WorldWideScience

Sample records for centred food web

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Adaptive foraging and flexible food web topology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Křivan, Vlastimil; Schmitz, O.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 5, - (2003), s. 623-652. ISSN 1522-0613 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/03/0091 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : adaptive foraging * food chain * food web structure Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.587, year: 2003

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Mycoloop: chytrids in aquatic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagami, Maiko; Miki, Takeshi; Takimoto, Gaku

    2014-01-01

    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 10(1) to 10(9) 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. PMID:24795703

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Cyclic energy pathways in ecological food webs

    OpenAIRE

    B. D. Fath; Halnes, G.

    2007-01-01

    Standard ecology textbooks typically maintain that nutrients cycle, but energy flows in unidirectional chains. However, here we use a new metric that allows for the identification and quantification of cyclic energy pathways. Some of these important pathways occur due to the contribution of dead organic matter to detrital pools and those organisms that feed on them, reintroducing some of that energy back into the food web. Recognition of these cyclic energy pathways profoundly impacts many ...

  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. 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 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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 and....... Parameter values are determined from cross-species analysis of fish communities as life-history omnivory is widespread in aquatic systems, but may be reparameterised for other systems. An ensemble of food webs is generated and the resulting communities are analysed at four levels of organisation: community...... level, species level, trait level, and individual level. The model may be solved analytically by assuming that the community spectrum follows a power law. The analytical solution provides a baseline expectation of the results of complex food web simulations, and agrees well with the predictions of the...

  12. Size-based predictions of food web patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Lai; Hartvig, Martin; Knudsen, Kim;

    2014-01-01

    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 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 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...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvy, Lisa M; Calvert, Sandra L

    2008-04-01

    In 2006 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that food marketing was a contributor to childhood obesity in the United States. One recommendation of the IOM committee was for research on newer marketing venues, such as Internet Web sites. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to answer the IOM's call by examining food marketing on popular children's Web sites. Ten Web sites were selected based on market research conducted by KidSay, which identified favorite sites of children aged 8 to 11 years during February 2005. Using a standardized coding form, these sites were examined page by page for the existence, type, and features of food marketing. Web sites were compared using chi2 analyses. Although food marketing was not pervasive on the majority of the sites, seven of the 10 Web sites contained food marketing. The products marketed were primarily candy, cereal, quick serve restaurants, and snacks. Candystand.com, a food product site, contained a significantly greater amount of food marketing than the other popular children's Web sites. Because the foods marketed to children are not consistent with a healthful diet, nutrition professionals should consider joining advocacy groups to pressure industry to reduce online food marketing directed at youth. PMID:18375231

  15. Web Assisted Language Learning (WALL) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) in Virtual Centres for Foreign Languages

    OpenAIRE

    German Ruiperez

    2002-01-01

    The Web has had different uses in the teaching of modern languages: (a) as a source of resources: In a very short time, the Web has become the largest source of resources for the learning of any foreign language; (b) as a window of multimedia applications (in this way CD-ROM is replaced by the Web as the main means of storage of multimedia applications.); and (c) as an e-learning platform. For an institution to create a Virtual Centre for Foreign Language Learning, certain software must ...

  16. Social Search: A Taxonomy of, and a User-Centred Approach to, Social Web Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonnell, Michael; Shiri, Ali

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to introduce the notion of social search as a new concept, drawing upon the patterns of web search behaviour. It aims to: define social search; present a taxonomy of social search; and propose a user-centred social search method. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed method approach was adopted to investigate…

  17. 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...

  18. Compilation and network analyses of cambrian food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Dunne

    2008-04-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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......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...

  2. Arthropod food-webs on man-made lake islands

    OpenAIRE

    Biermann, Erich

    2014-01-01

    Food webs are the dynamic structure of natural ecosystems. Island biogeographical and meta-community perspectives have aided food web research in spatially delimiting and opening the the studied object at the same time. While islands and habitat fragments have become empirical representations of spatially delimited focal habitat patches and their dynamics, considering the dispersal of organisms between them has opened new perspectives on community assembly and the maintenance of biodiversity....

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Video games as new tools for political persuasion : web games of the Estonian Centre Party

    OpenAIRE

    Randviir-Vellamo, Ave

    2012-01-01

    This thesis studies four web games that have been released in Estonia in 2004-2011 and have been sponsored by the Estonian Centre Party. Using video games in political campaigning is a recent and not very widely spread trend. Therefore, these web games provided an opportunity to examine the ways how political messages can be inserted into video games and how the qualities that are unique to video games can form political arguments and persuade the players. The main objective of this thesis...

  8. 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

  9. Conjugate coupling in ecosystems: Cross-predation stabilizes food webs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • We study two predator–prey models coupled via cross-predation (conjugate coupling). • Appropriate cross-predation levels can lead to amplitude death. • An instance of extreme multistability in identical coupled systems is reported. - Abstract: We study the dynamics of two predator–prey systems that are coupled via cross-predation, in which each predator consumes also the other prey. This setup constitutes a model system in which conjugate coupling emerges naturally and denotes the transition from two separate food chains to a food web. We show that cross-predation of a certain strength leads to amplitude death stabilizing the food web in a new equilibrium

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    This study compares the structure of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) meadows and associated food webs in two eelgrass habitats in Denmark, differing in exposure, connection to the open sea, nutrient enrichment and water transparency. Meadow structure strongly reflected the environmental conditions in each habitat. The eutrophicated, protected site had higher biomass of filamentous algae, lower eelgrass biomass and shoot density, longer and narrower leaves, and higher above to below ground biomass ratio compared to the less nutrient-enriched and more exposed site. The faunal community composition and food web structure also differed markedly between sites with the eutrophicated, enclosed site having higher biomass of consumers and less complex food web. These relationships resulted in a column shaped biomass distribution of the consumers at the eutrophicated site whereas the less nutrient-rich site showed a pyramidal biomass distribution of consumers coupled with a more diverse consumer community. The differences in meadow and food web structure of the two seagrass habitats, suggest how physical setting may shape ecosystem response and resilience to anthropogenic pressure. We encourage larger, replicated studies to further disentangle the effects of different environmental variables on seagrass food web structure. PMID:26752412

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. A user-centred evaluation framework for the Sealife semantic web browsers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Helen; Diallo, Gayo; de Quincey, Ed; Alexopoulou, Dimitra; Habermann, Bianca; Kostkova, Patty; Schroeder, Michael; Jupp, Simon; Khelif, Khaled; Stevens, Robert; Jawaheer, Gawesh; Madle, Gemma

    2009-01-01

    Background Semantically-enriched browsing has enhanced the browsing experience by providing contextualised dynamically generated Web content, and quicker access to searched-for information. However, adoption of Semantic Web technologies is limited and user perception from the non-IT domain sceptical. Furthermore, little attention has been given to evaluating semantic browsers with real users to demonstrate the enhancements and obtain valuable feedback. The Sealife project investigates semantic browsing and its application to the life science domain. Sealife's main objective is to develop the notion of context-based information integration by extending three existing Semantic Web browsers (SWBs) to link the existing Web to the eScience infrastructure. Methods This paper describes a user-centred evaluation framework that was developed to evaluate the Sealife SWBs that elicited feedback on users' perceptions on ease of use and information findability. Three sources of data: i) web server logs; ii) user questionnaires; and iii) semi-structured interviews were analysed and comparisons made between each browser and a control system. Results It was found that the evaluation framework used successfully elicited users' perceptions of the three distinct SWBs. The results indicate that the browser with the most mature and polished interface was rated higher for usability, and semantic links were used by the users of all three browsers. Conclusion Confirmation or contradiction of our original hypotheses with relation to SWBs is detailed along with observations of implementation issues. PMID:19796398

  16. Food Web Structure in a Harsh Glacier-Fed River

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Glacier retreat is occurring across the world, and associated river ecosystems are expected to respond more rapidly than those in flowing waters in other regions. The river environment directly downstream of a glacier snout is characterised by extreme low water temperature and unstable channel sediments but these habitats may become rarer with widespread glacier retreat. In these extreme environments food web dynamics have been little studied, yet they could offer opportunities to test food w...

  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. Modelling PCB bioaccumulation in a Baltic food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A steady state model is developed to describe the bioaccumulation of organic contaminants by 14 species in a Baltic food web including pelagic and benthic aquatic organisms. The model is used to study the bioaccumulation of five PCB congeners of different chlorination levels. The model predictions are evaluated against monitoring data for five of the species in the food web. Predicted concentrations are on average within a factor of two of measured concentrations. The model shows that all PCB congeners were biomagnified in the food web, which is consistent with observations. Sensitivity analysis reveals that the single most sensitive parameter is log K OW. The most sensitive environmental parameter is the annual average temperature. Although not identified amongst the most sensitive input parameters, the dissolved concentration in water is believed to be important because of the uncertainty in its determination. The most sensitive organism-specific input parameters are the fractional respiration of species from the water column and sediment pore water, which are also difficult to determine. Parameters such as feeding rate, growth rate and lipid content of organism are only important at higher trophic levels. - The bioaccumulation behaviour of PCB congeners in a Baltic food web is studied using a novel mechanistic model

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Soil food web changes during spontaneous succession in post mining site: ecosystem engineering effect on food web organization

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Frouz, J.; Thébault, E.; Pižl, Václav; Adl, S.; Cajthaml, Tomáš; Háněl, Ladislav; Starý, Josef; Tajovský, Karel

    Coimbra: University of Coimbra, 2012. s. 195. [International Colloquium on Soil Zoology /16./. 06.08.2012-10.08.2012, Coimbra] Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : soil food web * spontaneous succession * post mining site Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  2. Ignorant hooded crows follow knowledgeable roost-mates to food: support for the information centre hypothesis.

    OpenAIRE

    Sonerud, G. A.; Smedshaug, C. A.; Bråthen, O.

    2001-01-01

    Communal roosting in birds may function to enhance foraging efficiency as explained by the information centre hypothesis, which predicts that successful foragers return from the roost to the rewarding food patch and that birds ignorant of this food follow knowledgeable roost-mates. We tested these predictions by exposing 34 radio-tagged, free-ranging, flock-living hooded crows (Corvus corone cornix) to a novel experimental set-up mimicking a superfluous food patch with maximum temporal and sp...

  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. Consistent role of weak and strong interactions in high- and low-diversity trophic food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Gellner, Gabriel; McCann, Kevin S.

    2016-01-01

    The growing realization of a looming biodiversity crisis has inspired considerable progress in the quest to link biodiversity, structure and ecosystem function. Here we construct a method that bridges low- and high-diversity approaches to food web theory by elucidating the connection between the stability of the basic building block of food webs and the mean stability properties of large random food web networks. Applying this theoretical framework to common food web models reveals two key fi...

  5. 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

    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...

  6. 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

  7. Building Groups and Independence: The Role of Food in the Lives of Young People in Danish Sports Centres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylow, Mine; Holm, Lotte

    2009-01-01

    This article, based on an ethnographic study, examines the role of food in the social interaction of 11- to 17-year-old youths in sports centres in Denmark. The sports centres serve as a free space where young people receive no adult supervision. This is underlined by their understanding and use of food in this environment. Food serves as a medium…

  8. WEB ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING (WALL AND LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (LMS IN VIRTUAL CENTRES FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    German Ruiperez

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available The Web has had different uses in the teaching of modern languages: (a as a source of resources: In a very short time, the Web has become the largest source of resources for the learning of any foreign language; (b as a window of multimedia applications (in this way CD-ROM is replaced by the Web as the main means of storage of multimedia applications.; and (c as an e-learning platform. For an institution to create a Virtual Centre for Foreign Language Learning, certain software must be installed in a computer connected to the Internet. This software is called a Learnig Management Systein (LMS. Apart from the basic functions of the majority of the LMS, we should mention the advanced functions of the LMS: voice chats, digital television channel. mobile telephone services. WAP complementary services and access to the LMS through electronic pocket diaries (PDA. There are many comparative studies of LMS, carried out by consultants, specialist magazines, etc. Despite the proliferation of comparative studies of LMS. they have hardly considered the specific features of CALL software, in which the functions that pronote sound interaction should be more advanced. On the other hand, the subject of standards Iias become relevant. It is logical that the user who introduces contents into a given LMS would want the guarantee of being able to use those contents within another LMS.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Sae Yun; McIntyre, Peter B; Flecker, Alexander S; Campbell, Linda M

    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 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. PMID:22257508

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity increases the ability of ecosystems to provide multiple functions. Most studies report a positive relationship between species richness and the number of ecosystem functions. However, it is not known whether the number of functional groups is related to the structure of the underlying species interaction network. Here we present food web data from 115 salt marsh islands and show that network structure is associated with the number of functional groups present. Functional group di...

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. On the dynamical behavior of three species food web model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this paper, a mathematical model consisting of two preys one predator with Beddington-DeAngelis functional response is proposed and analyzed. The local stability analysis of the system is carried out. The necessary and sufficient conditions for the persistence of three species food web model are obtained. For the biologically reasonable range of parameter values, the global dynamics of the system has been investigated numerically. Number of bifurcation diagrams has been obtained; Lyapunov exponents have been computed for different attractor sets. It is observed that the model has different types of attractors including chaos

  1. 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

  2. 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.)

  3. Food-web complexity, meta-community complexity and community stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mougi, A; Kondoh, M

    2016-01-01

    What allows interacting, diverse species to coexist in nature has been a central question in ecology, ever since the theoretical prediction that a complex community should be inherently unstable. Although the role of spatiality in species coexistence has been recognized, its application to more complex systems has been less explored. Here, using a meta-community model of food web, we show that meta-community complexity, measured by the number of local food webs and their connectedness, elicits a self-regulating, negative-feedback mechanism and thus stabilizes food-web dynamics. Moreover, the presence of meta-community complexity can give rise to a positive food-web complexity-stability effect. Spatiality may play a more important role in stabilizing dynamics of complex, real food webs than expected from ecological theory based on the models of simpler food webs. PMID:27071716

  4. 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...

  5. A steady-state model of PCB accumulation in dab food web

    OpenAIRE

    Loizeau, Veronique; Menesguen, Alain

    1993-01-01

    A five-compartment steady-state food web model is proposed for the benthic food web leading to the dab. Three exposure pathways are considered in the description of accumulation by benthic animals: ingestion of particulate contaminants associated with either sediment or phytoplankton, and respiratory uptake of free dissolved contaminant in overlaying water. Application of the model to a simple food web in the Bay of Seine (Eastern Channel) indicates that : a) feeding is the principal route of...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in evolving food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allhoff, K T; Drossel, B

    2016-05-19

    We use computer simulations in order to study the interplay between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) during both the formation and the ongoing evolution of large food webs. A species in our model is characterized by its own body mass, its preferred prey body mass and the width of its potential prey body mass spectrum. On an ecological time scale, population dynamics determines which species are viable and which ones go extinct. On an evolutionary time scale, new species emerge as modifications of existing ones. The network structure thus emerges and evolves in a self-organized manner. We analyse the relation between functional diversity and five community level measures of ecosystem functioning. These are the metabolic loss of the predator community, the total biomasses of the basal and the predator community, and the consumption rates on the basal community and within the predator community. Clear BEF relations are observed during the initial build-up of the networks, or when parameters are varied, causing bottom-up or top-down effects. However, ecosystem functioning measures fluctuate only very little during long-term evolution under constant environmental conditions, despite changes in functional diversity. This result supports the hypothesis that trophic cascades are weaker in more complex food webs. PMID:27114582

  9. 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.

  10. Mesoscale symmetries explain dynamical equivalence of food webs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A goal of complex system research is to identify the dynamical implications of network structure. While early results focused mainly on local or global structural properties, there is now growing interest in mesoscale structures that comprise more than one node but not the whole network. A central challenge is to discover under what conditions the occurrence of a specific mesoscale motif already allows conclusions on the dynamics of a network as a whole. In this paper, we investigate the dynamics of ecological food webs, complex heterogeneous networks of interacting populations. Generalizing the results of MacArthur and Sánchez-García (2009 Phys. Rev. E 80 26117), we show that certain mesoscale symmetries imply the existence of localized dynamical modes. If these modes are unstable the occurrence of the corresponding mesoscale motif implies dynamical instability regardless of the structure of the embedding network. In contrast, if the mode is stable it means that the symmetry can be exploited to reduce the number of nodes in the model, without changing the dynamics of the system. This result explains a previously observed dynamical equivalence between food webs containing a different number of species. (paper)

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Food consumption value: developing a consumer-centred concept of value in the field of food

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dagevos, H.; Ophem, van J.A.C.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose – This paper seeks to argue that a new and broader definition of food value should be introduced that includes other factors than the traditional mantra of nutritional value, appearance, and the like. This paper introduces the concept of food consumption value (FCV). Design/methodology/appro

  14. 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…

  15. SLA-based optimisation of virtualised resource for multi-tier web applications in cloud data centres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Jing; Yuan, Haitao; Tie, Ming; Tan, Wei

    2015-10-01

    Dynamic virtualised resource allocation is the key to quality of service assurance for multi-tier web application services in cloud data centre. In this paper, we develop a self-management architecture of cloud data centres with virtualisation mechanism for multi-tier web application services. Based on this architecture, we establish a flexible hybrid queueing model to determine the amount of virtual machines for each tier of virtualised application service environments. Besides, we propose a non-linear constrained optimisation problem with restrictions defined in service level agreement. Furthermore, we develop a heuristic mixed optimisation algorithm to maximise the profit of cloud infrastructure providers, and to meet performance requirements from different clients as well. Finally, we compare the effectiveness of our dynamic allocation strategy with two other allocation strategies. The simulation results show that the proposed resource allocation method is efficient in improving the overall performance and reducing the resource energy cost.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Benthic versus Planktonic Foundations of Three Lake Superior Coastal Food Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    The structure of aquatic food webs can provide information on system function, trophic dynamics and, potentially, responses to anthropogenic stressors. Stable isotope analyses in a Lake Superior coastal wetland (Allouez Bay, WI, USA) revealed that the food web was based upon carb...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Anthropogenic effects are associated with a lower persistence of marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilarranz, Luis J; Mora, Camilo; Bascompte, Jordi

    2016-01-01

    Marine coastal ecosystems are among the most exposed to global environmental change, with reported effects on species biomass, species richness and length of trophic chains. By combining a biologically informed food-web model with information on anthropogenic influences in 701 sites across the Caribbean region, we show that fishing effort, human density and thermal stress anomaly are associated with a decrease in local food-web persistence. The conservation status of the site, in turn, is associated with an increase in food-web persistence. Some of these associations are explained through effects on food-web structure and total community biomass. Our results unveil a hidden footprint of human activities. Even when food webs may seem healthy in terms of the presence and abundance of their constituent species, they may be losing the capacity to withstand further environmental degradation. PMID:26867790

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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...

  14. Food webs and carbon flux in the Barents Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  15. Web server of the Centre for Photonuclear Experiments Data of the Scientific Research Institute for Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University: Hypertext version of the nuclear physics database

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The nuclear databases which have been developed at the Centre for Photonuclear Experiments Data of the D.V. Skobel'tsyn Scientific Research Institute for Nuclear Physics, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, and put on the Centre's web server, are presented. The possibilities for working with these databases on the Internet are described. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    Within food webs, species can be partitioned into groups according to various criteria. Two notions have received particular attention: trophic groups (TGs), which have been used for decades in the ecological literature, and more recently, modules. The relationship between these two group concepts remains unknown in empirical food webs. While recent developments in network theory have led to efficient methods for detecting modules in food webs, the determination of TGs (groups of species that are functionally similar) is largely based on subjective expert knowledge. We develop a novel algorithm for TG detection. We apply this method to empirical food webs and show that aggregation into TGs allows for the simplification of food webs while preserving their information content. Furthermore, we reveal a two-level hierarchical structure where modules partition food webs into large bottom-top trophic pathways, whereas TGs further partition these pathways into groups of species with similar trophic connections. This provides new perspectives for the study of dynamical and functional consequences of food-web structure, bridging topological and dynamical analysis. TGs have a clear ecological meaning and are found to provide a trade-off between network complexity and information loss. PMID:25878127

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.; Møhlenberg, F.; Tiselius, P.; Ærtebjerg, G.

    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...... 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Can ECOPATH with ECOSIM enhance models of radionuclide flows in food webs? - an example for 14C in a coastal food web in the Baltic Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this study it was evaluated whether the ECOPATH with ECOSIM software could be used as a platform to facilitate the construction of models and study of transport and accumulation of radionuclides in aquatic food webs. The evaluation was based upon a food web model of carbon (C) and carbon-14 (14C) flow for a coastal area in the Baltic Sea, the ECOPATH, the ECOSIM and the ECOTRACE models. The original carbon flows and assumptions were easily incorporated into the ECOPATH and ECOSIM modelling environment. The new model was also well suited to drive a 14C flow model (ECOTRACE) for each of the organisms included. ECOTRACE estimated steady-state concentrations of 14C that were between 73 and 142% of the original flows. The results clearly show that there is great potential for a successful development of this approach for integrating scientific knowledge about food webs and radioecological models for aquatic systems

  3. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    his study compares the structure of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) meadows and associated food webs in two eelgrass habitats in Denmark, differing in exposure, connection to the open sea, nutrient enrichment and water transparency. Meadow structure strongly reflected the environmental conditions in...... 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Predator hunting mode influences patterns of prey use from grazing and epigeic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimp, Gina M; Murphy, Shannon M; Lewis, Danny; Douglas, Margaret R; Ambikapathi, Ramya; Van-Tull, Lie'Ann; Gratton, Claudio; Denno, Robert F

    2013-02-01

    Multichannel omnivory by generalist predators, especially the use of both grazing and epigeic prey, has the potential to increase predator abundance and decrease herbivore populations. However, predator use of the epigeic web (soil surface detritus/microbe/algae consumers) varies considerably for reasons that are poorly understood. We therefore used a stable isotope approach to determine whether prey availability and predator hunting style (active hunting vs. passive web-building) impacted the degree of multichannel omnivory by the two most abundant predators on an intertidal salt marsh, both spiders. We found that carbon isotopic values of herbivores remained constant during the growing season, while values for epigeic feeders became dramatically more enriched such that values for the two webs converged in August. Carbon isotopic values for both spider species remained midway between the two webs as values for epigeic feeders shifted, indicating substantial use of prey from both food webs by both spider species. As the season progressed, prey abundance in the grazing food web increased while prey abundance in the epigeic web remained constant or declined. In response, prey consumption by the web-building spider shifted toward the grazing web to a much greater extent than did consumption by the hunting spider, possibly because passive web-capture is more responsive to changes in prey availability. Although both generalist predator species engaged in multichannel omnivory, hunting mode influenced the extent to which these predators used prey from the grazing and epigeic food webs, and could thereby influence the strength of trophic cascades in both food webs. PMID:22926724

  8. 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

  9. Fluorinated organic compounds in an eastern Arctic marine food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomy, Gregg T; Budakowski, Wes; Halldorson, Thor; Helm, Paul A; Stern, Gary A; Friesen, Ken; Pepper, Karen; Tittlemier, Sheryl A; Fisk, Aaron T

    2004-12-15

    An eastern Arctic marine food web was analyzed for perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS, C8F17SO3-), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA, C7F15COO-), perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA, C8F17SO2NH2), and N-ethylperfluorooctane sulfonamide (N-EtPFOSA, C8F17SO2NHCH2CH3) to examine the extent of bioaccumulation. PFOS was detected in all species analyzed, and mean concentrations ranged from 0.28 +/- 0.09 ng/g (arithmetic mean +/- 1 standard error, wet wt, whole body) in clams (Mya truncata) to 20.2 +/- 3.9 ng/g (wet wt, liver) in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus). PFOA was detected in approximately 40% of the samples analyzed at concentrations generally smaller than those found for PFOS; the greatest concentrations were observed in zooplankton (2.6 +/- 0.3 ng/g, wet wt). N-EtPFOSA was detected in all species except redfish with mean concentrations ranging from 0.39 +/- 0.07 ng/g (wet wt) in mixed zooplankton to 92.8 +/- 41.9 ng/g (wet wt) in Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida). This is the first report of N-EtPFOSA in Arctic biota. PFOSA was only detected in livers of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) (20.9 +/- 7.9 ng/g, wet wt) and narwhal (Monodon monoceros) (6.2 +/- 2.3 ng/g, wet wt), suggesting that N-EtPFOSA and other PFOSA-type precursors are likely present but are being biotransformed to PFOSA. A positive linear relationship was found between PFOS concentrations (wet wt) and trophic level (TL), based on delta15N values, (r2 = 0.51, p 1, suggesting potential for these compounds to biomagnify. The presence of perfluorinated compounds in seabirds and mammals provides evidence that trophic transfer is an important exposure route of these chemicals to Arctic biota. PMID:15669302

  10. 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.

  11. Interactive effects of warming and species loss on model Antarctic microbial food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Newsham, K.K.; Garstecki, T.

    2007-01-01

    1. Predicting the effects of warming and species loss on ecosystems are two significant challenges currently facing ecologists. However, little is known of the interactive effects of these two factors. We hence tested whether or not warming and species loss interact to influence productivity and dissolved nitrogen concentrations in model Antarctic microbial food webs. Food webs, consisting of a uniform bacterial community and mixtures of six, four, two and zero bacterivorous flagellate specie...

  12. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web

    OpenAIRE

    Schilthuizen, Menno; Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P.; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J.; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G.P.; van Duijn, Pieter T.; Meulblok, Marjolein M.; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K.; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A; Vrieling, Klaas

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more diverse than its native relative, P. padus (bird cherry), with similar proportions of specialists and generalists. While herbivory on P. padus remained stable over the past century, that on P. seroti...

  13. 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...

  14. Food-web complexity, meta-community complexity and community stability

    OpenAIRE

    A. Mougi; Kondoh, M.

    2016-01-01

    What allows interacting, diverse species to coexist in nature has been a central question in ecology, ever since the theoretical prediction that a complex community should be inherently unstable. Although the role of spatiality in species coexistence has been recognized, its application to more complex systems has been less explored. Here, using a meta-community model of food web, we show that meta-community complexity, measured by the number of local food webs and their connectedness, elicit...

  15. 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...

  16. Facing the necessity of describing estuarine ecosystems: a review of food web ecology study techniques

    OpenAIRE

    Pasquaud, S.; Lobry, J.; Elie, P.

    2007-01-01

    Estuarine areas are sites of human pressures and degradation. In order to maintain and/or restore the quality of estuarine ecosystems, it is necessary to describe their structure and functioning. For that reason, many recent scientific works focus on food webs, which are depicted as being good indicators of the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Hence it is necessary to question how estuarine food webs can be described. This paper proposes a pragmatic and practical review of the most widely u...

  17. 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

    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 into...... larger zooplankters. We argue that heterogeneity in the nutrient status of phytoplankton in the subsurface peak can be important in controlling the type ('classical' or 'regenerated') of planktonic food web found in the water column as a whole...

  18. 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...

  19. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera d'Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named 'green' and 'blue' - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the 'adaptive' responses of plankton communities to perturbations. PMID:26883643

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Trophic transfer of metals along freshwater food webs: Evidence of cadmium biomagnification in nature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croteau, M.-N.; Luoma, S.N.; Stewart, A.R.

    2005-01-01

    We conducted a study with cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) in the delta of San Francisco Bay, using nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes to identify trophic position and food web structure. Cadmium is progressively enriched among trophic levels in discrete epiphyte-based food webs composed of macrophyte-dwelling invertebrates (the first link being epiphytic algae) and fishes (the first link being gobies). Cadmium concentrations were biomagnified 15 times within the scope of two trophic links in both food webs. Trophic enrichment in invertebrates was twice that of fishes. No tendency toward trophic-level enrichment was observed for Cu, regardless of whether organisms were sorted by food web or treated on a taxonomic basis within discrete food webs. The greatest toxic effects of Cd are likely to occur with increasing trophic positions, where animals are ingesting Cd-rich prey (or food). In Franks Tract this occurs within discrete food chains composed of macrophyte-dwelling invertebrates or fishes inhabiting submerged aquatic vegetation. Unraveling ecosystem complexity is necessary before species most exposed and at risk can be identified. ?? 2005, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.

  3. Singapore National Medical Image Resource Centre (SN.MIRC): a world wide web resource for radiology education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guo-Liang; Lim, C C Tchoyoson

    2006-08-01

    Radiology education is heavily dependent on visual images, and case-based teaching files comprising medical images can be an important tool for teaching diagnostic radiology. Currently, hardcopy film is being rapidly replaced by digital radiological images in teaching hospitals, and an electronic teaching file (ETF) library would be desirable. Furthermore, a repository of ETFs deployed on the World Wide Web has the potential for e-learning applications to benefit a larger community of learners. In this paper, we describe a Singapore National Medical Image Resource Centre (SN.MIRC) that can serve as a World Wide Web resource for teaching diagnostic radiology. On SN.MIRC, ETFs can be created using a variety of mechanisms including file upload and online form-filling, and users can search for cases using the Medical Image Resource Center (MIRC) query schema developed by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). The system can be improved with future enhancements, including multimedia interactive teaching files and distance learning for continuing professional development. However, significant challenges exist when exploring the potential of using the World Wide Web for radiology education. PMID:17006584

  4. 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...

  5. Food Chains & Webs. A Multimedia CD-ROM. [CD-ROM].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001

    This CD-ROM is designed for classroom and individual use to teach and learn about food chains and food webs. Integrated animations, custom graphics, three-dimensional representations, photographs, and sound are featured for use in user-controlled activities. Interactive lessons are available to reinforce the subject material. Pre- and post-testing…

  6. 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.

  7. Mercury and other trace elements in a pelagic Arctic marine food web (Northwater Polynya, Baffin Bay)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg) and 22 other trace elements were measured in ice algae, three species of zooplankton, mixed zooplankton samples, Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and eight species of seabirds to examine the trophodynamics of these metals in an Arctic marine food web. All samples were collected in 1998 in the Northwater Polynya (NOW) located between Ellesmere Island and Greenland in Baffin Bay. THg and MeHg were found to biomagnify through the NOW food web, based on significant positive relationships between log THg and log MeHg concentrations vs. δ 15N muscle and liver . The slope of these relationships for muscle THg and MeHg concentrations (slope = 0.197 and 0.223, respectively) were similar to those reported for other aquatic food webs. The food web behavior of THg and δ 15N appears constant, regardless of trophic state (eutrophic vs. oligotrophic), latitude (Arctic vs. tropical) or salinity (marine vs. freshwater) of the ecosystem. Rb in both liver and muscle tissue and Zn in muscle tissue were also found to biomagnify through this food web, although at a rate that is approximately 25% of that of THg. A number of elements (Cd, Pb and Ni in muscle tissue and Cd and Li in seabird liver tissue) were found to decrease trophically through the food web, as indicated by significantly negative relationships with tissue-specific δ 15N. A diverse group of metals (Ag, Ba, La, Li, Sb, Sr, U and V) were found to have higher concentrations in zooplankton than seabirds or marine mammals due to bioconcentration from seawater. The remaining metals (As, Co, Cu, Ga, Mn, Mo and Se in muscle tissue) showed no relationship with trophic position, as indicated by δ 15N values, although As in liver tissue showed significant biomagnification in the seabird portion of the food web

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Production and food web efficiency decrease as fishing activity increases in a coastal ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anh, Pham Viet; Everaert, Gert; Goethals, Peter; Vinh, Chu Tien; De Laender, Frederik

    2015-11-01

    Fishing effort in the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem has rapidly increased from the 1990s to the 2000s, with unknown consequences for local ecosystem structure and functioning. Using ecosystem models that integrate fisheries and food webs we found profound differences in the production of six functional groups, the food web efficiency, and eight functional food web indices between the 1990s (low fishing intensity) and the 2000s (high fishing intensity). The functional attributes (e.g. consumption) of high trophic levels (e.g. predators) were lower in the 2000s than in the 1990s while primary production did not vary, causing food web efficiency to decrease up to 40% with time for these groups. The opposite was found for lower trophic levels (e.g. zooplankton): the functional attributes and food web efficiency increased with time (22 and 10% for the functional attributes and food web efficiency, respectively). Total system throughput, a functional food web index, was about 10% higher in the 1990s than in the 2000s, indicating a reduction of the system size and activity with time. The network analyses further indicated that the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem in the 1990s was more developed (higher ascendancy and capacity), more stable (higher overhead) and more mature (higher ratio of ascendancy and capacity) than in the 2000s. In the 1990s the recovery time of the ecosystem was shorter than in 2000s, as indicated by a higher Finn's cycling index in the 1990s (7.8 and 6.5% in 1990s and 2000s, respectively). Overall, our results demonstrate that the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem has experienced profound changes between the 1990s and 2000s, and emphasise the need for a closer inspection of the ecological impact of fishing.

  11. Impact of nitrogen deposition on forest and lake food webs in nitrogen-limited environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, Cédric L; Gundale, Michael J; Sánchez, Irene S; Liess, Antonia

    2016-01-01

    Increased reactive nitrogen (Nr ) deposition has raised the amount of N available to organisms and has greatly altered the transfer of energy through food webs, with major consequences for trophic dynamics. The aim of this review was to: (i) clarify the direct and indirect effects of Nr deposition on forest and lake food webs in N-limited biomes, (ii) compare and contrast how aquatic and terrestrial systems respond to increased Nr deposition, and (iii) identify how the nutrient pathways within and between ecosystems change in response to Nr deposition. We present that Nr deposition releases primary producers from N limitation in both forest and lake ecosystems and raises plants' N content which in turn benefits herbivores with high N requirements. Such trophic effects are coupled with a general decrease in biodiversity caused by different N-use efficiencies; slow-growing species with low rates of N turnover are replaced by fast-growing species with high rates of N turnover. In contrast, Nr deposition diminishes below-ground production in forests, due to a range of mechanisms that reduce microbial biomass, and decreases lake benthic productivity by switching herbivore growth from N to phosphorus (P) limitation, and by intensifying P limitation of benthic fish. The flow of nutrients between ecosystems is expected to change with increasing Nr deposition. Due to higher litter production and more intense precipitation, more terrestrial matter will enter lakes. This will benefit bacteria and will in turn boost the microbial food web. Additionally, Nr deposition promotes emergent insects, which subsidize the terrestrial food web as prey for insectivores or by dying and decomposing on land. So far, most studies have examined Nr -deposition effects on the food web base, whereas our review highlights that changes at the base of food webs substantially impact higher trophic levels and therefore food web structure and functioning. PMID:25953197

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Adverse Effects of Plant Food Supplements and Plants Consumed as Food: Results from the Poisons Centres-Based PlantLIBRA Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüde, Saskia; Vecchio, Sarah; Sinno-Tellier, Sandra; Dopter, Aymeric; Mustonen, Harriet; Vucinic, Slavica; Jonsson, Birgitta; Müller, Dieter; Veras Gimenez Fruchtengarten, Ligia; Hruby, Karl; De Souza Nascimento, Elizabeth; Di Lorenzo, Chiara; Restani, Patrizia; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Ceschi, Alessandro

    2016-06-01

    Plant food supplements (PFS) are products of increasing popularity and wide-spread distribution. Nevertheless, information about their risks is limited. To fill this gap, a poisons centres-based study was performed as part of the EU project PlantLIBRA. Multicentre retrospective review of data from selected European and Brazilian poisons centres, involving human cases of adverse effects due to plants consumed as food or as ingredients of food supplements recorded between 2006 and 2010. Ten poisons centres provided a total of 75 cases. In 57 cases (76%) a PFS was involved; in 18 (24%) a plant was ingested as food. The 10 most frequently reported plants were Valeriana officinalis, Camellia sinensis, Paullinia cupana, Melissa officinalis, Passiflora incarnata, Mentha piperita, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Ilex paraguariensis, Panax ginseng, and Citrus aurantium. The most frequently observed clinical effects were neurotoxicity and gastro-intestinal symptoms. Most cases showed a benign clinical course; however, five cases were severe. PFS-related adverse effects seem to be relatively infrequent issues for poisons centres. Most cases showed mild symptoms. Nevertheless, the occurrence of some severe adverse effects and the increasing popularity of PFS require continuous active surveillance, and further research is warranted. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26948409

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Climate change alters the structure of arctic marine food webs due to poleward shifts of boreal generalists

    OpenAIRE

    Kortsch, Susanne; Primicerio, Raul; Fossheim, Maria; Dolgov, Andrey V.; Aschan, Michaela

    2015-01-01

    Climate-driven poleward shifts, leading to changes in species composition and relative abundances, have been recently documented in the Arctic. Among the fastest moving species are boreal generalist fish which are expected to affect arctic marine food web structure and ecosystem functioning substantially. Here, we address structural changes at the food web level induced by poleward shifts via topological network analysis of highly resolved boreal and arctic food webs of the ...

  19. 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...

  20. Distributions of key exposure factors controlling the uptake of xenobiotic chemicals in an estuarine food web

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iannuzzi, T.J.; Harrington, N.W.; Shear, N.M.; Curry, C.L.; Carlson-Lynch, H.; Henning, M.H. [ChemRisk, Portland, ME (United States); Su, S.H. [Bailey Research Associates, Inc., New York, NY (United States); Rabbe, D.E. [Chemical Land Holdings, Inc., Kearny, NJ (United States)

    1996-11-01

    A critical evaluation of literature on the behavior, physiology, and ecology of common estuarine organisms was conducted in an attempt to develop probabilistic distributions for those variables that influence the uptake of xenobiotic chemicals from sediments, water, and food sources. The ranges, central tendencies, and distributions of several key parameter values were identified for dominant organisms from various trophic levels, including the polychaete Nereis virens, mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus), blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), and striped bass (Morone saxatilis). The exposure factors of interest included ingestion rate for various food sources, growth rate, respiration rate, excretion rate, body weight, wet/dry weight ratio, lipid content, chemical assimilation efficiency, and food assimilation efficiency. These exposure factors are critical to the execution of mechanistic food web models, which, when properly calibrated, can be used to estimate tissue concentrations of nonionic chemicals in aquatic organisms based on knowledge of the bioenergetics and feeding interactions within a food web and the sediment and water concentrations of chemicals. In this article the authors describe the use of distributions for various exposure factors in the context of a mechanistic bioaccumulation model that is amenable to probabilistic analyses for multiple organisms within a food web. A case study is provided which compares the estimated versus measured concentrations of five polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in a representative food web from the tidal portion of the Passaic River, New Jersey, USA. The results suggest that the model is accurate within an order of magnitude or less in estimating the bioaccumulation of PCBs in this food web without calibration. The results of a model sensitivity analysis suggest that the input parameters which most influence the output of the model are both chemical and organism specific.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas

    The last decades have witnessed unprecedented changes at a global scale including, among others, an increasing human population and goods consumption rates, climate change (warming, changes in precipitation regime), species invasions and globalisation of trade, among others. Aquatic systems...... for irrigation leads to enhanced salinisation in many aquatic systems. A consequent disappearance of higher trophic positions (mostly fish) resulted in reduced food web complexity (paper 2). Human direct and indirect modifications, in addition to climate change, may alter the current biogeographic distribution...... 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...

  2. Bioaccumulation of 137Cs in pelagic food webs in the Norwegian and Barents Seas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knowledge and documentation of the levels of radioactive contamination in fish stocks important to Norwegian fisheries is of major importance to Norwegian consumers and fish export industry. In the present study, the bioaccumulation of caesium-137 (137Cs) has been investigated in marine food webs in the Barents and Norwegian Seas. The contents of 137Cs in the different organisms were generally low (-1 wet weight), but a marked bioaccumulation was apparent: The concentration of 137Cs was about 10-fold higher in the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, representing the upper level of the food web, than in the amphipod Themisto sp., representing the lower level of the food web. The Concentration Factors (CF=Bq kg-1 wet weight/Bq l-1 seawater) increased from 10±3 for a mixed sample of krill and amphipods to 165±5 for harbour porpoises

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    approach to project how the interaction of climate, nutrient loads, and cod fishing may affect the future of the open Central Baltic Sea food web. Regionally downscaled global climate scenarios were, in combination with three nutrient load scenarios, used to drive an ensemble of three regional...... biogeochemical models (BGMs). An Ecopath with Ecosim food web model was then forced with the BGM results from different nutrient-climate scenarios in combination with two different cod fishing scenarios. The results showed that regional management is likely to play a major role in determining the future of the...

  12. 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).

  13. 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).

  14. 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

  15. From the CERN web: top quarks, incubation centres, TEDxCERN and more

    CERN Multimedia

    2015-01-01

    This new section highlights articles, blog posts and press releases published in the CERN web environment over the past weeks. This way, you won’t miss a thing...   The figure shows the data in the search for the rare s-channel single-top production after the background events have been subtracted. ATLAS presents new top physics results 17 September - ATLAS Collaboration This week, physicists from around the world are gathering at the Top 2015 workshop in Ischia, Italy to discuss the latest measurements of the top quark. As the heaviest known fundamental particle, the top quark plays a special role in the search for "new physics". In results presented at Top 2015, the ATLAS collaboration combed through their high-precision Run 1 LHC data to see if the top quark is behaving as predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. ATLAS also presented new measurements of top-quark production at high-energy (13 TeV) from early analyses of the ongoing Run 2 of the ...

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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 ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    marine food webs. In 2012 and 2013 the stomachs of 748 sandeels from 36 different commercial sandeel hauls in the central North Sea were opened. 9% of these stomachs contained late stage sandeel larvae. In order to better understand the cannibalistic nature of sandeels, we made a detailed analysis of...... North Sea sandeel stocks, but it may also add a new element to the complexity of energy flow in marine food chains...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Climate change impacts on body size and food web structure on mountain ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lurgi, Miguel; López, Bernat C; Montoya, José M

    2012-11-01

    The current distribution of climatic conditions will be rearranged on the globe. To survive, species will have to keep pace with climates as they move. Mountains are among the most affected regions owing to both climate and land-use change. Here, we explore the effects of climate change in the vertebrate food web of the Pyrenees. We investigate elevation range expansions between two time-periods illustrative of warming conditions, to assess: (i) the taxonomic composition of range expanders; (ii) changes in food web properties such as the distribution of links per species and community size-structure; and (iii) what are the specific traits of range expanders that set them apart from the other species in the community-in particular, body mass, diet generalism, vulnerability and trophic position within the food web. We found an upward expansion of species at all elevations, which was not even for all taxonomic groups and trophic positions. At low and intermediate elevations, predator : prey mass ratios were significantly reduced. Expanders were larger, had fewer predators and were, in general, more specialists. Our study shows that elevation range expansions as climate warms have important and predictable impacts on the structure and size distribution of food webs across space. PMID:23007094

  8. 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).

  9. Rotifer fecundity in relation to components of microbial food web in a eurotrophic reservoir

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Devetter, Miloslav; Seďa, Jaromír

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 504, - (2003), s. 167-175. ISSN 0018-8158. [Reservoir Limnology and Water Quality /4./. České Budějovice, 12.08.2002-16.08.2002] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6017912 Keywords : rotifers * microbial food web Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.720, year: 2003

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    on community and food web structure in 24 lakes along a wide salinity gradient, from freshwater (0.5 g L-1) to hypersaline lakes (115 g L-1), in a semiarid region in North West China. Fish, zooplankton and macroinvertebrate communities were sampled during July 2014 for determination of taxonomy and size...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Seeking Emotional Involvement in Science Education: Food-Chains and Webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsop, Steve

    2001-01-01

    Documents a study of emotion in two grade 8 science classrooms. Describes a lesson on food-chains and webs designed with a conceptual and an emotional agenda. Discusses issues of emotion, sensation and relevance in science teaching. (Author/MM)

  17. 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...

  18. Evolutionary food web model based on body masses gives realistic networks with permanent species turnover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allhoff, K. T.; Ritterskamp, D.; Rall, B. C.; Drossel, B.; Guill, C.

    2015-06-01

    The networks of predator-prey interactions in ecological systems are remarkably complex, but nevertheless surprisingly stable in terms of long term persistence of the system as a whole. In order to understand the mechanism driving the complexity and stability of such food webs, we developed an eco-evolutionary model in which new species emerge as modifications of existing ones and dynamic ecological interactions determine which species are viable. The food-web structure thereby emerges from the dynamical interplay between speciation and trophic interactions. The proposed model is less abstract than earlier evolutionary food web models in the sense that all three evolving traits have a clear biological meaning, namely the average body mass of the individuals, the preferred prey body mass, and the width of their potential prey body mass spectrum. We observed networks with a wide range of sizes and structures and high similarity to natural food webs. The model networks exhibit a continuous species turnover, but massive extinction waves that affect more than 50% of the network are not observed.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Evaluation of the use of web technology by government of Sri Lanka to ensure food security for its citizens

    OpenAIRE

    Abeysiriwardana, P. C.; S. R. KODITUWAKKU

    2016-01-01

    Web technology is one of the key areas in information and communication technology to be used as a powerful tool in ensuring food security which is one of the main issues in Sri Lanka. Web technology involves in communicating and sharing resources in network of computers all over the world. Main focus of food security is to ensure that all people have fair access to sufficient and quality food without endangering the future supply of the same food. In this context, web sites play a vital and ...

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oevelen, Dick; Bergmann, Melanie; Soetaert, Karline; Bauerfeind, Eduard; Hasemann, Christiane; Klages, Michael; Schewe, Ingo; Soltwedel, Thomas; Budaeva, Nataliya E.

    2011-11-01

    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 HAUSGARTEN station (2500 m) based on an empirical data set consisting of data on biomass, prokaryote production, total carbon deposition and community respiration. The model resolved 99 carbon flows among 4 abiotic and 10 biotic compartments, ranging from prokaryotes up to megafauna. Total carbon input was 3.78±0.31 mmol C m -2 d -1, which is a comparatively small fraction of total primary production in the area. The community respiration of 3.26±0.20 mmol C m -2 d -1 is dominated by prokaryotes (93%) and has lower contributions from surface-deposit feeding macro- (1.7%) and suspension feeding megafauna (1.9%), whereas contributions from nematode and other macro- and megabenthic compartments were limited to <1%. The high prokaryotic contribution to carbon processing suggests that functioning of the benthic food web at the central HAUSGARTEN station is comparable to abyssal plain sediments that are characterised by strong energy limitation. Faunal diet compositions suggest that labile detritus is important for deposit-feeding nematodes (24% of their diet) and surface-deposit feeding macrofauna (˜44%), but that semi-labile detritus is more important in the diets of deposit-feeding macro- and megafauna. Dependency indices on these food sources were also calculated as these integrate direct (i.e. direct grazing and predator-prey interactions) and indirect (i.e. longer loops in the food web) pathways in the food web. Projected sea-ice retreats for the Arctic Ocean typically anticipate a decrease in the labile detritus flux to the already food-limited benthic food web. The dependency indices indicate that faunal compartments depend similarly on labile and semi-labile detritus

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çelik Ertuğrul, Duygu

    2016-02-01

    In this article, a research project on mobile safe food consumption system (FoodWiki) is discussed that performs its own inferencing rules in its own knowledge base. Currently, the developed rules examines the side effects that are causing some health risks: heart disease, diabetes, allergy, and asthma as initial. There are thousands compounds added to the processed food by food producers with numerous effects on the food: to add color, stabilize, texturize, preserve, sweeten, thicken, add flavor, soften, emulsify, and so forth. Those commonly used ingredients or compounds in manufactured foods may have many side effects that cause several health risks such as heart disease, hypertension, cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, allergies, alzheimer etc. according to World Health Organization. Safety in food consumption, especially by patients in these risk groups, has become crucial, given that such health problems are ranked in the top ten health risks around the world. It is needed personal e-health knowledge base systems to help patients take control of their safe food consumption. The systems with advanced semantic knowledge base can provide recommendations of appropriate foods before consumption by individuals. The proposed FoodWiki system is using a concept based search mechanism that performs on thousands food compounds to provide more relevant information. PMID:26590979

  9. 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 ...

  10. 'David and Goliath' of the soil food web - Flagellates that kill nematodes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandmark, Lisa Bjørnlund; Rønn, Regin

    2008-01-01

    Nematodes and flagellates are important bacterial predators in soil and sediments. Generally, these organisms are considered to be competitors for bacterial food. We studied the interaction among flagellates and nematodes using axenic liquid cultures amended with heat-killed bacteria as food and ...... bacterial feeder can control the abundance of another, suggests a new perspective on how bacterial diversity and trophic interactions are linked in the soil food web. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved Udgivelsesdato: 2008......Nematodes and flagellates are important bacterial predators in soil and sediments. Generally, these organisms are considered to be competitors for bacterial food. We studied the interaction among flagellates and nematodes using axenic liquid cultures amended with heat-killed bacteria as food and...

  11. Exploring Flexitarianism: Meat Reduction in a Meat-Centred Food Culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dagevos, H.

    2016-01-01

    Broad scholarly consensus exists nowadays that high meat consumption is particularly critical from an ecological perspective. Traditionally, technological progress and efficiency innovations in food supply processes are identified as key to solving food sustainability problems. However, it is increa

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:21431616

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. All wet or dried up? Real differences between aquatic and terrestrial food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shurin, Jonathan B; Gruner, Daniel S; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2006-01-01

    Ecologists have greatly advanced our understanding of the processes that regulate trophic structure and dynamics in ecosystems. However, the causes of systematic variation among ecosystems remain controversial and poorly elucidated. Contrasts between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in particular have inspired much speculation, but only recent empirical quantification. Here, we review evidence for systematic differences in energy flow and biomass partitioning between producers and herbivores, detritus and decomposers, and higher trophic levels. The magnitudes of different trophic pathways vary considerably, with less herbivory, more decomposers and more detrital accumulation on land. Aquatic-terrestrial differences are consistent across the global range of primary productivity, indicating that structural contrasts between the two systems are preserved despite large variation in energy input. We argue that variable selective forces drive differences in plant allocation patterns in aquatic and terrestrial environments that propagate upward to shape food webs. The small size and lack of structural tissues in phytoplankton mean that aquatic primary producers achieve faster growth rates and are more nutritious to heterotrophs than their terrestrial counterparts. Plankton food webs are also strongly size-structured, while size and trophic position are less strongly correlated in most terrestrial (and many benthic) habitats. The available data indicate that contrasts between aquatic and terrestrial food webs are driven primarily by the growth rate, size and nutritional quality of autotrophs. Differences in food-web architecture (food chain length, the prevalence of omnivory, specialization or anti-predator defences) may arise as a consequence of systematic variation in the character of the producer community. PMID:16519227

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  20. 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.

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    , and functioning of the complete soil food webs of 58 individual plants, belonging to two of the plant species, Lotus corniculatus (Fabaceae) and Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae). We isolated and identified more than 150 taxa/groups of soil organisms. The soil community composition and structure of the entire....... 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......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...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Cerezo, Maria Isabel

    2015-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Climate change impacts on body size and food web structure on mountain ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Lurgi, Miguel; López, Bernat C.; Montoya, José M.

    2012-01-01

    The current distribution of climatic conditions will be rearranged on the globe. To survive, species will have to keep pace with climates as they move. Mountains are among the most affected regions owing to both climate and land-use change. Here, we explore the effects of climate change in the vertebrate food web of the Pyrenees. We investigate elevation range expansions between two time-periods illustrative of warming conditions, to assess: (i) the taxonomic composition of range expanders; (...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Fire affects root decomposition, soil food web structure, and carbon flow in tallgrass prairie

    OpenAIRE

    Shaw, E. Ashley; Denef, Karolien; Milano de Tomasel, Cecilia; Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Wall, Diana H

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Modeling food web interactions in benthic deep-sea ecosystems: a practical guide

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

  1. Impacts of unusually high sea ice cover on Antarctic coastal benthic food web structure

    OpenAIRE

    Michel, Loïc; Dubois, Philippe; Eleaume,Marc; Fournier, Jérôme; Gallut, Cyril; Jane, Philip; Lepoint, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Antarctica currently undergoes strong and contrasted impacts linked with climate change. While the West Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions in the world, resulting in sea ice cover decrease, the sea ice cover of East Antarctica unexpectedly tends to increase, possibly in relation with changes in atmospheric circulation. Changes in sea ice cover are likely to influence benthic food web structure through modifications of benthic-pelagic coupling, disruption of benthic...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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...... mesozooplankton activity for plankton food webs, particularly their role in retarding vertical fluxes and, thus, the loss of material from the euphotic zone...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Studies on the impact of food web effects on nitrification in aquatic sediments

    OpenAIRE

    Prast, Mario

    2007-01-01

    Nitrification is an important biogeochemical pathway in the upper, oxic layer of aquatic sediments and is predominantly accomplished by two groups of chemolithotrophic nitrifying bacteria. While these bacteria have been subject to numerous autecological studies before, they have rarely been regarded as part of food webs, in which they have to compete with other organisms for nutrients and substrates and in which they are prey to other organisms. The impact of ciliates as important bacterial g...

  13. 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; Heilmann, Jens Peter; Løkkegaard, Bo; Kaas, Hanne

    1998-01-01

    The distributions of bacteria, phytoplankton, protozooplankton and copepod biomass and activity were examined in relation to hydrographic characteristics of the water column on 2 cruises in the North Sea (August 1991 and May 1992). On both cruises. the greatest phytoplankton biomass concentration...... larger zooplankters. We argue that heterogeneity in the nutrient status of phytoplankton in the subsurface peak can be important in controlling the type ('classical' or 'regenerated') of planktonic food web found in the water column as a whole...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Soil resource supply influences faunal size-specific distributions in natural food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulder, Christian; den Hollander, Henri A.; Vonk, J. Arie; Rossberg, Axel G.; Jagers Op Akkerhuis, Gerard A. J. M.; Yeates, Gregor W.

    2009-07-01

    The large range of body-mass values of soil organisms provides a tool to assess the ecological organization of soil communities. The goal of this paper is to identify graphical and quantitative indicators of soil community composition and ecosystem functioning, and to illustrate their application to real soil food webs. The relationships between log-transformed mass and abundance of soil organisms in 20 Dutch meadows and heathlands were investigated. Using principles of allometry, maximal use can be made of ecological theory to build and explain food webs. The aggregate contribution of small invertebrates such as nematodes to the entire community is high under low soil phosphorus content and causes shifts in the mass-abundance relationships and in the trophic structures. We show for the first time that the average of the trophic link lengths is a reliable predictor for assessing soil fertility responses. Ordered trophic link pairs suggest a self-organizing structure of food webs according to resource availability and can predict environmental shifts in ecologically meaningful ways.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (δ15N) 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    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...... for basal organisms and for the whole food web appeared in the colder lakes. In contrast to previous works, though, Layman metrics of the fish food web were similar between the two climatic regions despite differences in basal organisms. Our results from insular systems showed a reduced fish body size...

  8. Role of the "National Reference Centre for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) detection" in the official control of food and feed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciabatti, I; Marchesi, U; Froiio, A; Paternò, A; Ruggeri, M; Amaddeo, D

    2005-08-01

    The National Reference Centre for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) detection was established in 2002 within the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, with the aim of providing scientific and technical support to the National Health System and to the Ministry of Health within the scope of the regulation of GMO use in food and feed.The recently adopted EU legislation on GMOs (Regulation CE no. 1829/2003 and no. 1830/2003) introduced more rigorous procedures for the authorisation, labelling and analytical control of food and feed consisting, containing or derived from GMOs. The National Reference Centre, besides its institutional tasks as one of the laboratories of the Italian National Health System, collects and analyses data and results of the national official control of GMOs; carries out scientific research aimed at developing, improving, validating and harmonising detection and quantification methods, in cooperation with other scientific institutions, the Community Reference Laboratory and within the European Network of GMOs laboratories (ENGL); collaborates with the Ministry of Health in the definition of control programmes and promotes educational and training initiatives. Objectives defined for 2004-2006, activities in progress and goals already achieved are presented. PMID:16244921

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The remediation and ecology of oilsands constructed wetlands was discussed with reference to a project known as the Carbon dynamics, Food web structure and Reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands Wetlands (CFRAW). This joint project between 7 mining partners and 5 universities documents how tailings in constructed wetlands modify maturation leading to natural conditions in a reclaimed landscape. Since wetlands are expected to make up 20-50 per cent of the final reclamation landscape of areas surface mined for oil sands in northeastern Alberta, the project focuses on how quickly wetlands amended with reclamation materials approach the conditions seen in reference wetland systems. This study provided a conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets to evaluate how the allocation of carbon among compartments changes as newly formed wetlands mature in the boreal system. It is likely that succession and community development will accelerate if constructed wetlands are supplemented with stockpiled peat or topsoil. The bitumens and naphthenic acids found in wetlands constructed with mine tailings materials are initially toxic, but may ultimately serve as an alternate source of carbon once they degrade or are metabolized by bacteria. This study evaluated the sources, biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands, with particular reference to how productivity of new wetlands is maintained. Net ecosystem productivity is being monitored along with rates of organic carbon accumulation from microbial, algal, and macrophyte production, and influx of outside materials. The rates of leaf litter breakdown and microbial respiration are also being monitored to determine how constituents speed or slow food web processes of young and older wetlands. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope measurements indicate which sources are incorporated into the food web as wetlands age, and how this influences community

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciborowski, J.J. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada); Dixon, G. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada); Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Liber, K.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    The remediation and ecology of oilsands constructed wetlands was discussed with reference to a project known as the Carbon dynamics, Food web structure and Reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands Wetlands (CFRAW). This joint project between 7 mining partners and 5 universities documents how tailings in constructed wetlands modify maturation leading to natural conditions in a reclaimed landscape. Since wetlands are expected to make up 20-50 per cent of the final reclamation landscape of areas surface mined for oil sands in northeastern Alberta, the project focuses on how quickly wetlands amended with reclamation materials approach the conditions seen in reference wetland systems. This study provided a conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets to evaluate how the allocation of carbon among compartments changes as newly formed wetlands mature in the boreal system. It is likely that succession and community development will accelerate if constructed wetlands are supplemented with stockpiled peat or topsoil. The bitumens and naphthenic acids found in wetlands constructed with mine tailings materials are initially toxic, but may ultimately serve as an alternate source of carbon once they degrade or are metabolized by bacteria. This study evaluated the sources, biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands, with particular reference to how productivity of new wetlands is maintained. Net ecosystem productivity is being monitored along with rates of organic carbon accumulation from microbial, algal, and macrophyte production, and influx of outside materials. The rates of leaf litter breakdown and microbial respiration are also being monitored to determine how constituents speed or slow food web processes of young and older wetlands. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope measurements indicate which sources are incorporated into the food web as wetlands age, and how this influences community

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...... organisms 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....

  14. Bioaccumulation Dynamics of Arsenate at the Base of Aquatic Food Webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Adeline R; Hesterberg, Dean R; Funk, David H; Buchwalter, David B

    2016-06-21

    Periphyton is an important food source at the base of freshwater ecosystems that tends to bioconcentrate trace elements making them trophically available. The potential for arsenic-a trace element of particular concern due to its widespread occurrence, toxicity, and carcinogenicity-to bioconcentrate in periphyton and thus be available to benthic grazers is less well characterized. To better understand arsenate bioaccumulation dynamics in lotic food webs, we used a radiotracer approach to characterize accumulation in periphyton and subsequent trophic transfer to benthic grazers. Periphyton bioconcentrated As between 3,200-9,700-fold (dry weight) over 8 days without reaching steady state, suggesting that periphyton is a major sink for arsenate. However, As-enriched periphyton as a food source for the mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer resulted in negligible As accumulation in a full lifecycle exposure. Additional studies estimate dietary assimilation efficiency in several primary consumers ranging from 22% in the mayfly N. triangulifer to 75% in the mayfly Isonychia sp. X-ray fluorescence mapping revealed that As was predominantly associated with iron oxides in periphyton. We speculate that As adsorption to Fe in periphyton may play a role in reducing dietary bioavailability. Together, these results suggest that trophic movement of As in lotic food webs is relatively low, though species differences in bioaccumulation patterns are important. PMID:27223406

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Platner, Christian

    2007-01-01

    In most terrestrial ecosystems ants (Formicidae) as eusocial insects and spiders (Araneida) as solitary trappers and hunters are key predators. To study the role of predation by these generalist predators in a dry grassland, we manipulated densities of ants and spiders (natural and low density) in a two-factorial field experiment using fenced plots. The experiment revealed strong intraguild interactions between ants and spiders. Higher densities of ants negatively affected the abundance and biomass of web-building spiders. The density of Linyphiidae was threefold higher in plots without ant colonies. The abundance of Formica cunicularia workers was significantly higher in spider-removal plots. Also, population size of springtails (Collembola) was negatively affected by the presence of wandering spiders. Ants reduced the density of Lepidoptera larvae. In contrast, the abundance of coccids (Ortheziidae) was positively correlated with densities of ants. To gain a better understanding of the position of spiders, ants and other dominant invertebrate groups in the studied food web and important trophic links, we used a stable isotope analysis ((15)N and (13)C). Adult wandering spiders were more enriched in (15)N relative to (14)N than juveniles, indicating a shift to predatory prey groups. Juvenile wandering and web-building spiders showed delta(15)N ratios just one trophic level above those of Collembola, and they had similar delta(13)C values, indicating that Collembola are an important prey group for ground living spiders. The effects of spiders demonstrated in the field experiment support this result. We conclude that the food resource of spiders in our study system is largely based on the detrital food web and that their effects on herbivores are weak. The effects of ants are not clear-cut and include predation as well as mutualism with herbivores. Within this diverse predator guild, intraguild interactions are important structuring forces. PMID:17091284

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Website WWW.INIS.UZ of the national INIS centre of Uzbekistan and WebSPIRS systems for nuclear republic organizations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: Implementation of IAEA TC project (2007-2009) UZB/0/003 'Upgrading the National INIS centre of Uzbekistan' gives an opportunity to create the web-site of INIS Centre of Uzbekistan www.inis.uz, which can provide access to the INIS Data Base (DB) and information resources of the centre, as well as dissemination services on delivery of full-text Non-conventional literature (NCL) and publications, issued in Uzbekistan on nuclear subject and information from resource fund both for INP and for many organization of Uzbekistan with nuclear-physical profile. In Menu section of the website: INIS IAEA and INIS Centre of Uzbekistan, detailed information about INIS history and its creation and philosophy, about what is INIS, what INIS does, output products and services, provided by INIS is placed. Here, it is possible to find information about history of Uzbekistan INIS Centre, performing activities in the centre, services which centre enable to provide for users of INIS DB in all Uzbekistan nuclear organizations. Within the framework of project, activities on automation of Scientific-Technical Library (STL) of INP AS RU have been also implemented which is joined to International Nuclear Libraries Network (INLN) under IAEA, and therefore libraries must present their own electronic resources for general use. To provide the access to various electronic catalogues of the library and to the list of full-text documents and articles, storing in the Institute server, the Web Page of Scientific-Technical Library of INP has been developed, the entry for which is carried out from the web-site of Uzbekistan INIS Centre, specified in the Menu as INP Library. Library news is also reflected in this page. Upon the request of INIS users, within the frame of project, scientific-technical literature of IAEA publishing and several books of the other publishers have also received. In Uzbekistan INIS centre a lot of information materials, both in hard copy and on CD-ROM, as well as

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Chironomidae feeding habits in different habitats from a Neotropical floodplain: exploring patterns in aquatic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butakka, C M M; Ragonha, F H; Train, S; Pinha, G D; Takeda, A M

    2016-02-01

    Ecological studies on food webs have considerably increased in recent decades, especially in aquatic communities. Because Chironomidae family are highly specious, occurring in almost all aquatic habitats is considered organisms-key to initiate studies on ecological relationships and trophic webs. We tested the hypothesis that the diversity of the morphospecies diet reflects differences on both the food items available among habitats and the preferences of larval feeding. We analyzed the gut content of the seven most abundant Chironomidae morphospecies of the different habitats from the Upper Paraná River. We categorized the food items found into algae, fungal spores, fragments of plants, algae and animal fragments and sponge spicules. We observed the algae predominance in the gut content of morphospecies from lakes. Considering the different regions from each lake, we registered the highest food abundance in the littoral regions in relation to the central regions. From the variety of feeding habits (number of item kinds), we classified Chironomus strenzkei, Tanytarsus sp.1, Procladius sp.1 as generalist morphospecies. We found a nested pattern between food items and Chironomidae morphospecies, where some items were common to all taxa (e.g., Bacillariophyceae algae, especially), while others were found in specific morphospecies (e.g., animals fragments found in Procladius sp.1). The algae represented the most percentage of gut contents of Chironomidae larvae. This was especially true for the individuals from littoral regions, which is probably due to the major densities of algae associated to macrophytes, which are abundant in these regions. Therefore, the feeding behavior of these morphospecies was generalist and not selective, depending only of the available resources. PMID:26909630

  4. Microbial food web dynamics along a soil chronosequence of a glacier forefield

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Microbial food webs are critical for efficient nutrient turnover providing the basis for functional and stable ecosystems. However, the successional development of such microbial food webs and their role in "young" ecosystems is unclear. Due to a continuous glacier retreat since the middle of the 19th century, glacier forefields have expanded offering an excellent opportunity to study food web development at differently developed soils. In the present study, litter degradation and the corresponding C fluxes into microbial communities were investigated along the forefield of the Damma glacier (Switzerland. 13C-enriched litter of the pioneering plant Leucanthemopsis alpina (L. Heywood was incorporated into the soil at sites that have been free from ice for approximately 10, 60, 100 and more than 700 years. The structure and function of microbial communities were identified by 13C analysis of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA and phospholipid ether lipids (PLEL. Results showed increasing microbial diversity and biomass, and enhanced proliferation of bacterial groups as ecosystem development progressed. Initially, litter decomposition proceeded faster at the more developed sites, but at the end of the experiment loss of litter mass was similar at all sites, once the more easily-degradable litter fraction was processed. As a result incorporation of 13C into microbial biomass was more evident during the first weeks of litter decomposition. 13C enrichments of both PLEL and PUFA biomarkers following litter incorporation were observed at all sites, suggesting similar microbial foodwebs at all stages of soil development. Nonetheless, the contribution of bacteria and actinomycetes to litter turnover became more pronounced as soil age increased in detriment of archaea, fungi and protozoa, more prominent in recently deglaciated terrain.

  5. Microbial food web dynamics along a soil chronosequence of a glacier forefield

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Microbial food webs are critical for efficient nutrient turnover providing the basis for functional and stable ecosystems. However, the successional development of such microbial food webs and their role in "young" ecosystems is unclear. Due to a continuous glacier retreat since the middle of the 19th century, glacier forefields have expanded offering an excellent opportunity to study food web dynamics in soils at different developmental stages. In the present study, litter degradation and the corresponding C fluxes into microbial communities were investigated along the forefield of the Damma glacier (Switzerland. 13C-enriched litter of the pioneering plant Leucanthemopsis alpina (L. Heywood was incorporated into the soil at sites that have been free from ice for approximately 10, 60, 100 and more than 700 years. The structure and function of microbial communities were identified by 13C analysis of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA and phospholipid ether lipids (PLEL. Results showed increasing microbial diversity and biomass, and enhanced proliferation of bacterial groups as ecosystem development progressed. Initially, litter decomposition proceeded faster at the more developed sites, but at the end of the experiment loss of litter mass was similar at all sites, once the more easily-degradable litter fraction was processed. As a result incorporation of 13C into microbial biomass was more evident during the first weeks of litter decomposition. 13C enrichments of both PLEL and PLFA biomarkers following litter incorporation were observed at all sites, suggesting similar microbial foodwebs at all stages of soil development. Nonetheless, the contribution of bacteria, especially actinomycetes to litter turnover became more pronounced as soil age increased in detriment of archaea, fungi and protozoa, more prominent in recently deglaciated terrain.

  6. Direct and indirect effects of ants on a forest-floor food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moya-Laraño, Jordi; Wise, David H

    2007-06-01

    Interactions among predators that prey on each other and are potential competitors for shared prey (intraguild [IG] predators) are widespread in terrestrial ecosystems and have the potential to strongly influence the dynamics of terrestrial food webs. Ants and spiders are abundant and ubiquitous terrestrial IG predators, yet the strength and consequences of interactions between them are largely unknown. In the leaf-litter food web of a deciduous forest in Kentucky (USA), we tested the direct and indirect effects of ants on spiders and a category of shared prey (Collembola) by experimentally subsidizing ants in open plots in two field experiments. In the first experiment, ant activity was increased, and the density of ants in the litter was doubled, by placing carbohydrate and protein baits in the center of each plot. Gnaphosa spiders were almost twice as abundant and Schizocosa spiders were half as abundant in baited plots relative to controls. There were more tomocerid Collembola in baited plots, suggesting possible indirect effects on Collembola caused by ant-spider interactions. The second experiment, in which screening of two mesh sizes selectively excluded large and small worker ants from a sugar bait, revealed that the large ants, primarily Camponotus, could alone induce similar effects on spiders. Gnaphosa biomass density was almost twice as high in the plots where large ants were more active, whereas Schizocosa biomass density was reduced by half in these plots. Although tomocerid densities did not differ between treatments, tomocerid numbers were negatively correlated with the activity of Formica, another large ant species. Path analysis failed to support the hypothesis that the ant Camponotus indirectly affected tomocerid Collembola through effects on densities of spiders. However, path analysis also revealed other indirect effects of Camponotus affecting tomocerids. These results illustrate the complexity of interactions between and within two major IG

  7. Fungal-to-bacterial dominance of soil detrital food-webs: Consequences for biogeochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousk, Johannes; Frey, Serita

    2015-04-01

    Resolving fungal and bacterial groups within the microbial decomposer community is thought to capture disparate microbial life strategies, associating bacteria with an r-selected strategy for carbon (C) and nutrient use, and fungi with a K-selected strategy. Additionally, food-web models have established a widely held belief that the bacterial decomposer pathway in soil supports high turnover rates of easily available substrates, while the slower fungal pathway supports the decomposition of more complex organic material, thus characterising the biogeochemistry of the ecosystem. Three field-experiments to generate gradients of SOC-quality were assessed. (1) the Detritus Input, Removal, and Trenching - DIRT - experiment in a temperate forest in mixed hardwood stands at Harvard Forest LTER, US. There, experimentally adjusted litter input and root input had affected the SOC quality during 23 years. (2) field-application of 14-C labelled glucose to grassland soils, sampled over the course of 13 months to generate an age-gradient of SOM (1 day - 13 months). (3) The Park Grass Experiment at Rothamsted, UK, where 150-years continuous N-fertilisation (0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha-1 y-1) has affected the quality of SOM in grassland soils. A combination of carbon stable and radio isotope studies, fungal and bacterial growth and biomass measurements, and C and N mineralisation (15N pool dilution) assays were used to investigate how SOC-quality influenced fungal and bacterial food-web pathways and the implications this had for C and nutrient turnover. There was no support that decomposer food-webs dominated by bacteria support high turnover rates of easily available substrates, while slower fungal-dominated decomposition pathways support the decomposition of more complex organic material. Rather, an association between high quality SOC and fungi emerges from the results. This suggests that we need to revise our basic understanding for soil microbial communities and the processes

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Low concentrations of selenium in stream food webs of eastern Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbivorous and predatory invertebrates and two species of fish (brook trout and blacknose dace) were collected from 49 streams in New Brunswick, Canada to determine whether concentrations of selenium (Se) in the biota were affected by a point source (a coal-fired power plant), and stream water chemistry (pH, sulphate, conductivity, and total organic carbon), and to determine the trophic transfer of Se through these food webs. Total Se concentrations in the biota were generally low (0.2 to 4.8 μg g-1 dry weight) across sites and there was no relationship between distance from the coal-fired power plant and Se concentrations in invertebrates or fishes. Water chemistry was an equally poor predictor of Se concentrations in invertebrates and fish. Trophic position (determined using δ15N) was a significant predictor of Se concentrations in only five of the stream food webs, and two of these had negative slopes, indicating little or no trophic magnification across most systems; many fishes had lower concentrations than their invertebrate prey and trophic transfer was higher at sites with low invertebrate Se concentrations. Variability in Se concentrations in fishes was explained more by site of capture than microhabitat use within the site (as measured with δ13C), suggesting among-site differences in geological sources of Se. Because concentrations were below known toxicity thresholds for fish and other consumers, these results suggest that Se is not an environmental issue in New Brunswick streams that do not receive direct inputs from mining activities. - Research Highlights: → Se concentrations in stream invertebrates and fishes in eastern Canada are low. → Concentrations were not related to water chemistry or distance from a point source. → Se did not biomagnify in the food web, yet was almost always in excess of Hg.

  11. Microbial food web dynamics along a soil chronosequence of a glacier forefield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esperschütz, J.; Pérez-de-Mora, A.; Schreiner, K.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Zeyer, J.; Hagedorn, F.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2011-11-01

    Microbial food webs are critical for efficient nutrient turnover providing the basis for functional and stable ecosystems. However, the successional development of such microbial food webs and their role in "young" ecosystems is unclear. Due to a continuous glacier retreat since the middle of the 19th century, glacier forefields have expanded offering an excellent opportunity to study food web dynamics in soils at different developmental stages. In the present study, litter degradation and the corresponding C fluxes into microbial communities were investigated along the forefield of the Damma glacier (Switzerland). 13C-enriched litter of the pioneering plant Leucanthemopsis alpina (L.) Heywood was incorporated into the soil at sites that have been free from ice for approximately 10, 60, 100 and more than 700 years. The structure and function of microbial communities were identified by 13C analysis of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) and phospholipid ether lipids (PLEL). Results showed increasing microbial diversity and biomass, and enhanced proliferation of bacterial groups as ecosystem development progressed. Initially, litter decomposition proceeded faster at the more developed sites, but at the end of the experiment loss of litter mass was similar at all sites, once the more easily-degradable litter fraction was processed. As a result incorporation of 13C into microbial biomass was more evident during the first weeks of litter decomposition. 13C enrichments of both PLEL and PLFA biomarkers following litter incorporation were observed at all sites, suggesting similar microbial foodwebs at all stages of soil development. Nonetheless, the contribution of bacteria, especially actinomycetes to litter turnover became more pronounced as soil age increased in detriment of archaea, fungi and protozoa, more prominent in recently deglaciated terrain.

  12. 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.

  13. An isotopic investigation of mercury accumulation in terrestrial food webs adjacent to an Arctic seabird colony

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choy, Emily S., E-mail: echoy087@uottawa.ca [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5 (Canada); Gauthier, Martine, E-mail: mgaut083@uottawa.ca [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5 (Canada); Mallory, Mark L., E-mail: mark.mallory@ec.gc.ca [Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Iqaluit, NU, Canada X0A 0H0 (Canada); Smol, John P., E-mail: smolj@queensu.ca [Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), Department of Biology, Queen' s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6 (Canada); Douglas, Marianne S.V., E-mail: msdougla@ualberta.ca [Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E3 (Canada); Lean, David, E-mail: dlean@uottawa.ca [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5 (Canada); Blais, Jules M., E-mail: Jules.Blais@uottawa.ca [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5 (Canada)

    2010-03-15

    At Cape Vera (Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada), a seabird colony of northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) congregates and releases nutrients through the deposition of guano to the coastal terrestrial environment, thus creating nutrient-fertilized habitats important to insects, birds, and mammals. Here we determined whether mercury was similarly enriched in various terrestrial food web components in this High Arctic coastal ecosystem due to seabird inputs. Stable isotopes ({delta}{sup 15}N, {delta}{sup 13}C) were used to identify trophic linkages and possible routes of contaminant transfer in the food web. Values of {delta}{sup 15}N were significantly higher in lichens and certain plants collected closer to the bird colony, demonstrating a gradient of seabird influence, and were higher at Cape Vera than our reference site at Cape Herschel, on eastern Ellesmere Island, an area relatively unaffected by seabirds. In contrast, {delta}{sup 13}C showed little variation among terrestrial species, suggesting minimal influence by seabirds. Concentrations of total mercury (THg) in primary producers and phyto/zooplankton were not significantly correlated with distance from the seabird colony or {delta}{sup 15}N values, and were similar to other taxa from the High Arctic. Our results provide novel data on THg in several Arctic taxa where concentrations have not been reported previously. Moreover, the analyses indicate that {delta}{sup 15}N is significantly enriched in the adjacent environment by guano fertilization, but our study was unable to show an enrichment of THg and {delta}{sup 13}C in the terrestrial food web near the seabird colony.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, J.K.; Beauchamp, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    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, ???DDT, and ???-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 ???-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 (??15N), whereas relationships with carbon source (??13C) 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. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Oil carbon entered the coastal planktonic food web during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was unprecedented in total loading of petroleum hydrocarbons accidentally released to a marine ecosystem. Controversial application of chemical dispersants presumably accelerated microbial consumption of oil components, especially in warm Gulf of Mexico surface waters. We employed δ13C as a tracer of oil-derived carbon to resolve two periods of isotopic carbon depletion in two plankton size classes. Carbon depletion was coincident with the arrival of surface oil slicks in the far northern Gulf, and demonstrated that subsurface oil carbon was incorporated into the plankton food web.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Investigating Pathways of Nutrient and Energy Flows Through Aquatic Food Webs Using Stable Isotopes of Carbon and Nitrogen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes can provide valuable insights into pathways of nutrient and energy flows in aquatic ecosystems. Carbon stable isotopes are principally used to trace pathways of organic matter transfer through aquatic food webs, particularly with regard to identifying the dominant sources of nutrition for aquatic biota. Stable isotopes of carbon have been widely used to answer one of the most pressing questions in aquatic food web ecology - to what degree do in-stream (autochthonous) and riparian (allochthonous) sources of energy fuel riverine food webs? In conjunction with carbon stable isotopes, nitrogen stable isotopes have been used to determine the trophic position of consumers and to identify the number of trophic levels in aquatic food webs. More recently, stable nitrogen isotopes have been recommended as indicators of anthropogenic disturbances. Specifically, agricultural land uses and/or sewage effluent discharge have been shown to significantly increase δ15N signatures in primary producers and higher order consumers in freshwater, estuarine and marine environments. Together, carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes can be used to examine natural food web functions as well as the degree to which human modifications to catchments and aquatic environments can influence aquatic ecosystem function. (author)

  3. 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

  4. Comparative validity of the ASSO - Food Frequency Questionnaire for the web-based assessment of food and nutrients intake in adolescents

    OpenAIRE

    Tabacchi, Garden; Filippi, Anna Rita; Breda, João; Censi, Laura; Amodio, Emanuele; Napoli, Giuseppe; Bianco, Antonino; Jemni, Monèm; Firenze, Alberto; Mammina, Caterina

    2015-01-01

    Background: A new web-based food frequency questionnaire (the ASSO–FFQ) was developed within the ASSO Project funded by the Italian Ministry of Health.Objective: The aim of the present study is to assess the validity of the ASSO–FFQ at food groups, energy, and nutrients level.Design and subjects: The validation study compared the ASSO–FFQ against a weighted food record (WFR) measuring foods, beverages and supplements intake, compiled during the week following the ASSO–FFQ administration. Nine...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, David M J S; Perry, George L W; Higgins, Steve I; Johnson, Chris N; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Murphy, Brett P

    2016-06-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P.; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J.; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G.P.; van Duijn, Pieter T.; Meulblok, Marjolein M.; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K.; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A.; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W.

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more diverse than its native relative, P. padus (bird cherry), with similar proportions of specialists and generalists. While herbivory on P. padus remained stable over the past century, that on P. serotina gradually doubled. We show that P. serotina may have evolved changes in investment in cyanogenic glycosides compared with its native range. In the leaf beetle Gonioctena quinquepunctata, recently shifted from native Sorbus aucuparia to P. serotina, we find divergent host preferences on Sorbus- versus Prunus-derived populations, and weak host-specific differentiation among 380 individuals genotyped for 119 SNP loci. We conclude that evolutionary processes may generate a specialized herbivore community on an invasive plant, allowing prognoses of reduced invasiveness over time. On the basis of the results presented here, we would like to caution that manual control might have the adverse effect of a slowing down of processes of adaptation, and a delay in the decline of the invasive character of P. serotina. PMID:27190702

  11. The roles and impacts of human hunter-gatherers in North Pacific marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Jennifer A; Maschner, Herbert; Betts, Matthew W; Huntly, Nancy; Russell, Roly; Williams, Richard J; Wood, Spencer A

    2016-01-01

    There is a nearly 10,000-year history of human presence in the western Gulf of Alaska, but little understanding of how human foragers integrated into and impacted ecosystems through their roles as hunter-gatherers. We present two highly resolved intertidal and nearshore food webs for the Sanak Archipelago in the eastern Aleutian Islands and use them to compare trophic roles of prehistoric humans to other species. We find that the native Aleut people played distinctive roles as super-generalist and highly-omnivorous consumers closely connected to other species. Although the human population was positioned to have strong effects, arrival and presence of Aleut people in the Sanak Archipelago does not appear associated with long-term extinctions. We simulated food web dynamics to explore to what degree introducing a species with trophic roles like those of an Aleut forager, and allowing for variable strong feeding to reflect use of hunting technology, is likely to trigger extinctions. Potential extinctions decreased when an invading omnivorous super-generalist consumer focused strong feeding on decreasing fractions of its possible resources. This study presents the first assessment of the structural roles of humans as consumers within complex ecological networks, and potential impacts of those roles and feeding behavior on associated extinctions. PMID:26884149

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 (<1% and 5% of carbon requirements of nematodes and macrofauna respectively). Predation on nematodes was generally low with the exception of sub-surface deposit-feeding polychaetes that obtained 35% of their energy requirements from nematode ingestion. Carnivorous polychaetes also covered 35% of their carbon demand through predation although the preferred prey, in this case, was other macrofaunal animals rather than nematodes. Bacteria and detritus contributed 53% and 12% to the total carbon ingestion of carnivorous polychaetes suggesting a high degree of omnivory among higher consumers in the FSC benthic food web. Overall, this study provided a unique

  3. Relational nuclear databases upon the MSU INP CDFE Web-site and Nuclear Data Centres Network CDFE activities. P7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report contains only the short review of the work carried out by the CDFE concerning the IAEA Nuclear Reaction Data Centres Network activities for the period of time from the IAEA Advisory Group Meeting (15-19 May 2000, Obninsk, Russia) till May 2001 and the description of the main results obtained

  4. Grazing and detritivory in 20 stream food webs across a broad pH gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layer, Katrin; Hildrew, Alan G; Woodward, Guy

    2013-02-01

    Acidity is a major driving variable in the ecology of fresh waters, and we sought to quantify macroecological patterns in stream food webs across a wide pH gradient. We postulated that a few generalist herbivore-detritivores would dominate the invertebrate assemblage at low pH, with more specialists grazers at high pH. We also expected a switch towards algae in the diet of all primary consumers as the pH increased. For 20 stream food webs across the British Isles, spanning pH 5.0-8.4 (the acid sites being at least partially culturally acidified), we characterised basal resources and primary consumers, using both gut contents analysis and stable isotopes to study resource use by the latter. We found considerable species turnover across the pH gradient, with generalist herbivore-detritivores dominating the primary consumer assemblage at low pH and maintaining grazing. These were joined or replaced at higher pH by a suite of specialist grazers, while many taxa that persisted across the pH gradient broadened the range of algae consumed as acidity declined and increased their ingestion of biofilm, whose nutritional quality was higher than that of coarse detritus. There was thus an increased overall reliance on algae at higher pH, both by generalist herbivore-detritivores and due to the presence of specialist grazers, although detritus was important even in non-acidic streams. Both the ability of acid-tolerant, herbivore-detritivores to exploit both autochthonous and allochthonous food and the low nutritional value of basal resources might render chemically recovering systems resistant to invasion by the specialist grazers and help explain the sluggish ecological recovery of fresh waters whose water chemistry has ameliorated. PMID:22996363

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dehn, Larissa-A. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775-7000 (United States)]. E-mail: ftld@uaf.edu; Follmann, Erich H. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775-7000 (United States); Thomas, Dana L. [Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775-6660 (United States); Sheffield, Gay G. [Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fairbanks, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701-1599 (United States); Rosa, Cheryl [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775-7000 (United States); Duffy, Lawrence K. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775-7000 (United States); O' Hara, Todd M. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775-7000 (United States)

    2006-06-01

    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 ({delta} {sup 13}C) and nitrogen ({delta} {sup 15}N) 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 {delta} {sup 15}N, 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 {delta} {sup 15}N 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Traditional food consumption is associated with higher nutrient intakes in Inuit children attending childcare centres in Nunavik

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doris Gagné

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To describe traditional food (TF consumption and to evaluate its impact on nutrient intakes of preschool Inuit children from Nunavik. Design. A cross-sectional study. Methods. Dietary intakes of children were assessed with a single 24-hour recall (n=217. TF consumption at home and at the childcare centres was compared. Differences in children's nutrient intakes when consuming or not consuming at least 1 TF item were examined using ANCOVA. Results. A total of 245 children attending childcare centres in 10 communities of Nunavik were recruited between 2006 and 2010. The children's mean age was 25.0±9.6 months (11–54 months. Thirty-six percent of children had consumed at least 1 TF item on the day of the recall. TF contributed to 2.6% of total energy intake. Caribou and Arctic char were the most reported TF species. Land animals and fish/shellfish were the main contributors to energy intake from TF (38 and 33%, respectively. In spite of a low TF intake, children who consumed TF had significantly (p<0.05 higher intakes of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, and lower intakes of energy and carbohydrate compared with non-consumers. There was no significant difference in any of the socio-economic variables between children who consumed TF and those who did not. Conclusion. Although TF was not eaten much, it contributed significantly to the nutrient intakes of children. Consumption of TF should be encouraged as it provides many nutritional, economic, and sociocultural benefits.

  9. POST GRADUATE PROGRAMME IN DIETETICS &FOOD SERVICE MANAGEMENT (MSCDFSM PROGRAMME of IGNOU: Access through the Lucknow Regional Centre

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. S. DOROTHY

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU which was established initially as a Single mode Distance Teaching Institution (DTI in the year 1985 opened its campus to face-to-face education in the year 2008 and thus now is a Dual mode Distance Teaching Institution (DTI. The Post Graduate Programme (Master of Science in Dietetics and Food Service Management (MScDFSM Programme of IGNOU offered through the Distance Learning Mode from the year 2005 has been the boon in developing human resources involved in Nutrition and Dietetics services and also serves as a mode for continuing education among the professionals on-the-job. Accessibility to the programme is independent of the qualification earned at the Bachelor’s level as at IGNOU flexibility of the qualification is ensured for fulfilling the eligibility criteria into the MScDFSM Programme so that the diverse needs of the aspirants are accommodated at entry level itself. The Programme is unique in that it has compulsory Dissertation and Internship besides the Theory and Practical Courses. The Self-Study is enriched by the Teacher inbuilt Self-instructional Study Materials coupled with compulsory submission of the Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA which phase learning and initiate the didactic communication between the Academic Counsellor (who facilitate the Academic Transactions at the field level functionary - the Learner Support Centre and the Learner. The MSc DFSM Programme of IGNOU, as the distance learning programme offered by the School of Continuing Education (SOCE of IGNOU in the Indian Sub-Continent only. This paper discusses how the MScDFSM Programme of IGNOU is contributing to the staff development of in-service Nutritionists and Dietitians through the distance education/learning mode in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, North India Regional Centre. This paper also highlights the Institutions, which served as the Learner Support Centres from the year 2005 (when the programme was launched till 2011

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CFRAW) : overview and progress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seven oil sand mining partners and 5 university labs have joined forces to study the effects of mine tailings and process waters on development, health and function of wetland communities formed in post-mining landscapes. The collaborative effort, know as the carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CRFAW), aims to identify the materials and strategies most effective and economical in producing a functioning reclamation landscape. This presentation reported on part of the study that tested predictions about how quickly wetlands amended with reclamation materials approach the conditions of reference wetland systems. It provided a conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets to assess how the allocation of carbon among compartments changes as newly formed wetlands mature in the boreal system. It was assumed that stockpiling constructed wetlands with peat or topsoil would accelerate succession and community development. Although the bitumen and the naphthenic acids found in constructed wetlands are initially toxic, they may serve as an alternate source of carbon once they degrade. This study also assessed the sources, biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands. Additional studies are examining how the productivity of new wetlands is maintained. Net ecosystem productivity is being monitored along with rates of organic carbon accumulation from microbial, algal, and macrophyte production, and influx of outside materials. The rates of leaf litter breakdown and microbial respiration are being compared to determine how constituents speed or slow food web processes of young and older wetlands. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values in food web compartments indicate which sources are incorporated into the food web as wetlands age. The values are used to determine how this influences community development, food web structure and complexity, and the

  13. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CFRAW) : overview and progress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciborowski, J. [Windsor Univ., Windsor, ON (Canada); Dixon, D.G. [Waterloo Univ., Waterloo, ON (Canada); Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Liber, K.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Seven oil sand mining partners and 5 university labs have joined forces to study the effects of mine tailings and process waters on development, health and function of wetland communities formed in post-mining landscapes. The collaborative effort, know as the carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CRFAW), aims to identify the materials and strategies most effective and economical in producing a functioning reclamation landscape. This presentation reported on part of the study that tested predictions about how quickly wetlands amended with reclamation materials approach the conditions of reference wetland systems. It provided a conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets to assess how the allocation of carbon among compartments changes as newly formed wetlands mature in the boreal system. It was assumed that stockpiling constructed wetlands with peat or topsoil would accelerate succession and community development. Although the bitumen and the naphthenic acids found in constructed wetlands are initially toxic, they may serve as an alternate source of carbon once they degrade. This study also assessed the sources, biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands. Additional studies are examining how the productivity of new wetlands is maintained. Net ecosystem productivity is being monitored along with rates of organic carbon accumulation from microbial, algal, and macrophyte production, and influx of outside materials. The rates of leaf litter breakdown and microbial respiration are being compared to determine how constituents speed or slow food web processes of young and older wetlands. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values in food web compartments indicate which sources are incorporated into the food web as wetlands age. The values are used to determine how this influences community development, food web structure and complexity, and the

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Optimal defense strategies in an idealized microbial food web under trade-off between competition and defense

    OpenAIRE

    Våge, Selina; Storesund, Julia E.; Giske, Jarl; Thingstad, T. Frede

    2014-01-01

    Trophic mechanisms that can generate biodiversity in food webs include bottom-up (growth rate regulating) and top-down (biomass regulating) factors. The top-down control has traditionally been analyzed using the concepts of “Keystone Predation” (KP) and “Killing-the-Winner” (KtW), predominately occuring in discussions of macro- and micro-biological ecology, respectively. Here we combine the classical diamond-shaped food web structure frequently discussed in KP analyses and the KtW concept by ...

  19. Spatial organization of food webs along habitat gradients at deep-sea hydrothermal vents on Axial Volcano, Northeast Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levesque, Christian; Kim Juniper, S.; Limén, Helene

    2006-04-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are characterized by steep spatial gradients and high temporal variability in habitat conditions. This leads to the organization of species distribution along spatial habitat gradients, which may constrain food resource utilization and food web structure. We conducted a stable-isotope-based study to test the hypothesis that food resource utilization is constrained by spatial habitat variability at diffuse hydrothermal vents on Axial Volcano, Northeast Pacific. Our study included the ten most biomass-prominent species and considered the temporal change in food web structure at recently created vent sites during three consecutive years. We related species average stable isotopic composition to their position between the center and the periphery of vent sites, using previously published data. Species spread widely along the δ13C axis, and showed a small variability in δ15N. This indicates that most species partition food resources between isotopically different carbon sources, and that they are not organized along predator-prey trophic chains. Particulate organic matter (POM) stable isotopic composition from a concomitant study corresponds to the signature of the expected diet for most organisms. Species average δ13C was significantly correlated to their relative position between the center and the periphery of vent sites. We relate this spatial variability in species isotopic composition to variability in the isotopic signature of both dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and POM. This spatial isotopic signal of consumers reveals the spatial structuring of food (POM) production and its consumption by the fauna. Accrual of species during the development of diffuse sites increased the inter-specific spread in δ13C, but did not increase the range in δ15N. Our results show that the spatial organization of species distribution results in a fragmented food web where species partition POM food resources according to their position in space

  20. Arthropod food web restoration following removal of an invasive wetland plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gratton, Claudio; Denno, Robert F

    2006-04-01

    Restoration of habitats impacted by invasive plants is becoming an increasingly important tool in the management of native biodiversity, though most studies do not go beyond monitoring the abundance of particular taxonomic groups, such as the return of native vegetation. Yet, the reestablishment of trophic interactions among organisms in restored habitats is equally important if we are to monitor and understand how ecosystems recover. This study examined whether food web interactions among arthropods (as inferred by abundance of naturally occurring stable isotopes of C [delta13C] and N [delta15N]) were reestablished in the restoration of a coastal Spartina alterniflora salt marsh that had been invaded by Phragmites australis. From patterns of C and N stable isotopes we infer that trophic interactions among arthropods in the native salt marsh habitats are characterized by reliance on the dominant marsh plant Spartina as a basal resource. Herbivores such as delphacid planthoppers and mirid bugs have isotope signatures characteristic of Spartina, and predatory arthropods such as dolicopodid flies and spiders likewise have delta13C and delta15N signatures typical of Spartina-derived resources (approximately -13 per thousand and 10 per thousand, respectively). Stable isotope patterns also suggest that the invasion of Phragmites into salt marshes and displacement of Spartina significantly alter arthropod food web interactions. Arthropods in Phragmites-dominated sites have delta13C isotope values between -18 per thousand and -20 per thousand, suggesting reliance on detritus and/or benthic microalgae as basal resources and not on Phragmites, which has a delta13C approximately -26 per thousand. Since most Phragmites herbivores are either feeding internally or are rare transients from nearby Spartina, these resources do not provide significant prey resources for other arthropod consumers. Rather, predator isotope signatures in the invaded habitats indicate dependence on

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (15N/14N) 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.

  9. 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......–chemical properties (e.g. 2–3-fold increase in exposure to brine-associated biota), and 2) depend on physical–chemical properties and, therefore, differentiate between contaminants (e.g. atmospheric loading of contaminants to melt ponds over the summer, and their subsequent leakage to the ocean). We estimate...... the concentrations of legacy organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and current-use pesticides (CUPs) in melt pond water in the Beaufort Sea, Canadian High Arctic, in 2008, at near-gas exchange equilibriumbased on Henry's lawconstants (HLCs), air concentrations and exchange dynamics. CUPs currently present the highest...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Simulating long-term food producing capacities in China using a Web-based land evaluation system

    OpenAIRE

    L. Ye

    2008-01-01

    This dissertation presents a modeling approach to assess the long-term food producing capacities, and consequently food security, in China using a Web-based land evaluation system (WLES, http://weble.ugent.be). WLES implements a 3-step quantitative land evaluation model which evaluates the realistic yield of a field crop by considering the effects of (a) radiation and temperature regimes, (b) water stress, (c) limited soil fertility and (d) insufficient crop management. Homogeneous 5 km by 5 ...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Biodilution of heavy metals in a stream macroinvertebrate food web: Evidence from stable isotope analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Analysis of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotopes provides an increasingly important means of understanding the complex trophic structure of macroinvertebrate communities in streams. We coupled a stable isotope approach with a contaminant analysis of six metals (Pb, Ag, Zn, Hg, Cu, As) to trace the accumulation and dilution of metals from an abandoned mine across trophic levels of the benthic community in Ginzan Creek, Japan. The δ15N signature increased with trophic level, with mean increases of 4.70 per mille from producers to primary consumers and 3.06 per mille from primary to secondary consumers. Tissue Pb and Ag concentrations were negatively correlated with δ15N, indicating biodilution of both metals through the food web. Although macroinvertebrate taxon body mass was negatively correlated with tissue metal concentration at several sites, it did not increase with trophic level (as δ15N) in any of the sites, suggesting that changes in body mass were not the cause of biodilution. Our findings suggest invertebrates at higher trophic levels may exhibit increasingly efficient excretion of metals. Autotrophic epilithon (mean δ13C = - 21.3 per mille ) had a much higher concentration of mined metals than did riparian vegetation (mean δ13C = -29.3 per mille ); nonetheless, a carbon-mixing model indicated that taxa feeding on autochthonous carbon sources did not accumulate more metal than allochthonous feeders. It is likely that the notably high metal concentration of allochthonous FPOM plays an important role in the trophic transfer of metals. Our data suggest the strong potential for stable isotope analysis to enhance our understanding of metal transfer through stream macroinvertebrate food webs

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    There is increasing fishing pressure on the continental margins of the oceans, and this raises concerns about the vulnerability of the ecosystems thriving there. The current knowledge of the biology of deep-water fish species identifies potential reduced resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. However, there are extreme difficulties in sampling the deep sea, resulting in poorly resolved and indirectly obtained food-web relationships. Here, we modelled the flows and biomasses of a Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystem, the Catalan Sea continental slope at depths of 1000-1400 m. This is the first model of a deep-water ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea. The objectives were to (a) quantitatively describe the food web structure of the ecosystem, (b) examine the role of key species in the ecosystem, and (c) explore the vulnerability of this deep-sea ecosystem to potential future fishing exploitation. We used the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) modelling approach and software to model the ecosystem. The trophic model included 18 consumers, a marine snow group, and a sediment detritus group. Trophic network analysis identified low levels of consumer biomass cycling and low system omnivory index when compared with expected values of marine ecosystems, and higher cycling and omnivory when compared with available EwE models of shallower areas of the Mediterranean Sea. The majority of flows in the ecosystem were concentrated at the trophic level of first-order consumers (TL 2). Benthic invertebrates and demersal sharks were identified to have key ecological roles in the ecosystem. We used the dynamic temporal model Ecosim to simulate expansion of the red-shrimp benthic trawl fishery that currently operates at shallower depths, down to 800 m depth. The simulations showed reductions in fish biomass and that the state of the deep continental slope ecosystem in the western Mediterranean seems to be the result of a long-term succession process, which has reached ecological stability, and is

  5. Major constrains of the pelagic food web efficiency in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zoccarato

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Grazing pressure plays a key role on plankton communities affecting their biodiversity and shaping their structures. Predation exerted by 2–200 μm protists (i.e. microzooplankton and heterotrophic nanoplankton influences the carbon fate in marine environments channeling new organic matter from the microbial loop toward the "classic" grazing food web. In this study, we analyzed more than 80 dilution experiments carried out in many Mediterranean sites at the surface and in the meso-bathypelagic layers. Our aims were to investigate prey-predator interactions and determine selectivity among energy sources (in terms of available biomass, efficiency in the exploitation and highlight likely constrains that can modulate carbon transfer processes within the pelagic food webs. Generally, microzooplankton shown higher impacts on prey stocks than heterotrophic nanoflagellates, expressing larger ingestion rates and efficiency. Through different trophic conditions characterized on the base of chlorophyll a concentration, microzooplankton diet has shown to change in prey compositions: nano- and picoplankton almost completely covered consumer needs in oligotrophy and mesotrophy, while microphytoplankton (mostly diatoms represented more than 80% of the consumers' diet in eutrophy, where, nevertheless, picoplankton mortality remained relatively high. Ingestion rates of both consumers (nano- and microzooplankters increased with the availability of prey biomasses and consequently with the trophic condition of the environment. Nevertheless, overall the heterotrophic fraction of picoplankton resulted the most exploited biomass by both classes of consumers. Ingestion efficiency (as the ratio between available biomass and ingestion rate increased at low biomasses and therefore the highest efficiencies were recorded in oligotrophic conditions and in the bathypelagic layers.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control), 2015. The European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2014

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helwigh, Birgitte; Porsbo, Lone Jannok; Boysen, Louise;

    This report of the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control presents the results of the zoonoses monitoring activities carried out in 2014 in 32 European countries (28 Member States (MS) and four non-MS). Campylobacteriosis was the most commonly re......, molluscs and products thereof’. The report further summarises trends and sources along the food chain of tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium bovis, Brucella, Trichinella, Echinococcus, Toxoplasma, rabies, Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), West Nile virus and tularaemia....

  9. European Food Safety Authority, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control; The European Union Summary Report on Trends and Sources of Zoonoses, Zoonotic Agents and Food-borne Outbreaks in 2009

    OpenAIRE

    Korsgaard, Helle

    2011-01-01

    The European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have analysed the information on the occurrence of zoonoses and food-borne outbreaks in 2009 submitted by 27 European Union Member States. In 2009, 108,614 salmonellosis cases in humans were reported and the statistically significant decreasing trend in the case numbers continued. Eighteen Member States reached the European Union Salmonella reduction target for breeding flocks of fowl, 17 Member Stat...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. A finely tuned symphony of factors modulates the microbial food web of a freshwater reservoir in spring

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šimek, Karel; Nedoma, Jiří; Znachor, Petr; Kasalický, Vojtěch; Jezbera, Jan; Horňák, Karel; Seďa, Jaromír

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 59, č. 5 (2014), s. 1477-1492. ISSN 0024-3590 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA13-00243S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : microbial food web * freshwater reservoir * limnology Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.794, year: 2014

  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. PMID:16494250

  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; Krock, Bernd; Møller, Eva Friis; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel; Lundholm, Nina

    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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Isotopic evidence for methane-based chemosynthesis in the Upper Floridan aquifer food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opsahl, Stephen P; Chanton, Jeffrey P

    2006-11-01

    Anecdotal observations of the Dougherty plain cave crayfish (Cambarus cryptodytes), the Georgia blind cave salamander (Haideotriton wallacei), and albinistic isopods (Caecidotea sp.) at great depths below the land surface and distant from river corridors suggest that obligate aquifer-dwelling (troglobitic) organisms are widely distributed throughout the limestone Upper Floridan aquifer (UFA). One mechanism by which subterranean life can proliferate in an environment void of plant productivity is through a microbial food web that includes chemosynthesis. We examined this possibility in the UFA by measuring the isotopic composition ((13)C, (14)C, and (15)N) of tissues from troglobitic macrofauna. Organisms that were captured by cave divers entering into spring conduits had delta(13)C values that suggested plant matter as a primary food resource (cave crayfish, -24.6 +/- 2.7 per thousand, n = 9). In contrast, delta(13)C values were significantly depleted in organisms retrieved from wells drilled into areas of the UFA remote from spring and sinkhole conduits (cave crayfish -34.7 +/- 9.8 per thousand, n = 10). Depleted (13)C values in crayfish were correlated with radiocarbon (Delta(14)C) depletion relative to modern values. The results suggest that methane-based microbial chemosynthetic pathways support organisms living in the remote interior of the aquifer, at least in part. PMID:16862438

  4. 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,

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Trophic structure and mercury distribution in a Gulf of St. Lawrence (Canada) food web using stable isotope analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Even at low concentrations in the environment, mercury has the potential to biomagnify in food chains and reaches levels of concern in apex predators. The aim of this study was to relate the transfer of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in a Gulf of St. Lawrence food web to the trophic structure, from primary consumers to seabirds, using stable nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) isotope analysis and physical environmental parameters. The energy reaching upper trophic level species was principally derived from pelagic primary production, with particulate organic matter (POM) at the base of the food chain. We developed a biomagnification factor (BMF) taking into account the various prey items consumed by a given predator using stable isotope mixing models. This BMF provides a more realistic estimation than when using a single prey. Lipid content, body weight, trophic level and benthic connection explained 77.4 and 80.7% of the variation in THg and MeHg concentrations, respectively in this food web. When other values were held constant, relationships with lipid and benthic connection were negative whereas relationships with trophic level and body weight were positive. Total Hg and MeHg biomagnified in this food web with biomagnification power values (slope of the relationship with δ15N) of 0.170 and 0.235, respectively on wet weight and 0.134 and 0.201, respectively on dry weight. Values of biomagnification power were greater for pelagic and benthopelagic species compared to benthic species whereas the opposite trend was observed for levels at the base of the food chain. This suggests that Hg would be readily bioavailable to organisms at the base of the benthic food chain, but trophic transfer would be more efficient in each trophic level of pelagic and benthopelagic food chains.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Invasive plants have different effects on trophic structure of green and brown food webs in terrestrial ecosystems: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCary, Matthew A; Mores, Robin; Farfan, Monica A; Wise, David H

    2016-03-01

    Although invasive plants are a major source of terrestrial ecosystem degradation worldwide, it remains unclear which trophic levels above the base of the food web are most vulnerable to plant invasions. We performed a meta-analysis of 38 independent studies from 32 papers to examine how invasive plants alter major groupings of primary and secondary consumers in three globally distributed ecosystems: wetlands, woodlands and grasslands. Within each ecosystem we examined if green (grazing) food webs are more sensitive to plant invasions compared to brown (detrital) food webs. Invasive plants have strong negative effects on primary consumers (detritivores, bacterivores, fungivores, and/or herbivores) in woodlands and wetlands, which become less abundant in both green and brown food webs in woodlands and green webs in wetlands. Plant invasions increased abundances of secondary consumers (predators and/or parasitoids) only in woodland brown food webs and green webs in wetlands. Effects of invasive plants on grazing and detrital food webs clearly differed between ecosystems. Overall, invasive plants had the most pronounced effects on the trophic structure of wetlands and woodlands, but caused no detectable changes to grassland trophic structure. PMID:26757702

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TélesphoreSIME - 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. Food Web Structure at South Su, Solwara 1 and Solwara 8 Hydrothermal Vent Sites (Manus Basin)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honig, D. L.; Hsing, P.; Jones, R.; Schultz, T.; Sobel, A.; Thaler, A.; van Dover, C. L.

    2008-12-01

    A robust understanding of food webs in chemoautotrophically based hydrothermal vent ecosystems requires quantifying the input of local bacterial chemoautoptrophic production vs. photosynthetically derived debris from surface waters. As an initial step towards this goal for vent communities in Papua New Guinea's Manus Basin, we use isotopic ratios of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur to describe trophic relations among 17 invertebrate genera collected in July 2008 at the Solwara 1, Solwara 8 and South Su hydrothermal vent beds. Prior stable isotope work by Erickson, Macko and Van Dover (unpublished) at Manus Basin vent sites suggests that we will see relatively depleted ä13C and ä15N values for the primary consumers Ifremeria, Alviniconcha and Olgasolaris compared to secondary consumers like the mobile, scavenging genera Munidopsis, Austinograea, Alvinocaris and Chorocaris, sessile suspension feeders of the genera Eochinolasmus and Vulcanolepas, and the predatory sponge Abyssocladia. We further hypothesize that mobile fauna will exhibit greater within-genus variance of ä13C, ä15N and ä34S values than sessile genera due to mobile organisms' ability to forage for photosynthetically derived detritus.

  10. A methane-driven microbial food web in a wetland rice soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murase, Jun; Frenzel, Peter

    2007-12-01

    Methane oxidation is a key process controlling methane emission from anoxic habitats into the atmosphere. Methanotrophs, responsible for aerobic methane oxidation, do not only oxidize but also assimilate methane. Once assimilated, methane carbon may be utilized by other organisms. Here we report on a microbial food web in a rice field soil driven by methane. A thin layer of water-saturated rice field soil was incubated under opposing gradients of oxygen and (13)C-labelled methane. Bacterial and eukaryotic communities incorporating methane carbon were analysed by RNA-stable isotope probing (SIP). Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and cloning showed that methanotrophs were the most prominent group of bacteria incorporating methane carbon. In addition, a few Myxobacteria-related sequences were obtained from the 'heavy' rRNA fraction. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) targeting 18S rRNA detected various groups of protists in the 'heavy' rRNA fraction including naked amoeba (Lobosea and Heterolobosea), ciliates (Colpodea) and flagellates (Cercozoa). Incubation of soil under different methane concentrations in air resulted in the development of distinct protozoan communities. These results suggest that methane carbon is incorporated into non-methanotrophic pro- and microeukaryotes probably via grazing, and that methane oxidation is a shaping force of the microeukaryotic community depending on methane availability. PMID:17991031

  11. 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

  12. Adaptive Harvesting in a Multiple-Species Coral-Reef Food Web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel B. Kramer

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The utility of traditional bio-economic harvest models suffers from their dependence on two commonly used approaches. First, optimization is often assumed for harvester behavior despite system complexity and the often neglected costs associated with information gathering and deliberation. Second, ecosystem interactions are infrequently modeled despite a growing awareness that these interactions are important. This paper develops a simulation model to examine the consequences of harvesting at two trophic levels in a coral-reef food web. The model assumes adaptive rather than optimizing behavior among fishermen. The consequences of changing economic, biological, and social parameters are examined using resilience as an evaluative framework. Three general conclusions are reached. First, the simulated ecosystem is sensitive to small changes in economic, biological, and social parameters. Second, threshold effects are common. Third, as compared to results typical of traditional single-species optimization models, some results are counter-intuitive. Benefits of this approach are that the model affirms and adds to the results of traditional bio-economic harvest models, is empirically operational, and provides a richer selection of policy alternatives. Finally, the analysis of trade-offs in terms of resilience provides a useful evaluative framework for multiple-species harvest models.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Deep-sea food web analysis using cross-reacting antisera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Robert J.; Zagursky, Gregory; Day, Elizabeth A.

    1985-04-01

    The high incidence of unrecognizable prey in the stomachs of deep-sea predators prompted the application of serological methods for identification of trophic connections. Antisera to whole-organism extracts of estuarine taxa cross-reacted with antigenic protein extracts of mid-water and deep-sea taxa along phylogenetically correct lines, indicating their potential as tools for gut contents immunoassay. Stomach, intestine, and rectum contents of grenadiers ( Coryphaenoides armatus) trapped at 2500 m in the North Atlantic were analyzed visually and with 32 antisera representing taxa from 10 common deep-sea phyla. While visual analysis only revealed the presence of fluids, parasites, crustacean exoskeletons, and gastropod opercula, the immunoassay indicated the presence of antigenic proteins from holothurian, anemone, gastropod, decapod, and foraminiferan prey in the same samples. This qualitative serological identification of prey at non-specific taxonomic levels provides evidence that benthic predation may be important within deep-sea communities. The immunoassay technique, although not a panacea for elucidating food web dynamics in remote environments, may be useful when other methods fail to identify trophic pathways.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Over the last three decades, the rapid explosion of information and resources on human food-borne diseases and food safety has provided the ability to rapidly determine and interpret the mechanisms of survival and pathogenesis of food-borne pathogens. However, several factors have hindered effective...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. 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 ((66)Zn/(64)Zn, expressed here as δ(66)Zn) 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 δ(66)Zn 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

  3. 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 concentrations (lipid normalized) were significantly related to the isotopically derived trophic level (TL) in spider crab food webs. The highest trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were calculated for the congeners with 2,4,5-substitution, and were lower in the Seine Bay compared to the Iroise Sea. The confrontation of PCB and TL data also revealed biotransformation capacity of decapod crustaceans for specific congeners based on structure-activity relations. PMID:17544187

  4. 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)

  5. Stable isotope analysis of a newly established macrofaunal food web 1.5 years after the Hebei Spirit oil spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • We examined trophic structure in a newly established community after an oil spill. • This is the most extensive in situ isotopic analysis on an oiled benthic community. • Consumer-food source δ13C and δ15N rejected influx of petroleum into the community. • A novel circular statistics rejected trophic niche change of major feeding guilds. • Prevalence of omnivory and trophic plasticity may promote the recovery process. - Abstract: 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 t...

  7. Medium-sized exotic prey create novel food webs: the case of predators and scavengers consuming lagomorphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbar, Facundo; Hiraldo, Fernando; Lambertucci, Sergio A

    2016-01-01

    Food web interactions are key to community structure. The introduction of species can be seen as an uncontrolled experiment of the addition of species. Introduced species lead to multiple changes, frequently threatening the native biodiversity. However, little is known about their direct effect on the upper level of the food web. In this study we review empirical data on the predator-prey relationship between the introduced lagomorphs and their consumers, and use meta-analytical tools to quantify the strength of their interactions. We expect that exotic lagomorphs will destabilize food webs, affect ecological processes and compromise the conservation of the invaded regions. We found 156 studies on the diet of 43 species of predators that consume lagomorphs as exotic preys in South America and Oceania. We found an average exotic lagomorphs-predator link of 20% which indicates a strong interaction, given that the average for the strongest links with native prey (when lagomorphs are not included in the predator diet) is about 24%. Additionally, this last link decreases to 17% when lagomorphs are present. When lagomorphs arrive in a new environment they may become the most important resource for predators, producing an unstable equilibrium in the novel food web. Any disruption of this interaction could have catastrophic consequences for the native diversity by directly impacting predators or indirectly impacting native preys by apparent competition. Eradication or any change in their abundances should be carefully considered in conservation actions since those will have great impacts on predator populations and ultimately in the whole communities. PMID:27547575

  8. Examination of the bioaccumulation of halogenated dimethyl bipyrroles in an Arctic marine food web using stable nitrogen isotope analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tittlemier, Sheryl A; Fisk, Aaron T; Hobson, Keith A; Norstrom, Ross J

    2002-01-01

    Concentrations of four possibly naturally produced organohalogens--1,1'-dimethyl-3,3',4-tribromo-4,5,5'-trichloro-2,2'-bipyrrole (DBP-Br3Cl3), 1,1'-dimethyl-3,3',4,4'-tetrabromo-5,5'-dichloro-2,2'-bipyrrole (DBP-Br4Cl2), 1,1'-dimethyl-3,3',4,4',5-pentabromo-5'-chloro-2,2'-bipyrrole (DBP-Br5Cl) and 1,1'-dimethyl-3,3',4,4',5,5'-hexabromo-2,2'-bipyrrole (DBP-Br6)--were quantitated and the extent of their magnification through an entire Arctic marine food web [measured as integrated trophic magnification factors (TMFs)] were calculated. The food web consisted of three zooplankton species (Calanus hyperboreus, Mysis oculata, and Sagitta sp.), one fish species [Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida)], four seabird species [dovekie (Alle alle), black guillemot (Cepphus grylle), black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), and glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus)], and one marine mammal species [ringed seal (Phoca hispida)]. Trophic levels in the food web were calculated from ratios of stable isotopes of nitrogen (15N/14N). All halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (HDBP) congeners were found to significantly (Ptrophic level in the invertebrate--fish--seabird food web. DBP-Br4Cl2 (TMF= 14.6) was found to biomagnify to a greater extent than DBP-Br3Cl3 (TMF = 5.2), DBP-Br5Cl (TMF = 6.9), or DBP-Br6 (TMF = 7.0), even though the Kow of DBP-Br4CI2 was predicted to be lower than those of DBP-Br5Cl and DBP-Br6. None of the four HDBP congeners in ringed seals followed the general trend of increasing concentration with trophic level, which was possibly due to an ability of the seals to metabolize HDBPs. PMID:11808557

  9. Effects of whaling on the structure of the Southern Ocean food web: insights on the "krill surplus" from ecosystem modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymon Surma

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to examine the ecological plausibility of the "krill surplus" hypothesis and the effects of whaling on the Southern Ocean food web using mass-balance ecosystem modelling. The depletion trajectory and unexploited biomass of each rorqual population in the Antarctic was reconstructed using yearly catch records and a set of species-specific surplus production models. The resulting estimates of the unexploited biomass of Antarctic rorquals were used to construct an Ecopath model of the Southern Ocean food web existing in 1900. The rorqual depletion trajectory was then used in an Ecosim scenario to drive rorqual biomasses and examine the "krill surplus" phenomenon and whaling effects on the food web in the years 1900-2008. An additional suite of Ecosim scenarios reflecting several hypothetical trends in Southern Ocean primary productivity were employed to examine the effect of bottom-up forcing on the documented krill biomass trend. The output of the Ecosim scenarios indicated that while the "krill surplus" hypothesis is a plausible explanation of the biomass trends observed in some penguin and pinniped species in the mid-20th century, the excess krill biomass was most likely eliminated by a rapid decline in primary productivity in the years 1975-1995. Our findings suggest that changes in physical conditions in the Southern Ocean during this time period could have eliminated the ecological effects of rorqual depletion, although the mechanism responsible is currently unknown. Furthermore, a decline in iron bioavailability due to rorqual depletion may have contributed to the rapid decline in overall Southern Ocean productivity during the last quarter of the 20th century. The results of this study underscore the need for further research on historical changes in the roles of top-down and bottom-up forcing in structuring the Southern Ocean food web.

  10. Use of stable isotope ratios to delineate coastal benthic food web structure in Adélie Land (East Antarctica)

    OpenAIRE

    Michel, Loïc; Dubois, Philippe; Eleaume,Marc; Fournier, Jérôme; Gallut, Cyril; Jane, Philip; Lepoint, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Antarctica currently undergoes strong and contrasted impacts linked with climate change. While the West Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions in the world, resulting in sea ice cover decrease, in some parts of East Antarctica sea ice cover tends to increase, possibly in relation with changes in atmospheric circulation. Changes in sea ice cover are likely to influence benthic food web structure through modifications of benthic-pelagic coupling, disruption of benthic pr...

  11. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bodin, Nathalie; Le Loc'H, François; Caisey, X.; Le Guellec, A. M.; Abarnou, A.; Loizeau, V.; Latrouite, D.

    2008-01-01

    Polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) and stable isotopes (delta N-15 and delta C-13) 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 positio...

  13. Competitive Interactions between Invasive Nile Tilapia and Native Fish: The Potential for Altered Trophic Exchange and Modification of Food Webs

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Charles W.; Valentine, Marla M.; Valentine, John F.

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have highlighted both the positive and negative impacts of species invasions. Most of these studies have been conducted on either immobile invasive plants or sessile fauna found at the base of food webs. Fewer studies have examined the impacts of vagile invasive consumers on native competitors. This is an issue of some importance given the controlling influence that consumers have on lower order plants and animals. Here, we present results of laboratory experiments designed to ...

  14. Effects of whaling on the structure of the Southern Ocean food web: insights on the "krill surplus" from ecosystem modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surma, Szymon; Pakhomov, Evgeny A; Pitcher, Tony J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the ecological plausibility of the "krill surplus" hypothesis and the effects of whaling on the Southern Ocean food web using mass-balance ecosystem modelling. The depletion trajectory and unexploited biomass of each rorqual population in the Antarctic was reconstructed using yearly catch records and a set of species-specific surplus production models. The resulting estimates of the unexploited biomass of Antarctic rorquals were used to construct an Ecopath model of the Southern Ocean food web existing in 1900. The rorqual depletion trajectory was then used in an Ecosim scenario to drive rorqual biomasses and examine the "krill surplus" phenomenon and whaling effects on the food web in the years 1900-2008. An additional suite of Ecosim scenarios reflecting several hypothetical trends in Southern Ocean primary productivity were employed to examine the effect of bottom-up forcing on the documented krill biomass trend. The output of the Ecosim scenarios indicated that while the "krill surplus" hypothesis is a plausible explanation of the biomass trends observed in some penguin and pinniped species in the mid-20th century, the excess krill biomass was most likely eliminated by a rapid decline in primary productivity in the years 1975-1995. Our findings suggest that changes in physical conditions in the Southern Ocean during this time period could have eliminated the ecological effects of rorqual depletion, although the mechanism responsible is currently unknown. Furthermore, a decline in iron bioavailability due to rorqual depletion may have contributed to the rapid decline in overall Southern Ocean productivity during the last quarter of the 20th century. The results of this study underscore the need for further research on historical changes in the roles of top-down and bottom-up forcing in structuring the Southern Ocean food web. PMID:25517505

  15. Contamination of an arctic terrestrial food web with marine-derived persistent organic pollutants transported by breeding seabirds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choy, Emily S., E-mail: echoy087@uottawa.c [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 (Canada); Kimpe, Linda E., E-mail: linda.kimpe@uottawa.c [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 (Canada); Mallory, Mark L., E-mail: mark.mallory@ec.gc.c [Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Iqaluit, NU, X0A 0H0 (Canada); Smol, John P., E-mail: smolj@queensu.c [Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), Department of Biology, Queen' s University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6 (Canada); Blais, Jules M., E-mail: jules.blais@uottawa.c [Program for Chemical and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    At Cape Vera, Devon Island (Nunavut, Canada), a colony of northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) concentrates and releases contaminants through their guano to the environment. We determined whether persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from seabirds were transferred to coastal food webs. Snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) were the most contaminated species, with {Sigma}PCB and {Sigma}DDT (mean: 168, 106 ng/g ww) concentrations surpassing environmental guidelines for protecting wildlife. When examined collectively, PCB congeners and DDT in jewel lichen (Xanthoria elegans) were lower in samples taken farther from the seabird colony, and increased with increasing {delta}{sup 15}N values. However, only concentrations of p'p-DDE:{Sigma}DDT and PCB-95 were significantly correlated inversely with distance from the seabird cliffs. Linkages between marine-derived POPs and their concentrations in terrestrial mammals were less clear. Our study provides novel contaminant data for these species and supports biovector transport as a source of organic contaminants to certain components of the terrestrial food web. - This study provides evidence of contaminant transport by seabirds to a coastal Arctic food web.

  16. Determination of trophic relationships within a Bohai Bay food web using stable δ15N and δ13C analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WAN Yi; HU Jianying; AN Lihui; AN Wei; YANG Min; Itoh Mitsuaki; Hattori Tatsuya; TAO Shu

    2005-01-01

    This study measured stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in phytoplankton, zooplankton, five invertebrates species, eight fishes species and three seabirds species collected in Bohai Bay. δ13C ranged from -25.38‰ to -11.08‰ showing a relative low enrichment in the food web from Bohai Bay. The mean δ13C of mullet is higher than that of other organisms, and this might be due to that mullet is migration fish and feeds mainly on inshore sources. δ15N ranged from 4.08‰ to 13.98‰, and showed a step-wise enrichment with trophic level of 3.8‰. The δ15N enrichment factor was used to construct an isotopic food web model to establish trophic relationships within this marine food web. According to this model, exact trophic levels of all organisms were estimated as 1.46-2.10, 1.91-3.32, 2.55-4.23 and 2.98-4.28 for plankton, invertebrates, fishes, and seabirds.

  17. Genetic specificity of a plant-insect food web: Implications for linking genetic variation to network complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbour, Matthew A; Fortuna, Miguel A; Bascompte, Jordi; Nicholson, Joshua R; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Jules, Erik S; Crutsinger, Gregory M

    2016-02-23

    Theory predicts that intraspecific genetic variation can increase the complexity of an ecological network. To date, however, we are lacking empirical knowledge of the extent to which genetic variation determines the assembly of ecological networks, as well as how the gain or loss of genetic variation will affect network structure. To address this knowledge gap, we used a common garden experiment to quantify the extent to which heritable trait variation in a host plant determines the assembly of its associated insect food web (network of trophic interactions). We then used a resampling procedure to simulate the additive effects of genetic variation on overall food-web complexity. We found that trait variation among host-plant genotypes was associated with resistance to insect herbivores, which indirectly affected interactions between herbivores and their insect parasitoids. Direct and indirect genetic effects resulted in distinct compositions of trophic interactions associated with each host-plant genotype. Moreover, our simulations suggest that food-web complexity would increase by 20% over the range of genetic variation in the experimental population of host plants. Taken together, our results indicate that intraspecific genetic variation can play a key role in structuring ecological networks, which may in turn affect network persistence. PMID:26858398

  18. 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.

  19. 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. 

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodin, N. [IFREMER, DCN-BE, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France); LPTC-UMR 5472 CNRS, Universite de Bordeaux 1, 351 cours de la Liberation, 33400 Talence (France)], E-mail: bodin.nathalie@caramail.com; Le Loc' h, F. [IRD, UR 070 RAP, Centre de Recherche Halieutique, Avenue Jean Monnet, B.P. 171, 34203 Sete Cedex (France); Caisey, X.; Le Guellec, A.-M.; Abarnou, A.; Loizeau, V. [IFREMER, DCN-BE, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France); Latrouite, D. [IFREMER, DCB-STH, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France)

    2008-01-15

    Polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) and stable isotopes ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) were analyzed in the spider crab (Maja brachydactyla) food web from the Iroise Sea (Western Brittany) and the Seine Bay (Eastern English Channel). PCB concentrations were all significantly higher in organisms from the Seine Bay than those from the Iroise Sea. PCB patterns were strongly related to the feeding mode of the species, and increased influence of higher chlorinated congeners was highlighted with trophic position of the organisms. PCB concentrations (lipid normalized) were significantly related to the isotopically derived trophic level (TL) in spider crab food webs. The highest trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were calculated for the congeners with 2,4,5-substitution, and were lower in the Seine Bay compared to the Iroise Sea. The confrontation of PCB and TL data also revealed biotransformation capacity of decapod crustaceans for specific congeners based on structure-activity relations. - The influence of feeding mode and trophic position on the fate of PCBs in spider crab food webs is discussed by using a stable isotopic approach.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) and stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) were analyzed in the spider crab (Maja brachydactyla) food web from the Iroise Sea (Western Brittany) and the Seine Bay (Eastern English Channel). PCB concentrations were all significantly higher in organisms from the Seine Bay than those from the Iroise Sea. PCB patterns were strongly related to the feeding mode of the species, and increased influence of higher chlorinated congeners was highlighted with trophic position of the organisms. PCB concentrations (lipid normalized) were significantly related to the isotopically derived trophic level (TL) in spider crab food webs. The highest trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were calculated for the congeners with 2,4,5-substitution, and were lower in the Seine Bay compared to the Iroise Sea. The confrontation of PCB and TL data also revealed biotransformation capacity of decapod crustaceans for specific congeners based on structure-activity relations. - The influence of feeding mode and trophic position on the fate of PCBs in spider crab food webs is discussed by using a stable isotopic approach

  2. 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

  3. Contamination of an arctic terrestrial food web with marine-derived persistent organic pollutants transported by breeding seabirds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    At Cape Vera, Devon Island (Nunavut, Canada), a colony of northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) concentrates and releases contaminants through their guano to the environment. We determined whether persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from seabirds were transferred to coastal food webs. Snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) were the most contaminated species, with ΣPCB and ΣDDT (mean: 168, 106 ng/g ww) concentrations surpassing environmental guidelines for protecting wildlife. When examined collectively, PCB congeners and DDT in jewel lichen (Xanthoria elegans) were lower in samples taken farther from the seabird colony, and increased with increasing δ15N values. However, only concentrations of p'p-DDE:ΣDDT and PCB-95 were significantly correlated inversely with distance from the seabird cliffs. Linkages between marine-derived POPs and their concentrations in terrestrial mammals were less clear. Our study provides novel contaminant data for these species and supports biovector transport as a source of organic contaminants to certain components of the terrestrial food web. - This study provides evidence of contaminant transport by seabirds to a coastal Arctic food web.

  4. The probabilistic niche model reveals the niche structure and role of body size in a complex food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Williams

    Full Text Available The niche model has been widely used to model the structure of complex food webs, and yet the ecological meaning of the single niche dimension has not been explored. In the niche model, each species has three traits, niche position, diet position and feeding range. Here, a new probabilistic niche model, which allows the maximum likelihood set of trait values to be estimated for each species, is applied to the food web of the Benguela fishery. We also developed the allometric niche model, in which body size is used as the niche dimension. About 80% of the links in the empirical data are predicted by the probabilistic niche model, a significant improvement over recent models. As in the niche model, species are uniformly distributed on the niche axis. Feeding ranges are exponentially distributed, but diet positions are not uniformly distributed below the predator. Species traits are strongly correlated with body size, but the allometric niche model performs significantly worse than the probabilistic niche model. The best-fit parameter set provides a significantly better model of the structure of the Benguela food web than was previously available. The methodology allows the identification of a number of taxa that stand out as outliers either in the model's poor performance at predicting their predators or prey or in their parameter values. While important, body size alone does not explain the structure of the one-dimensional niche.

  5. Central Puget Sound Ecopath/Ecosim model biological parameters - Developing food web models for ecosystem-based management applications in Puget Sound

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project is developing food web models for ecosystem-based management applications in Puget Sound. It is primarily being done by NMFS FTEs and contractors, in...

  6. PBDEs in salmon - chemical analyses (Effects of emerging chemicals of concern on Puget Sound's pelagic food web: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) influence on Chinook salmon health)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chinook salmon are critical species in the Puget Sound pelagic food web. Puget Sound Chinook are accumulating polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), contaminants...

  7. Applying linear programming to estimate fluxes in ecosystems or food webs: An example from the herpetological assemblage of the freshwater Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diffendorfer, James E.; Richards, Paul M.; Dalrymple, George H.; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2001-01-01

    We present the application of Linear Programming for estimating biomass fluxes in ecosystem and food web models. We use the herpetological assemblage of the Everglades as an example. We developed food web structures for three common Everglades freshwater habitat types: marsh, prairie, and upland. We obtained a first estimate of the fluxes using field data, literature estimates, and professional judgment. Linear programming was used to obtain a consistent and better estimate of the set of fluxes, while maintaining mass balance and minimizing deviations from point estimates. The results support the view that the Everglades is a spatially heterogeneous system, with changing patterns of energy flux, species composition, and biomasses across the habitat types. We show that a food web/ecosystem perspective, combined with Linear Programming, is a robust method for describing food webs and ecosystems that requires minimal data, produces useful post-solution analyses, and generates hypotheses regarding the structure of energy flow in the system.

  8. The effects of juvenile American shad planktivory on zooplankton production in Columbia River food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haskell, Craig A.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Rondorf, Dennis W.

    2013-01-01

    Columbia River reservoirs support a large population of nonnative American Shad Alosa sapidissima that consume the zooplankton that native fishes also rely on. We hypothesized that the unprecedented biomass of juvenile American Shad in John Day Reservoir is capable of altering the zooplankton community if these fish consume a large portion of the zooplankton production. We derived taxon-specific estimates of zooplankton production using field data and a production model from the literature. Empirical daily ration was estimated for American Shad and expanded to population-level consumption using abundance and biomass data from hydroacoustic surveys. Daphnia spp. production was high in early summer but declined to near zero by September as shad abundance increased. American Shad sequentially consumed Daphnia spp., copepods, and Bosmina spp., which tracked the production trends of these taxa. American Shad evacuation rates ranged from 0.09 to 0.24/h, and daily rations ranged from 0.008 to 0.045 g·g−1·d−1 (dry weight) over all years. We observed peak American Shad biomass (45.2 kg/ha) in 1994, and daily consumption (1.6 kg/ha) approached 30% (5.3 kg/ha) of zooplankton production. On average, American Shad consumed 23.6% of the available zooplankton production (range, zooplankton community are consistent with a top-down effect of planktivory by American Shad associated with their unprecedented biomass and consumption, but the effects are likely constrained by temperature, nutrient flux, and the seasonal production patterns of zooplankton in John Day Reservoir. American Shad add to the planktivory exerted by other species like Neomysis mercedis to reduce the capacity of the reservoir to support other planktivorous fishes. The introduction of American Shad and other nonnative species will continue to alter the food web in John Day Reservoir, potentially affecting native fishes, including Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    The role of matter and energy flow across ecosystem boundaries for the subsidized consumer populations is well known. However, little is known on the effects of allochthonous subsidies on food web structure and trophic niche dimensions of consumers in the tropics. We excluded allochthonous aquatic insects from tropical streams using greenhouse-type exclosures to test the influence of aquatic allochthonous subsidies on the trophic structure and niche dimensions of terrestrial predators using stable isotope methods. In exclosure treatments, abundance and biomass of terrestrial predators, and biomass of phytophages decreased and increased, respectively. Vegetation-living predators were more responsive to allochthonous inputs than those living on the ground. Overall, lower availability of allochthonous inputs did not affect community-wide metrics and niche width of predators. However, the niche width of some spider families had very low overlap between treatments, and others had wider isotopic niches in the control than in the exclusion treatment. Most of the C and N in predators living in control stretches came from aquatic subsidies, and those predators living in the exclusion treatments switched their diets to terrestrial sources, showing a preference of predators for allochthonous subsidies. Our results suggest that allochthonous subsidies are also relevant to tropical fauna living upon vegetation. Moreover, allochthonous resources may amplify the niche dimension of certain predators or considerably change the trophic niche of others. Our study highlights the importance of including modern isotopic tools in elucidating the role of allochthonous resources on the patterns of trophic structure and niche dimensions of consumers from donor ecosystems. PMID:26590144

  10. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasso, Rebecka L., E-mail: rlb1196@uncw.edu [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Polito, Michael J. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Lynch, Heather J. [Ecology and Evolution Department, 640 Life Sciences Bldg., Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (United States); Naveen, R. [Oceanites Inc., PO Box 15259, Chevy Chase, MD 20825 (United States); Emslie, Steven D. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States)

    2012-11-15

    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adelie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell {delta}{sup 15}N or {delta}{sup 13}C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Three species of Pygoscelis

  11. Cephalopods as vectors of harmful algal bloom toxins in marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    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 shellfish toxin) in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG)--the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6%) is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas) is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG > kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue) reaching 971 μg kg⁻¹ and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg⁻¹ (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg⁻¹ in shellfish). Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  12. Divergence of feeding channels within the soil food web determined by ecosystem type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crotty, Felicity V; Blackshaw, Rod P; Adl, Sina M; Inger, Richard; Murray, Philip J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding trophic linkages within the soil food web (SFW) is hampered by its opacity, diversity, and limited niche adaptation. We need to expand our insight between the feeding guilds of fauna and not just count biodiversity. The soil fauna drive nutrient cycling and play a pivotal, but little understood role within both the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles that may be ecosystem dependent. Here, we define the structure of the SFW in two habitats (grassland and woodland) on the same soil type and test the hypothesis that land management would alter the SFW in these habitats. To do this, we census the community structure and use stable isotope analysis to establish the pathway of C and N through each trophic level within the ecosystems. Stable isotope ratios of C and N from all invertebrates were used as a proxy for trophic niche, and community-wide metrics were obtained. Our empirically derived C/N ratios differed from those previously reported, diverging from model predictions of global C and N cycling, which was unexpected. An assessment of the relative response of the different functional groups to the change from agricultural grassland to woodland was performed. This showed that abundance of herbivores, microbivores, and micropredators were stimulated, while omnivores and macropredators were inhibited in the grassland. Differences between stable isotope ratios and community-wide metrics, highlighted habitats with similar taxa had different SFWs, using different basal resources, either driven by root or litter derived resources. Overall, we conclude that plant type can act as a top-down driver of community functioning and that differing land management can impact on the whole SFW. PMID:24455156

  13. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adélie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values (δ15N and δ13C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adélie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell δ15N or δ13C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: ► We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. ► Three species of Pygoscelis penguins were used as biomonitors. ► Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher mercury than Ad

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Rosa

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Here we summarize the current knowledge on the transfer and accumulation of harmful algal bloom (HAB-related toxins in cephalopods (octopods, cuttlefishes and squids. These mollusks have been reported to accumulate several HAB-toxins, namely domoic acid (DA, and its isomers, saxitoxin (and its derivatives and palytoxin (and palytoxin-like compounds and, therefore, act as HAB-toxin vectors in marine food webs. Coastal octopods and cuttlefishes store considerably high levels of DA (amnesic shellfish toxin in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG—the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6% is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs, these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG >> kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue reaching 971 μg kg−1 and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg−1 (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg−1 in shellfish. Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  15. The delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic food web: why sea ice matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pućko, Monika; Stern, Gary A; Macdonald, Robie W; Jantunen, Liisa M; Bidleman, Terry F; Wong, Fiona; Barber, David G; Rysgaard, Søren

    2015-02-15

    For decades sea ice has been perceived as a physical barrier for the loading of contaminants to the Arctic Ocean. We show that sea ice, in fact, facilitates the delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic marine food web through processes that: 1) are independent of contaminant physical-chemical properties (e.g. 2-3-fold increase in exposure to brine-associated biota), and 2) depend on physical-chemical properties and, therefore, differentiate between contaminants (e.g. atmospheric loading of contaminants to melt ponds over the summer, and their subsequent leakage to the ocean). We estimate the concentrations of legacy organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and current-use pesticides (CUPs) in melt pond water in the Beaufort Sea, Canadian High Arctic, in 2008, at near-gas exchange equilibrium based on Henry's law constants (HLCs), air concentrations and exchange dynamics. CUPs currently present the highest risk of increased exposures through melt pond loading and drainage due to the high ratio of melt pond water to seawater concentration (Melt pond Enrichment Factor, MEF), which ranges from 2 for dacthal to 10 for endosulfan I. Melt pond contaminant enrichment can be perceived as a hypothetical 'pump' delivering contaminants from the atmosphere to the ocean under ice-covered conditions, with 2-10% of CUPs annually entering the Beaufort Sea via this input route compared to the standing stock in the Polar Mixed Layer of the ocean. The abovementioned processes are strongly favored in first-year ice compared to multi-year ice and, therefore, the dynamic balance between contaminant inventories and contaminant deposition to the surface ocean is being widely affected by the large-scale icescape transition taking place in the Arctic. PMID:25437762

  16. Trophic efficiency of plankton food webs: Observations from the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay, Southeast Coast of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anjusha, A.; Jyothibabu, R.; Jagadeesan, L.; Mohan, Arya P.; Sudheesh, K.; Krishna, Kiran; Ullas, N.; Deepak, M. P.

    2013-04-01

    This paper introduces the structure and trophic efficiency of plankton food webs in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) and the Palk Bay (PB) — two least studied marine environments located between India and Sri Lanka. The study is based on the results obtained from a field sampling exercise carried out in the GoM and the PB in March 2010 (Spring Intermonsoon — SIM), September 2010 (Southwest Monsoon — SWM) and January 2011 (Northeast Monsoon — NEM). Based on multivariate analysis of major environmental parameters during different seasons, it was possible to clearly segregate the GoM and the PB into separate clusters, except during the SWM. This segregation of the GoM and the PB was closely linked with the seasonally reversing ocean currents in the region, as evident from the MIKE 21 flow model results. During the period of relatively low phytoplankton biomass ( 50%) of the carbon biomass during the SWM and the NEM, whereas, microbial loop contributed significantly (80%) during the SIM. The microbial loop was predominant in the PB throughout the study period, being as high as 83% of the total plankton biomass during the SIM. As compared to the PB, the mesozooplankton biomass was higher in the GoM during the SWM and the NEM and lower during the SIM. The relatively high mesozooplankton stock in the PB during the SIM was closely linked with a strong microbial loop, which contributed the major share (av. 101.6 ± 24.3 mg C m- 3) of the total organic carbon available in the food web (av. 126.6 ± 24.3 mg C m- 3). However, when microbial loop contributed > 65% of the total organic carbon available in the food web, the trophic efficiency was found to be low (~ 3%), which can be attributed to the wide dispersal of organic carbon in the microbial loop. Importantly, during the NEM, when the copepod Paracalanus parvus was predominant in the PB, the trophic efficiency of the microbial loop dominant food web increased by more than a fold (7.2%). The study provides evidences for

  17. Bioavailability of Mercury to Riverine Food Webs as a Function of Flood-Event Inundation of Channel Boundary Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, M. B.; Pellachini, C.; Blum, J. D.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M. C.; Donovan, P. M.

    2013-12-01

    Bioavailability of sediment-adsorbed contaminants to food webs in river corridors is typically controlled by biological, chemical, and physical factors, but understanding of their respective influences is limited due to a dearth of landscape-scale investigations of these biogeochemical links. Studies that account for the dynamics and interactions of hydrology and sediment transport in affecting the reactivity of sediment-adsorbed heavy metals such as mercury (Hg) are particularly lacking. Sequences of flood events generate complex inundation histories with banks, terraces, and floodplains that have the potential to alter local redox conditions and thereby affect the oxidation of elemental Hg0 to inorganic Hg(II), and the microbial conversion of Hg(II) to methylmercury (MeHg), potentially increasing the risk of Hg uptake into aquatic food webs. However, the probability distributions of saturation/inundation frequency and duration are typically unknown for channel boundaries along sediment transport pathways, and landscape-scale characterizations of Hg reactivity are rare along contaminated rivers. This research provides the first links between the dynamics of physical processes and biochemical processing and uptake into food webs in fluvial systems beset by large-scale mining contamination. Here we present new research on Hg-contaminated legacy terraces and banks along the Yuba River anthropogenic fan, produced by 19th C. hydraulic gold mining in Northern California. To assess the changes in Hg(II) availability for methylation and MeHg bioavailability into the food web, we combine numerical modeling of streamflow with geochemical assays of total Hg and Hg reactivity to identify hot spots of toxicity within the river corridor as a function of cycles of wetting/drying. We employ a 3D hydraulic model to route historical streamflow hydrographs from major flood events through the Yuba and Feather Rivers into the Central Valley to assess the frequency and duration of

  18. New parasites and predators follow the introduction of two fish species to a subarctic lake: implications for food-web structure and functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundsen, Per-Arne; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Knudsen, Rune; Primicerio, Raul; Kristoffersen, Roar; Klemetsen, Anders; Kuris, Armand M.

    2012-01-01

    Introduced species can alter the topology of food webs. For instance, an introduction can aid the arrival of free-living consumers using the new species as a resource, while new parasites may also arrive with the introduced species. Food-web responses to species additions can thus be far more complex than anticipated. In a subarctic pelagic food web with free-living and parasitic species, two fish species (arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus) have known histories as deliberate introductions. The effects of these introductions on the food web were explored by comparing the current pelagic web with a heuristic reconstruction of the pre-introduction web. Extinctions caused by these introductions could not be evaluated by this approach. The introduced fish species have become important hubs in the trophic network, interacting with numerous parasites, predators and prey. In particular, five parasite species and four predatory bird species depend on the two introduced species as obligate trophic resources in the pelagic web and could therefore not have been present in the pre-introduction network. The presence of the two introduced fish species and the arrival of their associated parasites and predators increased biodiversity, mean trophic level, linkage density, and nestedness; altering both the network structure and functioning of the pelagic web. Parasites, in particular trophically transmitted species, had a prominent role in the network alterations that followed the introductions.

  19. Managing farmland soil food web: principles and methods%农田土壤食物网管理的原理与方法

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈云峰; 胡诚; 李双来; 乔艳

    2011-01-01

    The soil food web consists of assemblage of interactions within soil organisms. Most ecological researches focused on the theory with respect to connectedness web, energy flow web and functional web. However, practical applications for established theories to guide the agriculture practice were seldom used. In nature ecosystem, the soil food web play an important role of maintaining both productivity and ecosystem health. In farmland, however, most of these functions were replaced by agrochemicals such as fertilizer and pesticides, which result in many environment problems. In order to maintain high crop yield and protect environmental disturbances, effective soil food web management is necessary.This paper reviewed mechanisms of controlling the soil food web, direct and indirect methods of measuring the soil food web, and how to regulate the soil food web to healthy status. Understanding these mechanisms provide the theory support and practice guide of achieving a healthy soil food web. To address the mechanism of controlling the soil food web, the paper argued the top-down and bottom-up regulation of soil food web structure and emphasized that bottom-up effects maybe more important in farmland. Also the bacterial and fungi channel within the soil food web were compared. Regarding the methods of measuring the soil food web, mainly focused on the indirect method that uses nematodes as bio-indicators of soil food web structure, enrichment and decomposition channels. Finally, we discussed mechanisms describing how to get the healthy soil food web by regulating the quantity and quality of debris or functional groups by eompos tea and a concept mode of managing soil food web are discussed.%土壤食物网在维持生态系统生产力和健康等方面起着重要作用,但现代农业中,化肥农药等外部投入已经改变或部分替代了土壤食物网的功能,由此也造成一系列的环境问题.为了协调作物高产与环境保护的利益,需要对

  20. Millennial-scale isotope records from a wide-ranging predator show evidence of recent human impact to oceanic food webs.

    OpenAIRE

    Wiley, A.E.; Ostrom, P H; Welch, A.J.; Fleischer, R C; Gandhi, H.; Southon, J.R.; Stafford, T.W.; Penniman, J.F.; Hu, D.; Duvall, F.P.; James, H F

    2013-01-01

    Human exploitation of marine ecosystems is more recent in oceanic than near shore regions, yet our understanding of human impacts on oceanic food webs is comparatively poor. Few records of species that live beyond the continental shelves date back more than 60 y, and the sheer size of oceanic regions makes their food webs difficult to study, even in modern times. Here, we use stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes to study the foraging history of a generalist, oceanic predator, the Hawaiian petr...

  1. Dynamics of astaxanthin, tocopherol (Vitamin E) and thiamine (Vitamin B1) in the Baltic Sea ecosystem : Bottom-up effects in an aquatic food web

    OpenAIRE

    Häubner, Norbert

    2010-01-01

    The thesis combines laboratory experiments and field expeditions to study production, transfer and consumption of non-enzymatic antioxidants and thiamine in an aquatic food web. In particular, I (1) documented spatial and seasonal variation of tocopherols and carotenoids in the Baltic Sea pelagic food web, and (2) examined the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on tocopherol, carotenoid and thiamine concentrations in phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish. Moderate differences in temperature ...

  2. Changes in food web structure under scenarios of overfishing in the southern Benguela: Comparison of the Ecosim and OSMOSE modelling approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Travers, M.; Watermeyer, K.; L. J. Shannon; Shin, Y. -J.

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystem models provide a platform allowing exploration into the possible responses of marine food webs to fishing pressure and various potential management decisions. In this study we investigate the particular effects of overfishing on the structure and function of the southern Benguela food web, using two models with different underlying assumptions: the spatialized, size-based individual-based model, OSMOSE, and the trophic mass-balance model, Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE). Starting from the...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nine heavy metals sampled from water, sediments, and aquatic organisms in the newly-formed wetlands of the Yellow River Delta (YRD) of China were analyzed to evaluate their concentrations and trophic transfer in food webs. The stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes were used to investigate trophic interactions. Results show that most of heavy metals detected in water and sediments are lower than that in Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta. The longest food web is approximately 4 with the highest trophic level of birds. The difference of heavy metal concentrations between endangered Saunders's Gull and other three kinds of protected birds is not obvious. Cd, Zn, and Hg were identified to have an increase with the trophic level (TL), while As, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Pb show an opposite trend, however, the biomagnification of the selected nine heavy metals in the food webs is not significant. - Highlights: → Heavy metal content in newly-formed wetlands is lower than that in similar regions. → There is a trophic level-dependent accumulation of heavy metals in food webs. → The longest food web is approximately 4 with the highest trophic level of birds. → Cd, Zn, and Hg were identified to increase with the trophic level. → The difference of metal content between Saunders's Gull and other birds isn't obvious. - The newly-formed wetlands show slight heavy metal contamination and weak biomagnification through the food webs in the Yellow River Delta.

  4. FOOD SAFETY KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICES AMONG WOMEN IN FIELD PRACTICE AREA OF URBAN HEALTH TRAINING CENTRE, ANDHRA MEDICAL COLLEGE, VISAKHAPATNAM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarada

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Food safety describes handling, prep aration and storage of food in ways to prevent foodborne illness . The contamination of food may occur at any stage in the process from food production to consumption (“farm to plate” - theme for World Health Day 2015.Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick. Foodborne diseases include a wide spectrum of illnesses and a growing public health problem worldwide. METHODOLOGY: A cross - sectional community based study was done among 150 women in the field practice area of urban health training centre, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam. Data was collected by administering questionnaire after taking informed consent. Data was entered in Epi data version 3.1 and analysed by usi ng SPSS version 16.Results were represented in form of proportions and Fischer’s Exact test was used to find significant association between variables. RESULTS: Among 150 participants, most of them were in age group of 21 - 30 years with mean age 33±11years.Ab out 68% belonged to low socioeconomic status, 76.7% were housewives, and 79.3% were literates. Among the participants, 94.7% had good knowledge regarding food safety, 30.7% had good practices showing gap between knowledge and practices. In 12% of cases ther e was history of foodborne illness. There was significant association between knowledge and literacy status; knowledge and past history of foodborne diseases (p<0.05. CONCLUSION: There is need for an education program in the community to improve the pract ices among women regarding food safety to fill the observed gap between knowledge and practices.

  5. Canadian Irradiation Centre

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Canadian Irradiation Centre is a non-profit cooperative project between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Radiochemical Company and Universite du Quebec, Institut Armand-Frappier, Centre for Applied Research in Food Science. The Centre's objectives are to develop, demonstrate and promote Canada's radiation processing technology and its applications by conducting applied research; training technical, professional and scientific personnel; educating industry and government; demonstrating operational and scientific procedures; developing processing procedures and standards, and performing product and market acceptance trials. This pamphlet outlines the history of radoation technology and the services offered by the Canadian Irradiation Centre

  6. 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

  7. Effects of ultraviolet radiation on the lower levels of the planktonic food web in Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: Most of the studies that investigated the effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 280-400 NM) on the first levels of the marine food web used experimental approaches (in situ incubations, micro and mesocosms). However, research on the responses to UVR of the micro community in their natural environment is scarce. A time series study including most of the oceanographic parameters described as controlling bacteria and phytoplankton dynamics was carried out (PAR, tidal mixing, turbulent mixing by winds and currents, nutrient stress). In this case, however, the effects of ultraviolet A and B (UVB, 280-320 nm and UVA, 320-400 nm, respectively) were added as forcing parameters. Fieldwork was done in the vicinity of Melchior Station (64 degrees 20' S, 62 degrees 59' W, Observatory Island). It involved the automated measurement of physical variables (currents, tides and meteorological data), as well as discrete sampling of physical (salinity, temperature), chemical (macro nutrients) and biological variables (bacterial and phytoplankton abundance and production, PSI I system, photo protective compounds). Sub-surface sampling (0.5 m depth) was conducted with 5 L Niskin bottles at a fixed station (sampling every 6/12 h centered at local noon during the whole study period), and vertical profiles at 6 fixed depths (0, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 50 m) were done every four days. The whole study lasted for one month, from February 11 to March 12 2002. Average upper mixed layer (UML) was around 20 m and the depth of the euphotic zone (1% of incident radiation) for UVB and UVA was respectively 17 and 32 m, suggesting a strong influence of UVR on cells within the UML. PSII activity showed a significant inverse correlation with UVB, phased with irradiance oscillations. Bacterio plankton and phytoplankton biomass and production of both presented a similar response, but minimum values were lagged by 4-6 h from UVR maxima. Mycosporin like aminoacids (MAA's) were also phased and directly

  8. Comparative biomass structure and estimated carbon flow in food webs in the deep Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Gilbert T.; Wei, Chihlin; Nunnally, Clifton; Haedrich, Richard; Montagna, Paul; Baguley, Jeffrey G.; Bernhard, Joan M.; Wicksten, Mary; Ammons, Archie; Briones, Elva Escobar; Soliman, Yousra; Deming, Jody W.

    2008-12-01

    A budget of the standing stocks and cycling of organic carbon associated with the sea floor has been generated for seven sites across a 3-km depth gradient in the NE Gulf of Mexico, based on a series of reports by co-authors on specific biotic groups or processes. The standing stocks measured at each site were bacteria, Foraminifera, metazoan meiofauna, macrofauna, invertebrate megafauna, and demersal fishes. Sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) by the sediment-dwelling organisms was measured at each site using a remotely deployed benthic lander, profiles of oxygen concentration in the sediment pore water of recovered cores and ship-board core incubations. The long-term incorporation and burial of organic carbon into the sediments has been estimated using profiles of a combination of stable and radiocarbon isotopes. The total stock estimates, carbon burial, and the SCOC allowed estimates of living and detrital carbon residence time within the sediments, illustrating that the total biota turns over on time scales of months on the upper continental slope but this is extended to years on the abyssal plain at 3.6 km depth. The detrital carbon turnover is many times longer, however, over the same depths. A composite carbon budget illustrates that total carbon biomass and associated fluxes declined precipitously with increasing depth. Imbalances in the carbon budgets suggest that organic detritus is exported from the upper continental slope to greater depths offshore. The respiration of each individual "size" or functional group within the community has been estimated from allometric models, supplemented by direct measurements in the laboratory. The respiration and standing stocks were incorporated into budgets of carbon flow through and between the different size groups in hypothetical food webs. The decline in stocks and respiration with depth were more abrupt in the larger forms (fishes and megafauna), resulting in an increase in the relative predominance of

  9. Mercury biomagnification in a contaminated estuary food web: effects of age and trophic position using stable isotope analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, J P; Mieiro, C L; Pereira, E; Duarte, A C; Pardal, M A

    2013-04-15

    The main aim of this study was to ascertain the biomagnification processes in a mercury-contaminated estuary, by clarifying the trophic web structure through stable isotope ratios. For this purpose, primary producers (seagrasses and macroalgae), invertebrates (detritivores and benthic predators) and fish were analysed for total and organic mercury and for stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures. Trophic structure was accurately described by δ(15)N, while δ(13)C reflected the carbon source for each species. An increase of mercury levels was observed with trophic level, particularly for organic mercury. Results confirm mercury biomagnification to occur in this estuarine food web, especially in the organic form, both in absolute concentrations and fraction of total mercury load. Age can be considered an important variable in mercury biomagnification studies, and data adjustments to account for the different exposure periods may be necessary for a correct assessment of trophic magnification rates and ecological risk. PMID:23433553

  10. Comparative validity of the ASSO–Food Frequency Questionnaire for the web-based assessment of food and nutrients intake in adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garden Tabacchi

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: A new web-based food frequency questionnaire (the ASSO–FFQ was developed within the ASSO Project funded by the Italian Ministry of Health. Objective: The aim of the present study is to assess the validity of the ASSO–FFQ at food groups, energy, and nutrients level. Design and subjects: The validation study compared the ASSO–FFQ against a weighted food record (WFR measuring foods, beverages and supplements intake, compiled during the week following the ASSO–FFQ administration. Ninety-two subjects aged 14–17, recruited from secondary schools in Palermo (Italy, completed the ASSO–FFQ and WFR. The intake of 24 food groups, energy, and 52 nutrients were taken as main outcomes. Tests for paired observations, Spearman and Pearson's correlation coefficients (cc, kappa statistics and classification in quintiles, Bland–Altman plots and multiple regressions, on untransformed and transformed data were used for the statistical analysis. Results: High cc (≥0.40 were found for soft drinks, milk, tea/coffee, vegetables, and lactose; fair energy-adjusted cc (0.25–0.40 for water, alcoholic drinks, breakfast cereals, fishery products, savory food, fruit juice, eggs, and 19 nutrients. The subjects classified in the same or adjacent quintile for food groups ranged from 40% (alcoholic drinks to 100% (dried fruit; for energy and nutrients from 43% (phosphorus, thiamin, niacin to 77% (lactose. Mean differences were not significant for water, soft drinks, meat, sweets, animal fats, milk and white bread, and vitamin B12 and folate. Limits of Agreement were broad for all food groups and nutrients. School, gender, alcohol consumption and between meals mainly affected most food groups’ intake differences. Gender stratification showed females had increased Pearson's cc for energy and 28 nutrients, such as almost all fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Conclusions: The ASSO–FFQ could be applied in epidemiological studies for the

  11. Introducing Scrum into the development of a health food web portal

    OpenAIRE

    Alidžanović, Rok

    2015-01-01

    The thesis deals with the introduction of Scrum agile development method in the development of a web portal for a healthy diet. The initial chapter is an introduction to the agile methods More specifically described is agile method: Scrum. In the next chapter, the thesis focuses on a renovation project of a web portal where it firstly presents the mission and function of the portal. Following is a description of the supporting platform Magento and some tools and services that were used...

  12. Recipes for Semantic Web dog food - The ESWC and ISWC metadata projects

    OpenAIRE

    Möller, Knud; Heath, Tom; Handschuh, Siegfried; Domingue, John

    2007-01-01

    Semantic Web conferences such as ESWC and ISWC offer prime opportunities to test and showcase semantic technologies. Conference metadata about people, papers and talks is diverse in nature and neither too small to be uninteresting or too big to be unmanageable. Many metadata-related challenges that may arise in the Semantic Web at large are also present here. Metadata must be generated from sources which are often unstructured and hard to process, and may originate from many different players...

  13. Introducing Scrum into the development of a health food web portal

    OpenAIRE

    Alidžanović, Rok

    2014-01-01

    The thesis deals with the introduction of Scrum agile development method in the development of a web portal for a healthy diet. The initial chapter is an introduction to the agile methods More specifically described is agile method: Scrum. In the next chapter, the thesis focuses on a renovation project of a web portal where it firstly presents the mission and function of the portal. Following is a description of the supporting platform Magento and some tools and services that were used...

  14. 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.

  15. Mercury Speciation and Bioaccumulation In Riparian and Upland Food Webs of the White Mountains Region, New Hampshire, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodenhouse, N.; Gebauer, R.; Lowe, W.; McFarland, K.; Bank, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    The soils and foods webs associated with mid to high elevation, forested, headwater streams are potential hotspots for mercury methylation and bioaccumulation but are not well studied. We tested the hypothesis that spatial variation in mercury bioaccumulation in upland taxa associated with headwater streams can be explained by variation in soil conditions promoting Hg methylation such as soil moisture, pH, and sulfur and organic matter content. We sampled at high (c. 700m) and mid elevation (c. 500m) in northern hardwood forest adjacent to and away from (75m) replicate headwater streams in the Hubbard Brook and Jeffers Brook watersheds of the White Mountains region, New Hampshire, USA. These forested watersheds differed primarily in soil calcium content and pH. We measured and assessed spatial variation in total Hg (THg) and methyl Hg (MeHg) concentrations in soils, insects, spiders, salamanders and birds. We also tested whether trophic position, as determined by nitrogen stable isotopes, was a major predictor of Hg bioaccumulation across these riparian and upland forest taxa. We found elevated levels of THg in all measured components of the food web, and conditions for methylation were better in the upland forest sites compared to the riparian sites located adjacent to headwater streams. Both THg and MeHg in biota were positively correlated with trophic position as indicated by 15N enrichment. In fact, trophic position was a better predictor of THg and MeHg content than spatial location, but the spatial patterning of bioaccumulation differed among taxa. Our data show that that significant Hg bioaccumulation and biomagnification can occur in soils and food webs of mid to high elevation temperate deciduous forests of the Northeast. They also suggest that mercury methylation in forested watersheds is a widespread phenomenon and not limited to areas with high soil moisture, such as lotic environments.

  16. Optimal defense strategies in an idealized microbial food web under trade-off between competition and defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Våge, Selina; Storesund, Julia E; Giske, Jarl; Thingstad, T Frede

    2014-01-01

    Trophic mechanisms that can generate biodiversity in food webs include bottom-up (growth rate regulating) and top-down (biomass regulating) factors. The top-down control has traditionally been analyzed using the concepts of "Keystone Predation" (KP) and "Killing-the-Winner" (KtW), predominately occuring in discussions of macro- and micro-biological ecology, respectively. Here we combine the classical diamond-shaped food web structure frequently discussed in KP analyses and the KtW concept by introducing a defense strategist capable of partial defense. A formalized description of a trade-off between the defense-strategist's competitive and defensive ability is included. The analysis reveals a complex topology of the steady state solution with strong relationships between food web structure and the combination of trade-off, defense strategy and the system's nutrient content. Among the results is a difference in defense strategies corresponding to maximum biomass, production, or net growth rate of invading individuals. The analysis thus summons awareness that biomass or production, parameters typically measured in field studies to infer success of particular biota, are not directly acted upon by natural selection. Under coexistence with a competition specialist, a balance of competitive and defensive ability of the defense strategist was found to be evolutionarily stable, whereas stronger defense was optimal under increased nutrient levels in the absence of the pure competition specialist. The findings of success of different defense strategies are discussed with respect to SAR11, a highly successful bacterial clade in the pelagic ocean. PMID:24999739

  17. An abundant small sized fish as keystone species? The effect of Pomatoschistus microps on food webs and its trophic role in two intertidal benthic communities: A modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pockberger, Moritz; Kellnreitner, Florian; Ahnelt, Harald; Asmus, Ragnhild; Asmus, Harald

    2014-02-01

    Ecological network analysis (ENA) was used to study the effects of Pomatoschistus microps on energy transport through the food web, its impact on other compartments and its possible role as a keystone species in the trophic webs of an Arenicola tidal flat ecosystem and a sparse Zostera noltii bed ecosystem. Three ENA models were constructed: (a) model 1 contains data of the original food web from prior research in the investigated area by Baird et al. (2007), (b) an updated model 2 which included biomass and diet data of P. microps from recent sampling, and (c) model 3 simulating a food web without P. microps. A comparison of energy transport between the different models revealed that more energy is transported from lower trophic levels up the food chain, in the presence of P. microps (models 1 and 2) than in its absence (model 3). Calculations of the keystone index (KSi) revealed the high overall impact (measured as εi) of this fish species on food webs. In model 1, P. microps was assigned a low KSi in the Arenicola flat and in the sparse Z. noltii bed. Calculations in model 2 ranked P. microps first for keystoneness and εi in both communities, the Arenicola flat and the sparse Z. noltii bed. Taken together, our results give insight into the role of P. microps when considering a whole food web and reveal direct and indirect trophic interactions of this small-sized fish species. These results might illustrate the impact and importance of abundant, widespread species in food webs and facilitate further investigations.

  18. Localised mixing and heterogeneity in the plankton food web in a frontal region of the Sargasso Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Katherine; Bendtsen, Joøgen; Christensen, Jens Tang;

    2014-01-01

    the diatom communities at 10 m and > 100 m (in the deep chlorophyll maximum, DCM) than in other parts of the frontal region. Thorpe displacements supported the hypothesis of elevated mixing intensities around these stations, as did vertical mixing rates inferred from stratification and vertical...... 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...

  19. Dangerous relations in the Arctic marine food web: Interactions between toxin producing Pseudo-nitzschia diatoms and Calanus copepodites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hardardottir, Sara; Pancic, Marina; Tammilehto, Anna;

    2015-01-01

    Diatoms of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia produce domoic acid (DA), a toxin that is vectored in the marine food web, thus causing serious problems for marine organisms and humans. In spite of this, knowledge of interactions between grazing zooplankton and diatoms is restricted. In this study, we...... examined the interactions between Calanus copepodites and toxin producing Pseudo-nitzschia. The copepodites were fed with different concentrations of toxic P. seriata and a strain of P. obtusa that previously was tested to be non-toxic. The ingestion rates did not differ among the diets (P. seriata, P...

  20. Ecosystem ecology meets adaptive management: food web response to a controlled flood on the Colorado River, Glen Canyon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Wyatt F.; Baxter, Colden V.; Donner, Kevin C.; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J.; Kennedy, Theodore A.; Hall, Robert O., Jr.; Wellard Kelly, Holly A.; Rogers, R. Scott

    2011-01-01

    Large dams have been constructed on rivers to meet human demands for water, electricity, navigation, and recreation. As a consequence, flow and temperature regimes have been altered, strongly affecting river food webs and ecosystem processes. Experimental high-flow dam releases, i.e., controlled floods, have been implemented on the Colorado River, USA, in an effort to reestablish pulsed flood events, redistribute sediments, improve conditions for native fishes, and increase understanding of how dam operations affect physical and biological processes. We quantified secondary production and organic matter flows in the food web below Glen Canyon dam for two years prior and one year after an experimental controlled flood in March 2008. Invertebrate biomass and secondary production declined significantly following the flood (total biomass, 55% decline; total production, 56% decline), with most of the decline driven by reductions in two nonnative invertebrate taxa, Potamopyrgus antipodarum and Gammarus lacustris. Diatoms dominated the trophic basis of invertebrate production before and after the controlled flood, and the largest organic matter flows were from diatoms to the three most productive invertebrate taxa (P. antipodarum, G. lacustris, and Tubificida). In contrast to invertebrates, production of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) increased substantially (194%) following the flood, despite the large decline in total secondary production of the invertebrate assemblage. This counterintuitive result is reconciled by a post-flood increase in production and drift concentrations of select invertebrate prey (i.e., Chironomidae and Simuliidae) that supported a large proportion of trout production but had relatively low secondary production. In addition, interaction strengths, measured as species impact values, were strongest between rainbow trout and these two taxa before and after the flood, demonstrating that the dominant consumer—resource interactions were not

  1. Indications for the tracking of elevated nitrogen levels through the fungal route in a soil food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elevated levels of N in soil can be tracked via fungi in the soil food web. - The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of elevated N in dead organic matter on the growth of fungi and to establish the consequences for the development of microbivores. Therefore, three fungal species were cultured on Scots pine litter differing in N content. The growth of the soil fungal species Trichoderma koningii, Penicillium glabrum and Cladosporium cladosporioides was directly influenced by the N content (ranging from 1.25 to 2.19% N) of the substrate. For all three fungal species maximum growth was highest at intermediate N content (1.55%) of the substrate. The fungivorous collembolan Orchesella cincta reached highest asymptotic body mass when fed with C. cladosporioides, grown on litter medium with intermediate N content (1.55%). The growth of O. cincta was lower when fed with C. cladosporioides from litter medium with the highest N content (2.19%). Similar results were obtained in mesocosm experiments in which pine litter with three levels of N (1.11, 1.78, 2.03% N) was used as substrate for the fungi. On litter with the highest N content (2.03%) hyphal length and asymptotic body mass of O. cincta were reduced. The results show that the N content of the substrate determines the growth of both fungi and fungivores, and suggest that elevated levels of N in soil track through the fungal part of the soil food web

  2. Indications for the tracking of elevated nitrogen levels through the fungal route in a soil food web

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hogervorst, R.F.; Dijkhuis, M.A.J.; Schaar, M.A. van der; Berg, M.P.; Verhoef, H.A

    2003-11-01

    Elevated levels of N in soil can be tracked via fungi in the soil food web. - The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of elevated N in dead organic matter on the growth of fungi and to establish the consequences for the development of microbivores. Therefore, three fungal species were cultured on Scots pine litter differing in N content. The growth of the soil fungal species Trichoderma koningii, Penicillium glabrum and Cladosporium cladosporioides was directly influenced by the N content (ranging from 1.25 to 2.19% N) of the substrate. For all three fungal species maximum growth was highest at intermediate N content (1.55%) of the substrate. The fungivorous collembolan Orchesella cincta reached highest asymptotic body mass when fed with C. cladosporioides, grown on litter medium with intermediate N content (1.55%). The growth of O. cincta was lower when fed with C. cladosporioides from litter medium with the highest N content (2.19%). Similar results were obtained in mesocosm experiments in which pine litter with three levels of N (1.11, 1.78, 2.03% N) was used as substrate for the fungi. On litter with the highest N content (2.03%) hyphal length and asymptotic body mass of O. cincta were reduced. The results show that the N content of the substrate determines the growth of both fungi and fungivores, and suggest that elevated levels of N in soil track through the fungal part of the soil food web.

  3. Bacterioplankton communities of Crater Lake, OR: Dynamic changes with euphotic zone food web structure and stable deep water populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbach, E.; Vergin, K.L.; Larson, G.L.; Giovannoni, S.J.

    2007-01-01

    The distribution of bacterial and archaeal species in Crater Lake plankton varies dramatically over depth and with time, as assessed by hybridization of group-specific oligonucleotides to RNA extracted from lakewater. Nonmetric, multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis of relative bacterial phylotype densities revealed complex relationships among assemblages sampled from depth profiles in July, August and September of 1997 through 1999. CL500-11 green nonsulfur bacteria (Phylum Chloroflexi) and marine Group I crenarchaeota are consistently dominant groups in the oxygenated deep waters at 300 and 500 m. Other phylotypes found in the deep waters are similar to surface and mid-depth populations and vary with time. Euphotic zone assemblages are dominated either by ??-proteobacteria or CL120-10 verrucomicrobia, and ACK4 actinomycetes. MDS analyses of euphotic zone populations in relation to environmental variables and phytoplankton and zooplankton population structures reveal apparent links between Daphnia pulicaria zooplankton population densities and microbial community structure. These patterns may reflect food web interactions that link kokanee salmon population densities to community structure of the bacterioplankton, via fish predation on Daphnia with cascading consequences to Daphnia bacterivory and predation on bacterivorous protists. These results demonstrate a stable bottom-water microbial community. They also extend previous observations of food web-driven changes in euphotic zone bacterioplankton community structure to an oligotrophic setting. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  4. Using marine reserves to manage impact of bottom trawl fisheries requires consideration of benthic food-web interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Denderen, Pieter Daniël; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D.; van Kooten, Tobias

    2016-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are widely used to protect exploited fish species as well as to conserve marine habitats and their biodiversity. They have become a popular management tool also for bottom trawl fisheries, a common fishing technique on continental shelves worldwide. The effects of bo...... applicable for bottom trawl fisheries, guidelines for the implementation of MPAs must consider their potential food-web effects, at the risk of failing management......Marine protected areas (MPAs) are widely used to protect exploited fish species as well as to conserve marine habitats and their biodiversity. They have become a popular management tool also for bottom trawl fisheries, a common fishing technique on continental shelves worldwide. The effects of......-effects of the fishery. However, predicting the protective effects of MPAs is complicated because the side-effects of trawling potentially alter the food-web interactions between target and non-target species. These changes in predatory and competitive interactions among fish and benthic invertebrates may...

  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. Competitive interactions between invasive Nile tilapia and native fish: the potential for altered trophic exchange and modification of food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Charles W; Valentine, Marla M; Valentine, John F

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have highlighted both the positive and negative impacts of species invasions. Most of these studies have been conducted on either immobile invasive plants or sessile fauna found at the base of food webs. Fewer studies have examined the impacts of vagile invasive consumers on native competitors. This is an issue of some importance given the controlling influence that consumers have on lower order plants and animals. Here, we present results of laboratory experiments designed to assess the impacts of unintended aquaculture releases of the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), in estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico, on the functionally similar redspotted sunfish (Lepomis miniatus). Laboratory choice tests showed that tilapia prefer the same structured habitat that native sunfish prefer. In subsequent interspecific competition experiments, agonistic tilapia displaced sunfish from their preferred structured habitats. When a piscivore (largemouth bass) was present in the tank with both species, the survival of sunfish decreased. Based on these findings, if left unchecked, we predict that the proliferation of tilapia (and perhaps other aggressive aquaculture fishes) will have important detrimental effects on the structure of native food webs in shallow, structured coastal habitats. While it is likely that the impacts of higher trophic level invasive competitors will vary among species, these results show that consequences of unintended releases of invasive higher order consumers can be important. PMID:21200433

  7. Competitive interactions between invasive Nile tilapia and native fish: the potential for altered trophic exchange and modification of food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles W Martin

    Full Text Available Recent studies have highlighted both the positive and negative impacts of species invasions. Most of these studies have been conducted on either immobile invasive plants or sessile fauna found at the base of food webs. Fewer studies have examined the impacts of vagile invasive consumers on native competitors. This is an issue of some importance given the controlling influence that consumers have on lower order plants and animals. Here, we present results of laboratory experiments designed to assess the impacts of unintended aquaculture releases of the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, in estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico, on the functionally similar redspotted sunfish (Lepomis miniatus. Laboratory choice tests showed that tilapia prefer the same structured habitat that native sunfish prefer. In subsequent interspecific competition experiments, agonistic tilapia displaced sunfish from their preferred structured habitats. When a piscivore (largemouth bass was present in the tank with both species, the survival of sunfish decreased. Based on these findings, if left unchecked, we predict that the proliferation of tilapia (and perhaps other aggressive aquaculture fishes will have important detrimental effects on the structure of native food webs in shallow, structured coastal habitats. While it is likely that the impacts of higher trophic level invasive competitors will vary among species, these results show that consequences of unintended releases of invasive higher order consumers can be important.

  8. Stable-isotope analysis of a deep-sea benthic-fish assemblage: evidence of an enriched benthic food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, M D; Ebert, D A; Cailliet, G M

    2012-04-01

    In this study, fishes and invertebrates collected from the continental slope (1000 m) of the eastern North Pacific Ocean were analysed using stable-isotope analysis (SIA). Resulting trophic positions (T(P) ) were compared to known diets and habitats from the literature. Dual isotope plots indicated that most species groups (invertebrates and fishes) sorted as expected along the carbon and nitrogen axes, with less intraspecific variability than interspecific variability. Results also indicated an isotopically distinct benthic and pelagic food web, as the benthic food web was more enriched in both nitrogen and carbon isotopes. Trophic positions from SIA supported this finding, resulting in the assignment of fishes to different trophic positions from those expected based on published dietary information. These differences can be explained largely by the habitat of the prey and the percentage of the diet that was scavenged. A mixing model estimated dietary contributions of prey similar to those of the known diet of Bathyraja trachura from stomach-content analysis (SCA). Linear regressions indicated that trophic positions calculated from SIA and SCA, when plotted against B. trachura total length for 32 individuals, exhibited similar variation and patterns. Only the T(P) from SCA yielded significant results (stomach content: P 0·05). PMID:22497394

  9. Influence of biological and ecological factors on the bioaccumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in aquatic food webs from French estuaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragigand, Virginie; Amiard-Triquet, Claude; Parlier, Emmanuel; Boury, Pauline; Marchand, Philippe; El Hourch, Mohamed

    2006-09-15

    Previous studies have shown the worldwide presence of six congeners of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in marine biota (BDE-28, -47, -99, -100, -153 and -154). The objective of the present study was to document their presence, their level and their transfer in the food web of two major estuaries in France, the Loire and the Seine. PBDEs were quantified in eight principal species from the Loire, representing primary consumers (the bivalve Scrobicularia plana), omnivores (the worm Nereis diversicolor, the shrimps Crangon crangon, Palaemon elegans and Palaemon serratus, the flatfish Platichthys flesus and Solea solea) and supercarnivores (the eel Anguilla anguilla). In the Seine, only worms, bivalves, sole and eels have been studied. Parameters, which can interfere with the interpretation of contamination data (organ distribution, influence of weight or size of specimens, lipid richness, intrinsic variability), have been examined. BDE-47 was the predominant congener in all biota. Higher contamination was observed in most of the species collected from the Seine, in agreement with the higher human presence and economic activity in the Seine than in the Loire basin. PBDEs have been shown to biomagnify in both of the studied estuarine food webs. However, assessment of PBDE transfer from seafood products exposed to contaminants in the Seine estuary showed that human daily intake is far below the no observed adverse effect levels. PMID:16764911

  10. Impacts of changing food webs in Lake Ontario: Implications of dietary fatty acids on growth of alewives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, R.J.; Demarche, C.J.; Honeyfield, D.C.

    2011-01-01

    Declines in the abundance and condition of Great Lakes Alewives have been reported periodically during the last two decades, and the reasons for these declines remain unclear. To better understand how food web changes may influence Alewife growth and Wisconsin growth model predictions, we fed Alewives isocaloric diets high in omega-6 fatty acids (corn oil) or high in omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil). Alewives were fed the experimental diets at either 1% ("low ration") or 3% ("high ration") of their wet body weight per day. After six weeks, Alewives maintained on the high ration diets were significantly larger than those fed the low ration diets. Moreover, Alewives given the high ration fish oil diet were significantly larger than those maintained on the high ration corn oil diet after six weeks of growth. Body lipid, energy density and total body energy of Alewives on the high ration diets were significantly higher than those fed the low ration diets, and total body energy was significantly higher in Alewives given the high ration fish oil diet compared to those on the high ration corn oil diet. The current Wisconsin bioenergetics model underestimated growth and overestimated food consumption by Alewives in our study. Alewife thiaminase activity was similar among treatment groups. Overall, our results suggest that future food web changes in Lake Ontario, particularly if they involve decreases in the abundance of lipid rich prey items such as Mysis, may reduce Alewife growth rates and total body energy due to reductions in the availability of dietary omega-3 fatty acids. ?? 2011 AEHMS.

  11. Density- and trait-mediated effects of a parasite and a predator in a tri-trophic food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerji, Aabir; Duncan, Alison B; Griffin, Joanne S; Humphries, Stuart; Petchey, Owen L; Kaltz, Oliver

    2015-05-01

    Despite growing interest in ecological consequences of parasitism in food webs, relatively little is known about effects of parasites on long-term population dynamics of non-host species or about whether such effects are density or trait mediated. We studied a tri-trophic food chain comprised of (i) a bacterial basal resource (Serratia fonticola), (ii) an intermediate consumer (Paramecium caudatum), (iii) a top predator (Didinium nasutum) and (iv) a parasite of the intermediate consumer (Holospora undulata). A fully factorial experimental manipulation of predator and parasite presence/absence was combined with analyses of population dynamics, modelling and analyses of host (Paramecium) morphology and behaviour. Predation and parasitism each reduced the abundance of the intermediate consumer (Paramecium), and parasitism indirectly reduced the abundance of the basal resource (Serratia). However, in combination, predation and parasitism had non-additive effects on the abundance of the intermediate consumer, as well as on that of the basal resource. In both cases, the negative effect of parasitism seemed to be effaced by predation. Infection of the intermediate consumer reduced predator abundance. Modelling and additional experimentation revealed that this was most likely due to parasite reduction of intermediate host abundance (a density-mediated effect), as opposed to changes in predator functional or numerical response. Parasitism altered morphological and behavioural traits, by reducing host cell length and increasing the swimming speed of cells with moderate parasite loads. Additional tests showed no significant difference in Didinium feeding rate on infected and uninfected hosts, suggesting that the combination of these modifications does not affect host vulnerability to predation. However, estimated rates of encounter with Serratia based on these modifications were higher for infected Paramecium than for uninfected Paramecium. A mixture of density-mediated and