmental Services, Bellevue, WA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Fluvial deposits of tailings and other mining-related waste in selected riparian habitats of the Upper Clark Fork River basin (Montana) have resulted in metals enriched soils. The significance of metals exposure to selected wildlife species was evaluated by measuring tissue residues of metals (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, zinc) in key dietary species, including dominant grasses (tufted hair grass and redtop), willows, alfalfa, barley, invertebrates (grasshoppers, spiders, and beetles), and deer mice. Average metals concentrations in grasses, invertebrates, and deer mice collected from tailings-affected sites were elevated relative to reference to reference levels. Soil-tissue bioconcentration factors for grasses and invertebrates were generally lower than expected based on the range of values in the literature, indicating the reduced bioavailability of metals from mining waste. In general, metals concentrations in willows, alfalfa, and barley were not elevated above reference levels. Using these data and plausible assumptions for other exposure parameters for white-tailed deer, red fox, and American kestrel, metals intake was estimated for soil and diet ingestion pathways. Comparisons of exposure estimates with toxicity reference values indicated that the elevated concentrations of metals in key food web species do not pose a significant risk to wildlife.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Diastereomer-specific bioaccumulation of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in a coastal food web, Western Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukås, Marianne; Hylland, Ketil; Nygård, Torgeir; Berge, John Arthur; Mariussen, Espen

    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 α-, β- and γ-HBCD, as well as lipid content and stable isotopes of nitrogen ((15)N/(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 β- and γ-HBCD, the α-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 α-diastereomer and trophic position as homeotherms. The apparent biomagnification of the α-HBCD could be due to bioisomerization or diastereomer-specific elimination that differed between poikilotherms and homeotherms. PMID:20828788

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Web page of the Ibero-American laboratories network of radioactivity analysis in foods: a tool for inter regional diffusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One objective of the thematic networks is the exchanges of knowledge among participants, for this reason, actions focused to the diffusion of their respective work are prioritized, evidencing the result of the cooperation among the participant groups and also among different networks. The Ibero-American Laboratories Network of Radioactivity Analysis in Foods (RILARA) was constituted in 2007, and one of the first actions carried out in this framework, was the design and conformation of a web page. The web pages have become a powerful means for diffusion of specialized information. Their power, as well as their continuous upgrading and the specificity of the topics that can develop, allow the user to obtain fast information on a wide range of products, services and organizations at local and world level. The main objective of the RILARA web page is to provide updated relevant information to interested specialists in the subject and also to public in general, about the work developed by the network laboratories regarding the control of radioactive pollutants in foods and related scientific issues. This web has been developed based on a Content Management Systems that helps to eliminate potential barriers to the communication web, reducing the creation costs, contribution and maintenance of the content. The tool used for its design is very effective to be used in the process of teaching, learning and for the organization of the information. This paper describes how was conceived the design of this web page, the information that contains and how can be accessed and/or to include any contribution, the value of this page depends directly on the grade of updating of the available contents so that it can be useful and attractive to the users. (author)

  20. 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

    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......Natural braided river floodplains typically possess high groundwater–surface water exchange, which is vital to the overall function and structure of these complex ecosystems. Spring-fed streams on the floodplain are also hotspots of benthic invertebrate diversity and productivity. The sources...... 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27189145

  4. 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. PMID:23332676

  5. 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

    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...... in gaps. Taxonomic diversity of nematodes increased during decomposition and functional diversity of nematodes followed a pattern often encountered, i.e. opportunistic bacterial-feeders were gradually replaced by fungal-feeders and slower growing bacterial-feeders while predators and omnivors peaked...... 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....

  6. 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.

  7. Congener-specific accumulation and trophic transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls in spider crab food webs revealed by stable isotope analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodin, N; Le Loc'h, F; Caisey, X; Le Guellec, A-M; Abarnou, A; Loizeau, V; Latrouite, D

    2008-01-01

    Polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) and stable isotopes (delta15N and delta13C) 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 concen