WorldWideScience

Sample records for planktonic food web

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  2. Plankton food-webs: to what extent can they be simplified?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenico D'Alelio

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Plankton is a hugely diverse community including both unicellular and multicellular organisms, whose individual dimensions span over seven orders of magnitude. Plankton is a fundamental part of biogeochemical cycles and food-webs in aquatic systems. While knowledge has progressively accumulated at the level of single species and single trophic processes, the overwhelming biological diversity of plankton interactions is insufficiently known and a coherent and unifying trophic framework is virtually lacking. We performed an extensive review of the plankton literature to provide a compilation of data suitable for implementing food-web models including plankton trophic processes at high taxonomic resolution. We identified the components of the plankton community at the Long Term Ecological Research Station MareChiara in the Gulf of Naples. These components represented the sixty-three nodes of a plankton food-web. To each node we attributed biomass and vital rates, i.e. production, consumption, assimilation rates and ratio between autotrophy and heterotrophy in mixotrophic protists. Biomasses and rates values were defined for two opposite system’s conditions; relatively eutrophic and oligotrophic states. We finally identified 817 possible trophic links within the web and provided each of them with a relative weight, in order to define a diet-matrix, valid for both trophic states, which included all consumers, fromn anoflagellates to carnivorous plankton. Vital rates for plankton resulted, as expected, very wide; this strongly contrasts with the narrow ranges considered in plankton system models implemented so far. Moreover, the amount and variety of trophic links highlighted by our review is largely excluded by state-of-the-art biogeochemical and food-web models for aquatic systems. Plankton models could potentially benefit from the integration of the trophic diversity outlined in this paper: first, by using more realistic rates; second, by better

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  4. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, William M.; Condon, Robert H.; Carmichael, Ruth H.; D'Ambra, Isabella; Patterson, Heather K.; Linn, Laura J.; Hernandez, Frank J., Jr.

    2010-10-01

    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.

  8. Isotopic evidence for the spatial heterogeneity of the planktonic food webs in the transition zone between river and lake ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doi, Hideyuki; Zuykova, Elena I; Shikano, Shuichi; Kikuchi, Eisuke; Ota, Hiroshi; Yurlova, Natalia I; Yadrenkina, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Resources and organisms in food webs are distributed patchily. The spatial structure of food webs is important and critical to understanding their overall structure. However, there is little available information about the small-scale spatial structure of food webs. We investigated the spatial structure of food webs in a lake ecosystem at the littoral transition zone between an inflowing river and a lake. We measured the carbon isotope ratios of zooplankton and particulate organic matter (POM; predominantly phytoplankton) in the littoral zone of a saline lake. Parallel changes in the δ (13)C values of zooplankton and their respective POMs indicated that there is spatial heterogeneity of the food web in this study area. Lake ecosystems are usually classified at the landscape level as either pelagic or littoral habitats. However, we showed small-scale spatial heterogeneity among planktonic food webs along an environmental gradient. Stable isotope data is useful for detecting spatial heterogeneity of habitats, populations, communities, and ecosystems.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    This paper introduces the structure and trophic efficiency of plankton food webs in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) and the Palk Bay (PB) - two least studied marine environments located between India and Sri Lanka. The study is based on the results...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    influence the plankton food web, as indicated by elevated values/concentrations of (1) primary production, (2) variable fluorescence (F-v/F-m) and (3) total seston. In addition, the fraction of the total biomass of both copepods and nauplii found closest to the DCM in the frontal region correlated...

  11. Plankton food web and its seasonal dynamics in a large monsoonal estuary (Cochin backwaters, India)-significance of mesohaline region

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sooria, P.M.; Jyothibabu, R.; Anjusha, A; Vineetha, G.; Vinita, J.; Lallu, K.R.; Paul, M.; Jagadeesan, L.

    The paper presents the ecology and dynamics of plankton food web in the Cochin backwaters (CBW), the largest monsoonal estuary along the west coast of India. The data source is a time series measurement carried out in the CBW during the Spring...

  12. Mercury and selenium in seston, marine plankton and fish (Sardinella brasiliensis) as a tool for understanding a tropical food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seixas, Tércia Guedes; Moreira, Isabel; Kehrig, Helena Amaral

    2015-12-15

    Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) concentrations were evaluated in a planktivorous fish and four size classes of organisms (FSCO), collected at an oligotrophic bay in the Southeastern Brazilian coast. No significant spatial differences between Hg and Se were found in the FSCO within the five sampling points in the bay. Hg and Se concentrations increased with successive increases in the size class of the analyzed plankton, i.e. approximately 3-and 2-fold, respectively, from microplankton to macroplankton. Hg and Se biomagnified throughout the planktonic food web. The smallest size class of organism, seston, composed of both biotic and abiotic portions, and fish showed the highest Hg concentrations. This indicates that Hg is not biomagnifying in the base of the bay food web. Selenium concentrations in fish were approximately 5.9 times higher than those in seston. Hg and Se concentrations in fish were approximately 3.5 and 14.6 times higher than those found in the plankton, respectively.

  13. 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

    occurred in late July, and depleted δ13C was observed in mid-August at the furthest offshore stations. Depletion and recovery cycles on the order of a few weeks are consistent with published warm water petroleum hydrocarbon decay time-scales. Carbon isotopic depletion in both surface and bottom samples suggests trophic transfer of oil carbon into the planktonic food web. A similar response found in benthic communities around natural seeps suggests that carbon isotopic shifts in the plankton fractions are likely due to the duration and magnitude of depleted carbon released into the system. These data provide strong evidence that labile fractions of the oil extended throughout the shallow water column during northward slick transport and that this carbon was processed at least two trophic levels beyond prokaryotic hydrocarbon consumers.

  14. Planktonic trophic structure in a coral reef ecosystem - Grazing versus microbial food webs and the production of mesozooplankton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Ryota; Yamazaki, Haruka; Lewis, Levi S.; Khen, Adi; Smith, Jennifer E.; Nakatomi, Nobuyuki; Kurihara, Haruko

    2017-08-01

    The relative contributions of grazing versus microbial food webs to the production of mesozooplankton communities in coral reef ecosystems remains an important and understudied field of inquiry. Here, we investigated the biomass and production of component organisms within these two food webs, and compared them to those of mesozooplankton on a coral reef in Okinawa, Japan throughout four seasons in 2011-2012. The relative production of grazing (phytoplankton) and microbial (nano and microzooplankton) food webs were on average 39% (7-77%) and 37% (19-57%), respectively, of the food requirements of particle-feeding mesozooplankton. Carbon flows within this planktonic food web suggested that primary production from the grazing food web could not satisfy the nutritional demands of mesozooplankton, and that the microbial food web contributed a significant amount of nutrition to their diets. These results also show that the heterotrophic components of the microbial food web (nano and microzooplankton) and mesozooplankton consume the equivalent of the entire phytoplankton production (particulate net production) each day, while the microzooplankton were almost entirely eaten by higher trophic levels (mesozooplankton) each day. However, even the combined production from both the grazing and microbial food webs did not fulfill mesozooplankton food requirements in some seasons, explaining 26-53%, suggesting that detritus was used to compensate for nutritional deficiencies during these periods. Understanding the flow of energy throughout coral reefs requires a detailed accounting of pelagic sources and sinks of carbon. Our results provide such an assessment and indicate that detailed investigation on the origin and production of detritus is necessary to better understand pelagic trophodynamics in coral ecosystems.

  15. Bioaccumulation and differential partitioning of polychlorinated biphenyls in freshwater, planktonic food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Berglund, Olof; Larsson, Per; Ewald, Göran; Okla, Lennart

    2000-01-01

    The planktonic food chain phytoplankton - zooplankton - young-of-the-year roach (Rutilus rutilus) was studied in 19 lakes in southern Sweden to investigate the bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Sigma PCB concentrations did not steadily increase with increasing trophic level. The Sigma PCB concentrations in zooplankton (400 ng.g lipid(-1)) were lower than in both phytoplankton (660 ng.g lipid(-1)) and fish (890 ng.g lipid(-1)), which did not differ significantly. Lipid c...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    the diatom communities at 10 m and > 100 m (in the deep chlorophyll maximum, DCM) than in other parts of the frontal region. Thorpe displacements supported the hypothesis of elevated mixing intensities around these stations, as did vertical mixing rates inferred from stratification and vertical current shear...... influence the plankton food web, as indicated by elevated values/concentrations of (1) primary production, (2) variable fluorescence (F-v/F-m) and (3) total seston. In addition, the fraction of the total biomass of both copepods and nauplii found closest to the DCM in the frontal region correlated...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

    This paper introduces the structure and trophic efficiency of plankton food webs in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) and the Palk Bay (PB) — two least studied marine environments located between India and Sri Lanka. The study is based on the results obtained from a field sampling exercise carried out in the GoM and the PB in March 2010 (Spring Intermonsoon — SIM), September 2010 (Southwest Monsoon — SWM) and January 2011 (Northeast Monsoon — NEM). Based on multivariate analysis of major environmental parameters during different seasons, it was possible to clearly segregate the GoM and the PB into separate clusters, except during the SWM. This segregation of the GoM and the PB was closely linked with the seasonally reversing ocean currents in the region, as evident from the MIKE 21 flow model results. During the period of relatively low phytoplankton biomass (microbial loop was significantly high — both in the GoM and the PB. During the SIM, the carbon biomass available in the plankton food web was significantly higher in the PB (av. 122.8 ± 47.60 mg C m- 3) than in the GoM (av. 81.89 ± 35.50 mg C m- 3). This was due to a strong microbial loop in the former region. In the GoM, phytoplankton contributed a considerable portion (> 50%) of the carbon biomass during the SWM and the NEM, whereas, microbial loop contributed significantly (80%) during the SIM. The microbial loop was predominant in the PB throughout the study period, being as high as 83% of the total plankton biomass during the SIM. As compared to the PB, the mesozooplankton biomass was higher in the GoM during the SWM and the NEM and lower during the SIM. The relatively high mesozooplankton stock in the PB during the SIM was closely linked with a strong microbial loop, which contributed the major share (av. 101.6 ± 24.3 mg C m- 3) of the total organic carbon available in the food web (av. 126.6 ± 24.3 mg C m- 3). However, when microbial loop contributed > 65% of the total organic carbon available in

  18. Progressive changes in the Western English Channel foster a reorganization in the plankton food web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reygondeau, Gabriel; Molinero, J.C.; Coombs, S.

    2015-01-01

    . (2013) drive a profound restructuration of the plankton community modifying the phenology and the dominance of key planktonic groups including fish larvae. Consequently, the slow but deep modifications detected in the plankton community highlight a climate driven ecosystem shift in the Western English...

  19. Questioning the role of phenology shifts and trophic mismatching in a planktonic food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Angus; Harmer, Rachel A.; Widdicombe, Claire E.; McEvoy, Andrea J.; Smyth, Tim J.; Cummings, Denise G.; Somerfield, Paul J.; Maud, Jacqueline L.; McConville, Kristian

    2015-09-01

    In a warming climate, differential shifts in the seasonal timing of predators and prey have been suggested to lead to trophic "mismatches" that decouple primary, secondary and tertiary production. We tested this hypothesis using a 25-year time-series of weekly sampling at the Plymouth L4 site, comparing 57 plankton taxa spanning 4 trophic levels. During warm years, there was a weak tendency for earlier timings of spring taxa and later timings of autumn taxa. While this is in line with many previous findings, numerous exceptions existed and only a few taxa (e.g. Gyrodinium spp., Pseudocalanus elongatus, and Acartia clausi) showed consistent, strong evidence for temperature-related timing shifts, revealed by all 4 of the timing indices that we used. Also, the calculated offsets in timing (i.e. "mismatches") between predator and prey were no greater in extreme warm or cold years than during more average years. Further, the magnitude of these offsets had no effect on the "success" of the predator, in terms of their annual mean abundance or egg production rates. Instead numerous other factors override, including: inter-annual variability in food quantity, high food baseline levels, turnover rates and prolonged seasonal availability, allowing extended periods of production. Furthermore many taxa, notably meroplankton, increased well before the spring bloom. While theoretically a chronic mismatch, this likely reflects trade-offs for example in predation avoidance. Various gelatinous taxa (Phaeocystis, Noctiluca, ctenophores, appendicularians, medusae) may have reduced these predation constraints, with variable, explosive population outbursts likely responding to improved conditions. The match-mismatch hypothesis may apply for highly seasonal, pulsed systems or specialist feeders, but we suggest that the concept is being over-extended to other marine systems where multiple factors compensate.

  20. Effect of water chemistry on the planktonic communities and relationships among food web components across a freshwater ecotone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mieczan T.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Most ecological research on the food web has been focused more on the pelagic zone than on the transitional zone - ecotones between lentic and lotic habitats. The specific goals of this study were to determine whether the contact zone of waters differs in hydrochemical and biological terms from the waters of the canal and the open water zone, and to evaluate the influence of particular macro-habitats on the interactions between components of the planktonic food web. The distribution of samples in ordination space led us to conclude that the studied habitats are distributed along the rising gradient of total organic carbon and nutrients. Assemblages of all investigated groups showed a strong compositional gradient correlated with conductivity and total phosphorus, while a second strong gradient in species composition was explained by nitrate nitrogen and/or phosphate concentrations. The analysis of trophic relationships in the system bacteriaciliates- crustaceans reveals a clear differentiation and strength of mutual relations between the analyzed zones. The highest number of significant correlations was determined in the contact zone. It can also be a place of very efficient matter and energy flow in freshwater ecosystems.

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of climate change on bioaccumulation and biomagnification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the planktonic food web of a subtropical shallow eutrophic lake in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Yuqiang; Xue, Bin; Lei, Guoliang; Liu, Fei; Wang, Zhen

    2017-04-01

    To date effects of climate change on bioaccumulation and biomagnification of chemical pollutants in planktonic food webs have rarely been studied. Recruitments of plankton have shifted earlier due to global warming. Global warming and precipitation patterns are projected to shift seasonally. Whether and how the shifts in plankton phenology induced by climate change will impact bioaccumulation and biomagnification of chemical pollutants, and how they will respond to climate change are largely unknown. Here, we combine data analysis of the past seven decades, high temporal resolution monitoring and model development to test this hypothesis with nine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the planktonic food web of a subtropical shallow eutrophic lake in China. We find biphasic correlations between both bioconcentration factors and bioaccumulation factors of the PAHs and the mean temperature, which depend on the recruitment temperatures of cyanobacteria, and copepods and cladocerans. The positive correlations between bioconcentration factors, bioaccumulation factors and the mean temperature will be observed less than approximately 13-18 days by 2050-2060 due to the shifts in plankton phenology. The PAHs and their bioaccumulation and biomagnification will respond seasonally and differently to climate change. Bioaccumulation of most of the PAHs will decrease with global warming, with higher decreasing rates appearing in winter and spring. Biomagnification of most of the PAHs from phytoplankton to zooplankton will increase with global warming, with higher increasing rates appearing in winter and spring. Our study provides novel insights into bioaccumulation and biomagnification of chemical pollutants in eutrophic waters under climate change scenarios.

  3. Seasonal plankton variability in Chilean Patagonia fjords: Carbon flow through the pelagic food web of Aysen Fjord and plankton dynamics in the Moraleda Channel basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, H. E.; Castro, L.; Daneri, G.; Iriarte, J. L.; Silva, N.; Vargas, C. A.; Giesecke, R.; Sánchez, N.

    2011-03-01

    recognizable particles contributing to the particulate organic carbon flux. The topographic constriction sills partially modulated the exchange of oceanic waters (Subantarctic Surface Water) with freshwater river discharges along the Moraleda Channel. This exchange affects salinity and nutrient availability and, thus, the plankton structure. The north microbasin was dominated by a seasonal alternation of the classical (spring) and microbial (winter) food webs. However, in the south microbasin, productivity was low and the system was dominated year-round by large inputs of glacier-derived, silt-rich freshwater carrying predominantly small-sized diatoms ( Skeletonema spp) and bacteria. When superimposed upon this scenario, highly variable (seasonal) solar radiation and photoperiods could exacerbate north-south differences along Moraleda Channel.

  4. Planktonic food web structure at a coastal time-series site: II. Spatiotemporal variability of microbial trophic activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connell, Paige E.; Campbell, Victoria; Gellene, Alyssa G.; Hu, Sarah K.; Caron, David A.

    2017-03-01

    The grazing activities of phagotrophic protists on various microbial assemblages play key roles in determining the amount of carbon available for higher trophic levels and for export out of the photic zone. However, comparisons of the proportion of carbon consumed from the phytoplankton (cyanobacteria+photosynthetic eukaryotes) and heterotrophic bacteria (bacteria+archaea, excluding cyanobacteria) are rare. In this study, microbial community composition, phytoplankton growth and mortality rates (total chlorophyll a, Synechococcus, Prochlorococcus, and photosynthetic picoeukaryotes), and bacterial mortality rates were measured seasonally from 2012 to 2014 in the surface waters of three environmentally distinct sites in the San Pedro Channel, off the coast of southern CA, USA. Higher nutrient concentrations at the nearshore site supported community standing stocks that were 1.3-4.5x those found offshore, yet average growth and grazing rates of the phytoplankton and bacterial assemblages were generally similar between sites and across seasons. Thus, the amount of carbon consumed by the grazer assemblage was largely dictated by prey standing stocks. Heterotrophic bacteria constituted an important source of carbon for microbial consumers, particularly at the two offshore sites where bacterial carbon consumed was roughly equivalent to the amount of phytoplankton carbon consumed. Carbon removal by grazers at the nearshore station was predominantly from the diatoms, which were the primary component of the photosynthetic community at that site. This study highlights the significant contribution of protistan-bacterial trophic interactions to planktonic food webs and provides unique community composition and turnover data to inform biogeochemical models.

  5. Parameterization of aquatic ecosystem functioning and its natural variation: Hierarchical Bayesian modelling of plankton food web dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norros, Veera; Laine, Marko; Lignell, Risto; Thingstad, Frede

    2017-10-01

    Methods for extracting empirically and theoretically sound parameter values are urgently needed in aquatic ecosystem modelling to describe key flows and their variation in the system. Here, we compare three Bayesian formulations for mechanistic model parameterization that differ in their assumptions about the variation in parameter values between various datasets: 1) global analysis - no variation, 2) separate analysis - independent variation and 3) hierarchical analysis - variation arising from a shared distribution defined by hyperparameters. We tested these methods, using computer-generated and empirical data, coupled with simplified and reasonably realistic plankton food web models, respectively. While all methods were adequate, the simulated example demonstrated that a well-designed hierarchical analysis can result in the most accurate and precise parameter estimates and predictions, due to its ability to combine information across datasets. However, our results also highlighted sensitivity to hyperparameter prior distributions as an important caveat of hierarchical analysis. In the more complex empirical example, hierarchical analysis was able to combine precise identification of parameter values with reasonably good predictive performance, although the ranking of the methods was less straightforward. We conclude that hierarchical Bayesian analysis is a promising tool for identifying key ecosystem-functioning parameters and their variation from empirical datasets.

  6. Incorporation of inorganic mercury (Hg2+) in pelagic food webs of ultraoligotrophic and oligotrophic lakes: the role of different plankton size fractions and species assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto Cárdenas, Carolina; Diéguez, Maria C.; Ribeiro Guevara, Sergio; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Queimaliños, Claudia P.

    2014-01-01

    In lake food webs, pelagic basal organisms such as bacteria and phytoplankton incorporate mercury (Hg2+) from the dissolved phase and pass the adsorbed and internalized Hg to higher trophic levels. This experimental investigation addresses the incorporation of dissolved Hg2+ by four plankton fractions (picoplankton: 0.2–2.7 μm; pico + nanoplankton: 0.2–20 μm; microplankton: 20–50 μm; and mesoplankton: 50–200 μm) obtained from four Andean Patagonian lakes, using the radioisotope 197Hg2+. Species composition and abundance were determined in each plankton fraction. In addition, morphometric parameters such as surface and biovolume were calculated using standard geometric models. The incorporation of Hg2+ in each plankton fraction was analyzed through three concentration factors: BCF (bioconcentration factor) as a function of cell or individual abundance, SCF (surface concentration factor) and VCF (volume concentration factor) as functions of individual exposed surface and biovolume, respectively. Overall, this investigation showed that through adsorption and internalization, pico + nanoplankton play a central role leading the incorporation of Hg2+ in pelagic food webs of Andean lakes. Larger planktonic organisms included in the micro- and mesoplankton fractions incorporate Hg2+ by surface adsorption, although at a lesser extent. Mixotrophic bacterivorous organisms dominate the different plankton fractions of the lakes connecting trophic levels through microbial loops (e.g., bacteria–nanoflagellates–crustaceans; bacteria–ciliates–crustaceans; endosymbiotic algae–ciliates). These bacterivorous organisms, which incorporate Hg from the dissolved phase and through their prey, appear to explain the high incorporation of Hg2+ observed in all the plankton fractions.

  7. Modelling of the impact of the Rhone River N:P ratios over the NW Mediterranean planktonic food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alekseenko, Elena; Baklouti, Melika; Carlotti, François

    2016-04-01

    The origin of the high N:P ratios in the Mediterranean Sea is one of the remaining important questions raised by the scientific community. During the last two decades it was observed that the inorganic ratio NO3:PO4 ratio in major Mediterranean rivers including the Rhone River has dramatically increased, thereby strengthening the P-limitation in the Mediterranean waters (Ludwig et al, 2009, The MerMex group, 2011) and, as a result, increasing the anomaly in the ratio NO3:PO4 of the Gulf of Lions (GoL) and in all the western part of NW Mediterranean. The N:P ratios in seawater and in the metabolic requirements for plankton growth are indeed of particular interest, as these proportions determine which nutrient will limit biological productivity at the base of the food web and may select plankton communities with distinct biogeochemical function (Deutsch &Weber, 2012). In this context, an in the same spirit as the study of Parsons & Lalli (2002), an interesting question is whether high NO3:PO4 ratios in sea water can favor dead-end gelatinous food chains to the detriment of chains producing fish or direct food for fish . More generally, we aim at characterizing the impact of changes in the NO3:PO4 ratio on the structure of the planktonic food web in the Mediterranean Sea. Coupled physical-biogeochemical modeling with the Eco3M-MED biogeochemical model (Baklouti et al., 2006a,b, Alekseenko et al., 2014) coupled with the hydrodynamic model MARS3D (Lazure&Dumas, 2008) is used to investigate the impact of Rhone River inputs on the structure of the first levels of the trophic web of the NW Mediterranean Sea. The fact that the model describes each biogenic compartment in terms of its abundance (for organisms), and carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen and chlorophyll (for autotrophs) contents means that the intracellular quotas and ratios of each organism can be calculated at any time. This provides information on the intracellular status of organisms, on the elements that limit

  8. Incorporation of inorganic mercury (Hg{sup 2+}) in pelagic food webs of ultraoligotrophic and oligotrophic lakes: The role of different plankton size fractions and species assemblages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soto Cárdenas, Carolina, E-mail: sotocardenascaro@gmail.com [Laboratorio de Fotobiología, Instituto de Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Medioambiente (INIBIOMA, UNComahue-CONICET), Quintral 1250, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro (Argentina); Diéguez, Maria C. [Laboratorio de Fotobiología, Instituto de Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Medioambiente (INIBIOMA, UNComahue-CONICET), Quintral 1250, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro (Argentina); Ribeiro Guevara, Sergio [Laboratorio de Análisis por Activación Neutrónica, CAB, CNEA, Av. Bustillo Km 9.5, 8400, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro (Argentina); Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark [United States Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd./MS 480, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (United States); Queimaliños, Claudia P. [Laboratorio de Fotobiología, Instituto de Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Medioambiente (INIBIOMA, UNComahue-CONICET), Quintral 1250, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro (Argentina)

    2014-10-01

    In lake food webs, pelagic basal organisms such as bacteria and phytoplankton incorporate mercury (Hg{sup 2+}) from the dissolved phase and pass the adsorbed and internalized Hg to higher trophic levels. This experimental investigation addresses the incorporation of dissolved Hg{sup 2+} by four plankton fractions (picoplankton: 0.2–2.7 μm; pico + nanoplankton: 0.2–20 μm; microplankton: 20–50 μm; and mesoplankton: 50–200 μm) obtained from four Andean Patagonian lakes, using the radioisotope {sup 197}Hg{sup 2+}. Species composition and abundance were determined in each plankton fraction. In addition, morphometric parameters such as surface and biovolume were calculated using standard geometric models. The incorporation of Hg{sup 2+} in each plankton fraction was analyzed through three concentration factors: BCF (bioconcentration factor) as a function of cell or individual abundance, SCF (surface concentration factor) and VCF (volume concentration factor) as functions of individual exposed surface and biovolume, respectively. Overall, this investigation showed that through adsorption and internalization, pico + nanoplankton play a central role leading the incorporation of Hg{sup 2+} in pelagic food webs of Andean lakes. Larger planktonic organisms included in the micro- and mesoplankton fractions incorporate Hg{sup 2+} by surface adsorption, although at a lesser extent. Mixotrophic bacterivorous organisms dominate the different plankton fractions of the lakes connecting trophic levels through microbial loops (e.g., bacteria–nanoflagellates–crustaceans; bacteria–ciliates–crustaceans; endosymbiotic algae–ciliates). These bacterivorous organisms, which incorporate Hg from the dissolved phase and through their prey, appear to explain the high incorporation of Hg{sup 2+} observed in all the plankton fractions. - Highlights: • Hg{sup 2+} incorporation in lake plankton fractions was studied using the isotope {sup 197}Hg{sup 2+}. • Hg{sup 2

  9. Planktonic food web structure at a coastal time-series site: I. Partitioning of microbial abundances and carbon biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caron, David A.; Connell, Paige E.; Schaffner, Rebecca A.; Schnetzer, Astrid; Fuhrman, Jed A.; Countway, Peter D.; Kim, Diane Y.

    2017-03-01

    Biogeochemistry in marine plankton communities is strongly influenced by the activities of microbial species. Understanding the composition and dynamics of these assemblages is essential for modeling emergent community-level processes, yet few studies have examined all of the biological assemblages present in the plankton, and benchmark data of this sort from time-series studies are rare. Abundance and biomass of the entire microbial assemblage and mesozooplankton (>200 μm) were determined vertically, monthly and seasonally over a 3-year period at a coastal time-series station in the San Pedro Basin off the southwestern coast of the USA. All compartments of the planktonic community were enumerated (viruses in the femtoplankton size range [0.02-0.2 μm], bacteria + archaea and cyanobacteria in the picoplankton size range [0.2-2.0 μm], phototrophic and heterotrophic protists in the nanoplanktonic [2-20 μm] and microplanktonic [20-200 μm] size ranges, and mesozooplankton [>200 μm]. Carbon biomass of each category was estimated using standard conversion factors. Plankton abundances varied over seven orders of magnitude across all categories, and total carbon biomass averaged approximately 60 μg C l-1 in surface waters of the 890 m water column over the study period. Bacteria + archaea comprised the single largest component of biomass (>1/3 of the total), with the sum of phototrophic protistan biomass making up a similar proportion. Temporal variability at this subtropical station was not dramatic. Monthly depth-specific and depth-integrated biomass varied 2-fold at the station, while seasonal variances were generally web structure and function at this coastal observatory.

  10. Zooplankton Structure and Potential Food Web Interactions in the Plankton of a Subtropical Chain-of-Lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl E. Havens

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluates the taxonomic and size structure of macro-zooplankton and its potential role in controlling phytoplankton in the Kissimmee Chain-of-Lakes, six shallow interconnected lakes in Florida, U.S. Macro-zooplankton species biomass and standard limnological attributes (temperature, pH, total phosphorus [TP], chlorophyll a [Chl a], and Secchi transparency were quantified on a bimonthly basis from April 1997 to February 1999. Concentrations of TP ranged from below 50 to over 150 μg l-1. Peak concentrations of particulate P coincided with maximal Chl a, and in one instance a high concentration of soluble reactive P followed. The cladoceran zooplankton was dominated by small species, including Eubosmina tubicen, Ceriodaphnia rigaudi, and Daphnia ambigua. The exotic daphnid, D. lumholtzii, periodically was abundant. The copepods were strongly dominated by Diaptomus dorsalis, a species previously shown to be highly resistant to fish predation. These results, and findings of controlled experiments on a nearby lake with a nearly identical zooplankton species complement, suggest that fish predation may be a major factor structuring the macro-zooplankton assemblage. Zooplankton biomass, on the other hand, may be affected by resource availability. There was a significant positive relationship between average biomass of macro-zooplankton and the average concentration of TP among the six lakes. No such relationship existed between zooplankton biomass and Chl a, suggesting that the predominant food web in these systems may be based on bacteria-plankton, as has been documented in nearby Lake Okeechobee. All of the zooplankton taxa encountered in the Kissimmee Chain-of-Lakes (except Mesocyclops edax are known bacteria grazers in Florida lakes. Phytoplankton biomass, measured as Chl a, was strongly associated with TP, both within and across lakes. Phytoplankton biomass was not associated with the biomass of zooplankton. These results, when

  11. Ciliate community structure and interactions within the planktonic food web in two alpine lakes of contrasting transparency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammerlander, Barbara; Koinig, Karin A; Rott, Eugen; Sommaruga, Ruben; Tartarotti, Barbara; Trattner, Florian; Sonntag, Bettina

    2016-11-01

    Climate warming is accelerating the retreat of glaciers and recently, many 'new' glacial turbid lakes have been created. In the course of time, the loss of the hydrological connectivity to a glacier causes, however, changes in their water turbidity and turns these ecosystems into clear ones.To understand potential differences in the food-web structure between glacier-fed turbid and clear alpine lakes, we sampled ciliates, phyto-, bacterio- and zooplankton in one clear and one glacial turbid alpine lake, and measured key physicochemical parameters. In particular, we focused on the ciliate community and the potential drivers for their abundance distribution.In both lakes, the zooplankton community was similar and dominated by the copepod Cyclops abyssorum tatricus and rotifers including Polyarthra dolichoptera, Keratella hiemalis, Keratella cochlearis and Notholca squamula. The phytoplankton community structure differed and it was dominated by the planktonic diatom Fragilaria tenera and the cryptophyte alga Plagioselmis nannoplanctica in the glacial turbid lake, while chrysophytes and dinoflagellates were predominant in the clear one.Ciliate abundance and richness were higher in the glacial turbid lake (∼4000-27 800 Ind L(-1), up to 29 species) than in the clear lake (∼570-7150 Ind L(-1), up to eight species). The dominant species were Balanion planctonicum, Askenasia cf. chlorelligera, Urotricha cf. furcata and Mesodinium cf. acarus. The same species dominated in both lakes, except for Mesodinium cf. acarus and some particle-associated ciliates, which occurred exclusively in the glacial turbid lake. The relative underwater solar irradiance (i.e. percentage of PAR and UVR at depth) significantly explained their abundance distribution pattern, especially in the clear water lake. In the glacial turbid lake, the abundance of the dominating ciliate taxa was mainly explained by the presence of predatory zooplankton.Our results revealed an unexpected high

  12. Waning of plankton food web in the upstream region of the Cochin backwaters during the southwest monsoon

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jyothibabu, R.; Madhu, N.V.; Martin, G.D.; Aneesh, C.; Sooria, P.M.; Vineetha, G.

    > and av 3 � 1 No L-1) as compared to the downstream region (av 6 � 3 x 106 No L-1 and av 3222 � 3619 No L-1) This clearly indicated a weak microbial food web in a major part of the Cochin backwaters during...

  13. Influence of ocean acidification on plankton community structure during a winter-to-summer succession: An imaging approach indicates that copepods can benefit from elevated CO2 via indirect food web effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taucher, Jan; Haunost, Mathias; Boxhammer, Tim; Bach, Lennart T.; Algueró-Muñiz, María; Riebesell, Ulf

    2017-01-01

    Plankton communities play a key role in the marine food web and are expected to be highly sensitive to ongoing environmental change. Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) causes pronounced shifts in marine carbonate chemistry and a decrease in seawater pH. These changes–summarized by the term ocean acidification (OA)–can significantly affect the physiology of planktonic organisms. However, studies on the response of entire plankton communities to OA, which also include indirect effects via food-web interactions, are still relatively rare. Thus, it is presently unclear how OA could affect the functioning of entire ecosystems and biogeochemical element cycles. In this study, we report from a long-term in situ mesocosm experiment, where we investigated the response of natural plankton communities in temperate waters (Gullmarfjord, Sweden) to elevated CO2 concentrations and OA as expected for the end of the century (~760 μatm pCO2). Based on a plankton-imaging approach, we examined size structure, community composition and food web characteristics of the whole plankton assemblage, ranging from picoplankton to mesozooplankton, during an entire winter-to-summer succession. The plankton imaging system revealed pronounced temporal changes in the size structure of the copepod community over the course of the plankton bloom. The observed shift towards smaller individuals resulted in an overall decrease of copepod biomass by 25%, despite increasing numerical abundances. Furthermore, we observed distinct effects of elevated CO2 on biomass and size structure of the entire plankton community. Notably, the biomass of copepods, dominated by Pseudocalanus acuspes, displayed a tendency towards elevated biomass by up to 30–40% under simulated ocean acidification. This effect was significant for certain copepod size classes and was most likely driven by CO2-stimulated responses of primary producers and a complex interplay of trophic interactions that allowed this

  14. Influence of top-down control in the plankton food web on vertical carbon flux: a mesocosm study in the Chesapeake Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, J.; Steinberg, D. K.

    2016-02-01

    The effects of predation on carbon export in planktonic food webs are poorly known, but likely play a key role in the biological pump. Gelatinous zooplankton (GZ) dominate the zooplankton community in the Chesapeake Bay during summer months, exerting considerable top-down control on the planktonic food web. The medusa Chrysaora quinquecirrha preys upon the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, which in turn is a major predator of the omnivorous copepod Acartia tonsa. This trophic cascade is known to significantly affect copepod abundance in Chesapeake Bay, but the resulting changes to particulate organic carbon (POC) flux are unknown. We hypothesized that additions or exclusions of GZ predators would result in changes in both total POC flux and the composition of exported particles (e.g., phytoplankton aggregates, fecal pellets). We conducted mesocosm experiments in the York River tributary of Chesapeake Bay during summer and fall, 2015 to quantify the cascading effects of GZ blooms on POC flux. The mesocosms contained a natural assemblage of phytoplankton and microzooplankton, and A. tonsa copepods, and received one of four treatments of GZ: 1) a control with no GZ added, 2) addition of ctenophores, 3) addition of medusae, and 4) addition of both ctenophores and medusae. POC flux from each mesocosm was measured over multiple 2-day experimental runs and grazing rates of GZ on each other and on copepods were calculated. There were no significant differences in total POC flux between treatments, but the composition of both the final zooplankton assemblage and exported organic matter differed between treatments. As a result of grazing on copepods by ctenophores, treatments which included GZ had lower final copepod abundances and a corresponding decrease in flux of copepod fecal pellets. We discuss how this change in composition of exported material as a result of cascading trophic interactions may affect the efficiency of the biological pump and benthic processes.

  15. Biogenic carbon flows through the planktonic food web of the Amundsen Gulf (Arctic Ocean): A synthesis of field measurements and inverse modeling analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest, Alexandre; Tremblay, Jean-Éric; Gratton, Yves; Martin, Johannie; Gagnon, Jonathan; Darnis, Gérald; Sampei, Makoto; Fortier, Louis; Ardyna, Mathieu; Gosselin, Michel; Hattori, Hiroshi; Nguyen, Dan; Maranger, Roxane; Vaqué, Dolors; Marrasé, Cèlia; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos; Sallon, Amélie; Michel, Christine; Kellogg, Colleen; Deming, Jody; Shadwick, Elizabeth; Thomas, Helmuth; Link, Heike; Archambault, Philippe; Piepenburg, Dieter

    2011-12-01

    Major pathways of biogenic carbon (C) flow are resolved for the planktonic food web of the flaw lead polynya system of the Amundsen Gulf (southeast Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean) in spring-summer 2008. This period was relevant to study the effect of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems as it was characterized by unusually low ice cover and warm sea surface temperature. Our synthesis relied on a mass balance estimate of gross primary production (GPP) of 52.5 ± 12.5 g C m -2 calculated using the drawdown of nitrate and dissolved inorganic C, and a seasonal f-ratio of 0.64. Based on chlorophyll a biomass, we estimated that GPP was dominated by phytoplankton (93.6%) over ice algae (6.4%) and by large cells (>5 μm, 67.6%) over small cells (production, zooplankton biomass and respiration, herbivory, bacterivory, vertical particle fluxes, pools of particulate and dissolved organic carbon (POC, DOC), net community production (NCP), as well as selected variables from the literature were used to evaluate the fate of size-fractionated GPP in the ecosystem. The structure and functioning of the planktonic food web was elucidated through inverse analysis using the mean GPP and the 95% confidence limits of every other field measurement as lower and upper constraints. The model computed a net primary production of 49.2 g C m -2, which was directly channeled toward dominant calanoid copepods (i.e. Calanus hyperboreus 20%, Calanus glacialis 10%, and Metridia longa 10%), other mesozooplankton (12%), microzooplankton (14%), detrital POC (18%), and DOC (16%). Bacteria required 29.9 g C m -2, a demand met entirely by the DOC derived from local biological activities. The ultimate C outflow comprised respiration fluxes (82% of the initial GPP), a small sedimentation (3%), and a modest residual C flow (15%) resulting from NCP, dilution and accumulation. The sinking C flux at the model limit depth (395 m) supplied 60% of the estimated benthic C demand (2.8 g C m -2), suggesting that

  16. Connecting export fluxes to plankton food web efficiency in the Black Sea waters inflowing into the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Abstract The short-time scale evolution of plankton carbon partitioning and downward flux of the modified Black Sea Water (BSW) mass entering the northeast Aegean Sea was studied using a Lagrangian approach (6-10/04/2008). The free-drifting sediment trap positioned at the bottom of the BSW layer and the control drifter, followed the same path within the anticyclone that circulates the BSW in the area. ?ooplankton biomass increased (from 159 to 292 mg C m-2), as did faecal pellet pr...

  17. Unifying ecological stoichiometry and metabolic theory to predict production and trophic transfer in a marine planktonic food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorthi, Stefanie D; Schmitt, Jennifer A; Ryabov, Alexey; Tsakalakis, Ioannis; Blasius, Bernd; Prelle, Lara; Tiedemann, Marc; Hodapp, Dorothee

    2016-05-19

    Two ecological frameworks have been used to explain multitrophic interactions, but rarely in combination: (i) ecological stoichiometry (ES), explaining consumption rates in response to consumers' demand and prey's nutrient content; and (ii) metabolic theory of ecology (MTE), proposing that temperature and body mass affect metabolic rates, growth and consumption rates. Here we combined both, ES and MTE to investigate interactive effects of phytoplankton prey stoichiometry, temperature and zooplankton consumer body mass on consumer grazing rates and production in a microcosm experiment. A simple model integrating parameters from both frameworks was used to predict interactive effects of temperature and nutrient conditions on consumer performance. Overall, model predictions reflected experimental patterns well: consumer grazing rates and production increased with temperature, as could be expected based on MTE. With decreasing algal food quality, grazing rates increased due to compensatory feeding, while consumer growth rates and final biovolume decreased. Nutrient effects on consumer biovolume increased with increasing temperature, while nutrient effects on grazing rates decreased. Highly interactive effects of temperature and nutrient supply indicate that combining the frameworks of ES and MTE is highly important to enhance our ability to predict ecosystem functioning in the context of global change.

  18. Comparative analysis of food webs based on flow networks: effects of nutrient supply on structure and function of coastal plankton communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Yngvar; Reinertsen, Helge; Vadstein, Olav; Andersen, Tom; Gismervik, Ingrid; Duarte, Carlos; Agusti, Susana; Stibor, Herwig; Sommer, Ulrich; Lignell, Risto; Tamminen, Timo; Lancelot, Christiane; Rousseau, Veronique; Hoell, Espen; Sanderud, Knut Arvid

    2001-12-01

    The objective of COMWEB was to develop efficient analytical, numerical and experimental methods for assessing and predicting the effects of nutrient (N, P, Si) supply on the stability and persistence of pelagic food web structure and function in coastal waters. The experimental comparative work included a geographic gradient covering Baltic, Mediterranean, and NE Atlantic waters and a NE Atlantic gradient in state of eutrophication. COMWEB has been an experimental approach to coastal eutrophication, studying effects of enhanced nutrient supply on components and flows of the entire lower pelagic food web. Flow network representations of pelagic food webs has been a framework of data reduction and flows were established by sophisticated inverse modelling. Fundamental information on physiological properties of functional key species in the pelagic food web was used to constrain flow estimations. A main conclusion derived from the flow networks was that very little energy and materials were transferred from the microbial food web to the main food chain. The lower food web could therefore be described as two parallel food chains with relatively limited interaction between heterotrophic groups. Short-term effects of nutrient perturbations were examined in mesocosms along the geographic gradient. The response was comparable in all systems, with a stronger effect on the activity and biomass of autotrophic groups than those of heterotrophic ones. Mediterranean waters showed much lower autotrophic biomass response than Baltic and NE Atlantic waters, which responded almost equally. The response of primary production was, however, more comparable. High phytoplankton lysis rate explained this low accumulation of biomass in Mediterranean waters. The study of Atlantic coastal waters of different eutrophic states revealed that the ecological response was higher in the closed nutrient perturbed mesocosms than in open systems exposed for >4 summer months (summer/autumn season). The

  19. Assimilation of diazotrophic nitrogen into pelagic food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan J Woodland

    Full Text Available The fate of diazotrophic nitrogen (N(D fixed by planktonic cyanobacteria in pelagic food webs remains unresolved, particularly for toxic cyanophytes that are selectively avoided by most herbivorous zooplankton. Current theory suggests that N(D fixed during cyanobacterial blooms can enter planktonic food webs contemporaneously with peak bloom biomass via direct grazing of zooplankton on cyanobacteria or via the uptake of bioavailable N(D (exuded from viable cyanobacterial cells by palatable phytoplankton or microbial consortia. Alternatively, N(D can enter planktonic food webs post-bloom following the remineralization of bloom detritus. Although the relative contribution of these processes to planktonic nutrient cycles is unknown, we hypothesized that assimilation of bioavailable N(D (e.g., nitrate, ammonium by palatable phytoplankton and subsequent grazing by zooplankton (either during or after the cyanobacterial bloom would be the primary pathway by which N(D was incorporated into the planktonic food web. Instead, in situ stable isotope measurements and grazing experiments clearly documented that the assimilation of N(D by zooplankton outpaced assimilation by palatable phytoplankton during a bloom of toxic Nodularia spumigena Mertens. We identified two distinct temporal phases in the trophic transfer of N(D from N. spumigena to the plankton community. The first phase was a highly dynamic transfer of N(D to zooplankton with rates that covaried with bloom biomass while bypassing other phytoplankton taxa; a trophic transfer that we infer was routed through bloom-associated bacteria. The second phase was a slowly accelerating assimilation of the dissolved-N(D pool by phytoplankton that was decoupled from contemporaneous variability in N. spumigena concentrations. These findings provide empirical evidence that N(D can be assimilated and transferred rapidly throughout natural plankton communities and yield insights into the specific processes

  20. Microbial Food-Web Drivers in Tropical Reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  1. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. The trophic role and impact of plankton ciliates in the microbial web structure of a tropical polymictic lake dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Esquivel

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The recent interest in the plankton structures and dynamics in tropical and subtropical lakes has revealed important trends that set these lakes apart from temperate lakes, and one of the main differences is the enhanced importance of the microbial food web with respect to net plankton. Ciliates are a key component of subtropical and tropical microbial webs because of their role as dominant picoplankton grazers and their ability to channel picoplankton production to the uppermost trophic levels. Plankton ciliates have been found to play a crucial role in the survival of fish larvae in lakes that share several features with Lake Catemaco, a eutrophic tropical Mexican lake. Therefore, the plankton ciliate composition, abundance, and biomass of Lake Catemaco were studied to assess their role in the microbial food web. The data were obtained from surface and bottom water samples collected at eleven points during three surveys in 2011 and an additional survey in 2013, with the surveys covering the local climatic seasons. The most abundant components of the plankton ciliate assemblages were small prostomatids (Urotricha spp., choreotrichs (Rimostrombidium spp., cyclotrichs (Mesodinium and Askenasia, and scuticociliates (Cyclidium, Cinetochilum, Pleuronema, and Uronema. Other important ciliates in terms of abundance and/or biomass were haptorids (Actinobolina, Belonophrya, Monodinium, Paradileptus, and Laginophrya, Halteria, oligotrichs (Limnostrombidium and Pelagostrombidium, Linostomella, Bursaridium, Cyrtolophosis, and Litonotus. The ciliate abundance averaged 57 cells mL-1 and ranged from 14 to 113 cells mL-1. The mean ciliate biomass was 71 µg C L-1 and ranged from 10 to 202 µg C L-1. Differences were not detected in ciliate abundance or biomass between the sampling points or sampling depths (surface to bottom; however, significant differences were observed between seasons for both variables. Nano-sized filamentous cyanobacteria were the most

  4. 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.

  5. Drought rewires the cores of food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. Susceptibility of Listeria monocytogenes biofilms and planktonic cultures to hydrogen peroxide in food processing environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Hyun Sun; Kim, Younghoon; Oh, Sejong; Jeon, Woo Min; Frank, Joseph F; Kim, Sae Hun

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that Listeria monocytogenes formed biofilms on the surface of food processing equipment, and may survive sanitization treatments. The purpose of this study was to compare the susceptibility of L. monocytogenes grown in either a biofilm or planktonic culture when exposed to hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). Twelve strains of biofilm-forming L. monocytogenes and their planktonic counterparts were treated with various concentrations of H(2)O(2) (1, 6, and 10%), and the cell survival was then determined at 10-min exposure intervals. When grown as a biofilm, L. monocytogenes was significantly more resistant to H(2)O(2) than under planktonic culture conditions. Planktonic L. monocytogenes strains exhibited significantly different susceptibility to 1% H(2)O(2). Equally interestingly, biofilms of the 12 L. monocytogenes strains also inhibited different survival rates after being treated with 6 and 10% H(2)O(2). However, most of the biofilms recovered to a population of 2-9 log CFU/glass fiber filter (GFF) after a 24-h re-growth period. These results indicate that there was no significant correlation between the H(2)O(2) resistance of biofilm- and planktonic-cultured cells, and suggest that different mechanisms for the resistance to sanitation or disinfection underly the persistence of certain strains in food-processing environments.

  8. Parasites in marine food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Functional redundancy and food web functioning in linuron-exposed ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Laender, F., E-mail: frederik.delaender@ugent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicity and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium); Van den Brink, P.J., E-mail: Paul.vandenBrink@wur.nl [Department of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Wageningen University, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Janssen, C.R., E-mail: colin.janssen@ugent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicity and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium)

    2011-10-15

    An extensive data set describing effects of the herbicide linuron on macrophyte-dominated microcosms was analysed with a food web model to assess effects on ecosystem functioning. We showed that sensitive phytoplankton and periphyton groups in the diets of heterotrophs were gradually replaced by more tolerant phytoplankton species as linuron concentrations increased. This diet shift - showing redundancy among phytoplankton species - allowed heterotrophs to maintain their functions in the contaminated microcosms. On an ecosystem level, total gross primary production was up to hundred times lower in the treated microcosms but the uptake of dissolved organic carbon by bacteria and mixotrophs was less sensitive. Food web efficiency was not consistently lower in the treated microcosms. We conclude that linuron predominantly affected the macrophytes but did not alter the overall functioning of the surrounding planktonic food web. Therefore, a risk assessment that protects macrophyte growth also protects the functioning of macrophyte-dominated microcosms. - Highlights: > Food web modelling reveals the functional response of species and ecosystem to linuron. > Primary production was more sensitive to linuron than bacterial production. > Linuron replaced sensitive phytoplankton by tolerant phytoplankton in heterotrophs' diets. > Linuron did not change the functioning of heterotrophs. - Food web modelling reveals functional redundancy of the planktonic community in microcosms treated with linuron.

  11. 'End to end' planktonic trophic web and its implications for the mussel farms in the Mar Piccolo of Taranto (Ionian Sea, Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karuza, Ana; Caroppo, Carmela; Monti, Marina; Camatti, Elisa; Di Poi, Elena; Stabili, Loredana; Auriemma, Rocco; Pansera, Marco; Cibic, Tamara; Del Negro, Paola

    2016-07-01

    The Mar Piccolo is a semi-enclosed basin subject to different natural and anthropogenic stressors. In order to better understand plankton dynamics and preferential carbon pathways within the planktonic trophic web, an integrated approach was adopted for the first time by examining all trophic levels (virioplankton, the heterotrophic and phototrophic fractions of pico-, nano- and microplankton, as well as mesozooplankton). Plankton abundance and biomass were investigated during four surveys in the period 2013-2014. Beside unveiling the dynamics of different plankton groups in the Mar Piccolo, the study revealed that high portion of the plankton carbon (C) pool was constituted by small-sized (Mar Piccolo exerts a profound impact on plankton communities, not only due to the important sequestration of the plankton biomass but also by strongly influencing its structure.

  12. Community cascades in a marine pelagic food web controlled by the non-visual apex predator Mnemiopsis leidyi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tiselius, Peter; Møller, Lene Friis

    2017-01-01

    Trophic cascades are a ubiquitous feature of many terrestrial and fresh-water food webs, but have been difficult to demonstrate in marine systems with multispecies trophic levels. Here we describe significant trophic cascades in an open coastal planktonic ecosystem exposed to an introduced top pr...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Despite located far from point sources of Hg pollution, high concentrations were recorded in plankton from the deep oligotrophic Lake Nahuel Huapi, located in North Patagonia. Native and introduced top predator fish with differing feeding habits are a valuable economic resource to the region. Hence, Hg and Se trophic interactions and pathways to these fish were assessed in the food web of this lake at three sites, using stable nitrogen and carbon isotopes. As expected based on the high THg in plankton, mercury did not biomagnify in the food web of Lake Nahuel Huapi, as most of the THg in plankton is in the inorganic form. As was observed in other aquatic systems, Se did not biomagnify either. When trophic pathways to top predator fish were analyzed, they showed that THg biomagnified in the food chains of native fish but biodiluted in the food chains of introduced salmonids. A more benthic diet, typical of native fish, resulted in higher [THg] bioaccumulation than a more pelagic or mixed diet, as in the case of introduced fish. Se:THg molar ratios were higher than 1 in all the fish species, indicating that Se might be offering a natural protection against Hg toxicity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Gelatinous plankton: irregularities rule the world (sometimes)

    OpenAIRE

    Boero, F.; Bouillon, J; GRAVILI C.; Miglietta, M. P.; Parsons, T. R.; Piraino, S.

    2008-01-01

    In spite of being one of the most relevant components of the biosphere, the plankton-benthos network is still poorly studied as such. This is partly due to the irregular occurrence of driving phenomena such as gelatinous plankton pulses in this realm. Gelatinous plankters rely on their life cycles and histories to exploit temporarily abundant resources with an undeniable, but often overlooked, impact on marine food webs. Dramatic increases of gelatinous filter-feeders and/or carnivores (both ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-07

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Ecological food web analysis for chemical risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preziosi, Damian V; Pastorok, Robert A

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  8. Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Functional links and robustness in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allesina, Stefano; Bodini, Antonio; Pascual, Mercedes

    2009-06-27

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

  10. Exposing the structure of an arctic food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. The Origin of Motif Families in Food Webs

    OpenAIRE

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Pradeep; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel

    2011-11-29

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

  15. 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.

  16. Food and beverage advertising on children's web sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustjanauskas, A E; Harris, J L; Schwartz, M B

    2014-10-01

    Food marketing contributes to childhood obesity. Food companies commonly place display advertising on children's web sites, but few studies have investigated this form of advertising. Document the number of food and beverage display advertisements viewed on popular children's web sites, nutritional quality of advertised brands and proportion of advertising approved by food companies as healthier dietary choices for child-directed advertising. Syndicated Internet exposure data identified popular children's web sites and food advertisements viewed on these web sites from July 2009 through June 2010. Advertisements were classified according to food category and companies' participation in food industry self-regulation. The percent of advertisements meeting government-proposed nutrition standards was calculated. 3.4 billion food advertisements appeared on popular children's web sites; 83% on just four web sites. Breakfast cereals and fast food were advertised most often (64% of ads). Most ads (74%) promoted brands approved by companies for child-directed advertising, but 84% advertised products that were high in fat, sugar and/or sodium. Ads for foods designated by companies as healthier dietary choices appropriate for child-directed advertising were least likely to meet independent nutrition standards. Most foods advertised on popular children's web sites do not meet independent nutrition standards. Further improvements to industry self-regulation are required. © 2013 The Authors. Pediatric Obesity © 2013 International Association for the Study of Obesity.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Understanding soil food web dynamics, how close do we get?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morriën, E.

    2016-01-01

    Soil food webs are traditionally considered to have distinct energy channels through which resources flow belowground. Resources enter the soil food web either from roots or from detrital inputs. Compared to this traditional view we are now much more aware of the flow of carbon, nitrogen and other r

  2. Size-based predictions of food web patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Lai; Hartvig, Martin; Knudsen, Kim

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Selakovic, Sanja; de Ruiter, P.C.; Heesterbeek, Hans|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073321427

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anik Brind'Amour

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Compilation and network analyses of cambrian food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-29

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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    his study compares the structure of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) meadows and associated food webs in two eelgrass habitats in Denmark, differing in exposure, connection to the open sea, nutrient enrichment and water transparency. Meadow structure strongly reflected the environmental conditions...... composition and food web structure also differed markedly between sites with the eutrophicated, enclosed site having higher biomass of consumers and less complex food web. These relationships resulted in a column shaped biomass distribution of the consumers at the eutrophicated site whereas the less nutrient......-rich site showed a pyramidal biomass distribution of consumers coupled with a more diverse consumer community. The differences in meadow and food web structure of the two seagrass habitats, suggest how physical setting may shape ecosystem response and resilience to anthropogenic pressure. We encourage...

  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. The background to the proposition that plankton be used as food in the United Kingdom during the Second World War.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, P G

    2011-01-01

    Food shortages, particularly of proteins, in Britain during the Second World War led to the suggestion re-surfacing that marine plankton might be harvested on an industrial scale first as human food, then turning to its potential use as a supplement to stock and poultry feed. The notion emanated in the United Kingdom from Sir John Graham Kerr, at Glasgow University. He encouraged Alister Hardy, at Hull, to develop the idea and the natural testing ground was the Clyde Sea Area (given the extensive history of plankton research at Millport). Unpublished documents from the archives of the Scottish Association for Marine Science shed new light on the interactions behind the scenes of this project between Kerr, Hardy and the Millport Marine Station's then director, Richard Elmhirst. Elmhirst, who was sceptical about the feasibility of the plan from the outset, went along with it; not least as a way of attracting welcome research funding during lean times but also, doubtless, regarding it as his patriotic duty in case the proposal proved worthwhile.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Frouz

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

  7. Following the flow of ornithogenic nutrients through the Arctic marine coastal food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Balazy, Piotr

    2017-04-01

    Arctic colonial seabirds are recognized as effective fertilizers of terrestrial ecosystems by delivering marine-origin nutrients to the vicinities of their nesting sites. A proportion of this ornithogenic matter is then thought to return to the sea and, concentrated within a smaller area, locally provides additional nutrients for the nearshore marine communities. The aim of this study was to assess the presence and impact of local ornithogenic enrichment on two important elements of the Arctic coastal food web: (1) the planktonic pathway originating in the surface water, and (2) the benthic pathway based on benthic primary production. We sampled two areas in Isfjorden (Spitsbergen): one located below a coastal mixed breeding colony of guillemots and kittiwakes, and a control area not influenced by the colony. Slightly higher nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ15N) were found in particulate organic matter suspended in the surface water (POM), sedimentary organic matter (SOM) from outside the zone of dense kelp forest, and the predatory/scavenging whelks Buccinum sp. collected below the seabird colony (the components recognized as following the planktonic path). In contrast, no ornithogenic isotopic enrichment was detected in the herbivorous gastropod Margarites helicinus or in SOM from the kelp zone (benthic path). The data are compatible with those obtained from the same location a year before, showing δ15N enrichment in predatory/scavenging hermit crabs Pagurus pubescens below the seabird, and no such changes in kelps Saccharina latissima or their presumed consumers, sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (Zmudczyńska-Skarbek et al., 2015a). The results suggest that, in the conditions of periodic, short-term pulses of ornithogenic nutrient inputs to the local marine environment, which typify the short High Arctic summer, planktonic organisms are the initial organisms to incorporate these nutrients before transfer to the benthic food web via pelagic

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Key Features of Intertidal Food Webs That Support Migratory Shorebirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saint-Béat, Blanche; Dupuy, Christine; Bocher, Pierrick; Chalumeau, Julien; De Crignis, Margot; Fontaine, Camille; Guizien, Katell; Lavaud, Johann; Lefebvre, Sébastien; Montanié, Hélène; Mouget, Jean-Luc; Orvain, Francis; Pascal, Pierre-Yves; Quaintenne, Gwenaël; Radenac, Gilles; Richard, Pierre; Robin, Frédéric; Vézina, Alain F.; Niquil, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24204666

  11. Growth and functioning of the microbial plankton community: effects of temperature, nutrients and light

    OpenAIRE

    Brauer, V. S.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial plankton form the basis of the food web in aquatic habitats. Due to their vast abundances they influence the cycling of elements and the Earth’s climate at a global scale. This thesis aims at a better understanding of how environmental factors such as temperature and the availability of nutrients and light affect the growth and functioning of microbial plankton communities. The thesis combines experimental studies and mathematical modelling to address open questions in community eco...

  12. Species- and habitat-specific bioaccumulation of total mercury and methylmercury in the food web of a deep oligotrophic lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcagni, Marina; Juncos, Romina; Rizzo, Andrea; Pavlin, Majda; Fajon, Vesna; Arribére, María A; Horvat, Milena; Ribeiro Guevara, Sergio

    2017-09-08

    Niche segregation between introduced and native fish in Lake Nahuel Huapi, a deep oligotrophic lake in Northwest Patagonia (Argentina), occurs through the consumption of different prey. Therefore, in this work we analyzed total mercury [THg] and methylmercury [MeHg] concentrations in top predator fish and in their main prey to test whether their feeding habits influence [Hg]. Results indicate that [THg] and [MeHg] varied by foraging habitat and they increased with greater percentage of benthic diet and decreased with pelagic diet in Lake Nahuel Huapi. This is consistent with the fact that the native creole perch, a mostly benthivorous feeder, which shares the highest trophic level of the food web with introduced salmonids, had higher [THg] and [MeHg] than the more pelagic feeder rainbow trout and bentho-pelagic feeder brown trout. This differential THg and MeHg bioaccumulation observed in native and introduced fish provides evidence to the hypothesis that there are two main Hg transfer pathways from the base of the food web to top predators: a pelagic pathway where Hg is transferred from water, through plankton (with Hg in inorganic species mostly), forage fish to salmonids, and a benthic pathway, as Hg is transferred from the sediments (where Hg methylation occurs mostly), through crayfish (with higher [MeHg] than plankton), to native fish, leading to one fold higher [Hg]. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-10

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

  14. Global change in the trophic functioning of marine food webs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maureaud, Aurore; Gascuel, Didier; Colléter, Mathieu

    2017-01-01

    The development of fisheries in the oceans, and other human drivers such as climate warming, have led to changes in species abundance, assemblages, trophic interactions, and ultimately in the functioning of marine food webs. Here, using a trophodynamic approach and global databases of catches...... and life history traits of marine species, we tested the hypothesis that anthropogenic ecological impacts may have led to changes in the global parameters defining the transfers of biomass within the food web. First, we developed two indicators to assess such changes: the Time Cumulated Indicator (TCI......) measuring the residence time of biomass within the food web, and the Efficiency Cumulated Indicator (ECI) quantifying the fraction of secondary production reaching the top of the trophic chain. Then, we assessed, at the large marine ecosystem scale, the worldwide change of these two indicators over the 1950...

  15. Application of food waste based diets in polyculture of low trophic level fish: effects on fish growth, water quality and plankton density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Wing Yin; Cheng, Zhang; Choi, Wai Ming; Man, Yu Bon; Liu, Yihui; Wong, Ming Hung

    2014-08-30

    Food waste was collected from local hotels and fish feed pellets were produced for a 6 months long field feeding trial. Three types of fish feed pellets (control diet: Jinfeng® 613 formulated feed, contains mainly fish meal, plant product and fish oil; Diet A: food waste based diet without meat and 53% cereal; Diet B: food waste based diet with 25% meat and 28% cereal) were used in polyculture fish ponds to investigate the growth of fish (grass carp, bighead and mud carp), changes in water quality and plankton density. No significant differences in the levels of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds of water body were observed between 3 fish ponds after the half-year feeding trial, while pond receiving Diet A had the highest density of plankton. The food waste combination of Diet B seems to be a better formulation in terms of the overall performance on fish growth.

  16. Tracing food webs with stable hydrogen isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estep, M F; Dabrowski, H

    1980-09-26

    The hydrogen isotopic content of an animal's food, not water, determines that animal's hydrogen isotopic content. Liver and muscle tissue from mice reared on a diet such that the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen (DIH) of their food and water was kept constant, have the same average D/H ratio as the food source. In a simple, natural population of snails and their possible algal diets, Littorina obtusata (northern Atlantic intertidal snails that feed almost exclusively on the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus) has the same D/H ratio as Fucus vesiculosis and not that of the other algae available to the snails.

  17. Global change in the trophic functioning of marine food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascuel, Didier; Colléter, Mathieu; Palomares, Maria L. D.; Du Pontavice, Hubert; Pauly, Daniel; Cheung, William W. L.

    2017-01-01

    The development of fisheries in the oceans, and other human drivers such as climate warming, have led to changes in species abundance, assemblages, trophic interactions, and ultimately in the functioning of marine food webs. Here, using a trophodynamic approach and global databases of catches and life history traits of marine species, we tested the hypothesis that anthropogenic ecological impacts may have led to changes in the global parameters defining the transfers of biomass within the food web. First, we developed two indicators to assess such changes: the Time Cumulated Indicator (TCI) measuring the residence time of biomass within the food web, and the Efficiency Cumulated Indicator (ECI) quantifying the fraction of secondary production reaching the top of the trophic chain. Then, we assessed, at the large marine ecosystem scale, the worldwide change of these two indicators over the 1950–2010 time-periods. Global trends were identified and cluster analyses were used to characterize the variability of trends between ecosystems. Results showed that the most common pattern over the study period is a global decrease in TCI, while the ECI indicator tends to increase. Thus, changes in species assemblages would induce faster and apparently more efficient biomass transfers in marine food webs. Results also suggested that the main driver of change over that period had been the large increase in fishing pressure. The largest changes occurred in ecosystems where ‘fishing down the marine food web’ are most intensive. PMID:28800358

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Building trophic modules into a persistent food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondoh, Michio

    2008-10-28

    Understanding what maintains species and perpetuates their coexistence in a network of feeding relationships (the food web) is of great importance for biodiversity conservation. A food web can be viewed as consisting of a number of simple subunits called trophic modules. Intraguild predation (IGP), in which a prey and its predator compete for the same resource, is one of the best-studied trophic modules. According to theory, there are two ways to yield a large persistent system from such modules: (i) to use persistent subunits as building blocks or (ii) to arrange the subunits in a way that externally supports the nonpersistent subunits. Here, I show that the complex food web of the Caribbean marine ecosystem is constructed in both ways. I show that IGP modules, which convey internal persistence because of the fact that prey are superior competitors for the resources, are overrepresented in the Caribbean ecosystem. The other modules, consisting of competitively inferior prey, are not persistent in isolation. However, competitively inferior prey in these modules tend to receive more advantage from extra-module interactions, which allows persistence of the IGP module. In addition, those exterior interactions tend to be provided by intrinsically persistent IGP modules to prevent cascading extinction of interacting IGP modules. The food web can be viewed as a set of interacting modules, nonrandomly arranged to enhance the maintenance of biodiversity.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Global change alters the stability of food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Global change alters the stability of food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  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. Light, nutrients, and food-chain length constrain planktonic energy transfer efficiency across multiple trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, Elizabeth M; Newell, Jennifer M; González, María J; Vanni, Michael J

    2008-11-25

    The efficiency of energy transfer through food chains [food chain efficiency (FCE)] is an important ecosystem function. It has been hypothesized that FCE across multiple trophic levels is constrained by the efficiency at which herbivores use plant energy, which depends on plant nutritional quality. Furthermore, the number of trophic levels may also constrain FCE, because herbivores are less efficient in using plant production when they are constrained by carnivores. These hypotheses have not been tested experimentally in food chains with 3 or more trophic levels. In a field experiment manipulating light, nutrients, and food-chain length, we show that FCE is constrained by algal food quality and food-chain length. FCE across 3 trophic levels (phytoplankton to carnivorous fish) was highest under low light and high nutrients, where algal quality was best as indicated by taxonomic composition and nutrient stoichiometry. In 3-level systems, FCE was constrained by the efficiency at which both herbivores and carnivores converted food into production; a strong nutrient effect on carnivore efficiency suggests a carryover effect of algal quality across 3 trophic levels. Energy transfer efficiency from algae to herbivores was also higher in 2-level systems (without carnivores) than in 3-level systems. Our results support the hypothesis that FCE is strongly constrained by light, nutrients, and food-chain length and suggest that carryover effects across multiple trophic levels are important. Because many environmental perturbations affect light, nutrients, and food-chain length, and many ecological services are mediated by FCE, it will be important to apply these findings to various ecosystem types.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-05

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 15N tracer application to evaluate nitrogen dynamics of food webs in two subtropical small-scale aquaculture ponds under different managements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pucher, Johannes; Mayrhofer, Richard; El-Matbouli, Mansour; Focken, Ulfert

    2014-01-01

    Small, semi-intensively managed aquaculture ponds contribute significantly to the food security of small-scale farmers around the world. However, little is known about nutrient flows within natural food webs in such ponds in which fish production depends on the productivity of natural food resources. (15)N was applied as ammonium at 1.1 and 0.4 % of total nitrogen in a traditionally managed flow-through pond and a semi-intensively managed stagnant pond belonging to small-scale farmers in Northern Vietnam and traced through the natural food resources over 7 days. Small-sized plankton (1-60 μ m) was the dominant pelagic biomass in both ponds with higher biomass in the stagnant pond. This plankton assimilated major portions of the applied tracer and showed a high sedimentation and turnover rate. High re-activation of settled nutrients into the pelagic food web was observed. The tracer was removed more quickly from the flow-through pond than from the stagnant pond. A steady nutrient supply could increase fish production.

  11. Autochthonous and allochthonous contributions of organic carbon to microbial food webs in Svalbard fjords

    KAUST Repository

    Holding, Johnna M.

    2017-03-27

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are causing sea ice and glaciers to melt at record breaking rates, which has consequences for carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean that are yet to be fully understood. Microbial carbon cycling is driven by internal processing of in situ produced organic carbon (OC), however recent research suggests that melt water from sea ice and glaciers could introduce an allochthonous source of OC to the microbial food web with ramifications for the metabolic balance of plankton communities. In this study, we characterized autochthonous and allochthonous sources of OC to the Western Svalbard fjord system using stable isotopes of carbon. We quantified δ13C of eukaryotic and prokaryotic planktonic groups using polar lipid-derived fatty acids as biomarkers in addition to measuring δ13C of marine particulate OC and dissolved OC from glacial runoff. δ13C of bacteria (−22.5‰) was higher than that of glacial runoff OC (−28.5‰) and other phytoplankton groups (−24.7 to −29.1‰), which suggests that marine bacteria preferentially use a third source of OC. We present a Bayesian three-source δ13C mixing model whereby ∼ 60% of bacteria carbon is derived from OC in sea ice, and the remaining carbon is derived from autochthonous production and glacial-derived OC. These results suggest that subsidies of OC from melting glaciers will not likely influence microbial carbon cycling in Svalbard fjords in the future and that further research is needed to determine the effects of melting sea ice on microbial carbon cycling in fjord systems and elsewhere in the Arctic Ocean.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Complex shifts between food web states in response to whole-ecosystem manipulations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schröder, A.; Persson, L.; de Roos, A.M.

    2012-01-01

    Food webs can respond in surprising and complex ways to temporary alterations in their species composition. When such a perturbation is reversed, food webs have been shown to either return to the pre-perturbation community state or remain in the food web configuration that established during the pert

  15. 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

  16. Designing Industrial Networks Using Ecological Food Web Metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layton, Astrid; Bras, Bert; Weissburg, Marc

    2016-10-18

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

  17. Food web heterogeneity and succession in created saltmarshes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Comparing the Ecological Stoichiometry in Green and Brown Food Webs - A Review and Meta-analysis of Freshwater Food Webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans-White, Michelle A; Halvorson, Halvor M

    2017-01-01

    The framework of ecological stoichiometry was developed primarily within the context of "green" autotroph-based food webs. While stoichiometric principles also apply in "brown" detritus-based systems, these systems have been historically understudied and differ from green ones in several important aspects including carbon (C) quality and the nutrient [nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)] contents of food resources for consumers. In this paper, we review work over the last decade that has advanced the application of ecological stoichiometry from green to brown food webs, focusing on freshwater ecosystems. We first review three focal areas where green and brown food webs differ: (1) bottom-up controls by light and nutrient availability, (2) stoichiometric constraints on consumer growth and nutritional regulation, and (3) patterns in consumer-driven nutrient dynamics. Our review highlights the need for further study of how light and nutrient availability affect autotroph-heterotroph interactions on detritus and the subsequent effects on consumer feeding and growth. To complement this conceptual review, we formally quantified differences in stoichiometric principles between green and brown food webs using a meta-analysis across feeding studies of freshwater benthic invertebrates. From 257 datasets collated across 46 publications and several unpublished studies, we compared effect sizes (Pearson's r) of resource N:C and P:C on growth, consumption, excretion, and egestion between herbivorous and detritivorous consumers. The meta-analysis revealed that both herbivore and detritivore growth are limited by resource N:C and P:C contents, but effect sizes only among detritivores were significantly above zero. Consumption effect sizes were negative among herbivores but positive for detritivores in the case of both N:C and P:C, indicating distinct compensatory feeding responses across resource stoichiometry gradients. Herbivore P excretion rates responded significantly positively

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Bioprospecting marine plankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abida, Heni; Ruchaud, Sandrine; Rios, Laurent; Humeau, Anne; Probert, Ian; De Vargas, Colomban; Bach, Stéphane; Bowler, Chris

    2013-11-14

    The ocean dominates the surface of our planet and plays a major role in regulating the biosphere. For example, the microscopic photosynthetic organisms living within provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and much of our food and mineral resources are extracted from the ocean. In a time of ecological crisis and major changes in our society, it is essential to turn our attention towards the sea to find additional solutions for a sustainable future. Remarkably, while we are overexploiting many marine resources, particularly the fisheries, the planktonic compartment composed of zooplankton, phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses, represents 95% of marine biomass and yet the extent of its diversity remains largely unknown and underexploited. Consequently, the potential of plankton as a bioresource for humanity is largely untapped. Due to their diverse evolutionary backgrounds, planktonic organisms offer immense opportunities: new resources for medicine, cosmetics and food, renewable energy, and long-term solutions to mitigate climate change. Research programs aiming to exploit culture collections of marine micro-organisms as well as to prospect the huge resources of marine planktonic biodiversity in the oceans are now underway, and several bioactive extracts and purified compounds have already been identified. This review will survey and assess the current state-of-the-art and will propose methodologies to better exploit the potential of marine plankton for drug discovery and for dermocosmetics.

  2. Bioprospecting Marine Plankton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Bowler

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The ocean dominates the surface of our planet and plays a major role in regulating the biosphere. For example, the microscopic photosynthetic organisms living within provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and much of our food and mineral resources are extracted from the ocean. In a time of ecological crisis and major changes in our society, it is essential to turn our attention towards the sea to find additional solutions for a sustainable future. Remarkably, while we are overexploiting many marine resources, particularly the fisheries, the planktonic compartment composed of zooplankton, phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses, represents 95% of marine biomass and yet the extent of its diversity remains largely unknown and underexploited. Consequently, the potential of plankton as a bioresource for humanity is largely untapped. Due to their diverse evolutionary backgrounds, planktonic organisms offer immense opportunities: new resources for medicine, cosmetics and food, renewable energy, and long-term solutions to mitigate climate change. Research programs aiming to exploit culture collections of marine micro-organisms as well as to prospect the huge resources of marine planktonic biodiversity in the oceans are now underway, and several bioactive extracts and purified compounds have already been identified. This review will survey and assess the current state-of-the-art and will propose methodologies to better exploit the potential of marine plankton for drug discovery and for dermocosmetics.

  3. Bioprospecting Marine Plankton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abida, Heni; Ruchaud, Sandrine; Rios, Laurent; Humeau, Anne; Probert, Ian; De Vargas, Colomban; Bach, Stéphane; Bowler, Chris

    2013-01-01

    The ocean dominates the surface of our planet and plays a major role in regulating the biosphere. For example, the microscopic photosynthetic organisms living within provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and much of our food and mineral resources are extracted from the ocean. In a time of ecological crisis and major changes in our society, it is essential to turn our attention towards the sea to find additional solutions for a sustainable future. Remarkably, while we are overexploiting many marine resources, particularly the fisheries, the planktonic compartment composed of zooplankton, phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses, represents 95% of marine biomass and yet the extent of its diversity remains largely unknown and underexploited. Consequently, the potential of plankton as a bioresource for humanity is largely untapped. Due to their diverse evolutionary backgrounds, planktonic organisms offer immense opportunities: new resources for medicine, cosmetics and food, renewable energy, and long-term solutions to mitigate climate change. Research programs aiming to exploit culture collections of marine micro-organisms as well as to prospect the huge resources of marine planktonic biodiversity in the oceans are now underway, and several bioactive extracts and purified compounds have already been identified. This review will survey and assess the current state-of-the-art and will propose methodologies to better exploit the potential of marine plankton for drug discovery and for dermocosmetics. PMID:24240981

  4. Growth and functioning of the microbial plankton community: effects of temperature, nutrients and light

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brauer, V.S.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial plankton form the basis of the food web in aquatic habitats. Due to their vast abundances they influence the cycling of elements and the Earth’s climate at a global scale. This thesis aims at a better understanding of how environmental factors such as temperature and the availability of nu

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferenc Jordán

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Seasonal Changes in Plankton Food Web Structure and Carbon Dioxide Flux from Southern California Reservoirs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily M Adamczyk

    Full Text Available Reservoirs around the world contribute to cycling of carbon dioxide (CO2 with the atmosphere, but there is little information on how ecosystem processes determine the absorption or emission of CO2. Reservoirs are the most prevalent freshwater systems in the arid southwest of North America, yet it is unclear whether they sequester or release CO2 and therefore how water impoundment impacts global carbon cycling. We sampled three reservoirs in San Diego, California, weekly for one year. We measured seasonal variation in the abundances of bacteria, phytoplankton, and zooplankton, as well as water chemistry (pH, nutrients, ions, dissolved organic carbon [DOC], which were used to estimate partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2, and CO2 flux. We found that San Diego reservoirs are most often undersaturated with CO2 with respect to the atmosphere and are estimated to absorb on average 3.22 mmol C m(-2 day(-1. pCO2 was highest in the winter and lower in the summer, indicating seasonal shifts in the magnitudes of photosynthesis and respiration associated with day length, temperature and water inputs. Abundances of microbes (bacteria peaked in the winter along with pCO2, while phytoplankton, nutrients, zooplankton and DOC were all unrelated to pCO2. Our data indicate that reservoirs of semi-arid environments may primarily function as carbon sinks, and that carbon flux varies seasonally but is unrelated to nutrient or DOC availability, or the abundances of phytoplankton or zooplankton.

  8. Estimating effects of tidal power projects and climate change on threatened and endangered marine species and their food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, D Shallin; Greene, Correigh M; Good, Thomas P

    2013-12-01

    Marine hydrokinetic power projects will operate as marine environments change in response to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. We considered how tidal power development and stressors resulting from climate change may affect Puget Sound species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) and their food web. We used risk tables to assess the singular and combined effects of tidal power development and climate change. Tidal power development and climate change posed risks to ESA-listed species, and risk increased with incorporation of the effects of these stressors on predators and prey of ESA-listed species. In contrast, results of a model of strikes on ESA-listed species from turbine blades suggested that few ESA-listed species are likely to be killed by a commercial-scale tidal turbine array. We applied scenarios to a food web model of Puget Sound to explore the effects of tidal power and climate change on ESA-listed species using more quantitative analytical techniques. To simulate development of tidal power, we applied results of the blade strike model. To simulate environmental changes over the next 50 years, we applied scenarios of change in primary production, plankton community structure, dissolved oxygen, ocean acidification, and freshwater flooding events. No effects of tidal power development on ESA-listed species were detected from the food web model output, but the effects of climate change on them and other members of the food web were large. Our analyses exemplify how natural resource managers might assess environmental effects of marine technologies in ways that explicitly incorporate climate change and consider multiple ESA-listed species in the context of their ecological community. Estimación de los Efectos de Proyectos de Energía de las Mareas y el Cambio Climático sobre Especies Marinas Amenazadas y en Peligro y su Red Alimentaria. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology No claim to original US government works.

  9. Benthic suspension feeders: their paramount role in littoral marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gili, J M; Coma, R

    1998-08-01

    In recent years, particular attention has been paid to coupling and energy transfer between benthos and plankton. Because of their abundance, certain benthic suspension feeders have been shown to have a major impact in marine ecosystems. They capture large quantities of particles and might directly regulate primary production and indirectly regulate secondary production in littoral food chains. Suspension feeders develop dense, three-dimensional communities whose structural complexity depends on flow speed. It has been postulated that these communities can self-organize to enhance food capture and thus establish boundary systems capable of successfully exploiting a less structured system, namely, the plankton.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Existence and construction of large stable food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

    Ecological diversity is ubiquitous despite the restrictions imposed by competitive exclusion and apparent competition. To explain the observed richness of species in a given habitat, food-web theory has explored nonlinear functional responses, self-interaction, or spatial structure and dispersal—model ingredients that have proven to promote stability and diversity. We return instead here to classical Lotka-Volterra equations, where species-species interaction is characterized by a simple product and spatial restrictions are ignored. We quantify how this idealization imposes constraints on coexistence and diversity for many species. To this end, we introduce the concept of free and controlled species and use this to demonstrate how stable food webs can be constructed by the sequential addition of species. The resulting food webs can reach dozens of species and generally yield nonrandom degree distributions in accordance with the constraints imposed through the assembly process. Our model thus serves as a formal starting point for the study of sustainable interaction patterns between species.

  13. Complementary molecular information changes our perception of food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirta, Helena K; Hebert, Paul D N; Kaartinen, Riikka; Prosser, Sean W; Várkonyi, Gergely; Roslin, Tomas

    2014-02-04

    How networks of ecological interactions are structured has a major impact on their functioning. However, accurately resolving both the nodes of the webs and the links between them is fraught with difficulties. We ask whether the new resolution conferred by molecular information changes perceptions of network structure. To probe a network of antagonistic interactions in the High Arctic, we use two complementary sources of molecular data: parasitoid DNA sequenced from the tissues of their hosts and host DNA sequenced from the gut of adult parasitoids. The information added by molecular analysis radically changes the properties of interaction structure. Overall, three times as many interaction types were revealed by combining molecular information from parasitoids and hosts with rearing data, versus rearing data alone. At the species level, our results alter the perceived host specificity of parasitoids, the parasitoid load of host species, and the web-wide role of predators with a cryptic lifestyle. As the northernmost network of host-parasitoid interactions quantified, our data point exerts high leverage on global comparisons of food web structure. However, how we view its structure will depend on what information we use: compared with variation among networks quantified at other sites, the properties of our web vary as much or much more depending on the techniques used to reconstruct it. We thus urge ecologists to combine multiple pieces of evidence in assessing the structure of interaction webs, and suggest that current perceptions of interaction structure may be strongly affected by the methods used to construct them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-30

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

  15. Complexity of the food web structure of the Ascophyllum nodosum zone evidenced by a δ13C and δ15N study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golléty, Claire; Riera, Pascal; Davoult, Dominique

    2010-10-01

    Rocky shores dominated by canopy-forming macroalgae are characterized by complex communities making it difficult to assess whether the most abundant primary producers are at the base of the food web. This difficulty is exacerbated by the seasonal- and regional-scale variations of environmental and biotic factors that can affect the main trophic pathways. The food web structure of the Ascophyllum nodosum zone was studied during three seasons and at two sites separated by several 100s of kilometers by measuring the δ13C and δ15N of the major food sources and the dominant consumers of the zone. Despite the variability in isotopic compositions, both sites underwent similar significant seasonal variations. The main primary producers of the zone, A.nodosum, Fucus vesiculosus and Fucus serratus, were not at the base of the main trophic pathway but part of the diverse number of basal resources supporting the food web. The use of community-wide metric indices allowed further defining the food web structure of the A. nodosum zone as one characterized by trophic redundancy and numerous major trophic pathways. Indeed, grazers were dominated by generalists, filter-feeders utilized both planktonic and benthic organic matter, and predators displayed a high degree of omnivory. The range of values in δ15N showed a high spatiotemporal variability within and an important overlap between trophic groups. This prevented establishing distinctive trophic levels and further emphasized the complexity of the food web structure. The spatiotemporal stability of the relative isotopic composition of the dominant consumers within trophic groups and the low variability of the community-wide indices suggested a stability of the food web structure of the A.nodosum zone at a regional scale.

  16. Inter-annual cascade effect on marine food web: A benthic pathway lagging nutrient supply to pelagic fish stock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Lohengrin Dias de Almeida; Fagundes Netto, Eduardo Barros; Coutinho, Ricardo

    2017-01-01

    Currently, spatial and temporal changes in nutrients availability, marine planktonic, and fish communities are best described on a shorter than inter-annual (seasonal) scale, primarily because the simultaneous year-to-year variations in physical, chemical, and biological parameters are very complex. The limited availability of time series datasets furnishing simultaneous evaluations of temperature, nutrients, plankton, and fish have limited our ability to describe and to predict variability related to short-term process, as species-specific phenology and environmental seasonality. In the present study, we combine a computational time series analysis on a 15-year (1995-2009) weekly-sampled time series (high-resolution long-term time series, 780 weeks) with an Autoregressive Distributed Lag Model to track non-seasonal changes in 10 potentially related parameters: sea surface temperature, nutrient concentrations (NO2, NO3, NH4 and PO4), phytoplankton biomass (as in situ chlorophyll a biomass), meroplankton (barnacle and mussel larvae), and fish abundance (Mugil liza and Caranx latus). Our data demonstrate for the first time that highly intense and frequent upwelling years initiate a huge energy flux that is not fully transmitted through classical size-structured food web by bottom-up stimulus but through additional ontogenetic steps. A delayed inter-annual sequential effect from phytoplankton up to top predators as carnivorous fishes is expected if most of energy is trapped into benthic filter feeding organisms and their larval forms. These sequential events can explain major changes in ecosystem food web that were not predicted in previous short-term models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-01

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

  1. Ocean plankton. Determinants of community structure in the global plankton interactome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima-Mendez, Gipsi; Faust, Karoline; Henry, Nicolas; Decelle, Johan; Colin, Sébastien; Carcillo, Fabrizio; Chaffron, Samuel; Ignacio-Espinosa, J Cesar; Roux, Simon; Vincent, Flora; Bittner, Lucie; Darzi, Youssef; Wang, Jun; Audic, Stéphane; Berline, Léo; Bontempi, Gianluca; Cabello, Ana M; Coppola, Laurent; Cornejo-Castillo, Francisco M; d'Ovidio, Francesco; De Meester, Luc; Ferrera, Isabel; Garet-Delmas, Marie-José; Guidi, Lionel; Lara, Elena; Pesant, Stéphane; Royo-Llonch, Marta; Salazar, Guillem; Sánchez, Pablo; Sebastian, Marta; Souffreau, Caroline; Dimier, Céline; Picheral, Marc; Searson, Sarah; Kandels-Lewis, Stefanie; Gorsky, Gabriel; Not, Fabrice; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Speich, Sabrina; Stemmann, Lars; Weissenbach, Jean; Wincker, Patrick; Acinas, Silvia G; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Bork, Peer; Sullivan, Matthew B; Karsenti, Eric; Bowler, Chris; de Vargas, Colomban; Raes, Jeroen

    2015-05-22

    Species interaction networks are shaped by abiotic and biotic factors. Here, as part of the Tara Oceans project, we studied the photic zone interactome using environmental factors and organismal abundance profiles and found that environmental factors are incomplete predictors of community structure. We found associations across plankton functional types and phylogenetic groups to be nonrandomly distributed on the network and driven by both local and global patterns. We identified interactions among grazers, primary producers, viruses, and (mainly parasitic) symbionts and validated network-generated hypotheses using microscopy to confirm symbiotic relationships. We have thus provided a resource to support further research on ocean food webs and integrating biological components into ocean models.

  2. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Naji, R.K. [Department of Mathematics, College of Science, University of Baghdad (Iraq)]. E-mail: rknaji@yahoo.com; Balasim, A.T. [Department of Mathematics, College of Science, University of Baghdad (Iraq)]. E-mail: alkhazrejy@yahoo.com

    2007-12-15

    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.

  4. Global synthesis suggests that food web connectance correlates to invasion resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Ramesh, Lauren M; Moore, Alexandria C; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2017-02-01

    Biological invasions are a key component of global change, and understanding the drivers of global invasion patterns will aid in assessing and mitigating the impact of invasive species. While invasive species are most often studied in the context of one or two trophic levels, in reality species invade communities comprised of complex food webs. The complexity and integrity of the native food web may be a more important determinant of invasion success than the strength of interactions between a small subset of species within a larger food web. Previous efforts to understand the relationship between food web properties and species invasions have been primarily theoretical and have yielded mixed results. Here, we present a synthesis of empirical information on food web connectance and species invasion success gathered from different sources (estimates of food web connectance from the primary literature and estimates of invasion success from the Global Invasive Species Database as well as the primary literature). Our results suggest that higher-connectance food webs tend to host fewer invaders and exert stronger biotic resistance compared to low-connectance webs. We argue that while these correlations cannot be used to infer a causal link between food web connectance and habitat invasibility, the promising findings beg for further empirical research that deliberately tests for relationships between food web connectance and invasion. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Weaving marine food webs from end to end under global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moloney, Coleen L.; St John, Michael A.; Denman, Kenneth L.; Karl, David M.; Köster, Friedrich W.; Sundby, Svein; Wilson, Rory P.

    2011-02-01

    Marine food web dynamics are determined by interactions within and between species and between species and their environment. Global change directly affects abiotic conditions and living organisms, impinging on all trophic levels in food webs. Different groups of marine researchers traditionally study different aspects of these changes. However, over medium to long time scales perturbations affecting food webs need to be considered across the full range from nutrients to top predators. Studies of end-to-end marine food webs not only span organism sizes and trophic levels, but should also help align multidisciplinary research to common goals and perspectives. Topics are described that bridge disciplinary gaps and are needed to develop new understanding of the reciprocal impacts of global change on marine food webs and ocean biogeochemistry. These include (1) the effects of nutrients on biomass and production, (2) the effects of varying element ratios on food web structure and food quality, (3) bulk flows of energy and material in food webs and their efficiencies of transfer, (4) the ecological effects of species richness and the roles of microbial organisms, (5) the role of feeding behaviour in food web dynamics and trophic controls, (6) the spatial dynamics of communities and links between different food webs, (7) the combined effects of body size and behaviour in determining dynamics of food webs, and (8) the extent to which the ability of marine organisms (and communities) to adapt will influence food web dynamics. An overriding issue that influences all topics concerns the time and space scales of ecosystem variability. Threads link different nodes of information among various topics, emphasizing the importance of tackling food web studies with a variety of modelling approaches and through a combination of field and experimental studies with a strong comparative approach.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Télesphore eSIME - NGANDO

    2012-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Food webs including parasites, biomass, body sizes, and life stages for three California/Baja California estuaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; McLaughlin, John P.; Fredensborg, Brian L.; Huspeni, Todd C.; Lorda, Julio; Sandhu, Parwant K.; Shaw, Jenny C.; Torchin, Mark E.; Whitney, Kathleen L.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2001-01-01

    This data set presents food webs for three North American Pacific coast estuaries and a “Metaweb” composed of the species/stages compiled from all three estuaries. The webs have four noteworthy attributes: (1) parasites (infectious agents), (2) body-size information, (3) biomass information, and (4) ontogenetic stages of many animals with complex life cycles. The estuaries are Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California (CSM); Estero de Punta Banda, Baja California (EPB); and Bahía Falsa in Bahía San Quintín, Baja California (BSQ). Most data on species assemblages and parasitism were gathered via consistent sampling that acquired body size and biomass information for plants and animals larger than ∼1 mm, and for many infectious agents (mostly metazoan parasites, but also some microbes). We augmented this with information from additional published sources and by sampling unrepresented groups (e.g., plankton). We estimated free-living consumer–resource links primarily by extending a previously published version of the CSM web (which the current CSM web supplants) and determined most parasite consumer–resource links from direct observation. We recognize 21 possible link types including four general interactions: predators consuming prey, parasites consuming hosts, predators consuming parasites, and parasites consuming parasites. While generally resolved to the species level, we report stage-specific nodes for many animals with complex life cycles. We include additional biological information for each node, such as taxonomy, lifestyle (free-living, infectious, commensal, mutualist), mobility, and residency. The Metaweb includes 500 nodes, 314 species, and 11 270 links projected to be present given appropriate species' co-occurrences. Of these, 9247 links were present in one or more of the estuarine webs. The remaining 2023 links were not present in the estuaries but are included here because they may occur in other places or times. Initial analyses have examined

  10. Food web structure of deep-sea macrozooplankton and micronekton off the Catalan slope: Insight from stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanelli, E.; Cartes, J. E.; Papiol, V.

    2011-07-01

    Food web structure of the macroplankton/micronekton fauna on the continental slope of the Catalan Sea (Balearic basin, NW Mediterranean) was investigated using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope tracers on a total of 34 taxa. Samples were collected close to Barcelona, Spain, on the middle slope, at a seasonal scale. Mean δ 13C values ranged from - 22.1‰ ( Salpa maxima) to - 16.9‰ (the mysid Eucopia hanseni). Values of δ 15N ranged from 2.5‰ (the hyperiid Vibilia armata) to 9.8‰ (the pelagic polychaete Tomopteris sp.). The stable isotope ratios of this fauna displayed a continuum of values over the δ 15N range of 7‰, confirming a wide spectrum of feeding strategies (from filter feeders to predators). High annual mean δ 15N values were found among carnivorous large zooplankton and micronekton, including species that prey on gelatinous plankton (i.e. salps, siphonophores), euphausiids, natantian decapod crustaceans and fish (i.e. myctophids and stomiiformes). In agreement with the available information on diets of planktonic taxa, the lowest isotope ratios were found for filter feeders ( V. armata, S. maxima, the pteropods Cymbulia peroni and Cavolinia inflexa, ostracods and the thaliacean Pyrosoma atlanticum), all of which feed on particulate organic matter. We found three trophic levels in macroplankton/micronekton food webs based on a 15N-enrichment factor of ~ 2.5‰ per level. The range of δ 13C was particularly wide among carnivores (- 20.7‰ to - 16.6‰), suggesting predation on a variety of prey from gelatinous zooplankton (which displayed more depleted δ 13C signatures) to small fishes and decapods. Correlation between δ 13C-δ 15N was generally weak, likely due to the consumption of different kinds of sinking particles (e.g. marine snow, phytodetritus), some constituted of multiply recycled particulate organic matter (POM). However, higher δ 13C-δ 15N correlations were observed during winter and spring, periods of water column

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  16. Structure and dynamics of food webs in the water column on shelf and slope grounds of the western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valls, M.; Sweeting, C. J.; Olivar, M. P.; Fernández de Puelles, M. L.; Pasqual, C.; Polunin, N. V. C.; Quetglas, A.

    2014-10-01

    Benthic-pelagic coupling is an important process connecting species throughout the water column, particularly, in deep-sea systems where faunal assemblages can be dense if indirectly sustained by production from the above. Through stable isotope analyses, this study explored the sources of production, trophic structure, and bentho-pelagic coupling in two locations with contrasting oceanographic conditions from the western Mediterranean, in the Balearic (BsB) and the Algerian (AsB) sub-basins. The samples of 89 dominant species (23 decapods, 19 cephalopods, 33 fishes, among the other taxa), inhabiting the hyperbenthic and pelagic domains, from the shelf break (250 m), upper slope (650 m), and middle slope (850 m) were analyzed. Results suggested long food webs of approximately four trophic levels (TrLs) that were sustained by planktonic source material in shallower waters and degraded particulate organic matter of planktonic origin in deeper waters. Most of the collected species (70%) occupied intermediate trophic positions between the 3rd and 4th TrLs. The species δ15N and δ13C values exhibited a broad range, consistent with the high diversity that might be attributed to the oligotrophic conditions. As the depth increased, stronger segregation occurred between the trophic groups, and spatial differences were found among consumers of the two locations. Species in the AsB always had consistently higher δ15N values than in the BsB, which could possibly be attributed to the basal δ15N that was present through the food web. Despite the contrasting basin characteristics, a similarly close bentho-pelagic coupling pattern was observed at both locations, except at the deepest ground, especially at the AsB, where the mean δ13C values from the hyperbenthic and pelagic compartments were more distant. This could be related to the higher degree of reworking of organic matter in the AsB. Overall, these findings suggested the need for a depth-stratified approach to analyze

  17. 14C as a tracer of labile organic matter in Antarctic benthic food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purinton, Brett L.; DeMaster, David J.; Thomas, Carrie J.; Smith, Craig R.

    2008-11-01

    14C measurements were made on surface plankton, particle-trap material, surface sediment, benthic invertebrate gut contents, and body tissue samples to assess the effectiveness of this radioisotope as a tracer of labile organic carbon in Antarctic benthic food webs. Samples were collected on five cruises to the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) shelf between November 1999 and March 2001 as part of the Food for Benthos on the ANtarctic Continental-Shelf (FOODBANCS) Project. The 14C contents of the body tissues from a variety of deposit feeders (-126±13 per mil) were substantially enriched relative to the surface sediment (-234±13 per mil) and statistically similar to the organic matter collected in plankton tows (-135±10 per mil), indicating that recently produced marine plankton are the primary source of nutrition for these deposit feeders on the West Antarctic shelf. Selective ingestion was the primary feeding strategy used by echiuran worms and certain holothurians (i.e. Peniagone vignoni) for incorporating labile organic carbon into their tissues as demonstrated by the large differences (105±13 per mil) between surface sediment and gut content 14C activities. In contrast, digestive and/or assimilatory selection was the predominant strategy used by an irregular urchin ( Amphipneustes lorioli) and several other holothurians ( Protelpidia murrayi, Bathyplotes fuscivinculum and the head-down conveyor belt feeder, Molpadia musculus), as demonstrated by large differences (42±7 per mil) between the 14C activities of their foregut or whole-gut organic contents and their body tissues. Despite large fluctuations in carbon export from the euphotic zone, benthic feeding strategies remained essentially constant over the 15-month sampling period. No seasonal variation was evident in either the 14C abundance of the deposit-feeder body tissues, or in the 14C abundance of their gut contents. The mean 14C abundance in the body tissues of the two sub-surface deposit feeders ( A

  18. The paradox of pelagic food webs in the northern Bering Sea—I. Seabird food habits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Alan M.; Murphy, Edward C.; Roseneau, David G.; McRoy, C. Peter; Cooper, Brian A.

    1987-08-01

    Two distinct environmental settings in the Bering Strait region of the northern Bering Sea lead to characteristic pathways of energy flow through primarily pelagic food webs to avian consumers. In Norton Sound, a large, shallow embayment on the northeastern coast, the physical environment is dominated by the discharge of the Yukon River and by a large seasonal temperature signal. Seabirds breeding at Bluff, the largest colony in Norton Sound, number in the order of 5 × 10 4 and require 1.2 × 10 6 g C d -1. Two piscivorous species constitute the bulk of all seabirds there and are supported by a pelagic food web typical of the coastal zone of the Bering and Chukchi seas. This food web also is present around St. Lawrence Island, on the northwestern shelf, and is important to at least one species of seabird there. In addition, and generally more important, St. Lawrence Island is in a biologically rich environment resulting from the northward flow of water that originates along the continental shelf break of the Bering Sea. This flow apparently accounts for the unexpected presence of oceanic zooplankton and a diversity of forage fishes on the shallow northern shelf that support an abundant and taxonomically rich avifauna. In comparison to Norton Sound, breeding seabirds on St. Lawrence Island number in the order of 2 × 10 6, with planktivores consuming about 8 × 10 6 g C d -1 and piscivores consuming about 16 × 10 6 g C d -1.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    Spatial extents of food webs that support stream and river consumers are largely unknown, but such information is essential for basic understanding and management of lotic ecosystems. We used predictable variation in algal ??13C with water velocity, and measurements of consumer ??13C and ??15N to examine carbon flow and trophic structure in food webs of the South Fork Eel River in Northern California. Analyses of ??13C showed that the most abundant macroinvertebrate groups (collector-gatherers and scrapers) relied on algae from local sources within their riffle or shallow pool habitats. In contrast, filter-feeding invertebrates in riffles relied in part on algal production derived from upstream shallow pools. Riffle invertebrate predators also relied in part on consumers of pool-derived algal carbon. One abundant taxon drifting from shallow pools and riffles (baetid mayflies) relied on algal production derived from the habitats from which they dispersed. The trophic linkage from pool algae to riffle invertebrate predators was thus mediated through either predation on pool herbivores dispersing into riffles, or on filter feeders. Algal production in shallow pool habitats dominated the resource base of vertebrate predators in all habitats at the end of the summer. We could not distinguish between the trophic roles of riffle algae and terrestrial detritus, but both carbon sources appeared to play minor roles for vertebrate consumers. In shallow pools, small vertebrates, including three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), roach (Hesperoleucas symmetricus), and rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa), relied on invertebrate prey derived from local pool habitats. During the most productive summer period, growth of all size classes of steelhead and resident rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in all habitats (shallow pools, riffles, and deep unproductive pools) was largely derived from algal production in shallow pools. Preliminary data suggest that the strong

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard J; Purves, Drew W

    2011-09-01

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

  3. Trophic positioning of meiofauna revealed by stable isotopes and food web analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid-Araya, Jenny M; Schmid, Peter E; Tod, Steven P; Esteban, Genoveva F

    2016-11-01

    Despite important advances in the ecology of river food webs, the strength and nature of the connection between the meio- and macrofaunal components of the web are still debated. Some unresolved issues are the effects of the inclusion of meiofaunal links and their temporal variations on the overall river food web properties, and the significance of autochthonous and allochthonous material for these components. In the present study, we conducted analyses of gut content of macro- and meiofauna and stable isotope analyses of meiofauna to examine seasonal food webs of a chalk stream. The results of the gut content analyses, confirmed by the δ(13) C signatures, revealed a seasonal shift from a dependence on autochthonous (biofilm) to allochthonous food sources. Here, we demonstrate that aggregating basal or meiofaunal species into single categories affects key web properties such as web size, links, linkage density, and predator-prey ratios. More importantly, seasonal variation in attributes characterized the entire web and these changes persist regardless of taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, our analyses evidenced discrete variations in δ(15) N across the meiofauna community with a trophic structure that confirms gut content analyses, placing the meiofauna high in the food web. We, therefore, conclude that small-body-sized taxa can occur high in dynamic river food webs, questioning assumptions that trophic position increases with body size and that webs are static. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Soil food web structure after wood ash application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    of nutrients from the ecosystem. This can be partly mitigated by applying ash from the combustion back to the system and thus recycle the nutrients. However, besides being rich in inorganic nutrients, ash is also very alkaline and contains heavy metals. The ASHBACK project (www.ashback.dk) is a cooperation...... between three Danish universities, other research institutions and stake-holders that aims to investigate the consequences of returning wood ash to biofuel producing coniferous forest. We hypothesize that the change in pH and increased availability of nutrients after ash application to the forest floor...... can facilitate an increase in the bacteria to fungi ratio with possible cascading effects for the soil food web structure. This is tested by applying ash of different concentrations to experimental plots in a coniferous forest. During the course of the project soil samples will be collected...

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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; 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Incorporating food web dynamics into ecological restoration: a modeling approach for river ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Restoration is frequently aimed at the recovery of target species, but also influences the larger food web in which these species participate. Effects of restoration on this broader network of organisms can influence target species both directly and indirectly via changes in energy flow through food webs. To help incorporate these complexities into river restoration...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kondoh, M.

    2007-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Bridging food webs, ecosystem metabolism, and biogeochemistry using ecological stoichiometry theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Welti, Nina; Striebel, Maren; Ulseth, Amber J.

    2017-01-01

    to connect food webs, ecosystem metabolism, and biogeochemistry, as they are inherently concatenated by the transfer of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous through biotic and abiotic nutrient transformation and fluxes. Several new studies exist that demonstrate the connections between food web ecology...

  14. Inferring chemical effects on carbon flows in aquatic food webs: Methodology and case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Laender, F.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    The majority of ecotoxicological enclosure experiments monitor species abundances at different chemical concentrations. Here, we present a new modelling approach that estimates changes in food web flows from such data and show that population- and food web level effects are revealed that are not

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Soil and freshwater and marine sediment food webs: their structure and function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Infochemicals structure marine, terrestrial and freshwater food webs: implications for ecological informatics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

  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. 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 fr...

  3. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memmott, Jane

    2009-06-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. The importance of nature's invisible fabric: food web structure mediates modeled responses to river restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellmore, R.; Benjamin, J.; Newsom, M.; Bountry, J.; Dombroski, D.

    2016-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Modelling food-web mediated effects of hydrological variability and environmental flows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, Barbara J; Lester, Rebecca E; Baldwin, Darren S; Bond, Nicholas R; Drouart, Romain; Rolls, Robert J; Ryder, Darren S; Thompson, Ross M

    2017-11-01

    Environmental flows are designed to enhance aquatic ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms; however, to date most attention has been paid to the effects on habitat quality and life-history triggers, especially for fish and vegetation. The effects of environmental flows on food webs have so far received little attention, despite food-web thinking being fundamental to understanding of river ecosystems. Understanding environmental flows in a food-web context can help scientists and policy-makers better understand and manage outcomes of flow alteration and restoration. In this paper, we consider mechanisms by which flow variability can influence and alter food webs, and place these within a conceptual and numerical modelling framework. We also review the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to modelling the effects of hydrological management on food webs. Although classic bioenergetic models such as Ecopath with Ecosim capture many of the key features required, other approaches, such as biogeochemical ecosystem modelling, end-to-end modelling, population dynamic models, individual-based models, graph theory models, and stock assessment models are also relevant. In many cases, a combination of approaches will be useful. We identify current challenges and new directions in modelling food-web responses to hydrological variability and environmental flow management. These include better integration of food-web and hydraulic models, taking physiologically-based approaches to food quality effects, and better representation of variations in space and time that may create ecosystem control points. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Animal diversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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

    The distribution, composition and activity of phytoplankton, and accompanying changes in specific activities of bacterioplankton and copepods, were related to variations in the vertical structure of the water column along a transect through the Skagerrak in May 1987. The Skagerrak is characterized....... Thus a 'microbial loop' type of food web seemed to be evolving in the central, strongly stratified parts of the Skagerrak, while a shorter 'classical' type of food web appeared to dominate along the margin. The relation between food web structure and vertical mixing processes observed on oceanwide...

  20. Modeling the response of top-down control exerted by gelatinous carnivores on the Black Sea pelagic food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oguz, Temel; Ducklow, Hugh W.; Purcell, Jennifer E.; Malanotte-Rizzoli, Paola

    2001-03-01

    Recent changes in structure and functioning of the interior Black Sea ecosystem are studied by a series of simulations using a one-dimensional, vertically resolved, coupled physical-biochemical model. The simulations are intended to provide a better understanding of how the pelagic food web structure responds to increasing grazing pressure by gelatinous carnivores (medusae Aurelia aurita and ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi) during the past 2 decades. The model is first shown to represent typical eutrophic ecosystem conditions of the late 1970s and early 1980s. This simulation reproduces reasonably well the observed planktonic food web structure at a particular location of the Black Sea for which a year-long data set is available from 1978. Additional simulations are performed to explore the role of the Mnemiopsis-dominated ecosystem in the late 1980s. They are also validated by extended observations from specific years. The results indicate that the population outbreaks of the gelatinous species, either Aurelia or Mnemiopsis, reduce mesozooplankton grazing and lead to increased phytoplankton blooms as observed throughout the 1980s and 1990s in the Black Sea. The peaks of phytoplankton, mesozooplankton, Noctiluca, and gelatinous predator biomass distributions march sequentially as a result of prey-predator interactions. The late winter diatom bloom and a subsequent increase in mesozooplankton stocks are robust features common to all simulations. The autotrophs and heterotrophs, however, have different responses during the rest of the year, depending on the nature of grazing pressure exerted by the gelatinous predators. In the presence of Mnemiopsis, phytoplankton have additional distinct and pronounced bloom episodes during the spring and summer seasons. These events appear with a 2 month time shift in the ecosystem prior to introduction of Mnemiopsis.

  1. Arsenic Speciation in Plankton Organisms from Contaminated Lakes: Transformations at the Base of the Freshwater Food Chain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caumette, Guilhem; Koch, Iris; Estrada, Esteban; Reimer, Ken J. (Royal)

    2012-02-06

    The two complementary techniques high performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) analysis were used to assess arsenic speciation in freshwater phytoplankton and zooplankton collected from arsenic-contaminated lakes in Yellowknife (Northwest Territories, Canada). Arsenic concentrations in lake water ranged from 7 {micro}g L{sup -1} in a noncontaminated lake to 250 {micro}g L{sup -1} in mine-contaminated lakes, which resulted in arsenic concentrations ranging from 7 to 340 mg kg{sup -1} d.w. in zooplankton organisms (Cyclops sp.) and from 154 to 894 mg kg{sup -1} d.w. in phytoplankton. The main arsenic compounds identified by HPLC-ICP-MS in all plankton were inorganic arsenic (from 38% to 98% of total arsenic). No other arsenic compounds were found in phytoplankton, but zooplankton organisms showed the presence of organoarsenic compounds, the most common being the sulfate arsenosugar, up to 47% of total arsenic, with traces of phosphate sugar, glycerol sugar, methylarsonate (MMA), and dimethylarsinate (DMA). In the uncontaminated Grace Lake, zooplankton also contained arsenobetaine (AB). XANES characterization of arsenic in the whole plankton samples showed AsV-O as the only arsenic compound in phytoplankton, and AsIII-S and AsV-O compounds as the two major inorganic arsenic species in zooplankton. The proportion of organoarsenicals and inorganic arsenic in zooplankton depends upon the arsenic concentration in lakes and shows the impact of arsenic contamination: zooplankton from uncontaminated lake has higher proportions of organoarsenic compounds and contains arsenobetaine, while zooplankton from contaminated area contains mostly inorganic arsenic.

  2. Temporal variability of the microbial food web (viruses to ciliates under the influence of the Black Sea Water inflow (N. Aegean, E. Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. GIANNAKOUROU

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Τhe entire pelagic microbial food web was studied during the winter-spring period in the frontal area of the North Aegean Sea. Abundance of viruses, heterotrophic bacteria, cyanobacteria, auto- and hetero-trophic flagellates, and ciliates, as well as bacterial production, were measured at three stations (MD1, MD2, MD3 situated along a N-S transect between the area directly influenced by the inflowing Black Sea water and the area covered by the Levantine water. Samples were collected in December 2009, and January, March, April, and May 2011. Station MD1 exhibited the highest values of abundance and integrated biomass of all microbial groups and bacterial production during all months, and MD3 the lowest. Bacteria dominated the total integrated biomass at all stations and months, followed by cyanobacteria, auto-, hetero-trophic flagellates and ciliates. On a temporal scale, the microbial food web was less important in March as all microbial parameters at all stations showed the lowest values. After the phytoplankton bloom in March, the heterotrophic part of the microbial food web (mainly strongly increased, though the intensity of the phenomenon was diminished from North to South. Pico-sized plankton was found to be heterotrophic whereas nanoplankton was autotrophic. It seems that the influence of the Black Sea water on station MD1, permanent throughout the study period of early winter to late spring, was reflected in all microbial populations studied, and produced a more productive pelagic food web system, with potential consequences for the upper trophic levels.

  3. Contribution of planktonic and benthic food sources to the diet of the reef-forming vermetid gastropod Dendropoma petraeum in the western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizzini, Salvatrice; Colombo, Francesca; Costa, Valentina; Mazzola, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    In the Mediterranean Sea, the vermetid Dendropoma petraeum (Monterosato, 1884) forms highly biodiverse reefs that have received increasing attention in recent years although very little is known about the food habit of this species. The main goal of this study was to describe the trophic role of planktonic and benthic food sources for D. petraeum. Specimens from three morphological zones of the reef (inner edge, cuvette and outer edge) at two sites with different wave exposure along the north-western coast of Sicily (Italy; western Mediterranean) were compared for δ 13C and δ 15N. Isotopic determinations were also carried out on potential food sources identified in epilithon, reef macroalgae and suspended particulate organic matter. δ 13C for D. petraeum showed significantly more depleted values in the more exposed conditions (i.e. the site with higher wave exposure and outer edge of the reef), while δ 15N did not differ appreciably. These results suggest greater exploitation of benthic sources in the sheltered than in the exposed site and reveal diet shift and trophic flexibility at a small spatial scale for the reef-former D. petraeum.

  4. Mismatch between marine plankton range movements and the velocity of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chivers, William J; Walne, Anthony W; Hays, Graeme C

    2017-02-10

    The response of marine plankton to climate change is of critical importance to the oceanic food web and fish stocks. We use a 60-year ocean basin-wide data set comprising >148,000 samples to reveal huge differences in range changes associated with climate change across 35 plankton taxa. While the range of dinoflagellates and copepods tended to closely track the velocity of climate change (the rate of isotherm movement), the range of the diatoms moved much more slowly. Differences in range shifts were up to 900 km in a recent warming period, with average velocities of range movement between 7 km per decade northwards for taxa exhibiting niche plasticity and 99 km per decade for taxa exhibiting niche conservatism. The differing responses of taxa to global warming will cause spatial restructuring of the plankton ecosystem with likely consequences for grazing pressures on phytoplankton and hence for biogeochemical cycling, higher trophic levels and biodiversity.

  5. Mismatch between marine plankton range movements and the velocity of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chivers, William J.; Walne, Anthony W.; Hays, Graeme C.

    2017-02-01

    The response of marine plankton to climate change is of critical importance to the oceanic food web and fish stocks. We use a 60-year ocean basin-wide data set comprising >148,000 samples to reveal huge differences in range changes associated with climate change across 35 plankton taxa. While the range of dinoflagellates and copepods tended to closely track the velocity of climate change (the rate of isotherm movement), the range of the diatoms moved much more slowly. Differences in range shifts were up to 900 km in a recent warming period, with average velocities of range movement between 7 km per decade northwards for taxa exhibiting niche plasticity and 99 km per decade for taxa exhibiting niche conservatism. The differing responses of taxa to global warming will cause spatial restructuring of the plankton ecosystem with likely consequences for grazing pressures on phytoplankton and hence for biogeochemical cycling, higher trophic levels and biodiversity.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gravier, Christophe; Subercaze, Julien

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 40 CFR 230.31 - Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic organisms in the food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-11-01

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

  20. Towards a framework for assessment and management of cumulative human impacts on marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Halpern, Benjamin S; Michel, Loïc N; Gobert, Sylvie; Sini, Maria; Boudouresque, Charles-François; Gambi, Maria-Cristina; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Lejeune, Pierre; Montefalcone, Monica; Pergent, Gerard; Pergent-Martini, Christine; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Velimirov, Branko; Vizzini, Salvatrice; Abadie, Arnaud; Coll, Marta; Guidetti, Paolo; Micheli, Fiorenza; Possingham, Hugh P

    2015-08-01

    Effective ecosystem-based management requires understanding ecosystem responses to multiple human threats, rather than focusing on single threats. To understand ecosystem responses to anthropogenic threats holistically, it is necessary to know how threats affect different components within ecosystems and ultimately alter ecosystem functioning. We used a case study of a Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) food web and expert knowledge elicitation in an application of the initial steps of a framework for assessment of cumulative human impacts on food webs. We produced a conceptual seagrass food web model, determined the main trophic relationships, identified the main threats to the food web components, and assessed the components' vulnerability to those threats. Some threats had high (e.g., coastal infrastructure) or low impacts (e.g., agricultural runoff) on all food web components, whereas others (e.g., introduced carnivores) had very different impacts on each component. Partitioning the ecosystem into its components enabled us to identify threats previously overlooked and to reevaluate the importance of threats commonly perceived as major. By incorporating this understanding of system vulnerability with data on changes in the state of each threat (e.g., decreasing domestic pollution and increasing fishing) into a food web model, managers may be better able to estimate and predict cumulative human impacts on ecosystems and to prioritize conservation actions. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  2. The influence of nitrogen inputs on biomass and trophic structure of ocean plankton: a study using biomass and stable isotope size-spectra

    KAUST Repository

    Mompeán, Carmen

    2016-08-18

    Large scale patterns in planktonic food web structure were studied by applying continuous size-scaled models of biomass and δ15N to plankton samples, collected at 145 stations during the Malaspina-2010 Expedition across three ocean basins and including major biomes. Carbon biomass and δ15N were determined in size-fractionated samples (40 to 5000 μm) collected by vertical hauls (0–200 m). Biomass-normalized size-spectra were constructed to summarize food web structure and spatial patterns in spectral parameters were analyzed using geographically-weighted regression analysis. Except in the northwestern Atlantic, size-spectra showed low variability, reflecting a homogeneity in nitrogen sources and food web structure for the central oceans. Estimated predator-to-prey mass ratios <104 and mean trophic transfer efficiency values between 16% (coastal biome) and >20% (Trades and Westerlies biomes) suggested that oceanic plankton food webs may support a larger number of trophic levels than current estimates based on high efficiency values. The largest changes in spectral parameters and nitrogen sources were related to inputs of atmospheric nitrogen, either from diazotrophic organisms or dust deposition. These results suggest geographic homogeneity in the net transfer of nitrogen up the food web.

  3. The web-buffet--development and validation of an online tool to measure food choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucher, Tamara; Keller, Carmen

    2015-08-01

    To date, no data exist on the agreement of food choice measured using an online tool with subsequent actual consumption. This needs to be shown before food choice, measured by means of an online tool, is used as a dependent variable to examine intake in the general population. A 'web-buffet' was developed to assess food choice. Choice was measured as planned meal composition from photographic material; respondents chose preferred foods and proportions for a main meal (out of a possible 144 combinations) online and the validity was assessed by comparison of a meal composed from a web-buffet with actual food intake 24-48 h later. Furthermore, correlations of food preferences, energy needs and health interest with meals chosen from the web-buffet were analysed. Students: n 106 (Study I), n 32 (Study II). Meals chosen from the web-buffet (mean = 2998 kJ, SD = 471 kJ) agreed with actual consumption (rs = 0.63, P choice in the web-buffet agrees sufficiently well with actual intake to measure food choice as a dependent variable in online surveys. However, we found an average underestimation of subsequent consumption. High correlations of preferences with chosen amounts and an inverse association of health interest with total energy further indicate the validity of the tool. Applications in behavioural nutrition research are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-08-21

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

  5. Biomass Reallocation between Juveniles and Adults Mediates Food Web Stability by Distributing Energy Away from Strong Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caskenette, Amanda L; McCann, Kevin S

    2017-01-01

    Ecological theory has uncovered dynamical differences between food web modules (i.e. low species food web configurations) with only species-level links and food web modules that include within-species links (e.g. non-feeding links between mature and immature individuals) and has argued that these differences ought to cause food web theory that includes within-species links to contrast with classical food web theory. It is unclear, however, if life-history will affect the observed connection between interaction strength and stability in species-level theory. We show that when the predator in a species-level food chain is split into juvenile and adult stages using a simple nested approach, stage-structure can mute potentially strong interactions through the transfer of biomass within a species. Within-species biomass transfer distributes energy away from strong interactions promoting increased system stability consistent with classical food web theory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, Linda M. [National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario, L7R-4A6 (Canada); Norstrom, Ross J. [Chemistry Department, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H3 (Canada); Hobson, Keith A. [Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research Centre (Canada) and Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 0X4 (Canada); Muir, Derek C.G. [National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario, L7R-4A6 (Canada); Backus, Sean [National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario, L7R-4A6 (Canada); Fisk, Aaron T. [Warnell School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 30602-2152 (United States)]. E-mail: afisk@forestry.uga.edu

    2005-12-01

    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. {delta} {sup 15}N 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 {delta} {sup 15}N 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 {delta} {sup 15}N. 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 {delta} {sup 15}N values, although As in liver tissue showed significant biomagnification in the seabird portion of the food web.

  9. 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.

  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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Comparing the Ecological Stoichiometry in Green and Brown Food Webs – A Review and Meta-analysis of Freshwater Food Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans-White, Michelle A.; Halvorson, Halvor M.

    2017-01-01

    The framework of ecological stoichiometry was developed primarily within the context of “green” autotroph-based food webs. While stoichiometric principles also apply in “brown” detritus-based systems, these systems have been historically understudied and differ from green ones in several important aspects including carbon (C) quality and the nutrient [nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)] contents of food resources for consumers. In this paper, we review work over the last decade that has advanced the application of ecological stoichiometry from green to brown food webs, focusing on freshwater ecosystems. We first review three focal areas where green and brown food webs differ: (1) bottom–up controls by light and nutrient availability, (2) stoichiometric constraints on consumer growth and nutritional regulation, and (3) patterns in consumer-driven nutrient dynamics. Our review highlights the need for further study of how light and nutrient availability affect autotroph–heterotroph interactions on detritus and the subsequent effects on consumer feeding and growth. To complement this conceptual review, we formally quantified differences in stoichiometric principles between green and brown food webs using a meta-analysis across feeding studies of freshwater benthic invertebrates. From 257 datasets collated across 46 publications and several unpublished studies, we compared effect sizes (Pearson’s r) of resource N:C and P:C on growth, consumption, excretion, and egestion between herbivorous and detritivorous consumers. The meta-analysis revealed that both herbivore and detritivore growth are limited by resource N:C and P:C contents, but effect sizes only among detritivores were significantly above zero. Consumption effect sizes were negative among herbivores but positive for detritivores in the case of both N:C and P:C, indicating distinct compensatory feeding responses across resource stoichiometry gradients. Herbivore P excretion rates responded

  13. Linking planktonic biomass and metabolism to net gas fluxes in northern temperate lakes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giorgio, P.A. del [Univ. of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, MD (United States). Horn Point Lab.; Cole, J.J.; Caraco, N.F. [Inst. of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY (United States); Peters, R.H. [McGill Univ., Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Dept. of Biology

    1999-06-01

    Plankton communities in oligotrophic waters are characteristically dominated by the biomass of heterotrophs, including bacteria, micro-, and macrozooplankton. It has been generally assumed that these inverted biomass pyramids are the direct result of high specific production rates of phytoplankton and a tight coupling between producers and consumers. There are, however, at least two alternative hypotheses: (1) heterotrophic biomass turnover is much slower in oligotrophic than eutrophic systems; and (2) oligotrophic planktonic communities are significantly subsidized by allochthonous organic matter. In this study the authors assessed these hypotheses by establishing the relationship between plankton biomass structure, plankton function, and whole-lake gas (O{sub 2} and CO{sub 2}) fluxes in 20 temperate lakes that span a large range in primary production. The authors show that the balance of phytoplankton production and community respiration (P/R ratio) is always below unity in unproductive lakes where heterotrophic biomass (H) is high relative to autotrophic biomass (A), suggesting that these planktonic food webs function as heterotrophic systems and must be subsidized by allochthonous organic matter. Further, rates of phytoplankton specific production are not highest in communities characterized by dominance of heterotrophic biomass. All except the most productive lakes were supersaturated in CO{sub 2} and undersaturated in O{sub 2}.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Kristi; Story, Mary; Harnack, Lisa

    2006-09-01

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

  17. Strong seasonal effect of moderate experimental warming on plankton respiration in a temperate estuarine plankton community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panigrahi, Satya; Nydahl, Anna; Anton, Peter; Wikner, Johan

    2013-12-01

    Climate change projections forecast a 1.1-6.4 °C global increase in surface water temperature and a 3 °C increase for the Baltic Sea. This study examined the short-term interactive effects of a realistic future temperature increase (3 °C) on pelagic respiration and bacterioplankton growth and phytoplankton photosynthesis in situ. This study was undertaken throughout a full seasonal cycle in the northern Baltic Sea. We found marked positive short-term effects of temperature on plankton respiration but no significant effect on bacterioplankton growth or phytoplankton photosynthesis. Absolute respiration rates remained similar to other comparable environments at the in situ temperature. With the 3 °C temperature increase, respiration rates in situ increased up to 5-fold during the winter and 2-fold during the summer. A maximum seasonal Q10 value of 332 was observed for respiration during the cold winter months (twater ≈ 0 °C), and summer Q10 values were comparatively high (9.1). Q10 values exhibited a significant inverse relationship to water temperature during winter. Our results thereby suggest that plankton respiration in this coastal zone is more temperature sensitive than previously reported. In addition, field data indicated that plankton respiration switched from being temperature limited to being limited by dissolved organic carbon (DOC) after the simulated temperature increase. Assuming that our observations are relevant over longer time scales, climate change may worsen hypoxia, increase CO2 emissions and create a more heterotrophic food web in coastal zones with a high load of riverine DOC.

  18. Evaluating the effects of trophic complexity on a keystone predator by disassembling a partial intraguild predation food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, Jon M; Chalcraft, David R

    2012-01-01

    1. Many taxa can be found in food webs that differ in trophic complexity, but it is unclear how trophic complexity affects the performance of particular taxa. In pond food webs, larvae of the salamander Ambystoma opacum occupy the intermediate predator trophic position in a partial intraguild predation (IGP) food web and can function as keystone predators. Larval A. opacum are also found in simpler food webs lacking either top predators or shared prey. 2. We conducted an experiment where a partial IGP food web was simplified, and we measured the growth and survival of larval A. opacum in each set of food webs. Partial IGP food webs that had either a low abundance or high abundance of total prey were also simplified by independently removing top predators and/or shared prey. 3. Removing top predators always increased A. opacum survival, but removal of shared prey had no effect on A. opacum survival, regardless of total prey abundance. 4. Surprisingly, food web simplification had no effect on the growth of A. opacum when present in food webs with a low abundance of prey but had important effects on A. opacum growth in food webs with a high abundance of prey. Simplifying a partial IGP food web with a high abundance of prey reduced A. opacum growth when either top predators or shared prey were removed from the food web and the loss of top predators and shared prey influenced A. opacum growth in a non-additive fashion. 5. The non-additive response in A. opacum growth appears to be the result of supplemental prey availability augmenting the beneficial effects of top predators. Top predators had a beneficial effect on A. opacum populations by reducing the abundance of A. opacum present and thereby reducing the intensity of intraspecific competition. 6. Our study indicates that the effects of food web simplification on the performance of A. opacum are complex and depend on both how a partial IGP food web is simplified and how abundant prey are in the food web. These

  19. Rapid contemporary evolution and clonal food web dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Laura E; Becks, Lutz; Ellner, Stephen P; Hairston, Nelson G; Yoshida, Takehito; Fussmann, Gregor F

    2009-06-12

    Character evolution that affects ecological community interactions often occurs contemporaneously with temporal changes in population size, potentially altering the very nature of those dynamics. Such eco-evolutionary processes may be most readily explored in systems with short generations and simple genetics. Asexual and cyclically parthenogenetic organisms such as microalgae, cladocerans and rotifers, which frequently dominate freshwater plankton communities, meet these requirements. Multiple clonal lines can coexist within each species over extended periods, until either fixation occurs or a sexual phase reshuffles the genetic material. When clones differ in traits affecting interspecific interactions, within-species clonal dynamics can have major effects on the population dynamics. We first consider a simple predator-prey system with two prey genotypes, parametrized with data from a well-studied experimental system, and explore how the extent of differences in defence against predation within the prey population determine dynamic stability versus instability of the system. We then explore how increased potential for evolution affects the community dynamics in a more general community model with multiple predator and multiple prey genotypes. These examples illustrate how microevolutionary 'details' that enhance or limit the potential for heritable phenotypic change can have significant effects on contemporaneous community-level dynamics and the persistence and coexistence of species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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.

  5. 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

  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

    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

  8. Linking phytoplankton community size composition with temperature, plankton food web structure and sea–air CO2 flux

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hilligsøe, Karen Marie; Richardson, Katherine; Bendtsen, Jørgen

    2011-01-01

    Data collected at open water stations (depth>400m) in all major ocean basins in 2006–2008 are used to examine the relationship between the size structure of the phytoplankton community (determined by size fractionated chlorophyll filtration), temperature and inorganic nutrient availability. A sig...

  9. 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

    Previous studies have demonstrated that patches of eel larvae are found in the frontal region of the Subtropical Convergence Zone (STCZ), but to date no clear evidence of why this region might confer advantage to the larvae has been presented. This study demonstrates that there may be localized p...

  10. Linking phytoplankton community size composition with temperature, plankton food web structure and sea–air CO2 flux

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hilligsøe, Karen Marie; Richardson, Katherine; Bendtsen, Jørgen

    2011-01-01

    Data collected at open water stations (depth>400m) in all major ocean basins in 2006–2008 are used to examine the relationship between the size structure of the phytoplankton community (determined by size fractionated chlorophyll filtration), temperature and inorganic nutrient availability. A sig...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-03-01

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

  14. Potential for Local Fertilization: A Benthocosm Test of Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of Mussel Excretion on the Plankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherif, Mehdi; Granados, Monica; Duffy, Sean; Robert, Pauline; Péquin, Bérangère; Mohit, Vani; McKindsey, Christopher W; Archambault, Philippe; Myrand, Bruno; Lovejoy, Connie; Tremblay, Réjean; Plourde, Stéphane; Fussmann, Gregor F

    2016-01-01

    Mussel aquaculture has expanded worldwide and it is important to assess its impact on the water column and the planktonic food web to determine the sustainability of farming practices. Mussel farming may affect the planktonic food web indirectly by excreting bioavailable nutrients in the water column (a short-term effect) or by increasing nutrient effluxes from biodeposit-enriched sediments (a long-term effect). We tested both of these indirect effects in a lagoon by using plankton-enclosing benthocosms that were placed on the bottom of a shallow lagoon either inside of a mussel farm or at reference sites with no history of aquaculture. At each site, half of the benthocosms were enriched with seawater that had held mussels (excretion treatment), the other half received non-enriched seawater as a control treatment. We monitored nutrients ([PO43-] and [NH4+]), dissolved oxygen and plankton components (bacteria, the phytoplankton and the zooplankton) over 5 days. We found a significant relationship between long-term accumulation of mussel biodeposits in sediments, water-column nutrient concentrations and plankton growth. Effects of mussel excretion were not detected, too weak to be significant given the spatial and temporal variability observed in the lagoon. Effects of mussels on the water column are thus likely to be coupled to benthic processes in such semi-enclosed water bodies.

  15. Potential for Local Fertilization: A Benthocosm Test of Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of Mussel Excretion on the Plankton.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Cherif

    Full Text Available Mussel aquaculture has expanded worldwide and it is important to assess its impact on the water column and the planktonic food web to determine the sustainability of farming practices. Mussel farming may affect the planktonic food web indirectly by excreting bioavailable nutrients in the water column (a short-term effect or by increasing nutrient effluxes from biodeposit-enriched sediments (a long-term effect. We tested both of these indirect effects in a lagoon by using plankton-enclosing benthocosms that were placed on the bottom of a shallow lagoon either inside of a mussel farm or at reference sites with no history of aquaculture. At each site, half of the benthocosms were enriched with seawater that had held mussels (excretion treatment, the other half received non-enriched seawater as a control treatment. We monitored nutrients ([PO43-] and [NH4+], dissolved oxygen and plankton components (bacteria, the phytoplankton and the zooplankton over 5 days. We found a significant relationship between long-term accumulation of mussel biodeposits in sediments, water-column nutrient concentrations and plankton growth. Effects of mussel excretion were not detected, too weak to be significant given the spatial and temporal variability observed in the lagoon. Effects of mussels on the water column are thus likely to be coupled to benthic processes in such semi-enclosed water bodies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekalski, Andrzej; Szwabiński, Janusz

    2014-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Food web interactions and nutrients dynamics in polyculture ponds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rahman, M.M.

    2006-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Microcystin in aquatic food webs of the Baltic and Chesapeake Bay regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukaveckas, Paul A.; Lesutienė, Jūratė; Gasiūnaitė, Zita R.; Ložys, Linas; Olenina, Irina; Pilkaitytė, Renata; Pūtys, Žilvinas; Tassone, Spencer; Wood, Joseph

    2017-05-01

    We undertook a comparative study of the James River Estuary, a sub-estuary of Chesapeake Bay, and the Curonian Lagoon, a sub-estuary of the Baltic Sea, to better understand the factors that determine the presence and persistence of algal toxins in food webs. Over a 2-year period, we measured microcystin concentrations in water, sediment and biota (fish and shellfish) at both sites. Across both food webs we found highest levels of microcystin among consumers of suspended particulate matter, including planktivorous fishes and filter-feeding shellfish, and lower levels of toxin among piscivores, scavengers and benthic omnivores. Despite similar levels of microcystin in the water column at the two sites, we observed higher toxin levels in fish and sediments of the Curonian Lagoon. We attribute this difference to the legacy of prior toxic cyanobacteria blooms in the Curonian Lagoon and hydrologic factors that result in a predominance of autochthonously-derived organic matter in the sediments at this site. Our results suggest that a consideration of species-specific differences in feeding habits, and organic matter sources supporting food webs are important to understanding the accumulation and persistence of algal toxins in food webs and should therefore be considered in assessment of risks to aquatic biota and human health.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. Carbon flows through a benthic food web: Integrating biomass, isotope and tracer data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Oevelen, D.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Middelburg, J.J.; Herman, P.M.J.; Moodley, L.; Hamels, I.; Moens, T.; Heip, C.H.R.

    2006-01-01

    The herbivorous, detrital and microbial pathways are major components of marine food webs. Although it is commonly recognized that these pathways can be linked in several ways, elucidating carbon transfers between or within these pathways remains a challenge. Intertidal flat communities are driven b

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Kędra

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. The role of a water bug, Sigara striata, in freshwater food webs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Klecka

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Freshwater food webs are dominated by aquatic invertebrates whose trophic relationships are often poorly known. Here, I used laboratory experiments to study the role of a water bug, Sigara striata, as a potential predator and prey in food webs of stagnant waters. Multiple-choice predation experiment revealed that Sigara, which had been considered mostly herbivorous, also consumed larvae of Chironomus midges. Because they often occur in high densities and are among the most ubiquitous aquatic insects, Sigara water bugs may be important predators in fresh waters. A second experiment tested the role of Sigara as a potential prey for 13 common invertebrate predators. Mortality of Sigara inflicted by different predators varied widely, especially depending on body mass, foraging mode (ambush/searching and feeding mode (chewing/suctorial of the predators. Sigara was highly vulnerable to ambush predators, while searching predators caused on average 8.1 times lower mortality of Sigara. Additionally, suctorial predators consumed on average 6.6 times more Sigara individuals than chewing predators, which supports previous results hinting on potentially different predation pressures of these two types of predators on prey populations. The importance of these two foraging-related traits demonstrates the need to move from body mass based to multiple trait based descriptions of food web structure. Overall, the results suggests that detailed experimental studies of common but insufficiently known species can significantly enhance our understanding of food web structure.

  20. Food-web stability signals critical transitions in temperate shallow lakes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuiper, Jan J.; van Altena, Cassandra; de Ruiter, P.C.; Van Gerven, Luuk P.A.; Janse, Jan H.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2015-01-01

    A principal aim of ecologists is to identify critical levels of environmental change beyond which ecosystems undergo radical shifts in their functioning. Both food-web theory and alternative stable states theory provide fundamental clues to mechanisms conferring stability to natural systems. Yet, it

  1. Food-web stability signals critical transitions in temperate shallow lakes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuiper, J.J.; Altena, Van Cassandra; Ruiter, De P.C.; Gerven, Van L.P.A.; Janse, J.H.; Mooij, W.M.

    2015-01-01

    A principal aim of ecologists is to identify critical levels of environmental change beyond which ecosystems undergo radical shifts in their functioning. Both food-web theory and alternative stable states theory provide fundamental clues to mechanisms conferring stability to natural systems. Yet,

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah B Vander Zanden

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Bohan

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-04-12

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

  12. Progress Towards a Global Understanding of Plankton Dynamics: The Global Alliance of CPR Surveys (GACS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batten, S.; Richardson, A.; Melrose, C.; Muxagata, E.; Hosie, G.; Verheye, H.; Hall, J.; Edwards, M.; Koubbi, P.; Abu-Alhaija, R.; Chiba, S.; Wilson, W.; Nagappa, R.; Takahashi, K.

    2016-02-01

    The Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) was first used in 1931 to routinely sample plankton and its continued deployment now sustains the longest-running, and spatially most extensive marine biological sampling programme in the world. Towed behind, for the most part commercial, ships it collects plankton samples from the surface waters that are subsequently analysed to provide taxonomically-resolved abundance data on a broad range of planktonic organisms from the size of coccolithophores to euphausiids. Plankton appear to integrate changes in the physical environment and by underpinning most marine food-webs, pass on this variability to higher trophic levels which have societal value. CPRs are deployed increasingly around the globe in discrete regional surveys that until recently interacted in an informal way. In 2011 the Global Alliance of CPR Surveys (GACS) was launched to bring these surveys together to collaborate more productively and address issues such as: methodological standardization, data integration, capacity building, and data analysis. Early products include a combined global database and regularly-released global marine ecological status reports. There are, of course, limitations to the exploitation of CPR data as well as the current geographic coverage. A current focus of GACS is integration of the data with models to meaningfully extrapolate across time and space. In this way the output could be used to provide more robust synoptic representations of key plankton variables. Recent years have also seen the CPR used as a platform in itself with the inclusion of additional sensors and water samplers that can sample the microplankton. The archive of samples has already been used for some molecular investigations and curation of samples is maintained for future studies. Thus the CPR is a key element of any regional to global ocean observing system of biodiversity.

  13. Food web structure and seasonality of slope megafauna in the NW Mediterranean elucidated by stable isotopes: Relationship with available food sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papiol, V.; Cartes, J. E.; Fanelli, E.; Rumolo, P.

    2013-03-01

    The food-web structure and seasonality of the dominant taxa of benthopelagic megafauna (fishes and decapods) on the middle slope of the Catalan Sea (Balearic Basin, NW Mediterranean) were investigated using the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of 29 species. Macrofauna (infauna, suprabenthos and zooplankton) were also analysed as potential prey. Samples were collected on a seasonal basis from 600 to 1000 m depth between February 2007 and February 2008. The fishes and decapods were classified into feeding groups based on the literature: benthic feeders (including suprabenthos) and zooplankton feeders, the latter further separated into migratory and non-migratory species. Decapods exhibited depleted δ15N and enriched δ13C compared to fishes. Annual mean δ13C of fishes ranged from - 19.15‰ (Arctozenus risso) to - 16.65‰ (Phycis blennoides) and of δ15N from 7.27‰ (Lampanyctus crocodilus) to 11.31‰ (Nezumia aequalis). Annual mean values of δ13C of decapods were from - 18.94‰ (Sergestes arcticus) to - 14.78‰ (Pontophilus norvegicus), and of δ15N from 6.36‰ (Sergia robusta) to 9.72‰ (Paromola cuvieri). Stable isotopes distinguished well amongst the 3 feeding guilds established a priori, pointing to high levels of resource partitioning in deep-sea communities. The trophic structure of the community was a function of the position of predators along the benthic-pelagic gradient, with benthic feeders isotopically enriched relative to pelagic feeders. This difference allowed the identification of two food webs based on pelagic versus benthic consumption. Prey and predator sizes were also important in structuring the community. The most generalised seasonal pattern was δ13C depletion from winter to spring and summer, especially amongst migratory macroplankton feeders. This suggests greater consumption of pelagic prey, likely related with increases in pelagic production or with ontogenic migrations of organisms from mid-water to the Benthic

  14. Food web of a confined and anthropogenically affected coastal basin (the Mar Piccolo of Taranto) revealed by carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongiorni, Lucia; Fiorentino, Federica; Auriemma, Rocco; Aubry, Fabrizio Bernardi; Camatti, Elisa; Camin, Federica; Nasi, Federica; Pansera, Marco; Ziller, Luca; Grall, Jacques

    2016-07-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis was used to examine the food web of the Mar Piccolo of Taranto, a coastal basin experiencing several anthropogenic impacts. Main food sources (algal detritus, seaweeds, particulate organic matter (POM) and sediment organic matter (SOM)) and benthic and pelagic consumers were collected during two contrasting seasons (June and April), at four sites distributed over two inlets, and characterized by different level of confinements, anthropogenic inputs and the presence of mussels farming. δ(13)C values of organic sources revealed an important contribution of POM to both planktonic and benthic pathways, as well as the influence of terrigenous inputs within both inlets, probably due to high seasonal land runoff. Although δ(13)C of both sources and consumers varied little between sampling sites and dates, δ(15)N spatial variability was higher and clearly reflected the organic enrichment in the second inlet as well as the uptake of anthropogenically derived material by benthic consumers. On the other hand, within the first inlet, the isotopic composition of consumers did not change in response to chemical contamination. However, the impact of polluted sediments near the Navy Arsenal in the first inlet was detectable at the level of the macrobenthic trophic structure, showing high dominance of motile, upper level consumers capable to face transient conditions and the reduction of the more resident deposit feeders. We therefore underline the great potential of matching stable isotope analysis with quantitative studies of community structure to assess the effects of multiple anthropogenic stressors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Soil food web structure after wood ash application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    the consequences of returning wood ash to biofuel producing coniferous forest. We that the change in pH and increased availability of nutrients after ash application to forest floor can facilitate an increase in the bacteria to fungi ratio with possible effects for the soil food by applying ash of different......In 2006, the European Council established a mandatory target of 20 % renewable energy of consumption by 2020. Part of the replacement is burning biomass for heating and electricity. ~ Whole tree biomass harvesting for biofuel combustion intensifies removal of nutrients from the by applying ash from...... the combustion back to the system and thus recycle the besides being rich in inorganic nutrients, ash is also very alkaline and contains heavy metals. The ASHBACK project (www.ashback.dk) is a cooperation between three Danish universities other research institutions and stake-holders that aims to investigate...

  19. 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.

  20. Biogeochemical fluxes and fate of diazotroph-derived nitrogen in the food web after a phosphate enrichment: modeling of the VAHINE mesocosms experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Audrey; Baklouti, Melika; Bonnet, Sophie; Moutin, Thierry

    2016-09-01

    The VAHINE mesocosm experiment in the oligotrophic waters of the Nouméa lagoon (New Caledonia), where high N2 fixation rates and abundant diazotroph organisms were observed, aimed to assess the role of the nitrogen input through N2 fixation in carbon production and export and to study the fate of diazotroph-derived nitrogen (DDN) throughout the planktonic food web. A 1-D vertical biogeochemical mechanistic model was used in addition to the in situ experiment to enrich our understanding of the dynamics of the planktonic ecosystem and the main biogeochemical carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphate (P) fluxes. The mesocosms were intentionally enriched with ˜ 0.8 µmol L-1 of inorganic P to trigger the development of diazotrophs and amplify biogeochemical fluxes. Two simulations were run, one with and the other without the phosphate enrichment. In the P-enriched simulation, N2 fixation, primary production (PP) and C export increased by 201, 208 and 87 %, respectively, consistent with the trends observed in the mesocosms (+124, +141 and +261 % for N2 fixation, PP and C export, respectively). In total, 5-10 days were necessary to obtain an increase in primary and export productions after the dissolved inorganic phosphate (DIP) enrichment, thereby suggesting that classical methods (short-term microcosms experiments) used to quantify nutrient limitations of primary production may not be relevant. The model enabled us to monitor the fate of fixed N2 by providing the proportion of DDN in each compartment (inorganic and organic) of the model over time. At the end of the simulation (25 days), 43 % of the DDN was found in the non-diazotroph organisms, 33 % in diazotrophs, 16 % in the dissolved organic nitrogen pool, 3 % in the particulate detrital organic pool and 5 % in traps, indicating that N2 fixation was of benefit to non-diazotrophic organisms and contributed to C export.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  6. Spatial variations in food web structures with alternative stable states: evidence from stable isotope analysis in a large eutrophic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yunkai; Zhang, Yuying; Xu, Jun; Zhang, Shuo

    2017-05-01

    Food web structures are well known to vary widely among ecosystems. Moreover, many food web studies of lakes have generally attempted to characterize the overall food web structure and have largely ignored internal spatial and environmental variations. In this study, we hypothesize that there is a high degree of spatial heterogeneity within an ecosystem and such heterogeneity may lead to strong variations in environmental conditions and resource availability, in turn resulting in different trophic pathways. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes were employed for the whole food web to describe the structure of the food web in different sub-basins within Taihu Lake. This lake is a large eutrophic freshwater lake that has been intensively managed and highly influenced by human activities for more than 50 years. The results show significant isotopic differences between basins with different environmental characteristics. Such differences likely result from isotopic baseline differences combining with a shift in food web structure. Both are related to local spatial heterogeneity in nutrient loading in waters. Such variation should be explicitly considered in future food web studies and ecosystem-based management in this lake ecosystem.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  11. 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.

  12. A stable isotope ( δ13C, δ15N) model for the North Water food web: implications for evaluating trophodynamics and the flow of energy and contaminants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, Keith A.; Fisk, Aaron; Karnovsky, Nina; Holst, Meike; Gagnon, Jean-Marc; Fortier, Martin

    The North Water Polynya is an area of high biological activity that supports large numbers of higher trophic-level organisms such as seabirds and marine mammals. An overall objective of the Upper Trophic-Level Group of the International North Water Polynya Study (NOW) was to evaluate carbon and contaminant flux through these high trophic-level (TL) consumers. Crucial to an evaluation of the role of such consumers, however, was the establishment of primary trophic linkages within the North Water food web. We used δ15N values of food web components from particulate organic matter (POM) through polar bears ( Ursus maritimus) to create a trophic-level model based on the assumptions that Calanus hyperboreus occupies TL 2.0 and there is a 2.4‰ trophic enrichment in 15N between birds and their diets, and a 3.8‰ trophic enrichment for all other components. This model placed the planktivorous dovekie ( Alle alle) at TL 3.3, ringed seal ( Phoca hispida) at TL 4.5, and polar bear at TL 5.5. The copepods C. hyperboreus, Chiridius glacialis and Euchaeta glacialis formed a trophic continuum (TL 2.0-3.0) from primary herbivore through omnivore to primary carnivore. Invertebrates were generally sorted according to planktonic, benthic and epibenthic feeding groups. Seabirds formed three trophic groups, with dovekie occupying the lowest, black-legged kittiwake ( Rissa tridactyla), northern fulmar ( Fulmarus glacialis), thick-billed murre ( Uria aalge), and ivory gull ( Pagophilia eburnea) intermediate (TL 3.9-4.0), and glaucous gull ( Larus hyperboreus) the highest (TL 4.6) trophic positions. Among marine mammals, walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus) occupied the lowest (TL 3.2) and bearded seal ( Erignathus barbatus), ringed seal, beluga whale ( Delphinapterus leucas), and narwhal ( Monodon monoceros) intermediate positions (TL 4.1-4.6). In addition to arctic cod ( Boreogadus saida), we suggest that lower trophic-level prey, in particular the amphipod Themisto libellula, contribute

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Andre; Mariani, Patrizio; Pigolotti, Simone

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Cerezo, Maria Isabel

    2015-11-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirtwill, Alyssa R; Stouffer, Daniel B

    2015-05-01

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

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celia Y Chen

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

  4. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jefferson T. Hinke

    2004-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, L; Verburg, Piet; Dixon, D G; Hecky, R E

    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 microg Hg/g wet weight. However, several fish species, Ctenochromis horei (average 0.15 microg/g ww), Neolamprologus boulengeri (0.2 microg/g ww) , Bathybates spp.spp. (0.21 microg/g ww), Mastacembelus cunningtoni (0.22 microg/g ww) and Clarias theodorae (0.22 microg/g ww) approached or slightly exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO)'s recommended guideline of 0.2 microg Hg/g for vulnerable populations with high rates of fish consumption. Two individuals of the piscivorous fish species Lates microlepis (0.54, 0.78 microg/g ww) and a Polypterus congicus (1.3 microg/g ww) exceeded the international marketing limit value of 0.5 microg/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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E Renaud

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liz Price

    2014-10-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Diet breadth influences how the impact of invasive plants is propagated through food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalheiro, Luisa G; Buckley, Yvonne M; Memmott, Jane

    2010-04-01

    Invasive plants are considered a major cause of ecosystem degradation worldwide. While their impacts on native plants have been widely reported, there is little information on how these impacts propagate through food webs and affect species at higher trophic levels. Using a quantitative food web approach we evaluated the impacts of an invasive plant on plant-herbivore-parasitoid communities, asking specifically how diet breadth influences the propagation of such impacts. Measuring the impact of the alien plant at the plant level seriously underestimated the community-level effect of this weed as it also caused changes in the abundance of native herbivores and parasitoids, along with a decrease in parasitoid species richness. The invading plant affected specialist and generalist subsets of communities differently, having significant and strong negative impacts on the abundance of all specialists with no negative effect on generalist consumers. Specialist consumer decline led to further disruptions of top-down regulatory mechanisms, releasing generalist species from competition via shared natural enemies. Plant invasion also significantly increased the evenness of species abundance of all trophic levels in the food webs, as well as the evenness of species interaction frequency. Extending impact evaluation to higher trophic levels and considering changes in trophic diversity within levels is hence essential for a full evaluation of the consequences of invasion by alien plants. Moreover, information on diet breadth of species in the invaded community should be taken into account when evaluating/predicting the impacts on any introduced species.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Annekatrin; Benndorf, Jürgen

    2007-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Mark C

    2013-07-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, X.; Cohen, J. E.

    2001-01-01

    How does the long-term behaviour near equilibrium of model food webs correlate with their short-term transient dynamics? Here, simulations of the Lotka -Volterra cascade model of food webs provide the first evidence to answer this question. Transient behaviour is measured by resilience, reactivity, the maximum amplification of a perturbation and the time at which the maximum amplification occurs. Model food webs with a higher probability of local asymptotic stability may be less resilient and may have a larger transient growth of perturbations. Given a fixed connectance, the sizes and durations of transient responses to perturbations increase with the number of species. Given a fixed number of species, as connectance increases, the sizes and durations of transient responses to perturbations may increase or decrease depending on the type of link that is varied. Reactivity is more sensitive to changes in the number of donor-controlled links than to changes in the number of recipient-controlled links, while resilience is more sensitive to changes in the number of recipient-controlled links than to changes in the number of donor-controlled links. Transient behaviour is likely to be one of the important factors affecting the persistence of ecological communities. PMID:11345334

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, X; Cohen, J E

    2001-04-22

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-09-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Predator effects on a detritus‐based food web are primarily mediated by non‐trophic interactions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Majdi, Nabil; Boiché, Anatole; Traunspurger, Walter; Lecerf, Antoine; Rudolf, Volker

    2014-01-01

    .... Multiple lines of evidence suggest that, in detritus‐based food webs, non‐trophic interactions may prevail over purely trophic interactions in determining predator effects on plant litter decomposition...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Phylogenetic composition of host plant communities drives plant-herbivore food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volf, Martin; Pyszko, Petr; Abe, Tomokazu; Libra, Martin; Kotásková, Nela; Šigut, Martin; Kumar, Rajesh; Kaman, Ondřej; Butterill, Philip T; Šipoš, Jan; Abe, Haruka; Fukushima, Hiroaki; Drozd, Pavel; Kamata, Naoto; Murakami, Masashi; Novotny, Vojtech

    2017-05-01

    Insects tend to feed on related hosts. The phylogenetic composition of host plant communities thus plays a prominent role in determining insect specialization, food web structure, and diversity. Previous studies showed a high preference of insect herbivores for congeneric and confamilial hosts suggesting that some levels of host plant relationships may play more prominent role that others. We aim to quantify the effects of host phylogeny on the structure of quantitative plant-herbivore food webs. Further, we identify specific patterns in three insect guilds with different life histories and discuss the role of host plant phylogeny in maintaining their diversity. We studied herbivore assemblages in three temperate forests in Japan and the Czech Republic. Sampling from a canopy crane, a cherry picker and felled trees allowed a complete census of plant-herbivore interactions within three 0·1 ha plots for leaf chewing larvae, miners, and gallers. We analyzed the effects of host phylogeny by comparing the observed food webs with randomized models of host selection. Larval leaf chewers exhibited high generality at all three sites, whereas gallers and miners were almost exclusively monophagous. Leaf chewer generality dropped rapidly when older host lineages (5-80 myr) were collated into a single lineage but only decreased slightly when the most closely related congeneric hosts were collated. This shows that leaf chewer generality has been maintained by feeding on confamilial hosts while only a few herbivores were shared between more distant plant lineages and, surprisingly, between some congeneric hosts. In contrast, miner and galler generality was maintained mainly by the terminal nodes of the host phylogeny and dropped immediately after collating congeneric hosts into single lineages. We show that not all levels of host plant phylogeny are equal in their effect on structuring plant-herbivore food webs. In the case of generalist guilds, it is the phylogeny of deeper

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler B Muhly

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

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Shevtsov

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nenzén, Hedvig K; 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 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.

  17. Disentangling the root- and detritus-based food chain in the micro-food web of an arable soil by plant removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavatska, Olena; Müller, Karolin; Butenschoen, Olaf; Schmalwasser, Andreas; Kandeler, Ellen; Scheu, Stefan; Totsche, Kai Uwe; Ruess, Liliane

    2017-01-01

    Soil food web structure and function is primarily determined by the major basal resources, which are living plant tissue, root exudates and dead organic matter. A field experiment was performed to disentangle the interlinkage of the root-and detritus-based soil food chains. An arable site was cropped either with maize, amended with maize shoot litter or remained bare soil, representing food webs depending on roots, aboveground litter and soil organic matter as predominant resource, respectively. The soil micro-food web, i.e. microorganisms and nematodes, was investigated in two successive years along a depth transect. The community composition of nematodes was used as model to determine the changes in the rhizosphere, detritusphere and bulk soil food web. In the first growing season the impact of treatments on the soil micro-food web was minor. In the second year plant-feeding nematodes increased under maize, whereas after harvest the Channel Index assigned promotion of the detritivore food chain, reflecting decomposition of root residues. The amendment with litter did not foster microorganisms, instead biomass of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as that of fungi declined in the rooted zone. Likely higher grazing pressure by nematodes reduced microbial standing crop as bacterial and fungal feeders increased. However, populations at higher trophic levels were not promoted, indicating limited flux of litter resources along the food chain. After two years of bare soil microbial biomass and nematode density remained stable, pointing to soil organic matter-based resources that allow bridging periods with deprivation. Nematode communities were dominated by opportunistic taxa that are competitive at moderate resource supply. In sum, removal of plants from the system had less severe effects than expected, suggesting considerable food web resilience to the disruption of both the root and detrital carbon channel, pointing to a legacy of organic matter

  18. Nutrient Enrichment and Food Web Composition Affect Ecosystem Metabolism in an Experimental Seagrass Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spivak, Amanda C.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Richardson, J. Paul

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wipfli, Mark S.; Baxter, Colden V.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. PRELIMINARY STUDIES ON THE ROLE OF PROTOZOA IN THE FOOD WEB OF DONGHU LAKE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Plankton from Station I of Donghu Lake, an eutrophic lake, was divided into three groups (2-32 μm, 32-112 μm and >112 μm) by filtering the water sample through 2, 32, 112 μm pores. It was supposed that the 2-32 μm Protozoa (group 1) was fed on by the 32-112 μm Protozoa and small rotifers (group 2) and >112 μm large rotifers, cladocerans and copepods (group 3). The feeding rate of zooplankton in situ was estimated by counting the protozoan individuals and also by the 14C-NaHCO3 method. The P/B ratio of the small Protozoa (group 1) was 2.9 for 6 h and 1.2 for 24 h. The feeding rate of the 32-112 μm zooplankton on small Protozoa (2-32 μm) was about 2/3 the total feeding rate of zooplankton, and that of >112 μm zooplankton on the 2-32 μm Protozoa was 1/3 of the total feeding rate. The lower the density of feeders, the higher were the feeding rates. The daily production of the 2-32 μm protozoans was 1.559 mg/L, which equaled to 25% of the daily food consumption of other zooplankton. Isotope experiments showed result similar to that from the above direct counting method.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  4. Molecular trophic markers in marine food webs and their potential use for coral ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Miguel Costa; Ferrier-Pagès, Christine

    2016-10-01

    Notable advances in ecological genomics have been driven by high-throughput sequencing technology and taxonomically broad sequence repositories that allow us to accurately assess species interactions with great taxonomic resolution. The use of DNA as a marker for ingested food is particularly relevant to address predator-prey interactions and disentangle complex marine food webs. DNA-based methods benefit from reductionist molecular approaches to address ecosystem scale processes, such as community structure and energy flow across trophic levels, among others. Here we review how molecular trophic markers have been used to better understand trophic interactions in the marine environment and their advantages and limitations. We focus on animal groups where research has been focused, such as marine mammals, seabirds, fishes, pelagic invertebrates and benthic invertebrates, and use case studies to illustrate how DNA-based methods unraveled food-web interactions. The potential of molecular trophic markers for disentangling the complex trophic ecology of corals is also discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The Influence of Terrestrial Matter in Marine Food Webs of the Beaufort Sea Shelf and Slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, L.; Iken, K.; Bluhm, B.

    2016-02-01

    Forecasted increases in terrestrial organic matter (OMterr) inputs to the Beaufort Sea necessitate a better understanding of the contribution of this organic matter food source to the trophic structure of marine communities. This study investigated the relative ecological importance of OMterr across the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope by examining differences in community trophic structure concurrent with variation in terrestrial versus marine organic matter influence. Interannual variability in organism trophic level was assessed to confirm the persistent impact of these large-scale patterns in food source distribution on marine consumers. Oxygen stable isotope ratios (δ18O) of surface water confirmed the widespread influence of Canada's Mackenzie River plume across the Beaufort Sea. Carbon stable isotope ratios (δ13C values) of pelagic particulate organic matter (pPOM) and marine consumers from locations ranging from 20 to 1000 m bottom depth revealed a strong isotopic imprint of OMterr in the eastern Beaufort Sea, which decreased westward from the Mackenzie River. Food web length, based on the nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ15N values) of marine consumers, was greater closer to the Mackenzie River outflow both in shelf and slope locations due to relatively higher δ15N values of pelagic and benthic primary consumers. Strong microbial processing of OMterr in the eastern regions of the Beaufort Sea is inferred based on a trophic gap between sources and lower trophic consumers. A large proportion of epifaunal biomass occupying higher trophic levels suggests that OMterr as a basal food source can provide substantial energetic support for higher marine trophic levels. These findings support the concept that terrestrial matter is an important source in the Arctic marine food web, and compel a more specific understanding of energy transfer through the OMterr-associated microbial loop.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Julie A.; Safi, Karl

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

  14. THE CONTRIBUTION OF MICROARTHROPODS TO ABOVE GROUND FOOD WEBS: A REVIEW AND MODEL OF BELOW GROUND TRANSFER IN A CONIFEROUS FOREST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although belowground food webs have received much attention, studies concerning microarthropods in nondetrital food webs are scarce. Because adult oribatid mites often number between 250,000-500,000/m(2) in coniferous forests, microarthropods are a potential food resource for mic...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Andy

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Andy

    2009-06-27

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Qualitative importance of the microbial loop and plankton community structure in a eutropic lake during a bloom of Cyanobacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christoffersen, K.

    1990-01-01

    Plankton community structure and m~or pools and fluxes of carbon were observed before and after culmination of a bloom of cyanobacteria in eutrophic Frederiksborg Slotsso, Denmark. Biomass changes of heterotrophic nanoflagellates, ciliates, microzooplankton (50 to 140 urn), and macrozooplankton...... (larger than 140 Urn) were compared to phytoplankton and bacterial production as well as micro- and macrozooplankton ingestion rates of phytoplankton and bacteria. The carbon budget was used as a means to examine causal relationships in the plankton community. Phytoplankton biomass decreased and algae......, supporting the idea that ciliates are an important link between bacteria and higher trophic levels. During and after the bloom of Aphanizornenon, major fluxes of carbon between bacteria, ciliates and crustaceans were observed, and heterotrophic nanoflagellates played a minor role in the pelagic food web...

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants in a deep-sea, temperate food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Romero, Sonia; Herrero, Laura; Fernández, Mario; Gómara, Belén; Acuña, José Luis

    2017-12-15

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -furans (PCDD/Fs) were measured in a temperate, deep-sea ecosystem, the Avilés submarine Canyon (AC; Cantabrian Sea, Southern Bay of Biscay). There was an increase of contaminant concentration with the trophic level of the organisms, as calculated from stable nitrogen isotope data (δ(15)N). Such biomagnification was only significant for the pelagic food web and its magnitude was highly dependent on the type of top predators included in the analysis. The trophic magnification factor (TMF) for PCB-153 in the pelagic food web (spanning four trophic levels) was 6.2 or 2.2, depending on whether homeotherm top predators (cetaceans and seabirds) were included or not in the analysis, respectively. Since body size is significantly correlated with δ(15)N, it can be used as a proxy to estimate trophic magnification, what can potentially lead to a simple and convenient method to calculate the TMF. In spite of their lower biomagnification, deep-sea fishes showed higher concentrations than their shallower counterparts, although those differences were not significant. In summary, the AC fauna exhibits contaminant levels comparable or lower than those reported in other systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A Schlacher

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrantes, Kátya; Sheaves, Marcus

    2008-11-01

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

  14. Changes in fish diets and food web mercury bioaccumulation induced by an invasive planktivorous fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Suchanek, Thomas H.; Colwell, Arthur E.; Anderson, Norman L.; Moyle, Peter B.

    2008-01-01

    The invasion, boom, collapse, and reestablishment of a population of the planktivorous threadfin shad in Clear Lake, California, USA, were documented over a 20-year period, as were the effects of changing shad populations on diet and mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in nearshore fishes. Threadfin shad competitively displaced other planktivorous fish in the lake, such as inland silversides, young-of-year (YOY) largemouth bass, and YOY bluegill, by reducing zooplankton abundance. As a result, all three species shifted from a diet that was dominated by zooplankton to one that was almost entirely zoobenthos. Stable carbon isotopes corroborated this pattern with each species becoming enriched in δ13C, which is elevated in benthic vs. pelagic organisms. Concomitant with these changes, Hg concentrations increased by ∼50% in all three species. In contrast, obligate benthivores such as prickly sculpin showed no relationship between diet or δ13C and the presence of threadfin shad, suggesting that effects of the shad were not strongly linked to the benthic fish community. There were also no changes in Hg concentrations of prickly sculpin. The temporary extirpation of threadfin shad from the lake resulted in zooplankton densities, foraging patterns, isotope ratios, and Hg concentrations in pelagic fishes returning to pre-shad values. These results indicate that even transient perturbations of the structure of freshwater food webs can result in significant alterations in the bioaccumulation of Hg and that food webs in lakes can be highly resilient.

  15. Mismatch between marine plankton range movements and the velocity of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chivers, William J.; Walne, Anthony W.; Hays, Graeme C.

    2017-01-01

    The response of marine plankton to climate change is of critical importance to the oceanic food web and fish stocks. We use a 60-year ocean basin-wide data set comprising >148,000 samples to reveal huge differences in range changes associated with climate change across 35 plankton taxa. While the range of dinoflagellates and copepods tended to closely track the velocity of climate change (the rate of isotherm movement), the range of the diatoms moved much more slowly. Differences in range shifts were up to 900 km in a recent warming period, with average velocities of range movement between 7 km per decade northwards for taxa exhibiting niche plasticity and 99 km per decade for taxa exhibiting niche conservatism. The differing responses of taxa to global warming will cause spatial restructuring of the plankton ecosystem with likely consequences for grazing pressures on phytoplankton and hence for biogeochemical cycling, higher trophic levels and biodiversity. PMID:28186097

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jiang-Ping; Luo, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Ying; Yu, Mei; Chen, She-Jun; Mai, Bi-Xian; Yang, Zhong-Yi

    2009-03-01

    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 logK(OW) (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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-15

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

  18. Food Web Responses to Artificial Mixing in a Small Boreal Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauri Arvola

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to simulate food web responses of small boreal lakes to changes in thermal stratification due to global warming, a 4 year whole-lake manipulation experiment was performed. Within that time, period lake mixing was intensified artificially during two successive summers. Complementary data from a nearby lake of similar size and basic water chemistry were used as a reference. Phytoplankton biomass and chlorophyll a did not respond to the greater mixing depth but an increase was observed in the proportional abundance of diatoms, and the proportional abundance of cryptophytes also increased immediately after the onset of mixing. Obligate anoxic green sulphur bacteria vanished at the onset of mixing but gradually recovered after re-establishment of hypolimnetic anoxic conditions. No major effect on crustacean zooplankton was found, but their diversity increased in the metalimnion. During the mixing, the density of rotifers declined but protozoan density increased in the hypolimnion. Littoral benthic invertebrate density increased during the mixing due to Ephemeroptera, Asellus aquaticus and Chironomidae, whereas the density of Chaoborus larvae declined during mixing and lower densities were still recorded one year after the treatment. No structural changes in fish community were found although gillnet catches increased after the onset of the study. The early growth of perch (Perca fluviatilis increased compared to the years before the mixing and in comparison to the reference lake, suggesting improved food availability in the experimental lake. Although several food web responses to the greater mixing depth were found, their persistence and ecological significance were strongly dependent on the extent of the disturbance. To better understand the impacts of wind stress on small lakes, long term whole-lake experiments are needed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  2. Barium in planktonic foraminifera

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lea, D.W.; Boyle, E.A. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge (United States))

    1991-11-01

    Reconstructions of Ba distributions in ancient oceanic surface waters could provide new insight into paleoceanographic change. Calcite shells of planktonic foraminifera potentially provide a means of reconstructing such paleo-Ba distributions if lattice-bound Ba can be determined on shells recovered from deep-sea cores. Planktonic foraminifera shells from a series of cores were purified of non-lattice-bound Ba associated with organic or sedimentary phases by a combination of physical agitation, oxidative-reductive steps, acid leaches, and a novel alkaline-DTPA step to dissolve barite. A sequential dissolution of a large sample of cleaned shells of the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides conglobatus indicates homogeneous distribution of Ba in the shell material. Comparison of shells from sediments, sediment traps, and plankton tows indicates no significant differences in the Ba content of the purified shells. Variation in foraminiferal Ba contents between the Pacific, Atlantic, and Mediterranean Sea is consistent with the trend in surface seawater Ba. The calculated distribution coefficient for Ba incorporation in five species based on these data is 0.19 {plus minus} 0.05. Several species of the non-spinose planktonic foraminifera Globorotalia have Ba/Ca ratios ranging from 2 to 13 {mu}mol; these high Ba contents might be explained by differences in the way these foraminifera precipitate their shells. A temporal record of Ba/Ca in samples of Globigerinoides and Orbulina from a core in the northwest Atlantic suggests that the Ba concentration of surface waters at this site has not changed by more than 20% over the last 14 kyr.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  5. The bioenergetic consequences of invasive-induced food web disruption to Lake Ontario alewives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Thomas J.; O'Gorman, Robert; Sprules, W. Gary; Lantry, B.F.

    2010-01-01

    Alewives Alosa pseudoharengus are the dominant prey fish in Lake Ontario, and their response to ecological change can alter the structure and function of the Lake Ontario food web. Using stochastic population-based bioenergetic models of Lake Ontario alewives for 1987–1991 and 2001–2005, we evaluated changes to alewife production, consumption, and associated bioenergetic ratios after invasive-induced food web disruption. After the disruption, mean biomass of alewives declined from 28.0 to 14.6 g/m2, production declined from 40.8 to 13.6 g·m−2·year−1, and consumption declined from 342.1 to 137.2 g·m−2·year−1, but bootstrapping of error sources suggested that the changes were not statistically significant. Population-based bioenergetic ratios of production to biomass (P/B ratio), total consumption to biomass (Q/B ratio), and production efficiency did not change. Pathways of energy flow measured as prey-group-specific Q/B ratios changed significantly between the two time periods for invasive predatory cladocerans (from 0.6 to 1.3), Mysis diluviana (from 0.4 to 2.5), and other prey (from 0.8 to 0.1), but the observed decline in the zooplankton Q/B ratio (from 10.6 to 5.5) was not significant. Gross production efficiency did not change; values ranged from 8% to 15%. Age-group mean gross conversion efficiency (GCE) declined with age; GCE ranged from 7.5% to 11.0% for yearlings, was approximately 5% for age-2 alewives, and was less than 2% for age-3 and older alewives. The GCE increased significantly between the time periods for yearling alewives. Our analyses support the hypothesis that after 2003, alewives could not sustain their growth while feeding on zooplankton closer to shore. Modeling of observed spatial variation in diet and alternative occupied temperatures demonstrates the potential for reducing consumption by alewives. Our results suggest that Lake Ontario alewives can exploit spatial heterogeneity in resource patches and thermal habitat to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heymans, Johanna Jacomina; Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy

    2014-01-01

    Background Ecological attributes estimated from food web models have the potential to be indicators of good environmental status given their capabilities to describe redundancy, food web changes, and sensitivity to fishing. They can be used as a baseline to show how they might be modified in the future with human impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, or overfishing. Methodology In this study ecological network analysis indicators of 105 marine food web models were tested for variation with traits such as ecosystem type, latitude, ocean basin, depth, size, time period, and exploitation state, whilst also considering structural properties of the models such as number of linkages, number of living functional groups or total number of functional groups as covariate factors. Principal findings Eight indicators were robust to model construction: relative ascendency; relative overhead; redundancy; total systems throughput (TST); primary production/TST; consumption/TST; export/TST; and total biomass of the community. Large-scale differences were seen in the ecosystems of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with the Western Atlantic being more complex with an increased ability to mitigate impacts, while the Eastern Atlantic showed lower internal complexity. In addition, the Eastern Pacific was less organised than the Eastern Atlantic although both of these systems had increased primary production as eastern boundary current systems. Differences by ecosystem type highlighted coral reefs as having the largest energy flow and total biomass per unit of surface, while lagoons, estuaries, and bays had lower transfer efficiencies and higher recycling. These differences prevailed over time, although some traits changed with fishing intensity. Keystone groups were mainly higher trophic level species with mostly top-down effects, while structural/dominant groups were mainly lower trophic level groups (benthic primary producers such as seagrass and macroalgae

  7. 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

  8. Assimilation of aged organic carbon in a glacial river food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellman, J.; Hood, E. W.; Raymond, P. A.; Bozeman, M.; Hudson, J.; Arimitsu, M.

    2013-12-01

    Identifying the key sources of organic carbon supporting fish and invertebrate consumers is fundamental to our understanding of stream ecosystems. Recent laboratory bioassays highlight that aged organic carbon from glacier environments is highly bioavailable to stream bacteria relative to carbon originating from ice-free areas. However, there is little evidence suggesting that this aged, bioavailable organic carbon is also a key basal carbon source for stream metazoa. We used natural abundance of Δ14C, δ13C, and δ15N to determine if fish and invertebrate consumers are subsidized by aged organic carbon in a glacial river in southeast Alaska. We collected biofilm, leaf litter, three different species of macroinvertebrates, and resident juvenile salmonids from a reference stream and two sites (one site is directly downstream of the glacial outflow and one site is upstream of the tidal estuary) on the heavily glaciated Herbert River. Key producers, fish, and invertebrate consumers in the reference stream had carbon isotope values that ranged from -26 to -30‰ for δ13C and from -12 to 53‰ for Δ14C, reflecting a food web sustained mainly on contemporary primary production. In contrast, biofilm in the two glacial sites was highly Δ14C depleted (-203 to -215‰) relative to the reference site. Although biofilm may consist of both bacteria and benthic algae utilizing carbon depleted in Δ14C, δ13C values for biofilm (-24.1‰), dissolved inorganic carbon (-5.9‰), and dissolved organic carbon (-24.0‰) suggest that biofilm consist of bacteria sustained in part by glacier-derived, aged organic carbon. Invertebrate consumers (mean Δ14C of -80.5, mean δ13C of -26.5) and fish (mean Δ14C of -63.3, mean δ13C of -25.7) in the two glacial sites had carbon isotope values similar to biofilm. These results similarly show that aged organic carbon is incorporated into the metazoan food web. Overall, our findings indicate that continued watershed deglaciation and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-01-15

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

  13. 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.

  14. A Web site-based reporting system for monitoring home treatment during oral immunotherapy for food allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachshon, Liat; Goldberg, Michael R; Elizur, Arnon; Levy, Michael B; Schwartz, Naama; Katz, Yitzhak

    2015-06-01

    Reactions during the home treatment phase of oral immunotherapy (OIT) are not uncommon. An ongoing accurate reporting of home treatment outcomes is crucial for the safety and success of OIT. Previous reports have shown that as few as 20% of patients are truly compliant with paper-based diaries. To develop a Web site-based electronic reporting system (web-RS) for monitoring home treatment during OIT for food allergy. A web-RS was developed and incorporated a thorough questionnaire querying for pertinent data including the dose(s) consumed, occurrence and details of adverse reactions, treatment(s), and relevant potential exacerbating factors. All patients enrolled in milk, peanut, or egg OIT programs for at least 4 weeks from November 2012 through January 2014 were introduced to web-RS (n = 157). Successful reporting through web-RS was defined by consecutive reporting during the first home treatment phase (24 days) after its introduction. Comparisons were made with a previous group of OIT-treated patients (n = 100) who reported by E-mail. Successful reporting was achieved by 142 of 157 patients (90.44%) in contrast to a 75% success rate with E-mail (P = .0009). The odds for successful reporting using web-RS were 3.1 (95% confidence interval 1.6-6.3) times higher compared with using E-mail. Mild reactions were reported more frequently with web-RS (P = .0032). Patient reports were constantly available in real time for medical staff review. No complaints regarding web-RS feasibility were reported. One risk factor for failure to use web-RS was a patient's prior successful OIT experience without using web-RS (P = .012). A web-RS can be a powerful tool for improving OIT safety by achieving a high level of patient cooperation in reporting home treatment results. Copyright © 2015 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Effects of experimental seaweed deposition on lizard and ant predation in an island food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2011-01-28

    The effect of environmental change on ecosystems is mediated by species interactions. Environmental change may remove or add species and shift life-history events, altering which species interact at a given time. However, environmental change may also reconfigure multispecies interactions when both species composition and phenology remain intact. In a Caribbean island system, a major manifestation of environmental change is seaweed deposition, which has been linked to eutrophication, overfishing, and hurricanes. Here, we show in a whole-island field experiment that without seaweed two predators--lizards and ants--had a substantially greater-than-additive effect on herbivory. When seaweed was added to mimic deposition by hurricanes, no interactive predator effect occurred. Thus environmental change can substantially restructure food-web interactions, complicating efforts to predict anthropogenic changes in ecosystem processes.

  16. Species response to environmental change: impacts of food web interactions and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Jason P; Moran, Nancy A; Ives, Anthony R

    2009-03-01

    How environmental change affects species abundances depends on both the food web within which species interact and their potential to evolve. Using field experiments, we investigated both ecological and evolutionary responses of pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum), a common agricultural pest, to increased frequency of episodic heat shocks. One predator species ameliorated the decrease in aphid population growth with increasing heat shocks, whereas a second predator did not, with this contrast caused by behavioral differences between predators. We also compared aphid strains with stably inherited differences in heat tolerance caused by bacterial endosymbionts and showed the potential for rapid evolution for heat-shock tolerance. Our results illustrate how ecological and evolutionary complexities should be incorporated into predictions of the consequences of environmental change for species' populations.

  17. Rapid evolution buffers ecosystem impacts of viruses in a microbial food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennon, Jay T; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2008-11-01

    Predation and parasitism often regulate population dynamics, community interactions, and ecosystem functioning. The strength of these top-down pressures is variable, however, and may be influenced by both ecological and evolutionary processes. We conducted a chemostat experiment to assess the direct and indirect effects of viruses on a marine microbial food web comprised of an autotrophic host (Synechococcus) and non-target heterotrophic bacteria. Viruses dramatically altered the host population dynamics, which in turn influenced phosphorus resource availability and the stoichiometric allocation of nutrients into microbial biomass. These virus effects diminished with time, but could not be attributed to changes in the abundance or composition of heterotrophic bacteria. Instead, attenuation of the virus effects coincided with the detection of resistant host phenotypes, suggesting that rapid evolution buffered the effect of viruses on nutrient cycling. Our results demonstrate that evolutionary processes are important for community dynamics and ecosystem processes on ecologically relevant time scales.

  18. Contrasting time trends of organic contaminants in Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brink, Nico W; Riddle, Martin J; van den Heuvel-Greve, Martine; van Franeker, Jan Andries

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate that pelagic Antarctic seabirds show significant decreases in concentrations of some persistent organic pollutants. Trends in Adélie penguins and Southern fulmars fit in a general pattern revealed by a broad literature review. Downward trends are also visible in pelagic fish, contrasting sharply with steady or increasing concentrations in Antarctic benthic organisms. Transfer of contaminants between Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs is associated with seasonal sea-ice dynamics which may influence the balance between the final receptors of contaminants under different climatic conditions. This complicates the predictability of future trends of emerging compounds in the Antarctic ecosystem, such as of the brominated compounds that we detected in Antarctic petrels. The discrepancy in trends between pelagic and benthic organisms shows that Antarctic biota are still final receptors of globally released organic contaminants and it remains questionable whether the total environmental burden of contaminants in the Antarctic ecosystem is declining.

  19. 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.

  20. Global Multi-Level Analysis of the ‘Scientific Food Web'

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. The delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic food web: Why sea ice matters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pucko, M.; Stern, Gary; Macdonald, Robie

    2015-01-01

    For decades sea ice has been perceived as a physical barrier for the loading of contaminants to the Arctic Ocean. We show that sea ice, in fact, facilitates the delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic marine food web through processes that: 1) are independent of contaminant physical......–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...

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niiranen, Susa; Yletyinen, Johanna; Tomczak, Maciej T; Blenckner, Thorsten; Hjerne, Olle; Mackenzie, Brian R; Müller-Karulis, Bärbel; Neumann, Thomas; Meier, H E Markus

    2013-11-01

    Changes in climate, in combination with intensive exploitation of marine resources, have caused large-scale reorganizations in many of the world's marine ecosystems during the past decades. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is one of the systems most affected. In addition to being exposed to persistent eutrophication, intensive fishing, and one of the world's fastest rates of warming in the last two decades of the 20th century, accelerated climate change including atmospheric warming and changes in precipitation is projected for this region during the 21st century. Here, we used a new multimodel approach to project how the interaction of climate, nutrient loads, and cod fishing may affect the future of the open Central Baltic Sea food web. Regionally downscaled global climate scenarios were, in combination with three nutrient load scenarios, used to drive an ensemble of three regional biogeochemical models (BGMs). An Ecopath with Ecosim food web model was then forced with the BGM results from different nutrient-climate scenarios in combination with two different cod fishing scenarios. The results showed that regional management is likely to play a major role in determining the future of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. By the end of the 21st century, for example, the combination of intensive cod fishing and high nutrient loads projected a strongly eutrophicated and sprat-dominated ecosystem, whereas low cod fishing in combination with low nutrient loads resulted in a cod-dominated ecosystem with eutrophication levels close to present. Also, nonlinearities were observed in the sensitivity of different trophic groups to nutrient loads or fishing depending on the combination of the two. Finally, many climate variables and species biomasses were projected to levels unseen in the past. Hence, the risk for ecological surprises needs to be addressed, particularly when the results are discussed in the ecosystem-based management context.

  5. Arsenic in stream waters is bioaccumulated but neither biomagnified through food webs nor biodispersed to land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepp, Luiz U; Pratas, João A M S; Graça, Manuel A S

    2017-05-01

    Human activities such as mining have contributed substantially to the increase of metals in aquatic environments worldwide. These metals are bioaccumulated by aquatic organisms and can be biomagnified along trophic webs. The dispersal of contaminants from water to land has been little investigated, even though most aquatic invertebrates in streams have aerial stages. We used field and laboratory approaches to investigate the effects of arsenic pollution on stream invertebrate assemblages, and its bioaccumulation, biomagnification and trophic transfer from aquatic to terrestrial environments by emergent insects. We conducted the study in an arsenic-impacted stream (40μgL(-1) As at the most polluted site) and a reference stream (0.3μgL(-1) As). Invertebrate abundance and richness were lowest at the most impacted site. Arsenic in biofilm and in invertebrates increased with the arsenic content in the water. The highest arsenic accumulators were bryophytes (1760μgg(-1)), followed by the biofilm (449μgg(-1)) and shredder invertebrates (313μgg(-1)); predators had the lowest arsenic concentration. Insects emerging from water and spiders along streambanks sampled from the reference and the impacted stream did not differ in their body arsenic concentrations. In the laboratory, the shredder Sericostoma vittatum had reduced feeding rates when exposed to water from the impacted stream in comparison with the reference stream (15.6 vs. 19.0mg leaves mg body mass(-1) day(-1); pfood, not through contact with water. We concluded that although arsenic is bioaccumulated, mainly by food ingestion, it is not biomagnified through food webs and is not transported from the aquatic to terrestrial environment when insects leave the stream water. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Tracing carbon flow through coral reef food webs using a compound-specific stable isotope approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kelton W; Thorrold, Simon R; Houghton, Leah A; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-03-01

    Coral reefs support spectacularly productive and diverse communities in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world's oceans. Debate continues, however, on the degree to which reef biomass is supported by new water column production, benthic primary production, and recycled detrital carbon (C). We coupled compound-specific stable C isotope ratio (δ(13)C) analyses with Bayesian mixing models to quantify C flow from primary producers to coral reef fishes across multiple feeding guilds and trophic positions in the Red Sea. Analyses of reef fishes with putative diets composed primarily of zooplankton (Amblyglyphidodon indicus), benthic macroalgae (Stegastes nigricans), reef-associated detritus (Ctenochaetus striatus), and coral tissue (Chaetodon trifascialis) confirmed that δ(13)C values of essential amino acids from all baseline C sources were both isotopically diagnostic and accurately recorded in consumer tissues. While all four source end-members contributed to the production of coral reef fishes in our study, a single-source end-member often dominated dietary C assimilation of a given species, even for highly mobile, generalist top predators. Microbially reworked detritus was an important secondary C source for most species. Seascape configuration played an important role in structuring resource utilization patterns. For instance, Lutjanus ehrenbergii showed a significant shift from a benthic macroalgal food web on shelf reefs (71 ± 13 % of dietary C) to a phytoplankton-based food web (72 ± 11 %) on oceanic reefs. Our work provides insights into the roles that diverse C sources play in the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and illustrates a powerful fingerprinting method to develop and test nutritional frameworks for understanding resource utilization.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Tracing carbon flow through coral reef food webs using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton

    2015-11-21

    Coral reefs support spectacularly productive and diverse communities in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world’s oceans. Debate continues, however, on the degree to which reef biomass is supported by new water column production, benthic primary production, and recycled detrital carbon (C). We coupled compound-specific stable C isotope ratio (δ13C) analyses with Bayesian mixing models to quantify C flow from primary producers to coral reef fishes across multiple feeding guilds and trophic positions in the Red Sea. Analyses of reef fishes with putative diets composed primarily of zooplankton (Amblyglyphidodon indicus), benthic macroalgae (Stegastes nigricans), reef-associated detritus (Ctenochaetus striatus), and coral tissue (Chaetodon trifascialis) confirmed that δ13C values of essential amino acids from all baseline C sources were both isotopically diagnostic and accurately recorded in consumer tissues. While all four source end-members contributed to the production of coral reef fishes in our study, a single-source end-member often dominated dietary C assimilation of a given species, even for highly mobile, generalist top predators. Microbially reworked detritus was an important secondary C source for most species. Seascape configuration played an important role in structuring resource utilization patterns. For instance, Lutjanus ehrenbergii showed a significant shift from a benthic macroalgal food web on shelf reefs (71 ± 13 % of dietary C) to a phytoplankton-based food web (72 ± 11 %) on oceanic reefs. Our work provides insights into the roles that diverse C sources play in the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and illustrates a powerful fingerprinting method to develop and test nutritional frameworks for understanding resource utilization.

  11. 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

  12. Carbon transfer in a herbivore- and microbial loop-dominated pelagic food webs in the southern Barents Sea during spring and summer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Laender, F.; Van Oevelen, D.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    We compare carbon budgets between a herbivore-dominated and a microbial loop-dominated food web and examine the implications of food web structure for fish production. We use the southern Barents Sea as a case study and inverse modelling as an analysis method. In spring, when the system was

  13. Carbon transfer in herbivore- and microbial loop-dominated pelagic food webs in the southern Barents Sea during spring and summer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Laender, F.; Oevelen, D. van; Soetaert, K.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    We compared carbon budgets between a herbivore-dominated and a microbial loopdominated food web and examined the implications of food web structure for fish production. We used the southern Barents Sea as a case study and inverse modelling as an analysis method. In spring, when the system was

  14. Warming and Acidification Effects on Planktonic Heterotrophic Pico- and Nanoflagellates in a Mesocosm Experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustaka-Gouni, Maria; Kormas, Konstantinos A; Scotti, Marco; Vardaka, Elisabeth; Sommer, Ulrich

    2016-08-01

    We studied the response of the heterotrophic flagellate (HF) community to the combined impact of warming and ocean acidification in a mesocosm experiment with a plankton community from the western Baltic Sea. We performed a quantitative analysis of the response at the level of total biomass and size classes and a semi-quantitative one at the level of individual taxa. Total biomass of HF was significantly lower under higher temperatures while there was no significant effect of CO2. The mean biomass of the picoflagellates did not respond to temperature while the three nanoflagellate size classes (class limits 3, 5, 8, 15μm) responded negatively to warming while not responding to CO2. The taxon-level results indicate that heterotrophic flagellates do not form a homogenous trophic guild, as often assumed in pelagic food web studies. Instead, the heterotrophic flagellates formed a "food web within the food web". There was a pronounced succession of flagellates leading from a dominance of bacterivores and colloidal matter feeders before the phytoplankton bloom to omnivorous feeders preying upon phytoplankton and heterotrophic flagellates during and after the bloom. This complex intraguild predation patterns probably dampened the response to experimental treatments.

  15. Plankton Production Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-30

    information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT DATE 30 SEP 2005 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2005 to 00-00... Crustacea ), the group that contributes the major part of the biomass of zooplankton collected with plankton nets in salt- and freshwater. The basis of...windows to the large Russian-language marine- biological literature by publishing this translation. The observations are not subject to becoming outdated

  16. 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 con