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Sample records for seagrass food web

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Coll

    Full Text Available 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

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

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    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

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

  4. Food choice effects on herbivory: Intra-specific seagrass palatability and inter-specific macrophyte palatability in seagrass communities

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    Jiménez-Ramos, Rocío; Brun, Fernando G.; Egea, Luis G.; Vergara, Juan J.

    2018-05-01

    Interactions between the palatability and abundance of different food sources may influence herbivory patterns in seagrass-dominated communities. In addition, intra-specific differences in nutrient and structural quality of leaves may also alter seagrass palatability and generate different rates of consumption within these communities. We offered two temperate seagrasses species, (Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera noltei) from two different locations to look at intraspecific differences, and two other macrophytes, both of which occur at the same location as seagrasses but represent the extremes of palatability, to a generalist herbivore Paracentrotus lividus (purple sea urchin). Using feeding assays, we compared the consumption rates in individual (single plant species) and combined diets at different food availabilities. Intra-specific differences between seagrass species growing at different locations (inner and outer bay) were indeed found to significantly modify the consumption rate for one species. Structural traits such as carbon content were linked to the low consumption found in Cymodocea nodosa from the inner bay location. In addition, we found that the co-occurrence of different macrophyte species can result in preferential consumption of the more palatable macrophyte with high nutritional content and low structural defence over seagrasses, especially when P. lividus has an abundant food supply. Overall, our findings suggest that intra- and inter-specific differences in seagrass traits and the relative abundance of other macrophytes may explain the variability in patterns of herbivory found within seagrass communities.

  5. 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.

  6. Identification of trophic interactions within an estuarine food web (northern New Zealand) using fatty acid biomarkers and stable isotopes

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    Alfaro, Andrea C.; Thomas, François; Sergent, Luce; Duxbury, Mark

    2006-10-01

    Fatty acid biomarkers and stable isotope signatures were used to identify the trophic dynamics of a mangrove/seagrass estuarine food web at Matapouri, northern New Zealand. Specific fatty acids were used to identify the preferred food sources (i.e., mangroves, seagrass, phytoplankton, macroalgae, bacteria, and zooplankton) of dominant fauna (i.e., filter feeders, grazing snails, scavenger/predatory snails, shrimp, crabs, and fish), and their presence in water and sediment samples throughout the estuary. The diets of filter feeders were found to be dominated by dinoflagellates, whereas grazers showed a higher diatom contribution. Bacteria associated with organic debris on surface sediments and brown algal ( Hormosira banksii) material in the form of suspended organic matter also accounted for a high proportion of most animal diets. Animals within higher trophic levels had diverse fatty acid profiles, revealing their varied feeding strategies and carbon sources. The stable isotope (δ 13C and δ 15N) analyses of major primary producers and consumers/predators revealed a trend of 15N enrichment with increasing trophic level, while δ 13C values provided a generally good description of carbon flow through the food web. Overall results from both fatty acid profiles and stable isotopes indicate that a variety of carbon sources with a range of trophic pathways typify this food web. Moreover, none of the animals studied was dependent on a single food source. This study is the first to use a comprehensive fatty acid biomarker and stable isotope approach to investigate the food web dynamics within a New Zealand temperate mangrove/seagrass estuary. This quantitative research may contribute to the currently developing management strategies for estuaries in northern New Zealand, especially for those perceived to have expanding mangrove fringes.

  7. Food supply depends on seagrass meadows in the coral triangle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unsworth, Richard K F; Hinder, Stephanie L; Bodger, Owen G; Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C

    2014-01-01

    The tropical seascape provides food and livelihoods to hundreds of millions of people, but the support of key habitats to this supply remains ill appreciated. For fisheries and conservation management actions to help promote resilient ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods, and food supply, knowledge is required about the habitats that help support fisheries productivity and the consequences of this for food security. This paper provides an interdisciplinary case study from the coral triangle of how seagrass meadows provide support for fisheries and local food security. We apply a triangulated approach that utilizes ecological, fisheries and market data combined with over 250 household interviews. Our research demonstrates that seagrass associated fauna in a coral triangle marine protected area support local food supply contributing at least 50% of the fish based food. This formed between 54% and 99% of daily protein intake in the area. Fishery catch was found to significantly vary with respect to village (p < 0.01) with habitat configuration a probable driver. Juvenile fish comprised 26% of the fishery catch and gear type significantly influenced this proportion (<0.05). Limited sustainability of fishery practices (high juvenile catch and a 51% decline in CPUE for the biggest fishery) and poor habitat management mean the security of this food supply has the potential to be undermined in the long-term. Findings of this study have implications for the management and assessment of fisheries throughout the tropical seascape. Our study provides an exemplar for why natural resource management should move beyond biodiversity and consider how conservation and local food security are interlinked processes that are not mutually exclusive. Seagrass meadows are under sustained threat worldwide, this study provides evidence of the need to conserve these not just to protect biodiversity but to protect food security. (letter)

  8. The Role of Herbivory in Structuring Tropical Seagrass Ecosystem Service Delivery

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    Scott, Abigail L.; York, Paul H.; Duncan, Clare; Macreadie, Peter I.; Connolly, Rod M.; Ellis, Megan T.; Jarvis, Jessie C.; Jinks, Kristin I.; Marsh, Helene; Rasheed, Michael A.

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass meadows support key ecosystem services, via provision of food directly for herbivores, and indirectly to their predators. The importance of herbivores in seagrass meadows has been well-documented, but the links between food webs and ecosystem services in seagrass meadows have not previously been made explicit. Herbivores interact with ecosystem services – including carbon sequestration, cultural values, and coastal protection. Interactions can be positive or negative and depend on a range of factors including the herbivore identity and the grazing type and intensity. There can be unintended consequences from management actions based on a poor understanding of trade-offs that occur with complex seagrass-herbivore interactions. Tropical seagrass meadows support a diversity of grazers spanning the meso-, macro-, and megaherbivore scales. We present a conceptual model to describe how multiple ecosystem services are influenced by herbivore pressure in tropical seagrass meadows. Our model suggests that a balanced ecosystem, incorporating both seagrass and herbivore diversity, is likely to sustain the broadest range of ecosystem services. Our framework suggests the pathway to achieve desired ecosystem services outcomes requires knowledge on four key areas: (1) how size classes of herbivores interact to structure seagrass; (2) desired community and management values; (3) seagrass responses to top–down and bottom–up controls; (4) the pathway from intermediate to final ecosystem services and human benefits. We suggest research should be directed to these areas. Herbivory is a major structuring influence in tropical seagrass systems and needs to be considered for effective management of these critical habitats and their services. PMID:29487606

  9. Applications of C and N stable isotopes to ecological and environmental studies in seagrass ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lepoint, Gilles [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)]. E-mail: g.lepoint@ulg.ac.be; Dauby, Patrick [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium); Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, rue Vautier, B1000 Brussels (Belgium); Gobert, Sylvie [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)

    2004-12-01

    Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen are increasingly used in marine ecosystems, for ecological and environmental studies. Here, we examine some applications of stable isotopes as ecological integrators or tracers in seagrass ecosystem studies. We focus on both the use of natural isotope abundance as food web integrators or environmental tracers and on the use of stable isotopes as experimental tools. As ecosystem integrators, stable isotopes have helped to elucidate the general structure of trophic webs in temperate, Mediterranean and tropical seagrass ecosystems. As environmental tracers, stable isotopes have proven their utility in sewage impact measuring and mapping. However, to make such environmental studies more comprehensible, future works on understanding of basic reasons for variations of N and C stable isotopes in seagrasses should be encouraged. At least, as experimental tracers, stable isotopes allow the study of many aspects of N and C cycles at the scale of a plant or at the scale of the seagrass ecosystem.

  10. Interaction between birds and macrofauna within food webs of six intertidal habitats of the Wadden Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Sabine; de la Vega, Camille; Asmus, Ragnhild; Schwemmer, Philipp; Enners, Leonie; Garthe, Stefan; Binder, Kirsten; Asmus, Harald

    2017-01-01

    The determination of food web structures using Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) is a helpful tool to get insight into complex ecosystem processes. The intertidal area of the Wadden Sea is structured into diverse habitat types which differ in their ecological functioning. In the present study, six different intertidal habitats (i.e. cockle field, razor clam field, mud flat, mussel bank, sand flat and seagrass meadow) were analyzed using ENA to determine similarities and characteristic differences in the food web structure of the systems. All six systems were well balanced between their degree of organization and their robustness. However, they differed in their detailed features. The cockle field and the mussel bank exhibited a strong dependency on external imports. The razor clam field appeared to be a rather small system with low energy transfer. In the mud flat microphytobenthos was used as a main food source and the system appeared to be sensitive to perturbations. Bird predation was the most pronounced in the sand flat and the seagrass meadow and led to an increase in energy transfer and parallel trophic cycles in these habitats. Habitat diversity appears to be an important trait for the Wadden Sea as each subsystem seems to have a specific role in the overall functioning of the entire ecosystem.

  11. Different transfer pathways of an organochlorine pesticide across marine tropical food webs assessed with stable isotope analysis.

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    Charlotte R Dromard

    Full Text Available Chlordecone is a persistent organochlorine pesticide used in the banana fields of the French West Indies from 1972 to 1993. Three marine habitats (mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs of two study sites located downstream contaminated rivers were chosen to evaluate the level of contamination of marine food webs. On each habitat, the food chain collected included suspended organic matter, primary producers (macroalgae, algal turf, seagrass, zooplankton, symbiotic organisms (corals, sea anemones, primary consumers (herbivores, suspension feeders, biofilm feeders, omnivores and detritivores (lobsters, fish, secondary consumers (carnivores 1: invertebrate feeders, planktivores and tertiary consumers (carnivores 2: invertebrate and fish feeders, piscivores. Log-linear regressions of the concentrations of chlordecone versus nitrogen isotopic ratios (δ15N were used to assess the bioaccumulation of chlordecone along trophic food webs. At each site, bioconcentration and bioamplification take part on the transfer of chlordecone in marine organisms. In mangroves (i.e. close to the source of pollution, lower trophic magnification factors (TMF indicated that bioconcentration prevailed over bioamplification phenomenon. The opposite phenomenon appeared on coral reefs in which bioconcentration processes were less important and bioamplification pathway became dominant. Far from the source of pollution, molecules of chlordecone seemed to be transfered to organisms mostly via trophic interactions rather than water contact.

  12. Trophic coupling between two adjacent benthic food webs within a man-made intertidal area: A stable isotopes evidence

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    Schaal, Gauthier; Riera, Pascal; Leroux, Cédric

    2008-04-01

    This study aimed at establishing the effects of human-made physical modifications on the trophic structure and functioning of an intertidal benthic food web in Arcachon Bay (France). The main food sources and the most representative consumers were sampled on an artificial rocky dyke and its adjacent seagrass meadow. The food sources of consumers were inferred through the use of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. The contributions of the different food sources to the diets of the consumers were established using the Isosource mixing model. In order to reduce the range of feasible contributions, additional non-isotopic constraints were added when necessary to the outputs of this model. We observed a more complex food web than previously shown for artificial habitats. Moreover, it appears that several consumers inhabiting the artificial environment base most of their diet on allochtonous eelgrass-derived detritus. In turn, several consumers inhabiting the eelgrass meadow consumed significantly macroalgae-derived material originating from the adjacent artificial rocky area. These results point out that the food webs associated to adjacent habitats can influence each other through the utilisation of exported organic matter.

  13. A comparison of threats, vulnerabilities and management approaches in global seagrass bioregions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grech, Alana; Chartrand-Miller, Katie; McKenzie, Len; Rasheed, Michael; Taylor, Helen; Coles, Rob; Erftemeijer, Paul; Fonseca, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Global seagrass habitats are threatened by multiple anthropogenic factors. Effective management of seagrasses requires information on the relative impacts of threats; however, this information is rarely available. Our goal was to use the knowledge of experts to assess the relative impacts of anthropogenic activities in six global seagrass bioregions. The activities that threaten seagrasses were identified at an international seagrass workshop and followed with a web-based survey to collect seagrass vulnerability information. There was a global consensus that urban/industrial runoff, urban/port infrastructure development, agricultural runoff and dredging had the greatest impact on seagrasses, though the order of relative impacts varied by bioregion. These activities are largely terrestrially based, highlighting the need for marine planning initiatives to be co-ordinated with adjacent watershed planning. Sea level rise and increases in the severity of cyclones were ranked highest relative to other climate change related activities, but overall the five climate change activities were ranked low and experts were uncertain of their effects on seagrasses. The experts’ preferred mechanism of delivering management outcomes were processes such as policy development, planning and consultation rather than prescriptive management tools. Our approach to collecting expert opinion provides the required data to prioritize seagrass management actions at bioregional scales. (letter)

  14. 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...

  15. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23092160

  16. Where are the parasites in food webs?

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    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.

  17. Graph Theory Approach for Studying Food Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longjas, A.; Tejedor, A.; Foufoula-Georgiou, E.

    2017-12-01

    Food webs are complex networks of feeding interactions among species in ecological communities. Metrics describing food web structure have been proposed to compare and classify food webs ranging from food chain length, connectance, degree distribution, centrality measures, to the presence of motifs (distinct compartments), among others. However, formal methodologies for studying both food web topology and the dynamic processes operating on them are still lacking. Here, we utilize a quantitative framework using graph theory within which a food web is represented by a directed graph, i.e., a collection of vertices (species or trophic species defined as sets of species sharing the same predators and prey) and directed edges (predation links). This framework allows us to identify apex (environmental "source" node) to outlet (top predators) subnetworks and compute the steady-state flux (e.g., carbon, nutrients, energy etc.) in the food web. We use this framework to (1) construct vulnerability maps that quantify the relative change of flux delivery to the top predators in response to perturbations in prey species (2) identify keystone species, whose loss would precipitate further species extinction, and (3) introduce a suite of graph-theoretic metrics to quantify the topologic (imposed by food web connectivity) and dynamic (dictated by the flux partitioning and distribution) components of a food web's complexity. By projecting food webs into a 2D Topodynamic Complexity Space whose coordinates are given by Number of alternative paths (topologic) and Leakage Index (dynamic), we show that this space provides a basis for food web comparison and provide physical insights into their dynamic behavior.

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

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    Thomas Larsen

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Seagrass Ecosystem Services and Their Variability across Genera and Geographical Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mtwana Nordlund, Lina; Koch, Evamaria W; Barbier, Edward B; Creed, Joel C

    2016-01-01

    Threats to and loss of seagrass ecosystems globally, impact not only natural resources but also the lives of people who directly or indirectly depend on these systems. Seagrass ecosystems play a multi-functional role in human well-being, e.g. food through fisheries, control of erosion and protection against floods. Quantifying these services reveals their contributions to human well-being and helps justify seagrass conservation. There has been no comprehensive assessment as to whether seagrass ecosystem services are perceived to vary over the globe or amongst genera. Our study compiles the most complete list of ecosystem services provided by seagrasses so far, including bioregional- and genus-specific information from expert opinion and published studies. Several seagrass ecosystem services vary considerably in their (known) provision across genera and over the globe. Seagrasses genera are clearly not all equal with regard to the ecosystem services they provide. As seagrass genera are not evenly distributed over all bioregions, the presence of an ecosystem service sometimes depends on the genera present. Larger sized seagrass genera (e.g. Posidonia, Enhalus) are perceived to provide more substantial and a wider variety of ecosystem services than smaller species (e.g. Halophila, Lepilaena). Nevertheless, smaller species provide important services. Our findings point out data gaps, provide new insight for more efficient management and recommend caution in economic valuation of seagrass services worldwide.

  2. Food web framework for size-structured populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Sulfur cycling and sulfide intrusion in mixed Southeast Asian tropical seagrass meadows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmer, Marianne; Pedersen, Ole; Ikejima, Kou

    2006-01-01

    Seagrass distribution and sediment biogeochemical conditions were measured around Libong Island in the Andaman Sea, Thailand. Seagrass diversity was moderate for a tropical site (four species found: Cymodocea rotundata, Enhalus acoroides, Halophila ovalis and Thalassia hemprichii......), with the diminutive species H. ovalis particularly abundant and perhaps serving as important food for dugongs present in the area. Although the sediment organic matter content was low in the seagrass meadows, the sulfate reduction rates were high (48-138 mmol m-2 d-1). A significant positive relationship between...... belowground biomass and sulfate reduction rates across the seagrass species examined indicates that stimulation of microbial activity in the rhizosphere sediments is controlled by the biomass of roots and rhizomes, rather than by specific seagrass characteristics (e.g., morphology, plant activity). The low...

  4. Food-web dynamics in a large river discontinuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Wyatt F.; Baxter, Colden V.; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J.; Hall, Robert O.; Kennedy, Theodore A.; Donner, Kevin C.; Kelly, Holly A. Wellard; Seegert, Sarah E.Z.; Behn, Kathrine E.; Yard, Michael D.

    2013-01-01

    Nearly all ecosystems have been altered by human activities, and most communities are now composed of interacting species that have not co-evolved. These changes may modify species interactions, energy and material flows, and food-web stability. Although structural changes to ecosystems have been widely reported, few studies have linked such changes to dynamic food-web attributes and patterns of energy flow. Moreover, there have been few tests of food-web stability theory in highly disturbed and intensely managed freshwater ecosystems. Such synthetic approaches are needed for predicting the future trajectory of ecosystems, including how they may respond to natural or anthropogenic perturbations. We constructed flow food webs at six locations along a 386-km segment of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon (Arizona, USA) for three years. We characterized food-web structure and production, trophic basis of production, energy efficiencies, and interaction-strength distributions across a spatial gradient of perturbation (i.e., distance from Glen Canyon Dam), as well as before and after an experimental flood. We found strong longitudinal patterns in food-web characteristics that strongly correlated with the spatial position of large tributaries. Above tributaries, food webs were dominated by nonnative New Zealand mudsnails (62% of production) and nonnative rainbow trout (100% of fish production). The simple structure of these food webs led to few dominant energy pathways (diatoms to few invertebrate taxa to rainbow trout), large energy inefficiencies (i.e., Below large tributaries, invertebrate production declined ∼18-fold, while fish production remained similar to upstream sites and comprised predominately native taxa (80–100% of production). Sites below large tributaries had increasingly reticulate and detritus-based food webs with a higher prevalence of omnivory, as well as interaction strength distributions more typical of theoretically stable food webs (i

  5. Specificity in Mesograzer-Induced Defences in Seagrasses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña Martínez-Crego

    Full Text Available Grazing-induced plant defences that reduce palatability to herbivores are widespread in terrestrial plants and seaweeds, but they have not yet been reported in seagrasses. We investigated the ability of two seagrass species to induce defences in response to direct grazing by three associated mesograzers. Specifically, we conducted feeding-assayed induction experiments to examine how mesograzer-specific grazing impact affects seagrass induction of defences within the context of the optimal defence theory. We found that the amphipod Gammarus insensibilis and the isopod Idotea chelipes exerted a low-intensity grazing on older blades of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, which reflects a weak grazing impact that may explain the lack of inducible defences. The isopod Synischia hectica exerted the strongest grazing impact on C. nodosa via high-intensity feeding on young blades with a higher fitness value. This isopod grazing induced defences in C. nodosa as indicated by a consistently lower consumption of blades previously grazed for 5, 12 and 16 days. The lower consumption was maintained when offered tissues with no plant structure (agar-reconstituted food, but showing a reduced size of the previous grazing effect. This indicates that structural traits act in combination with chemical traits to reduce seagrass palatability to the isopod. Increase in total phenolics but not in C:N ratio and total nitrogen of grazed C. nodosa suggests chemical defences rather than a modified nutritional quality as primarily induced chemical traits. We detected no induction of defences in Zostera noltei, which showed the ability to replace moderate losses of young biomass to mesograzers via compensatory growth. Our study provides the first experimental evidence of induction of defences against meso-herbivory that reduce further consumption in seagrasses. It also emphasizes the relevance of grazer identity in determining the level of grazing impact triggering resistance and

  6. 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.

  7. Fun With Food Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Karl D.

    1977-01-01

    Explains an upper elementary game of tag that illustrates energy flow in food webs using candy bars as food sources. A follow-up field trip to a river and five language arts projects are also suggested. (CS)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Integrating ecosystem engineering and food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  11. Integrating ecosystem engineering and food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sanders, D.; Jones, C.G.; Thébault, E.; Bouma, T.J.; van der Heide, T.; van Belzen, J.; Barot, S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Similarity microalgal epiphyte composition on seagrass of Enhalus acoroides and Thalasia hemprichii from different waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartati, R.; Zainuri, M.; Ambariyanto, A.; Widianingsih; Trianto, A.; Mahendrajaya, R. T.

    2018-03-01

    The epiphytes are all autotrophic organisms that are permanently attached to rhizomes, roots, and leaves of seagrasses. The epiphyte is an important primary producer for the seagrass ecosystem and contributes significantly to the food chain. This study aims to identify the composition of microepiphyte algae on Enhalus acoroides and Thalassia hemprichii and their similarity levels of both compositions. The 20 leaves samples of E. acoroides and T. hemprichii were observed. The epiphytic microalgae which found on the surface of the seagrass leaves were scrapped, collected in a bottle sample, and fixed with 70 % alcohol and identified into genera. The relation of epiphytic microalgal genera to the location and species of seagrass was analyzed using similarity analysis. The Chrysophyta, Cyanophyta, and Chlorophyta epiphytic microalgal were found. There were similarity variations of the microalgal epiphyte in seagrass of E. acoroides and T. hemprichii and seagrass habitat sites. Morphology and seagrass life affects the abundance and diversity of the epiphytic microalgal attached to the seagrass and it may be associated with the epiphytic lifetime in the seagrass.

  14. Seagrass meadows globally as a coupled social-ecological system: implications for human wellbeing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C; Nordlund, Lina Mtwana; Paddock, Jessica; Baker, Susan; McKenzie, Len J; Unsworth, Richard K F

    2014-06-30

    Seagrass ecosystems are diminishing worldwide and repeated studies confirm a lack of appreciation for the value of these systems. In order to highlight their value we provide the first discussion of seagrass meadows as a coupled social-ecological system on a global scale. We consider the impact of a declining resource on people, including those for whom seagrass meadows are utilised for income generation and a source of food security through fisheries support. Case studies from across the globe are used to demonstrate the intricate relationship between seagrass meadows and people that highlight the multi-functional role of seagrasses in human wellbeing. While each case underscores unique issues, these examples simultaneously reveal social-ecological coupling that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. We conclude that understanding seagrass meadows as a coupled social-ecological system is crucial in carving pathways for social and ecological resilience in light of current patterns of local to global environmental change. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Local Knowledge and Conservation of Seagrasses in the Tamil Nadu State of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newmaster AF

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Local knowledge systems are not considered in the conservation of fragile seagrass marine ecosystems. In fact, little is known about the utility of seagrasses in local coastal communities. This is intriguing given that some local communities rely on seagrasses to sustain their livelihoods and have relocated their villages to areas with a rich diversity and abundance of seagrasses. The purpose of this study is to assist in conservation efforts regarding seagrasses through identifying Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK from local knowledge systems of seagrasses from 40 coastal communities along the eastern coast of India. We explore the assemblage of scientific and local traditional knowledge concerning the 1. classification of seagrasses (comparing scientific and traditional classification systems, 2. utility of seagrasses, 3. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK of seagrasses, and 4. current conservation efforts for seagrass ecosystems. Our results indicate that local knowledge systems consist of a complex classification of seagrass diversity that considers the role of seagrasses in the marine ecosystem. This fine-scaled ethno-classification gives rise to five times the number of taxa (10 species = 50 local ethnotaxa, each with a unique role in the ecosystem and utility within coastal communities, including the use of seagrasses for medicine (e.g., treatment of heart conditions, seasickness, etc., food (nutritious seeds, fertilizer (nutrient rich biomass and livestock feed (goats and sheep. Local communities are concerned about the loss of seagrass diversity and have considerable local knowledge that is valuable for conservation and restoration plans. This study serves as a case study example of the depth and breadth of local knowledge systems for a particular ecosystem that is in peril. Key words: local health and nutrition, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK, conservation and natural resources management, consensus

  16. Turbulent mixing and fluid transport within Florida Bay seagrass meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Jennifer C. R.; Reidenbach, Matthew A.

    2017-10-01

    Seagrasses serve an important function in the ecology of Florida Bay, providing critical nursery habitat and a food source for a variety of organisms. They also create significant benthic structure that induces drag, altering local hydrodynamics that can influence mixing and nutrient dynamics. Thalassia testudinum seagrass meadows were investigated to determine how shoot density and morphometrics alter local wave conditions, the generation of turbulence, and fluid exchange above and within the canopy. Sparsely vegetated and densely vegetated meadows were monitored, with shoot densities of 259 ± 26 and 484 ± 78 shoots m-2, respectively. The temporal and spatial structure of velocity and turbulence were measured using acoustic Doppler velocimeters and an in situ particle image velocimetry (PIV) system positioned both above and within the seagrass canopy. The retention of fluid within the canopy was determined by examining e-folding times calculated from the concentration curves of dye plumes released within the seagrass canopy. Results show that a shear layer with an inflection point develops at the top of the seagrass canopy, which generates instabilities that impart turbulence into the seagrass meadow. Compared to the overlying water column, turbulence was enhanced within the sparse canopy due to flow interaction with the seagrass blades, but reduced within the dense canopy. Wave generated oscillatory motion penetrated deeper into the canopy than unidirectional currents, enhancing fluid exchange. Both shoot density and the relative magnitude of wave- versus current-driven flow conditions were found to be important controls on turbulent exchange of water masses across the canopy-water interface.

  17. Relative foraminiferan abundance as an indicator of seagrass sediment health:

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cajandig, P.; Quiros, A.; Nolan, H.; Tallman, R.; Cooper, N.; Ayala, J.; Courtier, C.

    2013-12-01

    Authors: Patrick Cajandig*, Jose Ayala**, Nathaniel Cooper**, Catherine Courtier**, Hannah Nolan**, Rachelle Tallman**, T.E. Angela L. Quiros** * Davis High-School CA, **University of California Santa Cruz, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department Seagrasses are a key component in coastal ecosystems. Found in shallow marine environments, they make a large contribution to coastal ecosystem health by sustaining water quality, stabilizing the sea bottom, and providing habitat as well as food for other organisms. Seagrasses accumulate tiny grains of sediment, increasing water clarity. Just like barren hills are prone to erosion compared to vegetated, rooted down hills, we find a similar situation in the ocean. Seagrasses have broad roots that extend vertically and horizontally to help stabilize the seabed. Seagrasses support a whole ecosystem, because some organisms feed off of the seagrass alone, while others feed off the inhabitants of the seagrass. The quality of sediment is a vital part of seagrass health, just like nutrient rich soils are important to land plants. But what in seagrass sediment is a good indication of health? We hypothesize that seagrass health measures such as percent cover and seagrass species diversity are related to the abundance of foraminiferans relative to other seagrass sediment components. My mentor, T. E. Angela L. Quiros, from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), collected the sediment samples from seagrass beds in the Philippines. Samples were dried and brought to UCSC for sediment sieving. We used different sized sieves to sort the sediment. These sieves ranged from coarse to very fine sieves (Phi -2.0 (coarse) through +3.0 (fine) going in 0.5 intervals on a log scale). We weighed the sediment that was caught in each tray and separated them into bags of different size classes. To analyze each sample, we subsampled four size classes (Phi's -2.0, -1.5,-1.0, 0.0), and used a dissecting scope to identify and then weigh the

  18. Seagrasses and Eutrophication : Interactions between seagrass photosynthesis, epiphytes, macroalgae and mussels

    OpenAIRE

    Mvungi, Esther Francis

    2011-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are highly productive, ecologically and economically valuable ecosystems. However, increased human activities along the coastal areas leading to processes such as eutrophication have resulted in the rapid loss and deterioration of seagrass ecosystems worldwide. This thesis focuses on the responses of seagrasses to increases in nutrients, subsequent increases in ephemeral algae, and changes in the physical-chemical properties of seawater induced by interaction with other marin...

  19. Major dimensions in food-web structure properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermaat, J.E.; Dunne, J. A.; Gilbert, A.J.

    2009-01-01

    The covariance among a range of 20 network structural properties of food webs plus net primary productivity was assessed for 14 published food webs using principal components analysis. Three primary components explained 84% of the variability in the data sets, suggesting substantial covariance among

  20. Zinc in an ultraoligotrophic lake food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montañez, Juan Cruz; Arribére, María A; Rizzo, Andrea; Arcagni, Marina; Campbell, Linda; Ribeiro Guevara, Sergio

    2018-03-21

    Zinc (Zn) bioaccumulation and trophic transfer were analyzed in the food web of Lake Nahuel Huapi, a deep, unpolluted ultraoligotrophic system in North Patagonia. Benthic macroinvertebrates, plankton, and native and introduced fish were collected at three sites. The effect of pyroclastic inputs on Zn levels in lacustrine food webs was assessed by studying the impact of the eruption of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex (PCCVC) in 2011, by performing three sampling campaigns immediately before and after the PCCVC eruption, and after 2 years of recovery of the ecosystem. Zinc trophodynamics in L. Nahuel Huapi food web was assessed using nitrogen stable isotopes (δ 15 N). There was no significant increase of Zn concentrations ([Zn]) in L. Nahuel Huapi biota after the PCCVC eruption, despite the evidence of [Zn] increase in lake water that could be associated with volcanic ash leaching. The organisms studied exhibited [Zn] above the threshold level considered for dietary deficiency, regulating Zn adequately even under a catastrophic situations like PCCVC 2011 eruption. Zinc concentrations exhibited a biodilution pattern in the lake's food web. To the best of our knowledge, present research is the first report of Zn biodilution in lacustrine systems, and the first to study Zn transfer in a freshwater food web including both pelagic and benthic compartments.

  1. 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.

  2. Food web complexity and stability across habitat connectivity gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCraw, Robin M; Kratina, Pavel; Srivastava, Diane S

    2014-12-01

    The effects of habitat connectivity on food webs have been studied both empirically and theoretically, yet the question of whether empirical results support theoretical predictions for any food web metric other than species richness has received little attention. Our synthesis brings together theory and empirical evidence for how habitat connectivity affects both food web stability and complexity. Food web stability is often predicted to be greatest at intermediate levels of connectivity, representing a compromise between the stabilizing effects of dispersal via rescue effects and prey switching, and the destabilizing effects of dispersal via regional synchronization of population dynamics. Empirical studies of food web stability generally support both this pattern and underlying mechanisms. Food chain length has been predicted to have both increasing and unimodal relationships with connectivity as a result of predators being constrained by the patch occupancy of their prey. Although both patterns have been documented empirically, the underlying mechanisms may differ from those predicted by models. In terms of other measures of food web complexity, habitat connectivity has been empirically found to generally increase link density but either reduce or have no effect on connectance, whereas a unimodal relationship is expected. In general, there is growing concordance between empirical patterns and theoretical predictions for some effects of habitat connectivity on food webs, but many predictions remain to be tested over a full connectivity gradient, and empirical metrics of complexity are rarely modeled. Closing these gaps will allow a deeper understanding of how natural and anthropogenic changes in connectivity can affect real food webs.

  3. Biodiversity maintenance in food webs with regulatory environmental feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagdassarian, Carey K; Dunham, Amy E; Brown, Christopher G; Rauscher, Daniel

    2007-04-21

    Although the food web is one of the most fundamental and oldest concepts in ecology, elucidating the strategies and structures by which natural communities of species persist remains a challenge to empirical and theoretical ecologists. We show that simple regulatory feedbacks between autotrophs and their environment when embedded within complex and realistic food-web models enhance biodiversity. The food webs are generated through the niche-model algorithm and coupled with predator-prey dynamics, with and without environmental feedbacks at the autotroph level. With high probability and especially at lower, more realistic connectance levels, regulatory environmental feedbacks result in fewer species extinctions, that is, in increased species persistence. These same feedback couplings, however, also sensitize food webs to environmental stresses leading to abrupt collapses in biodiversity with increased forcing. Feedback interactions between species and their material environments anchor food-web persistence, adding another dimension to biodiversity conservation. We suggest that the regulatory features of two natural systems, deep-sea tubeworms with their microbial consortia and a soil ecosystem manifesting adaptive homeostatic changes, can be embedded within niche-model food-web dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-15

    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 is unclear how the concept of food-web stability is associated with the resilience of ecosystems susceptible to regime change. Here, we use a combination of food web and ecosystem modelling to show that impending catastrophic shifts in shallow lakes are preceded by a destabilizing reorganization of interaction strengths in the aquatic food web. Analysis of the intricate web of trophic interactions reveals that only few key interactions, involving zooplankton, diatoms and detritus, dictate the deterioration of food-web stability. Our study exposes a tight link between food-web dynamics and the dynamics of the whole ecosystem, implying that trophic organization may serve as an empirical indicator of ecosystem resilience.

  5. Landscape variation influences trophic cascades in dengue vector food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weterings, Robbie; Umponstira, Chanin; Buckley, Hannah L

    2018-02-01

    The epidemiology of vector-borne diseases is governed by a structured array of correlative and causative factors, including landscape (for example, rural versus urban), abiotic (for example, weather), and biotic (for example, food web) factors. Studies of mosquito-borne diseases rarely address these multiple factors at large spatial scales, which limits insights into how human alterations of landscapes and food webs alter mosquito abundance. We used structural equation modeling to identify the relative magnitude and direction of landscape, abiotic, and food web factors on Aedes larvae and adults across 70 sites in northern Thailand. Food web factors were modeled as mosquito-predator trophic cascades. Landscape context affected mosquito-predator communities in aquatic and terrestrial environments via cascading food web interactions. Several mosquito predators within these food webs showed potential as biocontrol agents in mosquito population control, but their potentials for control were landscape-dependent. In terrestrial food webs, the habitat-sensitive tokay gecko structured mosquito-predator communities, indicating that a conservation approach to vector control could be a useful addition to existing control efforts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brind'Amour, Anik; Dubois, Stanislas F

    2013-01-01

    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.

  7. Seagrasses - The forgotton marine habitat

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.; Rodrigues, R.S.

    Seagrasses, a specialized group of flowering plants, submerged in the marine, estuarine, bay and backwater regions of the world. Though seagrass beds are of great ecological and socio economic importance, they are mostly unknown to Indians. Seagrass...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. The inverse niche model for food webs with parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Alex Smith

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M Alex; Eveleigh, Eldon S; McCann, Kevin S; Merilo, Mark T; McCarthy, Peter C; Van Rooyen, Kathleen I

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Simulation of seagrass bed mapping by satellite images based on the radiative transfer model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagawa, Tatsuyuki; Komatsu, Teruhisa

    2015-06-01

    Seagrass and seaweed beds play important roles in coastal marine ecosystems. They are food sources and habitats for many marine organisms, and influence the physical, chemical, and biological environment. They are sensitive to human impacts such as reclamation and pollution. Therefore, their management and preservation are necessary for a healthy coastal environment. Satellite remote sensing is a useful tool for mapping and monitoring seagrass beds. The efficiency of seagrass mapping, seagrass bed classification in particular, has been evaluated by mapping accuracy using an error matrix. However, mapping accuracies are influenced by coastal environments such as seawater transparency, bathymetry, and substrate type. Coastal management requires sufficient accuracy and an understanding of mapping limitations for monitoring coastal habitats including seagrass beds. Previous studies are mainly based on case studies in specific regions and seasons. Extensive data are required to generalise assessments of classification accuracy from case studies, which has proven difficult. This study aims to build a simulator based on a radiative transfer model to produce modelled satellite images and assess the visual detectability of seagrass beds under different transparencies and seagrass coverages, as well as to examine mapping limitations and classification accuracy. Our simulations led to the development of a model of water transparency and the mapping of depth limits and indicated the possibility for seagrass density mapping under certain ideal conditions. The results show that modelling satellite images is useful in evaluating the accuracy of classification and that establishing seagrass bed monitoring by remote sensing is a reliable tool.

  16. Carbon budget of leaves of the tropical intertidal seagrass Thalassia hemprichii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Shih-Han; Huang, Yen-Hsun; Lin, Hsing-Juh

    2013-07-01

    The question of whether seagrass beds are effective carbon sinks has recently attracted much attention. Leaf production and consumption, and detrital export and decomposition were determined to quantify the carbon budget of leaf production in a southern Taiwan seagrass bed composed of the tropical intertidal seagrass Thalassia hemprichii, which is widely distributed in intertidal zones of the western Pacific. The influence of elevation in the intertidal zone on these processes was also investigated. Leaf production and consumption, and export of leaf detritus showed seasonal variations, with higher rates in the wet season (summer and autumn) and lower rates in the dry season (winter and spring). At the high-elevation site, leaf consumption by fish was significantly higher than that by sea urchins. At the low-elevation site, however, the proportion of leaves consumed by sea urchins was equivalent to that by fish. Leaf detritus decomposed rapidly within the first 9 days, then gradually slowed down, and stabilised after 212 days, at which only 8.7% of dry weight remained in the litterbags. The carbon budget of seagrass leaves demonstrated that 20% of leaf production was grazed by fish and sea urchins and 80% flowed to detritus. This suggests that seagrass leaves are important food sources for inhabiting herbivores. Most of the detritus decomposed (44% of leaf production) or was exported (32% of leaf production), and only 4% of leaf production or 22 g C m-2 yr-1 was stored in this tropical intertidal seagrass bed. Mass balance calculations support this tropical seagrass bed acting as a carbon sink and an outwelling system which exports organic detritus to neighboring coral reefs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-07

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

  18. 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.

  19. Overview on seagrasses and related research in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yajun; Fan, Hangqing; Cui, Xiaojian; Pan, Lianghao; Li, Sen; Song, Xiukai

    2010-03-01

    Seagrass research in China is still in its infancy. Even though there has been progress recently, there is still a great deal of research needed to gain a better understanding of seagrass. In this article we review and discuss the advances in seagrass research in China from two aspects: (1) seagrass species and their distribution; (2) seagrass research in China, including studies on their taxonomy, ecology, photosynthesis, applications in aquaculture, salt-tolerance mechanisms and other research topics. A total of 18 seagrass species belonging to 8 genera are distributed in nine provinces and regions in China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), as well as the Xisha and Nansha Archipelagos. They can be divided into two groups: a North China Group and a South China Group. Based on the seagrass distribution, the Chinese mainland coast can be divided into three sections: North China Seagrass Coast, Middle China Seagrass Coast, and South China Seagrass Coast. Ecological studies include research on seagrass communities, nutrient cycling in seagrass ecosystems, genetic diversity, pollution ecology and research in the key regions of Shandong, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan. Seagrass species and their locations, community structure, ecological evaluation, epiphytes, ecological functions and threats in the key regions are also summarized. Other studies have focused on remote sensing of seagrass, threatened seagrass species of China, and pollen morphology of Halophila ovalis.

  20. Food Web Response to Habitat Restoration in Various Coastal Wetland Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, W. R.; Nelson, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal wetland habitats provide important ecosystem services, including supporting coastal food webs. These habitats are being lost rapidly. To combat the effects of these losses, millions of dollars have been invested to restore these habitats. However, the relationship between restoring habitat and restoring ecosystem functioning is poorly understood. Analyzing energy flow through food web comparisons between restored and natural habitats can give insights into ecosystem functioning. Using published stable isotope values from organisms in restored and natural habitats, we assessed the food web response of habitat restoration in salt marsh, mangrove, sea grass, and algal bed ecosystems. We ran Bayesian mixing models to quantify resource use by consumers and generated habitat specific niche hypervolumes for each ecosystem to assess food web differences between restored and natural habitats. Salt marsh, mangrove, and sea grass ecosystems displayed functional differences between restored and natural habitats. Salt marsh and mangrove food webs varied in the amount of each resource used, while the sea grass food web displayed more variation between individual organisms. The algal bed food web showed little variation between restored and natural habitats.

  1. Characteristics of food industry web sites and "advergames" targeting children.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    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. A content analysis was conducted of Web sites advertised on 2 children's networks, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. A total of 290 Web pages and 247 unique games on 19 Internet sites were examined. Games, found on 81% of Web sites, were the most predominant promotion strategy used. All games had at least 1 brand identifier, with logos being most frequently used. On average Web sites contained 1 "healthful" message for every 45 exposures to brand identifiers. Food companies use Web sites to extend their television advertising to promote brand loyalty among children. These sites almost exclusively promoted food items high in sugar and fat. Health professionals need to monitor food industry marketing practices used in "new media." Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Nitrogen fixation in Red Sea seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Malak

    2017-05-01

    Seagrasses are key coastal ecosystems, providing many ecosystem services. Seagrasses increase biodiversity as they provide habitat for a large set of organisms. In addition, their structure provides hiding places to avoid predation. Seagrasses can grow in shallow marine coastal areas, but several factors regulate their growth and distribution. Seagrasses can uptake different kinds of organic and inorganic nutrients through their leaves and roots. Nitrogen and phosphorous are the most important nutrients for seagrass growth. Biological nitrogen fixation is the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia by diazotrophic bacteria. This process provides a significant source of nitrogen for seagrass growth. The nitrogen fixation is controlled by the nif genes which are found in diazotrophs. The main goal of the project is to measure nitrogen fixation rates on seagrass sediments, in order to compare among various seagrass species from the Red Sea. Moreover, we will compare the fixing rates of the Vegetated areas with the bare sediments. This project will help to ascertain the role of nitrogen fixing bacteria in the development of seagrass meadows.

  3. Size-based predictions of food web patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Lai; Hartvig, Martin; Knudsen, Kim

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. 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 ...

  6. Rhizome elongation and seagrass clonal growth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marbà, N.; Duarte, C.M.

    1998-01-01

    A compilation of published and original data on rhizome morphometry, horizontal and vertical elongation rates and branching patterns for 27 seagrass species developing in 192 seagrass stands allowed an examination of the variability of seagrass rhizome and clonal growth programmes across and within

  7. Changes in host-parasitoid food web structure with elevation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maunsell, Sarah C; Kitching, Roger L; Burwell, Chris J; Morris, Rebecca J

    2015-03-01

    Gradients in elevation are increasingly used to investigate how species respond to changes in local climatic conditions. Whilst many studies have shown elevational patterns in species richness and turnover, little is known about how food web structure is affected by elevation. Contrasting responses of predator and prey species to elevation may lead to changes in food web structure. We investigated how the quantitative structure of a herbivore-parasitoid food web changes with elevation in an Australian subtropical rain forest. On four occasions, spread over 1 year, we hand-collected leaf miners at twelve sites, along three elevational gradients (between 493 m and 1159 m a.s.l). A total of 5030 insects, including 603 parasitoids, were reared, and summary food webs were created for each site. We also carried out a replicated manipulative experiment by translocating an abundant leaf-mining weevil Platynotocis sp., which largely escaped parasitism at high elevations (≥ 900 m a.s.l.), to lower, warmer elevations, to test if it would experience higher parasitism pressure. We found strong evidence that the environmental change that occurs with increasing elevation affects food web structure. Quantitative measures of generality, vulnerability and interaction evenness decreased significantly with increasing elevation (and decreasing temperature), whilst elevation did not have a significant effect on connectance. Mined plant composition also had a significant effect on generality and vulnerability, but not on interaction evenness. Several relatively abundant species of leaf miner appeared to escape parasitism at higher elevations, but contrary to our prediction, Platynotocis sp. did not experience greater levels of parasitism when translocated to lower elevations. Our study indicates that leaf-mining herbivores and their parasitoids respond differently to environmental conditions imposed by elevation, thus producing structural changes in their food webs. Increasing

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle A. Evans-White

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Physical structure of artificial seagrass affects macrozoobenthic community recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambo-Rappe, R.; Rani, C.

    2018-03-01

    Seagrass ecosystems are important in supporting marine biodiversity. However, the worldwide decline in seagrass areas due to anthropogenic factors leads to a decrease in the marine biodiversity they can support. There is growing awareness of the need for concepts to conserve and/or rehabilitate seagrass ecosystems. One option is to create artificial seagrass to provide a physical structure for the marine organisms to colonize. The objective of this research was to analyze the effect of some artificial seagrasses and seagrass transplants on marine biodiversity, with a focus on the macrozoobenthic community. The experimental design compared two types of artificial seagrass (polypropylene ribbons and shrub-shaped plastic leaves), and seagrass transplants from nearby seagrass meadows. The experimental plots were 4 x 4 m2 with 3 replicates. Macrozoobenthic communities were sampled fortnightly for 3.5 months. At the end of the experiment, makrozoobenthos were also sampled from a natural seagrass bed nearby. Of 116 macrozoobenthic species in the artificial seagrass plots, 91 were gastropods. The density of the macrobenthic fauna increased from the beginning to the end of the study in all treatments, but the increase was only significant for the artificial seagrass treatment (i.e. shrub-like plastic leaves). There was a distinct separation between the macrozoobenthic community structure found in the restoration plots (artificial seagrass and transplanted seagrass) compared to natural seagrass beds.

  12. 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.

  13. Seagrass leaf element content

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.A.; Smulders, Fee O.H.; Christianen, Marjolijn J.A.; Govers, Laura L.

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge on the role of seagrass leaf elements and in particular micronutrients and their ranges is limited. We present a global database, consisting of 1126 unique leaf values for ten elements, obtained from literature and unpublished data, spanning 25 different seagrass species from 28 countries.

  14. Sulfide intrusion and detoxification in seagrasses ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne

    Sulfide intrusion in seagrasses represents a global threat to seagrasses and thereby an important parameter in resilience of seagrass ecosystems. In contrast seegrasses colonize and grow in hostile sediments, where they are constantly exposed to invasion of toxic gaseous sulfide. Remarkably little...... strategies of seagrasses to sustain sulfide intrusion. Using stable isotope tracing, scanning electron microscopy with x-ray analysis, tracing sulfur compounds combined with ecosystem parameters we found different spatial, intraspecific and interspecific strategies to cope with sulfidic sediments. 1...... not present in terrestrial plants at that level. Sulfide is not necessarily toxic but used as sulfur nutrition, presupposing healthy seagrass ecosystems that can support detoxification mechanisms. Presence or absence of those mechanisms determines susceptibility of seagrass ecosystems to sediment sulfide...

  15. 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.

  16. [Research progress on food sources and food web structure of wetlands based on stable isotopes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhan Yan; Wu, Hai Tao; Wang, Yun Biao; Lyu, Xian Guo

    2017-07-18

    The trophic dynamics of wetland organisms is the basis of assessing wetland structure and function. Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen have been widely applied to identify trophic relationships in food source, food composition and food web transport in wetland ecosystem studies. This paper provided an overall review about the current methodology of isotope mixing model and trophic level in wetland ecosystems, and discussed the standards of trophic fractionation and baseline. Moreover, we characterized the typical food sources and isotopic compositions of wetland ecosystems, summarized the food sources in different trophic levels of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores based on stable isotopic analyses. We also discussed the limitations of stable isotopes in tra-cing food sources and in constructing food webs. Based on the current results, development trends and upcoming requirements, future studies should focus on sample treatment, conservation and trophic enrichment measurement in the wetland food web, as well as on combing a variety of methodologies including traditional stomach stuffing, molecular markers, and multiple isotopes.

  17. 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

    food webs were influenced both by the species identity of the plant individual and the surrounding plant community. Unexpectedly, plant identity had the strongest effects on decomposing soil organisms, widely believed to be generalist feeders. In contrast, quantitative food web modeling showed...... that the composition of the plant community influenced nitrogen mineralization under individual plants, but that plant species identity did not affect nitrogen or carbon mineralization or food web stability. Hence, the composition and structure of entire soil food webs vary at the scale of individual plants...... and are strongly influenced by the species identity of the plant. However, the ecosystem functions these food webs provide are determined by the identity of the entire plant community....

  18. 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.

  19. Nitrogen fixation in Red Sea seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Malak

    2017-01-01

    Seagrasses are key coastal ecosystems, providing many ecosystem services. Seagrasses increase biodiversity as they provide habitat for a large set of organisms. In addition, their structure provides hiding places to avoid predation. Seagrasses can

  20. Seagrasses under threat: Understanding the resilience of temperate seagrass meadows in a changing environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.

    2017-01-01

    Despite being highly valuable ecosystems, seagrass meadows are threatened worldwide, mostly by human activities. In order to preserve seagrass meadows from collapse, we need to better understand their resilience in a changing environment. By means of various

  1. Seagrass blue carbon dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico: Stocks, losses from anthropogenic disturbance, and gains through seagrass restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorhaug, Anitra; Poulos, Helen M; López-Portillo, Jorge; Ku, Timothy C W; Berlyn, Graeme P

    2017-12-15

    Seagrasses comprise a substantive North American and Caribbean Sea blue carbon sink. Yet fine-scale estimates of seagrass carbon stocks, fluxes from anthropogenic disturbances, and potential gains in sedimentary carbon from seagrass restoration are lacking for most of the Western Hemisphere. To begin to fill this knowledge gap in the subtropics and tropics, we quantified organic carbon (C org ) stocks, losses, and gains from restorations at 8 previously-disturbed seagrass sites around the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) (n=128 cores). Mean natural seagrass C org stocks were 25.7±6.7MgC org ha -1 around the GoM, while mean C org stocks at adjacent barren sites that had previously hosted seagrass were 17.8MgC org ha -1 . Restored seagrass beds contained a mean of 38.7±13.1MgC org ha -1 . Mean C org losses differed by anthropogenic impact type, but averaged 20.98±7.14MgC org ha -1 . C org gains from seagrass restoration averaged 20.96±8.59Mgha -1 . These results, when combined with the similarity between natural and restored C org content, highlight the potential of seagrass restoration for mitigating seagrass C org losses from prior impact events. Our GoM basin-wide estimates of natural C org totaled ~36.4Tg for the 947,327ha for the USA-GoM. Including Mexico, the total basin contained an estimated 37.2-37.5Tg C org . Regional US-GoM losses totaled 21.69Tg C org . C org losses differed significantly among anthropogenic impacts. Yet, seagrass restoration appears to be an important climate change mitigation strategy that could be implemented elsewhere throughout the tropics and subtropics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thormar, Jonas Gjaldbæk; 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...

  3. The Food Web of Potter Cove (Antarctica): complexity, structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marina, Tomás I.; Salinas, Vanesa; Cordone, Georgina; Campana, Gabriela; Moreira, Eugenia; Deregibus, Dolores; Torre, Luciana; Sahade, Ricardo; Tatián, Marcos; Barrera Oro, Esteban; De Troch, Marleen; Doyle, Santiago; Quartino, María Liliana; Saravia, Leonardo A.; Momo, Fernando R.

    2018-01-01

    Knowledge of the food web structure and complexity are central to better understand ecosystem functioning. A food-web approach includes both species and energy flows among them, providing a natural framework for characterizing species' ecological roles and the mechanisms through which biodiversity influences ecosystem dynamics. Here we present for the first time a high-resolution food web for a marine ecosystem at Potter Cove (northern Antarctic Peninsula). Eleven food web properties were analyzed in order to document network complexity, structure and topology. We found a low linkage density (3.4), connectance (0.04) and omnivory percentage (45), as well as a short path length (1.8) and a low clustering coefficient (0.08). Furthermore, relating the structure of the food web to its dynamics, an exponential degree distribution (in- and out-links) was found. This suggests that the Potter Cove food web may be vulnerable if the most connected species became locally extinct. For two of the three more connected functional groups, competition overlap graphs imply high trophic interaction between demersal fish and niche specialization according to feeding strategies in amphipods. On the other hand, the prey overlap graph shows also that multiple energy pathways of carbon flux exist across benthic and pelagic habitats in the Potter Cove ecosystem. Although alternative food sources might add robustness to the web, network properties (low linkage density, connectance and omnivory) suggest fragility and potential trophic cascade effects.

  4. Insect symbionts in food webs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    McLean, A. H. C.; Parker, B. J.; Hrček, Jan; Henry, L. M.; Godfray, H. C. J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 371, č. 1702 (2016), article number 20150325 ISSN 0962-8436 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : food web * symbiont * symbiosis Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 5.846, year: 2016 http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/1702/20150325

  5. Caught in the food web: complexity made simple?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence R. Pomeroy

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Several historically separate lines of food-web research are merging into a unified approach. Connections between microbial and metazoan food webs are significant. Interactions of control by predators, defenses against predation, and availability of organic and inorganic nutrition, not any one of these, shape food webs. The same principles of population ecology apply to metazoans and microorganisms, but microorganisms dominate the flux of energy in both marine and terrestrial systems. Microbial biomass often is a major fraction of total biomass, and very small organisms have a very large ratio of production and respiration to biomass. Assimilation efficiency of bacteria in natural systems is often not as high as in experimental systems, so more primary production is lost to microbial respiration than had been thought. Simulation has been a highly useful adjunct to experiments in both population theory and in studies of biogeochemical mass balance, but it does not fully encompass the complexity of real systems. A major challenge for the future is to find better ways to deal with the real complexity of food webs, both in modeling and in empirical observations, and to do a better job of bringing together conceptually the dynamics of population processes and biogeochemistry.

  6. Modelling PCB bioaccumulation in a Baltic food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nfon, Erick; Cousins, Ian T.

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Theory of invasion extinction dynamics in minimal food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

    When food webs are exposed to species invasion, secondary extinction cascades may be set off. Although much work has gone into characterizing the structure of food webs, systematic predictions on their evolutionary dynamics are still scarce. Here we present a theoretical framework that predicts extinctions in terms of an alternating sequence of two basic processes: resource depletion by or competitive exclusion between consumers. We first propose a conceptual invasion extinction model (IEM) involving random fitness coefficients. We bolster this IEM by an analytical, recursive procedure for calculating idealized extinction cascades after any species addition and simulate the long-time evolution. Our procedure describes minimal food webs where each species interacts with only a single resource through the generalized Lotka-Volterra equations. For such food webs ex- tinction cascades are determined uniquely and the system always relaxes to a stable steady state. The dynamics and scale invariant species life time resemble the behavior of the IEM, and correctly predict an upper limit for trophic levels as observed in the field.

  8. Towards ecosystem-based management: Identifying operational food-web indicators for marine ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tam, Jamie C.; Link, Jason S.; Rossberg, Axel G.

    2017-01-01

    ) are an important aspect of all marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Here we describe and discuss a process to evaluate the selection of operational food-web indicators for use in evaluating marine ecosystem status. This process brought together experts in food-web ecology, marine ecology, and resource management......, to identify available indicators that can be used to inform marine management. Standard evaluation criteria (availability and quality of data, conceptual basis, communicability, relevancy to management) were implemented to identify practical food-web indicators ready for operational use and indicators...... that hold promise for future use in policy and management. The major attributes of the final suite of operational food-web indicators were structure and functioning. Indicators that represent resilience of the marine ecosystem were less developed. Over 60 potential food-web indicators were evaluated...

  9. Interactive effects of body-size structure and adaptive foraging on food-web stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heckmann, Lotta; Drossel, Barbara; Brose, Ulrich; Guill, Christian

    2012-03-01

    Body-size structure of food webs and adaptive foraging of consumers are two of the dominant concepts of our understanding how natural ecosystems maintain their stability and diversity. The interplay of these two processes, however, is a critically important yet unresolved issue. To fill this gap in our knowledge of ecosystem stability, we investigate dynamic random and niche model food webs to evaluate the proportion of persistent species. We show that stronger body-size structures and faster adaptation stabilise these food webs. Body-size structures yield stabilising configurations of interaction strength distributions across food webs, and adaptive foraging emphasises links to resources closer to the base. Moreover, both mechanisms combined have a cumulative effect. Most importantly, unstructured random webs evolve via adaptive foraging into stable size-structured food webs. This offers a mechanistic explanation of how size structure adaptively emerges in complex food webs, thus building a novel bridge between these two important stabilising mechanisms. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Food web heterogeneity and succession in created saltmarshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordstrom, M C; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; 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

  11. Food-web dynamics under climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, L.; Takahashi, M.; Hartvig, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Climate change affects ecological communities through its impact on the physiological performance of individuals. However, the population dynamic of species well inside their thermal niche is also determined by competitors, prey and predators, in addition to being influenced by temperature changes....... We use a trait-based food-web model to examine how the interplay between the direct physiological effects from temperature and the indirect effects due to changing interactions between populations shapes the ecological consequences of climate change for populations and for entire communities. Our...... climatically well-adapted species may be brought to extinction by the changed food-web topology. Our results highlight that the impact of climate change on specific populations is largely unpredictable, and apparently well-adapted species may be severely impacted...

  12. Assimilation of diazotrophic nitrogen into pelagic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodland, Ryan J; Holland, Daryl P; Beardall, John; Smith, Jonathan; Scicluna, Todd; Cook, Perran L M

    2013-01-01

    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 underlying

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Laender, F.; Van den Brink, P.J.; Janssen, C.R.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  16. Adaptive foraging and flexible food web topology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Křivan, Vlastimil; Schmitz, O.

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Export from Seagrass Meadows Contributes to Marine Carbon Sequestration

    KAUST Repository

    Duarte, Carlos M.; Krause-Jensen, Dorte

    2017-01-01

    Seagrasses export a substantial portion of their primary production, both in particulate and dissolved organic form, but the fate of this export production remains unaccounted for in terms of seagrass carbon sequestration. Here we review available evidence on the fate of seagrass carbon export to conclude that this represents a significant contribution to carbon sequestration, both in sediments outside seagrass meadows and in the deep sea. The evidence presented implies that the contribution of seagrass meadows to carbon sequestration has been underestimated by only including carbon burial within seagrass sediments.

  18. Export from Seagrass Meadows Contributes to Marine Carbon Sequestration

    KAUST Repository

    Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-17

    Seagrasses export a substantial portion of their primary production, both in particulate and dissolved organic form, but the fate of this export production remains unaccounted for in terms of seagrass carbon sequestration. Here we review available evidence on the fate of seagrass carbon export to conclude that this represents a significant contribution to carbon sequestration, both in sediments outside seagrass meadows and in the deep sea. The evidence presented implies that the contribution of seagrass meadows to carbon sequestration has been underestimated by only including carbon burial within seagrass sediments.

  19. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blanche Saint-Béat

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Temporal variation of intertidal seagrass in southern China (2008-2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Guanglong; Short, Frederick T.; Fan, Hangqing; Liu, Guohua

    2017-09-01

    Understanding the temporal dynamics of seagrasses and the major influences on seagrass growth is critical for seagrass habitat conservation and administration. However, little work has been done regarding these issues in southern China. To examine inter-annual and seasonal variations of the intertidal Halophila ovalis community in southern China, we conducted quarterly sampling using the SeagrassNet methodology and assessed environmental conditions as well as direct anthropogenic impacts on the seagrass meadow from July 2008 to October 2014. Our study demonstrated strong inter-annual and seasonal dynamics of the intertidal seagrass meadow in the study area. Generally, the community performed best (highest seagrass cover, leaf area, shoot density, total biomass) in summer and worst in spring among the 4 seasons. The temporal variations in the seagrass community attributes (e.g. above-ground biomass) were significantly affected by precipitation, atmospheric visibility, and salinity, while leaf width was significantly negatively correlated with temperature, atmospheric visibility and salinity. Temperature was a major factor influencing the seagrass community (both macroalgae and seagrass), with temperature data showing an inverse relationship between seagrass and macroalgae. The above-ground: below-ground biomass ratio and leaf width of H. ovalis were the most sensitive plant parameters monitored when assessing environmental interactions. Human physical disturbances did not have a significant effect on seagrass dynamics in the study area. We concluded that long-term monitoring (like SeagrassNet) is valuable in understanding the relationship between environmental variables and seagrasses.

  4. [Hurricane Paloma's effects on seagrasses along Jardines de la Reina Archipelago, Cuba].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimarais, Mayrene; Zúñiga, Adán; Pina, Fabián; Matos, Felipe

    2013-09-01

    Seagrasses are one of the most important coastal ecosystems since they promote organic matter flow, nutrient cycling, food availability and refuge. Until now, reports on damages caused by storms and hurricanes on seagrass beds are uncommon and highly variable. The seagrass meadows of the East end of Jardines de la Reina archipelago were surveyed from Nov. 29th to Dec. 5th of 2008, in order to determinate the effects from the passing of Hurricane Paloma: a category three storm on the Saffir-Simpsom scale. A rapid field assessment of the affected areas was carried out using the manta tow technique. In six sites, seagrass was quantitatively evaluated using a 15cm diameter core (four sampling units per site) and shoot density was calculated. Remote sensing techniques were used to estimate seagrass cover. To estimate the percentage of affected areas, a Region of Interest (ROI) was first created over a Landsat image. The percentage of seagrass affected within the ROI was estimated through direct georeferentiation of the contours of the damaged area and with a comparison to the total seagrass extension. To find possible explanations for damages, a false colour image was created using the near infrared band, to highlight the differences between emerged and submerged zones. The direction of winds was estimated using ArcGis 9.2 creating circular buffers, from the centre of the hurricane and generating lines tangent to the buffers. Seagrass in the region was dominated by the angiosperm Thalassia testudinum. Regional mean density was 1 321 +/- 721 shoots/m2, a value regarded as high for the Caribbean area. Seagrass meadows were partly affected by sediment accumulation on the shoots of T. testudinum and uprooting rhizomes. The 7.6 km2 disturbed area represented 1% of the total seagrass area. Other sites, closer to the centre of the hurricane, did not show any damages on the marine vegetation. The keys location with respect to the hurricane track was the most likely cause of the

  5. [Seagrass ecosystems: contributions to and mechanisms of carbon sequestration].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Guang-Long; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Li, Zong-Shan; Fan, Hang-Qing; Zhou, Hao-Lang; Liu, Guo-Hua

    2014-06-01

    The ocean's vegetated habitats, in particular seagrasses, mangroves and salt marshes, each capture and store a comparable amount of carbon per year, forming the Earth's blue carbon sinks, the most intense carbon sinks on the planet. Seagrass meadows, characterized by high primary productivity, efficient water column filtration and sediment stability, have a pronounced capacity for carbon sequestration. This is enhanced by low decomposition rates in anaerobic seagrass sediments. The carbon captured by seagrass meadows contributes significantly to the total blue carbon. At a global scale, seagrass ecosystems are carbon sink hot spots and have profound influences on the global carbon cycle. This importance combined with the many other functions of seagrass meadows places them among the most valuable ecosystems in the world. Unfortunately, seagrasses are declining globally at an alarming rate owing to anthropogenic disturbances and climate change, making them also among the most threatened ecosystems on the Earth. The role of coastal systems in carbon sequestration has received far too little attention and thus there are still many uncertainties in evaluating carbon sequestration of global seagrass meadows accurately. To better assess the carbon sequestration of global seagrass ecosystems, a number of scientific issues should be considered with high priorities: 1) more accurate measurements of seagrass coverage at national and global levels; 2) more comprehensive research into species- and location-specific carbon sequestration efficiencies; 3) in-depth exploration of the effects of human disturbance and global climate change on carbon capture and storage by seagrass ecosystems.

  6. 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...

  7. Stable-isotope analysis: a neglected tool for placing parasites in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabadel, A J M; Stumbo, A D; MacLeod, C D

    2018-02-28

    Parasites are often overlooked in the construction of food webs, despite their ubiquitous presence in almost every type of ecosystem. Researchers who do recognize their importance often struggle to include parasites using classical food-web theory, mainly due to the parasites' multiple hosts and life stages. A novel approach using compound-specific stable-isotope analysis promises to provide considerable insight into the energetic exchanges of parasite and host, which may solve some of the issues inherent in incorporating parasites using a classical approach. Understanding the role of parasites within food webs, and tracing the associated biomass transfers, are crucial to constructing new models that will expand our knowledge of food webs. This mini-review focuses on stable-isotope studies published in the past decade, and introduces compound-specific stable-isotope analysis as a powerful, but underutilized, newly developed tool that may answer many unresolved questions regarding the role of parasites in food webs.

  8. Methylmercury biomagnification in an Arctic pelagic food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic element that enters the biosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources, and emitted gaseous Hg enters the Arctic from lower latitudes by long-range transport. In aquatic systems, anoxic conditions favor the bacterial transformation of inorganic Hg to methylmercury (MeHg), which has a greater potential for bioaccumulation than inorganic Hg and is the most toxic form of Hg. The main objective of the present study was to quantify the biomagnification of MeHg in a marine pelagic food web, comprising species of zooplankton, fish, and seabirds, from the Kongsfjorden system (Svalbard, Norway), by use of trophic magnification factors. As expected, tissue concentrations of MeHg increased with increasing trophic level in the food web, though at greater rates than observed in several earlier studies, especially at lower latitudes. There was strong correlation between MeHg and total Hg concentrations through the food web as a whole. The concentration of MeHg in kittiwake decreased from May to October, contributing to seasonal differences in trophic magnification factors. The ecology and physiology of the species comprising the food web in question may have a large influence on the magnitude of the biomagnification. A significant linear relationship was also observed between concentrations of selenium and total Hg in birds but not in zooplankton, suggesting the importance of selenium in Hg detoxification for individuals with high Hg concentrations. © 2015 SETAC.

  9. Soil food web structure after wood ash application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  10. River food webs: an integrative approach to bottom-up flow webs, top-down impact webs, and trophic position.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benke, Arthur C

    2018-03-31

    The majority of food web studies are based on connectivity, top-down impacts, bottom-up flows, or trophic position (TP), and ecologists have argued for decades which is best. Rarely have any two been considered simultaneously. The present study uses a procedure that integrates the last three approaches based on taxon-specific secondary production and gut analyses. Ingestion flows are quantified to create a flow web and the same data are used to quantify TP for all taxa. An individual predator's impacts also are estimated using the ratio of its ingestion (I) of each prey to prey production (P) to create an I/P web. This procedure was applied to 41 invertebrate taxa inhabiting submerged woody habitat in a southeastern U.S. river. A complex flow web starting with five basal food resources had 462 flows >1 mg·m -2 ·yr -1 , providing far more information than a connectivity web. Total flows from basal resources to primary consumers/omnivores were dominated by allochthonous amorphous detritus and ranged from 1 to >50,000 mg·m -2 ·yr -1 . Most predator-prey flows were much lower (1,000  mg·m -2 ·yr -1 . The I/P web showed that 83% of individual predator impacts were weak (90%). Quantitative estimates of TP ranged from 2 to 3.7, contrasting sharply with seven integer-based trophic levels based on longest feeding chain. Traditional omnivores (TP = 2.4-2.9) played an important role by consuming more prey and exerting higher impacts on primary consumers than strict predators (TP ≥ 3). This study illustrates how simultaneous quantification of flow pathways, predator impacts, and TP together provide an integrated characterization of natural food webs. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Macroinvertebrate diet in intertidal seagrass and sandflat communities : a study using C, N, and S stable isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leduc, D.; Probert, P.K.; Frew, R.D.; Hurd, C.L.

    2006-01-01

    Most seagrass community food-web studies using stable isotopes have been carried out in subtidal habitats during one sampling event. We used C, N, and S stable isotopes to characterise the diet of the dominant macroinvertebrates found in intertidal Zostera capricorni and sandflat communities of southern New Zealand in late summer and winter. The range of δ 13 C and δ 34 S values for Z. capricorni was wide (>5 permille), which highlights the importance of accounting for spatial and temporal variability in primary producer isotopic signatures. The range of δ 15 N values for Z. capricorni was comparatively small ( 13 C and δ 15 N signatures suggested that Z. capricorni was a potentially important contributor (24-99%) to the diet of most consumers sampled at the seagrass site, whereas microphytobenthos dominated the diet of the same consumers at the sandflat site. The main exception was the bivalve Austrovenus stutchburyi, which had a diet consisting mostly (up to 85%) of Ulva and Polysiphonia spp. at both sites. S isotopes proved to be of limited use owing to the difficulty of sampling microphytobenthos and to potential non-dietary sources of 34 S-depleted sulfur to consumers. Mixing models also suggested that Z. capricorni contributed more to the diet of deposit feeders in August (late winter) than in March (late summer). (author). 75 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs

  12. Importance of seagrass-mangrove continuum as feeding grounds for juvenile pink ear emperor Lethrinus lentjan in Setiu Lagoon, Malaysia: Stable isotope approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Dung Quang; Tanaka, Kentaro; Hii, Yii Siang; Sano, Yuji; Nanjo, Kusuto; Shirai, Kotaro

    2018-05-01

    The commercially important pink ear emperor fish, Lethrinus lentjan, often occurs as a juvenile in subtropical and tropical interlinked mangrove and seagrass ecosystems, but little is known about its feeding habits and habitat use. Here, we used gut contents and stable isotopic (δ13C and δ15N) ratios to determine temporal changes in food sources and foraging habits of juvenile and sub-adult fish collected in mangrove forests and seagrass beds in the Setiu Lagoon. Gut content examination identified the main food sources as crustaceans, gastropods, bivalves, and annelids. Stable isotope analysis of food sources showed marked differences between the mangroves (δ13C = -26.8 ± 2.0‰; δ15N = 4.3 ± 1.7‰) and the seagrasses (mean ± S.D. δ13C = -20.5 ± 5.5‰; δ15N = 5.8 ± 1.2‰). The isotopic composition of L. lentjan revealed that it mainly utilized seagrass-based food sources. Rainfall and the semi-diurnal tidal regimes may affect the foraging habitats of fish in the lagoon. A significant depletion of 13C related to body size was observed, suggesting that mangroves provided some benefits to sub-adult fish. In contrast, trophic position increased with fish growth, although this increase was negligible. A stable isotope mixing model confirmed that the seagrass bed constituted the main carbon source for the fish, but with an increasing contribution of mangrove prey, such as sesarmid crabs, related to fish growth. This study provided novel information on seasonal variations in feeding areas and flexible habitat use in L. lentjan in the Setiu Lagoon, which will help optimize management strategies for sustainable use and wildlife conservation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurore Maureaud

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Pulsed flows, tributary inputs, and food web structure in a highly regulated river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabo, John; Caron, Melanie; Doucett, Richard R.; Dibble, Kimberly L.; Ruhi, Albert; Marks, Jane; Hungate, Bruce; Kennedy, Theodore A.

    2018-01-01

    1.Dams disrupt the river continuum, altering hydrology, biodiversity, and energy flow. Although research indicates that tributary inputs have the potential to dilute these effects, knowledge at the food web level is still scarce.2.Here we examined the riverine food web structure of the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam, focusing on organic matter sources, trophic diversity, and food chain length. We asked how these components respond to pulsed flows from tributaries following monsoon thunderstorms that seasonally increase streamflow in the American Southwest.3.Tributaries increased the relative importance of terrestrial organic matter, particularly during the wet season below junctures of key tributaries. This contrasted with the algal-based food web present immediately below Glen Canyon Dam.4.Tributary inputs during the monsoon also increased trophic diversity and food chain length: food chain length peaked below the confluence with the largest tributary (by discharge) in Grand Canyon, increasing by >1 trophic level over a 4-5 kilometre reach possibly due to aquatic prey being flushed into the mainstem during heavy rain events.5.Our results illustrate that large tributaries can create seasonal discontinuities, influencing riverine food web structure in terms of allochthony, food web diversity, and food chain length.6.Synthesis and applications. Pulsed flows from unregulated tributaries following seasonal monsoon rains increase the importance of terrestrially-derived organic matter in large, regulated river food webs, increasing food chain length and trophic diversity downstream of tributary inputs. Protecting unregulated tributaries within hydropower cascades may be important if we are to mitigate food web structure alteration due to flow regulation by large dams. This is critical in the light of global hydropower development, especially in megadiverse, developing countries where dam placement (including completed and planned structures) is in tributaries.

  15. Benchmarking Successional Progress in a Quantitative Food Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boit, Alice; Gaedke, Ursula

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Benchmarking successional progress in a quantitative food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Boit

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

  17. Benchmarking successional progress in a quantitative food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boit, Alice; Gaedke, Ursula

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Soil fertility shapes belowground food webs across a regional climate gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laliberté, Etienne; Kardol, Paul; Didham, Raphael K; Teste, François P; Turner, Benjamin L; Wardle, David A

    2017-10-01

    Changes in soil fertility during pedogenesis affect the quantity and quality of resources entering the belowground subsystem. Climate governs pedogenesis, yet how climate modulates responses of soil food webs to soil ageing remains unexplored because of the paucity of appropriate model systems. We characterised soil food webs along each of four retrogressive soil chronosequences situated across a strong regional climate gradient to show that belowground communities are predominantly shaped by changes in fertility rather than climate. Basal consumers showed hump-shaped responses to soil ageing, which were propagated to higher-order consumers. There was a shift in dominance from bacterial to fungal energy channels with increasing soil age, while the root energy channel was most important in intermediate-aged soils. Our study highlights the overarching importance of soil fertility in regulating soil food webs, and indicates that belowground food webs will respond more strongly to shifts in soil resources than climate change. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Seagrass Parameter Affect the Fish Assemblages in Karimunjawa Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sri Susilo, Endang; Nugroho Sugianto, Denny; Munasik; Nirwani; Adhi Suryono, Chrisna

    2018-02-01

    Seagrass beds promote high species diversity, abundance and biomass, and become important habitats for some economically important fishes. Plants of seagrasses result in structurally highly complex habitats and offering feeding grounds, shelter from predation as well as nursery areas for diverse fish assemblages. However, research on fish communities in Southeast Asian seagrass bed is rarely conducted. In the present study fish assemblages in seagrass beds with different parameters (cover, diversity and similarity indices, domination) was investigated in the Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia. The purpose of this study were to assess whether fish assemblages differ concerning on the abundance and the species number. This study was conducted on the seagrass bed on Karimunjawa Islands in Java Sea, particularly in the water of Menjangan Besar and Menjangan Kecil Island. Line-quadrant transect was used to assess seagrass data, while the occurrence and individual number of fish harboured in the selected seagrass bed was counted by using underwater visual census in the stationary point count transects. Seagrass cover in Menjangan Kecil Island (41%) with various canopy included both upper and lower canopy was considerable higher than those in Menjangan Besar Island (5%). Fish diversity, species composition and abundance are considerably different between the two study sites. This study revealed that seagrass density or cover and canopy structure affected the fish abundance and species number harboured.

  1. Seagrass restoration enhances "blue carbon" sequestration in coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greiner, Jill T; McGlathery, Karen J; Gunnell, John; McKee, Brent A

    2013-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are highly productive habitats that provide important ecosystem services in the coastal zone, including carbon and nutrient sequestration. Organic carbon in seagrass sediment, known as "blue carbon," accumulates from both in situ production and sedimentation of particulate carbon from the water column. Using a large-scale restoration (>1700 ha) in the Virginia coastal bays as a model system, we evaluated the role of seagrass, Zosteramarina, restoration in carbon storage in sediments of shallow coastal ecosystems. Sediments of replicate seagrass meadows representing different age treatments (as time since seeding: 0, 4, and 10 years), were analyzed for % carbon, % nitrogen, bulk density, organic matter content, and ²¹⁰Pb for dating at 1-cm increments to a depth of 10 cm. Sediment nutrient and organic content, and carbon accumulation rates were higher in 10-year seagrass meadows relative to 4-year and bare sediment. These differences were consistent with higher shoot density in the older meadow. Carbon accumulation rates determined for the 10-year restored seagrass meadows were 36.68 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹. Within 12 years of seeding, the restored seagrass meadows are expected to accumulate carbon at a rate that is comparable to measured ranges in natural seagrass meadows. This the first study to provide evidence of the potential of seagrass habitat restoration to enhance carbon sequestration in the coastal zone.

  2. Methane Production by Seagrass Ecosystems in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Garcias Bonet, Neus; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-01

    Atmospheric methane (CH) is the second strongest greenhouse gas and it is emitted to the atmosphere naturally by different sources. It is crucial to define the dimension of these natural emissions in order to forecast changes in atmospheric CH mixing ratio in future scenarios. However, CH emissions by seagrass ecosystems in shallow marine coastal systems have been neglected although their global extension. Here we quantify the CH production rates of seagrass ecosystems in the Red Sea. We measured changes in CH concentration and its isotopic signature by cavity ring-down spectroscopy on chambers containing sediment and plants. We detected CH production in all the seagrass stations with an average rate of 85.09 ± 27.80 μmol CH m d. Our results show that there is no seasonal or daily pattern in the CH production rates by seagrass ecosystems in the Red Sea. Taking in account the range of global estimates for seagrass coverage and the average seagrass CH production, the global CH production and emission by seagrass ecosystems could range from 0.09 to 2.7 Tg yr. Because CH emission by seagrass ecosystems had not been included in previous global CH budgets, our estimate would increase the contribution of marine global emissions, hitherto estimated at 9.1 Tg yr, by about 30%. Thus, the potential contribution of seagrass ecosystems to marine CH emissions provides sufficient evidence of the relevance of these fluxes as to include seagrass ecosystems in future assessments of the global CH budgets.

  3. Methane Production by Seagrass Ecosystems in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Garcias Bonet, Neus

    2017-11-07

    Atmospheric methane (CH) is the second strongest greenhouse gas and it is emitted to the atmosphere naturally by different sources. It is crucial to define the dimension of these natural emissions in order to forecast changes in atmospheric CH mixing ratio in future scenarios. However, CH emissions by seagrass ecosystems in shallow marine coastal systems have been neglected although their global extension. Here we quantify the CH production rates of seagrass ecosystems in the Red Sea. We measured changes in CH concentration and its isotopic signature by cavity ring-down spectroscopy on chambers containing sediment and plants. We detected CH production in all the seagrass stations with an average rate of 85.09 ± 27.80 μmol CH m d. Our results show that there is no seasonal or daily pattern in the CH production rates by seagrass ecosystems in the Red Sea. Taking in account the range of global estimates for seagrass coverage and the average seagrass CH production, the global CH production and emission by seagrass ecosystems could range from 0.09 to 2.7 Tg yr. Because CH emission by seagrass ecosystems had not been included in previous global CH budgets, our estimate would increase the contribution of marine global emissions, hitherto estimated at 9.1 Tg yr, by about 30%. Thus, the potential contribution of seagrass ecosystems to marine CH emissions provides sufficient evidence of the relevance of these fluxes as to include seagrass ecosystems in future assessments of the global CH budgets.

  4. Planktonic food webs revisited: Reanalysis of results from the linear inverse approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hlaili, Asma Sakka; Niquil, Nathalie; Legendre, Louis

    2014-01-01

    Identification of the trophic pathway that dominates a given planktonic assemblage is generally based on the distribution of biomasses among food-web compartments, or better, the flows of materials or energy among compartments. These flows are obtained by field observations and a posteriori analyses, including the linear inverse approach. In the present study, we re-analysed carbon flows obtained by inverse analysis at 32 stations in the global ocean and one large lake. Our results do not support two "classical" views of plankton ecology, i.e. that the herbivorous food web is dominated by mesozooplankton grazing on large phytoplankton, and the microbial food web is based on microzooplankton significantly consuming bacteria; our results suggest instead that phytoplankton are generally grazed by microzooplankton, of which they are the main food source. Furthermore, we identified the "phyto-microbial food web", where microzooplankton largely feed on phytoplankton, in addition to the already known "poly-microbial food web", where microzooplankton consume more or less equally various types of food. These unexpected results led to a (re)definition of the conceptual models corresponding to the four trophic pathways we found to exist in plankton, i.e. the herbivorous, multivorous, and two types of microbial food web. We illustrated the conceptual trophic pathways using carbon flows that were actually observed at representative stations. The latter can be calibrated to correspond to any field situation. Our study also provides researchers and managers with operational criteria for identifying the dominant trophic pathway in a planktonic assemblage, these criteria being based on the values of two carbon ratios that could be calculated from flow values that are relatively easy to estimate in the field.

  5. Seagrasses in tropical Australia, productive and abundant for decades decimated overnight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Peter C; Greenway, Margaret

    2013-03-01

    Seagrass ecosystems provide unique coastal habitats critical to the life cycle of many species. Seagrasses are a major store of organic carbon. While seagrasses are globally threatened and in decline, in Cairns Harbour, Queensland, on the tropical east coast of Australia, they have flourished. We assessed seagrass distribution in Cairns Harbour between 1953 and 2012 from historical aerial photographs, Google map satellite images, existing reports and our own surveys of their distribution. Seasonal seagrass physiology was assessed through gross primary production, respiration and photosynthetic characteristics of three seagrass species, Cymodocea serrulata, Thalassia hemprichii and Zostera muelleri. At the higher water temperatures of summer, respiration rates increased in all three species, as did their maximum rates of photosynthesis. All three seagrasses achieved maximum rates of photosynthesis at low tide and when they were exposed. For nearly six decades there was little change in seagrass distribution in Cairns Harbour. This was most likely because the seagrasses were able to achieve sufficient light for growth during intertidal and low tide periods. With historical data of seagrass distribution and measures of species production and respiration, could seagrass survival in a changing climate be predicted? Based on physiology, our results predicted the continued maintenance of the Cairns Harbour seagrasses, although one species was more susceptible to thermal disturbance. However, in 2011 an unforeseen episodic disturbance - Tropical Cyclone Yasi - and associated floods lead to the complete and catastrophic loss of all the seagrasses in Cairns Harbour.

  6. Seasonal variation in mercury and food web biomagnification in Lake Ontario, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Liang; Campbell, Linda M.; Johnson, Timothy B.

    2012-01-01

    Seasonal variation in mercury (Hg) concentrations and food web structure was assessed for eastern Lake Ontario. Hg concentrations, measured in 6 species of invertebrates and 8 species of fishes, tended to be highest in the spring and lowest in the summer for most biota. Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) exhibited significant ontogenetic shifts in diet and Hg, although such patterns were not evident for other species. Food web structure, as indicated by stable isotope values (δ 15 N, δ 13 C) was not static. Log-transformed Hg data were strongly and consistently correlated with δ 15 N values for the whole food web in each of the three seasons (slopes, 0.17–0.24) and across the entire year (slope, 0.2). While significantly different between seasons, the regression slope values are still consistent with published global Hg biomagnification rates. Our results indicate that the assessment of Hg trends in Great Lakes must take into account seasonal patterns and time of sampling. - Graphical abstract: Total mercury concentrations and trophic level (δ 15 N) regressions for organisms from the littoral Lake Ontario food web of Waupoos in 2009. Filled circles represent invertebrates while open circles represent fish. Dashed lines represents the regression between δ 15 N and THg of “whole” food web (log-Hg-δ 15 N regression equations in the upper left hand corner in each plot), and solid lines represents the regression between δ 15 N and THg of “fish-only” food web (log-Hg-δ 15 N regression equations in the lower right hand corner of each plot). Note that the y-axis is untransformed Hg concentrations plotted along a logarithmic scale, while the equations are based on log-transformed Hg values. Highlights: ► Most fish in littoral Lake Ontario had higher Hg concentrations in spring and lower Hg in summer. ► Log Hg consistently biomagnified throughout the food web in each season and for the year. ► Biomagnification rates (e.g., log Hg-δ 15 N slopes) vary

  7. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. 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.

  9. Coral Community Structure and Recruitment in Seagrass Meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn E. Lohr

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Coral communities are increasingly found to populate non-reef habitats prone to high environmental variability. Such sites include seagrass meadows, which are generally not considered optimal habitats for corals as a result of limited suitable substrate for settlement and substantial diel and seasonal fluctuations in physicochemical conditions relative to neighboring reefs. Interest in understanding the ability of corals to persist in non-reef habitats has grown, however little baseline data exists on community structure and recruitment of scleractinian corals in seagrass meadows. To determine how corals populate seagrass meadows, we surveyed the established and recruited coral community over 25 months within seagrass meadows at Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. Simultaneous surveys of established and recruited coral communities at neighboring back-reef sites were conducted for comparison. To fully understand the amount of environmental variability to which corals in each habitat were exposed, we conducted complementary surveys of physicochemical conditions in both seagrass meadows and back-reefs. Despite overall higher variability in physicochemical conditions, particularly pH, compared to the back-reef, 14 coral taxa were capable of inhabiting seagrass meadows, and multiple coral families were also found to recruit to these sites. However, coral cover and species diversity, richness, and evenness were lower at sites within seagrass meadows compared to back-reef sites. Although questions remain regarding the processes governing recruitment, these results provide evidence that seagrass beds can serve as functional habitats for corals despite high levels of environmental variability and suboptimal conditions compared to neighboring reefs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. ESTIMATION OF SEAGRASS COVERAGE BY DEPTH INVARIANT INDICES ON QUICKBIRD IMAGERY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Anshar Amran

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Management of seagrass ecosystem requires availability of information on the actual condition of seagrass coverage. Remote sensing technology for seagrass mapping has been used to detect the presence of seagrass coverage, but so far no information on the condition of seagrass could be obtained. Therefore, a research is required using remote sensing imagery to obtain information on the condition of seagrass coverage.The aim of this research is to formulate mathematical relationship between seagrass coverage and depth invariant indices on Quickbird imagery. Transformation was done on multispectral bands which could detect sea floor objects that are in the region of blue, green and red bands.The study areas covered are the seas around Barranglompo Island and Barrangcaddi Island, westward of Makassar city, Indonesia. Various seagrass coverages were detected within the region under study.Mathematical relationship between seagrass coverage and depth invariant indices was obtained by multiple linear regression method. Percentage of seagrass coverage (C was obtained by transformation of depth invariant indices (Xij on Quickbird imagery, with transformation equation as follows:C = 19.934 – 63.347 X12 + 23.239 X23.A good accuracy of 75% for the seagrass coverage was obtained by transformation of depth invariant indices (Xij on Quickbird imagery.

  12. The importance of genetic make-up in seagrass restoration : a case study of the seagrass Zostera noltei

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jahnke, Marlene; Serra, Ilia Anna; Bernard, Guillaume; Procaccini, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are among the most important coastal ecosystems. Their ongoing decline is of concern, and transplantations are carried out in many parts of the world to restore the ecosystem services seagrass meadows provide. Several studies have highlighted the importance of genetic diversity for

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Dunne

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

  14. The Florida Seagrass Integrated Mapping and Monitoring (SIMM) Program: Indications of the effects of regional climate variability on these vital ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarbro, L.; Carlson, P. R., Jr.

    2016-12-01

    The SIMM program was developed to protect and manage seagrass resources in Florida by providing a collaborative vehicle for seagrass mapping, monitoring, data sharing, and reporting. We summarize and interpret mapping data and field assessments of seagrass abundance and diversity and water quality gathered by regional scientists and managers who work in estuaries from the Panhandle to the northeast Florida coast. Since 2013, regional reports summarizing the status and trends of seagrass ecosystems have been available on the web. The format provides current information for a wide stakeholder community. Ongoing collaborative efforts of more than 30 seagrass researchers and managers provide timely information on environmental and ecosystem changes in these important systems. Since the first published seagrass assessments in 2009, we have observed large changes in seagrass abundance and diversity in several regions; most but not all changes were likely due to variations in water quality that determine the light available to benthic vegetation. In the Panhandle and the Big Bend, in 2012-2104, increases in the frequency and severity of storms and resulting runoff reduced water quality which in turn decreased the abundance and distribution of seagrasses. The storm pattern resulted from changes in the subtropical jet stream and persisted for 3 years. In south Florida, heat and drought elevated salinities to extreme levels in Florida Bay in 2015; the resulting stratification along with high temperatures caused die-off of thousands of hectares of seagrass in the north central Bay. Extremely wet conditions in southeast Florida in 2015-2016 strained the water management system, resulting in large releases of polluted freshwater to estuaries on the southwest and southeast coasts, reducing light availability and causing large blooms of noxious algae. While other regions have also experienced algal blooms that reduced available light (Indian River Lagoon), seagrasses have

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Waves in Seagrass Systems: Review and Technical Recommendations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-11-01

    Florida, St. Petersburg, FL, 123 pp. Koch, E. W. 1994. Hydrodynamics, diffusion boundary layers and photosynthesis of the seagrasses Thalassia testudinum...ER D C TR -0 6- 15 System-Wide Water Resources Program Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Restoration Research Program Waves in Seagrass ...Water Resources Research Program and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Restoration Research Program ERDC TR-06-15 November 2006 Waves in Seagrass Systems

  17. Habitat characteristics provide insights of carbon storage in seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, Inés

    2018-02-17

    Seagrass meadows provide multiple ecosystem services, yet they are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Because of their role as carbon sinks, protection and restoration of seagrass meadows contribute to climate change mitigation. Blue Carbon strategies aim to enhance CO2 sequestration and avoid greenhouse gasses emissions through the management of coastal vegetated ecosystems, including seagrass meadows. The implementation of Blue Carbon strategies requires a good understanding of the habitat characteristics that influence Corg sequestration. Here, we review the existing knowledge on Blue Carbon research in seagrass meadows to identify the key habitat characteristics that influence Corg sequestration in seagrass meadows, those factors that threaten this function and those with unclear effects. We demonstrate that not all seagrass habitats have the same potential, identify research priorities and describe the implications of the results found for the implementation and development of efficient Blue Carbon strategies based on seagrass meadows.

  18. Boosted food web productivity through ocean acidification collapses under warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldenberg, Silvan U; Nagelkerken, Ivan; Ferreira, Camilo M; Ullah, Hadayet; Connell, Sean D

    2017-10-01

    Future climate is forecast to drive bottom-up (resource driven) and top-down (consumer driven) change to food web dynamics and community structure. Yet, our predictive understanding of these changes is hampered by an over-reliance on simplified laboratory systems centred on single trophic levels. Using a large mesocosm experiment, we reveal how future ocean acidification and warming modify trophic linkages across a three-level food web: that is, primary (algae), secondary (herbivorous invertebrates) and tertiary (predatory fish) producers. Both elevated CO 2 and elevated temperature boosted primary production. Under elevated CO 2 , the enhanced bottom-up forcing propagated through all trophic levels. Elevated temperature, however, negated the benefits of elevated CO 2 by stalling secondary production. This imbalance caused secondary producer populations to decline as elevated temperature drove predators to consume their prey more rapidly in the face of higher metabolic demand. Our findings demonstrate how anthropogenic CO 2 can function as a resource that boosts productivity throughout food webs, and how warming can reverse this effect by acting as a stressor to trophic interactions. Understanding the shifting balance between the propagation of resource enrichment and its consumption across trophic levels provides a predictive understanding of future dynamics of stability and collapse in food webs and fisheries production. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maureaud, Aurore; Gascuel, Didier; Colléter, Mathieu

    2017-01-01

    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......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......) 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...

  1. 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…

  2. abundance and diversity of seagrass and macrofauna

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    with and without seaweed farms at Chwaka Bay and Jambiani, in the East Coast of Zanzibar. Eight seagrass .... Ascherson, Cymodocea serrulata (Brown). Ascherson et ..... Meadows with the same composition of seagrass species may ...

  3. Ecological significance of hazardous concentrations in a planktonic food web

    OpenAIRE

    De Laender, F.; Soetaert, K.; De Schamphelaere, K.A.C.; Middelburg, J.J.; Janssen, C.R.

    2010-01-01

    Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are statistical distributions that are used to estimate the potentially affected fraction (PAF) of species at a given toxicant concentration, the hazardous concentration for that fraction of species (HCPAF). Here, we use an aquatic food web model that includes 14 phytoplankton and 6 zooplankton species to estimate the number of species experiencing a biomass reduction when the food web is exposed to the HCPAF and this for 1000 hypothetical toxicants an...

  4. Detection of seagrass beds in Khunk Graben Bay, Thailand, using ALOS AVNI2 image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komatsu, Teruhisa; Noiraksar, Thidarat; Sakamoto, Shingo X.; Sawayama, Shuhei; Miyamoto, Hiroomi; Phauk, Sophany; Thongdee, Pornthep; Jualaong, Suthep; Nishida, Shuhei

    2012-11-01

    Coastal habitats having high productivity provide numerous ecological services such as foods, protection from strong waves through buffering effect, fixation of CO2 through photosynthesis, fostering biodiversity etc. However, increasing human impacts and climate change decrease or degrade coastal habitats. ASEAN region is developing most rapidly in the world. In the developing region, it is necessary to grasp present spatial distributions of habitats as a baseline data with standardized mapping methods. Remote sensing is one of the most effective methods for mapping. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) provides non-commercial satellite images with ultra-high spatial resolution optical sensors (10 m), AVNIR2, similar to LANDSAT TM. Using ALOS AVNIR2 images it may be possible to make habitat map in the region. In Thailand, shrimp ponds cause degradation of coastal ecosystem through cutting mangroves and eutrophicated discharge from ponds. We examined capability of remote sesing with ALOS AVNIR2 to map seagrass beds in Khung Kraben Bay, Chanthaburi Province, Thailand, surrounded by shrimp ponds. We analyzed ALOS AVNIR2 taken on 25 January 2008. Ground truth survey was conducted in October 2010 using side scan sonar and scuba diving. The survey revealed that there were broad seagrass beds consisting of Enhalus acroides. We used a decision tree to detect seagrass beds in the bay with quite turbid seawater coupled with Depth-Invariant Index proposed by Lyzenga (1985) and bottom reflectances. We could succeed to detect seagrass beds. Thus it is concluded that ALOS AVNIR2 is practical to map seagrass beds in this region.

  5. Habitat characteristics provide insights of carbon storage in seagrass meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazarrasa, Inés; Samper-Villarreal, Jimena; Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul S; Lovelock, Catherine E; Marbà, Núria; Duarte, Carlos M; Cortés, Jorge

    2018-02-16

    Seagrass meadows provide multiple ecosystem services, yet they are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Because of their role as carbon sinks, protection and restoration of seagrass meadows contribute to climate change mitigation. Blue Carbon strategies aim to enhance CO 2 sequestration and avoid greenhouse gasses emissions through the management of coastal vegetated ecosystems, including seagrass meadows. The implementation of Blue Carbon strategies requires a good understanding of the habitat characteristics that influence C org sequestration. Here, we review the existing knowledge on Blue Carbon research in seagrass meadows to identify the key habitat characteristics that influence C org sequestration in seagrass meadows, those factors that threaten this function and those with unclear effects. We demonstrate that not all seagrass habitats have the same potential, identify research priorities and describe the implications of the results found for the implementation and development of efficient Blue Carbon strategies based on seagrass meadows. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Knowledge gaps in tropical Southeast Asian seagrass systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ooi, Jillian Lean Sim; Kendrick, Gary A.; Van Niel, Kimberly P.; Affendi, Yang Amri

    2011-03-01

    Seagrasses are habitats with significant ecological and economic functions but we have limited knowledge of seagrasses in Southeast Asia, the hypothesized centre-of-origin for tropical seagrasses. There have been only 62 ISI-cited publications on the seagrasses of Southeast Asia in the last three decades and most work has been in few sites such as Northwest Luzon in the Philippines and South Sulawesi in Indonesia. Our understanding of the processes driving spatial and temporal distributions of seagrass species here has focussed primarily on backreef and estuarine seagrass meadows, with little work on forereef systems. We used Pulau Tinggi, an island off the southeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia, as an example of a subtidal forereef system. It is characterized by a community of small and fast growing species such as Halophila ovalis (mean shoot density 1454.6 ± 145.1 m -2) and Halodule uninervis (mean shoot density 861.7 ± 372.0 m -2) growing in relatively low light conditions (mean PAR 162.1 ± 35.0 μmol m -2 s -1 at 10 m depth to 405.8 ± 99.0 μmol m -2 s -1 at 3 m water depth) on sediment with low carbonate (mean 9.24 ± 1.74 percentage dry weight), organic matter (mean 2.56 ± 0.35 percentage dry weight) and silt-clay content (mean 2.28 ± 2.43 percentage dry weight). The literature reveals that there is a range of drivers operating in Southeast Asian seagrass systems and we suggest that this is because there are various types of seagrass habitats in this region, i.e. backreef, forereef and estuary, each of which has site characteristics and ecological drivers unique to it. Based on our case study of Pulau Tinggi, we suggest that seagrasses in forereef systems are more widespread in Southeast Asia than is reflected in the literature and that they are likely to be driven by recurring disturbance events such as monsoons, sediment burial and herbivory.

  8. Distribution of seagrasses along the Indian coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.

    the Tamil Nadu Coast. Seagrasses were observed from intertidal to subtidal regions down to 8 m depth. Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenberg) Aschers. and Cymodocea serrulata (R. Brown) Aschers. and Magnus were the dominant seagrasses in the subtidal zones...

  9. Seagrass-Watch: Engaging Torres Strait Islanders in marine habitat monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellors, Jane E.; McKenzie, Len J.; Coles, Robert G.

    2008-09-01

    Involvement in scientifically structured habitat monitoring is a relatively new concept to the peoples of Torres Strait. The approach we used was to focus on awareness, and to build the capacity of groups to participate using Seagrass-Watch as the vehicle to provide education and training in monitoring marine ecosystems. The project successfully delivered quality scientifically rigorous baseline information on the seasonality of seagrasses in the Torres Strait—a first for this region. Eight seagrass species were identified across the monitoring sites. Seagrass cover varied within and between years. Preliminary evidence indicated that drivers for seagrass variability were climate related. Generally, seagrass abundance increased during the north-west monsoon ( Kuki), possibly a consequence of elevated nutrients, lower tidal exposure times, less wind, and higher air temperatures. Low seagrass abundance coincided with the presence of greater winds and longer periods of exposure at low tides during the south-east trade wind season ( Sager). No seasonal patterns were apparent when frequency of disturbance from high sedimentation and human impacts was high. Seagrass-Watch has been incorporated in to the Thursday Island High School's Marine Studies Unit ensuring continuity of monitoring. The students, teachers, and other interested individuals involved in Seagrass-Watch have mastered the necessary scientific procedures to monitor seagrass meadows, and developed skills in coordinating a monitoring program and skills in mentoring younger students. This has increased the participants' self-esteem and confidence, and given them an insight into how they may participate in the future management of their sea country.

  10. Benthic primary producers are key to sustain the Wadden Sea food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; Middelburg, J.J.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; Jouta, J.; Compton, T.J.; Heide, van der T.; Piersma, T.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Veer, van der H.W.; Schouten, S.; Olff, H.

    2017-01-01

    Coastal food webs can be supported by local benthic or pelagic primary producers and by the import of organic matter. Distinguishing between these energy sources is essential for our understanding of ecosystem functioning. However, the relative contribution of these components to the food web at the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelburg, J.J.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hogsden, Kristy L.; Harding, Jon S.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Feeding environment and other traits shape species' roles in marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirtwill, Alyssa R; Eklöf, Anna

    2018-04-02

    Food webs and meso-scale motifs allow us to understand the structure of ecological communities and define species' roles within them. This species-level perspective on networks permits tests for relationships between species' traits and their patterns of direct and indirect interactions. Such relationships could allow us to predict food-web structure based on more easily obtained trait information. Here, we calculated the roles of species (as vectors of motif position frequencies) in six well-resolved marine food webs and identified the motif positions associated with the greatest variation in species' roles. We then tested whether the frequencies of these positions varied with species' traits. Despite the coarse-grained traits we used, our approach identified several strong associations between traits and motifs. Feeding environment was a key trait in our models and may shape species' roles by affecting encounter probabilities. Incorporating environment into future food-web models may improve predictions of an unknown network structure. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Species richness and trophic diversity increase decomposition in a co-evolved food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Baiser

    Full Text Available Ecological communities show great variation in species richness, composition and food web structure across similar and diverse ecosystems. Knowledge of how this biodiversity relates to ecosystem functioning is important for understanding the maintenance of diversity and the potential effects of species losses and gains on ecosystems. While research often focuses on how variation in species richness influences ecosystem processes, assessing species richness in a food web context can provide further insight into the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning and elucidate potential mechanisms underpinning this relationship. Here, we assessed how species richness and trophic diversity affect decomposition rates in a complete aquatic food web: the five trophic level web that occurs within water-filled leaves of the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea. We identified a trophic cascade in which top-predators--larvae of the pitcher-plant mosquito--indirectly increased bacterial decomposition by preying on bactivorous protozoa. Our data also revealed a facultative relationship in which larvae of the pitcher-plant midge increased bacterial decomposition by shredding detritus. These important interactions occur only in food webs with high trophic diversity, which in turn only occur in food webs with high species richness. We show that species richness and trophic diversity underlie strong linkages between food web structure and dynamics that influence ecosystem functioning. The importance of trophic diversity and species interactions in determining how biodiversity relates to ecosystem functioning suggests that simply focusing on species richness does not give a complete picture as to how ecosystems may change with the loss or gain of species.

  15. Spatially explicit feedbacks between seagrass meadow structure, sediment and light: Habitat suitability for seagrass growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Joel; D'Odorico, Paul; McGlathery, Karen; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2016-01-01

    In shallow coastal bays where nutrient loading and riverine inputs are low, turbidity, and the consequent light environment are controlled by resuspension of bed sediments due to wind-waves and tidal currents. High sediment resuspension and low light environments can limit benthic primary productivity; however, both currents and waves are affected by the presence of benthic plants such as seagrass. This feedback between the presence of benthic primary producers such as seagrass and the consequent light environment has been predicted to induce bistable dynamics locally. However, these vegetated areas influence a larger area than they footprint, including a barren adjacent downstream area which exhibits reduced shear stresses. Here we explore through modeling how the patchy structure of seagrass meadows on a landscape may affect sediment resuspension and the consequent light environment due to the presence of this sheltered region. Heterogeneous vegetation covers comprising a mosaic of randomly distributed patches were generated to investigate the effect of patch modified hydrodynamics. Actual cover of vegetation on the landscape was used to facilitate comparisons across landscape realizations. Hourly wave and current shear stresses on the landscape along with suspended sediment concentration and light attenuation characteristics were then calculated and spatially averaged to examine how actual cover and mean water depth affect the bulk sediment and light environment. The results indicate that an effective cover, which incorporates the sheltering area, has important controls on the distributions of shear stress, suspended sediment, light environment, and consequent seagrass habitat suitability. Interestingly, an optimal habitat occurs within a depth range where, if actual cover is reduced past some threshold, the bulk light environment would no longer favor seagrass growth.

  16. Carbon storage in the seagrass meadows of Gazi Bay, Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N Githaiga

    Full Text Available Vegetated marine habitats are globally important carbon sinks, making a significant contribution towards mitigating climate change, and they provide a wide range of other ecosystem services. However, large gaps in knowledge remain, particularly for seagrass meadows in Africa. The present study estimated biomass and sediment organic carbon (Corg stocks of four dominant seagrass species in Gazi Bay, Kenya. It compared sediment Corg between seagrass areas in vegetated and un-vegetated 'controls', using the naturally patchy occurence of seagrass at this site to test the impacts of seagrass growth on sediment Corg. It also explored relationships between the sediment and above-ground Corg, as well as between the total biomass and above-ground parameters. Sediment Corg was significantly different between species, range: 160.7-233.8 Mg C ha-1 (compared to the global range of 115.3 to 829.2 Mg C ha-1. Vegetated areas in all species had significantly higher sediment Corg compared with un-vegetated controls; the presence of seagrass increased Corg by 4-6 times. Biomass carbon differed significantly between species with means ranging between 4.8-7.1 Mg C ha-1 compared to the global range of 2.5-7.3 Mg C ha-1. To our knowledge, these are among the first results on seagrass sediment Corg to be reported from African seagrass beds; and contribute towards our understanding of the role of seagrass in global carbon dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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...

  18. Status and threats on seagrass beds using GIS in Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luong, Cao Van; Thao, Nguyen Van; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Ve, Nguyen Dac; Tien, Dam Duc

    2012-10-01

    Seagrasses, marine flowering plants, are widely distributed along temperate and tropical coastlines of the world. Seagrasses have key ecological roles in coastal ecosystems and can form extensive meadows supporting high biodiversity. Till now, fourteen seagrass species belonging to four families were found in Vietnam: Halophila beccarii, H. decipiens, H. ovalis, H. minor, Thalassia hemprichii, Enhalus acoroides, Ruppia maritima, Halodule pinifolia, H. uninervis, Syringodium isoetifolium, Cymadocea rotundata, C. serrulata and Thalassodendron ciliatum. A total area of seagrass beds in Vietnam is estimated to be approximately 17000 ha by satellite images and GIS technology. In recent years, the distribution areas and densities of seagrass beds in Vietnam have been serious decreased compared with those 10-15 years ago. The decline level depended on the impacts by the natural process, the economical activities and the conservation awareness of local people. Thus, it is different at each coastal area. Generally speaking, the distribution areas and densities of seagrass beds were decreased by more than 50%. Seagrasses on tidal flats in some areas such as Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Phu Quoc seem to be nearly lost. The distribution areas of seagrass beds in 2009 at Tam Giang-Cau Hai lagoon and Cua Dai estuary was decreased by 50-70% of those in early 1990s.

  19. Phytotoxicity of Four Photosystem II Herbicides to Tropical Seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Florita; Collier, Catherine J.; Mercurio, Philip; Negri, Andrew P.

    2013-01-01

    Coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are contaminated with agricultural pesticides, including the photosystem II (PSII) herbicides which are the most frequently detected at the highest concentrations. Designed to control weeds, these herbicides are equally potent towards non-target marine species, and the close proximity of seagrass meadows to flood plumes has raised concerns that seagrasses may be the species most threatened by herbicides from runoff. While previous work has identified effects of PSII herbicides on the photophysiology, growth and mortality in seagrass, there is little comparative quantitative toxicity data for seagrass. Here we applied standard ecotoxicology protocols to quantify the concentrations of four priority PSII herbicides that inhibit photochemistry by 10, 20 and 50% (IC10, IC20 and IC50) over 72 h in two common seagrass species from the GBR lagoon. The photosystems of seagrasses Zostera muelleri and Halodule uninervis were shown to be generally more sensitive to the PSII herbicides Diuron, Atrazine, Hexazinone and Tebuthiuron than corals and tropical microalgae. The herbicides caused rapid inhibition of effective quantum yield (∆F/F m ′), indicating reduced photosynthesis and maximum effective yields (Fv/Fm) corresponding to chronic damage to PSII. The PSII herbicide concentrations which affected photosynthesis have been exceeded in the GBR lagoon and all of the herbicides inhibited photosynthesis at concentrations lower than current marine park guidelines. There is a strong likelihood that the impacts of light limitation from flood plumes and reduced photosynthesis from PSII herbicides exported in the same waters would combine to affect seagrass productivity. Given that PSII herbicides have been demonstrated to affect seagrass at environmental concentrations, we suggest that revision of environmental guidelines and further efforts to reduce PSII herbicide concentrations in floodwaters may both help protect seagrass meadows

  20. Phytotoxicity of four photosystem II herbicides to tropical seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Florita; Collier, Catherine J; Mercurio, Philip; Negri, Andrew P

    2013-01-01

    Coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are contaminated with agricultural pesticides, including the photosystem II (PSII) herbicides which are the most frequently detected at the highest concentrations. Designed to control weeds, these herbicides are equally potent towards non-target marine species, and the close proximity of seagrass meadows to flood plumes has raised concerns that seagrasses may be the species most threatened by herbicides from runoff. While previous work has identified effects of PSII herbicides on the photophysiology, growth and mortality in seagrass, there is little comparative quantitative toxicity data for seagrass. Here we applied standard ecotoxicology protocols to quantify the concentrations of four priority PSII herbicides that inhibit photochemistry by 10, 20 and 50% (IC10, IC20 and IC50) over 72 h in two common seagrass species from the GBR lagoon. The photosystems of seagrasses Zosteramuelleri and Haloduleuninervis were shown to be generally more sensitive to the PSII herbicides Diuron, Atrazine, Hexazinone and Tebuthiuron than corals and tropical microalgae. The herbicides caused rapid inhibition of effective quantum yield (∆F/F m '), indicating reduced photosynthesis and maximum effective yields (Fv/Fm ) corresponding to chronic damage to PSII. The PSII herbicide concentrations which affected photosynthesis have been exceeded in the GBR lagoon and all of the herbicides inhibited photosynthesis at concentrations lower than current marine park guidelines. There is a strong likelihood that the impacts of light limitation from flood plumes and reduced photosynthesis from PSII herbicides exported in the same waters would combine to affect seagrass productivity. Given that PSII herbicides have been demonstrated to affect seagrass at environmental concentrations, we suggest that revision of environmental guidelines and further efforts to reduce PSII herbicide concentrations in floodwaters may both help protect seagrass meadows of

  1. Phytotoxicity of four photosystem II herbicides to tropical seagrasses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florita Flores

    Full Text Available Coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR are contaminated with agricultural pesticides, including the photosystem II (PSII herbicides which are the most frequently detected at the highest concentrations. Designed to control weeds, these herbicides are equally potent towards non-target marine species, and the close proximity of seagrass meadows to flood plumes has raised concerns that seagrasses may be the species most threatened by herbicides from runoff. While previous work has identified effects of PSII herbicides on the photophysiology, growth and mortality in seagrass, there is little comparative quantitative toxicity data for seagrass. Here we applied standard ecotoxicology protocols to quantify the concentrations of four priority PSII herbicides that inhibit photochemistry by 10, 20 and 50% (IC10, IC20 and IC50 over 72 h in two common seagrass species from the GBR lagoon. The photosystems of seagrasses Zosteramuelleri and Haloduleuninervis were shown to be generally more sensitive to the PSII herbicides Diuron, Atrazine, Hexazinone and Tebuthiuron than corals and tropical microalgae. The herbicides caused rapid inhibition of effective quantum yield (∆F/F m ', indicating reduced photosynthesis and maximum effective yields (Fv/Fm corresponding to chronic damage to PSII. The PSII herbicide concentrations which affected photosynthesis have been exceeded in the GBR lagoon and all of the herbicides inhibited photosynthesis at concentrations lower than current marine park guidelines. There is a strong likelihood that the impacts of light limitation from flood plumes and reduced photosynthesis from PSII herbicides exported in the same waters would combine to affect seagrass productivity. Given that PSII herbicides have been demonstrated to affect seagrass at environmental concentrations, we suggest that revision of environmental guidelines and further efforts to reduce PSII herbicide concentrations in floodwaters may both help protect

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olena Glavatska

    Full Text Available 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

  3. 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

  4. SEAGRASS AND CDOM IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seagrasses play a variety of important ecological roles in coastal ecosystems. Here we present evidence that seagrass detritus from the widespread species, Thalassia testudinum, is an important source of ocean color and UV-protective substances in a low latitude coastal shelf reg...

  5. Mass-Balance Constraints on Nutrient Cycling in Tropical Seagrass Beds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erftemeijer, P.L.A.; Middelburg, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    A relatively simple mass balance model is presented to study the cycling of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in tropical seagrass beds. The model is based on quantitative data on nutrient availability, seagrass primary production, community oxygen metabolism, seagrass tissue nutrient contents,

  6. Ocean acidification buffering effects of seagrass in Tampa Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Kimberly K.; Moyer, Ryan P.; Moore, Christopher; Tomasko, David A.; Smiley, Nathan A.; Torres-Garcia, Legna; Powell, Christina E.; Chappel, Amanda R.; Bociu, Ioana; Smiley, Nathan; Torres-Garcia, Legna M.; Powell, Christina E.; Chappel, Amanda R.; Bociu, Ioana

    2016-01-01

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified ocean acidification as a critical threat to marine and estuarine species in ocean and coastal ecosystems around the world. However, seagrasses are projected to benefit from elevated atmospheric pCO2, are capable of increasing seawater pH and carbonate mineral saturation states through photosynthesis, and may help buffer against the chemical impacts of ocean acidification. Additionally, dissolution of carbonate sediments may also provide a mechanism for buffering seawater pH. Long-term water quality monitoring data from the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County indicates that seawater pH has risen since the 1980‘s as seagrass beds have continued to recover since that time. We examined the role of seagrass beds in maintaining and elevating pH and carbonate mineral saturation state in northern and southern Tampa Bay where the percent of carbonate sediments is low (40%), respectively. Basic water quality and carbonate system parameters (including pH, total alkalinity, dissolved inorganic carbon, partial pressure of CO2, and carbonate mineral saturation state) were measured over diurnal time periods along transects (50-100 m) including dense and sparse Thalassia testudinum. seagrass beds, deep edge seagrass, and adjacent bare sand bottom. Seagrass density and productivity, sediment composition and hydrodynamic parameters were also measured, concurrently. Results indicate that seagrass beds locally elevate pH by up to 0.5 pH unit and double carbonate mineral saturation states relative to bare sand habitats. Thus, seagrass beds in Tampa Bay may provide refuge for marine organisms from the impacts of ocean acidification.

  7. Predicting habitat distribution to conserve seagrass threatened by sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, M. I.; Baldock, T.; Brown, C. J.; Callaghan, D. P.; Golshani, A.; Hamylton, S.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Leon, J. X.; Lovelock, C. E.; Lyons, M. B.; O'Brien, K.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) over the 21st century will cause significant redistribution of valuable coastal habitats. Seagrasses form extensive and highly productive meadows in shallow coastal seas support high biodiversity, including economically valuable and threatened species. Predictive habitat models can inform local management actions that will be required to conserve seagrass faced with multiple stressors. We developed novel modelling approaches, based on extensive field data sets, to examine the effects of sea level rise and other stressors on two representative seagrass habitats in Australia. First, we modelled interactive effects of SLR, water clarity and adjacent land use on estuarine seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland. The extent of suitable seagrass habitat was predicted to decline by 17% by 2100 due to SLR alone, but losses were predicted to be significantly reduced through improvements in water quality (Fig 1a) and by allowing space for seagrass migration with inundation. The rate of sedimentation in seagrass strongly affected the area of suitable habitat for seagrass in sea level rise scenarios (Fig 1b). Further research to understand spatial, temporal and environmental variability of sediment accretion in seagrass is required. Second, we modelled changes in wave energy distribution due to predicted SLR in a linked coral reef and seagrass ecosystem at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Scenarios where the water depth over the coral reef deepened due to SLR and minimal reef accretion, resulted in larger waves propagating shoreward, changing the existing hydrodynamic conditions sufficiently to reduce area of suitable habitat for seagrass. In a scenario where accretion of the coral reef was severely compromised (e.g. warming, acidification, overfishing), the probability of the presence of seagrass declined significantly. Management to maintain coral health will therefore also benefit seagrasses subject to SLR in reef environments. Further

  8. Web-Based Virtual Laboratory for Food Analysis Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handayani, M. N.; Khoerunnisa, I.; Sugiarti, Y.

    2018-02-01

    Implementation of learning on food analysis course in Program Study of Agro-industrial Technology Education faced problems. These problems include the availability of space and tools in the laboratory that is not comparable with the number of students also lack of interactive learning tools. On the other hand, the information technology literacy of students is quite high as well the internet network is quite easily accessible on campus. This is a challenge as well as opportunities in the development of learning media that can help optimize learning in the laboratory. This study aims to develop web-based virtual laboratory as one of the alternative learning media in food analysis course. This research is R & D (research and development) which refers to Borg & Gall model. The results showed that assessment’s expert of web-based virtual labs developed, in terms of software engineering aspects; visual communication; material relevance; usefulness and language used, is feasible as learning media. The results of the scaled test and wide-scale test show that students strongly agree with the development of web based virtual laboratory. The response of student to this virtual laboratory was positive. Suggestions from students provided further opportunities for improvement web based virtual laboratory and should be considered for further research.

  9. Assessing the contribution of beach-cast seagrass wrack to global GHGs emissions: experimental models, problems and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misson, Gloria; Incerti, Guido; Alberti, Giorgio; Delle Vedove, Gemini; Pirelli, Tiziana; Peressotti, Alessandro

    2017-04-01

    Carbon stock in coastal seagrass ecosystems is estimated to be 4.2-8.4 Pg C. While covering less than 0.2% of the ocean floor, seagrasses store about 10% of the carbon buried in the oceans each year. However, such a potential contribution is reduced by the annual loss of seagrasses globally (-1.5% per year) mainly because of anthropogenic coastal development and climate change. Like many terrestrial higher plants, marine seagrasses lose their old leaves during annual or inter-annual senescence, and a significant proportion of these residues is transported in surface waters and washed up on shores by surf, tides and winds. This beach-cast seagrass wrack provides important ecosystem services, such as reducing wave impact, protecting beaches from erosion, providing habitat to bird and invertebrate species that colonize shorelines, and being a primary food resource for beach detritivores. However, accumulation of seagrass wrack on beaches, following degradation of meadows, can negatively impact tourism. Therefore, wrack piles are frequently collected and disposed of in landfills or biomass waste facilities, and the adoption of these management practices implies substantial environmental and economic costs. On the other hand, wrack piles might be a significant source of greenhouse emissions (GHGs). Recent studies reported CO2 emission rates and suggested possible mitigation options, such as energy conversion and biochar production through pyrolysis. Even though quantitative estimates of both seagrass coastal distribution and residues disposal to seashores are partially available, at least at regional level, the assessment of their contribution to global GHGs emissions is still lacking, due to a knowledge gap about the effects of peculiar environmental conditions of beach ecosystems on seagrass decay rates. In this framework, we propose an experimental model to assess seagrass wrack decomposition dynamics in both controlled conditions and experimental fields in North

  10. 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.

  11. Assessing diversity and phytoremediation potential of seagrass in tropical region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seagrass ecosystem is one of the most important resources in the coastal areas. Seagrasses support and provide habitats for many coastal organisms in tropical region. Seagrasses are specialized marine flowering plants that have adapted to the nearshore environment with heterogeneous landscape struct...

  12. What lies beneath? : Linking litter and canopy food webs to protect ornamental crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muñoz Cárdenas, K.A.

    2017-01-01

    The main research question of this thesis was how interactions between above-ground and below-ground food webs affect biological control. Arthropod food webs associated with plants are commonly composed of several species of herbivores, the detritivore community, specialist and generalist predators

  13. Successional dynamics in the seasonally forced diamond food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klausmeier, Christopher A; Litchman, Elena

    2012-07-01

    Plankton seasonal succession is a classic example of nonequilibrium community dynamics. Despite the fact that it has been well studied empirically, it lacks a general quantitative theory. Here we investigate a food web model that includes a resource, two phytoplankton, and a shared grazer-the diamond food web-in a seasonal environment. The model produces a number of successional trajectories that have been widely discussed in the context of the verbal Plankton Ecology Group model of succession, such as a spring bloom of a good competitor followed by a grazer-induced clear-water phase, setting the stage for the late-season dominance of a grazer-resistant species. It also predicts a novel, counterintuitive trajectory where the grazer-resistant species has both early- and late-season blooms. The model often generates regular annual cycles but sometimes produces multiyear cycles or chaos, even with identical forcing each year. Parameterizing the model, we show how the successional trajectory depends on nutrient supply and the length of the growing season, two key parameters that vary among water bodies. This model extends nonequilibrium theory to food webs and is a first step toward a quantitative theory of plankton seasonal succession.

  14. Predicting Seagrass Occurrence in a Changing Climate Using Random Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydin, O.; Butler, K. A.

    2017-12-01

    Seagrasses are marine plants that can quickly sequester vast amounts of carbon (up to 100 times more and 12 times faster than tropical forests). In this work, we present an integrated GIS and machine learning approach to build a data-driven model of seagrass presence-absence. We outline a random forest approach that avoids the prevalence bias in many ecological presence-absence models. One of our goals is to predict global seagrass occurrence from a spatially limited training sample. In addition, we conduct a sensitivity study which investigates the vulnerability of seagrass to changing climate conditions. We integrate multiple data sources including fine-scale seagrass data from MarineCadastre.gov and the recently available globally extensive publicly available Ecological Marine Units (EMU) dataset. These data are used to train a model for seagrass occurrence along the U.S. coast. In situ oceans data are interpolated using Empirical Bayesian Kriging (EBK) to produce globally extensive prediction variables. A neural network is used to estimate probable future values of prediction variables such as ocean temperature to assess the impact of a warming climate on seagrass occurrence. The proposed workflow can be generalized to many presence-absence models.

  15. 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.

  16. The influence of wave energy and sediment transport on seagrass distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Andrew W.; Lacy, Jessica R.

    2012-01-01

    A coupled hydrodynamic and sediment transport model (Delft3D) was used to simulate the water levels, waves, and currents associated with a seagrass (Zostera marina) landscape along a 4-km stretch of coast in Puget Sound, WA, USA. A hydroacoustic survey of seagrass percent cover and nearshore bathymetry was conducted, and sediment grain size was sampled at 53 locations. Wave energy is a primary factor controlling seagrass distribution at the site, accounting for 73% of the variability in seagrass minimum depth and 86% of the variability in percent cover along the shallow, sandy portions of the coast. A combination of numerical simulations and a conceptual model of the effect of sea-level rise on the cross-shore distribution of seagrass indicates that the area of seagrass habitat may initially increase and that wave dynamics are an important factor to consider in predicting the effect of sea-level rise on seagrass distributions in wave-exposed areas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001

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

  18. Unraveling the intricate dynamics of planktonic Arctic marine food webs. A sensitivity analysis of a well-documented food web model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saint-Béat, Blanche; Maps, Frédéric; Babin, Marcel

    2018-01-01

    The extreme and variable environment shapes the functioning of Arctic ecosystems and the life cycles of its species. This delicate balance is now threatened by the unprecedented pace and magnitude of global climate change and anthropogenic pressure. Understanding the long-term consequences of these changes remains an elusive, yet pressing, goal. Our work was specifically aimed at identifying which biological processes impact Arctic planktonic ecosystem functioning, and how. Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) indices reveal emergent ecosystem properties that are not accessible through simple in situ observation. These indices are based on the architecture of carbon flows within food webs. But, despite the recent increase in in situ measurements from Arctic seas, many flow values remain unknown. Linear inverse modeling (LIM) allows missing flow values to be estimated from existing flow observations and, subsequent reconstruction of ecosystem food webs. Through a sensitivity analysis on a LIM model of the Amundsen Gulf in the Canadian Arctic, we were able to determine which processes affected the emergent properties of the planktonic ecosystem. The analysis highlighted the importance of an accurate knowledge of the various processes controlling bacterial production (e.g. bacterial growth efficiency and viral lysis). More importantly, a change in the fate of the microzooplankton within the food web can be monitored through the trophic level of mesozooplankton. It can be used as a "canary in the coal mine" signal, a forewarner of larger ecosystem change.

  19. 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.

  20. The movement ecology of seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kathryn; van Dijk, Kor-Jent; Ruiz-Montoya, Leonardo; Kendrick, Gary A; Krauss, Siegfried L; Waycott, Michelle; Verduin, Jennifer; Lowe, Ryan; Statton, John; Brown, Eloise; Duarte, Carlos

    2014-11-22

    A movement ecology framework is applied to enhance our understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of movement in seagrasses: marine, clonal, flowering plants. Four life-history stages of seagrasses can move: pollen, sexual propagules, vegetative fragments and the spread of individuals through clonal growth. Movement occurs on the water surface, in the water column, on or in the sediment, via animal vectors and through spreading clones. A capacity for long-distance dispersal and demographic connectivity over multiple timeframes is the novel feature of the movement ecology of seagrasses with significant evolutionary and ecological consequences. The space-time movement footprint of different life-history stages varies. For example, the distance moved by reproductive propagules and vegetative expansion via clonal growth is similar, but the timescales range exponentially, from hours to months or centuries to millennia, respectively. Consequently, environmental factors and key traits that interact to influence movement also operate on vastly different spatial and temporal scales. Six key future research areas have been identified.

  1. 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

  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 Effects of Water Parameters on Monthly Seagrass Percentage Cover in Lawas, East Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad-Kamil, E. I.; Ramli, R.; Jaaman, S. A.; Bali, J.; Al-Obaidi, J. R.

    2013-01-01

    Seagrass is a valuable marine ecosystem engineer. However, seagrass population is declining worldwide. The lack of seagrass research in Malaysia raises questions about the status of seagrasses in the country. The seagrasses in Lawas, which is part of the coral-mangrove-seagrass complex, have never been studied in detail. In this study, we examine whether monthly changes of seagrass population in Lawas occurred. Data on estimates of seagrass percentage cover and water physicochemical parameters (pH, turbidity, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen) were measured at 84 sampling stations established within the study area from June 2009 to May 2010. Meteorological data such as total rainfall, air temperature, and Southern Oscillation Index were also investigated. Our results showed that (i) the monthly changes of seagrass percentage cover are significant, (ii) the changes correlated significantly with turbidity measurements, and (iii) weather changes affected the seagrass populations. Our study indicates seagrass percentage increased during the El-Nino period. These results suggest that natural disturbances such as weather changes affect seagrass populations. Evaluation of land usage and measurements of other water physicochemical parameters (such as heavy metal, pesticides, and nutrients) should be considered to assess the health of seagrass ecosystem at the study area. PMID:24163635

  4. Impact of pond aquaculture effluents on seagrass performance in NE Hainan, tropical China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbeck, Lucia S.; Sollich, Miriam; Unger, Daniela; Holmer, Marianne; Jennerjahn, Tim C.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Seagrass performance in relation to large-scale pond aquaculture was assessed. • Effluent-affected seagrass meadows have a low biodiversity, shoot density and biomass. • Shading by epiphytes and sulphide poisoning are major decline mechanisms of seagrasses. • Distance to effluent source and pond agglomeration size are major determinants of seagrass degradation. - Abstract: The impact of pond aquaculture effluents on the distribution and performance of seagrasses was examined in NE Hainan, tropical China. Samples were taken along transects in three back-reef areas with different extent of aquaculture production in their hinterland. High δ 15 N in seagrass leaves and epiphytes (6–9‰) similar to values in pond effluents documented aquaculture as dominant nitrogen source in the back-reefs with decreasing impact with distance from shore. Seagrass species abundance, shoot density and biomass were lower and concentrations of nutrients, chlorophyll and suspended matter were higher at nearshore sites with high and moderate pond abundance than at the control site. High epiphyte loads and low δ 34 S in seagrass leaves suggest temporal shading and sulphide poisoning of the nearshore seagrasses. Observed gradients in environmental parameters and seagrass performance indicate that the distance from the pond outlets and size of the adjacent pond agglomeration are major determinants of seagrass degradation

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Portail

    Full Text Available 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

  6. 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.

  7. IMPORTANCE OF TEMPERATURE IN MODELLING PCB BIOACCUMULATION IN THE LAKE MICHIGAN FOOD WEB

    Science.gov (United States)

    In most food web models, the exposure temperature of a food web is typically defined using a single spatial compartment. This essentially assumes that the predator and prey are exposed to the same temperature. However, in a large water body such as Lake Michigan, due to the spati...

  8. Measuring the role of seagrasses in regulating sediment surface elevation

    KAUST Repository

    Potouroglou, Maria

    2017-09-13

    Seagrass meadows provide numerous ecosystem services and their rapid global loss may reduce human welfare as well as ecological integrity. In common with the other \\'blue carbon\\' habitats (mangroves and tidal marshes) seagrasses are thought to provide coastal defence and encourage sediment stabilisation and surface elevation. A sophisticated understanding of sediment elevation dynamics in mangroves and tidal marshes has been gained by monitoring a wide range of different sites, located in varying hydrogeomorphological conditions over long periods. In contrast, similar evidence for seagrasses is sparse; the present study is a contribution towards filling this gap. Surface elevation change pins were deployed in four locations, Scotland, Kenya, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia, in both seagrass and unvegetated control plots in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal zone. The presence of seagrass had a highly significant, positive impact on surface elevation at all sites. Combined data from the current work and the literature show an average difference of 31 mm per year in elevation rates between vegetated and unvegetated areas, which emphasizes the important contribution of seagrass in facilitating sediment surface elevation and reducing erosion. This paper presents the first multi-site study for sediment surface elevation in seagrasses in different settings and species.

  9. Measuring the role of seagrasses in regulating sediment surface elevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potouroglou, Maria; Bull, James C.; Krauss, Ken W.; Kennedy, Hilary A.; Fusi, Marco; Daffonchio, Daniele; Mangora, Mwita M.; Githaiga, Michael N.; Diele, Karen; Huxham, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Seagrass meadows provide numerous ecosystem services and their rapid global loss may reduce human welfare as well as ecological integrity. In common with the other ‘blue carbon’ habitats (mangroves and tidal marshes) seagrasses are thought to provide coastal defence and encourage sediment stabilisation and surface elevation. A sophisticated understanding of sediment elevation dynamics in mangroves and tidal marshes has been gained by monitoring a wide range of different sites, located in varying hydrogeomorphological conditions over long periods. In contrast, similar evidence for seagrasses is sparse; the present study is a contribution towards filling this gap. Surface elevation change pins were deployed in four locations, Scotland, Kenya, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia, in both seagrass and unvegetated control plots in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal zone. The presence of seagrass had a highly significant, positive impact on surface elevation at all sites. Combined data from the current work and the literature show an average difference of 31 mm per year in elevation rates between vegetated and unvegetated areas, which emphasizes the important contribution of seagrass in facilitating sediment surface elevation and reducing erosion. This paper presents the first multi-site study for sediment surface elevation in seagrasses in different settings and species.

  10. Seagrasses in tropical Australia, productive and abundant for ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2013-01-22

    Jan 22, 2013 ... carbon balance, and the way a plant allocates photosynthate between above- ..... Figure 3 shows PAR on the falling tide immediately above the seagrass at .... ture controls the growth of seagrasses and since then there have.

  11. Assessing ecosystem effects of reservoir operations using food web-energy transfer and water quality models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, L.; Johnson, B.M.; Bartholow, J.; Hanna, R.B.

    2001-01-01

    We investigated the effects on the reservoir food web of a new temperature control device (TCD) on the dam at Shasta Lake, California. We followed a linked modeling approach that used a specialized reservoir water quality model to forecast operation-induced changes in phytoplankton production. A food web–energy transfer model was also applied to propagate predicted changes in phytoplankton up through the food web to the predators and sport fishes of interest. The food web–energy transfer model employed a 10% trophic transfer efficiency through a food web that was mapped using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis. Stable isotope analysis provided an efficient and comprehensive means of estimating the structure of the reservoir's food web with minimal sampling and background data. We used an optimization procedure to estimate the diet proportions of all food web components simultaneously from their isotopic signatures. Some consumers were estimated to be much more sensitive than others to perturbations to phytoplankton supply. The linked modeling approach demonstrated that interdisciplinary efforts enhance the value of information obtained from studies of managed ecosystems. The approach exploited the strengths of engineering and ecological modeling methods to address concerns that neither of the models could have addressed alone: (a) the water quality model could not have addressed quantitatively the possible impacts to fish, and (b) the food web model could not have examined how phytoplankton availability might change due to reservoir operations.

  12. 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

  13. Ecosystem Food Web Lift-The-Flap Pages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood-Blaine, Dana; Rule, Audrey C.; Morgan, Hannah

    2016-01-01

    In the lesson on which this practical article is based, third grade students constructed a "lift-the-flap" page to explore food webs on the prairie. The moveable papercraft focused student attention on prairie animals' external structures and how the inferred functions of those structures could support further inferences about the…

  14. Acute and additive toxicity of ten photosystem-II herbicides to seagrass

    OpenAIRE

    Adam D. Wilkinson; Catherine J. Collier; Florita Flores; Andrew P. Negri

    2015-01-01

    Photosystem II herbicides are transported to inshore marine waters, including those of the Great Barrier Reef, and are usually detected in complex mixtures. These herbicides inhibit photosynthesis, which can deplete energy reserves and reduce growth in seagrass, but the toxicity of some of these herbicides to seagrass is unknown and combined effects of multiple herbicides on seagrass has not been tested. Here we assessed the acute phytotoxicity of 10 PSII herbicides to the seagrass Halophila ...

  15. Soil food web properties explain ecosystem services across European land use systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T; Thébault, Elisa; Liiri, Mira; Birkhofer, Klaus; Tsiafouli, Maria A; Bjørnlund, Lisa; Bracht Jørgensen, Helene; Brady, Mark Vincent; Christensen, Søren; de Ruiter, Peter C; d'Hertefeldt, Tina; Frouz, Jan; Hedlund, Katarina; Hemerik, Lia; Hol, W H Gera; Hotes, Stefan; Mortimer, Simon R; Setälä, Heikki; Sgardelis, Stefanos P; Uteseny, Karoline; van der Putten, Wim H; Wolters, Volkmar; Bardgett, Richard D

    2013-08-27

    Intensive land use reduces the diversity and abundance of many soil biota, with consequences for the processes that they govern and the ecosystem services that these processes underpin. Relationships between soil biota and ecosystem processes have mostly been found in laboratory experiments and rarely are found in the field. Here, we quantified, across four countries of contrasting climatic and soil conditions in Europe, how differences in soil food web composition resulting from land use systems (intensive wheat rotation, extensive rotation, and permanent grassland) influence the functioning of soils and the ecosystem services that they deliver. Intensive wheat rotation consistently reduced the biomass of all components of the soil food web across all countries. Soil food web properties strongly and consistently predicted processes of C and N cycling across land use systems and geographic locations, and they were a better predictor of these processes than land use. Processes of carbon loss increased with soil food web properties that correlated with soil C content, such as earthworm biomass and fungal/bacterial energy channel ratio, and were greatest in permanent grassland. In contrast, processes of N cycling were explained by soil food web properties independent of land use, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and bacterial channel biomass. Our quantification of the contribution of soil organisms to processes of C and N cycling across land use systems and geographic locations shows that soil biota need to be included in C and N cycling models and highlights the need to map and conserve soil biodiversity across the world.

  16. Tissue anoxia - a key factor in seagrass mortality?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borum, Jens; Zieman, Jay; Frankovich, Tom M

    Abstractet er offentliggjort i Schedule and Abstracts til det 7. international seagrass biology workshop - er ikke tilgængelig online.......Abstractet er offentliggjort i Schedule and Abstracts til det 7. international seagrass biology workshop - er ikke tilgængelig online....

  17. A comparison of the impact of 'seagrass-friendly' boat mooring systems on Posidonia australis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demers, Marie-Claire A; Davis, Andrew R; Knott, Nathan A

    2013-02-01

    Permanent boat moorings have contributed to the decline of seagrasses worldwide, prompting the development of 'seagrass-friendly' moorings. We contrasted seagrass cover and density (predominantly Posidonia australis) in the vicinity of three mooring types and nearby reference areas lacking moorings in Jervis Bay, Australia. We examined two types of 'seagrass-friendly' mooring and a conventional 'swing' mooring. 'Swing' moorings produced significant seagrass scour, denuding patches of ~9 m radius. Seagrass-friendly 'cyclone' moorings produced extensive denuded patches (average radius of ~18 m). Seagrass-friendly 'screw' moorings, conversely, had similar seagrass cover to nearby reference areas. Our findings reinforce previous work highlighting the negative effects of 'swing' and 'cyclone' moorings. In contrast, the previously unstudied 'screw' moorings were highly effective. We conclude that regular maintenance of moorings and the monitoring of surrounding seagrass are required to ensure that 'seagrass-friendly' moorings are operating effectively. This is important, as following damage Posidonia will take many decades to recover. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Global analysis of seagrass restoration: the importance of large-scale planting

    KAUST Repository

    van Katwijk, Marieke M.; Thorhaug, Anitra; Marbà , Nú ria; Orth, Robert J.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Althuizen, Inge H. J.; Balestri, Elena; Bernard, Guillaume; Cambridge, Marion L.; Cunha, Alexandra; Durance, Cynthia; Giesen, Wim; Han, Qiuying; Hosokawa, Shinya; Kiswara, Wawan; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Lardicci, Claudio; Lee, Kun-Seop; Meinesz, Alexandre; Nakaoka, Masahiro; O'Brien, Katherine R.; Paling, Erik I.; Pickerell, Chris; Ransijn, Aryan M. A.; Verduin, Jennifer J.

    2015-01-01

    In coastal and estuarine systems, foundation species like seagrasses, mangroves, saltmarshes or corals provide important ecosystem services. Seagrasses are globally declining and their reintroduction has been shown to restore ecosystem functions. However, seagrass restoration is often challenging, given the dynamic and stressful environment that seagrasses often grow in. From our world-wide meta-analysis of seagrass restoration trials (1786 trials), we describe general features and best practice for seagrass restoration. We confirm that removal of threats is important prior to replanting. Reduced water quality (mainly eutrophication), and construction activities led to poorer restoration success than, for instance, dredging, local direct impact and natural causes. Proximity to and recovery of donor beds were positively correlated with trial performance. Planting techniques can influence restoration success. The meta-analysis shows that both trial survival and seagrass population growth rate in trials that survived are positively affected by the number of plants or seeds initially transplanted. This relationship between restoration scale and restoration success was not related to trial characteristics of the initial restoration. The majority of the seagrass restoration trials have been very small, which may explain the low overall trial survival rate (i.e. estimated 37%). Successful regrowth of the foundation seagrass species appears to require crossing a minimum threshold of reintroduced individuals. Our study provides the first global field evidence for the requirement of a critical mass for recovery, which may also hold for other foundation species showing strong positive feedback to a dynamic environment. Synthesis and applications. For effective restoration of seagrass foundation species in its typically dynamic, stressful environment, introduction of large numbers is seen to be beneficial and probably serves two purposes. First, a large-scale planting

  19. Global analysis of seagrass restoration: the importance of large-scale planting

    KAUST Repository

    van Katwijk, Marieke M.

    2015-10-28

    In coastal and estuarine systems, foundation species like seagrasses, mangroves, saltmarshes or corals provide important ecosystem services. Seagrasses are globally declining and their reintroduction has been shown to restore ecosystem functions. However, seagrass restoration is often challenging, given the dynamic and stressful environment that seagrasses often grow in. From our world-wide meta-analysis of seagrass restoration trials (1786 trials), we describe general features and best practice for seagrass restoration. We confirm that removal of threats is important prior to replanting. Reduced water quality (mainly eutrophication), and construction activities led to poorer restoration success than, for instance, dredging, local direct impact and natural causes. Proximity to and recovery of donor beds were positively correlated with trial performance. Planting techniques can influence restoration success. The meta-analysis shows that both trial survival and seagrass population growth rate in trials that survived are positively affected by the number of plants or seeds initially transplanted. This relationship between restoration scale and restoration success was not related to trial characteristics of the initial restoration. The majority of the seagrass restoration trials have been very small, which may explain the low overall trial survival rate (i.e. estimated 37%). Successful regrowth of the foundation seagrass species appears to require crossing a minimum threshold of reintroduced individuals. Our study provides the first global field evidence for the requirement of a critical mass for recovery, which may also hold for other foundation species showing strong positive feedback to a dynamic environment. Synthesis and applications. For effective restoration of seagrass foundation species in its typically dynamic, stressful environment, introduction of large numbers is seen to be beneficial and probably serves two purposes. First, a large-scale planting

  20. URBANIZATION ALTERS FATTY ACID CONCENTRATIONS OF STREAM FOOD WEBS IN THE NARRAGANSETT BAY WATERSHED

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbanization and associated human activities negatively affect stream algal and invertebrate assemblages, likely altering food webs. Our goal was to determine if urbanization affects food web essential fatty acids (EFAs) and if EFAs could be useful ecological indicators in monito...

  1. A survey-based assessment of seagrass status, management and legislation in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen B. De Los Santos

    2014-06-01

    Perception of the ecological status of European seagrasses varied greatly among species and countries. Z. noltei and Z. marina got low scores in most of the countries whereas P. oceanica was rated from “moderate” to “very good” and Cymodocea nodosa got very dissimilar scores (Fig 1. Coastal development and eutrophication were reported as the mayor threats to seagrasses (Fig 2, in agreement with recent global or regional assessments (Grech et al., 2012, Marbà et al., 2014. Some of the respondent underlined the limited research background to score seagrass threats or their local particularity. Seagrasses have been reported as uncharismatic ecosystems (Duarte et al., 2008 and this was reflected in our results: scores were low for the public and policy makers and variable for managers (Fig 1. Some respondents highlighted a differential awareness among species (higher for P. oceanica than for other co-existing species. Several management and conservation instruments are, however, increasing the seagrass awareness in Europe, such as the use of seagrasses as indicators in the Water Framework Directory (WFD and the existence of volunteer-based monitoring programmes, which typically include outreach initiatives for the general public and interactions with managers (e.g. www.lifeposidoniandalucia.es, www.famar.wordpress.com. Borum et al. (2004 stated that “several countries already have established comprehensive and advanced monitoring programmes for seagrasses, but in many European countries programmes are virtually absent”. After a decade, our survey showed that seagrass monitoring effort, although increasing, is still variable or absent in some countries (Figs 2 & 3. Similarly, the mapped area of seagrass beds is very poor in many countries (Fig 2, or only presence/absence data or roughly theoretical estimations of total area are available. Seagrass mapping and/or monitoring were reported to be unorganised (specially when various local groups and/or regional

  2. River food web response to large-scale riparian zone manipulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Timothy Wootton

    Full Text Available Conservation programs often focus on select species, leading to management plans based on the autecology of the focal species, but multiple ecosystem components can be affected both by the environmental factors impacting, and the management targeting, focal species. These broader effects can have indirect impacts on target species through the web of interactions within ecosystems. For example, human activity can strongly alter riparian vegetation, potentially impacting both economically-important salmonids and their associated river food web. In an Olympic Peninsula river, Washington state, USA, replicated large-scale riparian vegetation manipulations implemented with the long-term (>40 yr goal of improving salmon habitat did not affect water temperature, nutrient limitation or habitat characteristics, but reduced canopy cover, causing reduced energy input via leaf litter, increased incident solar radiation (UV and PAR and increased algal production compared to controls. In response, benthic algae, most insect taxa, and juvenile salmonids increased in manipulated areas. Stable isotope analysis revealed a predominant contribution of algal-derived energy to salmonid diets in manipulated reaches. The experiment demonstrates that riparian management targeting salmonids strongly affects river food webs via changes in the energy base, illustrates how species-based management strategies can have unanticipated indirect effects on the target species via the associated food web, and supports ecosystem-based management approaches for restoring depleted salmonid stocks.

  3. Detrital shadows: estuarine food web connectivity depends on fluvial influence and consumer feeding mode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Emily; Simenstad, Charles A; Ogston, Andrea

    2017-10-01

    We measured the influence of landscape setting on estuarine food web connectivity in five macrotidal Pacific Northwest estuaries across a gradient of freshwater influence. We used stable isotopes (δ 13 C, δ 15 N, δ 34 S) in combination with a Bayesian mixing model to trace primary producer contributions to suspension- and deposit-feeding bivalve consumers (Mytilus trossulus and Macoma nasuta) transplanted into three estuarine vegetation zones: emergent marsh, mudflat, and eelgrass. Eelgrass includes both Japanese eelgrass (Zostera japonica) and native eelgrass (Zostera marina). Fluvial discharge and consumer feeding mode strongly influenced the strength and spatial scale of observed food web linkages, while season played a secondary role. Mussels displayed strong cross-ecosystem connectivity in all estuaries, with decreasing marine influence in the more fluvial estuaries. Mussel diets indicated homogenization of detrital sources within the water column of each estuary. In contrast, the diets of benthic deposit-feeding clams indicated stronger compartmentalization in food web connectivity, especially in the largest river delta where clam diets were trophically disconnected from marsh sources of detritus. This suggests detritus deposition is patchy across space, and less homogenous than the suspended detritus pool. In addition to fluvial setting, other estuary-specific environmental drivers, such as marsh area or particle transport speed, influenced the degree of food web linkages across space and time, often accounting for unexpected patterns in food web connectivity. Transformations of the estuarine landscape that alter river hydrology or availability of detritus sources can thus potentially disrupt natural food web connectivity at the landscape scale, especially for sedentary organisms, which cannot track their food sources through space. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Dugong dugon feeding in tropical Australian seagrass meadows: implications for conservation planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha J. Tol

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Dugongs (Dugong dugon are listed as vulnerable to extinction due to rapid population reductions caused in part by loss of seagrass feeding meadows. Understanding dugong feeding behaviour in tropical Australia, where the majority of dugongs live, will assist conservation strategies. We examined whether feeding patterns in intertidal seagrass meadows in tropical north-eastern Australia were related to seagrass biomass, species composition and/or nitrogen content. The total biomass of each seagrass species removed by feeding dugongs was measured and compared to its relative availability. Nitrogen concentrations were also determined for each seagrass species present at the sites. Dugongs consumed seagrass species in proportion to their availability, with biomass being the primary determining factor. Species composition and/or nitrogen content influenced consumption to a lesser degree. Conservation plans focused on protecting high biomass intertidal seagrass meadows are likely to be most effective at ensuring the survival of dugong in tropical north-eastern Australia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-07

    Climate-driven poleward shifts, leading to changes in species composition and relative abundances, have been recently documented in the Arctic. Among the fastest moving species are boreal generalist fish which are expected to affect arctic marine food web structure and ecosystem functioning substantially. Here, we address structural changes at the food web level induced by poleward shifts via topological network analysis of highly resolved boreal and arctic food webs of the Barents Sea. We detected considerable differences in structural properties and link configuration between the boreal and the arctic food webs, the latter being more modular and less connected. We found that a main characteristic of the boreal fish moving poleward into the arctic region of the Barents Sea is high generalism, a property that increases connectance and reduces modularity in the arctic marine food web. Our results reveal that habitats form natural boundaries for food web modules, and that generalists play an important functional role in coupling pelagic and benthic modules. We posit that these habitat couplers have the potential to promote the transfer of energy and matter between habitats, but also the spread of pertubations, thereby changing arctic marine food web structure considerably with implications for ecosystem dynamics and functioning. © 2015 The Authors.

  6. Biodiversity of seagrass bed in Balanan Resort - Baluran National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soedarti, T.; Hariyanto, S.; Wedayanti, A.; Rahmawati, A. D.; Safitri, D. P.; Alificia, R. I.; Suwono

    2017-09-01

    Seagrass beds are flowering plants that live on the seabed. Seagrass provides a habitat for diverse flora and fauna, spawning ground, nursery ground, raising ground, and feeding ground. Balanan Resort - Baluran National Park has many beaches, such as Kajang Beach, Si Banjir Beach, Kakapa Beach, and Serondo Beach. This study was aimed to determine species composition, seagrass dominated, and the diversity index of seagrass and substrate in Resort Balanan - Baluran National Park. This research was carried out in Kajang Beach, Sibanjir Beach, Kakapa Beach, and Sirondo Beach from August to September 2015 using belt transect method, each transect consists of 15 plots (19 transects = 285 plots) and using the frame of 1x1 m. This research found seven genera and ten species : Cymodoce (C rotundata and C. serrulata), Syringodium (S. isoelifolium), Thallassodendron (T. ciliatum), Enhalus (E. acoroides) , Halodule (H. univernis and H. pinifolia), Halophila (H. ovalis and H. decipiens), and Thalassia (T. hemprichii). The diversity index of seagrass bed was moderate [H'=1.90] in Balanan Resort. The substrate of seagrass bed was mud, gravel, sand, clay sand and rubble in Balanan Resort. The dominance index was near zero [C = 0.194], that means no dominant species.

  7. Photosynthethic carbon reduction by seagrasses exposed to ultraviolet B radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

    The species of seagrasses were selected on the basis of their dominance in the marine system, contribution to total productivity, and importance to the life histories of organisms in the Indian River lagoon system along the central Florida east coast. The three seagrasses were Halophilia engelmannii, Halodule wrightii, and Syringodium filiforme. These seagrasses form an excellent experimental system as their areas of dominance fall more or less along a natural gradient of UV-B and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) penetration. The sensitivity of photosynthesis in the seagrasses was determined and their photosynthetic response to levels of UV-B simulating atmospheric ozone depletion was monitored. Further experiments explore the possible attenuation or repair of UV-B induced photosynthetic inhibition by PAR, the role of epiphytic growth upon seagrasses as a protective UV-B shield, and the inhibition of photosynthesis in response to UV-A is studied.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas

    for irrigation leads to enhanced salinisation in many aquatic systems. A consequent disappearance of higher trophic positions (mostly fish) resulted in reduced food web complexity (paper 2). Human direct and indirect modifications, in addition to climate change, may alter the current biogeographic distribution...... 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......, accordingly, stronger cascading effects on the lower trophic levels could be traced in the Azorean lakes. However, in contrast to expectations, no effect on the trophic position of fish was found, but the shape of the food web structure was more triangular in the (cold) Faroese lakes that were also...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  10. Towards understanding temporal and spatial dynamics of seagrass landscapes using time-series remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Mitchell B.; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Phinn, Stuart R.

    2013-03-01

    The spatial and temporal dynamics of seagrasses have been well studied at the leaf to patch scales, however, the link to large spatial extent landscape and population dynamics is still unresolved in seagrass ecology. Traditional remote sensing approaches have lacked the temporal resolution and consistency to appropriately address this issue. This study uses two high temporal resolution time-series of thematic seagrass cover maps to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of seagrass at both an inter- and intra-annual time scales, one of the first globally to do so at this scale. Previous work by the authors developed an object-based approach to map seagrass cover level distribution from a long term archive of Landsat TM and ETM+ images on the Eastern Banks (≈200 km2), Moreton Bay, Australia. In this work a range of trend and time-series analysis methods are demonstrated for a time-series of 23 annual maps from 1988 to 2010 and a time-series of 16 monthly maps during 2008-2010. Significant new insight was presented regarding the inter- and intra-annual dynamics of seagrass persistence over time, seagrass cover level variability, seagrass cover level trajectory, and change in area of seagrass and cover levels over time. Overall we found that there was no significant decline in total seagrass area on the Eastern Banks, but there was a significant decline in seagrass cover level condition. A case study of two smaller communities within the Eastern Banks that experienced a decline in both overall seagrass area and condition are examined in detail, highlighting possible differences in environmental and process drivers. We demonstrate how trend and time-series analysis enabled seagrass distribution to be appropriately assessed in context of its spatial and temporal history and provides the ability to not only quantify change, but also describe the type of change. We also demonstrate the potential use of time-series analysis products to investigate seagrass growth and

  11. 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.

  12. Sulfide Intrusion and Detoxification in the Seagrass Zostera marina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Gaseous sulfide intrusion into seagrasses growing in sulfidic sediments causes little or no harm to the plant, indicating the presence of an unknown sulfide tolerance or detoxification mechanism. We assessed such mechanism in the seagrass Zostera marina in the laboratory and in the field...... as sulfate throughout the plant. We conclude that avoidance of sulfide exposure by reoxidation of sulfide in the rhizosphere or aerenchyma and tolerance of sulfide intrusion by incorporation of sulfur in the plant are likely major survival strategies of seagrasses in sulfidic sediments....

  13. Acute and additive toxicity of ten photosystem-II herbicides to seagrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Adam D; Collier, Catherine J; Flores, Florita; Negri, Andrew P

    2015-11-30

    Photosystem II herbicides are transported to inshore marine waters, including those of the Great Barrier Reef, and are usually detected in complex mixtures. These herbicides inhibit photosynthesis, which can deplete energy reserves and reduce growth in seagrass, but the toxicity of some of these herbicides to seagrass is unknown and combined effects of multiple herbicides on seagrass has not been tested. Here we assessed the acute phytotoxicity of 10 PSII herbicides to the seagrass Halophila ovalis over 24 and/or 48 h. Individual herbicides exhibited a broad range of toxicities with inhibition of photosynthetic activity (∆F/F(m)') by 50% at concentrations ranging from 3.5 μg l(-1) (ametryn) to 132 μg l(-1) (fluometuron). We assessed potential additivity using the Concentration Addition model of joint action for binary mixtures of diuron and atrazine as well as complex mixtures of all 10 herbicides. The effects of both mixture types were largely additive, validating the application of additive effects models for calculating the risk posed by multiple PSII herbicides to seagrasses. This study extends seagrass ecotoxicological data to ametryn, metribuzin, bromacil, prometryn and fluometuron and demonstrates that low concentrations of PSII herbicide mixtures have the potential to impact ecologically relevant endpoints in seagrass, including ∆F/F(m)'.

  14. Acute and additive toxicity of ten photosystem-II herbicides to seagrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Adam D.; Collier, Catherine J.; Flores, Florita; Negri, Andrew P.

    2015-11-01

    Photosystem II herbicides are transported to inshore marine waters, including those of the Great Barrier Reef, and are usually detected in complex mixtures. These herbicides inhibit photosynthesis, which can deplete energy reserves and reduce growth in seagrass, but the toxicity of some of these herbicides to seagrass is unknown and combined effects of multiple herbicides on seagrass has not been tested. Here we assessed the acute phytotoxicity of 10 PSII herbicides to the seagrass Halophila ovalis over 24 and/or 48 h. Individual herbicides exhibited a broad range of toxicities with inhibition of photosynthetic activity (∆F/Fm‧) by 50% at concentrations ranging from 3.5 μg l-1 (ametryn) to 132 μg l-1 (fluometuron). We assessed potential additivity using the Concentration Addition model of joint action for binary mixtures of diuron and atrazine as well as complex mixtures of all 10 herbicides. The effects of both mixture types were largely additive, validating the application of additive effects models for calculating the risk posed by multiple PSII herbicides to seagrasses. This study extends seagrass ecotoxicological data to ametryn, metribuzin, bromacil, prometryn and fluometuron and demonstrates that low concentrations of PSII herbicide mixtures have the potential to impact ecologically relevant endpoints in seagrass, including ∆F/Fm‧.

  15. Florida seagrass habitat evaluation: A comparative survey for chemical quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, Michael A. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States)]. E-mail: lewis.michael@epa.gov; Dantin, Darrin D. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States); Chancy, Cynthia A. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States); Abel, Kathryn C. [Department of Biological Sciences, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32514 (United States); Lewis, Christopher G. [Department of Water and Soil Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32103 (United States)

    2007-03-15

    Contaminant concentrations were determined for media associated with 13 Florida seagrass beds. Concentrations of 10 trace metals were more commonly detected in surface water, sediment and two seagrass species than PAHs, pesticides and PCBs. Concentrations of copper and arsenic in surface water exceeded Florida aquatic life criteria more frequently than other trace elements. Total organic carbon, mercury, chromium, zinc, total chlordane, total PAHs, total PCBs, DDD and DDE were significantly greater in seagrass-rooted sediments than adjacent non-vegetated sediments. Total DDT, DDD, DDE, total chlordane, arsenic, copper and nickel exceeded proposed sediment quality guidelines at six of 13 grass beds. Pesticides, PAHs, and PCBs were below detection in seagrass tissues. Mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead and silver were detected in 50% or more of the tissues for Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). Spatial, interspecific and tissue differences were usually an order of magnitude or less. - Some anthropogenic contaminants were prevalent in seagrass and their rooted sediments but the biological significance is unknown.

  16. Predicting the cumulative effect of multiple disturbances on seagrass connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grech, Alana; Hanert, Emmanuel; McKenzie, Len; Rasheed, Michael; Thomas, Christopher; Tol, Samantha; Wang, Mingzhu; Waycott, Michelle; Wolter, Jolan; Coles, Rob

    2018-03-15

    The rate of exchange, or connectivity, among populations effects their ability to recover after disturbance events. However, there is limited information on the extent to which populations are connected or how multiple disturbances affect connectivity, especially in coastal and marine ecosystems. We used network analysis and the outputs of a biophysical model to measure potential functional connectivity and predict the impact of multiple disturbances on seagrasses in the central Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA), Australia. The seagrass networks were densely connected, indicating that seagrasses are resilient to the random loss of meadows. Our analysis identified discrete meadows that are important sources of seagrass propagules and that serve as stepping stones connecting various different parts of the network. Several of these meadows were close to urban areas or ports and likely to be at risk from coastal development. Deep water meadows were highly connected to coastal meadows and may function as a refuge, but only for non-foundation species. We evaluated changes to the structure and functioning of the seagrass networks when one or more discrete meadows were removed due to multiple disturbance events. The scale of disturbance required to disconnect the seagrass networks into two or more components was on average >245 km, about half the length of the metapopulation. The densely connected seagrass meadows of the central GBRWHA are not limited by the supply of propagules; therefore, management should focus on improving environmental conditions that support natural seagrass recruitment and recovery processes. Our study provides a new framework for assessing the impact of global change on the connectivity and persistence of coastal and marine ecosystems. Without this knowledge, management actions, including coastal restoration, may prove unnecessary and be unsuccessful. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogsden, Kristy L; Harding, Jon S

    2012-03-01

    We compared food web structure in 20 streams with either anthropogenic or natural sources of acidity and metals or circumneutral water chemistry in New Zealand. Community and diet analysis indicated that mining streams receiving anthropogenic inputs of acidic and metal-rich drainage had much simpler food webs (fewer species, shorter food chains, less links) than those in naturally acidic, naturally high metal, and circumneutral streams. Food webs of naturally high metal streams were structurally similar to those in mining streams, lacking fish predators and having few species. Whereas, webs in naturally acidic streams differed very little from those in circumneutral streams due to strong similarities in community composition and diets of secondary and top consumers. The combined negative effects of acidity and metals on stream food webs are clear. However, elevated metal concentrations, regardless of source, appear to play a more important role than acidity in driving food web structure. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Shrimp burrow in tropical seagrass meadows: An important sink for litter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jan Arie; Kneer, Dominik; Stapel, Johan; Asmus, Harald

    2008-08-01

    The abundance, burrow characteristics, and in situ behaviour of the burrowing shrimps Neaxius acanthus (Decapoda: Strahlaxiidae) and Alpheus macellarius (Decapoda: Alpheidae) were studied to quantify the collection of seagrass material, to identify the fate of this collected material, and to determine the importance of these burrowing crustaceans in the nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) cycling of two tropical seagrass meadows on Bone Batang, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Alpheus macellarius harvested 0.70 g dry weight (DW) burrow -1 d -1 seagrass material, dominantly by active cutting of fresh seagrass leaves. Neaxius acanthus collected 1.66 g DW burrow -1 d -1, mainly detached leaves which floated past the burrow opening. The A. macellarius and N. acanthus communities together collected in their burrows an amount of seagrass leaf material corresponding to more than 50% of the leaf production in the meadows studied. The crustacean species studied might therefore fulfil an important function in the nutrient cycling of tropical meadows. In the burrow most of the collected material is shredded into pieces. The burrows of both species had special chambers which serve as a storage for seagrass leaf material. Neaxius acanthus incorporated most of the material into the burrow wall lining, which is made of small sediment particles and macerated seagrass leaves. Phosphate concentrations measured in N. acanthus burrows compared with pore-water and water-column concentrations suggests that a substantial amount of the seagrass material undergoes decomposition in the burrows. Oxygen levels measured in these water bodies are indicative for a possible exchange of water between the burrow and its surroundings, most likely supported by the shrimps irrigating their burrows. By collecting leaf material in their burrows, nutrients that are otherwise lost from the seagrass meadow associated with detached leaves and leaf fragments carried away in the water column, are maintained in the

  19. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) roots

    KAUST Repository

    Garcias Bonet, Neus

    2016-03-09

    Biological nitrogen fixation by diazotrophic bacteria in seagrass rhizosphere and leaf epiphytic community is an important source of nitrogen required for plant growth. However, the presence of endophytic diazotrophs remains unclear in seagrass tissues. Here, we assess the presence, diversity and taxonomy of nitrogen-fixing bacteria within surface-sterilized roots of Posidonia oceanica. Moreover, we analyze the nitrogen isotopic signature of seagrass tissues in order to notice atmospheric nitrogen fixation. We detected nitrogen-fixing bacteria by nifH gene amplification in 13 out of the 78 roots sampled, corresponding to 9 locations out of 26 meadows. We detected two different types of bacterial nifH sequences associated with P. oceanica roots, which were closely related to sequences previously isolated from the rhizosphere of a salt marsh cord grass and a putative anaerobe. Nitrogen content of seagrass tissues showed low isotopic signatures in all the sampled meadows, pointing out the atmospheric origin of the assimilated nitrogen by seagrasses. However, this was not related with the presence of endophytic nitrogen fixers, suggesting the nitrogen fixation occurring in rhizosphere and in the epiphytic community could be an important source of nitrogen for P. oceanica. The low diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria reported here suggests species-specific relationships between diazotrophs and P. oceanica, revealing possible symbiotic interactions that could play a major role in nitrogen acquisition by seagrasses in oligotrophic environments where they form lush meadows.

  20. 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.

  1. Deep pelagic food web structure as revealed by in situ feeding observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choy, C Anela; Haddock, Steven H D; Robison, Bruce H

    2017-12-06

    Food web linkages, or the feeding relationships between species inhabiting a shared ecosystem, are an ecological lens through which ecosystem structure and function can be assessed, and thus are fundamental to informing sustainable resource management. Empirical feeding datasets have traditionally been painstakingly generated from stomach content analysis, direct observations and from biochemical trophic markers (stable isotopes, fatty acids, molecular tools). Each approach carries inherent biases and limitations, as well as advantages. Here, using 27 years (1991-2016) of in situ feeding observations collected by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), we quantitatively characterize the deep pelagic food web of central California within the California Current, complementing existing studies of diet and trophic interactions with a unique perspective. Seven hundred and forty-three independent feeding events were observed with ROVs from near-surface waters down to depths approaching 4000 m, involving an assemblage of 84 different predators and 82 different prey types, for a total of 242 unique feeding relationships. The greatest diversity of prey was consumed by narcomedusae, followed by physonect siphonophores, ctenophores and cephalopods. We highlight key interactions within the poorly understood 'jelly web', showing the importance of medusae, ctenophores and siphonophores as key predators, whose ecological significance is comparable to large fish and squid species within the central California deep pelagic food web. Gelatinous predators are often thought to comprise relatively inefficient trophic pathways within marine communities, but we build upon previous findings to document their substantial and integral roles in deep pelagic food webs. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. 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.

  3. The structure of salt marsh soil mesofauna food webs - The prevalence of disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynert, Kristin; Kiggen, Mirijam; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Scheu, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Mesofauna taxa fill key trophic positions in soil food webs, even in terrestrial-marine boundary habitats characterized by frequent natural disturbances. Salt marshes represent such boundary habitats, characterized by frequent inundations increasing from the terrestrial upper to the marine pioneer zone. Despite the high abundance of soil mesofauna in salt marshes and their important function by facilitating energy and carbon flows, the structure, trophic ecology and habitat-related diet shifts of mesofauna species in natural salt marsh habitats is virtually unknown. Therefore, we investigated the effects of natural disturbance (inundation frequency) on community structure, food web complexity and resource use of soil mesofauna using stable isotope analysis (15N, 13C) in three salt marsh zones. In this intertidal habitat, the pioneer zone is exposed to inundations twice a day, but lower and upper salt marshes are less frequently inundated based on shore height. The mesofauna comprised 86 species / taxa dominated by Collembola, Oribatida and Mesostigmata. Shifts in environmental disturbances influenced the structure of food webs, diversity and density declined strongly from the land to the sea pointing to the importance of increasing levels of inundation frequency. Accordingly, the reduced diversity and density was associated by a simplification of the food web in the pioneer zone as compared to the less inundated lower and upper salt marsh with a higher number of trophic levels. Strong variations in δ15N signatures demonstrated that mesofauna species are feeding at multiple trophic levels. Primary decomposers were low and most mesofauna species functioned as secondary decomposers or predators including second order predators or scavengers. The results document that major decomposer taxa, such as Collembola and Oribatida, are more diverse than previously assumed and predominantly dwell on autochthonous resources of the respective salt marsh zone. The results further

  4. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Quantifying and modelling the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrass meadows--a critical assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macreadie, P I; Baird, M E; Trevathan-Tackett, S M; Larkum, A W D; Ralph, P J

    2014-06-30

    Seagrasses are among the planet's most effective natural ecosystems for sequestering (capturing and storing) carbon (C); but if degraded, they could leak stored C into the atmosphere and accelerate global warming. Quantifying and modelling the C sequestration capacity is therefore critical for successfully managing seagrass ecosystems to maintain their substantial abatement potential. At present, there is no mechanism to support carbon financing linked to seagrass. For seagrasses to be recognised by the IPCC and the voluntary C market, standard stock assessment methodologies and inventories of seagrass C stocks are required. Developing accurate C budgets for seagrass meadows is indeed complex; we discuss these complexities, and, in addition, we review techniques and methodologies that will aid development of C budgets. We also consider a simple process-based data assimilation model for predicting how seagrasses will respond to future change, accompanied by a practical list of research priorities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Food web changes under ocean acidification promote herring larvae survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sswat, Michael; Stiasny, Martina H; Taucher, Jan; Algueró-Muñiz, Maria; Bach, Lennart T; Jutfelt, Fredrik; Riebesell, Ulf; Clemmesen, Catriona

    2018-05-01

    Ocean acidification-the decrease in seawater pH due to rising CO 2 concentrations-has been shown to lower survival in early life stages of fish and, as a consequence, the recruitment of populations including commercially important species. To date, ocean-acidification studies with fish larvae have focused on the direct physiological impacts of elevated CO 2 , but largely ignored the potential effects of ocean acidification on food web interactions. In an in situ mesocosm study on Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) larvae as top predators in a pelagic food web, we account for indirect CO 2 effects on larval survival mediated by changes in food availability. The community was exposed to projected end-of-the-century CO 2 conditions (~760 µatm pCO 2 ) over a period of 113 days. In contrast with laboratory studies that reported a decrease in fish survival, the survival of the herring larvae in situ was significantly enhanced by 19 ± 2%. Analysis of the plankton community dynamics suggested that the herring larvae benefitted from a CO 2 -stimulated increase in primary production. Such indirect effects may counteract the possible direct negative effects of ocean acidification on the survival of fish early life stages. These findings emphasize the need to assess the food web effects of ocean acidification on fish larvae before we can predict even the sign of change in fish recruitment in a high-CO 2 ocean.

  7. Johnsons Seagrass Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Johnson's Seagrass as designated by Federal Register Vol. 65, No. 66, Wednesday, April 5, 2000, Rules and Regulations.

  8. Warming alters energetic structure and function but not resilience of soil food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Benjamin; Barnes, Andrew D.; Thakur, Madhav P.; Brose, Ulrich; Ciobanu, Marcel; Reich, Peter B.; Rich, Roy L.; Rosenbaum, Benjamin; Stefanski, Artur; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-12-01

    Climate warming is predicted to alter the structure, stability, and functioning of food webs1-5. Yet, despite the importance of soil food webs for energy and nutrient turnover in terrestrial ecosystems, the effects of warming on these food webs—particularly in combination with other global change drivers—are largely unknown. Here, we present results from two complementary field experiments that test the interactive effects of warming with forest canopy disturbance and drought on energy flux in boreal-temperate ecotonal forest soil food webs. The first experiment applied a simultaneous above- and belowground warming treatment (ambient, +1.7 °C, +3.4 °C) to closed-canopy and recently clear-cut forest, simulating common forest disturbance6. The second experiment crossed warming with a summer drought treatment (-40% rainfall) in the clear-cut habitats. We show that warming reduces energy flux to microbes, while forest canopy disturbance and drought facilitates warming-induced increases in energy flux to higher trophic levels and exacerbates the reduction in energy flux to microbes, respectively. Contrary to expectations, we find no change in whole-network resilience to perturbations, but significant losses in ecosystem functioning. Warming thus interacts with forest disturbance and drought, shaping the energetic structure of soil food webs and threatening the provisioning of multiple ecosystem functions in boreal-temperate ecotonal forests.

  9. Trophic web structure and ecosystem attributes of a temperate estuarine system (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva García-Seoane

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems and simultaneously among the most threatened by conflicting human activities, which damage their ecological functions. Describing and attempting to understand the structure and functioning of estuaries is an essential step for maintaining and restoring the quality of estuarine ecosystems. The objective of this study was to obtain insights into the ecosystem structure and functioning of Ria de Aveiro. The study area is a coastal lagoon located on the Northwest Atlantic coast of Portugal, which is connected to the sea through an artificial channel. The ECOPATH software was used to create a static balanced trophic food web model of the tidal part of Ria de Aveiro. The model considers 26 functional groups, including birds, fish, invertebrates, seagrasses, zooplankton, phytoplankton and detritus. Few adjustments were necessary for the input parameters because most of the data were based on direct observations or compiled from literature based on the study site. The trophic interactions within the food web of Riade Aveiro and the transference of energy between functional groups were quantitatively represented. Finally, the keystone index was defined for each functional group.

  10. First experimental evidence of corals feeding on seagrass matter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lai, S.; Gillis, L.G.; Mueller, C.; Bouma, T.J.; Guest, J.R.; Last, K.S.; Ziegler, A.D.; Todd, P.A.

    2013-01-01

    We present the first experimental evidence of a coral (Oulastrea crispata) ingesting and assimilating seagrass material. Tropical seagrass meadows export a substantial portion of their productivity and can provide an important source of nutrients to neighbouring systems such as coral reefs; however,

  11. Quantity and quality: unifying food web and ecosystem perspectives on the role of resource subsidies in freshwaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcarelli, Amy M; Baxter, Colden V; Mineau, Madeleine M; Hall, Robert O

    2011-06-01

    Although the study of resource subsidies has emerged as a key topic in both ecosystem and food web ecology, the dialogue over their role has been limited by separate approaches that emphasize either subsidy quantity or quality. Considering quantity and quality together may provide a simple, but previously unexplored, framework for identifying the mechanisms that govern the importance of subsidies for recipient food webs and ecosystems. Using a literature review of > 90 studies of open-water metabolism in lakes and streams, we show that high-flux, low-quality subsidies can drive freshwater ecosystem dynamics. Because most of these ecosystems are net heterotrophic, allochthonous inputs must subsidize respiration. Second, using a literature review of subsidy quality and use, we demonstrate that animals select for high-quality food resources in proportions greater than would be predicted based on food quantity, and regardless of allochthonous or autochthonous origin. This finding suggests that low-flux, high-quality subsidies may be selected for by animals, and in turn may disproportionately affect food web and ecosystem processes (e.g., animal production, trophic energy or organic matter flow, trophic cascades). We then synthesize and review approaches that evaluate the role of subsidies and explicitly merge ecosystem and food web perspectives by placing food web measurements in the context of ecosystem budgets, by comparing trophic and ecosystem production and fluxes, and by constructing flow food webs. These tools can and should be used to address future questions about subsidies, such as the relative importance of subsidies to different trophic levels and how subsidies may maintain or disrupt ecosystem stability and food web interactions.

  12. Modeling the impact of oyster culture on a mudflat food web in Marennes-Oleron Bay (France)

    OpenAIRE

    Leguerrier, D; Niquil, Nathalie; Petiau, A; Bodoy, Alain

    2004-01-01

    We used a carbon-based food web model to investigate the effects of oyster cultivation on the ecosystem of an intertidal mudflat. A previously published food web model of a mudflat in Marennes-Oleron Bay, France, was updated with revised parameters, and a realistic surface area and density of existing oyster cultures on the mudflat. We developed 2 hypothetical scenarios to estimate the impact of oyster cultivation on the food web structure of the ecosystem: one with no oysters, the other with...

  13. Seagrass meadows as a globally significant carbonate reservoir

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, I.; Marbà , N.; Lovelock, C. E.; Serrano, O.; Lavery, P. S.; Fourqurean, J. W.; Kennedy, H.; Mateo, M. A.; Krause-Jensen, D.; Steven, A. D. L.; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2015-01-01

    There has been growing interest in quantifying the capacity of seagrass ecosystems to act as carbon sinks as a natural way of offsetting anthropogenic carbon emissions to the atmosphere. However, most of the efforts have focused on the particulate organic carbon (POC) stocks and accumulation rates and ignored the particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) fraction, despite important carbonate pools associated with calcifying organisms inhabiting the meadows, such as epiphytes and benthic invertebrates, and despite the relevance that carbonate precipitation and dissolution processes have in the global carbon cycle. This study offers the first assessment of the global PIC stocks in seagrass sediments using a synthesis of published and unpublished data on sediment carbonate concentration from 403 vegetated and 34 adjacent un-vegetated sites. PIC stocks in the top 1 m of sediment ranged between 3 and 1660 Mg PIC ha−1, with an average of 654 ± 24 Mg PIC ha−1, exceeding those of POC reported in previous studies by about a factor of 5. Sedimentary carbonate stocks varied across seagrass communities, with meadows dominated by Halodule, Thalassia or Cymodocea supporting the highest PIC stocks, and tended to decrease polewards at a rate of −8 ± 2 Mg PIC ha−1 per degree of latitude (general linear model, GLM; p < 0.0003). Using PIC concentrations and estimates of sediment accretion in seagrass meadows, the mean PIC accumulation rate in seagrass sediments is found to be 126.3 ± 31.05 g PIC m−2 yr−1. Based on the global extent of seagrass meadows (177 000 to 600 000 km2), these ecosystems globally store between 11 and 39 Pg of PIC in the top metre of sediment and accumulate between 22 and 75 Tg PIC yr−1, representing a significant contribution to the carbonate dynamics of coastal areas. Despite the fact that these high rates of carbonate accumulation imply CO2

  14. Seagrass meadows as a globally significant carbonate reservoir

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, I.

    2015-08-24

    There has been growing interest in quantifying the capacity of seagrass ecosystems to act as carbon sinks as a natural way of offsetting anthropogenic carbon emissions to the atmosphere. However, most of the efforts have focused on the particulate organic carbon (POC) stocks and accumulation rates and ignored the particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) fraction, despite important carbonate pools associated with calcifying organisms inhabiting the meadows, such as epiphytes and benthic invertebrates, and despite the relevance that carbonate precipitation and dissolution processes have in the global carbon cycle. This study offers the first assessment of the global PIC stocks in seagrass sediments using a synthesis of published and unpublished data on sediment carbonate concentration from 403 vegetated and 34 adjacent un-vegetated sites. PIC stocks in the top 1 m of sediment ranged between 3 and 1660 Mg PIC ha−1, with an average of 654 ± 24 Mg PIC ha−1, exceeding those of POC reported in previous studies by about a factor of 5. Sedimentary carbonate stocks varied across seagrass communities, with meadows dominated by Halodule, Thalassia or Cymodocea supporting the highest PIC stocks, and tended to decrease polewards at a rate of −8 ± 2 Mg PIC ha−1 per degree of latitude (general linear model, GLM; p < 0.0003). Using PIC concentrations and estimates of sediment accretion in seagrass meadows, the mean PIC accumulation rate in seagrass sediments is found to be 126.3 ± 31.05 g PIC m−2 yr−1. Based on the global extent of seagrass meadows (177 000 to 600 000 km2), these ecosystems globally store between 11 and 39 Pg of PIC in the top metre of sediment and accumulate between 22 and 75 Tg PIC yr−1, representing a significant contribution to the carbonate dynamics of coastal areas. Despite the fact that these high rates of carbonate accumulation imply CO2

  15. Seagrass mapping in Greek territorial waters using Landsat-8 satellite images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topouzelis, Konstantinos; Makri, Despina; Stoupas, Nikolaos; Papakonstantinou, Apostolos; Katsanevakis, Stelios

    2018-05-01

    Seagrass meadows are among the most valuable coastal ecosystems on earth due to their structural and functional roles in the coastal environment. This study demonstrates remote sensing's capacity to produce seagrass distribution maps on a regional scale. The seagrass coverage maps provided here describe and quantify for the first time the extent and the spatial distribution of seagrass meadows in Greek waters. This information is needed for identifying priority conservation sites and to help coastal ecosystem managers and stakeholders to develop conservation strategies and design a resilient network of protected marine areas. The results were based on an object-based image analysis of 50 Landsat-8 satellite images. The time window of image acquisition was between June 2013 and July 2015. In total, the seagrass coverage in Greek waters was estimated at 2619 km2. The largest coverages of individual seagrass meadows were found around Lemnos Island (124 km2), Corfu Island (46 km2), and East Peloponnese (47 km2). The accuracy assessment of the detected areas was based on 62 Natura 2000 sites, for which habitat maps were available. The mean total accuracy for all 62 sites was estimated at 76.3%.

  16. Seagrass metabolism and carbon dynamics in a tropical coastal embayment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganguly, Dipnarayan; Singh, Gurmeet; Ramachandran, Purvaja; Selvam, Arumughan Paneer; Banerjee, Kakolee; Ramachandran, Ramesh

    2017-10-01

    Net ecosystem metabolism and subsequent changes in environmental variables were studied seasonally in the seagrass-dominated Palk Bay, located along the southeast coast of India. The results showed that although the water column was typically net heterotrophic, the ecosystem as a whole displayed autotrophic characteristics. The mean net community production from the seagrass meadows was 99.31 ± 45.13 mM C m -2  d -1 , while the P/R ratio varied between 1.49 and 1.56. Oxygen produced through in situ photosynthesis, exhibited higher dependence over dissolved CO 2 and available light. Apportionment of carbon stores in biomass indicated that nearly three-fourths were available belowground compared to aboveground. However, the sediment horizon accumulated nearly 40 times more carbon than live biomass. The carbon storage capacities of the sediments and seagrass biomass were comparable with the global mean for seagrass meadows. The results of this study highlight the major role of seagrass meadows in modification of seawater chemistry. Though the seagrass meadows of Palk Bay are increasingly subject to human impacts, with coupled regulatory and management efforts focused on improved water quality and habitat conservation, these key coastal ecosystems will continue to be valuable for climate change mitigation, considering their vital role in C dynamics and interactions with the overlying water column.

  17. Direct contribution of the seagrass Thalassia testudinum to lime mud production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enríquez, Susana; Schubert, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass beds contribute to oceanic carbonate lime mud production by providing a habitat for a wide variety of calcifying organisms and acting as efficient sediment traps. Here we provide evidence for the direct implication of Thalassia testudinum in the precipitation of aragonite needles. The crystals are located internally in the cell walls, and as external deposits on the blade, and are similar in size and shape to the aragonite needles reported for modern tropical carbonate factories. Seagrass calcification is a biological, light-enhanced process controlled by the leaf, and estimates of seagrass annual carbonate production in a Caribbean reef lagoon are as significant as values reported for Halimeda incrassata. Thus, we conclude that seagrass calcification is another biological source for the aragonite lime mud deposits found in tropical banks, and that tropical seagrass habitats may play a more important role in the oceanic carbon cycle than previously considered. PMID:24848374

  18. Matching consumer feeding behaviours and resource traits: a fourth-corner problem in food-web theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Angelo Barbosa; Faria, Lucas Del Bianco

    2018-06-06

    For decades, food web theory has proposed phenomenological models for the underlying structure of ecological networks. Generally, these models rely on latent niche variables that match the feeding behaviour of consumers with their resource traits. In this paper, we used a comprehensive database to evaluate different hypotheses on the best dependency structure of trait-matching patterns between consumers and resource traits. We found that consumer feeding behaviours had complex interactions with resource traits; however, few dimensions (i.e. latent variables) could reproduce the trait-matching patterns. We discuss our findings in the light of three food web models designed to reproduce the multidimensionality of food web data; additionally, we discuss how using species traits clarify food webs beyond species pairwise interactions and enable studies to infer ecological generality at larger scales, despite potential taxonomic differences, variations in ecological conditions and differences in species abundance between communities. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  19. FoodPro: A Web-Based Tool for Evaluating Covariance and Correlation NMR Spectra Associated with Food Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eisuke Chikayama

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Foods from agriculture and fishery products are processed using various technologies. Molecular mixture analysis during food processing has the potential to help us understand the molecular mechanisms involved, thus enabling better cooking of the analyzed foods. To date, there has been no web-based tool focusing on accumulating Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR spectra from various types of food processing. Therefore, we have developed a novel web-based tool, FoodPro, that includes a food NMR spectrum database and computes covariance and correlation spectra to tasting and hardness. As a result, FoodPro has accumulated 236 aqueous (extracted in D2O and 131 hydrophobic (extracted in CDCl3 experimental bench-top 60-MHz NMR spectra, 1753 tastings scored by volunteers, and 139 hardness measurements recorded by a penetrometer, all placed into a core database. The database content was roughly classified into fish and vegetable groups from the viewpoint of different spectrum patterns. FoodPro can query a user food NMR spectrum, search similar NMR spectra with a specified similarity threshold, and then compute estimated tasting and hardness, covariance, and correlation spectra to tasting and hardness. Querying fish spectra exemplified specific covariance spectra to tasting and hardness, giving positive covariance for tasting at 1.31 ppm for lactate and 3.47 ppm for glucose and a positive covariance for hardness at 3.26 ppm for trimethylamine N-oxide.

  20. FoodPro: A Web-Based Tool for Evaluating Covariance and Correlation NMR Spectra Associated with Food Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikayama, Eisuke; Yamashina, Ryo; Komatsu, Keiko; Tsuboi, Yuuri; Sakata, Kenji; Kikuchi, Jun; Sekiyama, Yasuyo

    2016-10-19

    Foods from agriculture and fishery products are processed using various technologies. Molecular mixture analysis during food processing has the potential to help us understand the molecular mechanisms involved, thus enabling better cooking of the analyzed foods. To date, there has been no web-based tool focusing on accumulating Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectra from various types of food processing. Therefore, we have developed a novel web-based tool, FoodPro, that includes a food NMR spectrum database and computes covariance and correlation spectra to tasting and hardness. As a result, FoodPro has accumulated 236 aqueous (extracted in D₂O) and 131 hydrophobic (extracted in CDCl₃) experimental bench-top 60-MHz NMR spectra, 1753 tastings scored by volunteers, and 139 hardness measurements recorded by a penetrometer, all placed into a core database. The database content was roughly classified into fish and vegetable groups from the viewpoint of different spectrum patterns. FoodPro can query a user food NMR spectrum, search similar NMR spectra with a specified similarity threshold, and then compute estimated tasting and hardness, covariance, and correlation spectra to tasting and hardness. Querying fish spectra exemplified specific covariance spectra to tasting and hardness, giving positive covariance for tasting at 1.31 ppm for lactate and 3.47 ppm for glucose and a positive covariance for hardness at 3.26 ppm for trimethylamine N -oxide.

  1. Seagrass status and trends in the northern Gulf of Mexico: 1940-2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, L.; Altsman, D.; DeMay, R.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past century, seagrass habitats from the bays of Texas to the gulf shores of Florida have decreased. Seagrass beds, which are highly dependent on water quality and clarity for survival, are home to a multitude of aquatic plants and animals and a source of economic activity through commercial and recreational fishing and ecotourism. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program (GMP) and its partners have made a commitment to restore, enhance, and protect this important ecosystem. As seagrass habitats decrease, the need for information on the causes and effects of seagrass loss, current mapping information, and education on the importance of seagrassess becomes greater. This report is the initial effort of the GMP’s research and restoration plan for seagrasses. The purpose of this report is to provide scientists, managers, and citizens with valuable baseline information on the status and trends of seagrasses in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Within the northern Gulf of Mexico region, 14 individual estuarine systems where seagrasses occur, as well as statewide summaries for Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, are examined in this study. Each estuarine system is detailed in vignettes that address current and historical extent and quality of seagrasses, seagrass mapping and monitoring, causes of status change, restoration and enhancement activities, background information for the entire study area as well as the subareas for study, and the methodology employed to analyze and document the historical trends and current status of seagrasses. The systems, moving from west to east, include the Laguna Madre, Texas Coastal Bend region, and Galveston Bay in Texas; the Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana; the Mississippi Sound; and Perdido Bay, Pensacola/Escambia Bay, Choctawhatchee Bay, St. Andrew Bay, Florida’s Big Bend region, Tampa Bay/St. Joseph Sound, Sarasota Bay, Greater Charlotte Harbor, and Florida Bay in Florida

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, Linda M.; Norstrom, Ross J.; Hobson, Keith A.; Muir, Derek C.G.; Backus, Sean; Fisk, Aaron T.

    2005-01-01

    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. δ 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 δ 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 δ 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 δ 15 N values, although As in liver tissue showed significant biomagnification in the seabird portion of the food web

  3. Tracing Mississippi River influences in estuarine food webs of coastal Louisiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wissel, Björn; Fry, Brian

    2005-08-01

    The Breton Sound estuary in southern Louisiana receives large amounts of Mississippi River water via a controlled diversion structure at the upstream end of the estuary. We used stable isotopes to trace spatial and seasonal responses of the downstream food web to winter and spring introductions of river water. Analysis of delta13C, delta15N, and delta34S in the common local consumers such as grass shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.), barnacles (Balanus sp.), and small plankton-feeding fish (bay anchovies, Anchoa mitchilli) showed that the diversion was associated with two of the five major source regimes that were supporting food webs: a river regime near the diversion and a river-influenced productive marsh regime farther away from the diversion. Mixing models identified a third river-influenced source regime at the marine end of the estuary where major natural discharge from the Bird's Foot Delta wraps around into estuarine waters. The remaining two source regimes represented typical estuarine conditions: local freshwater sources especially from precipitation and a brackish source regime representing higher salinity marine influences. Overall, the Mississippi River diversion accounted for 75% of food web support in the upper estuary and 25% in the middle estuary, with influence strongest along known flow pathways and closest to the diversion. Isotopes also traced seasonal changes in river contributions, and indicated increased plant community productivity along the major flow path of diversion water. In the Breton Sound estuary, bottom-up forcing of food webs is strongly linked to river introductions and discharge, occurring in spatial and temporal patterns predictable from known river input regimes and known hydrologic circulation patterns.

  4. Morphological and physiological responses of seagrasses (Alismatales to grazers (Testudines: Cheloniidae and the role of these responses as grazing patch abandonment cues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Lacey

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, are grazers influencing the distribution of seagrass within shallow coastal ecosystems, yet the drivers behind C. mydas patch use within seagrass beds are largely unknown. Current theories center on food quality (nutrient content as the plant responds to grazing disturbances; however, no study has monitored these parameters in a natural setting without grazer manipulation. To determine the morphological and physiological responses potentially influencing seagrass recovery from grazing disturbances, seagrasses were monitored for one year under three different grazing scenarios (turtle grazed, fish grazed and ungrazed in a tropical ecosystem in Akumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Significantly less soluble carbohydrates and increased nitrogen and phosphorus content in Thalassia testudinum were indicative of the stresses placed on seagrasses during herbivory. To determine if these physiological responses were the drivers of the heterogeneous grazing behavior by C. mydas recorded in Akumal Bay, patches were mapped and monitored over a six-month interval. The abandoned patches had the lowest standing crop rather than leaf nutrient or rhizome soluble carbohydrate content. This suggests a modified Giving Up Density (GUD behavior: the critical threshold where cost of continued grazing does not provide minimum nutrients, therefore, new patches must be utilized, explains resource abandonment and mechanism behind C. mydas grazing. This study is the first to apply GUD theory, often applied in terrestrial literature, to explain marine herbivore grazing behavior.

  5. Morphological and physiological responses of seagrasses (Alismatales) to grazers (Testudines: Cheloniidae) and the role of these responses as grazing patch abandonment cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacey, Elizabeth A; Collado-Vides, Ligia; Fourqurean, James W

    2014-12-01

    Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, are grazers influencing the distribution of seagrass within shallow coastal ecosystems, yet the drivers behind C. mydas patch use within seagrass beds are largely unknown. Current theories center on food quality (nutrient content) as the plant responds to grazing disturbances; however, no study has monitored these parameters in a natural setting without grazer manipulation. To determine the morphological and physiological responses potentially influencing seagrass recovery from grazing disturbances, seagrasses were monitored for one year under three different grazing scenarios (turtle grazed, fish grazed and ungrazed) in a tropical ecosystem in Akumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Significantly less soluble carbohydrates and increased nitrogen and phosphorus content in Thalassia testudinum were indicative of the stresses placed on seagrasses during herbivory. To determine if these physiological responses were the drivers of the heterogeneous grazing behavior by C. mydas recorded in Akumal Bay, patches were mapped and monitored over a six-month interval. The abandoned patches had the lowest standing crop rather than leaf nutrient or rhi- zome soluble carbohydrate content. This suggests a modified Giving Up Density (GUD) behavior: the critical threshold where cost of continued grazing does not provide minimum nutrients, therefore, new patches must be utilized, explains resource abandonment and mechanism behind C. mydas grazing. This study is the first to apply GUD theory, often applied in terrestrial literature, to explain marine herbivore grazing behavior.

  6. 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.

  7. Potential roles of Labyrinthula spp. in global seagrass population declines

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sullivan, B.K.; Sherman, T.D.; Damare, V.S.; Lilje, O.; Gleason, F.H.

    are able to cause ecologically significant diseases of protists, plants and animals. Here, the pathosystem model is applied to host–parasite relationships in seagrass ecosystems. Known physical and biological stressors of seagrass are reviewed. Finally, we...

  8. 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…

  9. Seagrass Biomass and Productivity in Seaweed and Non-Seaweed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seagrass beds are often subjected to stress resulting from natural and human activities. In this study, the shoot density, biomass and growth characteristics of Thalassia hemprichii and Enhalus acoroides were measured to assess the impact of seaweed farming activities on seagrass meadows at Marumbi, Chwaka Bay and ...

  10. 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.

  11. Invasions and extinctions reshape coastal marine food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarrett E Byrnes

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

  12. Web-based Food Behaviour Questionnaire: validation with grades six to eight students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanning, Rhona M; Royall, Dawna; Toews, Jenn E; Blashill, Lindsay; Wegener, Jessica; Driezen, Pete

    2009-01-01

    The web-based Food Behaviour Questionnaire (FBQ) includes a 24-hour diet recall, a food frequency questionnaire, and questions addressing knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and food-related behaviours. The survey has been revised since it was developed and initially validated. The current study was designed to obtain qualitative feedback and to validate the FBQ diet recall. "Think aloud" techniques were used in cognitive interviews with dietitian experts (n=11) and grade six students (n=21). Multi-ethnic students (n=201) in grades six to eight at urban southern Ontario schools completed the FBQ and, subsequently, one-on-one diet recall interviews with trained dietitians. Food group and nutrient intakes were compared. Users provided positive feedback on the FBQ. Suggestions included adding more foods, more photos for portion estimation, and online student feedback. Energy and nutrient intakes were positively correlated between FBQ and dietitian interviews, overall and by gender and grade (all p<0.001). Intraclass correlation coefficients were ≥0.5 for energy and macro-nutrients, although the web-based survey underestimated energy (10.5%) and carbohydrate (-15.6%) intakes (p<0.05). Under-estimation of rice and pasta portions on the web accounted for 50% of this discrepancy. The FBQ is valid, relative to 24-hour recall interviews, for dietary assessment in diverse populations of Ontario children in grades six to eight.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    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. -- Highlights: • Experiments show the potential of ingestion of plastics by various zooplankton taxa. • This ingestion of plastics can be indirect via other zooplankton organisms. • There may be several alternate routes for microplastic transfer in the food webs. -- Experiments with zooplankton and microspheres showed ingestion of spheres by zpl and the transfer of ingested microspheres to higher trophic level organisms via labelled zooplankton

  16. The stable carbon isotope ratios in benthic food webs of the gulf of Calvi, Corsica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauby, Patrick

    1989-02-01

    The Gulf of Calvi, Corsica, presents a wide diversity of biocoenoses, amongst which the seagrass Posidonia meadow is prevalent. More than 100 plant, animal and sediment samples from various biotopes were analysed for their stable carbon isotope ratios, to assess carbon flows within the food chains. Marine plants display a wide range of δ 13C values, from -6 to -32‰ but with three relatively well distinct peaks for Posidonia, brown algae and phytoplankton (-9, -19 and -23‰, respectively), which are the main carbon sources. The range of isotopic values of animals is narrower, from -14 to -24‰, suggesting that they feed mainly on algae and plankton. Computations based on simple equations show the proportion of each carbon source in the diet of the animals. Posidonia, notwithstanding their important biomass, appear to be a minor food source; this is possibly because of the transfer of their dead leaves, towards the shorelines, in winter.

  17. Differential methods of localisation of fungal endophytes in the seagrasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Raja

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Sections of three seagrass species (Halophila ovalis, Cymodocea serrulata and Halodule pinifolia were assessed for endophytes based on differential staining using light and fluorescence microscopy method. Acridine orange and aniline blue detected endophytic fungi in 20% and 10% of the segments, respectively, whereas lactophenol cotton blue was more sensitive to detect the fungal hyphae in 70% of the segments. Hyphae were the principal fungal structures generally observed under the cuticle, within the epidermal cells, mesophyll (Parenchyma cells and occasionally within the vascular tissue that varied in type, size and location within the leaf tissue. Present study also recorded the sporulation for the first time from the seagrass endophytes. Successfully amplified products of the ITS region of endophytic fungal DNA, directly from seagrass tissue and also from culture-dependent fungal DNA clearly depicted the presence of endophytic fungi in H. ovalis with two banding patterns (903 and 1381 bp confirming the presence of two dominant fungal genera. The fingerprinting of endophytic fungal community within the seagrass tissue was assessed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE that derived with multiple bands that clarified the presence of more than one taxon within the seagrass tissue.

  18. Radiocobalt cycling in a small mammal food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willard, W.K.

    1975-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. New Tools to Identify the Location of Seagrass Meadows: Marine Grazers as Habitat Indicators

    KAUST Repository

    Hays, Graeme C.

    2018-02-21

    Seagrasses are hugely valuable to human life, but the global extent of seagrass meadows remains unclear. As evidence of their value, a United Nations program exists (http://data.unep-wcmc.org/datasets/7) to try and assess their distribution and there has been a call from 122 scientists across 28 countries for more work to manage, protect and monitor seagrass meadows (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37606827). Emerging from the 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop, held in October 2016, has been the view that grazing marine megafauna may play a useful role in helping to identify previously unknown seagrass habitats. Here we describe this concept, showing how detailed information on the distribution of both dugongs (Dugong dugon) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) obtained, for example, by aerial surveys and satellite tracking, can reveal new information on the location of seagrass meadows. We show examples of how marine megaherbivores have been effective habitat indicators, revealing major, new, deep-water seagrass meadows and offering the potential for more informed estimates of seagrass extent in tropical and sub-tropical regions where current information is often lacking.

  1. Optimum Temperatures for Net Primary Productivity of Three Tropical Seagrass Species

    OpenAIRE

    Collier, Catherine J.; Ow, Yan X.; Langlois, Lucas; Uthicke, Sven; Johansson, Charlotte L.; O'Brien, Katherine R.; Hrebien, Victoria; Adams, Matthew P.

    2017-01-01

    Rising sea water temperature will play a significant role in responses of the world's seagrass meadows to climate change. In this study, we investigated seasonal and latitudinal variation (spanning more than 1,500 km) in seagrass productivity, and the optimum temperatures at which maximum photosynthesis and net productivity (for the leaf and the whole plant) occurs, for three seagrass species (Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis, and Zostera muelleri). To obtain whole plant net production...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world's largest seagrass carbon stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias-Ortiz, A.; Serrano, O.; Masqué, P.; Lavery, P. S.; Mueller, U.; Kendrick, G. A.; Rozaimi, M.; Esteban, A.; Fourqurean, J. W.; Marbà, N.; Mateo, M. A.; Murray, K.; Rule, M. J.; Duarte, C. M.

    2018-04-01

    Seagrass ecosystems contain globally significant organic carbon (C) stocks. However, climate change and increasing frequency of extreme events threaten their preservation. Shark Bay, Western Australia, has the largest C stock reported for a seagrass ecosystem, containing up to 1.3% of the total C stored within the top metre of seagrass sediments worldwide. On the basis of field studies and satellite imagery, we estimate that 36% of Shark Bay's seagrass meadows were damaged following a marine heatwave in 2010/2011. Assuming that 10 to 50% of the seagrass sediment C stock was exposed to oxic conditions after disturbance, between 2 and 9 Tg CO2 could have been released to the atmosphere during the following three years, increasing emissions from land-use change in Australia by 4-21% per annum. With heatwaves predicted to increase with further climate warming, conservation of seagrass ecosystems is essential to avoid adverse feedbacks on the climate system.

  5. 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).

  6. 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

    2014-06-17

    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.

  7. 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

    2018-03-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Prey vulnerability limits top-down control and alters reciprocal feedbacks in a subsidized model food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William I Atlas

    Full Text Available Resource subsidies increase the productivity of recipient food webs and can affect ecosystem dynamics. Subsidies of prey often support elevated predator biomass which may intensify top-down control and reduce the flow of reciprocal subsidies into adjacent ecosystems. However, top-down control in subsidized food webs may be limited if primary consumers posses morphological or behavioral traits that limit vulnerability to predation. In forested streams, terrestrial prey support high predator biomass creating the potential for strong top-down control, however armored primary consumers often dominate the invertebrate assemblage. Using empirically based simulation models, we tested the response of stream food webs to variations in subsidy magnitude, prey vulnerability, and the presence of two top predators. While terrestrial prey inputs increased predator biomass (+12%, the presence of armored primary consumers inhibited top-down control, and diverted most aquatic energy (∼75% into the riparian forest through aquatic insect emergence. Food webs without armored invertebrates experienced strong trophic cascades, resulting in higher algal (∼50% and detrital (∼1600% biomass, and reduced insect emergence (-90%. These results suggest prey vulnerability can mediate food web responses to subsidies, and that top-down control can be arrested even when predator-invulnerable consumers are uncommon (20% regardless of the level of subsidy.

  10. Comment on Geoengineering with seagrasses: is credit due where credit is given?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oreska, Matthew P. J.; McGlathery, Karen J.; Emmer, Igino M.; Needelman, Brian A.; Emmett-Mattox, Stephen; Crooks, Stephen; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Myers, Doug

    2018-03-01

    In their recent review, ‘Geoengineering with seagrasses: is credit due where credit is given?,’ Johannessen and Macdonald (2016) invoke the prospect of carbon offset-credit over-allocation by the Verified Carbon Standard as a pretense for their concerns about published seagrass carbon burial rate and global stock estimates. Johannessen and Macdonald (2016) suggest that projects seeking offset-credits under the Verified Carbon Standard methodology VM0033: Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration will overestimate long-term (100 yr) sediment organic carbon (SOC) storage because issues affecting carbon burial rates bias storage estimates. These issues warrant serious consideration by the seagrass research community; however, VM0033 does not refer to seagrass SOC ‘burial rates’ or ‘storage.’ Projects seeking credits under VM0033 must document greenhouse gas emission reductions over time, relative to a baseline scenario, in order to receive credits. Projects must also monitor changes in carbon pools, including SOC, to confirm that observed benefits are maintained over time. However, VM0033 allows projects to conservatively underestimate project benefits by citing default values for specific accounting parameters, including CO2 emissions reductions. We therefore acknowledge that carbon crediting methodologies such as VM0033 are sensitive to the quality of the seagrass literature, particularly when permitted default factors are based in part on seagrass burial rates. Literature-derived values should be evaluated based on the concerns raised by Johannessen and Macdonald (2016), but these issues should not lead to credit over-allocation in practice, provided VM0033 is rigorously followed. These issues may, however, affect the feasibility of particular seagrass offset projects.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideyuki Doi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 13C 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.

  12. Simple rules describe bottom-up and top-down control in food webs with alternative energy pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollrab, Sabine; Diehl, Sebastian; De Roos, André M

    2012-09-01

    Many human influences on the world's ecosystems have their largest direct impacts at either the top or the bottom of the food web. To predict their ecosystem-wide consequences we must understand how these impacts propagate. A long-standing, but so far elusive, problem in this endeavour is how to reduce food web complexity to a mathematically tractable, but empirically relevant system. Simplification to main energy channels linking primary producers to top consumers has been recently advocated. Following this approach, we propose a general framework for the analysis of bottom-up and top-down forcing of ecosystems by reducing food webs to two energy pathways originating from a limiting resource shared by competing guilds of primary producers (e.g. edible vs. defended plants). Exploring dynamical models of such webs we find that their equilibrium responses to nutrient enrichment and top consumer harvesting are determined by only two easily measurable topological properties: the lengths of the component food chains (odd-odd, odd-even, or even-even) and presence vs. absence of a generalist top consumer reconnecting the two pathways (yielding looped vs. branched webs). Many results generalise to other looped or branched web structures and the model can be easily adapted to include a detrital pathway. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  13. Decadal changes in the structure of Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows: Natural vs. human influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuya, Fernando; Ribeiro-Leite, Luís; Arto-Cuesta, Noelia; Coca, Josep; Haroun, Ricardo; Espino, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are deteriorating worldwide. However, numerous declines are still unreported, which avoid accurate evaluations of seagrass global trends. This is particularly relevant for the western African coast and nearby oceanic archipelagos in the eastern Atlantic. The seagrass Cymodocea nodosa is an 'ecological engineer' on shallow soft bottoms of the Canary Islands. A comparative decadal study was conducted in 21 C. nodosa seagrass meadows at Gran Canaria Island to compare the structure (shoot density, leaf length and cover) between 2003 and 2012. Overall, 11 meadows exhibited a severe regression, while 10 remained relatively stable. During this period, natural influences (sea surface temperature, Chlorophyll-a concentration and PAR light, as well as the number of storm episodes detaching seagrasses) had a low predictive power on temporal patterns in seagrass structure. In contrast, proximity from a range of human-mediated influences (e.g. the number of outfalls and ports) seem to be related to the loss of seagrass; the rate of seagrass erosion between 2003 and 2012 was significantly predicted by the number of human-mediated impacts around each meadow. This result highlights promoting management actions to conserve meadows of C. nodosa at the study region through efficient management of local impacts.

  14. Contribution of genetics and genomics to seagrass biology and conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Procaccini, Gabriele; Olsen, Jeanine L.; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.

    2007-01-01

    Genetic diversity is one of three forms of biodiversity recognized by the IUCN as deserving conservation along with species and ecosystems. Seagrasses provide all three levels in one. This review addresses the latest advances in our understanding of seagrass population genetics and genomics within

  15. Photosynthetic activity buffers ocean acidification in seagrass meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriks, I. E.; Olsen, Y. S.; Ramajo, L.; Basso, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Moore, T. S.; Howard, J.; Duarte, C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Macrophytes growing in shallow coastal zones characterised by intense metabolic activity have the capacity to modify pH within their canopy and beyond. We observed diel pH changes in shallow (5-12 m) seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) meadows spanning 0.06 pH units in September to 0.24 units in June. The carbonate system (pH, DIC, and aragonite saturation state (ΩAr)) and O2 within the meadows displayed strong diel variability driven by primary productivity, and changes in chemistry were related to structural parameters of the meadow, in particular, the leaf surface area available for photosynthesis (LAI). LAI was positively correlated to mean, max and range pHNBS and max and range ΩAr. In June, vertical mixing (as Turbulent Kinetic Energy) influenced max and min ΩAr, while in September there was no effect of hydrodynamics on the carbonate system within the canopy. Max and range ΩAr within the meadow showed a positive trend with the calcium carbonate load of the leaves, pointing to a possible link between structural parameters, ΩAr and carbonate deposition. Calcifying organisms, e.g. epiphytes with carbonate skeletons, may benefit from the modification of the carbonate system by the meadow. There is, however, concern for the ability of seagrasses to provide modifications of similar importance in the future. The predicted decline of seagrass meadows may alter the scope for alteration of pH within a seagrass meadow and in the water column above the meadow, particularly if shoot density and biomass decline, on which LAI is based. Organisms associated with seagrass communities may therefore suffer from the loss of pH buffering capacity in degraded meadows.

  16. Plankton food-web functioning in anthropogenically impacted coastal waters (SW Mediterranean Sea): An ecological network analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meddeb, Marouan; Grami, Boutheïna; Chaalali, Aurélie; Haraldsson, Matilda; Niquil, Nathalie; Pringault, Olivier; Sakka Hlaili, Asma

    2018-03-01

    The study is the first attempt to (i) model spring food webs in three SW Mediterranean ecosystems which are under different anthropogenic pressures and (ii) to project the consequence of this stress on their function. Linear inverse models were built using the Monte Carlo method coupled with Markov Chains to characterize the food-web status of the Lagoon, the Channel (inshore waters under high eutrophication and chemical contamination) and the Bay of Bizerte (offshore waters under less anthropogenic pressure). Ecological network analysis was used for the description of structural and functional properties of each food web and for inter-ecosystem comparisons. Our results showed that more carbon was produced by phytoplankton in the inshore waters (966-1234 mg C m-2 d-1) compared to the Bay (727 mg C m-2 d-1). The total ecosystem carbon inputs into the three food webs was supported by high primary production, which was mainly due to >10 μm algae. However, the three carbon pathways were characterized by low detritivory and a high herbivory which was mainly assigned to protozooplankton. This latter was efficient in channelling biogenic carbon. In the Lagoon and the Channel, foods webs acted almost as a multivorous structure with a tendency towards herbivorous one, whereas in the Bay the herbivorous pathway was more dominant. Ecological indices revealed that the Lagoon and the Channel food webs/systems had high total system throughput and thus were more active than the Bay. The Bay food web, which had a high relative ascendency value, was more organized and specialized. This inter-ecosystem difference could be due to the varying levels of anthropogenic impact among sites. Indeed, the low value of Finn's cycling index indicated that the three systems are disturbed, but the Lagoon and the Channel, with low average path lengths, appeared to be more stressed, as both sites have undergone higher chemical pollution and nutrient loading. This study shows that ecosystem models

  17. 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

  18. Impact of mooring activities on carbon stocks in seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, O.; Ruhon, R.; Lavery, P. S.; Kendrick, G. A.; Hickey, S.; Masqué , P.; Arias-Ortiz, A.; Steven, A.; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2016-01-01

    Boating activities are one of the causes that threaten seagrass meadows and the ecosystem services they provide. Mechanical destruction of seagrass habitats may also trigger the erosion of sedimentary organic carbon (Corg) stocks, which may contribute to increasing atmospheric CO2. This study presents the first estimates of loss of Corg stocks in seagrass meadows due to mooring activities in Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Sediment cores were sampled from seagrass meadows and from bare but previously vegetated sediments underneath moorings. The Corg stores have been compromised by the mooring deployment from 1930s onwards, which involved both the erosion of existing sedimentary Corg stores and the lack of further accumulation of Corg. On average, undisturbed meadows had accumulated ~6.4 Kg Corg m−2 in the upper 50 cm-thick deposits at a rate of 34 g Corg m−2 yr−1. The comparison of Corg stores between meadows and mooring scars allows us to estimate a loss of 4.8 kg Corg m−2 in the 50 cm-thick deposits accumulated over ca. 200 yr as a result of mooring deployments. These results provide key data for the implementation of Corg storage credit offset policies to avoid the conversion of seagrass ecosystems and contribute to their preservation.

  19. Impact of mooring activities on carbon stocks in seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, O.

    2016-03-16

    Boating activities are one of the causes that threaten seagrass meadows and the ecosystem services they provide. Mechanical destruction of seagrass habitats may also trigger the erosion of sedimentary organic carbon (Corg) stocks, which may contribute to increasing atmospheric CO2. This study presents the first estimates of loss of Corg stocks in seagrass meadows due to mooring activities in Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Sediment cores were sampled from seagrass meadows and from bare but previously vegetated sediments underneath moorings. The Corg stores have been compromised by the mooring deployment from 1930s onwards, which involved both the erosion of existing sedimentary Corg stores and the lack of further accumulation of Corg. On average, undisturbed meadows had accumulated ~6.4 Kg Corg m−2 in the upper 50 cm-thick deposits at a rate of 34 g Corg m−2 yr−1. The comparison of Corg stores between meadows and mooring scars allows us to estimate a loss of 4.8 kg Corg m−2 in the 50 cm-thick deposits accumulated over ca. 200 yr as a result of mooring deployments. These results provide key data for the implementation of Corg storage credit offset policies to avoid the conversion of seagrass ecosystems and contribute to their preservation.

  20. Seagrass distribution and abundance in Eastern Gulf of Mexico coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Richard L.; Bittaker, Henry F.

    1986-05-01

    The marine angiosperms Thalassia testudinum, Syringodium filiforme, and Halodule wrightii form two of the largest reported seagrass beds along the northwest and southern coasts of Florida where they cover about 3000 square km in the Big Bend area and about 5500 square km in Florida Bay, respectively. Most of the leaf biomass in the Big Bend area and outer Florida Bay was composed of Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme which were distributed throughout the beds but which were more abundant in shallow depths. A short-leaved form of Halodule wrightii grew in monotypic stands in shallow water near the inner edges of the beds, while Halophila decipiens and a longer-leaved variety of H. wrightii grew scattered throughout the beds, in monotypic stands near the outer edges of the beds, and in deeper water outside the beds. Halophila engelmanni was observed scattered at various depths throughout the seagrass beds and in monospecific patches in deep water outside the northern bed. Ruppia maritima grew primarily in brackish water around river mouths. The cross-shelf limits of the two major seagrass beds are controlled nearshore by increased water turbidity and lower salinity around river mouths and off-shore by light penetration to depths which receive 10% or more of sea surface photosynthetically active radiation. Seagrasses form large beds only along low energy reaches of the coast. The Florida Bay seagrass bed contained about twice the short-shoot density of both Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme, for data averaged over all depths, and about four times the average short-shoot density of both species in shallow water compared with the Big Bend seagrass bed. The differences in average seagrass abundance between Florida Bay and the Big Bend area may be a consequence of the effects of greater seasonal solar radiation and water temperature fluctuations experienced by plants in the northern bed, which lies at the northern distribution limit for American

  1. Food-web complexity across hydrothermal vents on the Azores triple junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portail, Marie; Brandily, Christophe; Cathalot, Cécile; Colaço, Ana; Gélinas, Yves; Husson, Bérengère; Sarradin, Pierre-Marie; Sarrazin, Jozée

    2018-01-01

    The assessment and comparison of food webs across various hydrothermal vent sites can enhance our understanding of ecological processes involved in the structure and function of biodiversity. The Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike and Rainbow vent fields are located on the Azores triple junction of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. These fields have distinct depths (from 850 to 2320 m) and geological contexts (basaltic and ultramafic), but share similar faunal assemblages defined by the presence of foundation species that include Bathymodiolus azoricus, alvinocarid shrimp and gastropods. We compared the food webs of 13 faunal assemblages at these three sites using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses (SIA). Results showed that photosynthesis-derived organic matter is a negligible basal source for vent food webs, at all depths. The contribution of methanotrophy versus autotrophy based on Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) or reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycles varied between and within vent fields according to the concentrations of reduced compounds (e.g. CH4, H2S). Species that were common to vent fields showed high trophic flexibility, suggesting weak trophic links to the metabolism of chemosynthetic primary producers. At the community level, a comparison of SIA-derived metrics between mussel assemblages from two vent fields (Menez Gwen & Lucky Strike) showed that the functional structure of food webs was highly similar in terms of basal niche diversification, functional specialization and redundancy. Coupling SIA to functional trait approaches included more variability within the analyses, but the functional structures were still highly comparable. These results suggest that despite variable environmental conditions (physico-chemical factors and basal sources) and faunal community structure, functional complexity remained relatively constant among mussel assemblages. This functional similarity may be favoured by the propensity of species to adapt to fluid variations and

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heldal, Hilde Elise; Foeyn, Lars; Varskog, Per

    2003-01-01

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

  3. The short-term impacts of a cyclone on seagrass communities in Southwest Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Côté-Laurin, Marie-Claude; Benbow, Sophie; Erzini, Karim

    2017-04-01

    Cyclones are large-scale disturbances with highly destructive potential in coastal ecosystems. On February 22, 2013, a powerful tropical cyclone made landfall on the southwest coast of Madagascar, a region which is infrequently hit by such extreme weather events coming from the Mozambique Channel. Seagrass ecosystems, which provide valuable ecosystems services to local communities, are especially vulnerable because they thrive in shallow waters. The impact of Cyclone Haruna on seagrass diversity, height and coverage and associated fish diversity, abundance and biomass was assessed in 3 sites near Andavadoaka (22°07‧S, 43°23‧E) before and after the event using fish underwater visual census, video-transects, and seagrass quadrats. The cyclone caused a significant loss in seagrass cover at all 3 sites. Thalassia hemprichii and Syringodium isoetifolium were the most affected species. Andavadoaka beach, the most exposed site, which was also subject to human use and was most fragmented, suffered the largest negative effects of the cyclone. Cyclone Haruna was not found to significantly affect fish assemblages, which are highly mobile organisms able to use a diversity of niches and adjacent habitats after seagrass fragmentation. Extensive sampling and longer time-scale studies would be needed to fully evaluate the cyclone impact on communities of seagrass and fish, and track potential recovery in seagrass coverage. The intensity and destructive potential of cyclones is expected to increase with global warming, which is of concern for developing countries that encompass most of the world's seagrass beds. This study provided a unique and key opportunity to monitor immediate impacts of an extreme disturbance in a region where cyclones rarely hit coastal ecosystems and where local populations remain highly dependent on seagrass meadows.

  4. Highly resolved early Eocene food webs show development of modern trophic structure after the end-Cretaceous extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Jennifer A; Labandeira, Conrad C; Williams, Richard J

    2014-05-07

    Generalities of food web structure have been identified for extant ecosystems. However, the trophic organization of ancient ecosystems is unresolved, as prior studies of fossil webs have been limited by low-resolution, high-uncertainty data. We compiled highly resolved, well-documented feeding interaction data for 700 taxa from the 48 million-year-old latest early Eocene Messel Shale, which contains a species assemblage that developed after an interval of protracted environmental and biotal change during and following the end-Cretaceous extinction. We compared the network structure of Messel lake and forest food webs to extant webs using analyses that account for scale dependence of structure with diversity and complexity. The Messel lake web, with 94 taxa, displays unambiguous similarities in structure to extant webs. While the Messel forest web, with 630 taxa, displays differences compared to extant webs, they appear to result from high diversity and resolution of insect-plant interactions, rather than substantive differences in structure. The evidence presented here suggests that modern trophic organization developed along with the modern Messel biota during an 18 Myr interval of dramatic post-extinction change. Our study also has methodological implications, as the Messel forest web analysis highlights limitations of current food web data and models.

  5. Food and feeding habits of Omobranchus sp. (Blenniidae: Omobranchini) larvae in the Seagrass-Mangrove ecosystem of Johor Strait, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ara, Roushon; Arshad, Aziz; Amin, S M Nurul; Ghaffar, Mazlan Abd

    2016-07-01

    The stomach contents of Omobranchus sp. (family Blenniidae) larvae were investigated in a seagrass-mangrove based ecosystem in Johor Strait, Malaysia from October 2007 to September 2008. Specimens of larval fish were collected through subsurface towing of a Bongo net from five different stations. The stomach sacs of 267 Omobranchus sp. larvae were separated and observed, which comprised of 24 significant food stuffs belonging to 6 main groups viz. phytoplankton (62.45%), zooplankton (18.24%), algae (5.56%), plant-like particles (5.75%), debris (4.22%) and unidentified particles (2.03%). In situ water parameters were also measured throughout the sampling cruises. There was a strong and significant positive correlation between stomach phytoplankton and salinity (r = 0.658, p < 0.05).? Canonical correlation analysis indicated a weak relationship (29.8%) between stomach contents and physico-chemical parameters. Only salinity appeared to be the controlling factor for the stomach contents of Omobranchus sp. larvae in the investigated area. Based on the stomach content analysis, it could be concluded that Omobranchus sp. were mainly herbivorous during the larval stages. ?

  6. Associations between reported intakes of carotenoid-rich foods and concentrations of carotenoids in plasma: a validation study of a web-based food recall for children and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medin, Anine Christine; Carlsen, Monica Hauger; Andersen, Lene Frost

    2016-12-01

    To validate estimated intakes of carotenoid-rich foods from a web-based food recall (WebFR) using carotenoids in blood as an objective reference method. Cross-sectional validation study using carotenoids in plasma to evaluate estimated intakes of selected carotenoid-rich foods. Participants recorded their food intake in the WebFR and plasma concentrations of β-carotene, α-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin were measured. Schools and homes of families in a suburb of the capital of Norway. A total of 261 participants in the age groups 8-9 and 12-14 years. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients ranged from 0·30 to 0·44, and cross-classification showed that 71·6-76·6 % of the participants were correctly classified, when comparing the reported intakes of carotenoid-rich foods and concentrations of the corresponding carotenoids in plasma, not including lutein and zeaxanthin. Correlations were acceptable and cross-classification analyses demonstrated that the WebFR was able to rank participants according to their reported intake of foods rich in α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. The WebFR is a promising tool for dietary assessment among children and adolescents.

  7. 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

  8. Role of the source community for the recovery of seagrass ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seagrass communities are subject to frequent disturbances that can affect the associated fauna. Seagrass loss in Kenya has been mainly due to extensive grazing by the sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla, leading to habitat fragmentation. The challenge is whether the system can recover fully and function as before. Density ...

  9. Stability lies in flowers: Plant diversification mediating shifts in arthropod food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Mendes Haro

    Full Text Available Arthropod community composition in agricultural landscapes is dependent on habitat characteristics, such as plant composition, landscape homogeneity and the presence of key resources, which are usually absent in monocultures. Manipulating agroecosystems through the insertion of in-field floral resources is a useful technique to reduce the deleterious effects of habitat simplification. Food web analysis can clarify how the community reacts to the presence of floral resources which favour ecosystem services such as biological control of pest species. Here, we reported quantitative and qualitative alterations in arthropod food web complexity due to the presence of floral resources from the Mexican marigold (Tagetes erecta L. in a field scale lettuce community network. The presence of marigold flowers in the field successfully increased richness, body size, and the numerical and biomass abundance of natural enemies in the lettuce arthropod community, which affected the number of links, vulnerability, generality, omnivory rate and food chain length in the community, which are key factors for the stability of relationships between species. Our results reinforce the notion that diversification through insertion of floral resources may assist in preventing pest outbreaks in agroecosystems. This community approach to arthropod interactions in agricultural landscapes can be used in the future to predict the effect of different management practices in the food web to contribute with a more sustainable management of arthropod pest species.

  10. Salt marsh and seagrass communities of Bakkhali Estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hena, M. K. Abu; Short, F. T.; Sharifuzzaman, S. M.; Hasan, M.; Rezowan, M.; Ali, M.

    2007-10-01

    The species identification, distribution pattern, density and biomass of salt marsh and seagrass plants with some of the ecological parameters were studied in the Bakkhali river estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh during the first half of 2006. Two salt marsh species ( Spartina sp. and Imperata cylindrica) and one seagrass species ( Halophila beccarii) were identified during this investigation, providing the first reports of Spartina sp. and H. beccarii in coastal Bangladesh. Seagrass H. beccarii was found in an accreted area and co-existing with salt marsh, and scattered sparsely in the salt marsh habitat and macroalgae Ulva intestinalis. Flowering and fruiting were recorded from the seagrass H. beccarri during January and February. No flowers and fruits were observed for the salt marsh Spartina sp. during the study period. Results showed that the shoot density of Spartina ranged from 400 to 2875 shoots m -2 with the highest total biomass (165.80 g dry weight (DW) m -2) in March. Shoot density of H. beccarii ranged from 2716 to 14320 shoots m -2 in this estuarine coastal environment. The total biomass of seagrass was higher (17.56 g DW m -2) in March compared to the other months. The highest H. beccarii above ground (AG) biomass and below ground (BG) biomass were 9.59 g DW m -2 and 9.42 g DW m -2, respectively. These parameters are comparable with those generally observed for the salt marsh and seagrass species in the other places of the world.

  11. A Global Assessment of the Chemical Recalcitrance of Seagrass Tissues: Implications for Long-Term Carbon Sequestration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey M. Trevathan-Tackett

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass ecosystems have recently been identified for their role in climate change mitigation due to their globally-significant carbon sinks; yet, the capacity of seagrasses to sequester carbon has been shown to vary greatly among seagrass ecosystems. The recalcitrant nature of seagrass tissues, or the resistance to degradation back into carbon dioxide, is one aspect thought to influence sediment carbon stocks. In this study, a global survey investigated how the macromolecular chemistry of seagrass leaves, sheaths/stems, rhizomes and roots varied across 23 species from 16 countries. The goal was to understand how this seagrass chemistry might influence the capacity of seagrasses to contribute to sediment carbon stocks. Three non-destructive analytical chemical analyses were used to investigate seagrass chemistry: thermogravimetric analysis (TGA and solid state 13C-NMR and infrared spectroscopy. A strong latitudinal influence on carbon quality was found, whereby temperate seagrasses contained 5% relatively more labile carbon, and tropical seagrasses contained 3% relatively more refractory carbon. Sheath/stem tissues significantly varied across taxa, with larger morphologies typically containing more refractory carbon than smaller morphologies. Rhizomes were characterized by a higher proportion of labile carbon (16% of total organic matter compared to 8–10% in other tissues; however, high rhizome biomass production and slower remineralization in anoxic sediments will likely enhance these below-ground tissues' contributions to long-term carbon stocks. Our study provides a standardized and global dataset on seagrass carbon quality across tissue types, taxa and geography that can be incorporated in carbon sequestration and storage models as well as ecosystem valuation and management strategies.

  12. A food web modeling analysis of a Midwestern, USA eutrophic lake dominated by non-native Common Carp and Zebra Mussels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colvin, Michael E.; Pierce, Clay; Stewart, Timothy W.

    2015-01-01

    Food web modeling is recognized as fundamental to understanding the complexities of aquatic systems. Ecopath is the most common mass-balance model used to represent food webs and quantify trophic interactions among groups. We constructed annual Ecopath models for four consecutive years during the first half-decade of a zebra mussel invasion in shallow, eutrophic Clear Lake, Iowa, USA, to evaluate changes in relative biomass and total system consumption among food web groups, evaluate food web impacts of non-native common carp and zebra mussels on food web groups, and to interpret food web impacts in light of on-going lake restoration. Total living biomass increased each year of the study; the majority of the increase due to a doubling in planktonic blue green algae, but several other taxa also increased including a more than two-order of magnitude increase in zebra mussels. Common carp accounted for the largest percentage of total fish biomass throughout the study even with on-going harvest. Chironomids, common carp, and zebra mussels were the top-three ranking consumer groups. Non-native common carp and zebra mussels accounted for an average of 42% of the total system consumption. Despite the relatively high biomass densities of common carp and zebra mussel, food web impacts was minimal due to excessive benthic and primary production in this eutrophic system. Consumption occurring via benthic pathways dominated system consumption in Clear Lake throughout our study, supporting the argument that benthic food webs are significant in shallow, eutrophic lake ecosystems and must be considered if ecosystem-level understanding is to be obtained.

  13. Photosynthetic response to globally increasing CO2 of co-occurring temperate seagrass species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borum, Jens; Pedersen, Ole; Kotula, Lukasz; Fraser, Matthew W; Statton, John; Colmer, Timothy D; Kendrick, Gary A

    2016-06-01

    Photosynthesis of most seagrass species seems to be limited by present concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Therefore, the ongoing increase in atmospheric CO2 could enhance seagrass photosynthesis and internal O2 supply, and potentially change species competition through differential responses to increasing CO2 availability among species. We used short-term photosynthetic responses of nine seagrass species from the south-west of Australia to test species-specific responses to enhanced CO2 and changes in HCO3 (-) . Net photosynthesis of all species except Zostera polychlamys were limited at pre-industrial compared to saturating CO2 levels at light saturation, suggesting that enhanced CO2 availability will enhance seagrass performance. Seven out of the nine species were efficient HCO3 (-) users through acidification of diffusive boundary layers, production of extracellular carbonic anhydrase, or uptake and internal conversion of HCO3 (-) . Species responded differently to near saturating CO2 implying that increasing atmospheric CO2 may change competition among seagrass species if co-occurring in mixed beds. Increasing CO2 availability also enhanced internal aeration in the one species assessed. We expect that future increases in atmospheric CO2 will have the strongest impact on seagrass recruits and sparsely vegetated beds, because densely vegetated seagrass beds are most often limited by light and not by inorganic carbon. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world’s largest seagrass carbon stocks

    KAUST Repository

    Arias-Ortiz, A.

    2018-03-29

    Seagrass ecosystems contain globally significant organic carbon (C) stocks. However, climate change and increasing frequency of extreme events threaten their preservation. Shark Bay, Western Australia, has the largest C stock reported for a seagrass ecosystem, containing up to 1.3% of the total C stored within the top metre of seagrass sediments worldwide. On the basis of field studies and satellite imagery, we estimate that 36% of Shark Bay’s seagrass meadows were damaged following a marine heatwave in 2010/2011. Assuming that 10 to 50% of the seagrass sediment C stock was exposed to oxic conditions after disturbance, between 2 and 9 Tg CO could have been released to the atmosphere during the following three years, increasing emissions from land-use change in Australia by 4–21% per annum. With heatwaves predicted to increase with further climate warming, conservation of seagrass ecosystems is essential to avoid adverse feedbacks on the climate system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-15

    Benthic and pelagic food web components in Cumberland Sound, Canada were explored as sources of total mercury (THg) to Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) via both bottom-up food web transfer and top-down shark feeding behavior. Log10THg increased significantly with δ(15)N and trophic position from invertebrates (0.01 ± 0.01 μg · g(-1) [113 ± 1 ng · g(-1)] dw in copepods) to Greenland Sharks (3.54 ± 1.02 μg · g(-1)). The slope of the log10THg vs. δ(15)N linear regression was higher for pelagic compared to benthic food web components (excluding Greenland Sharks, which could not be assigned to either food web), which resulted from THg concentrations being higher at the base of the benthic food web (i.e., in benthic than pelagic primary consumers). However, feeding habitat is unlikely to consistently influence shark THg exposure in Cumberland Sound because THg concentrations did not consistently differ between benthic and pelagic shark prey. Further, size, gender and feeding behavior (inferred from stable isotopes and fatty acids) were unable to significantly explain THg variability among individual Greenland Sharks. Possible reasons for this result include: 1) individual sharks feeding as generalists, 2) high overlap in THg among shark prey, and 3) differences in turnover time between ecological tracers and THg. This first assessment of Greenland Shark THg within an Arctic food web revealed high concentrations consistent with biomagnification, but low ability to explain intra-specific THg variability. Our findings of high THg levels and consumption of multiple prey types, however, suggest that Greenland Sharks acquire THg through a variety of trophic pathways and are a significant contributor to the total biotic THg pool in northern seas. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Cover versus recovery: Contrasting responses of two indicators in seagrass beds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.; Han, Q.; Li, B.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2014-01-01

    Despite being a highly valuable key-stone ecosystem, seagrass meadows are threatened and declining worldwide, creating urgent need for indicators of their health status. We compared two indicators for seagrass health: standing leaf area index versus relative recovery from local disturbance.

  17. 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

  18. 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,

  19. Molluscan assemblages of seagrass-covered and bare intertidal flats on the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, in relation to characteristics of sediment and organic matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honkoop, Pieter J. C.; Berghuis, Eilke M.; Holthuijsen, Sander; Lavaleye, Marc S. S.; Piersma, Theunis

    2008-11-01

    The Banc d'Arguin, a non-estuarine area of shallows and intertidal flats off the tropical Saharan coast of Mauritania, is characterised by extensive intertidal and subtidal seagrass beds. We examined the characteristics of intertidal seagrass ( Zostera noltii) meadows and bare areas in terms of the presence and abundance of molluscs (gastropods and bivalves). To explain observed differences between molluscan assemblages in seagrass and bare patches, some aspects of the feeding habitat (top-5 mm of the sediment) and of food (organic materials) of molluscs were examined. The novelty of this study is that phytopigments were measured and identified to assess source and level of decay (freshness) of organic material in the sediment and to study their importance as an explanatory variable for the distribution of molluscs. Over an area of 36 km 2 of intertidal flats, at 12 sites, paired comparisons were made between seagrass-covered and nearby bare patches. Within seagrass meadows, dry mass of living seagrass was large and amounted to 180 ±10 g AFDM m - 2 (range 75-240). Containing twice the amount of silt per unit dry sediment mass, seagrass sediments were muddier than bare areas; the relative amount of organic material was also larger. The total number of species of bivalves and gastropods amounted to 27, 14 of which were found only in seagrass areas, 4 only in bare and 9 in both types of habitat. Among the three numerically most abundant species, the bivalves Anadara senilis, Dosinia hepatica and Loripes lacteus, the first was numerically most abundant in bare and the other two in seagrass-covered areas. Bare intertidal areas had greater mean total biomass of molluscs (80.5 g AFDM m - 2 ) than seagrass meadows (30.0 g AFDM m - 2 ). In both habitats, the bulk of the biomass was made up by A. senilis. Excluding this species, bare mudflats contained on average only 3.1 g AFDM m - 2 and seagrass meadows 6.9 g AFDM m - 2 . As compared to previous surveys in 1980-1986, the

  20. 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.

  1. Lethal and sub-lethal chronic effects of the herbicide diuron on seagrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negri, Andrew P; Flores, Florita; Mercurio, Phil; Mueller, Jochen F; Collier, Catherine J

    2015-08-01

    Photosystem II herbicides from agricultural sources have been detected throughout nearshore tropical habitats including seagrass meadows. While PSII herbicides have been shown to inhibit growth in microalgae at low concentrations, the potential impacts of chronic low concentration exposures to seagrass health and growth have not been investigated. Here we exposed two tropical seagrass species Halodule uninervis and Zostera muelleri to elevated diuron concentrations (from 0.3 to 7.2μgl(-1)) over a 79-day period followed by a 2-week recovery period in uncontaminated seawater. PAM fluorometry demonstrated rapid effect of diuron on photosystem II (PSII) in both seagrass species at 0.3μgl(-1). This effect included significant inhibition of photosynthetic efficiency (ΔF/Fm') and inactivation of PSII (Fv/Fm) over the 11 week exposure period. Significant mortality and reductions in growth was only observed at the highest exposure concentration of 7.2μgl(-1) diuron. However, biochemical indicators demonstrated that the health of seagrass after this prolonged exposure was significantly compromised at lower concentrations. For example, the drop in C:N ratios (0.6μgl(-1)) and reduced δ(13)C (1.7μgl(-1)) in seagrass leaves indicated reduced C-assimilation from photosynthesis. Critically, the energetic reserves of the plants (as measured by starch content in the root-rhizome complex) were approximately halved following diuron exposure at and above 1.7μgl(-1). During the 2-week recovery period, the photosynthetic capacity of the seagrass improved with only plants from the highest diuron treatment still exhibiting chronic damage to PSII. This study shows that, although seagrass may survive prolonged herbicide exposures, concentrations ≥0.6μgl(-1) diuron equivalents cause measureable impacts on energetic status that may leave the plants vulnerable to other simultaneous stressors. For example, tropical seagrasses have been heavily impacted by reduced light from coastal

  2. Photorespiration and carbon limitation determine productivity in temperate seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buapet, Pimchanok; Rasmusson, Lina M; Gullström, Martin; Björk, Mats

    2013-01-01

    The gross primary productivity of two seagrasses, Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima, and one green macroalga, Ulva intestinalis, was assessed in laboratory and field experiments to determine whether the photorespiratory pathway operates at a substantial level in these macrophytes and to what extent it is enhanced by naturally occurring shifts in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and O2 in dense vegetation. To achieve these conditions in laboratory experiments, seawater was incubated with U. intestinalis in light to obtain a range of higher pH and O2 levels and lower DIC levels. Gross photosynthetic O2 evolution was then measured in this pretreated seawater (pH, 7.8-9.8; high to low DIC:O2 ratio) at both natural and low O2 concentrations (adjusted by N2 bubbling). The presence of photorespiration was indicated by a lower gross O2 evolution rate under natural O2 conditions than when O2 was reduced. In all three macrophytes, gross photosynthetic rates were negatively affected by higher pH and lower DIC. However, while both seagrasses exhibited significant photorespiratory activity at increasing pH values, the macroalga U. intestinalis exhibited no such activity. Rates of seagrass photosynthesis were then assessed in seawater collected from the natural habitats (i.e., shallow bays characterized by high macrophyte cover and by low DIC and high pH during daytime) and compared with open baymouth water conditions (where seawater DIC is in equilibrium with air, normal DIC, and pH). The gross photosynthetic rates of both seagrasses were significantly higher when incubated in the baymouth water, indicating that these grasses can be significantly carbon limited in shallow bays. Photorespiration was also detected in both seagrasses under shallow bay water conditions. Our findings indicate that natural carbon limitations caused by high community photosynthesis can enhance photorespiration and cause a significant decline in seagrass primary production in shallow waters.

  3. Photorespiration and carbon limitation determine productivity in temperate seagrasses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pimchanok Buapet

    Full Text Available The gross primary productivity of two seagrasses, Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima, and one green macroalga, Ulva intestinalis, was assessed in laboratory and field experiments to determine whether the photorespiratory pathway operates at a substantial level in these macrophytes and to what extent it is enhanced by naturally occurring shifts in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC and O2 in dense vegetation. To achieve these conditions in laboratory experiments, seawater was incubated with U. intestinalis in light to obtain a range of higher pH and O2 levels and lower DIC levels. Gross photosynthetic O2 evolution was then measured in this pretreated seawater (pH, 7.8-9.8; high to low DIC:O2 ratio at both natural and low O2 concentrations (adjusted by N2 bubbling. The presence of photorespiration was indicated by a lower gross O2 evolution rate under natural O2 conditions than when O2 was reduced. In all three macrophytes, gross photosynthetic rates were negatively affected by higher pH and lower DIC. However, while both seagrasses exhibited significant photorespiratory activity at increasing pH values, the macroalga U. intestinalis exhibited no such activity. Rates of seagrass photosynthesis were then assessed in seawater collected from the natural habitats (i.e., shallow bays characterized by high macrophyte cover and by low DIC and high pH during daytime and compared with open baymouth water conditions (where seawater DIC is in equilibrium with air, normal DIC, and pH. The gross photosynthetic rates of both seagrasses were significantly higher when incubated in the baymouth water, indicating that these grasses can be significantly carbon limited in shallow bays. Photorespiration was also detected in both seagrasses under shallow bay water conditions. Our findings indicate that natural carbon limitations caused by high community photosynthesis can enhance photorespiration and cause a significant decline in seagrass primary production in shallow

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Katherine; Christensen, Jens Tang

    2008-01-01

    coast. Porpoises collected after ~1960 had significantly lower d15N than porpoises collected earlier. This change in d15N implies that fundamental changes in food web structure in, or nutrient availability to, the North Sea have taken place over the last ~150 yr and that most of the change occurred over......, been feeding at a lower trophic level than during the preceding century, i.e. animals from lower trophic levels may now be more dominant than they were prior to the middle of the 20th century. There is no a priori reason to suspect that a change in isotope distributions at the base of the food web has...... occurred during this period and we have not been able to find material that would allow us to test the assumption that there has been no temporal development of d15N at the lowest levels of the food web. Thus, we cannot eliminate the possibility that the change in d15N in harbour porpoise skeletons...

  5. Riverine dominance of a nearshore marine demersal food web ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to determine (i) the importance of riverine and marine organic matter for the Thukela Bank food web; and (ii) whether there are seasonal changes in the Thukela River stable isotope values, and, if so, whether these are reflected in the isotope values of demersal organisms. Estuarine organic matter ...

  6. Low Light Availability Alters Root Exudation and Reduces Putative Beneficial Microorganisms in Seagrass Roots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belinda C. Martin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass roots host a diverse microbiome that is critical for plant growth and health. Composition of microbial communities can be regulated in part by root exudates, but the specifics of these interactions in seagrass rhizospheres are still largely unknown. As light availability controls primary productivity, reduced light may impact root exudation and consequently the composition of the root microbiome. Hence, we analyzed the influence of light availability on root exudation and community structure of the root microbiome of three co-occurring seagrass species, Halophila ovalis, Halodule uninervis and Cymodocea serrulata. Plants were grown under four light treatments in mesocosms for 2 weeks; control (100% surface irradiance (SI, medium (40% SI, low (20% SI and fluctuating light (10 days 20% and 4 days 100%. 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing revealed that microbial diversity, composition and predicted function were strongly influenced by the presence of seagrass roots, such that root microbiomes were unique to each seagrass species. Reduced light availability altered seagrass root exudation, as characterized using fluorescence spectroscopy, and altered the composition of seagrass root microbiomes with a reduction in abundance of potentially beneficial microorganisms. Overall, this study highlights the potential for above-ground light reduction to invoke a cascade of changes from alterations in root exudation to a reduction in putative beneficial microorganisms and, ultimately, confirms the importance of the seagrass root environment – a critical, but often overlooked space.

  7. Carbon Stored on Seagrass Community in Marine Nature Tourism Park of Kotania Bay, Western Seram, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mintje Wawo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the function of seagrass community as carbon storage has been discussed in line with “blue carbon” function of that seagrass has. Seagrass bed are a very valuable coastal ecosystem, however, seagrass bed is threatened if compared to other coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and coral reefs. The threatened seagrass experienced also contributes to its capacity in absorbing CO2 emission from greenhouse gasses such as CO2 emission Temporal estimation shows that CO2 emission will increase in the coming decade. On the other side, efforts to decrease climate change can be influenced by the existence of seagrass. Informations about existence of seagrass as carbon storage are still very rare or limited. This study was aimed to estimate carbon storage on seagrass community in Marine Nature Tourism Park of Kotania Bay Area, Western Seram, Maluku Province. The quadrat transect method of 0.25 m2 for each plot was used to collect seagrass existence. The content of carbon in the sample of dry biomass of seagrass was analyzed in the laboratory using Walkley & Black method. The results showed that total carbon stored was higher in both Osi and Burung Islands of Kotania Bay than other studied areas (Buntal and Tatumbu Islands, Marsegu Island, Barnusang Peninsula, Loupessy and Tamanjaya Village. The average carbon stored in Kotania Bay waters was 2.385 Mg C ha-1, whereas the total of carbon stored was 2054.4967 Mg C.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-03-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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 10 THg 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 log 10 THg 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. - Highlights: • THg significantly increased with δ 15 N from invertebrates to Greenland Sharks. • THg increased with δ 15 N at a faster rate through the pelagic than benthic food web. • Benthic primary

  10. What lies beneath: why knowledge of belowground biomass dynamics is crucial to effective seagrass management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.A.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Stapel, J.; O’Brien, K.R.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation of seagrasses meadows is important, because these habitats are ecologically important and under threat. Monitoring and modelling are essential tools for assessing seagrass condition and potential threats, however there are many seagrass indicators to choose from, and differentiating

  11. 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

  12. Lethal and sub-lethal chronic effects of the herbicide diuron on seagrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Negri, Andrew P., E-mail: a.negri@aims.gov.au [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland 4810 (Australia); Flores, Florita [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland 4810 (Australia); Mercurio, Phil [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland 4810 (Australia); University of Queensland and National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology, Coopers Plains, Queensland 4108 (Australia); Mueller, Jochen F. [University of Queensland and National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology, Coopers Plains, Queensland 4108 (Australia); Collier, Catherine J. [Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER), James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 4870 (Australia)

    2015-08-15

    Highlights: • We performed chronic exposures of two seagrass species to the herbicide diuron. • Diuron affected photosystem II (PSII) at 0.3 μg l{sup −1} and growth at 7.2 μg l{sup −1}. • Biomarkers indicated that carbon-assimilation from photosynthesis dropped following 0.6 μg l{sup −1} diuron exposure. • Energetic reserves in the seagrass were halved at 1.7 μg l{sup −1} after 11 weeks. • Chronic exposure to diuron is likely to enhance the impacts of low light stress during flood plumes - Abstract: Photosystem II herbicides from agricultural sources have been detected throughout nearshore tropical habitats including seagrass meadows. While PSII herbicides have been shown to inhibit growth in microalgae at low concentrations, the potential impacts of chronic low concentration exposures to seagrass health and growth have not been investigated. Here we exposed two tropical seagrass species Halodule uninervis and Zostera muelleri to elevated diuron concentrations (from 0.3 to 7.2 μg l{sup −1}) over a 79-day period followed by a 2-week recovery period in uncontaminated seawater. PAM fluorometry demonstrated rapid effect of diuron on photosystem II (PSII) in both seagrass species at 0.3 μg l{sup −1}. This effect included significant inhibition of photosynthetic efficiency (ΔF/F{sub m}′) and inactivation of PSII (F{sub v}/F{sub m}) over the 11 week exposure period. Significant mortality and reductions in growth was only observed at the highest exposure concentration of 7.2 μg l{sup −1} diuron. However, biochemical indicators demonstrated that the health of seagrass after this prolonged exposure was significantly compromised at lower concentrations. For example, the drop in C:N ratios (0.6 μg l{sup −1}) and reduced δ{sup 13}C (1.7 μg l{sup −1}) in seagrass leaves indicated reduced C-assimilation from photosynthesis. Critically, the energetic reserves of the plants (as measured by starch content in the root-rhizome complex) were

  13. Lethal and sub-lethal chronic effects of the herbicide diuron on seagrass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Negri, Andrew P.; Flores, Florita; Mercurio, Phil; Mueller, Jochen F.; Collier, Catherine J.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We performed chronic exposures of two seagrass species to the herbicide diuron. • Diuron affected photosystem II (PSII) at 0.3 μg l −1 and growth at 7.2 μg l −1 . • Biomarkers indicated that carbon-assimilation from photosynthesis dropped following 0.6 μg l −1 diuron exposure. • Energetic reserves in the seagrass were halved at 1.7 μg l −1 after 11 weeks. • Chronic exposure to diuron is likely to enhance the impacts of low light stress during flood plumes - Abstract: Photosystem II herbicides from agricultural sources have been detected throughout nearshore tropical habitats including seagrass meadows. While PSII herbicides have been shown to inhibit growth in microalgae at low concentrations, the potential impacts of chronic low concentration exposures to seagrass health and growth have not been investigated. Here we exposed two tropical seagrass species Halodule uninervis and Zostera muelleri to elevated diuron concentrations (from 0.3 to 7.2 μg l −1 ) over a 79-day period followed by a 2-week recovery period in uncontaminated seawater. PAM fluorometry demonstrated rapid effect of diuron on photosystem II (PSII) in both seagrass species at 0.3 μg l −1 . This effect included significant inhibition of photosynthetic efficiency (ΔF/F m ′) and inactivation of PSII (F v /F m ) over the 11 week exposure period. Significant mortality and reductions in growth was only observed at the highest exposure concentration of 7.2 μg l −1 diuron. However, biochemical indicators demonstrated that the health of seagrass after this prolonged exposure was significantly compromised at lower concentrations. For example, the drop in C:N ratios (0.6 μg l −1 ) and reduced δ 13 C (1.7 μg l −1 ) in seagrass leaves indicated reduced C-assimilation from photosynthesis. Critically, the energetic reserves of the plants (as measured by starch content in the root-rhizome complex) were approximately halved following diuron exposure at and above

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Community metabolism in shallow coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, lower Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turk, Daniela; Yates, Kimberly K.; Vega-Rodriguez, Maria; Toro-Farmer, Gerardo; L'Esperance, Chris; Melo, Nelson; Ramsewak, Deanesch; Estrada, S. Cerdeira; Muller-Karger, Frank E.; Herwitz, Stan R.; McGillis, Wade

    2016-01-01

    Diurnal variation of net community production (NEP) and net community calcification (NEC) were measured in coral reef and seagrass biomes during October 2012 in the lower Florida Keys using a mesocosm enclosure and the oxygen gradient flux technique. Seagrass and coral reef sites showed diurnal variations of NEP and NEC, with positive values at near-seafloor light levels >100–300 µEinstein m-2 s-1. During daylight hours, we detected an average NEP of 12.3 and 8.6 mmol O2 m-2 h-1 at the seagrass and coral reef site, respectively. At night, NEP at the seagrass site was relatively constant, while on the coral reef, net respiration was highest immediately after dusk and decreased during the rest of the night. At the seagrass site, NEC values ranged from 0.20 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 during daylight to -0.15 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 at night, and from 0.17 to -0.10 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 at the coral reef site. There were no significant differences in pH and aragonite saturation states (Ωar) between the seagrass and coral reef sites. Decrease in light levels during thunderstorms significantly decreased NEP, transforming the system from net autotrophic to net heterotrophic.

  17. Are seagrass beds indicators of anthropogenic nutrient stress in the rocky intertidal?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Honig, Susanna E.; Mahoney, Brenna; Glanz, Jess S.; Hughes, Brent B.

    2017-01-01

    It is well established that anthropogenic nutrient inputs harm estuarine seagrasses, but the influence of nutrients in rocky intertidal ecosystems is less clear. In this study, we investigated the effect of anthropogenic nutrient loading on Phyllospadix spp., a rocky intertidal seagrass, at local and regional scales. At sites along California, Washington, and Oregon, we demonstrated a significant, negative correlation of urban development and Phyllospadix bed thickness. These results were echoed locally along an urban gradient on the central California coast, where Phyllospadix shoot δ 15 N was negatively associated with Phyllospadix bed thickness, and experimentally, where nutrient additions in mesocosms reduced Phyllospadix shoot formation and increased epiphytic cover on Phyllospadix shoots. These findings provide evidence that coastal development can threaten rocky intertidal seagrasses through increased epiphytism. Considering that seagrasses provide vital ecosystem services, mitigating eutrophication and other factors associated with development in the rocky intertidal coastal zone should be a management priority. - Highlights: • The effect of nutrient loading on rocky intertidal seagrasses is not well studied. • Regionally, development was negatively associated with Phyllospadix bed thickness. • Locally, shoot δ 15 N was negatively associated with Phyllospadix bed thickness. • Mesocosms with added nutrients had a net loss in shoots and increased epiphytes. • Nutrient loading may have a negative effect on intertidal seagrass bed health.

  18. Interrogating pollution sources in a mangrove food web using multiple stable isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Iara da C; Arrivabene, Hiulana P; Craig, Carol-Ann; Midwood, Andrew J; Thornton, Barry; Matsumoto, Silvia T; Elliott, Michael; Wunderlin, Daniel A; Monferrán, Magdalena V; Fernandes, Marisa N

    2018-06-01

    Anthropogenic activities including metal contamination create well-known problems in coastal mangrove ecosystems but understanding and linking specific pollution sources to distinct trophic levels within these environments is challenging. This study evaluated anthropogenic impacts on two contrasting mangrove food webs, by using stable isotopes (δ 13 C, δ 15 N, 87 Sr/ 86 Sr, 206 Pb/ 207 Pb and 208 Pb/ 207 Pb) measured in sediments, mangrove trees (Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, Avicennia schaueriana), plankton, shrimps (Macrobranchium sp.), crabs (Aratus sp.), oysters (Crassostrea rhizophorae) and fish (Centropomus parallelus) from both areas. Strontium and Pb isotopes were also analysed in water and atmospheric particulate matter (PM). δ 15 N indicated that crab, shrimp and oyster are at intermediate levels within the local food web and fish, in this case C. parallelus, was confirmed at the highest trophic level. δ 15 N also indicates different anthropogenic pressures between both estuaries; Vitória Bay, close to intensive human activities, showed higher δ 15 N across the food web, apparently influenced by sewage. The ratio 87 Sr/ 86 Sr showed the primary influence of marine water throughout the entire food web. Pb isotope ratios suggest that PM is primarily influenced by metallurgical activities, with some secondary influence on mangrove plants and crabs sampled in the area adjacent to the smelting works. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of the effect of anthropogenic pollution (probable sewage pollution) on the isotopic fingerprint of estuarine-mangrove systems located close to a city compared to less impacted estuarine mangroves. The influence of industrial metallurgical activity detected using Pb isotopic analysis of PM and mangrove plants close to such an impacted area is also notable and illustrates the value of isotopic analysis in tracing the impact and species affected by atmospheric pollution. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

    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 μg Hg/g wet weight. However, several fish species, Ctenochromis horei (average 0.15 μg/g ww), Neolamprologus boulengeri (0.2 μg/g ww) , Bathybates spp.spp. (0.21 μg/g ww), Mastacembelus cunningtoni (0.22 μg/g ww) and Clarias theodorae (0.22 μg/g ww) approached or slightly exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO)'s recommended guideline of 0.2 μg Hg/g for vulnerable populations with high rates of fish consumption. Two individuals of the piscivorous fish species Lates microlepis (0.54, 0.78 μg/g ww) and a Polypterus congicus (1.3 μg/g ww) exceeded the international marketing limit value of 0.5 μg/g ww. Because C. theodorae and L. microlepis are also important market fish species, there is a need to monitor mercury concentrations in internationally marketed fish from Lake Tanganikya to ensure that those fish do not present a risk to human consumers

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hadwen, W. L.; Bunn, S. E. [Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)

    2013-05-15

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes can provide valuable insights into pathways of nutrient and energy flows in aquatic ecosystems. Carbon stable isotopes are principally used to trace pathways of organic matter transfer through aquatic food webs, particularly with regard to identifying the dominant sources of nutrition for aquatic biota. Stable isotopes of carbon have been widely used to answer one of the most pressing questions in aquatic food web ecology - to what degree do in-stream (autochthonous) and riparian (allochthonous) sources of energy fuel riverine food webs? In conjunction with carbon stable isotopes, nitrogen stable isotopes have been used to determine the trophic position of consumers and to identify the number of trophic levels in aquatic food webs. More recently, stable nitrogen isotopes have been recommended as indicators of anthropogenic disturbances. Specifically, agricultural land uses and/or sewage effluent discharge have been shown to significantly increase {delta}{sup 15}N signatures in primary producers and higher order consumers in freshwater, estuarine and marine environments. Together, carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes can be used to examine natural food web functions as well as the degree to which human modifications to catchments and aquatic environments can influence aquatic ecosystem function. (author)

  2. Seagrass Herbivory Levels Sustain Site-Fidelity in a Remnant Dugong Population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elrika D'Souza

    Full Text Available Herds of dugong, a largely tropical marine megaherbivore, are known to undertake long-distance movements, sequentially overgrazing seagrass meadows in their path. Given their drastic declines in many regions, it is unclear whether at lower densities, their grazing is less intense, reducing their need to travel between meadows. We studied the effect of the feeding behaviour of a small dugong population in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, India to understand how small isolated populations graze seagrasses. In the seven years of our observation, all recorded dugongs travelled either solitarily or in pairs, and their use of seagrasses was limited to 8 meadows, some of which were persistently grazed. These meadows were relatively large, contiguous and dominated by short-lived seagrasses species. Dugongs consumed approximately 15% of meadow primary production, but there was a large variation (3-40% of total meadow production in consumption patterns between meadows. The impact of herbivory was relatively high, with shoot densities c. 50% higher inside herbivore exclosures than in areas exposed to repeated grazing. Our results indicate that dugongs in the study area repeatedly graze the same meadows probably because the proportion of primary production consumed reduces shoot density to levels that are still above values that can trigger meadow abandonment. This ability of seagrasses to cope perhaps explains the long-term site fidelity shown by individual dugongs in these meadows. The fact that seagrass meadows in the archipelago are able to support dugong foraging requirements allows us to clearly identify locations where this remnant population persists, and where urgent management efforts can be directed.

  3. Mangrove clearing impacts on macrofaunal assemblages and benthic food webs in a tropical estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardino, Angelo Fraga; Gomes, Luiz Eduardo de Oliveira; Hadlich, Heliatrice Louise; Andrades, Ryan; Correa, Lucas Barreto

    2018-01-01

    Despite over 21,000ha of mangrove forests being removed per year in Brazil, ecological changes following mangrove deforestation have been overlooked. Here we evaluated changes in benthic macrofaunal assemblages and food-webs at a mangrove removal and natural sites in a tropical estuary in Eastern Brazil. The impacted site had coarser sediment particle sizes suggesting significant changes in sedimentation processes after forest clearing. Spatial differences in macrofaunal abundance, biomass and diversity were not directly associated with the removal of mangrove forests, supporting recolonization of impacted areas by estuarine fauna. However, benthic assemblage composition, infaunal δ 13 C signatures and food-web diversity markedly differed at the impacted site being strongly related to sedimentary changes. The loss of infaunal trophic diversity that followed mangrove removal suggests that large-scale forest clearing may impact estuarine food webs, with potential consequences to nearby coastal ecosystems given the high clearing rate of mangrove forests in Brazil. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Nutrient resorption from seagrass leaves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stapel, J.; Hemminga, M.A.

    1997-01-01

    The resorption of nutrients (C, N and P) from senescent leaves of six seagrass species from nine different locations in tropical (Indonesia and Kenya), Mediterranean (Spain) and temperate (The Netherlands) regions has been investigated. Resorption was quantitatively assessed by calculating the

  5. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Seagrass, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_seagrass_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) seagrass data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which characterizes...

  6. Trophic significance of the kelp Laminaria digitata (Lamour.) for the associated food web: a between-sites comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaal, Gauthier; Riera, Pascal; Leroux, Cédric

    2009-12-01

    This study aimed at establishing the trophic significance of the kelp Laminaria digitata for consumers inhabiting two rocky shores of Northern Brittany (France), displaying contrasted ecological conditions. The general trophic structure did not vary between these two sites, with a wide diversity of filter-feeders and predators, and only 14% of the species sampled belonging to the grazers' trophic group. The diversity of food sources fueling the food web appeared also similar. The food webs comprised four trophic levels and the prevalence of omnivory appeared relatively low compared to previous studies in the same area. Conversely, to the food web structure, which did not differ, the biochemical composition of L. digitata differed between the two sites, and was correlated to a larger diversity of grazers feeding on this kelp in sheltered conditions. This indicated that the spatial variability occurring in the nutritive value of L. digitata is likely to deeply affect the functioning of kelp-associated food webs. The contribution of L. digitata-derived organic matter to the diet of filter-feeders inhabiting these two environments was assessed using the mixing model Isosource, which showed the higher contribution of kelp matter in sheltered conditions. These results highlight the spatial variability that may occur in the functioning of kelp-associated food webs. Moreover, this suggests that hydrodynamics is likely to control the availability of kelp-derived organic matter to local filter-feeders, probably through an increase of detritus export in exposed areas.

  7. Evaluation of a Single-Beam Sonar System to Map Seagrass at Two Sites in Northern Puget Sound, Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Andrew W.; Lacy, Jessica R.; Finlayson, David P.; Gelfenbaum, Guy

    2008-01-01

    Seagrass at two sites in northern Puget Sound, Possession Point and nearby Browns Bay, was mapped using both a single-beam sonar and underwater video camera. The acoustic and underwater video data were compared to evaluate the accuracy of acoustic estimates of seagrass cover. The accuracy of the acoustic method was calculated for three classifications of seagrass observed in underwater video: bare (no seagrass), patchy seagrass, and continuous seagrass. Acoustic and underwater video methods agreed in 92 percent and 74 percent of observations made in bare and continuous areas, respectively. However, in patchy seagrass, the agreement between acoustic and underwater video was poor (43 percent). The poor agreement between the two methods in areas with patchy seagrass is likely because the two instruments were not precisely colocated. The distribution of seagrass at the two sites differed both in overall percent vegetated and in the distribution of percent cover versus depth. On the basis of acoustic data, seagrass inhabited 0.29 km2 (19 percent of total area) at Possession Point and 0.043 km2 (5 percent of total area) at the Browns Bay study site. The depth distribution at the two sites was markedly different. Whereas the majority of seagrass at Possession Point occurred between -0.5 and -1.5 m MLLW, most seagrass at Browns Bay occurred at a greater depth, between -2.25 and -3.5 m MLLW. Further investigation of the anthropogenic and natural factors causing these differences in distribution is needed.

  8. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in evolving food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allhoff, K T; Drossel, B

    2016-05-19

    We use computer simulations in order to study the interplay between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) during both the formation and the ongoing evolution of large food webs. A species in our model is characterized by its own body mass, its preferred prey body mass and the width of its potential prey body mass spectrum. On an ecological time scale, population dynamics determines which species are viable and which ones go extinct. On an evolutionary time scale, new species emerge as modifications of existing ones. The network structure thus emerges and evolves in a self-organized manner. We analyse the relation between functional diversity and five community level measures of ecosystem functioning. These are the metabolic loss of the predator community, the total biomasses of the basal and the predator community, and the consumption rates on the basal community and within the predator community. Clear BEF relations are observed during the initial build-up of the networks, or when parameters are varied, causing bottom-up or top-down effects. However, ecosystem functioning measures fluctuate only very little during long-term evolution under constant environmental conditions, despite changes in functional diversity. This result supports the hypothesis that trophic cascades are weaker in more complex food webs. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Jiangping; Luo Xiaojun; Zhang Ying; Yu Mei; Chen Shejun; Mai Bixian; Yang Zhongyi

    2009-01-01

    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 log K 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. - Forty-five of 53 PCBs magnified in the freshwater food web, while only BDEs 47, 100 and 154 significantly magnified in the same food web

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu Jiangping [State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China); Luo Xiaojun [State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China)], E-mail: luoxiaoj@gig.ac.cn; Zhang Ying; Yu Mei [State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China); Chen Shejun; Mai Bixian [State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Yang Zhongyi [School of Life Sciences, SunYat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275 (China)

    2009-03-15

    To evaluate the biomagnification extent of polybrominated diphenyls ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a highly contaminated freshwater food web from South China, trophic magnification factors (TMFs) for 18 PBDE congeners and 53 PCB congeners were calculated. The TMF values ranged 0.26-4.47 for PBDEs and 0.75-5.10 for PCBs. Forty-five of 53 PCBs and BDEs 47, 100 and 154 had TMFs greater than one, suggesting their biomagnification in the present food web. The TMFs for PBDEs were generally smaller than those for PCBs with the same degree of halogenation, indicating a lower biomagnification potential for PBDEs compared to PCBs. For PCBs, it followed a parabolic relationship between TMFs and log K{sub 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. - Forty-five of 53 PCBs magnified in the freshwater food web, while only BDEs 47, 100 and 154 significantly magnified in the same food web.

  12. PCB Food Web Dynamics Quantify Nutrient and Energy Flow in Aquatic Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, Anne M; Paterson, Gordon; Drouillard, Ken G; Haffner, G Douglas

    2015-11-03

    Measuring in situ nutrient and energy flows in spatially and temporally complex aquatic ecosystems represents a major ecological challenge. Food web structure, energy and nutrient budgets are difficult to measure, and it is becoming more important to quantify both energy and nutrient flow to determine how food web processes and structure are being modified by multiple stressors. We propose that polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners represent an ideal tracer to quantify in situ energy and nutrient flow between trophic levels. Here, we demonstrate how an understanding of PCB congener bioaccumulation dynamics provides multiple direct measurements of energy and nutrient flow in aquatic food webs. To demonstrate this novel approach, we quantified nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and caloric turnover rates for Lake Huron lake trout, and reveal how these processes are regulated by both growth rate and fish life history. Although minimal nutrient recycling was observed in young growing fish, slow growing, older lake trout (>5 yr) recycled an average of 482 Tonnes·yr(-1) of N, 45 Tonnes·yr(-1) of P and assimilated 22 TJ yr(-1) of energy. Compared to total P loading rates of 590 Tonnes·yr(-1), the recycling of primarily bioavailable nutrients by fish plays an important role regulating the nutrient states of oligotrophic lakes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  14. First record of a Caribbean green turtle (Chelonia mydas) grazing on invasive seagrass (Halophila stipulacea)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, L.E.; Bussel, T.; Debrot, A.O.; Christianen, M.

    2014-01-01

    From Bonaire, we here provide the first documented case of the green turtle feeding on the invasive seagrass, Halophila stipulacea, in the Caribbean. The seagrass is rapidly invading existing seagrass meadows and altering key foraging habitat of this endangered marine reptile throughout the eastern

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, J.A.; Looker, R.E.; Yee, D.; Marvin-Di Pasquale, M.; Grenier, J.L.; Austin, C.M.; McKee, L.J.; Greenfield, B.K.; Brodberg, R.; Blum, J.D.

    2012-01-01

    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

  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. Temperature extremes reduce seagrass growth and induce mortality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collier, C.J.; Waycott, M.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Temperature extremes occur during low tide in shallow seagrass meadows. • The effects of temperature extremes were tested experimentally at 35 °C, 40 °C and 43 °C. • 40 °C was a critical threshold with a large impact on growth and mortality. • At 43 °C there was complete mortality after 2–3 days. • Lower light conditions (e.g. poor water quality) led to a greater negative impact. - Abstract: Extreme heating (up to 43 °C measured from five-year temperature records) occurs in shallow coastal seagrass meadows of the Great Barrier Reef at low tide. We measured effective quantum yield (ϕ PSII ), growth, senescence and mortality in four tropical seagrasses to experimental short-duration (2.5 h) spikes in water temperature to 35 °C, 40 °C and 43 °C, for 6 days followed by one day at ambient temperature. Increasing temperature to 35 °C had positive effects on ϕ PSII (the magnitude varied between days and was highly correlated with PPFD), with no effects on growth or mortality. 40 °C represented a critical threshold as there were strong species differences and there was a large impact on growth and mortality. At 43 °C there was complete mortality after 2–3 days. These findings indicate that increasing duration (more days in a row) of thermal events above 40 °C is likely to affect the ecological function of tropical seagrass meadows

  18. Phytotoxicity of Four Photosystem II Herbicides to Tropical Seagrasses

    OpenAIRE

    Flores, Florita; Collier, Catherine J.; Mercurio, Philip; Negri, Andrew P.

    2013-01-01

    Coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are contaminated with agricultural pesticides, including the photosystem II (PSII) herbicides which are the most frequently detected at the highest concentrations. Designed to control weeds, these herbicides are equally potent towards non-target marine species, and the close proximity of seagrass meadows to flood plumes has raised concerns that seagrasses may be the species most threatened by herbicides from runoff. While previous work has identi...

  19. Status of a seagrass ecosystem: An ecologically sensitive wetland habitat from India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.; Komarpant, D.S.; Rodrigues, R.S.

    , and management points of views. In spite of being one of the predominant marine macrophytic floras, surprisingly, seagrasses have not been introduced in plant science studies, even at the university level. Unawareness regarding the functions of seagrasses...

  20. Aeolian transport of seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) beach-cast to terrestrial systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Maria A.; Beltran, Rafel; Traveset, Anna; Calleja, Maria Ll; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Marbà, Núria

    2017-09-01

    The annual export of the Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) litter to adjacent beaches and coastal dunes was quantified by examining the fortnight evolution of seagrass beach-cast volume on two beaches in the NW Mediterranean (Son Real and Es Trenc, Mallorca Island, Spain) for two years and analyzing the wind speed and direction obtained from the closest Meteorological Spanish Agency surface weather stations. The decomposition stage of the deposits was examined by analyzing the total hydrolysable amino acids, its percentage distribution and derived degradation indexes. Prevalent winds exceeding 6 m s-1, the coastline morphology and type of terrestrial vegetation determine the annual dynamics of the seagrass beach-cast. In the most protected beach (Son Real) the seagrass beach-cast remained nearly stationary during the two studied years while it exhibited wide annual fluctuations in the less protected one (Es Trenc). The amounts of P. oceanica wrack washed on Son Real and Es Trenc beaches, respectively, were estimated at 309 kg DW m coastline-1 yr-1 and 1359 kg DW m coastline-1 yr-1. They supplied between 20 kg CaCO3 m coastline-1 yr-1 and 47 kg CaCO3 m coastline-1 yr-1. Between 54% (Son Real) and 70% (Es Trenc) of seagrass beach-cast, respectively accounting for 1.5 kg N m coastline-1 yr-1 and 8.6 kg N m coastline-1 yr-1, were annually exported from the beaches to adjacent dune systems. Our results reveal that Mediterranean seagrass meadows might be an important source of materials, including sand and nutrients, for adjacent terrestrial systems, able to support their functioning.

  1. Overview of the physiological ecology of carbon metabolism in seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchette; Burkholder

    2000-07-30

    The small but diverse group of angiosperms known as seagrasses form submersed meadow communities that are among the most productive on earth. Seagrasses are frequently light-limited and, despite access to carbon-rich seawaters, they may also sustain periodic internal carbon limitation. They have been regarded as C3 plants, but many species appear to be C3-C4 intermediates and/or have various carbon-concentrating mechanisms to aid the Rubisco enzyme in carbon acquisition. Photorespiration can occur as a C loss process that may protect photosynthetic electron transport during periods of low CO(2) availability and high light intensity. Seagrasses can also become photoinhibited in high light (generally>1000 µE m(-2) s(-1)) as a protective mechanism that allows excessive light energy to be dissipated as heat. Many photosynthesis-irradiance curves have been developed to assess light levels needed for seagrass growth. However, most available data (e.g. compensation irradiance I(c)) do not account for belowground tissue respiration and, thus, are of limited use in assessing the whole-plant carbon balance across light gradients. Caution is recommended in use of I(k) (saturating irradiance for photosynthesis), since seagrass photosynthesis commonly increases under higher light intensities than I(k); and in estimating seagrass productivity from H(sat) (duration of daily light period when light equals or exceeds I(k)) which varies considerably among species and sites, and which fails to account for light-limited photosynthesis at light levels less than I(k). The dominant storage carbohydrate in seagrasses is sucrose (primarily stored in rhizomes), which generally forms more than 90% of the total soluble carbohydrate pool. Seagrasses with high I(c) levels (suggesting lower efficiency in C acquisition) have relatively low levels of leaf carbohydrates. Sucrose-P synthase (SPS, involved in sucrose synthesis) activity increases with leaf age, consistent with leaf maturation from

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciborowski, J.; Dixon, D.G.; Foote, L.; Liber, K.; Smits, J.E.

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Network topology: patterns and mechanisms in plant-herbivore and host-parasitoid food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagnolo, Luciano; Salvo, Adriana; Valladares, Graciela

    2011-03-01

    1. Biological communities are organized in complex interaction networks such as food webs, which topology appears to be non-random. Gradients, compartments, nested subsets and even combinations of these structures have been shown in bipartite networks. However, in most studies only one pattern is tested against randomness and mechanistic hypotheses are generally lacking. 2. Here we examined the topology of regional, coexisting plant-herbivore and host-parasitoid food webs to discriminate between the mentioned network patterns. We also evaluated the role of species body size, local abundance, regional frequency and phylogeny as determinants of network topology. 3. We found both food webs to be compartmented, with interaction range boundaries imposed by host phylogeny. Species degree within compartments was mostly related to their regional frequency and local abundance. Only one compartment showed an internal nested structure in the distribution of interactions between species, but species position within this compartment was unrelated to species size or abundance. 4. These results suggest that compartmentalization may be more common than previously considered, and that network structure is a result of multiple, hierarchical, non-exclusive processes. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

    The stability of ecological communities largely depends on the strength of interactions between predators and their prey. Here we show that these interaction strengths are structured nonran- domly in a large Caribbean marine food web. Specifically, the cooccurrence of strong interactions on two consecutive levels of food chains occurs less frequently than expected by chance. Even when they occur, these strongly interacting chains are accompa- nied by strong omnivory more often than expected ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haukas, Marianne; Berger, Urs; Hop, Haakon; Gulliksen, Bjorn; Gabrielsen, Geir W.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciborowski, J.J.; Dixon, G.; Foote, L.; Liber, K.; Smits, J.E.

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Effect of the Presence of Seagrass and Nutrients on Growth Rates of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract—The effects of seagrass cover and nutrients on seaweed cultivation were examined in tidal pools in Tanzania. ... of water at low tide ideal for the addition of the nutrients. ... In the “without seagrass” treatment, the seagrasses in the ...

  8. Contribution of seagrass plants to CO2 capture in a tropical seagrass meadow under experimental disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deyanova, Diana; Gullström, Martin; Lyimo, Liberatus D; Dahl, Martin; Hamisi, Mariam I; Mtolera, Matern S P; Björk, Mats

    2017-01-01

    Coastal vegetative habitats are known to be highly productive environments with a high ability to capture and store carbon. During disturbance this important function could be compromised as plant photosynthetic capacity, biomass, and/or growth are reduced. To evaluate effects of disturbance on CO2 capture in plants we performed a five-month manipulative experiment in a tropical seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) meadow exposed to two intensity levels of shading and simulated grazing. We assessed CO2 capture potential (as net CO2 fixation) using areal productivity calculated from continuous measurements of diel photosynthetic rates, and estimates of plant morphology, biomass and productivity/respiration (P/R) ratios (from the literature). To better understand the plant capacity to coping with level of disturbance we also measured plant growth and resource allocation. We observed substantial reductions in seagrass areal productivity, biomass, and leaf area that together resulted in a negative daily carbon balance in the two shading treatments as well as in the high-intensity simulated grazing treatment. Additionally, based on the concentrations of soluble carbohydrates and starch in the rhizomes, we found that the main reserve sources for plant growth were reduced in all treatments except for the low-intensity simulated grazing treatment. If permanent, these combined adverse effects will reduce the plants' resilience and capacity to recover after disturbance. This might in turn have long-lasting and devastating effects on important ecosystem functions, including the carbon sequestration capacity of the seagrass system.

  9. Benthic Ecology from Space: Optics and Net Primary Production in Seagrass and Benthic Algae Across the Great Bahama Bank

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    of incident light in peak chlorophyll absorption bands and negatively impacted spectral photosynthesis of their seagrass hosts. For the oxygen...than the above- ground seagrass production reported here. Finally, seagrass photosynthesis in seawater is inher- ently CO2-limited and seagrass ...R, Alberte R, Perez M, Romero J (2001) Inorganic carbon sources for seagrass photosynthesis : an experimental evaluation for bicarbonate use in

  10. 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

  11. Nutrition content of food and beverage products on Web sites popular with children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingas, Elena O; Dorfman, Lori; Bukofzer, Eliana

    2009-11-01

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

  12. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  13. Detritus fuels ecosystem metabolism but not metazoan food webs in San Francisco estuary's freshwater delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobczak, W.V.; Cloern, J.E.; Jassby, A.D.; Cole, B.E.; Schraga, T.S.; Arnsberg, A.

    2005-01-01

    Detritus from terrestrial ecosystems is the major source of organic matter in many streams, rivers, and estuaries, yet the role of detritus in supporting pelagic food webs is debated. We examined the importance of detritus to secondary productivity in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta (California, United States), a large complex of tidal freshwater habitats. The Delta ecosystem has low primary productivity but large detrital inputs, so we hypothesized that detritus is the primary energy source fueling production in pelagic food webs. We assessed the sources, quantity, composition, and bioavailability of organic matter among a diversity of habitats (e.g., marsh sloughs, floodplains, tidal lakes, and deep river channels) over two years to test this hypothesis. Our results support the emerging principle that detritus dominates riverine and estuarine organic matter supply and supports the majority of ecosystem metabolism. Yet in contrast to prevailing ideas, we found that detritus was weakly coupled to the Delta's pelagic food web. Results from independent approaches showed that phytoplankton production was the dominant source of organic matter for the Delta's pelagic food web, even though primary production accounts for a small fraction of the Delta's organic matter supply. If these results are general, they suggest that the value of organic matter to higher trophic levels, including species targeted by programs of ecosystem restoration, is a function of phytoplankton production. ?? 2005 Estuarine Research Federation.

  14. 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 (preferred prey, in this case, was other macrofaunal animals rather than nematodes. Bacteria and detritus contributed 53% and 12% to the total carbon ingestion of carnivorous polychaetes suggesting a high degree of omnivory among higher consumers in the FSC benthic food web. Overall, this study provided a unique 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.

  15. Temperature extremes reduce seagrass growth and induce mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, C J; Waycott, M

    2014-06-30

    Extreme heating (up to 43 °C measured from five-year temperature records) occurs in shallow coastal seagrass meadows of the Great Barrier Reef at low tide. We measured effective quantum yield (ϕPSII), growth, senescence and mortality in four tropical seagrasses to experimental short-duration (2.5h) spikes in water temperature to 35 °C, 40 °C and 43 °C, for 6 days followed by one day at ambient temperature. Increasing temperature to 35 °C had positive effects on ϕPSII (the magnitude varied between days and was highly correlated with PPFD), with no effects on growth or mortality. 40 °C represented a critical threshold as there were strong species differences and there was a large impact on growth and mortality. At 43 °C there was complete mortality after 2-3 days. These findings indicate that increasing duration (more days in a row) of thermal events above 40 °C is likely to affect the ecological function of tropical seagrass meadows. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Interoperability challenges for the Sustainable Management of seagrass meadows (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nativi, S.; Pastres, R.; Bigagli, L.; Venier, C.; Zucchetta, M.; Santoro, M.

    2013-12-01

    Seagrass meadows (marine angiosperm plants) occupy less than 0.2% of the global ocean surface, annually store about 10-18% of the so-called 'Blue Carbon', i.e. the Carbon stored in coastal vegetated areas. Recent literature estimates that the flux to the long-term carbon sink in seagrasses represents 10-20% of seagrasses global average production. Such figures can be translated into economic benefits, taking into account that a ton of carbon dioxide in Europe is paid at around 15 € in the carbon market. This means that the organic carbon retained in seagrass sediments in the Mediterranean is worth 138 - 1128 billion €, which represents 6-23 € per square meter. This is 9-35 times more than one square meter of tropical forest soil (0.66 € per square meter), or 5-17 times when considering both the above and the belowground compartments in tropical forests. According the most conservative estimations, about 10% of the Mediterranean meadows have been lost during the last century. In the framework of the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) initiative, the MEDINA project (funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the University of Ca'Foscari in Venice) prepared a showcase as part of the GEOSS Architecture Interoperability Pilot -phase 6 (AIP-6). This showcase aims at providing a tool for the sustainable management of seagrass meadows along the Mediterranean coastline. The application is based on an interoperability framework providing a set of brokerage services to easily ingest and run a Habitat Suitability model (a model predicting the probability a given site to provide a suitable habitat for the development of seagrass meadow and the average coverage expected). The presentation discusses such a framework explaining how the input data is discovered, accessed and processed to ingest the model (developed in the MEDINA project). Furthermore, the brokerage framework provides the necessary services to run the model and visualize results

  18. Solar radiation and tidal exposure as environmental drivers of Enhalus acoroides dominated seagrass meadows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard K F Unsworth

    Full Text Available There is strong evidence of a global long-term decline in seagrass meadows that is widely attributed to anthropogenic activity. Yet in many regions, attributing these changes to actual activities is difficult, as there exists limited understanding of the natural processes that can influence these valuable ecosystem service providers. Being able to separate natural from anthropogenic causes of seagrass change is important for developing strategies that effectively mitigate and manage anthropogenic impacts on seagrass, and promote coastal ecosystems resilient to future environmental change. The present study investigated the influence of environmental and climate related factors on seagrass biomass in a large ≈250 ha meadow in tropical north east Australia. Annual monitoring of the intertidal Enhalus acoroides (L.f. Royle seagrass meadow over eleven years revealed a declining trend in above-ground biomass (54% significant overall reduction from 2000 to 2010. Partial Least Squares Regression found this reduction to be significantly and negatively correlated with tidal exposure, and significantly and negatively correlated with the amount of solar radiation. This study documents how natural long-term tidal variability can influence long-term seagrass dynamics. Exposure to desiccation, high UV, and daytime temperature regimes are discussed as the likely mechanisms for the action of these factors in causing this decline. The results emphasise the importance of understanding and assessing natural environmentally-driven change when interpreting the results of seagrass monitoring programs.

  19. 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.

  20. Aeolian transport of seagrass ( Posidonia oceanica ) beach-cast to terrestrial systems

    KAUST Repository

    Jimé nez, Maria A.; Beltran, Rafel; Traveset, Anna; Calleja, Maria Ll; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Marbà , Nú ria

    2017-01-01

    The annual export of the Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) litter to adjacent beaches and coastal dunes was quantified by examining the fortnight evolution of seagrass beach-cast volume on two beaches in the NW Mediterranean (Son Real and Es Trenc, Mallorca Island, Spain) for two years and analyzing the wind speed and direction obtained from the closest Meteorological Spanish Agency surface weather stations. The decomposition stage of the deposits was examined by analyzing the total hydrolysable amino acids, its percentage distribution and derived degradation indexes. Prevalent winds exceeding 6 m s−1, the coastline morphology and type of terrestrial vegetation determine the annual dynamics of the seagrass beach-cast. In the most protected beach (Son Real) the seagrass beach-cast remained nearly stationary during the two studied years while it exhibited wide annual fluctuations in the less protected one (Es Trenc). The amounts of P. oceanica wrack washed on Son Real and Es Trenc beaches, respectively, were estimated at 309 kg DW m coastline−1 yr−1 and 1359 kg DW m coastline−1 yr−1. They supplied between 20 kg CaCO3 m coastline−1 yr−1 and 47 kg CaCO3 m coastline−1 yr−1. Between 54% (Son Real) and 70% (Es Trenc) of seagrass beach-cast, respectively accounting for 1.5 kg N m coastline−1 yr−1 and 8.6 kg N m coastline−1 yr−1, were annually exported from the beaches to adjacent dune systems. Our results reveal that Mediterranean seagrass meadows might be an important source of materials, including sand and nutrients, for adjacent terrestrial systems, able to support their functioning.

  1. Distribution and ecology of seagrass communities in the Western Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleem, A. A.

    1. Nine seagrasses were identified and their distributions on coral reef islands and the African coastline studied. 2. Transects were worked to show the vertical zonation of the seagrasses. The more important communities encountered in order from low water spring tide level to the infralittoral were a Halodule uninervis community, a halodule - Thalassi or Thalassia - Cymodocea serrulata community, a Thalassia - Syringodium community, a Thalassia hemprichii community, and finally a Cymodocea ciliata community. 3. Halodule was the main pioneer species. 4. Thalassia and Cymodocea ciliata formed beds which in thelatter seagrass grew at depths of up to 40m. 5. Cymodecea ciliata grew on exposed or semi-exposed shores and formed mats 30-40cm thick. 6. The main environmental factors influencing the zonation of these seagrasses are substrate type, water depth, exposure to waves and current, and tidal range. They grow where water temperatures ranges between 26-30°C, but in littoral pools they may have to withstand temperatures as high as 38°C for short periods. 7. The substrates in which these seagrasses grow range from fine sand and silt to coarse sand mixed with coral debris. Thalassia was the only species which tolerated anoxic sediments and its roots can ramify through black sediments smelling of hydrogen sulphide. Halodule and Syringodium tolerates some lowering of sediment oxygen content. 8. Average standing stock of the main communities expressed as g Fresh Weight per square metre were ss follows: Halodule uninervis, 2430; Halophila ovalis, 465; Thalassia-Halodule, 4250; Thalassia-Cymodecea serrulata, 2907; Thalassia hemprichii, 4125; Cymodocea ciliata, 6050. There was evidence that seagrass biomass increased from LWS down into the infralittoral. The same communities were also analysed for the standing crops of assocated algae and macrofauna.

  2. Aeolian transport of seagrass ( Posidonia oceanica ) beach-cast to terrestrial systems

    KAUST Repository

    Jiménez, Maria A.

    2017-06-29

    The annual export of the Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) litter to adjacent beaches and coastal dunes was quantified by examining the fortnight evolution of seagrass beach-cast volume on two beaches in the NW Mediterranean (Son Real and Es Trenc, Mallorca Island, Spain) for two years and analyzing the wind speed and direction obtained from the closest Meteorological Spanish Agency surface weather stations. The decomposition stage of the deposits was examined by analyzing the total hydrolysable amino acids, its percentage distribution and derived degradation indexes. Prevalent winds exceeding 6 m s−1, the coastline morphology and type of terrestrial vegetation determine the annual dynamics of the seagrass beach-cast. In the most protected beach (Son Real) the seagrass beach-cast remained nearly stationary during the two studied years while it exhibited wide annual fluctuations in the less protected one (Es Trenc). The amounts of P. oceanica wrack washed on Son Real and Es Trenc beaches, respectively, were estimated at 309 kg DW m coastline−1 yr−1 and 1359 kg DW m coastline−1 yr−1. They supplied between 20 kg CaCO3 m coastline−1 yr−1 and 47 kg CaCO3 m coastline−1 yr−1. Between 54% (Son Real) and 70% (Es Trenc) of seagrass beach-cast, respectively accounting for 1.5 kg N m coastline−1 yr−1 and 8.6 kg N m coastline−1 yr−1, were annually exported from the beaches to adjacent dune systems. Our results reveal that Mediterranean seagrass meadows might be an important source of materials, including sand and nutrients, for adjacent terrestrial systems, able to support their functioning.

  3. Patterns in tropical seagrass photosynthesis in relation to light, depth and habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Stuart J.; McKenzie, Len J.; Kerville, Simon P.; Bité, Juanita S.

    2007-07-01

    Seagrass meadows across north-eastern Australia, survive a range of environmental conditions in coastal bays, reefs, estuarine and deepwater habitats through adaptation of a range of structural, morphological and physiological features. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of spatial features (habitat type, site and depth) and photon flux on the photosynthetic performance of 11 tropical seagrass species. Pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry was used to generate rapid light curves from which measures of maximal electron transport rate (ETR max), photosynthetic efficiency ( α), saturating irradiance ( Ek) and effective quantum yield (Δ F/ Fm') were derived. The amount of light absorbed by leaves (absorption factor) was also determined for each population. In intertidal habitats many seagrass species exhibited typical sun-type responses with a close coupling of both ETR max and Ek with photon flux. Photosynthetic performance ranged from minima in Thalassodendron ciliatum to maxima in Syringodium isoetifolium. The absence of a coupling between photosynthetic performance and photon flux in subtidal populations was most likely due to highly variable light climates and possible light attenuation, and hence the photo-biology of estuarine and deepwater seagrasses exhibited photosynthetic responses indicative of light limitation. In contrast seagrass species from shallow reef and coastal habitats for the most part exhibited light saturation characteristics. Of all the variables examined ETR max, Ek and Δ F/ Fm' were most responsive to changing light climates and provide reliable physiological indicators of real-time photosynthetic performance of tropical seagrasses under different light conditions.

  4. 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

  5. Determining light stress responses for a tropical multi-species seagrass assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Statton, John; McMahon, Kathryn; Lavery, Paul; Kendrick, Gary A

    2018-03-01

    Existing mitigations to address deterioration in water clarity associated with human activities are based on responses from single seagrass species but may not be appropriate for diverse seagrass assemblages common to tropical waters. We present findings from a light experiment designed to determine the effects of magnitude and duration of low light on a mixed tropical seagrass assemblage. Mixed assemblages of three commonly co-occurring Indo-West Pacific seagrasses, Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis and Halophila ovalis were grown in climate-controlled tanks, where replicate pots were subjected to a gradient in light availability (0.9-21.6 mols PAR m -2 day -1 ) for 12 weeks. Increased shading resulted in declines in growth and changes in cellular and photosynthesis responses for all species, although time-scale and magnitude of response were species-specific. Applying management criteria (e.g. thresholds) relevant to one species may under- or over-estimate potential for impact on other species and the meadow as a whole. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Herbicide contamination and the potential impact to seagrass meadows in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kathryn; Bengtson Nash, Susan; Eaglesham, Geoff; Müller, Jochen F; Duke, Norman C; Winderlich, Steve

    2005-01-01

    Low concentrations of herbicides (up to 70 ng l(-1)), chiefly diuron (up to 50 ng l(-1)) were detected in surface waters associated with inter-tidal seagrass meadows of Zostera muelleri in Hervey Bay, south-east Queensland, Australia. Diuron and atrazine (up to 1.1 ng g(-1) dry weight of sediment) were detected in the sediments of these seagrass meadows. Concentration of the herbicides diuron, simazine and atrazine increased in surface waters associated with seagrass meadows during moderate river flow events indicating herbicides were washed from the catchment to the marine environment. Maximum herbicide concentration (sum of eight herbicides) in the Mary River during a moderate river flow event was 4260 ng l(-1). No photosynthetic stress was detected in seagrass in this study during low river flow. However, with moderate river flow events, nearshore seagrasses are at risk of being exposed to concentrations of herbicides that are known to inhibit photosynthesis.

  7. Photosynthetic response to globally increasing CO2 of co-occurring temperate seagrass species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borum, Jens; Pedersen, Ole; Kotula, Lukasz

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthesis of most seagrass species seems to be limited by present concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Therefore, the ongoing increase in atmospheric CO2 could enhance seagrass photosynthesis and internal O2 supply, and potentially change species competition through differential...... responses to increasing CO2 availability among species. We used short-term photosynthetic responses of nine seagrass species from the south-west of Australia to test species-specific responses to enhanced CO2 and changes in HCO3 -. Net photosynthesis of all species except Zostera polychlamys were limited...... at pre-industrial compared to saturating CO2 levels at light saturation, suggesting that enhanced CO2 availability will enhance seagrass performance. Seven out of the nine species were efficient HCO3 - users through acidification of diffusive boundary layers, production of extracellular carbonic...

  8. Tropical seagrass meadows modify seawater carbon chemistry: implications for coral reefs impacted by ocean acidification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unsworth, Richard K F; Collier, Catherine J; Henderson, Gideon M; McKenzie, Len J

    2012-01-01

    Highly productive tropical seagrasses often live adjacent to or among coral reefs and utilize large amounts of inorganic carbon. In this study, the effect of seagrass productivity on seawater carbonate chemistry and coral calcification was modelled on the basis of an analysis of published data. Published data (11 studies, 64 records) reveal that seagrass meadows in the Indo-Pacific have an 83% chance of being net autotrophic, resulting in an average net sink of 155 gC m −2 yr −1 . The capacities for seagrass productivity were analysed using an empirical model to examine the effect on seawater carbonate chemistry. Our analyses indicate that increases in pH of up to 0.38 units, and Ω arag increases of 2.9 are possible in the presence of seagrass meadows (compared to their absence) with the precise values of these increases dependent on water residence time (tidal flushing) and water depth. In shallow water reef environments, Scleractinian coral calcification downstream of seagrass has the potential to be ≈18% greater than in an environment without seagrass. If this potential benefit to reef calcifiers is supported by further study it offers a potential tool in marine park management at a local scale. The applicability of this will depend upon local physical conditions as well as the spatial configuration of habitats, and the factors that influence their productivity. This novel study suggests that, in addition to their importance to fisheries, sediment stabilization and primary production, seagrass meadows may enhance coral reef resilience to future ocean acidification. (letter)

  9. Tracing biogeochemical subsidies from glacier runoff into Alaska's coastal marine food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Hobson, Keith A.; Webber, D'Arcy N.; Piatt, John F.; Hood, Eran W.; Fellman, Jason B.

    2018-01-01

    Nearly half of the freshwater discharge into the Gulf of Alaska originates from landscapes draining glacier runoff, but the influence of the influx of riverine organic matter on the trophodynamics of coastal marine food webs is not well understood. We quantified the ecological impact of riverine organic matter subsidies to glacier-marine habitats by developing a multi-trophic level Bayesian three-isotope mixing model. We utilized large gradients in stable (δ13C, δ15N, δ2H) and radiogenic (Δ14C) isotopes that trace riverine and marine organic matter sources as they are passed from lower to higher trophic levels in glacial-marine habitats. We also compared isotope ratios between glacial-marine and more oceanic habitats. Based on isotopic measurements of potential baseline sources, ambient water and tissues of marine consumers, estimates of the riverine organic matter source contribution to upper trophic-level species including fish and seabirds ranged from 12% to 44%. Variability in resource use among similar taxa corresponded to variation in species distribution and life histories. For example, riverine organic matter assimilation by the glacier-nesting seabirds Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) was greater than that of the forest-nesting marbled murrelet (B. marmoratus). The particulate and dissolved organic carbon in glacial runoff and near surface coastal waters was aged (12100–1500 years BP 14C-age) but dissolved inorganic carbon and biota in coastal waters were young (530 years BP 14C-age to modern). Thus terrestrial-derived subsidies in marine food webs were primarily composed of young organic matter sources released from glacier ecosystems and their surrounding watersheds. Stable isotope compositions also revealed a divergence in food web structure between glacial-marine and oceanic sites. This work demonstrates linkages between terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and facilitates a greater understanding of how climate-driven changes

  10. Carbon-concentrating mechanisms in seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larkum, Anthony William D; Davey, Peter A; Kuo, John; Ralph, Peter J; Raven, John A

    2017-06-01

    Seagrasses are unique angiosperms that carry out growth and reproduction submerged in seawater. They occur in at least three families of the Alismatales. All have chloroplasts mainly in the cells of the epidermis. Living in seawater, the supply of inorganic carbon (Ci) to the chloroplasts is diffusion limited, especially under unstirred conditions. Therefore, the supply of CO2 and bicarbonate across the diffusive boundary layer on the outer side of the epidermis is often a limiting factor. Here we discuss the evidence for mechanisms that enhance the uptake of Ci into the epidermal cells. Since bicarbonate is plentiful in seawater, a bicarbonate pump might be expected; however, the evidence for such a pump is not strongly supported. There is evidence for a carbonic anhydrase outside the outer plasmalemma. This, together with evidence for an outward proton pump, suggests the possibility that local acidification leads to enhanced concentrations of CO2 adjacent to the outer tangential epidermal walls, which enhances the uptake of CO2, and this could be followed by a carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) in the cytoplasm and/or chloroplasts. The lines of evidence for such an epidermal CCM are discussed, including evidence for special 'transfer cells' in some but not all seagrass leaves in the tangential inner walls of the epidermal cells. It is concluded that seagrasses have a CCM but that the case for concentration of CO2 at the site of Rubisco carboxylation is not proven. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Mercury bioaccumulation in bats reflects dietary connectivity to aquatic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Daniel J; Chumchal, Matthew M; Broders, Hugh G; Korstian, Jennifer M; Clare, Elizabeth L; Rainwater, Thomas R; Platt, Steven G; Simmons, Nancy B; Fenton, M Brock

    2018-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a persistent and widespread heavy metal with neurotoxic effects in wildlife. While bioaccumulation of Hg has historically been studied in aquatic food webs, terrestrial consumers can become contaminated with Hg when they feed on aquatic organisms (e.g., emergent aquatic insects, fish, and amphibians). However, the extent to which dietary connectivity to aquatic ecosystems can explain patterns of Hg bioaccumulation in terrestrial consumers has not been well studied. Bats (Order: Chiroptera) can serve as a model system for illuminating the trophic transfer of Hg given their high dietary diversity and foraging links to both aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Here we quantitatively characterize the dietary correlates of long-term exposure to Hg across a diverse local assemblage of bats in Belize and more globally across bat species from around the world with a comparative analysis of hair samples. Our data demonstrate considerable interspecific variation in hair total Hg concentrations in bats that span three orders of magnitude across species, ranging from 0.04 mg/kg in frugivorous bats (Artibeus spp.) to 145.27 mg/kg in the piscivorous Noctilio leporinus. Hg concentrations showed strong phylogenetic signal and were best explained by dietary connectivity of bat species to aquatic food webs. Our results highlight that phylogeny can be predictive of Hg concentrations through similarity in diet and how interspecific variation in feeding strategies influences chronic exposure to Hg and enables movement of contaminants from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Field data sets for seagrass biophysical properties for the Eastern Banks, Moreton Bay, Australia, 2004-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelfsema, Chris M.; Kovacs, Eva M.; Phinn, Stuart R.

    2015-08-01

    This paper describes seagrass species and percentage cover point-based field data sets derived from georeferenced photo transects. Annually or biannually over a ten year period (2004-2014) data sets were collected using 30-50 transects, 500-800 m in length distributed across a 142 km2 shallow, clear water seagrass habitat, the Eastern Banks, Moreton Bay, Australia. Each of the eight data sets include seagrass property information derived from approximately 3000 georeferenced, downward looking photographs captured at 2-4 m intervals along the transects. Photographs were manually interpreted to estimate seagrass species composition and percentage cover (Coral Point Count excel; CPCe). Understanding seagrass biology, ecology and dynamics for scientific and management purposes requires point-based data on species composition and cover. This data set, and the methods used to derive it are a globally unique example for seagrass ecological applications. It provides the basis for multiple further studies at this site, regional to global comparative studies, and, for the design of similar monitoring programs elsewhere.

  13. Satellite-based monitoring of tropical seagrass vegetation: current techniques and future developments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferwerda, J.G.; Leeuw, de J.; Atzberger, C.; Vekerdy, Z.

    2007-01-01

    Decline of seagrasses has been documented in many parts of the world. Reduction in water clarity, through increased turbidity and increased nutrient concentrations, is considered to be the primary cause of seagrass loss. Recent studies have indicated the need for new methods that will enable early

  14. Are Seagrass effective Sentinels of Ecosystem Health in Port Phillip Bay, Australia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, R. S.; Cook, P. L. M.; Jenkins, G.; Nayar, S.; Hirst, A.; Keough, M. J.; Smith, T.; Ferguson, A.; Gay, J.; Longmore, A. R.; Macreadie, P.; Sherman, C.; Ross, J.; York, P.

    2016-02-01

    Seagrasses are an important part of many coastal systems, but are also under threat in many areas, as a result of a wide range of human activities, including habitat loss and changes to water quality. Due to these sensitivities seagrass are often selected as sentinels of change for coastal marine ecosystems, but could these sensitivities be too complex and varied to provide a clear or reliable measure of change? A recent three year study focused on the resilience of Zostera seagrasses in Port Phillip Bay, Southern Australia, where these ecosystem "engineers", have a dramatic influence on biodiversity and ecosystem function. This large temperate embayment experiences extreme climatic variability, significant loading from urbanized catchments and inflows from the largest sewage treatment facility in Australia, making it a challenging case study for assessing seagrass as a suitable ecosystem metric. Studies on the influence of nutrients, light and sediments using modelling, chemical analyses and field experiments assessed characteristics of Zostera habitat within the bay. Nutrients could be obtained directly in dissolved form from the water column, or sediment, or as atmospheric nitrogen fixed by bacteria associated with the root/rhizome system. Isotopic nutrients were traced to a variety of sources including river inflows, sewage discharges, groundwater, the open ocean, the atmosphere and indirectly via phytoplankton and detritus. Broad-scale seagrass coverage is often depth limited by light, however for regions of significant wave exposure deeper beds existed adjacent to less favorable shallows. Ephemeral beds in more exposed regions showed the greatest potential for responding to change. For these beds, resilience was dependent on bed architecture, connectivity to indirect nutrient sources, and genetic interactions with seagrass communities around the bay. While observed changes in seagrass cover may be a symptomatic trigger of ecosystem health, much as high blood

  15. Biodiversity and food web indicators of community recovery in intertidal shellfish reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; Heide, van der T.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; Reijden, van der K.J.; Borst, A.C.W.; Olff, H.

    2017-01-01

    In conservation strategies of marine ecosystems, priority is given to habitat-structuring foundation species (e.g. seagrasses, mangroves and reef-building corals, shellfish) with the implicit goal to protect or restore associated communities and their interactions. However, the number and accuracy

  16. Biodiversity and food web indicators of community recovery in intertidal shellfish reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; van der Heide, T.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; van der Reijden, K.J.; Borst, A.C.W.; Olff, H.

    2017-01-01

    In conservation strategies of marine ecosystems, priority is given to habitat-structuring foundation species (e.g.seagrasses, mangroves and reef-building corals, shellfish) with the implicit goal to protect or restore associatedcommunities and their interactions. However, the number and accuracy of

  17. Biodiversity and food web indicators of community recovery in intertidal shellfish reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; van der Heide, T.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; van der Reijden, K.J.; Borst, A.C.W.; Olff, H.

    In conservation strategies of marine ecosystems, priority is given to habitat-structuring foundation species (e.g. seagrasses, mangroves and reef-building corals, shellfish) with the implicit goal to protect or restore associated communities and their interactions. However, the number and accuracy

  18. Seascape ecology in Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows: Linking structure and ecological processes for management

    OpenAIRE

    Abadie, Arnaud; Pace, Matthew; Gobert, Sylvie; Borg, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass meadows constitute marine habitats in shallow water temperate and tropical coastal areas worldwide that have a high ecological and economic importance. Amongst the 60 or so seagrass species, the endemic Mediterranean species Posidonia oceanica forms meadows that are arguably the most important shallow water coastal habitat in the region but which are subjected to high anthropogenic pressures. Because of the relatively large size of the plant, the meadows formed by this seagrass have ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perhar, G.; Arhonditsis, G. B.

    2009-05-01

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

  20. The floodplain food web mosaic: a study of its importance to salmon and steelhead with implications for their recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellmore, J. Ryan; Baxter, Colden V.; Martens, Kyle; Connolly, Patrick J.

    2013-01-01

    Although numerous studies have attempted to place species of interest within the context of food webs, such efforts have generally occurred at small scales or disregard potentially important spatial heterogeneity. If food web approaches are to be employed to manage species, studies are needed that evaluate the multiple habitats and associated webs of interactions in which these species participate. Here, we quantify the food webs that sustain rearing salmon and steelhead within a floodplain landscape of the Methow River, Washington, USA, a location where restoration has been proposed to restore side channels in an attempt to recover anadromous fishes. We combined year-long measures of production, food demand, and diet composition for the fish assemblage with estimates of invertebrate prey productivity to quantify food webs within the main channel and five different, intact, side channels; ranging from channels that remained connected to the main channel at low flow to those reduced to floodplain ponds. Although we found that habitats within the floodplain had similar invertebrate prey production, these habitats hosted different local food webs. In the main channel, 95% of total prey consumption flowed to fishes that are not the target of proposed restoration. These fishes consumed 64% and 47% of the prey resources that were found to be important to fueling chinook and steelhead production in the main channel, respectively. Conversely, in side channels, a greater proportion of prey was consumed by anadromous salmonids. As a result, carrying capacity estimates based on food were 251% higher, on average, for anadromous salmonids in side channels than the main channel. However, salmon and steelhead production was generally well below estimated capacity in both the main and side channels, suggesting these habitats are under-seeded with respect to food, and that much larger populations could be supported. Overall, this study demonstrates that floodplain heterogeneity is

  1. Positive feedbacks in seagrass ecosystems : Implications for success in conservation and restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heide, T.; van Nes, E.H.; Geerling, G.W.; Smolders, A.J.P.; Bouma, T.J.; van Katwijk, M.

    2007-01-01

    Seagrasses are threatened by human activity in many locations around the world. Their decline is often characterized by sudden ecosystem collapse from a vegetated to a bare state. In the 1930s, such a dramatic event happened in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Before the shift, large seagrass beds (Zostera

  2. Ecology of seagrass bed of Halophila beccarii (Aschers) in Mandovi estuary, Goa

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.; Untawale, A.G.

    of seagrass bed. Maximum average biomass of 26.44 g/m2 was recorded in October followed by a flowering period of the seagrass. Protein content was maximum (393.12 mg/g) in August while carbohydrate was maximum (476.18 mg/g) in May and August. Maximum organic...

  3. Positive feedbacks in seagrass ecosystems - implications for success in conservation and restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heide, van Tj.; Nes, van E.H.; Geerling, G.W.; Smolders, A.J.P.; Bouma, T.J.; Katwijk, van M.M.

    2007-01-01

    Seagrasses are threatened by human activity in many locations around the world. Their decline is often characterized by sudden ecosystem collapse from a vegetated to a bare state. In the 1930s, such a dramatic event happened in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Before the shift, large seagrass beds (Zostera

  4. Experimental assessment and modeling evaluation of the effects of seagrass Posidonia oceanica on flow and particle trapping

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, I.E.; Sintes, T.; Bouma, T.J.; Duarte, C.M.

    2008-01-01

    Retention of particles in seagrass canopies is usually attributed to only the indirect, attenuating effects canopies have on flow, turbulence and wave action, promoting sedimentation and reducing resuspension within seagrass meadows. Yet recent evidence suggests that seagrasses are also able to

  5. Benthic primary producers are key to sustain the Wadden Sea food web: stable carbon isotope analysis at landscape scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; Middelburg, J.J.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; Jouta, J.; Compton, T.J.; van der Heide, T.; Piersma, T.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; van der Veer, H.W.; Schouten, S.; Olff, H.

    2017-01-01

    Coastal food webs can be supported by local benthic or pelagic primary produc-ers and by the import of organic matter. Distinguishing between these energy sources is essen-tial for our understanding of ecosystem functioning. However, the relative contribution ofthese components to the food web at

  6. Benthic primary producers are key to sustain the Wadden Sea food web : stable carbon isotope analysis at landscape scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; Middelburg, Jack J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/079665373; Holthuijsen, S.J.; Jouta, J.; Compton, T.J.; van der Heide, T.; Piersma, T.; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/07401370X; van der Veer, H.W.; Schouten, Stefan|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/137124929; Olff, H.

    Coastal food webs can be supported by local benthic or pelagic primary producers and by the import of organic matter. Distinguishing between these energy sources is essential for our understanding of ecosystem functioning. However, the relative contribution of these components to the food web at the

  7. Benthic primary producers are key to sustain the Wadden Sea food web : Stable carbon isotope analysis at landscape scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M J A; Middelburg, J J; Holthuijsen, S J; Jouta, J; Compton, T J; van der Heide, T; Piersma, T.; Sinninghe Damsté, J S; van der Veer, H W; Schouten, S; Olff, H

    Coastal food webs can be supported by local benthic or pelagic primary producers and by the import of organic matter. Distinguishing between these energy sources is essential for our understanding of ecosystem functioning. However, the relative contribution of these components to the food web at the

  8. 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...

  9. Real-Time Classification of Seagrass Meadows on Flat Bottom with Bathymetric Data Measured by a Narrow Multibeam Sonar System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Hamana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows, one of the most important habitats for many marine species, provide essential ecological services. Thus, society must conserve seagrass beds as part of their sustainable development efforts. Conserving these ecosystems requires information on seagrass distribution and relative abundance, and an efficient, accurate monitoring system. Although narrow multibeam sonar systems (NMBSs are highly effective in resolving seagrass beds, post-processing methods are required to extract key data. The purpose of this study was to develop a simple method capable of detecting seagrass meadows and estimating their relative abundance in real time using an NMBS. Because most seagrass meadows grow on sandy seafloors, we proposed a way of discriminating seagrass meadows from the sand bed. We classify meadows into three categories of relative seagrass abundance using the 95% confidence level of beam depths and the depth range of the beam depth. These are respectively two times the standard deviation of beam depths, and the difference between the shallowest and the deepest depths in a 0.5 × 0.5 m grid cell sampled with several narrow beams. We examined Zostera caulescens Miki, but this simple NMBS method of seagrass classification can potentially be used to map seagrass meadows with longer shoots of other species, such as Posidonia, as both have gas filled cavities.

  10. Experimentally reducing species abundance indirectly affects food web structure and robustness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Milton; Fernandes, G Wilson; Lewis, Owen T; Morris, Rebecca J

    2017-03-01

    Studies on the robustness of ecological communities suggest that the loss or reduction in abundance of individual species can lead to secondary and cascading extinctions. However, most such studies have been simulation-based analyses of the effect of primary extinction on food web structure. In a field experiment we tested the direct and indirect effects of reducing the abundance of a common species, focusing on the diverse and self-contained assemblage of arthropods associated with an abundant Brazilian shrub, Baccharis dracunculifolia D.C. (Asteraceae). Over a 5-month period we experimentally reduced the abundance of Baccharopelma dracunculifoliae (Sternorrhyncha: Psyllidae), the commonest galling species associated with B. dracunculifolia, in 15 replicate plots paired with 15 control plots. We investigated direct effects of the manipulation on parasitoids attacking B. dracunculifoliae, as well as indirect effects (mediated via a third species or through the environment) on 10 other galler species and 50 associated parasitoid species. The experimental manipulation significantly increased parasitism on B. dracunculifoliae in the treatment plots, but did not significantly alter either the species richness or abundance of other galler species. Compared to control plots, food webs in manipulated plots had significantly lower values of weighted connectance, interaction evenness and robustness (measured as simulated tolerance to secondary extinction), even when B. dracunculifoliae was excluded from calculations. Parasitoid species were almost entirely specialized to individual galler species, so the observed effects of the manipulation on food web structure could not have propagated via the documented trophic links. Instead, they must have spread either through trophic links not included in the webs (e.g. shared predators) or non-trophically (e.g. through changes in habitat availability). Our results highlight that the inclusion of both trophic and non

  11. Recurrence of Seagrass Mortality in Florida Bay: The Role of Climate Change and Implications for Carbon Sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarbro, L.; Carlson, P. R., Jr.

    2016-02-01

    Catastrophic mortality of seagrass in Florida Bay (USA) from 1987 to 1991 resulted in the complete loss of thousands of hectares of dense Thalassia testudinum beds. At that time, acutely toxic levels of dissolved sulfide in sediments were determined to be the proximal cause of seagrass mortality, but the mechanisms responsible for sulfide accumulation in sediments were not demonstrated. With the recurrence of seagrass mortality in Florida Bay in summer 2015, we show that several processes create the conditions that lead to sulfide toxicity and catastrophic mortality of Thalassia. Regional drought and elevated water temperature lead to hypersalinity, particularly in the northern Bay. In addition, evaporation of seawater on mudbanks and microtidal flow patterns create stratified brine layers in basins adjacent to mudbanks. Because of very high seagrass shoot densities and limited tidal exchange, brine layers limit oxygen diffusion and prevent oxidation of sulfide in sediments and bottom water, exposing roots, rhizomes and lateral meristems of Thalassia to acutely toxic levels of sulfide, causing extensive mortality. Dead belowground tissues provide labile carbon sources to sulfate-reducing bacteria enhancing sulfide production and creating a positive feedback loop of increasing sulfide toxicity leading to further seagrass death. The carbon sequestration capacity of these dense seagrass communities is diminished three ways: 1) export of dead seagrass shoots and leaves as floating wrack, 2) in situ decomposition of roots, rhizomes, and some leaf material, and 3) reduced areal productivity of surviving seagrasses. Climate analyses show that, in the short term ( 50 years), higher water temperatures and evaporation rates might result in recurring seagrass mortality events. However, in the long term, sea level rise will increase tidal exchange and flushing in Florida Bay reducing the likelihood of seagrass mortality.

  12. Social-Ecological System in Seagrass Ecosystem Management at Kotania Bay Waters, Western Seram, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wawo, Mintje

    2017-10-01

    The concept of the Social-Ecological System (SES) of the coastal region, can be found in the seagrass ecosystem in the Kotania Bay Waters. Seagrass ecosystem as one of the productive ecosystem is part of an ecological system that can influence and influenced social system, in this case by people living around the seagrass ecosystem. This aim to estimating the socio-ecological vulnerability system of the seagrass ecosystem in the Kotania Bay Waters, the Linkage Matrix is used (de Chazal et al., 2008). This linkage matrix was created to determine the perception and understanding of the community on the ecosystem services provided by the seagrass ecosystem through the appraisal of various stakeholders. The results show that social values are rooted in the public perception of ecosystem goods and services, which are rarely considered. The ecological and economic value of natural resources is increasingly being used to determine the priority areas in the planning and management of coastal areas. The social value that exists in natural resources is highly recognized in conservation.

  13. 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...... concentrations to experimental plots in a coniferous forest the soil will be collected with varying intervals and subsequently analyzed. The food web included several trophic levels; bacteria/fungi, protozoa, nematodes, enchytraeids and microarthropods and arthropods. Results from 2014 indicated that bacteria...... and protozoa were stimulated in the uppermost soil layer (0-3 cm) two months ash application, whereas the enchytraeids seemed to be slightly negatively affected. Generally, nematodes also appeared to be negatively affected, although it differed between feeding groups. On the higher trophic levels, no effect...

  14. 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.

  15. Meadow fragmentation and reproductive output of the S.E. Asian seagrass Enhalus acoroides

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermaat, J.E.; Rollon, R.N.; Lacap, C.D.A.; Billot, C.; Alberto, F.; Nacorda, H.M.E.; Wiegman, F.; Terrados, J.T.

    2004-01-01

    Flower and fruit production of the abundant, tall, long-lived, dioecious, surface-pollinating seagrass species Enhalus acoroides (L.) Royle were estimated at seven sites in the reef flats off Bolinao (NW Luzon, The Philippines) featuring different fragmentation of the seagrass meadows. Fragmentation

  16. Leaf nutrient resorption, leaf lifespan and the retention of nutrients in seagrass systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemminga, M.A.; Marbà, N.; Stapel, J.

    1999-01-01

    Efficient nutrient resorption from senescing leaves, and extended leaf life spans are important strategies in order to conserve nutrients for plants in general. Despite the fact that seagrasses often grow in oligotrophic waters, these conservation strategies are not strongly developed in seagrasses.

  17. A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world’s largest seagrass carbon stocks

    KAUST Repository

    Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Serrano, Oscar; Masqué , Pere; Lavery, P. S.; Mueller, U.; Kendrick, G. A.; Rozaimi, M.; Esteban, A.; Fourqurean, J. W.; Marbà , N.; Mateo, M. A.; Murray, K.; Rule, M. J.; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass ecosystems contain globally significant organic carbon (C) stocks. However, climate change and increasing frequency of extreme events threaten their preservation. Shark Bay, Western Australia, has the largest C stock reported for a seagrass

  18. The influence of seagrass on shell layers and Florida Bay mudbanks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager, E.J.; Halley, R.B.

    1999-01-01

    Aerial photography indicates that sometime since the early 1970's, an emergent ridge of shell debris developed on a mudbank north of Calusa Key in Florida Bay. Coarse shell deposits on and within the Bay's shallow mudbanks are believed to be the product of transport during major storm events and subsequent winnowing. However, shell material from the ridge contains nuclear bomb 14C, supporting formation within the past 30 years and the last major hurricanes to influence Florida Bay were Donna and Betsy (1960 and 1965). Results from this study suggest that the Calusa ridge and other coarse shell deposits in Florida Bay can result from, 1) periodic seagrass mortality and wave-induced transport during frequent winter cold fronts and/or 2) mollusc blooms and subsequent burial. A survey of bottom types indicates that dense to intermediate beds of seagrass, mainly Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass), occur within the shallow basins of western Florida Bay and along the margins of Bay mudbanks. Wave measurements and modeling indicate that Thalassia along mudbank margins can reduce incoming wave-energy by over 80%. Seagrass beds also host particularly dense populations of molluscs from periodic 'blooms' and are believed to be the major source of coarse sediments in the Bay. Thus, if bank-edge seagrass dies, sediments, including shell debris, become exposed and subject to greatly increased wave energy. Modeling indicates that winds typical of winter cold fronts in South Florida can produce near-bottom velocities and shear stress at a grass-free bank edge which are sufficient to transport coarse carbonate grains. Shell layers found at depth in mudbank cores can also be explained by previous episodes of sediment accretion over mollusc-rich seagrass beds or grass bed mortality at the edge of a mudbank and shell transport during cold front passage. The latter implies that mortality of marginal seagrass beds has occurred throughout the history of Florida Bay and that the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Zee, E.M.; Angelini, C.; Govers, L.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Altieri, A.H.; van der Reijden, K.J.; Silliman, B.R.; van de Koppel, J.; van der Geest, M.; van Gils, J.A.; van der Veer, H.W.; Piersma, T.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Olff, H.; van der Heide, T.

    2016-01-01

    The diversity and structure of ecosystems has been found to depend both ontrophic interactions in food webs and on other species interactions such ashabitat modification and mutualism that form non-trophic interactionnetworks. However, quantification of the dependencies between these twomain

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sokolowski, A.; Wolowicz, M.; Asmus, H.; Asmus, R.; Carlier, A.; Gasiunaite, Z.; Gremare, A.; Hummel, H.; Lesutiene, J.; Razinkovas, A.; Renaud, P.E.; Richard, P.; Kedra, M.

    2012-01-01

    Numerical structure and the organisation of food webs within macrozoobenthic communities has been assessed in the European waters (Svalbard, Barents Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea) to address the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

  1. Influence of water mixing and food web status on the response of planktonic communities to enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostajir, B.; Uvbr Team

    2003-04-01

    Two series of mesocosm experiments were carried out in 1996 and 1997 using the natural planktonic assemblage, ultraviolet-B radiation (UVBR: 280-320 nm) at the community level. The water used in the first experiment was rich in nitrate (ca. 8-10 μM) and phytoplankton biomass (5 μg Chlorophyll a L-1: Chl a), conditions typical of an eutrophic coastal zone with herbivorous food web characteristics. In contrast, the water used in the second experiment was poor in nitrate (food web. Furthermore, to understand the influence of vertical mixing on the effects of UVBR on the planktonic community, two mixing regimes (fast and slow) were tested during the mesocosm experiments of 1997. The results showed that the mixing regime can moderate the effects of UVBR on the planktonic community and can also modify completely the species composition in the mesocosms much more than the UVBR. Comparison between the impact of UVBR on the planktonic community presented in these two experiments suggested that regenerated production-based systems (e.g. microbial food webs) tolerate the effects of UVBR more efficiently than do new production-based systems (herbivorous food webs). Results regarding the potential effects of UVBR in different marine systems, coastal versus oceanic, where different physical systems dominate, fast versus slow mixing, and consequently the development of different food webs are favored, herbivorous versus microbial, will be discussed.

  2. Surviving in Changing Seascapes: Sediment Dynamics as Bottleneck for Long-Term Seagrass Presence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suykerbuyk, W.; Bouma, T.J.; Govers, L.L.; Giesen, K.; de Jong, D.J.; Herman, P.M.J.; Hendriks, J.; van Katwijk, M.M.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the seascape often result in altered hydrodynamics that lead to coinciding changes in sediment dynamics. Little is known on how altered sediment dynamics affect long-term seagrass persistence. We studied the thresholds of sediment dynamics in relation to seagrass presence by comparing

  3. 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. Adapti...

  4. Stable isotope evidence of food web connectivity by a top predatory ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, food web connectivity within the Kowie Estuary on the south-east coast of South Africa was evidenced by the trophic behaviour of the predominantly piscivorous Argyrosomus japonicus. We examined stable isotopes of carbon (δ 13C) and nitrogen (δ 15N) in the dominant consumers (zooplankton, invertebrates ...

  5. 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.

  6. Seagrass as major source of transparent exopolymer particles in the oligotrophic Mediterranean coast

    KAUST Repository

    Iuculano, Francesca

    2017-01-09

    The role of seagrass, Posidonia oceanica, meadows as a source of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) to Mediterranean coastal waters was tested by comparing the TEP dynamics in two adjacent coastal waters in the oligotrophic NW Mediterranean Sea, one characterized by oligotrophic open-sea waters and the other accumulating seagrass leaf litter, together with an experimental examination of TEP release by seagrass litter. TEP concentrations ranged from 4.6 µg XG Eq L−1 to 90.6 µg XG Eq L−1, with mean (±SE) values of 38.7 (±2.02) µg XG Eq L−1 in the site devoid of seagrass litter, whereas the coastal beach site accumulating leaf litter had > 10-fold mean TEP concentrations of 487.02 (±72.8) µg XG Eq L−1 . Experimental evaluation confirmed high rates of TEP production by P. oceanica litter, allowing calculations of the associated TEP yield. We demonstrated that P. oceanica is an important source of TEP to the Mediterranean Sea, contributing an estimated 0.10 Tg C as TEP annually. TEP release by P. oceanica seagrass explains the elevated TEP concentration relative to the low chlorophyll a concentration in the Mediterranean Sea.

  7. Mercury flow through an Asian rice-based food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abeysinghe, Kasun S.; Qiu, Guangle; Goodale, Eben; Anderson, Christopher W.N.; Bishop, Kevin; Evers, David C.; Goodale, Morgan W.; Hintelmann, Holger; Liu, Shengjie

    2017-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a globally-distributed pollutant, toxic to humans and animals. Emissions are particularly high in Asia, and the source of exposure for humans there may also be different from other regions, including rice as well as fish consumption, particularly in contaminated areas. Yet the threats Asian wildlife face in rice-based ecosystems are as yet unclear. We sought to understand how Hg flows through rice-based food webs in historic mining and non-mining regions of Guizhou, China. We measured total Hg (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in soil, rice, 38 animal species (27 for MeHg) spanning multiple trophic levels, and examined the relationship between stable isotopes and Hg concentrations. Our results confirm biomagnification of THg/MeHg, with a high trophic magnification slope. Invertivorous songbirds had concentrations of THg in their feathers that were 15x and 3x the concentration reported to significantly impair reproduction, at mining and non-mining sites, respectively. High concentrations in specialist rice consumers and in granivorous birds, the later as high as in piscivorous birds, suggest rice is a primary source of exposure. Spiders had the highest THg concentrations among invertebrates and may represent a vector through which Hg is passed to vertebrates, especially songbirds. Our findings suggest there could be significant population level health effects and consequent biodiversity loss in sensitive ecosystems, like agricultural wetlands, across Asia, and invertivorous songbirds would be good subjects for further studies investigating this possibility. - Highlights: • Hg concentrations were measured across rice-based food webs in Guizhou, China. • Of 38 animal species, THg concentrations were highest for invertivorous songbirds. • High THg levels in rice pests and in granivorous birds suggest rice as a source. • Levels of THg in songbird feathers at mining site were among highest ever recorded. • Even at non-mining site, THg in such

  8. Differences in nutrient concentrations and resources between seagrass communities on carbonate and terrigenous sediments in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erftemeijer, P.L.A.

    1994-01-01

    Water column, sediment and plant parameters were studied in six tropical seagrass beds in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, to evaluate the relation between seagrass bed nutrient concentrations and sediment type. Coastal seagrass beds on terrigenous sediments had considerably higher biomass of

  9. The capacity of seagrasses to survive increased turbidity and siltation: The significance of growth form and light use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermaat, J.E.; Agawin, N.S.R.; Fortes, M.D.; Uri, J.; Duarte, C.M.; Marbà, N.; Enriquez, S.; Van Vierssen, W.

    1997-01-01

    Seagrasses are submerged or intertidal angiosperms that form extensive meadows in shallow coastal waters. Tropical as well as temperate seagrass beds are subject to man's interference. Most human activities affect seagrasses either through reductions in light availability or changes in sediment

  10. Functional implications of changes in seagrass species composition in two shallow coastal lagoons

    Science.gov (United States)

    While the consequences of losing seagrass meadows are well known, there is less information on the functional implications of changes in seagrass species composition. In this study, we use data from a long-term monitoring project in shallow lagoons on the Florida Gulf Coast to as...

  11. Nearshore drift dynamics of natural versus artificial seagrass wrack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baring, Ryan J.; Fairweather, Peter G.; Lester, Rebecca E.

    2018-03-01

    Drifting macrophytes such as seagrass and macroalgae are commonly found washed ashore on sandy beaches but few studies have investigated the drift trajectories of macrophytes whilst near to the coast. This is the first study to investigate the surface drifting of small clumps of seagrass released at various distances from shore, across multiple days with contrasting wind and tidal conditions, in a large gulf in southern Australia. Natural and artificial radio-tagged seagrass units generally travelled in the same directions as tides but trajectories were variable across sampling days and when tagged units were released at different distances from shore. Natural and artificial units diverged from each other particularly on days when wind speeds increased but generally drifted in the same direction and ended up within close proximity to each other at the 6-h endpoint. During calm conditions, tagged seagrass units drifted with tides for 0.25-5 km and, during one sampling day when wind speeds increased, drifted for >5 km over the 6-h time period. Only tagged units that were released closest to shore stranded on sandy beaches within the six hours of observation, so it would be difficult to predict the eventual stranding location on shorelines for macrophytes released further offshore. This study provides evidence of the variability of macrophyte drift dynamics near to coastlines. Acknowledging this variability is essential for further understanding of the ecological significance of allochthonous material arriving at shorelines, which should be integrated into future research and management of sandy-beach ecosystems.

  12. Trophodynamics of the Hanna Shoal Ecosystem (Chukchi Sea, Alaska): Connecting multiple end-members to a rich food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTigue, N. D.; Dunton, K. H.

    2017-10-01

    Predicting how alterations in sea ice-mediated primary production will impact Arctic food webs remains a challenge in forecasting ecological responses to climate change. One top-down approach to this challenge is to elucidate trophic roles of consumers as either specialists (i.e., consumers of predominantly one food resource) or generalists (i.e., consumers of multiple food resources) to categorize the dependence of consumers on each primary producer. At Hanna Shoal in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska, we used stable carbon and nitrogen isotope data to quantify trophic redundancy with standard ellipse areas at both the species and trophic guild levels. We also investigated species-level trophic plasticity by analyzing the varying extents that three end-members were assimilated by the food web using the mixing model simmr (Stable Isotope Mixing Model in R). Our results showed that ice algae, a combined phytoplankton and sediment organic matter composite (PSOM), and a hypothesized microphytobenthos (MPB) component were incorporated by consumers in the benthic food web, but their importance varied by species. Some primary consumers relied heavily on PSOM (e.g, the amphipods Ampelisca sp. and Byblis sp.; the copepod Calanus sp.), while others exhibited generalist feeding and obtained nutrition from multiple sources (e.g., the holothuroidean Ocnus glacialis, the gastropod Tachyrhynchus sp., the sipunculid Golfingia margaritacea, and the bivalves Ennucula tenuis, Nuculana pernula, Macoma sp., and Yoldia hyperborea). Most higher trophic level benthic predators, including the gastropods Buccinum sp., Cryptonatica affinis, and Neptunea sp, the seastar Leptasterias groenlandica, and the amphipod Anonyx sp. also exhibited trophic plasticity by coupling energy pathways from multiple primary producers including PSOM, ice algae, and MPB. Our stable isotope data indicate that consumers in the Hanna Shoal food web exhibit considerable trophic redundancy, while few species were specialists

  13. Mobilizing the regional eco-economy: evolving webs of agri-food and rural development in the UK

    OpenAIRE

    Terry Marsden

    2010-01-01

    The paper traces the emergence of the regional eco-economy with reference to a new conceptual model called the rural web. These webs are embedded into the fabric of regional systems of production and consumption and provide a key driver for both rural development generally and eco-economic development more specifically. Relocalized agri-food networks are playing a key integrating role in mobilizing the web and the regional eco-economy more generally. The web concept is used to (i) assess the ...

  14. Seagrasses and sediment response to changing physical forcing in a coastal lagoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Figueiredo da Silva

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The Ria de Aveiro is an estuary–coastal lagoon system connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a channel with a cross-sectional area that, for more than a century, has increased steadily, partly because of dredging over the last 50 years. Local ocean tides, with amplitudes of up to 3 m, are today transmitted to the lagoon by the single, engineered inlet channel and propagate to the end of the lagoon channels as a damped progressive wave. The increase in tidal amplitude with time has affected the lagoon ecosystem and the water has become more saline. Seagrass beds are important indicators of ecosystem change; until 1980, much of the lagoon bed was covered by seagrasses (Zostera, Ruppia, Potamogeton, which were collected in large quantities for use in agriculture. After 1960, the harvesting declined and the seagrass beds became covered in sediment, so that the area of seagrasses decreased substantially despite the decline in the quantity collected. The change in the pattern of seagrass populations can be related to changes in the physical forcing associated with increased tidal wave penetration. This has, in turn, induced transport and redistribution of coarser, sandy sediment and increased re-suspension and turbidity in the water column. However, the initiating cause for this ecosystem change was dredging, which, since the 1950s, has been used increasingly to widen and deepen the channels of the system.

  15. Trends of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa (Magnoliophyta in the Canary Islands: population changes in the last two decades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Fabbri

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows perform essential ecosystem functions and services. Though the meadows are globally deteriorating, numerous regressions remain unreported as a result of data fragmentation. Cymodocea nodosa is the most important seagrass in shallow coastal waters of the Canary Islands. No study has so far investigated temporal population trends at the entire archipelago scale. Using data collected in the past 23 years by local companies, public authorities and research groups, the population trends of Cymodocea nodosa were analysed over the past two decades at the scales of islands, island sectors and meadows. During this period, a prevalence of negative trends was revealed for three seagrass demographic descriptors (seagrass shoot density, coverage and leaf length at the three scales, evidencing an overall deterioration in seagrass meadow integrity. These results suggest the need to develop correct management strategies to guarantee the conservation of this seagrass and the meadows it creates.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    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. 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 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

  17. Micro-Food Web Structure Shapes Rhizosphere Microbial Communities and Growth in Oak

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hazel R. Maboreke

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The multitrophic interactions in the rhizosphere impose significant impacts on microbial community structure and function, affecting nutrient mineralisation and consequently plant performance. However, particularly for long-lived plants such as forest trees, the mechanisms by which trophic structure of the micro-food web governs rhizosphere microorganisms are still poorly understood. This study addresses the role of nematodes, as a major component of the soil micro-food web, in influencing the microbial abundance and community structure as well as tree growth. In a greenhouse experiment with Pedunculate Oak seedlings were grown in soil, where the nematode trophic structure was manipulated by altering the proportion of functional groups (i.e., bacterial, fungal, and plant feeders in a full factorial design. The influence on the rhizosphere microbial community, the ectomycorrhizal symbiont Piloderma croceum, and oak growth, was assessed. Soil phospholipid fatty acids were employed to determine changes in the microbial communities. Increased density of singular nematode functional groups showed minor impact by increasing the biomass of single microbial groups (e.g., plant feeders that of Gram-negative bacteria, except fungal feeders, which resulted in a decline of all microorganisms in the soil. In contrast, inoculation of two or three nematode groups promoted microbial biomass and altered the community structure in favour of bacteria, thereby counteracting negative impact of single groups. These findings highlight that the collective action of trophic groups in the soil micro-food web can result in microbial community changes promoting the fitness of the tree, thereby alleviating the negative effects of individual functional groups.

  18. The importance of landscape and spatial structure for hymenopteran-based food webs in an agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, Yvonne; Sandau, Nadine; Bruggisser, Odile T; Aebi, Alex; Kehrli, Patrik; Rohr, Rudolf P; Naisbit, Russell E; Bersier, Louis-Félix

    2013-11-01

    1. Understanding the environmental factors that structure biodiversity and food webs among communities is central to assess and mitigate the impact of landscape changes. 2. Wildflower strips are ecological compensation areas established in farmland to increase pollination services and biological control of crop pests and to conserve insect diversity. They are arranged in networks in order to favour high species richness and abundance of the fauna. 3. We describe results from experimental wildflower strips in a fragmented agricultural landscape, comparing the importance of landscape, of spatial arrangement and of vegetation on the diversity and abundance of trap-nesting bees, wasps and their enemies, and the structure of their food webs. 4. The proportion of forest cover close to the wildflower strips and the landscape heterogeneity stood out as the most influential landscape elements, resulting in a more complex trap-nest community with higher abundance and richness of hosts, and with more links between species in the food webs and a higher diversity of interactions. We disentangled the underlying mechanisms for variation in these quantitative food web metrics. 5. We conclude that in order to increase the diversity and abundance of pollinators and biological control agents and to favour a potentially stable community of cavity-nesting hymenoptera in wildflower strips, more investment is needed in the conservation and establishment of forest habitats within agro-ecosystems, as a reservoir of beneficial insect populations. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  19. Potential for Increased Mercury Accumulation in the Estuary Food Web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay A Davis

    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. Inhibition of seagrass photosynthesis by ultraviolet-B radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trocine, R.P.; Rice, J.D.; Wells, G.N.

    1981-01-01

    Effects of ultraviolet-B radiation on the photosynthesis of seagrasses (Halophila engelmanni Aschers, Halodule wrightii Aschers, and Syringodium filiforme (Kuetz) were examined. The intrinsic tolerance of each seagrass to ultraviolet-B, the presence and effectiveness of photorepair mechanisms to ultraviolet-B-induced photosynthetic inhibition, and the role of epiphytic growth as a shield from ultraviolet-B were investigated. Halodule was found to possess the greatest photosynthetic tolerance for ultraviolet-B. Photosynthesis in Syringodium was slightly more sensitive to ultraviolet-B while Halophila showed relatively little photosynthetic tolerance. Evidence for a photorepair mechanism was found only in Halodule. Syringodium appeared to rely primarily on a thick epidermal cell layer to reduce photosynthetic damage. Halophila seemed to have no morphological or photorepair capabilities to deal with ultraviolet-B. This species appeared to rely on epiphytic and detrital shielding and the shade provided by other seagrasses to reduce ultraviolet-B irradiation to tolerable levels. The presence of epiphytes on leaf surfaces was found to reduce the extent of photosynthetic inhibition from ultraviolet-B exposure in all species. Halophila appears to obtain an increased photosynthetic tolerance to ultraviolet-B as an indirect benefit of chloroplast clumping to avoid photo-oxidation by intense levels of photosynthetically active radiation

  1. Feeding by larvae of intertidal invertebrates: assessing their position in pelagic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Cristian A; Manríquez, Patricio H; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2006-02-01

    One of the leading determinants of the structure and dynamics of marine populations is the rate of arrival of new individuals to local sites. While physical transport processes play major roles in delivering larvae to the shore, these processes become most important after larvae have survived the perils of life in the plankton, where they usually suffer great mortality. The lack of information regarding larval feeding makes it difficult to assess the effects of food supply on larval survival, or the role larvae may play in nearshore food webs. Here, we examine the spectrum of food sizes and food types consumed by the larvae of two intertidal barnacle species and of the predatory gastropod Concholepas concholepas. We conducted replicated experiments in which larvae were exposed to the food size spectrum (phytoplankton, microprotozoan and autotrophic picoplankton) found in nearshore waters in central Chile. Results show that barnacle nauplii and gastropod veligers are omnivorous grazers, incorporating significant fractions of heterotrophs in their diets. In accordance with their feeding mechanisms and body size, barnacle nauplii were able to feed on autotrophic picoplankton (concholepas larvae also consumed picoplankton cells, while competent larvae of this species ingested mostly the largest phytoplankton cells and heterotrophic protozoans. Results suggest that persistent changes in the structure of pelagic food webs can have important effects on the species-specific food availability for invertebrate larvae, which can result in large-scale differences in recruitment rates of a given species, and in the relative recruitment success of the different species that make up benthic communities.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, Timothy D.; Kidd, Karen A.

    2011-01-01

    Herbivorous and predatory invertebrates and two species of fish (brook trout and blacknose dace) were collected from 49 streams in New Brunswick, Canada to determine whether concentrations of selenium (Se) in the biota were affected by a point source (a coal-fired power plant), and stream water chemistry (pH, sulphate, conductivity, and total organic carbon), and to determine the trophic transfer of Se through these food webs. Total Se concentrations in the biota were generally low (0.2 to 4.8 μg g -1 dry weight) across sites and there was no relationship between distance from the coal-fired power plant and Se concentrations in invertebrates or fishes. Water chemistry was an equally poor predictor of Se concentrations in invertebrates and fish. Trophic position (determined using δ 15 N) was a significant predictor of Se concentrations in only five of the stream food webs, and two of these had negative slopes, indicating little or no trophic magnification across most systems; many fishes had lower concentrations than their invertebrate prey and trophic transfer was higher at sites with low invertebrate Se concentrations. Variability in Se concentrations in fishes was explained more by site of capture than microhabitat use within the site (as measured with δ 13 C), suggesting among-site differences in geological sources of Se. Because concentrations were below known toxicity thresholds for fish and other consumers, these results suggest that Se is not an environmental issue in New Brunswick streams that do not receive direct inputs from mining activities. - Research Highlights: → Se concentrations in stream invertebrates and fishes in eastern Canada are low. → Concentrations were not related to water chemistry or distance from a point source. → Se did not biomagnify in the food web, yet was almost always in excess of Hg.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    The diversity and structure of ecosystems has been found to depend both on trophic interactions in food webs and on other species interactions such as habitat modification and mutualism that form non-trophic interaction networks. However, quantification of the dependencies between these two main

  4. New Tools to Identify the Location of Seagrass Meadows: Marine Grazers as Habitat Indicators

    KAUST Repository

    Hays, Graeme C.; Alcoverro, Teresa; Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Hamann, Mark; Macreadie, Peter I.; Marsh, Helene D.; Rasheed, Michael A.; Thums, Michele; Unsworth, Richard K. F.; York, Paul H.; Esteban, Nicole

    2018-01-01

    and there has been a call from 122 scientists across 28 countries for more work to manage, protect and monitor seagrass meadows (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37606827). Emerging from the 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop, held

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  6. Temporal changes in the abundance, leaf growth and photosynthesis of three co-occurring Philippine seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agawin, N S.R.; Duarte, C M.; Fortes, M D.; Uri, J S.; Vermaat, J E.

    2001-06-01

    The analysis of the temporal changes in shoot density, areal leaf biomass, leaf growth and parameters of the photosynthesis-irradiance relationship of three tropical seagrass species (Enhalus acoroides, Thalassia hemprichii and Cymodocea rotundata), co-existing in a shallow subtidal meadow in Cape Bolinao, Philippines, shows that species-specific traits are significant sources of temporal variability, and indicates that these seagrass species respond differently to a common environmental forcing. Species-specific differences are much less important as source of variability of the temporal change in chlorophyll concentration of seagrass leaves. The results indicate that the temporal changes in photosynthetic performance of these seagrasses were driven by environmental forcing and their specific responses to it mostly, but the temporal change in their abundance and leaf growth was also controlled by other factors. The significant contribution of species-specific factors in the temporal changes of biomass, growth and photosynthetic performance of co-occurring seagrass species in Cape Bolinao should contribute to the maintenance of the multispecific, highly productive meadows characteristic of pristine coastal ecosystems in Southeast (SE) Asia.

  7. 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

  8. Carbon and nitrogen translocation between seagrass ramets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marbà, N.; Hemminga, M.A.; Mateo, M.A.; Duarte, C.M.; Maas, Y.E.M.; Terrados, J.; Gacia, E.

    2002-01-01

    The spatial scale and the magnitude of carbon and nitrogen translocation was examined in 5 tropical (Cymodocea serrulata, Halophila stipulacea, Halodule uninervis, Thalassodendron ciliatum, Thalassia hemprichii) and 3 temperate (Cymodocea nodosa, Posidonia oceanica, Zostera noltii) seagrass species

  9. Humans and Seagrasses in East Africa : A social-ecological systems approach

    OpenAIRE

    de la Torre-Castro, Maricela

    2006-01-01

    The present study is one of the first attempts to analyze the societal importance of seagrasses (marine flowering plants) from a Natural Resource Management perspective, using a social-ecological systems (SES) approach. The interdisciplinary study takes place in East Africa (Western Indian Ocean, WIO) and includes in-depth studies in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Natural and social sciences methods were used. The results are presented in six articles, showing that seagrass ecosystems are ri...

  10. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area seagrasses: Managing this iconic Australian ecosystem resource for the future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coles, Robert G.; Rasheed, Michael A.; McKenzie, Len J.; Grech, Alana; York, Paul H.; Sheaves, Marcus; McKenna, Skye; Bryant, Catherine

    2015-02-01

    The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) includes one of the world's largest areas of seagrass (35,000 km2) encompassing approximately 20% of the world's species. Mapping and monitoring programs sponsored by the Australian and Queensland Governments and Queensland Port Authorities have tracked a worrying decrease in abundance and area since 2007. This decline has almost certainly been the result of a series of severe tropical storms and associated floods exacerbating existing human induced stressors. A complex variety of marine and terrestrial management actions and plans have been implemented to protect seagrass and other habitats in the GBRWHA. For seagrasses, these actions are inadequate. They provide an impression of effective protection of seagrasses; reduce the sense of urgency needed to trigger action; and waste the valuable and limited supply of "conservation capital". There is a management focus on ports, driven by public concerns about high profile development projects, which exaggerates the importance of these relatively concentrated impacts in comparison to the total range of threats and stressors. For effective management of seagrass at the scale of the GBRWHA, more emphasis needs to be placed on the connectivity between seagrass meadow health, watersheds, and all terrestrial urban and agricultural development associated with human populations. The cumulative impacts to seagrass from coastal and marine processes in the GBRWHA are not evenly distributed, with a mosaic of high and low vulnerability areas. This provides an opportunity to make choices for future coastal development plans that minimise stress on seagrass meadows.

  11. 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

  12. The degree of urbanization across the globe is not reflected in the δ(15)N of seagrass leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiaen, Bart; Bernard, Rebecca J; Mortazavi, Behzad; Cebrian, Just; Ortmann, Alice C

    2014-06-30

    Many studies show that seagrass δ(15)N ratios increase with the amount of urbanization in coastal watersheds. However, there is little information on the relationship between urbanization and seagrass δ(15)N ratios on a global scale. We performed a meta-analysis on seagrass samples from 79 independent locations to test if seagrass δ(15)N ratios correlate with patterns of population density and fertilizer use within a radius of 10-200 km around the sample locations. Our results show that seagrass δ(15)N ratios are more influenced by intergeneric and latitudinal differences than the degree of urbanization or the amount of fertilizer used in nearby watersheds. The positive correlation between seagrass δ(15)N ratios and latitude hints at an underlying pattern in discrimination or a latitudinal gradient in the (15)N isotopic signature of nitrogen assimilated by the plants. The actual mechanisms responsible for the correlation between δ(15)N and latitude remain unknown. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Incorporation of diet information derived from Bayesian stable isotope mixing models into mass-balanced marine ecosystem models: A case study from the Marennes-Oleron Estuary, France

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated the use of output from Bayesian stable isotope mixing models as constraints for a linear inverse food web model of a temperate intertidal seagrass system in the Marennes-Oléron Bay, France. Linear inverse modeling (LIM) is a technique that estimates a complete net...

  15. Trophic linkage of a temperate intertidal macrobenthic food web under opportunistic macroalgal blooms: A stable isotope approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Hyun Je; Han, Eunah; Lee, Young-Jae; Kang, Chang-Keun

    2016-01-01

    The effects of blooms of opportunistic green macroalgae, Ulva prolifera, on the trophic structure of the macrobenthic food web in a temperate intertidal zone on the western coast of Korea were evaluated using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. Biomasses of Ulva and microphytobenthos (MPB) increased significantly at the macroalgae-bloom and the non-bloom sites, respectively, from March to September 2011. The δ 13 C values of most the consumers were arrayed between those of MPB and Ulva at both sites, and differed according to feeding strategies at the macroalgae-bloom site. Seasonally increasing magnitudes in δ 13 C and δ 15 N values of consumers were much steeper at the macroalgae-bloom site than at the non-bloom site. Our findings provide evidence that blooming green macroalgae play a significant role as a basal resource supporting the intertidal macrobenthic food web and their significance varies with feeding strategies of consumers as well as the resource availability. - Highlights: • Trophic effects of Ulva blooms on intertidal macrobenthic food web were evaluated. • Biomasses of Ulva increased at the macroalgae-bloom from March to September. • δ 13 C and δ 15 N values of consumers differed with feeding strategy and season. • Trophic significance of blooming macroalgae varies with feeding strategies of consumers. • Ulva blooms play a significant role as a basal resource supporting the intertidal food web.

  16. 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.

  17. Spatial self-organized patterning in seagrasses along a depth gradient of an intertidal ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heide, Tjisse; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Nes, Egbert H. van; van de Koppel, Johan; Scheffer, Marten; Roelofs, Jan G.M.; Katwijk, Marieke M. van; Smolders, Alfons J.P.

    2010-01-01

    The spatial structure of seagrass landscapes is typically ascribed to the direct influence of physical factors such as hydrodynamics, light, and sediment transport. We studied regularly interspaced banded patterns, formed by elongated patches of seagrass, in a small-scale intertidal ecosystem. We

  18. Productivity and linkages of the food web of the southern region of the western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballerini, Tosca; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Ainley, David G.; Daly, Kendra; Marrari, Marina; Ribic, Christine A.; Smith, Walker O.; Steele, John H.

    2014-03-01

    The productivity and linkages in the food web of the southern region of the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf were investigated using a multi-trophic level mass balance model. Data collected during the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics field program were combined with data from the literature on the abundance and diet composition of zooplankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals to calculate energy flows in the food web and to infer the overall food web structure at the annual level. Sensitivity analyses investigated the effects of variability in growth and biomass of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and in the biomass of Antarctic krill predators on the structure and energy fluxes in the food web. Scenario simulations provided insights into the potential responses of the food web to a reduced contribution of large phytoplankton (diatom) production to total primary production, and to reduced consumption of primary production by Antarctic krill and mesozooplankton coincident with increased consumption by microzooplankton and salps. Model-derived estimates of primary production were 187-207 g C m-2 y-1, which are consistent with observed values (47-351 g C m-2 y-1). Simulations showed that Antarctic krill provide the majority of energy needed to sustain seabird and marine mammal production, thereby exerting a bottom-up control on higher trophic level predators. Energy transfer to top predators via mesozooplanton was a less efficient pathway, and salps were a production loss pathway because little of the primary production they consumed was passed to higher trophic levels. Increased predominance of small phytoplankton (nanoflagellates and cryptophytes) reduced the production of Antarctic krill and of its predators, including seabirds and seals.

  19. Early warning indicators for river nutrient and sediment loads in tropical seagrass beds: a benchmark from a near-pristine archipelago in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Katwijk, M M; van der Welle, M E W; Lucassen, E C H E T; Vonk, J A; Christianen, M J A; Kiswara, W; al Hakim, I Inayat; Arifin, A; Bouma, T J; Roelofs, J G M; Lamers, L P M

    2011-07-01

    In remote, tropical areas human influences increase, potentially threatening pristine seagrass systems. We aim (i) to provide a bench-mark for a near-pristine seagrass system in an archipelago in East Kalimantan, by quantifying a large spectrum of abiotic and biotic properties in seagrass meadows and (ii) to identify early warning indicators for river sediment and nutrient loading, by comparing the seagrass meadow properties over a gradient with varying river influence. Abiotic properties of water column, pore water and sediment were less suitable indicators for increased sediment and nutrient loading than seagrass properties. Seagrass meadows strongly responded to higher sediment and nutrient loads and proximity to the coast by decreasing seagrass cover, standing stock, number of seagrass species, changing species composition and shifts in tissue contents. Our study confirms that nutrient loads are more important than water nutrient concentrations. We identify seagrass system variables that are suitable indicators for sediment and nutrient loading, also in rapid survey scenarios with once-only measurements. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukås, Marianne; Berger, Urs; Hop, Haakon; Gulliksen, Bjørn; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2007-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Drivers of nitrogen transfer in stream food webs across continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Beth C; Whiles, Matt R; Collins, Sarah M; Flecker, Alexander S; Hamilton, Steve K; Johnson, Sherri L; Rosi, Emma J; Ashkenas, Linda R; Bowden, William B; Crenshaw, Chelsea L; Crowl, Todd; Dodds, Walter K; Hall, Robert O; El-Sabaawi, Rana; Griffiths, Natalie A; Marti, Eugènia; McDowell, William H; Peterson, Scot D; Rantala, Heidi M; Riis, Tenna; Simon, Kevin S; Tank, Jennifer L; Thomas, Steven A; von Schiller, Daniel; Webster, Jackson R

    2017-12-01

    Studies of trophic-level material and energy transfers are central to ecology. The use of isotopic tracers has now made it possible to measure trophic transfer efficiencies of important nutrients and to better understand how these materials move through food webs. We analyzed data from thirteen 15 N-ammonium tracer addition experiments to quantify N transfer from basal resources to animals in headwater streams with varying physical, chemical, and biological features. N transfer efficiencies from primary uptake compartments (PUCs; heterotrophic microorganisms and primary producers) to primary consumers was lower (mean 11.5%, range 100%). Total N transferred (as a rate) was greater in streams with open compared to closed canopies and overall N transfer efficiency generally followed a similar pattern, although was not statistically significant. We used principal component analysis to condense a suite of site characteristics into two environmental components. Total N uptake rates among trophic levels were best predicted by the component that was correlated with latitude, DIN:SRP, GPP:ER, and percent canopy cover. N transfer efficiency did not respond consistently to environmental variables. Our results suggest that canopy cover influences N movement through stream food webs because light availability and primary production facilitate N transfer to higher trophic levels. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Brouard

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. The use of remote sensing to estimate changes of seagrass extent and biomass in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidyan, S.

    2018-05-01

    The extent of seagrasses in Cockburn Sound was examined using Nearmap images of year 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 to be compared to the last assessment in 1999. It was identified that the seagrass coverage has increased by 231 Ha since 1999, with most of the growth occurred in the southern part. While the water quality in Cockburn Sound has improved, it is believed that there are other pressures affecting the slow growth rate of the seagrasses. Seagrass biomass was also evaluated using Landsat images of year 1994, 1999, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 in addition to a field survey data of leaf biomass in 2016. Despite its increasing extent, seagrass in Cockburn Sound indicated a declining biomass since 1994, which is believed due to the changing nutrient content.

  7. Fatty acid biomarkers: validation of food web and trophic markers using C-13-labelled fatty acids in juvenile sandeel ( Ammodytes tobianus )

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Anne Johanne Tang; St. John, Michael

    2004-01-01

    A key issue in marine science is parameterizing trophic interactions in marine food webs, thereby developing an understanding of the importance of top-down and bottom-up controls on populations of key trophic players. This study validates the utility of fatty acid food web and trophic markers usi......), respectively. Lack of temporal trends in nonlabelled fatty acids confirmed the conservative incorporation of labelled fatty acids by the fish.......A key issue in marine science is parameterizing trophic interactions in marine food webs, thereby developing an understanding of the importance of top-down and bottom-up controls on populations of key trophic players. This study validates the utility of fatty acid food web and trophic markers using...... C-13-labelled fatty acids to verify the conservative incorporation of fatty acid tracers by juvenile sandeel (Ammodytes tobianus) and assess their uptake, clearance, and metabolic turnover rates. Juvenile sandeel were fed for 16 days in the laboratory on a formulated diet enriched in (13)C16...

  8. [Validity and reproducibility of an Internet-based questionnaire (Web-CAAFE) to evaluate the food consumption of students aged 7 to 15 years].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesus, Gilmar Mercês de; Assis, Maria Alice Altenburg de; Kupek, Emil

    2017-06-05

    The study evaluated the validity and reproducibility of the food consumption section of the questionnaire Food Intake and Physical Activity of School Children (Web-CAAFE), an Internet-based software for the qualitative measurement of food consumption by recalling the previous day. A total of 390 students in grades 2 to 5 (7 to 15 years) of a semi-integral public school participated in the study. The validity was tested by comparing the report in the Web-CAAFE and the direct observation of food consumed in the school in the previous day. The reproducibility was evaluated in a sub-sample of 92 schoolchildren, by comparing repeated reports in the Web-CAAFE on the same day. Probabilities of accuracy in the Web-CAAFE report in relation to the observation (matches, omissions and intrusions and respective 95% confidence intervals) among seven food groups were estimated through multinomial logistic regression. The average for the match rate was 81.4% (variation: 62% sweets and 98% beans); for the omission rate was 16.2% (variation between 2.1% dairy products and 28.5% sweets); for the intrusion rate was 7.1% (variation between 1.3% beans and 13.8% cereals). Sweets, cereals and processed foods, snack foods and fried foods simultaneously exhibited higher rates of omission and intrusion. Students 10 years of age or older had lower probabilities of intruding food items. There were no significant variations in the accuracy of the report between repeated measures. The Web-CAAFE was a valid and reliable instrument for the evaluation of food consumption, when applied to students in grades 2 to 5 of public schools.

  9. The discovery of deep-water seagrass meadows in a pristine Indian Ocean wilderness revealed by tracking green turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, N; Unsworth, R K F; Gourlay, J B Q; Hays, G C

    2018-03-21

    Our understanding of global seagrass ecosystems comes largely from regions characterized by human impacts with limited data from habitats defined as notionally pristine. Seagrass assessments also largely focus on shallow-water coastal habitats with comparatively few studies on offshore deep-water seagrasses. We satellite tracked green turtles (Chelonia mydas), which are known to forage on seagrasses, to a remote, pristine deep-water environment in the Western Indian Ocean, the Great Chagos Bank, which lies in the heart of one of the world's largest marine protected areas (MPAs). Subsequently we used in-situ SCUBA and baited video surveys to survey the day-time sites occupied by turtles and discovered extensive monospecific seagrass meadows of Thalassodendron ciliatum. At three sites that extended over 128 km, mean seagrass cover was 74% (mean range 67-88% across the 3 sites at depths to 29 m. The mean species richness of fish in seagrass meadows was 11 species per site (mean range 8-14 across the 3 sites). High fish abundance (e.g. Siganus sutor: mean MaxN.site -1  = 38.0, SD = 53.7, n = 5) and large predatory shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) (mean MaxN.site -1  = 1.5, SD = 0.4, n = 5) were recorded at all sites. Such observations of seagrass meadows with large top predators, are limited in the literature. Given that the Great Chagos Bank extends over approximately 12,500 km 2 and many other large deep submerged banks exist across the world's oceans, our results suggest that deep-water seagrass may be far more abundant than previously suspected. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, Timothy D.; Kidd, Karen A.; O’ Driscoll, Nelson

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► We examine biomagnification of Hg through stream food webs using δ15 N. ► Slopes of methyl Hg vs. trophic level were higher than total Hg vs. trophic level. ► Biomagnification from predatory insects to fish was related to pH of the water. ► Biomagnification at lower trophic levels was related to dietary concentrations. ► These trends can explain variation in field-measured Hg in food webs. -- Abstract: Biomagnification processes and the factors that govern them, including those for mercury (Hg), are poorly understood in streams. Total and methyl Hg concentrations and relative trophic position (using δ 15 N) were analyzed in biofilm and invertebrates from 21 streams in New Brunswick, Canada to assess food web biomagnification leading to the common minnow blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus), a species known to have Hg concentrations that are higher in low pH waters. Biomagnification slopes within stream food webs measured using Hg vs. δ 15 N or corresponding trophic levels (TL) differed depending on the chemical species analyzed, with total Hg exhibiting increases of 1.3–2.5 per TL (mean slope of total Hg vs. δ 15 N = 0.14 ± 0.06 S.D., range = 0.06–0.20) and methyl Hg showing a more pronounced increase of 2.8 to 6.0 per TL (mean slope of methyl Hg vs. δ 15 N = 0.30 ± 0.08 S.D., range = 0.22–0.39). While Hg biomagnification slopes through the entire food web (Trophic Magnification Factors, TMFs) were not influenced by water chemistry (pH), dietary concentrations of methyl Hg strongly influenced biomagnification factors (BMFs) for consumer-diet pairs within the food web at lower trophic levels, and BMFs between dace and predatory invertebrates were significantly higher in low pH waters. These analyses, coupled with observations of higher Hg in primary producers in streams with low pH, suggest that pH influences both baseline concentrations and biomagnification of Hg in these systems. Because higher Hg concentrations in the diets

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jardine, Timothy D., E-mail: tim.jardine@usask.ca [Canadian Rivers Institute and Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5 (Canada); Kidd, Karen A. [Canadian Rivers Institute and Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5 (Canada); O’ Driscoll, Nelson [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 (Canada)

    2013-05-15

    Highlights: ► We examine biomagnification of Hg through stream food webs using δ15 N. ► Slopes of methyl Hg vs. trophic level were higher than total Hg vs. trophic level. ► Biomagnification from predatory insects to fish was related to pH of the water. ► Biomagnification at lower trophic levels was related to dietary concentrations. ► These trends can explain variation in field-measured Hg in food webs. -- Abstract: Biomagnification processes and the factors that govern them, including those for mercury (Hg), are poorly understood in streams. Total and methyl Hg concentrations and relative trophic position (using δ{sup 15}N) were analyzed in biofilm and invertebrates from 21 streams in New Brunswick, Canada to assess food web biomagnification leading to the common minnow blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus), a species known to have Hg concentrations that are higher in low pH waters. Biomagnification slopes within stream food webs measured using Hg vs. δ{sup 15}N or corresponding trophic levels (TL) differed depending on the chemical species analyzed, with total Hg exhibiting increases of 1.3–2.5 per TL (mean slope of total Hg vs. δ{sup 15}N = 0.14 ± 0.06 S.D., range = 0.06–0.20) and methyl Hg showing a more pronounced increase of 2.8 to 6.0 per TL (mean slope of methyl Hg vs. δ{sup 15}N = 0.30 ± 0.08 S.D., range = 0.22–0.39). While Hg biomagnification slopes through the entire food web (Trophic Magnification Factors, TMFs) were not influenced by water chemistry (pH), dietary concentrations of methyl Hg strongly influenced biomagnification factors (BMFs) for consumer-diet pairs within the food web at lower trophic levels, and BMFs between dace and predatory invertebrates were significantly higher in low pH waters. These analyses, coupled with observations of higher Hg in primary producers in streams with low pH, suggest that pH influences both baseline concentrations and biomagnification of Hg in these systems. Because higher Hg

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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