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Sample records for terrestrial food webs

  1. Impact of non-native terrestrial mammals on the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland, Canada.

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    Justin S Strong

    Full Text Available The island of Newfoundland is unique because it has as many non-native terrestrial mammals as native ones. The impacts of non-native species on native flora and fauna can be profound and invasive species have been identified as one of the primary drivers of species extinction. Few studies, however, have investigated the effects of a non-native species assemblage on community and ecosystem properties. We reviewed the literature to build the first terrestrial mammal food web for the island of Newfoundland and then used network analyses to investigate how the timing of introductions and trophic position of non-native species has affected the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web in Newfoundland. The first non-native mammals (house mouse and brown rat became established in Newfoundland with human settlement in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Coyotes and southern red-backed voles are the most recent mammals to establish themselves on the island in 1985 and 1998, respectively. The fraction of intermediate species increased with the addition of non-native mammals over time whereas the fraction of basal and top species declined over time. This increase in intermediate species mediated by non-native species arrivals led to an overall increase in the terrestrial mammal food web connectance and generality (i.e. mean number of prey per predator. This diverse prey base and sources of carrion may have facilitated the natural establishment of coyotes on the island. Also, there is some evidence that the introduction of non-native prey species such as the southern red-backed vole has contributed to the recovery of the threatened American marten. Long-term monitoring of the food web is required to understand and predict the impacts of the diverse novel interactions that are developing in the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland.

  2. Transfer of heavy metals through terrestrial food webs: a review.

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    Gall, Jillian E; Boyd, Robert S; Rajakaruna, Nishanta

    2015-04-01

    Heavy metals are released into the environment by both anthropogenic and natural sources. Highly reactive and often toxic at low concentrations, they may enter soils and groundwater, bioaccumulate in food webs, and adversely affect biota. Heavy metals also may remain in the environment for years, posing long-term risks to life well after point sources of heavy metal pollution have been removed. In this review, we compile studies of the community-level effects of heavy metal pollution, including heavy metal transfer from soils to plants, microbes, invertebrates, and to both small and large mammals (including humans). Many factors contribute to heavy metal accumulation in animals including behavior, physiology, and diet. Biotic effects of heavy metals are often quite different for essential and non-essential heavy metals, and vary depending on the specific metal involved. They also differ for adapted organisms, including metallophyte plants and heavy metal-tolerant insects, which occur in naturally high-metal habitats (such as serpentine soils) and have adaptations that allow them to tolerate exposure to relatively high concentrations of some heavy metals. Some metallophyte plants are hyperaccumulators of certain heavy metals and new technologies using them to clean metal-contaminated soil (phytoextraction) may offer economically attractive solutions to some metal pollution challenges. These new technologies provide incentive to catalog and protect the unique biodiversity of habitats that have naturally high levels of heavy metals.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choy, Emily S.; Gauthier, Martine; Mallory, Mark L.; Smol, John P.; Douglas, Marianne S.V.; Lean, David; Blais, Jules M.

    2010-01-01

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

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

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    Thomas Larsen

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

  5. 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.

  6. The energetic contributions of aquatic primary producers to terrestrial food webs in a mid-size river system.

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    Kautza, Adam; Mazeika, S; Sullivan, P

    2016-03-01

    Rivers are increasingly recognized as providing nutritional subsidies (i.e., energy and nutrients) to adjacent terrestrial food webs via depredation of aquatic organisms (e.g., emergent aquatic insects, crayfish, fish) by terrestrial consumers. However, because these prey organisms assimilate energy from both aquatic (e.g., benthic algae, phytoplankton, aquatic macrophytes) and terrestrial (e.g., riparian leaf detritus) primary producers, river subsidies to terrestrial consumers represent a combination of aquatically and terrestrially derived energy. To date, the explicit contribution of energy derived from aquatic primary producers to terrestrial consumers has not been fully explored yet might be expected to be quantitatively important to terrestrial food webs. At 12 reaches along a 185-km segment of the sixth-order Scioto River system (Ohio, USA), we quantified the relative contribution of energy derived from aquatic primary producers to a suite of terrestrial riparian consumers that integrate the adjacent landscape across multiple spatial scales through their foraging activities (tetragnathid spiders, rove beetles, adult coenagrionid damselflies, riparian swallows, and raccoons). We used naturally abundant stable isotopes (13C and 15N) of periphyton, phytoplankton, macrophytes, and terrestrial vegetation to evaluate the energetic contribution of aquatic primary producers to terrestrial food webs. Shoreline tetragnathid spiders were most reliant on aquatic primary producers (50%), followed by wider-ranging raccoons (48%), damselflies (44%), and riparian swallows (41%). Of the primary producers, phytoplankton (19%) provisioned the greatest nutritional contribution to terrestrial consumers (considered collectively), followed by periphyton (14%) and macrophytes (11%). Our findings provide empirical evidence that aquatic primary producers of large streams and rivers can be a critical nutritional resource for terrestrial food webs. We also show that aquatically

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

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    Jianzhu Wang

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Reciprocal subsidies and food web pathways leading to chum salmon fry in a temperate marine-terrestrial ecotone.

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    Romanuk, Tamara N; Levings, Colin D

    2010-04-08

    Stable isotope analysis was used to determine the relative proportions of terrestrial and marine subsidies of carbon to invertebrates along a tidal gradient (low-intertidal, mid-intertidal, high-intertidal, supralittoral) and to determine the relative importance of terrestrial carbon in food web pathways leading to chum salmon fry Oncorhynchus keta (Walbaum) in Howe Sound, British Columbia. We found a clear gradient in the proportion of terrestrially derived carbon along the tidal gradient ranging from 68% across all invertebrate taxa in the supralittoral to 25% in the high-intertidal, 20% in the mid-intertidal, and 12% in the low-intertidal. Stable isotope values of chum salmon fry indicated carbon contributions from both terrestrial and marine sources, with terrestrially derived carbon ranging from 12.8 to 61.5% in the muscle tissue of chum salmon fry (mean 30%). Our results provide evidence for reciprocal subsidies of marine and terrestrially derived carbon on beaches in the estuary and suggest that the vegetated supralittoral is an important trophic link in supplying terrestrial carbon to nearshore food webs.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choy, Emily S.; Kimpe, Linda E.; Mallory, Mark L.; Smol, John P.; Blais, Jules M.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-11-15

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

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

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

  13. Energy transfer in the Congo deep-sea fan: From terrestrially-derived organic matter to chemosynthetic food webs

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    Pruski, A. M.; Decker, C.; Stetten, E.; Vétion, G.; Martinez, P.; Charlier, K.; Senyarich, C.; Olu, K.

    2017-08-01

    Large amounts of recent terrestrial organic matter (OM) from the African continent are delivered to the abyssal plain by turbidity currents and accumulate in the Congo deep-sea fan. In the recent lobe complex, large clusters of vesicomyid bivalves are found all along the active channel in areas of reduced sediment. These soft-sediment communities resemble those fuelled by chemoautotrophy in cold-seep settings. The aim of this study was to elucidate feeding strategies in these macrofaunal assemblages as part of a greater effort to understand the link between the inputs of terrestrially-derived OM and the chemosynthetic habitats. The biochemical composition of the sedimentary OM was first analysed in order to evaluate how nutritious the available particulate OM is for the benthic macrofauna. The terrestrial OM is already degraded when it reaches the final depositional area. However, high biopolymeric carbon contents (proteins, carbohydrates and lipids) are found in the channel of the recent lobe complex. In addition, about one to two thirds of the nitrogen can be assigned to peptide-like material. Even if this soil-derived OM is poorly digestible, turbiditic deposits contain such high amounts of organic carbon that there is enough biopolymeric carbon and proteacinous nitrogen to support dense benthic communities that contrast with the usual depauperate abyssal plains. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes and fatty acid biomarkers were then used to shed light on the feeding strategies allowing the energy transfer from the terrestrial OM brought by the turbidity currents to the abyssal food web. In the non-reduced sediment, surface detritivorous holothurians and suspension-feeding poriferans rely on detritic OM, thereby depending directly on the turbiditic deposits. The sulphur-oxidising symbiont bearing vesicomyids closely depend on the reprocessing of OM with methane and sulphide as final products. Their carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures vary greatly among sites

  14. Early Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia based on food-web and energy-flow models

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    Matsukawa, M.; Saiki, K.; Ito, M.; Obata, I.; Nichols, D.J.; Lockley, M.G.; Kukihara, R.; Shibata, K.

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, there has been global interest in the environments and ecosystems around the world. It is helpful to reconstruct past environments and ecosystems to help understand them in the present and the future. The present environments and ecosystems are an evolving continuum with those of the past and the future. This paper demonstrates the contribution of geology and paleontology to such continua. Using fossils, we can make an estimation of past population density as an ecosystem index based on food-web and energy-flow models. Late Mesozoic nonmarine deposits are distributed widely on the eastern Asian continent and contain various kinds of fossils such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, bivalves, gastropods, insects, ostracodes, conchostracans, terrestrial plants, and others. These fossil organisms are useful for late Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem reconstruction using food-web and energy-flow models. We chose Early Cretaceous fluvio-lacustrine basins in the Choyr area, southeastern Mongolia, and the Tetori area, Japan, for these analyses and as a potential model for reconstruction of other similar basins in East Asia. The food-web models are restored based on taxa that occurred in these basins. They form four or five trophic levels in an energy pyramid consisting of rich primary producers at its base and smaller biotas higher in the food web. This is the general energy pyramid of a typical ecosystem. Concerning the population densities of vertebrate taxa in 1 km2 in these basins, some differences are recognized between Early Cretaceous and the present. For example, Cretaceous estimates suggest 2.3 to 4.8 times as many herbivores and 26.0 to 105.5 times the carnivore population. These differences are useful for the evaluation of past population densities of vertebrate taxa. Such differences may also be caused by the different metabolism of different taxa. Preservation may also be a factor, and we recognize that various problems occur in

  15. Fun With Food Webs

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    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)

  16. Heavy metal accumulation in lizards living near a phosphate treatment plant: possible transfer of contaminants from aquatic to terrestrial food webs.

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    Nasri, Intissar; Hammouda, Abdessalam; Hamza, Foued; Zrig, Ahlem; Selmi, Slaheddine

    2017-05-01

    We investigated the accumulation of heavy metals in Bosk's fringe-toed lizards (Acanthodactylus boskianus) living in Gabès region (southeastern Tunisia), in relation to habitat, diet, and distance from the Gabès-Ghannouche factory complex of phosphate treatment. More specifically, we compared the concentrations of cadmium, lead, and zinc in the stomach contents and samples of the liver, kidney, and tail from lizards living in four sites corresponding to different combinations of habitat (coastal dunes vs backshore) and distance from the factory complex (lizards living on the coastal dunes mainly feed on littoral amphipods, while those living in the backshore feed exclusively on terrestrial invertebrates. The concentrations of heavy metals in lizard tissues were overall positively correlated with those in the preys they ingested. Moreover, there was a general tendency towards increased concentrations of cadmium, lead, and zinc in the samples from lizards living on coastal dunes compared to those from the other sites, although some differences still lacked statistical significance. These results suggest that the highest contamination of lizards living on coastal dunes was probably related to the ingestion of contaminated amphipods. Thus, amphipods and Bosk's fringe-toed lizards seem to provide an important link between the marine and terrestrial food webs, with higher concentrations appearing to accumulate from materials released into the sea rather than the terrestrial environment. With regard to metal distribution among tissues, our results were overall in agreement with previous findings in other reptiles. In particular, cadmium was most concentrated in the liver samples, stressing once more the role of the liver as a storage organ of Cd. Moreover, high concentrations of the three assessed metals were found in the kidney samples, showing the role of the kidney as an active site of heavy metal accumulation.

  17. Influence of landscape composition and diversity on contaminant flux in terrestrial food webs: a case study of trace metal transfer to European blackbirds Turdus merula.

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    Fritsch, Clémentine; Coeurdassier, Michaël; Faivre, Bruno; Baurand, Pierre-Emmanuel; Giraudoux, Patrick; van den Brink, Nico W; Scheifler, Renaud

    2012-08-15

    Although understanding the influence of the spatial arrangement of habitats and interacting communities on the processes of pollutant flux and impacts is critical for exposure and risk assessment, to date few studies have been devoted to this emergent topic. We tested the hypothesis that landscape composition and diversity affect the transfer of trace metals to vertebrates. Bioaccumulation of Cd and Pb in blood and feathers of European blackbirds Turdus merula (n=138) was studied over a smelter-impacted area (Northern France). Landscape composition (type and occurrence of the different habitats) and diversity (number of different habitat types and the proportional area distribution among habitat types) were computed around bird capture locations. Diet composition and contamination were assessed. No sex-related differences were detected, while age-related patterns were found: yearlings showed a sharper increase of tissue residues along the pollution gradient than older birds. Factors determining bird exposure acted at nested spatial scale. On a broad scale, environmental contamination mainly influenced metal levels in blackbirds, tissue residues increasing with soil contamination. At a finer grain, landscape composition and soil properties (pH, organic matter, clay) influenced metal transfer, while no influence of landscape diversity was detected. Landscape composition better explained metal transfer than soil properties did. Diet composition varied according to landscape composition, but diet diversity was not influenced by landscape diversity. Surprisingly, metal accumulation in some insect taxa was as high as in earthworms (known as hyper-accumulators). Results strongly suggested that variations in diet composition were the drivers through which landscape composition influenced metal transfer to blackbirds. This study shows that landscape features can affect pollutant transfer in food webs, partly through ecological processes related to spatial and foraging

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Sensitivity analysis of the terrestrial food chain model FOOD III

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zach, Reto.

    1980-10-01

    As a first step in constructing a terrestrial food chain model suitable for long-term waste management situations, a numerical sensitivity analysis of FOOD III was carried out to identify important model parameters. The analysis involved 42 radionuclides, four pathways, 14 food types, 93 parameters and three percentages of parameter variation. We also investigated the importance of radionuclides, pathways and food types. The analysis involved a simple contamination model to render results from individual pathways comparable. The analysis showed that radionuclides vary greatly in their dose contribution to each of the four pathways, but relative contributions to each pathway are very similar. Man's and animals' drinking water pathways are much more important than the leaf and root pathways. However, this result depends on the contamination model used. All the pathways contain unimportant food types. Considering the number of parameters involved, FOOD III has too many different food types. Many of the parameters of the leaf and root pathway are important. However, this is true for only a few of the parameters of animals' drinking water pathway, and for neither of the two parameters of mans' drinking water pathway. The radiological decay constant increases the variability of these results. The dose factor is consistently the most important variable, and it explains most of the variability of radionuclide doses within pathways. Consideration of the variability of dose factors is important in contemporary as well as long-term waste management assessment models, if realistic estimates are to be made. (auth)

  1. 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...

  2. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukhdeo Michael VK

    2012-10-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Community food webs data and theory

    CERN Document Server

    Cohen, Joel E; Newman, Charles M

    1990-01-01

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

  5. 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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Data base for terrestrial food pathways dose commitment calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bailey, C.E.

    1979-01-01

    A computer program is under development to allow calculation of the dose-to-man in Georgia and South Carolina from ingestion of radionuclides in terrestrial foods resulting from deposition of airborne radionuclides. This program is based on models described in Regulatory Guide 1.109 (USNRC, 1977). The data base describes the movement of radionuclides through the terrestrial food chain, growth and consumption factors for a variety of radionuclides

  10. The roles of productivity and ecosystem size in determining food chain length in tropical terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Hillary S; McCauley, Douglas J; Dunbar, Robert B; Hutson, Michael S; Ter-Kuile, Ana Miller; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2013-03-01

    Many different drivers, including productivity, ecosystem size, and disturbance, have been considered to explain natural variation in the length of food chains. Much remains unknown about the role of these various drivers in determining food chain length, and particularly about the mechanisms by which they may operate in terrestrial ecosystems, which have quite different ecological constraints than aquatic environments, where most food chain length studies have been thus far conducted. In this study, we tested the relative importance of ecosystem size and productivity in influencing food chain length in a terrestrial setting. We determined that (1) there is no effect of ecosystem size or productive space on food chain length; (2) rather, food chain length increases strongly and linearly with productivity; and (3) the observed changes in food chain length are likely achieved through a combination of changes in predator size, predator behavior, and consumer diversity along gradients in productivity. These results lend new insight into the mechanisms by which productivity can drive changes in food chain length, point to potential for systematic differences in the drivers of food web structure between terrestrial and aquatic systems, and challenge us to consider how ecological context may control the drivers that shape food chain length.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Modelling of the radionuclide transport through terrestrial food chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanusik, V.

    1991-01-01

    The paper presents a terrestrial food chains model for computing potential human intake of radionuclides released into the atmosphere during normal NPP operation. Attention is paid to the choice of model parameter values. Results obtained by our approach are compared to those applied in current methodology. (orig.) [de

  16. Food Webs in an Estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Barbara B.

    The Maryland Marine Science Education Project has produced a series of mini-units in marine science education for the junior high/middle school classroom. This unit focuses on food chains in an estuary. Although the unit specifically treats the Chesapeake Bay, it may be adapted for use with similar estuarine systems. In addition, the unit may be…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt F. Cross; Bruce Wallace; Amy D. Rosemond

    2007-01-01

    Most aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are experiencing increased nutrient availability, which is affecting their structure and function. By altering community composition and productivity of consumers, enrichment can indirectly cause changes in the pathways and magnitude of material flows in food webs. These changes, in turn, have major consequences for material...

  20. Food Web Structure and Basal Resource Utilization along a Tropical Island Stream Continuum, Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James G. March; Catherine M. Pringle

    2003-01-01

    Tropical stream food webs are thought to be based primarily on terrestrial resources (leaf litter) in small forested headwater streams and algal resources in larger, wider streams. In tropical island streams, the dominant consumers are often omnivorous freshwater shrimps that consume algae, leaf litter, insects, and other shrimps. We used stable isotope analysis...

  1. Effects of hydrological forcing on the structure of a tropical estuarine food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trisha B. Atwood; Tracy N. Wiegner; Richard A. MacKenzie

    2012-01-01

    River flow can impact which sources of particulate organic matter (POM) fuel estuarine food webs. Here, we used stable carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) isotope analyses to compare how contributions of diff erent POM sources (terrestrial, estuarine, and marine) to the diets of zooplankton and juvenile fishes differed between low and high river flow conditions, as well as...

  2. Non-terrestrial food source for Fiordland brachiopods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyon, G.L.; Richardson, Joyce

    1983-05-01

    Carbon-13 analyses were determined for brachiopods and particulate organic matter from Fiordland waters. Brachiopod delta 13 $ 0 C are about -18 per mille which is significantly enriched in 13 C relative to the particulate matter (about -23 per mille) and different from local terrestrial matter (about -28 per mille). There is no carbon-13 evidence for non-marine food in the diet of brachiopods

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; Hal, van R.; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Scheu, H.; Setälä, S.; šmilauer, P.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and

  20. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs beneath individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, M.T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; van Hal, R.; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Scheu, S.; Setälä, H.; Milauer, P.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and

  1. 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.

  2. Cross-ecosystem impacts of stream pollution reduce resource and contaminant flux to riparian food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Walters, David; Wanty, Richard B.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Wolf, Ruth E.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of aquatic contaminants are propagated across ecosystem boundaries by aquatic insects that export resources and contaminants to terrestrial food webs; however, the mechanisms driving these effects are poorly understood. We examined how emergence, contaminant concentration, and total contaminant flux by adult aquatic insects changed over a gradient of bioavailable metals in streams and how these changes affected riparian web-building spiders. Insect emergence decreased 97% over the metal gradient, whereas metal concentrations in adult insects changed relatively little. As a result, total metal exported by insects (flux) was lowest at the most contaminated streams, declining 96% among sites. Spiders were affected by the decrease in prey biomass, but not by metal exposure or metal flux to land in aquatic prey. Aquatic insects are increasingly thought to increase exposure of terrestrial consumers to aquatic contaminants, but stream metals reduce contaminant flux to riparian consumers by strongly impacting the resource linkage. Our results demonstrate the importance of understanding the contaminant-specific effects of aquatic pollutants on adult insect emergence and contaminant accumulation in adults to predict impacts on terrestrial food webs.

  3. The behaviour of chromium in aquatic and terrestrial food chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    Chromium has been considered both as potential radioactive and conventional pollutant. Chromium-51 is produced by the activation of 50 Cr, which may be present either as a component of steel alloys used in reactors, or in Na 2 CrO 4 added as an anticorrosion agent to the cooling water. Only small amounts of 51 Cr are normally found in the liquid waste of nuclear power plants before discharge into rivers. In exceptional situations, however, as a result of the direct release of cooling waters, the aquatic environments may receive relatively large quantities of 51 Cr. Part of this 51 Cr is adsorbed e.g. to the sediments, but a fraction remains in solution in the river water. Somme accumulation of the radionuclide is observed in fresh water and marine organisms. Therefore, although 51 Cr has a relatively short physical half life (27.8d), it is of interest to acquire better information on its accumulation by different species of fresh water organisms and plants, as well as on its behaviour in soils, in order to evaluate the relative importance of this nuclide in the radioactive contamination of the aquatic and terrestrial food chains. As a related and sometimes associated pollutant, stable chromium is also taken into consideration. This element occurs fairly frequently as an environmental pollutant in many countries, either because of its abundance in soils derived from serpentine or because of its release to the environment from industrial wastes. The sequence of presentation of the experiment data is based on the consecutive steps of the contamination process: aquatic environment, soils, plant link of the food chain. Special attention is paid, in the different chapters, to the behaviour of various chemical forms of chromium and to their distribution in different fractions: soluble in water, adsorbed, precipitated on particles or complexed with organic material

  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. 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

  6. Field evidence for transfer of plastic debris along a terrestrial food chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Mendoza Vega, Jorge; Ku Quej, Victor; Chi, Jesus de Los Angeles; Sanchez Del Cid, Lucero; Chi, Cesar; Escalona Segura, Griselda; Gertsen, Henny; Salánki, Tamás; van der Ploeg, Martine; Koelmans, Albert A; Geissen, Violette

    2017-10-26

    Although plastic pollution happens globally, the micro- (plastic to terrestrial species relevant to human consumption has not been examined. We provide first-time evidence for micro- and macroplastic transfer from soil to chickens in traditional Mayan home gardens in Southeast Mexico where waste mismanagement is common. We assessed micro- and macroplastic in soil, earthworm casts, chicken feces, crops and gizzards (used for human consumption). Microplastic concentrations increased from soil (0.87 ± 1.9 particles g -1 ), to earthworm casts (14.8 ± 28.8 particles g -1 ), to chicken feces (129.8 ± 82.3 particles g -1 ). Chicken gizzards contained 10.2 ± 13.8 microplastic particles, while no microplastic was found in crops. An average of 45.82 ± 42.6 macroplastic particles were found per gizzard and 11 ± 15.3 macroplastic particles per crop, with 1-10 mm particles being significantly more abundant per gizzard (31.8 ± 27.27 particles) compared to the crop (1 ± 2.2 particles). The data show that micro- and macroplastic are capable of entering terrestrial food webs.

  7. 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.

  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. Global change-driven effects on dissolved organic matter composition: Implications for food webs of northern lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creed, Irena F; Bergström, Ann-Kristin; Trick, Charles G; Grimm, Nancy B; Hessen, Dag O; Karlsson, Jan; Kidd, Karen A; Kritzberg, Emma; McKnight, Diane M; Freeman, Erika C; Senar, Oscar E; Andersson, Agneta; Ask, Jenny; Berggren, Martin; Cherif, Mehdi; Giesler, Reiner; Hotchkiss, Erin R; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Palta, Monica M; Vrede, Tobias; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A

    2018-03-15

    Northern ecosystems are experiencing some of the most dramatic impacts of global change on Earth. Rising temperatures, hydrological intensification, changes in atmospheric acid deposition and associated acidification recovery, and changes in vegetative cover are resulting in fundamental changes in terrestrial-aquatic biogeochemical linkages. The effects of global change are readily observed in alterations in the supply of dissolved organic matter (DOM)-the messenger between terrestrial and lake ecosystems-with potentially profound effects on the structure and function of lakes. Northern terrestrial ecosystems contain substantial stores of organic matter and filter or funnel DOM, affecting the timing and magnitude of DOM delivery to surface waters. This terrestrial DOM is processed in streams, rivers, and lakes, ultimately shifting its composition, stoichiometry, and bioavailability. Here, we explore the potential consequences of these global change-driven effects for lake food webs at northern latitudes. Notably, we provide evidence that increased allochthonous DOM supply to lakes is overwhelming increased autochthonous DOM supply that potentially results from earlier ice-out and a longer growing season. Furthermore, we assess the potential implications of this shift for the nutritional quality of autotrophs in terms of their stoichiometry, fatty acid composition, toxin production, and methylmercury concentration, and therefore, contaminant transfer through the food web. We conclude that global change in northern regions leads not only to reduced primary productivity but also to nutritionally poorer lake food webs, with discernible consequences for the trophic web to fish and humans. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Compilation and network analyses of cambrian food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-29

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. ARCTOX: a pan-Arctic sampling network to track mercury contamination across Arctic marine food webs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fort, Jerome; Helgason, Halfdan; Amelineau, Francoise

    and is still a source of major environmental concerns. In that context, providing a large-scale and comprehensive understanding of the Arctic marine food-web contamination is essential to better apprehend impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on the exposure of Arctic species and humans to Hg....... In 2015, an international sampling network (ARCTOX) has been established, allowing the collection seabird samples all around the Arctic. Seabirds are indeed good indicators of Hg contamination of marine food webs at large spatial scale. Gathering researchers from 10 countries, ARCTOX allowed......Arctic marine ecosystems are threatened by new risks of Hg contamination under the combined effects of climate change and human activities. Rapid change of the cryosphere might for instance release large amounts of Hg trapped in sea-ice, permafrost and terrestrial glaciers over the last decades...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tiselius, Peter; Møller, Lene Friis

    2017-01-01

    Trophic cascades are a ubiquitous feature of many terrestrial and fresh-water food webs, but have been difficult to demonstrate in marine systems with multispecies trophic levels. Here we describe significant trophic cascades in an open coastal planktonic ecosystem exposed to an introduced top...... predator. The ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi was monitored for an 8-year period concurrent with measures of the food web structure of the plankton and strong trophic cascades were evident. In the 5 years when M. leidyi were found, their target prey (grazing copepods) were reduced 5-fold and the primary...

  6. 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.

  7. Can polar bears use terrestrial foods to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Robbins, Charles T.; Nelson, Lynne; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    Increased land use by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) due to climate-change-induced reduction of their sea-ice habitat illustrates the impact of climate change on species distributions and the difficulty of conserving a large, highly specialized carnivore in the face of this global threat. Some authors have suggested that terrestrial food consumption by polar bears will help them withstand sea-ice loss as they are forced to spend increasing amounts of time on land. Here, we evaluate the nutritional needs of polar bears as well as the physiological and environmental constraints that shape their use of terrestrial ecosystems. Only small numbers of polar bears have been documented consuming terrestrial foods even in modest quantities. Over much of the polar bear's range, limited terrestrial food availability supports only low densities of much smaller, resident brown bears (Ursus arctos), which use low-quality resources more efficiently and may compete with polar bears in these areas. Where consumption of terrestrial foods has been documented, polar bear body condition and survival rates have declined even as land use has increased. Thus far, observed consumption of terrestrial food by polar bears has been insufficient to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities but can have ecological consequences for other species. Warming-induced loss of sea ice remains the primary threat faced by polar bears.

  8. 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

  9. Northern Marshall Islands radiological survey: terrestrial food chain and total doses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robison, W.L.; Mount, M.E.; Phillips, W.A.; Conrado, C.A.; Stuart, M.L.; Stoker, C.E.

    1982-01-01

    A radiological survey was conducted from September through November of 1978 to assess the concentrations of persistent manmade radionuclides in the terrestrial and marine environments of 11 atolls and 2 islands in the Northern Marshall Islands. The survey consisted mainly of an aerial radiological reconnaissance to map the external gamma-ray exposure rates over the islands of each atoll. The logistical support for the entire survey was designed to accommodate this operation. As a secondary phase of the survey, shore parties collected appropriate terrestrial and marine samples to assess the radiological dose from pertinent food chains to those individuals residing on the atolls, who may in the future reside on some of the presently uninhabited atolls, or who collect food from these atolls. Over 5000 terrestrial and marine samples were collected for radionuclide analysis from 76 different islands. Soils, vegetation, indigenous animals, and cistern water and groundwater were collected from the islands. Reef and pelagic fish, clams, lagoon water, and sediments were obtained from the lagoons. The concentration data for 90 Sr, 137 Cs, 238 Pu, 239 240 Pu, and 241 Am in terrestrial food crops, fowl, and animals collected at the atolls or islands are summarized. An assessment of the total dose from the major exposure pathways including external gamma, terrestrial food chain including food products and drinking water, marine food chain, and inhalation is provided. Radiological doses at each atoll or island are calculated from the average radionuclide concentrations in the terrestrial foods, marine foods, etc. assuming the average daily intake for each food item

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Architecture for Improving Terrestrial Logistics Based on the Web of Things

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Skarmeta

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Technological advances for improving supply chain efficiency present three key challenges for managing goods: tracking, tracing and monitoring (TTM, in order to satisfy the requirements for products such as perishable goods where the European Legislations requires them to ship within a prescribed temperature range to ensure freshness and suitability for consumption. The proposed system integrates RFID for tracking and tracing through a distributed architecture developed for heavy goods vehicles, and the sensors embedded in the SunSPOT platform for monitoring the goods transported based on the concept of the Internet of Things. This paper presents how the Internet of Things is integrated for improving terrestrial logistics offering a comprehensive and flexible architecture, with high scalability, according to the specific needs for reaching an item-level continuous monitoring solution. The major contribution from this work is the optimization of the Embedded Web Services based on RESTful (Web of Things for the access to TTM services at any time during the transportation of goods. Specifically, it has been extended the monitoring patterns such as observe and blockwise transfer for the requirements from the continuous conditional monitoring, and for the transfer of full inventories and partial ones based on conditional queries. In definitive, this work presents an evolution of the previous TTM solutions, which were limited to trailer identification and environment monitoring, to a solution which is able to provide an exhaustive item-level monitoring, required for several use cases. This exhaustive monitoring has required new communication capabilities through the Web of Things, which has been optimized with the use and improvement of a set of communications patterns.

  18. Architecture for improving terrestrial logistics based on the Web of Things.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Miguel; Jara, Antonio J; Skarmeta, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Technological advances for improving supply chain efficiency present three key challenges for managing goods: tracking, tracing and monitoring (TTM), in order to satisfy the requirements for products such as perishable goods where the European Legislations requires them to ship within a prescribed temperature range to ensure freshness and suitability for consumption. The proposed system integrates RFID for tracking and tracing through a distributed architecture developed for heavy goods vehicles, and the sensors embedded in the SunSPOT platform for monitoring the goods transported based on the concept of the Internet of Things. This paper presents how the Internet of Things is integrated for improving terrestrial logistics offering a comprehensive and flexible architecture, with high scalability, according to the specific needs for reaching an item-level continuous monitoring solution. The major contribution from this work is the optimization of the Embedded Web Services based on RESTful (Web of Things) for the access to TTM services at any time during the transportation of goods. Specifically, it has been extended the monitoring patterns such as observe and blockwise transfer for the requirements from the continuous conditional monitoring, and for the transfer of full inventories and partial ones based on conditional queries. In definitive, this work presents an evolution of the previous TTM solutions, which were limited to trailer identification and environment monitoring, to a solution which is able to provide an exhaustive item-level monitoring, required for several use cases. This exhaustive monitoring has required new communication capabilities through the Web of Things, which has been optimized with the use and improvement of a set of communications patterns.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

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

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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…

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Radioecological studies on terrestrial food chain analysis for accidental release

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, Yong Ho; Lee, Jeong Ho; Lee, Hyun Duk

    2000-03-01

    For investigating the contamination pathways of major radionuclides in staple food crops, greenhouse experiments in which rice, Chines cabbage and radish were exposed to mixed γ radionuclides of Mn-54, Co-60, Sr-85, Ru-103 and Cs-134 and H-3 at different growth stages, were conducted to generate data on parameters concerning the direct contamination of those crops. Experiments of the exposure to iodine gas were also performed for rice and radish at their various growth stages to obtain contamination parameters of elemental iodine. Based on data obtained from the experiments mentioned above, a database program was constructed to make it possible to search parameter values for different radionuclides, crops and deposition times in an easy way have an graphic output of the variation in the contamination parameter with deposition times. Paddy-field soils were collected from 5 or 6 places around Kori and Youngkwang NPPs and physicochemical properties and background radioactivity levels of the soils were investigated. Soil-to-rice transfer factors of Sr-90 and Cs-137 in the collected soils were determined for different RI application times. For Kori soils, transfer factors were also measured in the second year to investigate the yearly variation. In addition, the conceptual design of an automatized experimental greenhouse was performed to be used as a basic material for a detailed design for the construction in the future

  2. Radioecological studies on terrestrial food chain analysis for accidental release

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choi, Yong Ho; Lee, Jeong Ho; Lee, Hyun Duk [and others

    2000-03-01

    For investigating the contamination pathways of major radionuclides in staple food crops, greenhouse experiments in which rice, Chines cabbage and radish were exposed to mixed {gamma} radionuclides of Mn-54, Co-60, Sr-85, Ru-103 and Cs-134 and H-3 at different growth stages, were conducted to generate data on parameters concerning the direct contamination of those crops. Experiments of the exposure to iodine gas were also performed for rice and radish at their various growth stages to obtain contamination parameters of elemental iodine. Based on data obtained from the experiments mentioned above, a database program was constructed to make it possible to search parameter values for different radionuclides, crops and deposition times in an easy way have an graphic output of the variation in the contamination parameter with deposition times. Paddy-field soils were collected from 5 or 6 places around Kori and Youngkwang NPPs and physicochemical properties and background radioactivity levels of the soils were investigated. Soil-to-rice transfer factors of Sr-90 and Cs-137 in the collected soils were determined for different RI application times. For Kori soils, transfer factors were also measured in the second year to investigate the yearly variation. In addition, the conceptual design of an automatized experimental greenhouse was performed to be used as a basic material for a detailed design for the construction in the future.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  7. Linkages Among Water Vapor Flows, Food Production, and Terrestrial Ecosystem Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Rockström

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Global freshwater assessments have not addressed the linkages among water vapor flows, agricultural food production, and terrestrial ecosystem services. We perform the first bottom-up estimate of continental water vapor flows, subdivided into the major terrestrial biomes, and arrive at a total continental water vapor flow of 70,000 km3/yr (ranging from 56,000 to 84,000 km3/yr. Of this flow, 90% is attributed to forests, including woodlands (40,000 km3/yr, wetlands (1400 km3/yr, grasslands (15,100 km3/yr, and croplands (6800 km3/yr. These terrestrial biomes sustain society with essential welfare-supporting ecosystem services, including food production. By analyzing the freshwater requirements of an increasing demand for food in the year 2025, we discover a critical trade-off between flows of water vapor for food production and for other welfare-supporting ecosystem services. To reduce the risk of unintentional welfare losses, this trade-off must become embedded in intentional ecohydrological landscape management.

  8. Report on the risk of using Tribulus terrestris in food supplements

    OpenAIRE

    Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition

    2015-01-01

    Tribulus terrestris L. is a plant from the Zygophyllaceae family whose use in food supplements is authorised in various countries of the European Union. In its natural form, it contains various active substances, the most notable of which are steroidal saponins, b-carboline alkaloids, flavonoids and lignanamides. Tribulus terrestris’ toxicity to animals has been widely documented throughout its history as a medicinal plant and it has been reported to have negative neuronal...

  9. Can polar bears use terrestrial foods to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities?

    OpenAIRE

    Rode, Karyn D.; Robbins, Charles T.; Nelson, Lynne; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    Increased land use by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) due to climate‐change‐induced reduction of their sea‐ice habitat illustrates the impact of climate change on species distributions and the difficulty of conserving a large, highly specialized carnivore in the face of this global threat. Some authors have suggested that terrestrial food consumption by polar bears will help them withstand sea‐ice loss as they are forced to spend increasing amounts of time on land. Here, we evaluate the nutriti...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandros Koulouris

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Effect of including decay chains on predictions of equilibrium-type terrestrial food chain models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirchner, G.

    1990-01-01

    Equilibrium-type food chain models are commonly used for assessing the radiological impact to man from environmental releases of radionuclides. Usually these do not take into account build-up of radioactive decay products during environmental transport. This may be a potential source of underprediction. For estimating consequences of this simplification, the equations of an internationally recognised terrestrial food chain model have been extended to include decay chains of variable length. Example calculations show that for releases from light water reactors as expected both during routine operation and in the case of severe accidents, the build-up of decay products during environmental transport is generally of minor importance. However, a considerable number of radionuclides of potential radiological significance have been identified which show marked contributions of decay products to calculated contamination of human food and resulting radiation dose rates. (author)

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dehn, Larissa-A.; Follmann, Erich H.; Thomas, Dana L.; Sheffield, Gay G.; Rosa, Cheryl; Duffy, Lawrence K.; O'Hara, Todd M.

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Dynamic modeling system for the transfer of radioactivity in terrestrial food chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmonds, J.R.; Linsley, G.S.

    1981-01-01

    A dynamic modeling system is described for the transfer of radionuclides in terrestrial food chains. The main features of the system are its ability to predict the time dependence of the major transfer processes and its flexibility and applicability to a range of contamination scenarios. The modeling system is regarded as a basic framework on which more realistic models can be based, given the availability of reliable environmental transfer data. An example of such a development is included for 90 Sr in the pasture-cow-milk pathway. The model predicts annual average concentrations of 90 Sr in milk caused by fallout in the United Kingdom to within 15% of measured values for over most of the 20-y period for which data exist. It makes possible the evaluation of the time dependence of the contributions of various transfer processes. Following acute releases to the atmosphere or releases in any other contamination scenario where direct deposition is absent, certain pathways often not considered in food-chain models, such as the external contamination of plants caused by resuspension processes or the ingestion of contaminants together with soil by grazing animals, are shown to be potentially important in the transfer of activity to man. The main application of dynamic food-chain models is the prediction of the consequences of accidental releases to the terrestrial environment. The predictions can be used in planning countermeasures and in assessing the health, economic, and social impacts of accidental release

  6. 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.

  7. A methodology for the evaluation of the collective dose from radioactivity in terrestrial food chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmonds, J.R.; Linsley, G.S.

    1980-02-01

    A methodology is described for the evaluation of the collective dose from radioactivity in the terrestrial food chains. It involves the use of an agricultural grid for Great Britain from which the geographical distribution of each of the main cereal, vegetable, fruit and animal products around any given point can be evaluated. A description is given of the procedure by which the grid was assembled. The use of the grid is demonstrated in an example in which the collective doses associated with the milk pathway to man following the routine discharge to air of iodine-131 are compared for two coastal sites in markedly different agricultural regions. (author)

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Braeckman

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

  10. 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…

  11. 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...

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. FARMLAND. A dynamic model for the transfer of radionuclides through terrestrial food chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, J.; Simmonds, J.R.

    1995-07-01

    Models to simulate the transfer of radionuclides through terrestrial foods have been developed at NRPB and regularly used over the last 20 years. The foodchain model is named FARMLAND (Food Activity from Radionuclide Movement on LAND) and it contains a suite of submodels, each of which simulates radionuclide transfer through a different part of the foodchain. These models can be combined in various orders so that they can be used for different situations of radiological interest. The main foods considered are green vegetables, grain products, root vegetables, milk, meat and offal from cattle, and meat and offal from sheep. A large variety of elements can be considered, although the degree of complexity with which some are modelled is greater than that for others; isotopes of caesium, strontium and iodine are treated in greatest detail. This report gives an overview of the FARMLAND model with the aim of consolidating all the information on the model available in past NRPB publications. In addition, recent model developments are described. The use of FARMLAND for different applications is addressed. In particular, the generation of a set of parameter values and assumptions for use in general applications in countries in the European Union are discussed. Activity concentrations in foods are presented for a few important radionuclides for both routine and accidental release applications. The conclusions of verification and validation studies performed using FARMLAND are also outlined. (author)

  18. 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...

  19. 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....

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Lodenius

    2013-03-01

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

  3. Intercomparison of the terrestrial food chain models FOOD-MARC and ECOSYS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Proehl, G.; Friedland, W.; Paretzke, H.G.

    1985-12-01

    Time-dependent food chain models, FOOD-MARC and ECOSYS, have been developed independently at the NRPB and at the GSF respectively. Both models are compared with respect to the model assumptions and the parameters used. A further point of this study is the analysis of the influence of actual differences in agricultural conditions in the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany on the results. A single deposition of 1 Bq/m 2 was assumed of selected radionuclides on an area in agricultural use. The endpoints considered are the resulting activity concentrations in plant and animal foodstuffs as a function of time after deposition. The cumulative concentrations integrated over 50 years are calculated. A deposition in winter (January 1) and another one in summer (July 1) are considered separately to point out the seasonal influence on the contamination of foodstuffs. In this comparison, the products vegetables, grain, roots, milk, meat, and the radionuclides Sr-89/90, Ru-106, Cs-134/137, I-129/131/133, and Pu-239 are taken into account. The activity concentrations in food products are calculated for the times 7 d, 30 d, 100 d, 200 d, 1 a, 2 a, 5 a, 10 a, 20 a, and 50 a after the single deposition on January 1 or July 1. (orig./HP)

  4. 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.

  5. Transfer coefficients to terrestrial food products in equilibrium assessment models for nuclear installations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zach, R.

    1980-09-01

    Transfer coefficients have become virtually indispensible in the study of the fate of radioisotopes released from nuclear installations. These coefficients are used in equilibrium assessment models where they specify the degree of transfer in food chains of individual radioisotopes from soil to plant products and from feed or forage and drinking water to animal products and ultimately to man. Information on transfer coefficients for terrestrial food chain models is very piecemeal and occurs in a wide variety of journals and reports. To enable us to choose or determine suitable values for assessments, we have addressed the following aspects of transfer coefficients on a very broad scale: (1) definitions, (2) equilibrium assumption, which stipulates that transfer coefficients be restricted to equilibrium or steady rate conditions, (3) assumption of linearity, that is the idea that radioisotope concentrations in food products increase linearly with contamination levels in the soil or animal feed, (4) methods of determination, (5) variability, (6) generic versus site-specific values, (7) statistical aspects, (8) use, (9) sources of currently used values, (10) criteria for revising values, (11) establishment and maintenance of files on transfer coefficients, and (12) future developments. (auth)

  6. Estimated dose to man from uranium milling via the terrestrial food-chain pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rayno, D.R.

    1982-01-01

    One of the major pathways of radiological exposure to man from uranium milling operations is through the terrestrial food chain. Studies by various investigators have shown the extent of uptake and distribution of U-238, U-234, Th-230, Ra-226, Pb-210, and Po-210 in plants and animals. These long-lived natural radioisotopes, all nuclides of the uranium decay series, are found in concentrated amounts in uranium mill tailings. Data from these investigations are used to estimate the dose to man from consumption of beef and milk contaminated by the tailings. This dose estimate from this technologically enhanced source is compared with that from average normal dietary intake of these radionuclides from natural sources.

  7. Estimated dose to man from uranium milling via the terrestrial food-chain pathway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rayno, D.R.

    1982-01-01

    One of the major pathways of radiological exposure to man from uranium milling operations is through the terrestrial food chain. Studies by various investigators have shown the extent of uptake and distribution of U-238, U-234, Th-230, Ra-226, Pb-210, and Po-210 in plants and animals. These long-lived natural radioisotopes, all nuclides of the uranium decay series, are found in concentrated amounts in uranium mill tailings. Data from these investigations are used to estimate the dose to man from consumption of beef and milk contaminated by the tailings. This dose estimate from this technologically enhanced source is compared with that from average normal dietary intake of these radionuclides from natural sources

  8. Bioaccumulation of microplastics in the terrestrial food chain: an example from home gardens in SE Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huerta, Esperanza; Mendoza Vega, Jorge; Quej, Victor Ku; Chi, Jesus de los Angeles; Sanchez del Cid, Lucero; Quijano, Cesar; Escalona-Segura, Griselda; Gertsen, Henny; Salánki, Tamás; van der Ploeg, Martine; Koelmans, Albert A.; Geissen, Violette

    2017-04-01

    Plastic in the aquatic environment has been studied since many years and is a well known problem. Plastic in the terrestrial environment is a neglected issue of high importance in regions with waste mismanagement. Therefore, we studied the bioaccumulation of plastics in the terrestrial food chain in home gardens of SE Mexico, a typical example for many countries in development. Plastic waste is not regularly collected and people burn it and burry the residues or the plastic waste directly into the soil of their home gardens, causing the risk of plastic fragmentation, formation of microplastics (MP) in the soil and accumulation in the food chain. To assess the risk, we sampled soil, earthworm cast and chicken feces as well as chicken gizzard and crop in 10 home gardens of Campeche, SE Mexico in September 2016. We analyzed their (micro)plastic content. (Micro)plastics were present in soil with 0.87±1.9 particles g-1, in earthworms casts with 14.8±28.8 particles g-1 casts and in chicken feces with 129.8±82.3 particles g-1 chicken feces), showing a magnification factor of 17±14.6 between the soil and the earthworms casts, and of 149±41.8 between the soil and the chicken feces. Macroplastics were also found in chicken gizzard (57±41.1 particles per chicken) and in the crop (32.4±15.1 particles per chicken). Chicken gizzard is a specialty in the Mexican kitchen and the intake of the present plastics form a strong risk for human health.

  9. Road Salts as Environmental Constraints in Urban Pond Food Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Meter, Robin J.; Swan, Christopher M.

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater salinization is an emerging environmental filter in urban aquatic ecosystems that receive chloride road salt runoff from vast expanses of impervious surface cover. Our study was designed to evaluate the effects of chloride contamination on urban stormwater pond food webs through changes in zooplankton community composition as well as density and biomass of primary producers and consumers. From May – July 2009, we employed a 2×2×2 full-factorial design to manipulate chloride concentration (low = 177 mg L−1 Cl−/high = 1067 mg L−1 Cl−), gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) tadpoles (presence/absence) and source of stormwater pond algae and zooplankton inoculum (low conductance/high conductance urban ponds) in 40, 600-L mesocosms. Road salt did serve as a constraint on zooplankton community structure, driving community divergence between the low and high chloride treatments. Phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll [a] µg L−1) in the mesocosms was significantly greater for the high conductance inoculum (Psalts among algal resources and zooplankton taxa, and further suggest that road salts can act as a significant environmental constraint on urban stormwater pond communities. PMID:24587259

  10. Metal Bioaccumulation by Estuarine Food Webs in New England, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celia Y. Chen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Evaluating the degree of metal exposure and bioaccumulation in estuarine organisms is important for understanding the fate of metals in estuarine food webs. We investigated the bioaccumulation of Hg, methylmercury (MeHg, Cd, Se, Pb, and As in common intertidal organisms across a watershed urbanization gradient of coastal marsh sites in New England to relate metal exposure and bioaccumulation in fauna to both chemical and ecological factors. In sediments, we measured metal and metalloid concentrations, total organic carbon (TOC and SEM-AVS (Simultaneously extracted metal-acid volatile sulfides. In five different functional feeding groups of biota, we measured metal concentrations and delta 15N and delta 13C signatures. Concentrations of Hg and Se in biota for all sites were always greater than sediment concentrations whereas Pb in biota was always lower. There were positive relationships between biota Hg concentrations and sediment concentrations, and between biota MeHg concentrations and both pelagic feeding mode and trophic level. Bioavailability of all metals measured as SEM-AVS or Benthic-Sediment Accumulation Factor was lower in more contaminated sites, likely due to biogeochemical factors related to higher levels of sulfides and organic carbon in the sediments. Our study demonstrates that for most metals and metalloids, bioaccumulation is metal specific and not directly related to sediment concentrations or measures of bioavailability such as AVS-SEM.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice C Ortmann

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Seasonal pathways of organic matter within the Avilés submarine canyon: Food web implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Romero, Sonia; Molina-Ramírez, Axayacatl; Höfer, Juan; Duineveld, Gerard; Rumín-Caparrós, Aitor; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna; Canals, Miquel; Acuña, José Luis

    2016-11-01

    The transport and fate of organic matter (OM) sources within the Avilés submarine canyon (Cantabrian Sea, Southern Bay of Biscay) were studied using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. The isotopic composition of settling particles and deep bottom sediments closely resembled that of surface particulate OM, and there were no marked differences in the isotopic composition of settling particles inside and outside of the AC. This indicates that the Avilés Canyon (AC) receives inputs of sinking OM mostly from the upper water column and less through advective near-bottom down-canyon transport. Sinking OM fluxes are of marine and terrestrial origin in proportions which vary seasonally. Analysis of δ13C in the canyon fauna indicates a dependence on OM mainly produced by marine phytoplankton. A tight coupling of isotopic signatures between pelagic organisms and benthic suspension feeders reflects an active biological vertical transport of OM from the surface to the deep-sea. The food web presented seasonal variations in the trophic niche width and the amplitude of the primary carbon sources, reflecting seasonality in the availability of fresh particulate OM. Those seasonal changes are larger for benthic organisms of lower trophic levels.

  16. Radionuclides of foods in Japan and uptake of radio/stable elements by terrestrial food, microorganism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sugiyama, H.; Kuwahara, C.; Kato, F.

    2004-01-01

    According to our recent investigation from 2000 to 2003, radiocesium concentrations of foods in Japan imported from various foreign countries were low levels ( 137 Cs concentrations. And also, we obtained the data that wild mushrooms collected from four points of Japanese forests in 2002 had been still contaminated by 137 Cs ( 137 Cs to mushrooms is both a direct path way from soil and an indirect path way from the cells of soil microorganisms. We performed the culture experiments of the saprophytic edible mushroom (Pleurotus otsreatus) mycelia and one of the representative soil microorganisms isolated from wild mushroom substrata, using several stable elements. On the isolation of soil microorganisms from mushroom substrata, the appearance frequencies of planktonic bacteria and filamentous actinomycetes were affected by pH of isolation medium. Cs tolerance of the planktonic bacteria and the filamentous actinomycetes showed considerable difference; as far as tested 13 soil samples, planktonic bacteria being able to grow in the presence of 50 mM CsCl were present in all the samples at a higher density but no filamentous actinomycetes could grow in the presence of 50 mM. Accumulation of Cs in filamentous actinomycetes (Streptomyces sp. K202) were two to eight times higher than those in bacteria when they were incubated in the presence of 5 mM CsCl. (author)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Hypoxia Impacts on Food Web Linkages in a Pelagic Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, M.; Horne, J. K.; Parker-Stetter, S. L.; Essington, T.; Keister, J. E.; Moriarty, P.; Li, L.

    2016-02-01

    Low dissolved oxygen (DO), or hypoxia, causes significant disturbances on aquatic organisms, but the consequences for key food web linkages is not well understood. Here, we tested how the intensity of low DO events governs the degree of spatial overlap between pelagic zooplanktivorous fish and their zooplankton prey, fish feeding rates, and community compositions of zooplankton. We hypothesized that the greater sensitivity of fish to DO compared to zooplankton would lead to diminished spatial overlap at moderate DO and reduced feeding rates of fish, while severe hypoxia would amplify spatial overlap by preventing zooplankton from using deep refuge habitats leading to increased fish feeding rates. We also hypothesized shifts in zooplankton community composition towards less energetically profitable taxa such as small copepods and gelatinous species. We used a combination of multifrequency acoustic and net sampling for detecting distributions and abundance of zooplankton and pelagic fish in Hood Canal, WA, a seasonally hypoxic fjord. We employed a sampling design which paired hypoxic regions of Hood Canal with normoxic regions sampled prior to, during, and after the onset of hypoxia in two years. Contrary to our hypotheses, we found that fish and zooplankton did not change their horizontal and vertical distributions during periods and in locations with low DO levels. Consequently, the vertical overlap between fish and zooplankton did not change with DO. Fish feeding rates and the dominant zooplankton prey did not change with hypoxia events. The apparent resilience of fish to low DO in our system may be explained by decreased metabolic oxygen demand due to cool temperatures, increased availability and accessibility to their prey in low DO waters, or potential increase in predation risk at shallower depth. This study highlights the importance of both temperature and DO, instead of hypoxia threshold alone, in evaluating the impacts of hypoxia on pelagic communities.

  1. 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.

  2. Tracing carbon flow through coral reef food webs using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton; Thorrold, Simon R.; Houghton, Leah A.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    . Seascape configuration played an important role in structuring resource utilization patterns. For instance, Lutjanus ehrenbergii showed a significant shift from a benthic macroalgal food web on shelf reefs (71 ± 13 % of dietary C) to a phytoplankton

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. To Everything There Is a Season: Summer-to-Winter Food Webs and the Functional Traits of Keystone Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Murray M; Studd, Emily K; Menzies, Allyson K; Boutin, Stan

    2017-11-01

    From a trophic perspective, a seasonal increase in air temperature and photoperiod propagates as bottom-up pulse of primary production by plants, secondary production by herbivores, and tertiary production by carnivores. However, food web seasonality reflects not only abiotic variation in temperature and photoperiod, but also the composition of the biotic community and their functional responses to this variation. Some plants and animals-here referred to as seasonal specialists-decouple from food webs in winter through migration or various forms of metabolic arrest (e.g., senescence, diapause, and hibernation), whereas some plants and resident animals-here referred to as seasonal generalists-remain present and trophically coupled in winter. The co-occurrence of species with divergent responses to winter introduces seasonal variation in interaction strengths, resulting in summer-to-winter differences in trophic organization. Autumn cooling and shortening day length arrests primary productivity and cues seasonal herbivores to decouple, leaving generalist carnivores to concentrate their predation on the few generalist herbivores that remain resident, active, and vulnerable to predation in winter, which themselves feed on the few generalist plant structures available in winter. Thus, what was a bottom-up pulse, spread among many species in summer, including highly productive seasonal specialists, reverses into strong top-down regulation in winter that is top-heavy, and concentrated among a small number of generalist herbivores and their winter foods. Intermediate-sized, generalist herbivores that remain active and vulnerable to predation in winter are likely to be keystone species in seasonal food webs because they provide the essential ecosystem service of turning summer primary productivity into winter food for carnivores. Empirical examination of terrestrial mammals and their seasonal trophic status in the boreal forest and across an arctic-to-tropics seasonality

  6. Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 2: Small mammal food chains and bioavailability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas, P.A.

    2000-06-01

    Food chain transfer through the soil-vegetation-small mammal food chain was measured by concentration ratios (CRs) for uranium, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 210}Pb, and {sup 210}Po at three sites near the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan. Plant/soil CRs, animal carcass/GI tract CRs, and animal/soil CRs were depressed at sites impacted by mill and tailings dusts relative to a nearby control site. Thus, radionuclides associated with large particulates in tailings and/or ore dusts may be less bioavailable to terrestrial plants and animals than natural sources of radioactive dust. These results show that reliance on default food chain transfer parameters, obtained from uncontaminated terrestrial ecosystems, may overpredict impacts at uranium mine and mill sites. Given the omnivorous diet of small mammals and birds, animal/soil CRs are recommended as the most cost-effective and robust means of predicting animal concentrations from environmental monitoring data at uranium mill facilities.

  7. Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 2: Small mammal food chains and bioavailability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.A.

    2000-01-01

    Food chain transfer through the soil-vegetation-small mammal food chain was measured by concentration ratios (CRs) for uranium, 226 Ra, 210 Pb, and 210 Po at three sites near the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan. Plant/soil CRs, animal carcass/GI tract CRs, and animal/soil CRs were depressed at sites impacted by mill and tailings dusts relative to a nearby control site. Thus, radionuclides associated with large particulates in tailings and/or ore dusts may be less bioavailable to terrestrial plants and animals than natural sources of radioactive dust. These results show that reliance on default food chain transfer parameters, obtained from uncontaminated terrestrial ecosystems, may overpredict impacts at uranium mine and mill sites. Given the omnivorous diet of small mammals and birds, animal/soil CRs are recommended as the most cost-effective and robust means of predicting animal concentrations from environmental monitoring data at uranium mill facilities

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. [Influence of 175-m-impoundment in Three Gorges Reservoir area on the food web energy sources of main commercial fishes in backwater area of xiaojiang River].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bin; Wang, Zhi-Jian; Yue, Xing-Jian; Wang, Yong-Ming; Jin, Li; Zhang, Yao-Guang

    2013-06-01

    The impoundment in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area (TGRA) was first reached 175 m in 2010. To approach the influence of this impoundment on the food web energy sources of fishes in the tributaries of TRGA, an analysis was made on the food web energy sources of seven economically important fishes (Carassius auratus, Cyprinus carpio, Silurus asotus, Culter mongolicus mongolicus, Mystus macropterus, Pelteobagrus vachelli, and Pelteobagrus nitidus) in the backwater area of Xiaojiang River by using stable isotope method in combining with IsoSource Model. The results showed that before this impoundment (July 2010), microalgae were the main energy sources for the seven species. After this impoundment (December 2010), the contribution ratio of the microalgae decreased somewhat, while the relative contribution of terrestrial C4 plants had an obvious increase. Especially for crucian carp (C. auratus) and catfish (S. asotus), the contribution rate of the C4 plants reached 38-54% and 32-50%, respectively. After the impoundment, at least 30% of the energy resources of these two fishes were come from terrestrial C4 plants, suggesting that the impoundment in TGRA increased the contribution rate of exogenous terrestrial C4 plants as the energy sources of fishes.

  14. 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.

  15. Sensitivity analysis on a dose-calculation model for the terrestrial food-chain pathway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdel-Aal, M.M.

    1994-01-01

    Parameter uncertainty and sensitivity were applied to the U.S. Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Regulatory Guide 1.109 (1977) models for calculating the ingestion dose via a terrestrial food-chain pathway in order to assess the transport of chronically released, low-level effluents from light-water reactors. In the analysis, we used the generation of latin hypercube samples (LHS) and employed a constrained sampling scheme. The generation of these samples is based on information supplied to the LHS program for variables or parameters. The actually sampled values are used to form vectors of variables that are commonly used as inputs to computer models for the purpose of sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. Regulatory models consider the concentrations of radionuclides that are deposited on plant tissues or lead to root uptake of nuclides initially deposited on soil. We also consider concentrations in milk and beef as a consequence of grazing on contaminated pasture or ingestion of contaminated feed by dairy and beef cattle. The radionuclides Sr-90 and Cs-137 were selected for evaluation. The most sensitive input parameters for the model were the ground-dispersion parameter, release rates of radionuclides, and soil-to-plant transfer coefficients of radionuclides. (Author)

  16. Biotransformation and Incorporation into Proteins along a Simulated Terrestrial Food Chain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unrine, J.M., B.P. Jackson and W.A. Hopkins

    2007-01-01

    Selenium is an essential trace element in vertebrates, but there is a narrow concentration range between dietary requirement and toxicity threshold. Although a great deal is known about the biochemistry of Se from a nutritional perspective, considerably less attention has been focused on the specific biochemistry of Se as an environmental toxicant. Recent advances in hyphenated analytical techniques have provided the capability of quantifying specific chemical forms of Se in biological tissues as well as the distribution of Se among macromolecules. We applied liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to investigate biotransformations of selenomethionine along a simulated terrestrial food chain consisting of selenomethionine exposed crickets (Acheta domesticus) fed to western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis). Evidence was obtained for selenomethionine biotransformation as well as for sex-specific differences in the metabolism of Se compounds and their subsequent incorporation into proteins in the lizard. The results demonstrate the complexities involved in trophic transfer of Se due to the potential for extensive biotransformation and the species- and even sex-specific nature of these biotransformations.

  17. Observed and Modeled Tritium Concentrations in the Terrestrial Food Chain near a Continuous Atmospheric Source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, P.A.; Kim, S.B.; Chouhan, S.L.; Workman, W.J.G.

    2005-01-01

    Tritium concentrations were measured in a large number of environmental and biological samples collected during 2002 at two dairy farms and a hobby farm near Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario, Canada. The data cover most compartments of the terrestrial food chain in an agricultural setting and include detailed information on the diets of the local farm animals. Ratios of plant OBT concentration to air moisture HTO varied between 0.12 and 0.56, and were generally higher for the forage crops collected at the dairy farms than for the garden vegetables sampled at the hobby farm. Animal OBT to air HTO ratios were more uniform, ranging from 0.18 to 0.45, and were generally higher for the milk and beef samples from the dairy farms than for the chicken products from the hobby farm. The observed OBT concentrations in plants and animals were compared with predictions of IMPACT, the model used by the Canadian nuclear industry to calculate annual average doses due to routine releases. The model performed well on average for the animal endpoints but overestimated concentrations in plants by a factor of 2

  18. Analysis of pollen and nectar of Arbutus unedo as a food source for Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmont, Pierre; Regali, Ariane; Ings, Thomas C; Lognay, Georges; Baudart, Evelyne; Marlier, Michel; Delcarte, Emile; Viville, Pascal; Marot, Cécile; Falmagne, Pol; Verhaeghe, Jean-Claude; Chittka, Lars

    2005-06-01

    The mineral, total amino acid, and sterol compositions of pollen collected by Apis mellifera L. were compared with the pollen of a plant consumed by Bombus terrestris (L.): Arbutus unedo L. This plant provides the predominant food resource for the main autumn generation of B. terrestris in southern France. Honey bees also forage on this plant, although only for nectar. The mineral composition of 30 pollen samples collected by honey bees is close to the presently known requirements of A. mellifera, except for Cu and Mn, which are substantially lower. The total amino acid mean composition of a set of 54 pollen samples fits the basic requirements of honey bees except for valine, isoleucine, and methionine, which are present in lower concentrations in all the samples. For pollen of A. unedo, the amino acid balance is not very different from that of the survey. The main sterolic component in pollen of A. unedo, beta-sitosterol, is known to have antifeedant effects on A. mellifera. Honey bees cannot dealkylate C29 sterols like beta-sitosterol or delta5-avenasterol to obtain C27 cholesterol and ecdysteroids. Because these phytosterols as well as cholesterol are nearly absent from pollen of A. unedo, the metabolic capabilities of Apis seem unadapted to this plant. On the contrary, pollen of A. unedo is freely consumed by B. terrestris, which develops huge autumn populations solely on this food. These data indicate that the sterolic metabolisms of B. terrestris and A. mellifera differ, allowing separation in foraging activity.

  19. 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…

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Frouz, J.; Thébault, E.; Pižl, Václav; Adl, S.; Cajthaml, Tomáš; Baldrian, Petr; Háněl, Ladislav; Starý, Josef; Tajovský, Karel; Materna, J.; Nováková, Alena; de Ruiter, P.C.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 11 (2013), e79694 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP504/12/1288 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : spontaneous vegetation succession * human disturbed habitat * terrestrial ecosystems Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.534, year: 2013

  1. Modelling of resuspension, seasonality and losses during food processing. First report of the VAMP terrestrial working group

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-05-01

    This is the first report of the Terrestrial Working Group of the Coordinated Research Programme. ''The validation of models for the transfer of radionuclides in terrestrial, urban and aquatic environments and the acquisition of data for that purpose''. The programme seeks to use information on the environmental behaviour of radionuclides available after the Chernobyl accident to test the reliability of assessment models. The models themselves are useful for assessing the radiological impact of all parts of the nuclear fuel cycle. This report contains reviews of three topics: resuspension of radioactive particles; removal of radionuclides during food processing; and seasonality of radioactive contamination of food. The three reviews have been indexed separately. Refs, figs and tabs

  2. Study on transfer coefficients of 90Sr, 137Cs, natural U, 226Ra and 239Pu in terrestrial food chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qin Suyun; Qi Yong; Li Shuqin; Zhou Caiyun; Zhang Jingjuan; Li Jikai; Li Xuequn

    1995-01-01

    The aim of study was to provide values of transfer parameter of 90 Sr, 137 Cs, Natural U, 226 Ra and 239 Pu in terrestrial food chains, more applicable for Chinese socio-natural conditions. Data of radionuclides contents in agricultural crops and in associated soils, in sheep tissues and in associated grasses were collected in couples. The transfer coefficients in terrestrial food chains (soil-crops, grasses-sheep tissues) were calculated. On basis of statistical analysis, the representative values and 95% ranges of transfer coefficient for 5 radionuclides in 7 kind of agricultural products for southern moist areas and north dry areas were given. Regression analysis showed that relation between the transfer coefficients and the radionuclide contents in their associated soils present a negative correlation, it could be described with a equation: Y = aX -b

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Najera-Hillman, E.; Alfaro, A.C.; Breen, B.B.; O'Shea, S.

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. Enhancing food engineering education with interactive web-based simulations

    OpenAIRE

    Alexandros Koulouris; Georgios Aroutidis; Dimitrios Vardalis; Petros Giannoulis; Paraskevi Karakosta

    2015-01-01

    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 simulat...

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Dunne

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. Food web interactions and nutrients dynamics in polyculture ponds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rahman, M.M.

    2006-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Devetter, Miloslav; Seďa, Jaromír

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lacerot, G.

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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 ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klečka, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 1 (2014), e389 ISSN 2167-8359 Grant - others:Student Grant Agency of the Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of South Bohemia(CZ) SGA 2008 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : predation * predator-prey interactions * food webs Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.112, year: 2014 https://peerj.com/articles/389.pdf

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Effects of aggregation pheromone on individual behaviour and food web interactions: a field study on Drosophila

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, B.; Allemand, R.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of an aggregation pheromone on individual behaviour and food web interactions were investigated in two ecological communities, using Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans as focal species. 2. Fruit substrates with aggregation pheromone were significantly more attractive to adult D.

  3. Effects of aggregation pheromone on individual behaviour and food web interactions : A field study on Drosophila

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, Bregje; Allemand, Roland; Vet, Louise E. M.; Dicke, Marcel

    1. The effects of an aggregation pheromone on individual behaviour and food web interactions were investigated in two ecological communities, using Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulatis as focal species. 2. Fruit substrates with aggregation pheromone were significantly more attractive to adult D.

  4. Trophic state changes can affect the importance of methane-derived carbon in aquatic food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilder, Jos; Van Hardenbroek, M.; Bodelier, P.L.E.; Kirilova, Emiliya P.; Leuenberger, Markus; Lotter, A.F.; Heiri, O.

    2017-01-01

    Methane-derived carbon, incorporated by methane-oxidizing bacteria, has been identified as a significant source of carbon in food webs of many lakes. By measuring the stable carbon isotopic composition (δ13C values) of particulate organic matter, Chironomidae and Daphnia spp. and their resting eggs

  5. The Importance of Allochthonous Subsidies to an Estuarine Food Web along a Salinity Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estuarine food webs function within a heterogeneous mosaic and are supported by a mix of primary producers from both local and distant sources. Processes governing the exchange and consumption of organic matter (OM), however, are poorly understood. To study the contribution of ...

  6. 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.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    RaghuKumar, S.

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

  8. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Data from: How habitat-modifying organisms structure the food web of two coastal ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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,

  17. Methodological advances to study the diversity of soil protists and their functioning in soil food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Bonkowski, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Soils host the most complex communities of organisms, which are still largely considered as an unknown ‘black box’. A key role in soil food webs is held by the highly abundant and diverse group of protists. Traditionally, soil protists are considered as the main consumers of bacteria in

  18. 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

  19. Methodological advances to study the diversity of soil protists and their functioning in soil food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Bonkowski, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Soils host the most complex communities of organisms, which are still largely considered as an unknown 'black box'. A key role in soil food webs is held by the highly abundant and diverse group of protists. Traditionally, soil protists are considered as the main consumers of bacteria in soils.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brandsma, S.H.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Leslie, H.A.; de Boer, J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  4. 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

  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

    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

  6. 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

  7. Field evidence for transfer of plastic debris along a terrestrial food chain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Mendoza Vega, Jorge; Ku Quej, Victor; Angeles Chi, de los Jesus; Sanchez del Cid, Lucero; Chi, Cesar; Escalona Segura, Griselda; Gertsen, Henny; Salánki, Tamás; Ploeg, van der Martine; Koelmans, Bart; Geissen, Violette

    2017-01-01

    Although plastic pollution happens globally, the micro- (<5 mm) and macroplastic (5–150 mm) transfer of plastic to terrestrial species relevant to human consumption has not been examined. We provide first-time evidence for micro- and macroplastic transfer from soil to chickens in traditional

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Terrestrial carbohydrates support freshwater zooplankton during phytoplankton deficiency

    OpenAIRE

    Taipale, Sami J.; Galloway, Aaron W. E.; Aalto, Sanni L.; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; Strandberg, Ursula; Kankaala, Paula

    2016-01-01

    Freshwater food webs can be partly supported by terrestrial primary production, often deriving from plant litter of surrounding catchment vegetation. Although consisting mainly of poorly bioavailable lignin, with low protein and lipid content, the carbohydrates from fallen tree leaves and shoreline vegetation may be utilized by aquatic consumers. Here we show that during phytoplankton deficiency, zooplankton (Daphnia magna) can benefit from terrestrial particulate organic matter by using terr...

  14. Comparison of predictions from internationally recognized assessment models for the transfer of selected radionuclides through terrestrial food chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoffman, F.O.; Bergstroem, U.; Gyllander, C.; Wilkens, A.B.

    1984-01-01

    Six internationally recognized terrestrial food-chain models developed in Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the International Atomic Energy Agency are compared. This comparison includes the data bases and predictions for the transfer of Co-60, Sr-90, I-131, and Cs-137 into milk, and leafy and nonleafy vegetables from a hypothetical 30-yr continuous rate of atmospheric deposition onto agricultural systems. Model predictions are compared against United Nations summaries of empirical relationships between atmospheric deposition and concentrations in food of Sr-90 and Cs-137. The results of statistical analyses of the effect of parameter uncertainties on model predictions are also included for Sr-90, Cs-137, and I-131. Discrepancies among model predictions vary between factors of 6 and 30. These results reflect differences in model assumptions rather than uncertainties in model parameters

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Adaptation of benthic invertebrates to food sources along marine-terrestrial boundaries as indicated by carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, G.; Haynert, K.; Dinter, T.; Scheu, S.; Kröncke, I.

    2018-01-01

    Frequent environmental changes and abiotic gradients of the Wadden Sea require appropriate adaptations of the local organisms and make it suitable for investigations on functional structure of macrozoobenthic communities from marine to terrestrial boundaries. To investigate community patterns and food use of the macrozoobenthos, a transect of 11 stations was sampled for species number, abundance and stable isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) of macrozoobenthos and for stable isotope values of potential food resources. The transect was located in the back-barrier system of the island of Spiekeroog (southern North Sea, Germany). Our results show that surface and subsurface deposit feeders, such as Peringia ulvae and different oligochaete species, dominated the community, which was poor in species, while species present at the transect stations reached high abundance. The only exception was the upper salt marsh with low abundances but higher species richness because of the presence of specialized semi-terrestrial and terrestrial taxa. The macrozoobenthos relied predominantly on marine resources irrespective of the locality in the intertidal zone, although δ13C values of the consumers decreased from - 14.1 ± 1.6‰ (tidal flats) to - 21.5 ± 2.4‰ (salt marsh). However, the ubiquitous polychaete Hediste diversicolor showed a δ15N enrichment of 2.8‰ (an increase of about one trophic level) from bare sediments to the first vegetated transect station, presumably due to switching from suspension or deposit feeding to predation on smaller invertebrates. Hence, we conclude that changes in feeding mode represent an important mechanism of adaptation to different Wadden Sea habitats.

  18. Estimation and evaluation of the radioactive contamination through a food web in an aquatic ecosystem, (2). System analysis of the transfer of radionuclides through a food web

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aoyama, Isao; Inoue, Yoriteru [Kyoto Univ. (Japan). Faculty of Engineering

    1975-06-01

    In order to estimate and evaluate the radioactivity concentration in an aquatic ecosystem, the transfer of radioactivity through a food web should be considered. In this paper, systems analysis on the above problem was performed and a quantity of radioactivity in organisms concentrated through their diet was presented. It was found from numerical evaluation that whether the transfer of radioactivity through a diet is significant or not depended on such ecological factors as ration rates, assimilation rates, uptake rates, and turnover rates. The degree of the importance of these parameters on the concentration process of radioactivity was quantitatively evaluated by the mathematical technique of sensitivity analysis.

  19. Field evidence for transfer of plastic debris along a terrestrial food chain

    OpenAIRE

    Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Mendoza Vega, Jorge; Ku Quej, Victor; Chi, Jesus de los Angeles; Sanchez del Cid, Lucero; Chi, Cesar; Escalona Segura, Griselda; Gertsen, Henny; Salánki, Tamás; van der Ploeg, Martine; Koelmans, Albert A.; Geissen, Violette

    2017-01-01

    Although plastic pollution happens globally, the micro- (<5 mm) and macroplastic (5–150 mm) transfer of plastic to terrestrial species relevant to human consumption has not been examined. We provide first-time evidence for micro- and macroplastic transfer from soil to chickens in traditional Mayan home gardens in Southeast Mexico where waste mismanagement is common. We assessed micro- and macroplastic in soil, earthworm casts, chicken feces, crops and gizzards (used for human consumption)....

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çelik Ertuğrul, Duygu

    2016-02-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Wild food in Europe: a synthesis of knowledge and data of terrestrial wild food as an ecosystem service

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, C.J.E.; Thuiller, W.; Verburg, P.H.

    2014-01-01

    Wild food is an iconic ecosystem service that receives little attention in quantifying, valuating and mapping studies, due to the perceived low importance or due to lack of data. Here, we synthesize available data on the importance of wild food as ecosystem service, its spatial distribution and

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. An assessment, using stable isotopes, of the importance of allochthonous organic carbon sources to the pelagic food web in Loch Ness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, R. I.; Grey, J.; Sleep, D.; Quarmby, C.

    1998-01-01

    The natural abundance of stable isotopes (δ13C and δ1315N) was determined for components of the pelagic food web in Loch Ness, a deep oligotrophic lake in northern Scotland, and compared with values from the inflow rivers and the catchment vegetation. Phytoplankton δ13C was low compared to values reported from other lakes, possibly reflecting a high use of 13C-depleted carbon dioxide from respired organic matter before further isotopic fractionation during photosynthesis. Phytoplankton δ13C was appreciably lower than that of dissolved and particulate organic matter (DOM and POM) in the loch. The DOM and POM were evidently overwhelmingly of allochthonous origin and ultimately derived from terrestrial plant detritus. The distinctive δ13C values for phytoplankton and detritus in the loch allowed the use of food sources by grazing crustacean zooplankton to be assessed, and the contributions of phytoplankton carbon and detrital carbon to zooplankton total body carbon appeared to be about equal. Comparison of δ13C and δ15N values for zooplankton and fish allowed assessment of trophic structure in the loch. The very high dependence of the pelagic food web in Loch Ness on allochthonous organic matter inputs from the catchment may be exceptional in a large lake, but has important implications for our understanding of lake ecosystem processes as well as for lake management.

  13. Some lower food web organisms in the nutrition of marine harpacticoid copepods: an experimental study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieper, Marianna

    1985-12-01

    Some lower food web organisms from the marine littoral environment were studied as food for harpacticoid copepods. In laboratory experiments, it could be shown that, among the ciliates, the slow-moving Uronema sp. was taken up while the fast-moving Euplotes sp. was not. Asterionella glacialis, a pennate diatom with spiny projections, was unsuitable as food. The centric diatom Skeletonema costatum was ingested by all harpacticoid species tested, including Tisbe holothuriae, Paramphiascella vararensis, Amphiascoides debilis and Dactylopodia vulgaris. All are epibenthic and phytal species occurring in the shallow waters of Helgoland (North Sea). The amount of ciliate and algal carbon taken up was less than that provided by bacteria under laboratory conditions. However, some diatom food may be essential for the development of D. vulgaris.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    approach to project how the interaction of climate, nutrient loads, and cod fishing may affect the future of the open Central Baltic Sea food web. Regionally downscaled global climate scenarios were, in combination with three nutrient load scenarios, used to drive an ensemble of three regional...... biogeochemical models (BGMs). An Ecopath with Ecosim food web model was then forced with the BGM results from different nutrient-climate scenarios in combination with two different cod fishing scenarios. The results showed that regional management is likely to play a major role in determining the future......Changes in climate, in combination with intensive exploitation of marine resources, have caused large-scale reorganizations in many of the world's marine ecosystems during the past decades. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is one of the systems most affected. In addition to being exposed...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Cerezo, Maria Isabel

    2015-11-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Cerezo, Maria Isabel; Agusti, Susana

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-17

    We examined community diversity, structure and carbon footprint of nematode food web along a chronosequence of T. Sinensis reforestation on degraded Karst. In general, after the reforestation: a serious of diversity parameters and community indices (Shannon-Weinier index (H'), structure index (SI), etc.) were elevated; biomass ratio of fungivores to bacterivores (FFC/BFC), and fungi to bacteria (F/B) were increased, and nematode channel ratio (NCR) were decreased; carbon footprints of all nematode trophic groups, and biomass of bacteria and fungi were increased. Our results indicate that the Karst aboveground vegetation restoration was accompanied with belowground nematode food web development: increasing community complexity, function and fungal dominance in decomposition pathway, and the driving forces included the bottom-up effect (resource control), connectedness of functional groups, as well as soil environments.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Holding, J.M.; Duarte, C.M.; Delgado-Huertas, A.; Soetaert, K.; Vonk, J.E.; Agusti, S.; Wassmann, P.; Middelburg, J.

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are causing sea ice and glaciers to melt at record breaking rates, which has consequences for carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean that are yet to be fully understood. Microbial carbon cycling is driven by internal processing of in situ produced organic carbon (OC), however recent research suggests that melt water from sea ice and glaciers could introduce an allochthonous source of OC to the microbial food web with ramifications for the metabolic balance ...

  3. Mathematical modelling and analysis for a three-tiered microbial food web in a chemostat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miled El hajji

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we present a mathematical six-dimensional dynamical system involving a three-tiered microbial food web without maintenance. We give a qualitative analysis of the model, and an analysis of the local stability of equilibrium points. Under general assumptions of monotonicity, we prove the uniqueness and the local stability of the positive equilibrium point corresponding to the persistence of the three bacteria. Possibilities of periodic orbits are not excluded and asymptotic coexistence is satisfied.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jefferson T. Hinke

    2004-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Saporiti

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

  7. 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.

  8. Soil resource supply influences faunal size?specific distributions in natural food webs

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

    The large range of body-mass values of soil organisms provides a tool to assess the ecological organization of soil communities. The goal of this paper is to identify graphical and quantitative indicators of soil community composition and ecosystem functioning, and to illustrate their application to real soil food webs. The relationships between log-transformed mass and abundance of soil organisms in 20 Dutch meadows and heathlands were investigated. Using principles of allometry, maximal use...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hannah B Vander Zanden; David X Soto; Gabriel J Bowen; Keith A Hobson; Keith A Hobson

    2016-01-01

    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 applicat...

  12. Expanding the Isotopic Toolbox: Applications of Hydrogen and Oxygen Stable Isotope Ratios to Food Web Studies

    OpenAIRE

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Soto, David X.; Bowen, Gabriel J.; Hobson, Keith A.

    2016-01-01

    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 applicatio...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Natural radionuclides in select matrices of terrestrial food chain around Kudankulam nuclear power station, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, E.M.; Wesley, S.G.

    2016-01-01

    Natural radionuclides entering the food chain are mostly derived from the soil. There is a variation in soil radionuclide content in different geographic regions. Uptake of radionuclides by plants also varies from species to species and depends on many factors. Human food and animal feed derived from such regions may have varying levels of radionuclides. Intake of food/feed will be reflected in the next consumer level of the food chain. Such studies are essential around a nuclear power plant where there can be exposure from natural as well as artificial radionuclides. In this study an effort was taken to study the intake and excretion of 40 K, 226 Ra and 228 Ra levels along the soil-grass-cow pathway

  15. 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.

  16. Food-chain transfer of cadmium and zinc from contaminated Urtica dioica to Helix aspersa and Lumbricus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinnett, Danielle E; Hodson, Mark E; Hutchings, Tony R

    2009-08-01

    The present study examines the potential of Urtica dioica as an ecologically relevant species for use in ecotoxicological testing. It is prevalent in degraded ecosystems and is a food source for invertebrates. Urtica dioica grown in hydroponic solutions containing from less than 0.003 to 5.7 mg Cd/L or from 0.02 to 41.9 mg Zn/L accumulated metals resulting in leaf tissue concentrations in the range of 0.10 to 24.9 mg Cd/kg or 22.5 to 2,772.0 mg Zn/kg. No toxicological effects were apparent except at the highest concentrations tested, suggesting that this species may be an important pathway for transfer of metals to primary plant consumers. Helix aspersa and Lumbricus terrestris were fed the Cd- and Zn-rich leaves of U. dioica for six and four weeks, respectively. Cadmium and Zn body load increased with increasing metal concentration in the leaves (p nettle leaves with concentrations of approximately 23 mg Cd/kg and 3,400 mg Zn/kg. Models demonstrate that L. terrestris Cd tissue concentrations (r2 = 0.74, p < 0.001) and H. aspersa Zn tissue concentrations (r(2) = 0.69, p < 0.001) can be estimated from concentrations of Cd and Zn within the leaves of U. dioica and suggest that reasonably reproducible results can be obtained using these species for ecotoxicological testing.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria José Caramujo

    2012-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Antibiotic Pollution in Marine Food Webs in Laizhou Bay, North China: Trophodynamics and Human Exposure Implication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Sisi; Zhao, Hongxia; Lehmler, Hans-Joachim; Cai, Xiyun; Chen, Jingwen

    2017-02-21

    Little information is available about the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of antibiotics in marine food webs. Here, we investigate the levels and trophic transfer of 9 sulfonamide (SA), 5 fluoroquinolone (FQ), and 4 macrolide (ML) antibiotics, as well as trimethoprim in nine invertebrate and ten fish species collected from a marine food web in Laizhou Bay, North China in 2014 and 2015. All the antibiotics were detected in the marine organisms, with SAs and FQs being the most abundant antibiotics. Benthic fish accumulated more SAs than invertebrates and pelagic fish, while invertebrates exhibited higher FQ levels than fish. Generally, SAs and trimethoprim biomagnified in the food web, while the FQs and MLs were biodiluted. Trophic magnification factors (TMF) were 1.2-3.9 for SAs and trimethoprim, 0.3-1.0 for FQs and MLs. Limited biotransformation and relatively high assimilation efficiencies are the likely reasons for the biomagnification of SAs. The pH dependent distribution coefficients (log D) but not the lipophilicity (log K OW ) of SAs and FQs had a significant correlation (r = 0.73; p < 0.05) with their TMFs. Although the calculated estimated daily intakes (EDI) for antibiotics suggest that consumption of seafood from Laizhou Bay is not associated with significant human health risks, this study provides important insights into the guidance of risk management of antibiotics.

  4. Trophic state changes can affect the importance of methane-derived carbon in aquatic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilder, Jos; van Hardenbroek, Maarten; Bodelier, Paul; Kirilova, Emiliya P; Leuenberger, Markus; Lotter, André F; Heiri, Oliver

    2017-06-28

    Methane-derived carbon, incorporated by methane-oxidizing bacteria, has been identified as a significant source of carbon in food webs of many lakes. By measuring the stable carbon isotopic composition (δ 13 C values) of particulate organic matter, Chironomidae and Daphnia spp. and their resting eggs (ephippia), we show that methane-derived carbon presently plays a relevant role in the food web of hypertrophic Lake De Waay, The Netherlands. Sediment geochemistry, diatom analyses and δ 13 C measurements of chironomid and Daphnia remains in the lake sediments indicate that oligotrophication and re-eutrophication of the lake during the twentieth century had a strong impact on in-lake oxygen availability. This, in turn, influenced the relevance of methane-derived carbon in the diet of aquatic invertebrates. Our results show that, contrary to expectations, methane-derived relative to photosynthetically produced organic carbon became more relevant for at least some invertebrates during periods with higher nutrient availability for algal growth, indicating a proportionally higher use of methane-derived carbon in the lake's food web during peak eutrophication phases. Contributions of methane-derived carbon to the diet of the investigated invertebrates are estimated to have ranged from 0-11% during the phase with the lowest nutrient availability to 13-20% during the peak eutrophication phase. © 2017 The Author(s).

  5. Terrestrial radioactivity monitoring programme (TRAMP) report for 1994. Radioactivity in food and agricultural products in England and Wales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries monitoring programmes for radioactivity in the terrestrial environment of the United Kingdom during 1994 are described. The results of the analyses performed with a commentary are presented. Two complimentary programmes, TRAMP and FARM, are used to ensure that radiation doses received by the public from the consumption of foodstuffs are controlled ion accordance with national and international guidelines. TRAMP concentrates on the monitoring of agricultural produce from the vicinity of the 23 licensed nuclear sites in England and Wales. The focus of FARM is the safety of the general food supply through natural food monitoring; a representative selection of industrial and landfill sites which provide potential sources of radionuclide contamination of the food chain is also monitored. In addition, monitoring programmes are undertaken for airborne grass and soil contamination in the neighbourhood of 18 nuclear sites. The overall conclusion drawn from the results presented is that public exposure to anthropogenic radioactivity due to the consumption of milk and foodstuffs grown around licensed nuclear sites in 1994 was well within acceptable limits. (67 references; 97 tables). (UK)

  6. Models for the evaluation of ingestion doses from the consumption of terrestrial foods following an atmospheric radioactive release

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nair, S.

    1984-04-01

    Various methods are described which have been incorporated in the FOODWEB module of the CEGB's NECTAR environmental code and are currently being used within CEGB to assess ingestion doses from consumption of terrestrial foods following an atmospheric radioactive release. Four foodchain models which have been developed within CEGB are fully described and results of typical calculations presented. Also given are the results of a validation of the dynamic model against measured 90 Sr and 137 Cs levels in milk in the U.K. resulting from weapons fallout. Methods are also described for calculating individual and population doses from ingestion using the results of the model calculations. The population dose calculations utilise a data base describing the spatial distribution of production of a wide range of agricultural products. The development of such a data base for Great Britain is described, based on the 1972 land use and livestock census, and maps are presented for each agricultural product. (U.K.)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Sommer

    2015-01-01

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

  8. The influence of food abundance, food dispersion and habitat structure on territory selection and size of an Afrotropical terrestrial insectivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Thomas R.; Newmark, William D.

    2015-01-01

    Most tropical insectivorous birds, unlike their temperate counterparts, hold and defend a feeding and breeding territory year-around. However, our understanding of ecological factors influencing territory selection and size in tropical insectivores is limited. Here we examine three prominent hypotheses relating food abundance, food dispersion (spatial arrangement of food items), and habitat structure to territoriality in the Usambara Thrush Turdus roehli. We first compared leaf-litter macro-invertebrate abundance and dispersion, and habitat structure between territories and random sites. We then examined the relation between these same ecological factors and territory size. Invertebrate abundance and dispersion were sparsely and evenly distributed across our study system and did not vary between territories and random sites. In contrast, habitat structure did vary between territories and random sites indicating the Usambara Thrush selects territories with open understorey and closed overstorey habitat. Invertebrate abundance and dispersion within territories of the Usambara Thrush were not associated with habitat structure. We believe the most likely explanation for the Usambara Thrush’s preference for open understorey and closed overstorey habitat relates to foraging behavior. Using information-theoretic model selection we found that invertebrate abundance was the highest-ranked predictor of territory size and was inversely related, consistent with food value theory of territoriality.

  9. Dose due to man-made radionuclides in terrestrial wild foods near Sellafield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fulker, M.J.; Jackson, D.; McKay, K.; John, C.; Leonard, D.R.P.

    1998-01-01

    Radiological dose implications for consumers of wild foods around Sellafield have been assessed. Habits were surveyed from 72 households, mostly within a few kilometres of Sellafield. A few people were included who lived further away but collect wild foods close to Sellafield. Dose estimates were based on measured gamma emitters, as well as 239 Pu, 241 Am, 14 C and 129 I in selected samples. In all cases, doses were dominated by 137 Cs. One infant was identified who consumed wild food, giving an estimated effective dose of 0.3 μSv a -1 . In the age group 2 to 10 years a mean dose of 0.51 μSv a -1 , and a maximum of 2.8 μSv a -1 , were estimated. Intakes by adults were higher and resulted in more radiologically significant doses. The extreme individual received a dose of 32 μSv a -1 largely due to consumption of honey that included contributions from the Chernobyl accident, and hedgerow fruits. This is comparable to doses to the critical group for consumption of conventional agricultural produce close to the Sellafield site. The 97.5th percentile dose, for all age groups of consumers taken together, was 16.6 μSv a -1 , or 6.2 μSv a -1 if the contributions from Chernobyl are excluded. Considering the contributions from different foods to the whole group of 181 wild food consumers, the rank order is honey, blackberries and venison. (author)

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Potential impacts of ocean acidification on the Puget Sound food web from a model study (NCEI Accession 0134852)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This archival package contains output from a study designed to evaluate the impacts of ocean acidification on the food web of Puget Sound, a large estuary in the...

  15. 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.

  16. Transfer of radionuclides by terrestrial food products from semi-natural ecosystems to humans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, B.J.

    1996-01-01

    The potential radiological significance of radionuclide transfer to humans via foodstuffs derived from semi-natural ecosystems has become apparent since the Chernobyl accident. Foodchain models developed before this time usually did not take such transfers into account. The processes leading to contamination of food in these environments are complex and current understanding of the transfer mechanisms is incomplete. For these reasons the approach adopted in Chapter 3 is to represent, by means of aggregated parameters, the empirical relationships between ground deposits and concentration in the food product. 107 refs, 2 figs, 9 tabs

  17. 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

  18. Presentation of a general algorithm for effect-assessment on secondary poisoning. II Terrestrial food chains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romijn CAFM; Luttik R; Slooff W; Canton JH

    1991-01-01

    In an earlier report, a simple algorithm for effect-assessment on secondary poisoning of birds and mammals was presented. This algorithm (MAR = NOEC/BCF) was drawn up by analyzing an aquatic food chain. In the present study it was tested whether this algorithm can be used equally well for

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A metagenomics-based approach to the top-down effect on the detritivore food web: a salamanders influence on fungal communities within a deciduous forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Donald M; Lawrence, Brandy R; Esterline, Dakota; Graham, Sean P; Edelbrock, Michael A; Wooten, Jessica A

    2014-11-01

    The flow of energy within an ecosystem can be considered either top-down, where predators influence consumers, or bottom-up, where producers influence consumers. Plethodon cinereus (Red-backed Salamander) is a terrestrial keystone predator who feeds on invertebrates within the ecosystem. We investigated the impact of the removal of P. cinereus on the detritivore food web in an upland deciduous forest in northwest Ohio, U.S.A. A total of eight aluminum enclosures, each containing a single P. cinereus under a small log, were constructed in the deciduous forest. On Day 1 of the experiment, four salamanders were evicted from four of the eight enclosures. Organic matter and soil were collected from the center of each enclosure at Day 1 and Day 21. From each sample, DNA was extracted, fungal-specific amplification performed, and 454 pyrosequencing was used to sequence the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) region and partial ribosomal large subunit (LSU). Changes in overall fungal community composition or species diversity were not statistically significant between treatments. Statistically significant shifts in the most abundant taxonomic groups of fungi were documented in presence but not absence enclosures. We concluded that P. cinereus does not affect the overall composition or diversity of fungal communities, but does have an impact on specific groups of fungi. This study used a metagenomics-based approach to investigate a missing link among a keystone predator, P. cinereus, invertebrates, and fungal communities, all of which are critical in the detritivore food web.

  5. Studies on the Edible Terrestrial Snails Helix aspersa Muller Food Conversion Ratio in a Confined Microclimate System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Toader-Williams

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial edible snail breeding is an agricultural activity that finds itself at pioneering stage in Romania. One of the species used in snail farming is Helix aspersa Muller. In order to accelerate their growth, farmers feed the snails with pumpkins as well as concentrated forage consisting of mix of flours to which calcium carbonate is added in order to supplement snails need for shell’s development. In a controlled microclimate environment we measured the average growth of six weeks old Helix aspersa Muller snails placed in four different plastic enclosures. The consumption of different type of foods within 24 hours period was measured. The wheat (60%, corn flour (20% and calcium carbonate (20% mix had a superior food conversion ratio (FCR of 4.80, whereas the second FCR registered 6.04 in the case of 53% pumpkin and 47% flour mix served in the same time followed by the pure fresh vegetable mix accounting for a FCR of 8.00 and by 19.02 when only the pumpkin has been administrated as meal. During the experiments the snails did not have access to soil, being known that soil is an integral part of their diet.

  6. Development of the technology for terrestrial radioecology and food chain analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Jeong Ho; Lee, H. D.; Kim, S. R.; Lee, C. W.; Choi, Y. H.; Kim, S.B.; Lee, M. H.; Im, K. M.; Hong, K. H.; Choi, K. S.; Lee, W. Y.; Park, H.K.; Park, D. W.; Choi, S. D.; Chun, J. S.; Jeong, K. H.; Yoo, B. S.

    1997-07-01

    Root uptake and underground migration of Mn-54, Co-60, Sr-85 and Cs-137 deposited during growing seasons of Korean staple crops such as rice, soybean, potato, Chinese cabbage, radish, red pepper and cucumber were investigated through radio-tracer experiments in greenhouse. H-3 experiments for rice and Chinese cabbage and iodine experiment for Chinese cabbage were also carried out. The effect of KCl and lime application on root uptake and migration of Mn-54, Co-60, Sr-85 and Cs-137 were studied. Long-term (2∼5 years depending on crops) behaviors of these radionuclides in soil-plant system were also investigated. Cs-137 concentrations in farm-land soils and crop plants collected in 33 regions of Korea were measured. Soil-to-plant transfer factors of Cs-137 in outdoor fields were compared with those from greenhouse experiments. An improved method of calculating root-uptake concentration of the radionuclide in crop plant was introduced to KFOOD, a food-chain computer code for normal operation. The direction of improving ECOREA, a food-chain computer code for accidental release, was discussed through comparing model calculation of Sr-90 and Cs-137 root-uptake concentrations with present experimental results. Annual food consumption rates and crop yields were updated. (author). 87 refs., 68 tabs., 58 figs

  7. A general model for the transfer of radioactive materials in terrestrial food chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmonds, J.R.; Linsley, G.S.; Jones, J.A.

    1979-09-01

    A general methodology for modelling the transfer of radionuclides in the food chains to man is described. The models are dynamic in nature so that the long-term time dependence of processes in environmental materials can be represented, for example, the build-up of activity concentrations in soils during continuous deposition from atmosphere. Modules for radionuclide migration are described in well-mixed (cultivated) soil and undisturbed soil (pasture). The methods by which the transfer coefficients used in plant and animal modules are derived are also given. The foodstuffs considered are those derived from green vegetables, grain, and root vegetables together with meat and liver products from the cow and sheep and cow dairy products. The dynamic model permits the time dependence of food chain transfer processes to be represented for different land contamination scenarios; in particular, the model can be adapted to represent behaviour following a single deposit. Using the sensitivity of results to the variation of transfer parameters the model can be used to determine the parts of the food chain where improved data would be most effective in increasing the reliability of radiological assessments; a worked example is given. (author)

  8. Development of the technology for terrestrial radioecology and food chain analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jeong Ho; Lee, H. D.; Kim, S. R.; Lee, C. W.; Choi, Y. H.; Kim, S.B.; Lee, M. H.; Im, K. M.; Hong, K. H.; Choi, K. S.; Lee, W. Y.; Park, H.K.; Park, D. W.; Choi, S. D.; Chun, J. S.; Jeong, K. H.; Yoo, B. S.

    1997-07-01

    Root uptake and underground migration of Mn-54, Co-60, Sr-85 and Cs-137 deposited during growing seasons of Korean staple crops such as rice, soybean, potato, Chinese cabbage, radish, red pepper and cucumber were investigated through radio-tracer experiments in greenhouse. H-3 experiments for rice and Chinese cabbage and iodine experiment for Chinese cabbage were also carried out. The effect of KCl and lime application on root uptake and migration of Mn-54, Co-60, Sr-85 and Cs-137 were studied. Long-term (2{approx}5 years depending on crops) behaviors of these radionuclides in soil-plant system were also investigated. Cs-137 concentrations in farm-land soils and crop plants collected in 33 regions of Korea were measured. Soil-to-plant transfer factors of Cs-137 in outdoor fields were compared with those from greenhouse experiments. An improved method of calculating root-uptake concentration of the radionuclide in crop plant was introduced to KFOOD, a food-chain computer code for normal operation. The direction of improving ECOREA, a food-chain computer code for accidental release, was discussed through comparing model calculation of Sr-90 and Cs-137 root-uptake concentrations with present experimental results. Annual food consumption rates and crop yields were updated. (author). 87 refs., 68 tabs., 58 figs.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-03-15

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

  12. Analysis of a benthic community food web using isotopically labelled potential food

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beviss-Challinor, M.H.; Field, J.G.

    1982-01-01

    A series of experiments was designed to reveal the trophic structure of a benthic community using kelp holdfasts as microcosms within the kelp-bed community. The experimental food comprised zooplankton represented by 3 H 2 O-labelled Artemia sp. eggs and nauplii (200 to 300 μm), detritus derived from 14 C-labelled kelp (60 to 90 μm), and phytoplankton represented by 14 C-labelled Dunaliella primolecta (5 to 10 μm) cultures. Separate experiments of short duration (1 to 2 h) were used to indicate the primary consumers on each type of food, while longer experiments (4, 8 and 16 h) suggested the secondary consumers (coprophagous and carnivorous species). Several species were found to be omnivorous. (orig.)

  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. 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.

  15. Effects of zebra mussels on food webs: Interactions with juvenile bluegill and water residence time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, W.B.; Bartsch, L.A.

    1997-01-01

    We evaluated how water residence time mediated the impact of zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha and bluegill sunfish Lepomis macrochirus on experimental food webs established in 1100-1 outdoor mesocosms. Water residence time was manipulated as a surrogate for seston resupply - a critical variable affecting growth and survival of suspension-feeding invertebrates. We used a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial experimental design with eight treatment combinations (3 replicates/treatment) including the presence or absence of Dreissena (2000 per m2), juvenile bluegill (40 per mesocosm), and short (1100 1 per d) or long (220 1 per d) water residence time. Measures of seston concentration (chlorophyll a, turbidity and suspended solids) were greater in the short- compared to long water-residence mesocosms, but intermediate in short water-residence mesocosms containing Dreissena. Abundance of rotifers (Keratella and Polyarthra) was reduced in Dreissena mesocosms and elevated in short residence time mesocosms. Cladocera abundance, in general, was unaffected by the presence of Dreissena; densities were higher in short-residence time mesocosms, and reduced in the presence of Lepomis. The growth of juvenile Lepomis were unaffected by Dreissena because of abundant benthic food. The final total mass of Dreissena was significantly greater in short- than long-residence mesocosms. Impacts of Dreissena on planktonic food webs may not only depend on the density of zebra mussels but also on the residence time of the surrounding water and the resupply of seston. ?? 1997 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Transfer of selenium from prey to predators in a simulated terrestrial food chain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hopkins, William A.; Staub, Brandon P.; Baionno, Jennifer A.; Jackson, Brian P.; Talent, Larry G.

    2005-01-01

    Little is known about the accumulation and effects of selenium in reptiles. We developed a simplified laboratory food chain where we fed commercial feed laden with seleno-D,L-methionine (30 μg/g dry mass) to crickets (Acheta domestica) for 5-7 d. Se-enriched crickets (∼15 μg/g Se [dry mass]) were fed to juvenile male and female lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) for 98 d while conspecifics were fed uncontaminated crickets. Lizards fed contaminated prey accumulated Se concentrations ranging from 9.3 (in female carcass) to 14.1 (in female gonad) μg/g compared to <1.5 μg/g in tissues of controls. Female gonad concentrations approached the highest of thresholds for reproductive toxicity in oviparous vertebrates. However, we observed no consistent effect of dietary treatment on sublethal parameters or survival. Our simplified food chain proved to be an ecologically relevant method of exposing lizards to Se, and forms the foundation for future studies on maternal transfer and teratogenicity of Se. - Partitioning of selenium among tissues differs between male and female lizards

  19. Transfer of selenium from prey to predators in a simulated terrestrial food chain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hopkins, William A. [Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29801 (United States)]. E-mail: hopkins@srel.edu; Staub, Brandon P. [Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29801 (United States); Baionno, Jennifer A. [Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29801 (United States); Jackson, Brian P. [Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29801 (United States); Talent, Larry G. [Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States)

    2005-04-01

    Little is known about the accumulation and effects of selenium in reptiles. We developed a simplified laboratory food chain where we fed commercial feed laden with seleno-D,L-methionine (30 {mu}g/g dry mass) to crickets (Acheta domestica) for 5-7 d. Se-enriched crickets ({approx}15 {mu}g/g Se [dry mass]) were fed to juvenile male and female lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) for 98 d while conspecifics were fed uncontaminated crickets. Lizards fed contaminated prey accumulated Se concentrations ranging from 9.3 (in female carcass) to 14.1 (in female gonad) {mu}g/g compared to <1.5 {mu}g/g in tissues of controls. Female gonad concentrations approached the highest of thresholds for reproductive toxicity in oviparous vertebrates. However, we observed no consistent effect of dietary treatment on sublethal parameters or survival. Our simplified food chain proved to be an ecologically relevant method of exposing lizards to Se, and forms the foundation for future studies on maternal transfer and teratogenicity of Se. - Partitioning of selenium among tissues differs between male and female lizards.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousk, Johannes; Frey, Serita

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Influence of Black Mangrove Expansion on Salt Marsh Food Web Dynamics in Coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, C.; Baustian, M. M.; Polito, M. J.

    2017-12-01

    The range of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) is projected to expand in the northern Gulf of Mexico due to reduced winter freeze events and an increased rate of droughts. The colonization of mangroves in salt marshes alters habitat structure and creates a novel basal carbon source for consumers. This addition may modify trophic linkages and the structure of estuarine food webs. To understand the implications of mangrove expansion on food web dynamics of traditional Spartina alterniflora marshes, two sites in coastal Louisiana with three habitat types, marsh-dominated, mangrove-dominated, and a transition or mix of the two, were studied. Community composition of juvenile nekton was sampled using fyke nets, minnow traps, and suction sampling and analyzed for abundance and diversity. Primary carbon sources (emergent vegetation, phytoplankton, macroalgae, benthic microalgae, submerged aquatic vegetation, and soil organic matter) and consumers ((blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), grass shrimp (Palaemonetes spp.), Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis), periwinkle snails (Littoraria irrorata), eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica), and southern ribbed mussels (Geukensia granosissima)) collected at each habitat type were measured using stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) to identify trophic level, basal carbon sources, and assess how mangrove carbon is incorporated into salt marsh food webs. While data analysis is ongoing, preliminary results indicate that basal carbon sources supporting some marsh consumers (e.g., periwinkle snails) shift between habitat types, while others remain static (e.g., grass shrimp). This research will further develop our understanding of how climate induced shifts in vegetation influences valued marsh-dependent consumers in the estuarine ecosystems of northern Gulf of Mexico.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2011-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Food web structure shaped by habitat size and climate across a latitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Piccoli, Gustavo C O; de Omena, Paula M; Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago

    2016-10-01

    Habitat size and climate are known to affect the trophic structure and dynamics of communities, but their interactive effects are poorly understood. Organisms from different trophic levels vary in terms of metabolic requirements and heat dissipation. Indeed, larger species such as keystone predators require more stable climatic conditions than their prey. Likewise, habitat size disproportionally affects large-sized predators, which require larger home ranges and are thus restricted to larger habitats. Therefore, food web structure in patchy ecosystems is expected to be shaped by habitat size and climate variations. Here we investigate this prediction using natural aquatic microcosm (bromeliad phytotelmata) food webs composed of litter resources (mainly detritus), detritivores, mesopredators, and top predators (damselflies). We surveyed 240 bromeliads of varying sizes (water retention capacity) across 12 open restingas in SE Brazil spread across a wide range of tropical latitudes (-12.6° to -27.6°, ca. 2,000 km) and climates (Δ mean annual temperature = 5.3°C). We found a strong increase in predator-to-detritivore mass ratio with habitat size, which was representative of a typical inverted trophic pyramid in larger ecosystems. However, this relationship was contingent among the restingas; slopes of linear models were steeper in more stable and favorable climates, leading to inverted trophic pyramids (and top-down control) being more pronounced in environments with more favorable climatic conditions. By contrast, detritivore-resource and mesopredator-detritivore mass ratios were not affected by habitat size or climate variations across latitudes. Our results highlight that the combined effects of habitat size, climate and predator composition are pivotal to understanding the impacts of multiple environmental factors on food web structure and dynamics. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. Development and application of terrestrial food-chain models to assess health risks to man from releases of pollutants to the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaye, S.V.; Hoffman, O.; McDowell-Boyer, L.M.; Baes, C.F.

    1982-01-01

    The paper reviews development and application of mathematical models used to predict the terrestrial food-chain transport of pollutants of potential importance to human health. A distinction is made between models developed specifically for assessment applications and models which may function as research tools. Differentiation is also made between models whose structure is based on steady-state relationships among food-chain compartments and dynamic models developed to simulate food-chain and pollutant kinetics. The strengths and weaknesses of these models are related to the needs of the model-user, the availability of relevant data for parameter quantification, and the feasibility for model validation. For assessment purposes, an optimum level of structural complexity will be achieved when all parameters are readily measurable and predictive error due to unforeseen correlations among parameters is small. The optimum level of simplification, however, will be determined by model validation results and the ease of model implementation. Most examples are derived from models used to assess the terrestrial food-chain transport of radionuclides because assessment methodologies for other types of pollutants are only at an early stage of development. It is concluded that current limitations in parameter quantification and model validation will probably restrict most assessment applications of terrestrial food-chain models to a type of screening calculation. However, once pollutant releases actually occur, environmental monitoring will be necessary to ensure that potential model misprediction does not result in unacceptable consequences. (author)

  10. Development and application of terrestrial food chain models to assess health risks to man and releases of pollutants to the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaye, S.V.; Hoffman, F.O.; McDowell-Boyer, L.M.; Baes, C.F.

    1981-01-01

    This paper reviews the development and application of mathematical models used to predict the terrestrial food chain transport of pollutants of potential importance to human health. A distinction is made between models developed specifically for assessment applications and models which may function as research tools. Differentiation is also made between models whose structure is based on steady-state relationships among food chain compartments and dynamic models developed to simulate food chain and pollutant kinetics. The strengths and weaknesses of these models are related to the needs of the model user, the availability of relevant data for parameter quantification, and the feasibility for model validation. For assessment purposes, an optimum level of structural complexity will be achieved when all parameters are readily measurable and predictive error due to unforeseen correlations among parameters is small. The optimum level of simplification, however, will be determined by model validation results and the ease of model implementation. Most examples are derived from models used to assess the terrestrial food chain transport of radionuclides because assessment methodologies for other types of pollutants are only at an early stage of development. It is concluded that current limitations in parameter quantification and model validation will probably restrict most assessment applications of terrestrial food chain models to a type of screening calculation. However, once pollutant releases actually occur, environmental monitoring will be necessary to ensure that potential model misprediction does not result in unacceptable consequences

  11. Bioaccumulation of tributyltin and triphenyltin compounds through the food web in deep offshore water

    OpenAIRE

    KONO, Kumiko; MINAMI, Takashi; YAMADA, Hisashi; TANAKA, Hiroyuki; KOYAMA, Jiro

    2008-01-01

    Concentrations of tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT) compounds were determined in bottom seawater, sediments, and organisms of various trophic levels in the marine benthic food web in the Sea of Japan to clarify how the bioaccumulation patterns of TBT and TPT in the deep-sea ecosystem differ. TBT was detected in all samples: 0.3-0.8 ng/l in bottom seawater, 4.4-16 ng/g dry wt in sediment, and 1.8-240 ng/g dry wt in various organisms. TBT and TPT concentrations were lower in bottom seawa...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Regional, temporal, and species patterns of mercury in Alaskan seabird eggs: Mercury sources and cycling or food web effects?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, Rusty D.; Roseneau, David G.; Vander Pol, Stacy S.; Hobson, Keith A.; Donard, Olivier F.X.; Pugh, Rebecca S.; Moors, Amanda J.; Becker, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    Mercury concentration ([Hg]), δ 15 N, and δ 13 C values were measured in eggs from common murres (Uria aalge), thick-billed murres (U. lomvia), glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus), and glaucous-winged gulls (L. glaucescens) collected in Alaska from 1999 to 2005. [Hg] was normalized to a common trophic level using egg δ 15 N values and published Hg trophic magnification factors. Egg [Hg] was higher in murres from Gulf of Alaska, Cook Inlet, and Norton Sound regions compared to Bering Sea and Bering Strait regions, independent of trophic level. We believe the Yukon River outflow and terrestrial Hg sources on the southern Seward Peninsula are responsible for the elevated [Hg] in Norton Sound eggs. Normalizing for trophic level generally diminished or eliminated differences in [Hg] among taxa, but temporal variability was unrelated to trophic level. Normalizing murre egg [Hg] by trophic level improves the confidence in regional comparisons of Hg sources and biogeochemical cycling in Alaska. - Highlights: ► Seabird eggs used for monitoring Hg in Alaskan marine environment. ► Egg Hg concentrations normalized to common trophic level using δ 15 N. ► Geographic Hg patterns persist independent of trophic normalization. ► Trophic normalization reduces difference among taxa, but not temporal variability. ► Measuring δ 15 N and δ 13 C improve interpretation of seabird mercury monitoring data. - Normalizing mercury concentrations in seabird eggs to a common trophic level reveals that geographic patterns of mercury contamination exist in the Alaskan marine environment that are independent of food web effects.

  15. 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

  16. Tracking the elusive history of diversification in plant-herbivorous insect-parasitoid food webs: insights from figs and fig wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjellberg, Finn; Proffit, Magali

    2016-02-01

    The food webs consisting of plants, herbivorous insects and their insect parasitoids are a major component of terrestrial biodiversity. They play a central role in the functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems, and the number of species involved is mind-blowing (Nyman et al. 2015). Nevertheless, our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological determinants of their diversity is still in its infancy. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Sutton et al. (2016) open a window into the comparative analysis of spatial genetic structuring in a set of comparable multitrophic models, involving highly species-specific interactions: figs and fig wasps. This is the first study to compare genetic structure using population genetics tools in a fig-pollinating wasp (Pleistodontes imperialis sp1) and its main parasitoid (Sycoscapter sp.A). The fig-pollinating wasp has a discontinuous spatial distribution that correlates with genetic differentiation, while the parasitoid bridges the discontinuity by parasitizing other pollinator species on the same host fig tree and presents basically no spatial genetic structure. The full implications of these results for our general understanding of plant-herbivorous insect-insect parasitoids diversification become apparent when envisioned within the framework of recent advances in fig and fig wasp biology. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Trade-offs for food production, nature conservation and climate limit the terrestrial carbon dioxide removal potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boysen, Lena R; Lucht, Wolfgang; Gerten, Dieter

    2017-10-01

    Large-scale biomass plantations (BPs) are a common factor in climate mitigation scenarios as they promise double benefits: extracting carbon from the atmosphere and providing a renewable energy source. However, their terrestrial carbon dioxide removal (tCDR) potentials depend on important factors such as land availability, efficiency of capturing biomass-derived carbon and the timing of operation. Land availability is restricted by the demands of future food production depending on yield increases and population growth, by requirements for nature conservation and, with respect to climate mitigation, avoiding unfavourable albedo changes. We integrate these factors in one spatially explicit biogeochemical simulation framework to explore the tCDR opportunity space on land available after these constraints are taken into account, starting either in 2020 or 2050, and lasting until 2100. We find that assumed future needs for nature protection and food production strongly limit tCDR potentials. BPs on abandoned crop and pasture areas (~1,300 Mha in scenarios of either 8.0 billion people and yield gap reductions of 25% until 2020 or 9.5 billion people and yield gap reductions of 50% until 2050) could, theoretically, sequester ~100 GtC in land carbon stocks and biomass harvest by 2100. However, this potential would be ~80% lower if only cropland was available or ~50% lower if albedo decreases were considered as a factor restricting land availability. Converting instead natural forest, shrubland or grassland into BPs could result in much larger tCDR potentials ̶ but at high environmental costs (e.g. biodiversity loss). The most promising avenue for effective tCDR seems to be improvement of efficient carbon utilization pathways, changes in dietary trends or the restoration of marginal lands for the implementation of tCDR. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  1. Biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants in a deep-sea, temperate food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Romero, Sonia; Herrero, Laura; Fernández, Mario; Gómara, Belén; Acuña, José Luis

    2017-12-15

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -furans (PCDD/Fs) were measured in a temperate, deep-sea ecosystem, the Avilés submarine Canyon (AC; Cantabrian Sea, Southern Bay of Biscay). There was an increase of contaminant concentration with the trophic level of the organisms, as calculated from stable nitrogen isotope data (δ 15 N). Such biomagnification was only significant for the pelagic food web and its magnitude was highly dependent on the type of top predators included in the analysis. The trophic magnification factor (TMF) for PCB-153 in the pelagic food web (spanning four trophic levels) was 6.2 or 2.2, depending on whether homeotherm top predators (cetaceans and seabirds) were included or not in the analysis, respectively. Since body size is significantly correlated with δ 15 N, it can be used as a proxy to estimate trophic magnification, what can potentially lead to a simple and convenient method to calculate the TMF. In spite of their lower biomagnification, deep-sea fishes showed higher concentrations than their shallower counterparts, although those differences were not significant. In summary, the AC fauna exhibits contaminant levels comparable or lower than those reported in other systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro; Kajihara, Kosuke

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuhiro Takemoto

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roxanne Karimi

    Full Text Available Marine fish and shellfish are primary sources of human exposure to mercury, a potentially toxic metal, and selenium, an essential element that may protect against mercury bioaccumulation and toxicity. Yet we lack a thorough understanding of Hg and Se patterns in common marine taxa, particularly those that are commercially important, and how food web and body size factors differ in their influence on Hg and Se patterns. We compared Hg and Se content among marine fish and invertebrate taxa collected from Long Island, NY, and examined associations between Hg, Se, body length, trophic level (measured by δ(15N and degree of pelagic feeding (measured by δ(13C. Finfish, particularly shark, had high Hg content whereas bivalves generally had high Se content. Both taxonomic differences and variability were larger for Hg than Se, and Hg content explained most of the variation in Hg:Se molar ratios among taxa. Finally, Hg was more strongly associated with length and trophic level across taxa than Se, consistent with a greater degree of Hg bioaccumulation in the body over time, and biomagnification through the food web, respectively. Overall, our findings indicate distinct taxonomic and ecological Hg and Se patterns in commercially important marine biota, and these patterns have nutritional and toxicological implications for seafood-consuming wildlife and humans.

  6. Assessing the Health of Puget Sound's Pelagic Food Web at Multiple Trophic Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, L. D.; Greene, C. M.; Rice, C. A.; Hall, J. E.; Baxter, A. E.; Naman, S. M.; Chamberlin, J.

    2012-12-01

    Puget Sound is an estuarine fjord in the northwestern United State surrounded by variable upland uses, ranging from industrial and urban to agricultural to forested lands. The quality of Puget Sound's ecosystem is under scrutiny because of the biological resources that depend on its function. In 2011, we undertook a study of the Sound's pelagic food web that measured water quality, microbial parameters, and abundance of higher trophic levels including gelatinous zooplankton, forage fish, and salmon. More than 75 sites spanning the latitudinal expanse of Puget Sound and the range of developed and agricultural land uses were sampled monthly from April to October. Strong relationships between water quality and microbial parameters suggest that microbes may modulate water quality indicators, such as dissolved inorganic nitrogen and pH, and that land use may be an influential factor. Basins within Puget Sound exhibit distinct biological profiles at the microbial and macrobiotic levels, emphasizing that Puget Sound is not a homogenous water body and suggesting that informative food web indicators may vary across the basins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Effects of sea-ice extent and krill or salp dominance on the Antarctic food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeb, V.; Siegel, V.; Holm-Hansen, O.; Hewitt, R.; Fraser, W.; Trivelpiece, W.; Trivelpiece, S.

    1997-06-01

    Krill (Euphausia superba) provide a direct link between primary producers and higher trophic levels in the Antarctic marine food web. The pelagic tunicate Salpa thompsoni can also be important during spring and summer through the formation of extensive and dense blooms. Although salps are not a major dietary item for Antarctic vertebrate predators,, their blooms can affect adult krill reproduction and survival of krill larvae. Here we provide data from 1995 and 1996 that support hypothesized relationships between krill, salps and region-wide sea-ice conditions,. We have assessed salp consumption as a proportion of net primary production, and found correlations between herbivore densities and integrated chlorophyll-a that indicate that there is a degree of competition between krill and salps. Our analysis of the relationship between annual sea-ice cover and a longer time series of air temperature measurements, indicates a decreased frequency of winters with extensive sea-ice development over the last five decades. Our data suggest that decreased krill availability may affect the levels of their vertebrate predators. Regional warming and reduced krill abundance therefore affect the marine food web and krill resource management.

  10. Interested in Pelagic Food Webs? BCO-DMO has your Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, C. L.; Groman, R. C.; Kinkade, D.; Rauch, S.; Allison, M. D.; Gegg, S. R.; Shepherd, A.; Wiebe, P. H.; Glover, D. M.

    2016-02-01

    Interdisciplinary research collaborations that address complex, global research themes such as the interactive effects of global warming and studies of pelagic food webs require access to a broad range of data types from all disciplines of oceanography, from all platforms (e.g. ships, gliders, floats, moorings), with the in situ observations complementing and being complemented by laboratory and model results. In an effort to build a comprehensive database of marine ecosystem research data, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO; bco-dmo.org) to support the data management requirements of investigators funded by the NSF's Polar Programs (PLR) and Biological and Chemical Oceanography Sections (OCE). Since 2006, investigators funded by NSF PLR and OCE have been working with support from BCO-DMO data scientists, to build a data system that now includes the full range of ocean biogeochemistry data resulting from decades of research. In addition to data from recently funded PIs, the BCO-DMO data system also serves data from legacy programs (e.g. US Joint Global Ocean Flux Study and US Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics). The data are open-access, available for download in a variety of user-selectable formats, and accompanied by sufficient documentation to enable re-use. This presentation will highlight the diversity of data available from the BCO-DMO system and demonstrate some of the features that enable discovery, access and download of data relevant to studies of pelagic food webs.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Evaluation of web-based, self-administered, graphical food frequency questionnaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristal, Alan R; Kolar, Ann S; Fisher, James L; Plascak, Jesse J; Stumbo, Phyllis J; Weiss, Rick; Paskett, Electra D

    2014-04-01

    Computer-administered food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) can address limitations inherent in paper questionnaires by allowing very complex skip patterns, portion size estimation based on food pictures, and real-time error checking. We evaluated a web-based FFQ, the Graphical Food Frequency System (GraFFS). Participants completed the GraFFS, six telephone-administered 24-hour dietary recalls over the next 12 weeks, followed by a second GraFFS. Participants were 40 men and 34 women, aged 18 to 69 years, living in the Columbus, OH, area. Intakes of energy, macronutrients, and 17 micronutrients/food components were estimated from the GraFFS and the mean of all recalls. Bias (second GraFFS minus recalls) was -9%, -5%, +4%, and -4% for energy and percentages of energy from fat, carbohydrate, and protein, respectively. De-attenuated, energy-adjusted correlations (intermethod reliability) between the recalls and the second GraFFS for fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol were 0.82, 0.79, 0.67, and 0.90, respectively; for micronutrients/food components the median was 0.61 and ranged from 0.40 for zinc to 0.92 for beta carotene. The correlations between the two administrations of the GraFFS (test-retest reliability) for fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol were 0.60, 0.63, 0.73, and 0.87, respectively; among micronutrients/food components the median was 0.67 and ranged from 0.49 for vitamin B-12 to 0.82 for fiber. The measurement characteristics of the GraFFS were at least as good as those reported for most paper FFQs, and its high intermethod reliability suggests that further development of computer-administered FFQs is warranted. Copyright © 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Food Web Responses to Artificial Mixing in a Small Boreal Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauri Arvola

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to simulate food web responses of small boreal lakes to changes in thermal stratification due to global warming, a 4 year whole-lake manipulation experiment was performed. Within that time, period lake mixing was intensified artificially during two successive summers. Complementary data from a nearby lake of similar size and basic water chemistry were used as a reference. Phytoplankton biomass and chlorophyll a did not respond to the greater mixing depth but an increase was observed in the proportional abundance of diatoms, and the proportional abundance of cryptophytes also increased immediately after the onset of mixing. Obligate anoxic green sulphur bacteria vanished at the onset of mixing but gradually recovered after re-establishment of hypolimnetic anoxic conditions. No major effect on crustacean zooplankton was found, but their diversity increased in the metalimnion. During the mixing, the density of rotifers declined but protozoan density increased in the hypolimnion. Littoral benthic invertebrate density increased during the mixing due to Ephemeroptera, Asellus aquaticus and Chironomidae, whereas the density of Chaoborus larvae declined during mixing and lower densities were still recorded one year after the treatment. No structural changes in fish community were found although gillnet catches increased after the onset of the study. The early growth of perch (Perca fluviatilis increased compared to the years before the mixing and in comparison to the reference lake, suggesting improved food availability in the experimental lake. Although several food web responses to the greater mixing depth were found, their persistence and ecological significance were strongly dependent on the extent of the disturbance. To better understand the impacts of wind stress on small lakes, long term whole-lake experiments are needed.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate seasonal variation in persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations, as well as food-web biomagnification, in an Arctic, benthic marine community. Macrozoobenthos, demersal fish and common eiders were collected both inside and outside of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, during May, July and October 2007. The samples were analysed for a selection of legacy chlorinated POPs. Overall, low levels of POPs were measured in all samples. Although POP levels and accumulation patterns showed some seasonal variation, the magnitude and direction of change was not consistent among species. Overall, seasonality in bioaccumulation in benthic biota was less pronounced than in the pelagic system in Kongsfjorden. In addition, the results indicate that δ"1"5N is not a good predictor for POP-levels in benthic food chains. Other factors, such as feeding strategy (omnivory, necrophagy versus herbivory), degree of contact with the sediment, and a high dependence on particulate organic matter (POM), with low POP-levels and high δ"1"5N-values (due to bacterial isotope enrichment), seem to govern the uptake of the different POPs and result in loads deviating from what would be expected consulting the trophic position alone. - Highlights: • Seasonal variation in POP biomagnification was investigated in a benthic food web. • Levels of POPs are generally low in benthic species from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. • POP-concentrations varied with season, but direction of change varied among taxa. • No POP-biomagnification, except for cis-nonachlor, was detected in this study. • δ"1"5N-values does not seem to be a good proxy for trophic level in macrozoobenthos.

  20. Food microbe tracker: a web-based tool for storage and comparison of food-associated microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vangay, Pajau; Fugett, Eric B; Sun, Qi; Wiedmann, Martin

    2013-02-01

    Large amounts of molecular subtyping information are generated by the private sector, academia, and government agencies. However, use of subtype data is limited by a lack of effective data storage and sharing mechanisms that allow comparison of subtype data from multiple sources. Currently available subtype databases are generally limited in scope to a few data types (e.g., MLST. net) or are not publicly available (e.g., PulseNet). We describe the development and initial implementation of Food Microbe Tracker, a public Web-based database that allows archiving and exchange of a variety of molecular subtype data that can be cross-referenced with isolate source data, genetic data, and phenotypic characteristics. Data can be queried with a variety of search criteria, including DNA sequences and banding pattern data (e.g., ribotype or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type). Food Microbe Tracker allows the deposition of data on any bacterial genus and species, bacteriophages, and other viruses. The bacterial genera and species that currently have the most entries in this database are Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Streptococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp., Bacillus spp., and Paenibacillus spp., with over 40,000 isolates. The combination of pathogen and spoilage microorganism data in the database will facilitate source tracking and outbreak detection, improve discovery of emerging subtypes, and increase our understanding of transmission and ecology of these microbes. Continued addition of subtyping, genetic or phenotypic data for a variety of microbial species will broaden the database and facilitate large-scale studies on the diversity of food-associated microbes.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    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 c...

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian H. Meyer

    2015-07-01

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

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. The protozooplankton-ichthyoplankton trophic link: an overlooked aspect of aquatic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montagnes, David J S; Dower, John F; Figueiredo, Gisela M

    2010-01-01

    Since the introduction of the microbial loop concept, awareness of the role played by protozooplankton in marine food webs has grown. By consuming bacteria, and then being consumed by metazooplankton, protozoa form a trophic link that channels dissolved organic material into the "classic" marine food chain. Beyond enhancing energy transfer to higher trophic levels, protozoa play a key role in improving the food quality of metazooplankton. Here, we consider a third role played by protozoa, but one that has received comparatively little attention: that as prey items for ichthyoplankton. For >100 years it has been known that fish larvae consume protozoa. Despite this, fisheries scientists and biological oceanographers still largely ignore protozoa when assessing the foodweb dynamics that regulate the growth and survival of larval fish. We review evidence supporting the importance of the protozooplankton-ichthyoplankton link, including examples from the amateur aquarium trade, the commercial aquaculture industry, and contemporary studies of larval fish. We then consider why this potentially important link continues to receive very little attention. We conclude by offering suggestions for quantifying the importance of the protozooplankton-ichthyoplankton trophic link, using both existing methods and new technologies.

  7. 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

  8. Assimilation of aged organic carbon in a glacial river food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellman, J.; Hood, E. W.; Raymond, P. A.; Bozeman, M.; Hudson, J.; Arimitsu, M.

    2013-12-01

    Identifying the key sources of organic carbon supporting fish and invertebrate consumers is fundamental to our understanding of stream ecosystems. Recent laboratory bioassays highlight that aged organic carbon from glacier environments is highly bioavailable to stream bacteria relative to carbon originating from ice-free areas. However, there is little evidence suggesting that this aged, bioavailable organic carbon is also a key basal carbon source for stream metazoa. We used natural abundance of Δ14C, δ13C, and δ15N to determine if fish and invertebrate consumers are subsidized by aged organic carbon in a glacial river in southeast Alaska. We collected biofilm, leaf litter, three different species of macroinvertebrates, and resident juvenile salmonids from a reference stream and two sites (one site is directly downstream of the glacial outflow and one site is upstream of the tidal estuary) on the heavily glaciated Herbert River. Key producers, fish, and invertebrate consumers in the reference stream had carbon isotope values that ranged from -26 to -30‰ for δ13C and from -12 to 53‰ for Δ14C, reflecting a food web sustained mainly on contemporary primary production. In contrast, biofilm in the two glacial sites was highly Δ14C depleted (-203 to -215‰) relative to the reference site. Although biofilm may consist of both bacteria and benthic algae utilizing carbon depleted in Δ14C, δ13C values for biofilm (-24.1‰), dissolved inorganic carbon (-5.9‰), and dissolved organic carbon (-24.0‰) suggest that biofilm consist of bacteria sustained in part by glacier-derived, aged organic carbon. Invertebrate consumers (mean Δ14C of -80.5, mean δ13C of -26.5) and fish (mean Δ14C of -63.3, mean δ13C of -25.7) in the two glacial sites had carbon isotope values similar to biofilm. These results similarly show that aged organic carbon is incorporated into the metazoan food web. Overall, our findings indicate that continued watershed deglaciation and

  9. Global patterns in ecological indicators of marine food webs: a modelling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Jacomina Heymans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ecological attributes estimated from food web models have the potential to be indicators of good environmental status given their capabilities to describe redundancy, food web changes, and sensitivity to fishing. They can be used as a baseline to show how they might be modified in the future with human impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, or overfishing. METHODOLOGY: In this study ecological network analysis indicators of 105 marine food web models were tested for variation with traits such as ecosystem type, latitude, ocean basin, depth, size, time period, and exploitation state, whilst also considering structural properties of the models such as number of linkages, number of living functional groups or total number of functional groups as covariate factors. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eight indicators were robust to model construction: relative ascendency; relative overhead; redundancy; total systems throughput (TST; primary production/TST; consumption/TST; export/TST; and total biomass of the community. Large-scale differences were seen in the ecosystems of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with the Western Atlantic being more complex with an increased ability to mitigate impacts, while the Eastern Atlantic showed lower internal complexity. In addition, the Eastern Pacific was less organised than the Eastern Atlantic although both of these systems had increased primary production as eastern boundary current systems. Differences by ecosystem type highlighted coral reefs as having the largest energy flow and total biomass per unit of surface, while lagoons, estuaries, and bays had lower transfer efficiencies and higher recycling. These differences prevailed over time, although some traits changed with fishing intensity. Keystone groups were mainly higher trophic level species with mostly top-down effects, while structural/dominant groups were mainly lower trophic level groups (benthic primary producers such as

  10. Burning management in the tallgrass prairie affects root decomposition, soil food web structure and carbon flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, E. A.; Denef, K.; Milano de Tomasel, C.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Wall, D. H.

    2015-09-01

    Root litter decomposition is a major component of carbon (C) cycling in grasslands, where it provides energy and nutrients for soil microbes and fauna. This is especially important in grasslands where fire is a common management practice and removes aboveground litter accumulation. In this study, we investigated whether fire affects root decomposition and C flow through the belowground food web. In a greenhouse experiment, we applied 13C-enriched big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) root litter to intact tallgrass prairie soil cores collected from annually burned (AB) and infrequently burned (IB) treatments at the Konza Prairie Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Incorporation of 13C into microbial phospholipid fatty acids and nematode trophic groups was measured on six occasions during a 180-day decomposition study to determine how C was translocated through the soil food web. Results showed significantly different soil communities between treatments and higher microbial abundance for IB. Root decomposition occurred rapidly and was significantly greater for AB. Microbes and their nematode consumers immediately assimilated root litter C in both treatments. Root litter C was preferentially incorporated in a few groups of microbes and nematodes, but depended on burn treatment: fungi, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and fungivore nematodes for AB and only omnivore nematodes for IB. The overall microbial pool of root litter-derived C significantly increased over time but was not significantly different between burn treatments. The nematode pool of root litter-derived C also significantly increased over time, and was significantly higher for the AB treatment at 35 and 90 days after litter addition. In conclusion, the C flow from root litter to microbes to nematodes is not only measurable, but significant, indicating that higher nematode trophic levels are critical components of C flow during root decomposition which, in turn, is significantly

  11. Zinc isotope ratios of bones and teeth as new dietary indicators: results from a modern food web (Koobi Fora, Kenya)

    OpenAIRE

    Jaouen, Klervia; Beasley, Melanie; Schoeninger, Margaret; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Richards, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

    In order to explore the possibilities of using zinc (Zn) stable isotope ratios as dietary indicators, we report here on the measurements of the ratio of stable isotopes of zinc (66Zn/64Zn, expressed here as ?66Zn) in bioapatite (bone and dental enamel) of animals from a modern food web in the Koobi Fora region of the Turkana Basin in Kenya. We demonstrate that ?66Zn values in both bone and enamel allow a clear distinction between carnivores and herbivores from this food web. Differences were ...

  12. 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

  13. The delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic food web: Why sea ice matters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pucko, M.; Stern, Gary; Macdonald, Robie

    2015-01-01

    For decades sea ice has been perceived as a physical barrier for the loading of contaminants to the Arctic Ocean. We show that sea ice, in fact, facilitates the delivery of organic contaminants to the Arctic marine food web through processes that: 1) are independent of contaminant physical......–chemical properties (e.g. 2–3-fold increase in exposure to brine-associated biota), and 2) depend on physical–chemical properties and, therefore, differentiate between contaminants (e.g. atmospheric loading of contaminants to melt ponds over the summer, and their subsequent leakage to the ocean). We estimate...... risk of increased exposures through melt pond loading and drainage due to the high ratio of melt pond water to seawater concentration (Melt pond Enrichment Factor, MEF), which ranges from 2 for dacthal to 10 for endosulfan I. Melt pond contaminant enrichment can be perceived as a hypothetical ‘pump...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas

    1998-01-01

    Copepods constitute the majority of the mesozooplankton in the oceans. By eating and being eaten copepods have implications for the flow of matter and energy in the pelagic environment. I first consider population regulation mechanisms in copepods by briefly reviewing estimates of growth and mort...... activity for plankton food webs, particularly their role in retarding vertical fluxes and, thus, the loss of material from the euphotic zone......Copepods constitute the majority of the mesozooplankton in the oceans. By eating and being eaten copepods have implications for the flow of matter and energy in the pelagic environment. I first consider population regulation mechanisms in copepods by briefly reviewing estimates of growth...... to variations in fecundity. This is consistent with the observed tremendous variation in copepod fecundity rates, relatively low and constant mortality rates and with morphological and behavioral characteristics of pelagic copepods (e.g., predator perception and escape capability, vertical migration), which can...

  15. Effects of experimental seaweed deposition on lizard and ant predation in an island food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2011-01-28

    The effect of environmental change on ecosystems is mediated by species interactions. Environmental change may remove or add species and shift life-history events, altering which species interact at a given time. However, environmental change may also reconfigure multispecies interactions when both species composition and phenology remain intact. In a Caribbean island system, a major manifestation of environmental change is seaweed deposition, which has been linked to eutrophication, overfishing, and hurricanes. Here, we show in a whole-island field experiment that without seaweed two predators--lizards and ants--had a substantially greater-than-additive effect on herbivory. When seaweed was added to mimic deposition by hurricanes, no interactive predator effect occurred. Thus environmental change can substantially restructure food-web interactions, complicating efforts to predict anthropogenic changes in ecosystem processes.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haukas, Marianne; Hylland, Ketil; Nygard, Torgeir; Berge, John Arthur; Mariussen, Espen

    2010-01-01

    The present study reports diastereomer-specific accumulation of HBCD from a point source in five marine species representing a typical food web in a Norwegian coastal area. Samples of mussels, polychaetes, crabs and seabird eggs were analyzed for the diastereomers α-, β- and γ-HBCD, as well as lipid content and stable isotopes of nitrogen ( 15 N/ 14 N) to estimate trophic level. Accumulated HBCD did not correlate well with lipid content for most of the species, thus wet-weight based concentrations were included in an assessment of biomagnification. In contrast to β- and γ-HBCD, the α-diastereomer increased significantly with trophic level, resulting in magnification factors > 1 in this coastal marine ecosystem. Data for poikilotherms did not show the same positive correlation between the α-diastereomer and trophic position as homeotherms. The apparent biomagnification of the α-HBCD could be due to bioisomerization or diastereomer-specific elimination that differed between poikilotherms and homeotherms.

  17. A comparison of PCB bioaccumulation factors between an arctic and a temperate marine food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobek, Anna; McLachlan, Michael S; Borgå, Katrine; Asplund, Lillemor; Lundstedt-Enkel, Katrin; Polder, Anuschka; Gustafsson, Orjan

    2010-06-01

    To test how environmental conditions in the Arctic and the resulting ecological adaptations affect accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the marine food web, bioaccumulation of four polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in an arctic (Barents Sea 77 degrees N-82 degrees N) and a temperate marine (Baltic Sea 54 degrees N-62 degrees N) food web were compared. Three different trophic levels were studied (zooplankton, fish, and seal), representing the span from first-level consumer to top predator. Previously published high-quality data on PCB water concentrations in the two areas were used for calculation of bioaccumulation factors (BAF). BAF was calculated as the ratio of the PCB concentration in the organism ([PCB](org); pg/kg lipid) to the dissolved water concentration (C(w); pg/L). The BAF(Arctic):BAF(Temperate) ratios were above 1 for all four PCB congeners in zooplankton (6.4-13.8) and planktivorous fish (2.9-5.0)), whereas the ratios were below 1 in seal. The mean ratio between arctic and temperate BAFs for all trophic levels and congeners (BAF(Arcti):BAF(Temperate)) was 4.8. When the data were corrected for the seawater temperature difference between the two ecosystems, the ratio was 2.0. We conclude that bioaccumulation differences caused by ecological or physiological adaptations of organisms between the two ecosystems were well within a water concentration variability of 50%. Further, our data support the hypothesis that lower seawater temperature lead to a thermodynamically favoured passive partitioning to organic matrices and thus elevated ambient BAFs in the Arctic compared to the Baltic Sea. This would imply that bioaccumulation in the Arctic may be described in the same way as bioaccumulation in temperate regions, e.g. by the use of mechanistic models parameterised for the Arctic. Copyright (c) 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Tracing carbon flow through coral reef food webs using a compound-specific stable isotope approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kelton W; Thorrold, Simon R; Houghton, Leah A; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-03-01

    Coral reefs support spectacularly productive and diverse communities in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world's oceans. Debate continues, however, on the degree to which reef biomass is supported by new water column production, benthic primary production, and recycled detrital carbon (C). We coupled compound-specific stable C isotope ratio (δ(13)C) analyses with Bayesian mixing models to quantify C flow from primary producers to coral reef fishes across multiple feeding guilds and trophic positions in the Red Sea. Analyses of reef fishes with putative diets composed primarily of zooplankton (Amblyglyphidodon indicus), benthic macroalgae (Stegastes nigricans), reef-associated detritus (Ctenochaetus striatus), and coral tissue (Chaetodon trifascialis) confirmed that δ(13)C values of essential amino acids from all baseline C sources were both isotopically diagnostic and accurately recorded in consumer tissues. While all four source end-members contributed to the production of coral reef fishes in our study, a single-source end-member often dominated dietary C assimilation of a given species, even for highly mobile, generalist top predators. Microbially reworked detritus was an important secondary C source for most species. Seascape configuration played an important role in structuring resource utilization patterns. For instance, Lutjanus ehrenbergii showed a significant shift from a benthic macroalgal food web on shelf reefs (71 ± 13 % of dietary C) to a phytoplankton-based food web (72 ± 11 %) on oceanic reefs. Our work provides insights into the roles that diverse C sources play in the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and illustrates a powerful fingerprinting method to develop and test nutritional frameworks for understanding resource utilization.

  19. The impact of anticyclonic mesoscale structures on microbial food webs in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christaki, U.; van Wambeke, F.; Lefevre, D.; Lagaria, A.; Prieur, L.; Pujo-Pay, M.; Grattepanche, J.-D.; Colombet, J.; Psarra, S.; Dolan, J. R.; Sime-Ngando, T.; Conan, P.; Weinbauer, M. G.; Moutin, T.

    2011-01-01

    The abundance and activity of the major members of the heterotrophic microbial community - from viruses to ciliates - were studied along a longitudinal transect across the Mediterranean Sea in the summer of 2008. The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by a west to the east gradient of deepening of DCM (deep chlorophyll maximum) and increasing oligotrophy reflected in gradients of heterotrophic microbial biomass and production. However, within this longitudinal trend, hydrological mesoscale features exist and likely influence microbial dynamics. We show here the importance of mesoscale structures by a description of the structure and function of the microbial food web through an investigation of 3 geographically distant eddies within a longitudinal transect. Three selected sites each located in the center of an anticyclonic eddy were intensively investigated: in the Algero-Provencal Basin (St. A), the Ionian Basin (St. B), and the Levantine Basin (St. C). The 3 geographically distant eddies showed the lowest values of the different heterotrophic compartments of the microbial food web, and except for viruses in site C, all stocks were higher in the neighboring stations outside the eddies. During our study the 3 eddies showed equilibrium between GCP (Gross Community Production) and DCR (Dark Community Respiration); moreover, the west-east (W-E) gradient was evident in terms of heterotrophic biomass but not in terms of production. Means of integrated PPp values were higher at site B (~190 mg C m-2 d-1) and about 15% lower at sites A and C (~160 mg C m-2 d-1). Net community production fluxes were similar at all three stations exhibiting equilibrium between gross community production and dark community respiration.

  20. Climate alters intraspecific variation in copepod effect traits through pond food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charette, Cristina; Derry, Alison M

    2016-05-01

    Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are primarily generated by phytoplankton in aquatic ecosystems, and can limit the growth, development, and reproduction of higher consumers. Among the most critical of the EFAs are highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), which are only produced by certain groups of phytoplankton. Changing environmental conditions can alter phytoplankton community and fatty acid composition and affect the HUFA content of higher trophic levels. Almost no research has addressed intraspecific variation in HUFAs in zooplankton, nor intraspecific relationships of HUFAs with body size and fecundity. This is despite that intraspecific variation in HUFAs can exceed interspecific variation and that intraspecific trait variation in body size and fecundity is increasingly recognized to have an important role in food web ecology (effect traits). Our study addressed the relative influences of abiotic selection and food web effects associated with climate change on intraspecific differences and interrelationships between HUFA content, body size, and fecundity of freshwater copepods. We applied structural equation modeling and regression analyses to intraspecific variation in a dominant calanoid copepod, Leptodiatomus minutus, among a series of shallow north-temperate ponds. Climate-driven diurnal temperature fluctuations favored the coexistence of diversity of phytoplankton groups with different temperature optima and nutritive quality. This resulted in unexpected positive relationships between temperature, copepod DHA content and body size. Temperature correlated positively with diatom biovolume, and mediated relationships between copepod HUFA content and body size, and between copepod body size and fecundity. The presence of brook trout further accentuated these positive effects in warm ponds, likely through nutrient cycling and stimulation of phytoplankton resources. Climate change may have previously unrecognized positive effects on freshwater copepod DHA content

  1. Grazing experiments and model simulations of the role of zooplankton in Phaeocystis food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verity, P. G.

    2000-08-01

    A combined empirical and modelling study was conducted to further examine the potential importance of grazing by zooplankton in pelagic food webs in which Phaeocystis is a significant or dominant component. Laboratory experiments were designed to measure ingestion of Phaeocystis and other potential prey items which co-occur with Phaeocystis. Grazers included copepods and ciliates, and prey included Phaeocystis colonies and solitary cells, diatoms, ciliates, bacteria, and detritus. These data were expressed in the model currency of nitrogen units, and fit to hyperbolic tangent equations which included minimum prey thresholds. These equations and literature data were used to constrain a food web model whose purpose was to investigate trophic interactions rather than to mimic actual events. Nevertheless, the model output was similar to the general pattern and magnitude of development of Phaeocystis-diatom communities in some environments where they occur, e.g. north Norwegian waters. The model included three forms of nitrogen, three phytoplankton groups, bacteria, two zooplankton groups, and detritus, with detailed flows between compartments. An important component of the model was inclusion of variable prey preferences for zooplankton. The experiments and model simulations suggest several salient conclusions. Phaeocystis globosa colonies were eaten by a medium-sized copepod species, but ingestion appeared to be strongly dependent upon a proper size match between grazer and prey. If not, colonies were eaten little if at all. Phaeocystis solitary cells were ingested rapidly by ciliate microzooplankton, in agreement with prior literature observations. In contrast, detritus was eaten comparatively slowly by both ciliates and copepods. Both types of zooplankton exhibited apparent minimum prey thresholds below which grazing did not occur or was inconsequential. Model simulations implied that transitions between life cycle stages of Phaeocystis may potentially be important

  2. Tracing carbon flow through coral reef food webs using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton

    2015-11-21

    Coral reefs support spectacularly productive and diverse communities in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world’s oceans. Debate continues, however, on the degree to which reef biomass is supported by new water column production, benthic primary production, and recycled detrital carbon (C). We coupled compound-specific stable C isotope ratio (δ13C) analyses with Bayesian mixing models to quantify C flow from primary producers to coral reef fishes across multiple feeding guilds and trophic positions in the Red Sea. Analyses of reef fishes with putative diets composed primarily of zooplankton (Amblyglyphidodon indicus), benthic macroalgae (Stegastes nigricans), reef-associated detritus (Ctenochaetus striatus), and coral tissue (Chaetodon trifascialis) confirmed that δ13C values of essential amino acids from all baseline C sources were both isotopically diagnostic and accurately recorded in consumer tissues. While all four source end-members contributed to the production of coral reef fishes in our study, a single-source end-member often dominated dietary C assimilation of a given species, even for highly mobile, generalist top predators. Microbially reworked detritus was an important secondary C source for most species. Seascape configuration played an important role in structuring resource utilization patterns. For instance, Lutjanus ehrenbergii showed a significant shift from a benthic macroalgal food web on shelf reefs (71 ± 13 % of dietary C) to a phytoplankton-based food web (72 ± 11 %) on oceanic reefs. Our work provides insights into the roles that diverse C sources play in the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and illustrates a powerful fingerprinting method to develop and test nutritional frameworks for understanding resource utilization.

  3. A comparison of PCB bioaccumulation factors between an arctic and a temperate marine food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobek, Anna; McLachlan, Michael S.; Borga, Katrine; Asplund, Lillemor; Lundstedt-Enkel, Katrin; Polder, Anuschka; Gustafsson, Orjan

    2010-01-01

    To test how environmental conditions in the Arctic and the resulting ecological adaptations affect accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the marine food web, bioaccumulation of four polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in an arctic (Barents Sea 77 o N-82 o N) and a temperate marine (Baltic Sea 54 o N-62 o N) food web were compared. Three different trophic levels were studied (zooplankton, fish, and seal), representing the span from first-level consumer to top predator. Previously published high-quality data on PCB water concentrations in the two areas were used for calculation of bioaccumulation factors (BAF). BAF was calculated as the ratio of the PCB concentration in the organism ([PCB] org ; pg/kg lipid) to the dissolved water concentration (C w ; pg/L). The BAF Arctic :BAF Temperate ratios were above 1 for all four PCB congeners in zooplankton (6.4-13.8) and planktivorous fish (2.9-5.0)), whereas the ratios were below 1 in seal. The mean ratio between arctic and temperate BAFs for all trophic levels and congeners (BAF Arcti :BAF Temperate ) was 4.8. When the data were corrected for the seawater temperature difference between the two ecosystems, the ratio was 2.0. We conclude that bioaccumulation differences caused by ecological or physiological adaptations of organisms between the two ecosystems were well within a water concentration variability of 50%. Further, our data support the hypothesis that lower seawater temperature lead to a thermodynamically favoured passive partitioning to organic matrices and thus elevated ambient BAFs in the Arctic compared to the Baltic Sea. This would imply that bioaccumulation in the Arctic may be described in the same way as bioaccumulation in temperate regions, e.g. by the use of mechanistic models parameterised for the Arctic.

  4. Reciprocal diversification in a complex plant-herbivore-parasitoid food web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bokma Folmer

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plants, plant-feeding insects, and insect parasitoids form some of the most complex and species-rich food webs. According to the classic escape-and-radiate (EAR hypothesis, these hyperdiverse communities result from coevolutionary arms races consisting of successive cycles of enemy escape, radiation, and colonization by new enemy lineages. It has also been suggested that "enemy-free space" provided by novel host plants could promote host shifts by herbivores, and that parasitoids could similarly drive diversification of gall form in insects that induce galls on plants. Because these central coevolutionary hypotheses have never been tested in a phylogenetic framework, we combined phylogenetic information on willow-galling sawflies with data on their host plants, gall types, and enemy communities. Results We found that evolutionary shifts in host plant use and habitat have led to dramatic prunings of parasitoid communities, and that changes in gall phenotype can provide "enemy-free morphospace" for millions of years even in the absence of host plant shifts. Some parasites have nevertheless managed to colonize recently-evolved gall types, and this has apparently led to adaptive speciation in several enemy groups. However, having fewer enemies does not in itself increase speciation probabilities in individual sawfly lineages, partly because the high diversity of the enemy community facilitates compensatory attack by remaining parasite taxa. Conclusion Taken together, our results indicate that niche-dependent parasitism is a major force promoting ecological divergence in herbivorous insects, and that prey divergence can cause speciation in parasite lineages. However, the results also show that the EAR hypothesis is too simplistic for species-rich food webs: instead, diversification seems to be spurred by a continuous stepwise process, in which ecological and phenotypic shifts in prey lineages are followed by a lagged evolutionary

  5. A Web site-based reporting system for monitoring home treatment during oral immunotherapy for food allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachshon, Liat; Goldberg, Michael R; Elizur, Arnon; Levy, Michael B; Schwartz, Naama; Katz, Yitzhak

    2015-06-01

    Reactions during the home treatment phase of oral immunotherapy (OIT) are not uncommon. An ongoing accurate reporting of home treatment outcomes is crucial for the safety and success of OIT. Previous reports have shown that as few as 20% of patients are truly compliant with paper-based diaries. To develop a Web site-based electronic reporting system (web-RS) for monitoring home treatment during OIT for food allergy. A web-RS was developed and incorporated a thorough questionnaire querying for pertinent data including the dose(s) consumed, occurrence and details of adverse reactions, treatment(s), and relevant potential exacerbating factors. All patients enrolled in milk, peanut, or egg OIT programs for at least 4 weeks from November 2012 through January 2014 were introduced to web-RS (n = 157). Successful reporting through web-RS was defined by consecutive reporting during the first home treatment phase (24 days) after its introduction. Comparisons were made with a previous group of OIT-treated patients (n = 100) who reported by E-mail. Successful reporting was achieved by 142 of 157 patients (90.44%) in contrast to a 75% success rate with E-mail (P = .0009). The odds for successful reporting using web-RS were 3.1 (95% confidence interval 1.6-6.3) times higher compared with using E-mail. Mild reactions were reported more frequently with web-RS (P = .0032). Patient reports were constantly available in real time for medical staff review. No complaints regarding web-RS feasibility were reported. One risk factor for failure to use web-RS was a patient's prior successful OIT experience without using web-RS (P = .012). A web-RS can be a powerful tool for improving OIT safety by achieving a high level of patient cooperation in reporting home treatment results. Copyright © 2015 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. A spatial theory for emergent multiple predator-prey interactions in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northfield, Tobin D; Barton, Brandon T; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2017-09-01

    Predator-prey interaction is inherently spatial because animals move through landscapes to search for and consume food resources and to avoid being consumed by other species. The spatial nature of species interactions necessitates integrating spatial processes into food web theory and evaluating how predators combine to impact their prey. Here, we present a spatial modeling approach that examines emergent multiple predator effects on prey within landscapes. The modeling is inspired by the habitat domain concept derived from empirical synthesis of spatial movement and interactions studies. Because these principles are motivated by synthesis of short-term experiments, it remains uncertain whether spatial contingency principles hold in dynamical systems. We address this uncertainty by formulating dynamical systems models, guided by core habitat domain principles, to examine long-term multiple predator-prey spatial dynamics. To describe habitat domains, we use classical niche concepts describing resource utilization distributions, and assume species interactions emerge from the degree of overlap between species. The analytical results generally align with those from empirical synthesis and present a theoretical framework capable of demonstrating multiple predator effects that does not depend on the small spatial or temporal scales typical of mesocosm experiments, and help bridge between empirical experiments and long-term dynamics in natural systems.

  8. Transformation of chiral polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a stream food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, V.D.; Walters, D.M.; Lee, C.M.

    2010-01-01

    The enantiomeric composition of chiral PCB congeners was determined in Twelvemile Creek (Clemson, SC) to examine potential mechanisms of biotransformation in a stream food web. We measured enantiomeric fractions (EFs) of six PCB atropisomers (PCBs 84, 91, 95, 136, 149, and 174) in surface sediment, fine benthic organic matter (FBOM), coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM), periphyton, Asian clam, mayflies, yellowfin shiner, and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) using gas chromatography (GC-ECD). Nonracemic EFs of PCBs 91, 95, 136, and 149 were measured in almost all samples. Enantiomeric compositions of PCBs 84 and 174 were infrequently detected with racemic EFs measured in samples except for a nonracemic EF of PCB 84 in clams. Nonracemic EFs of PCBs 91, 136, and 149 in SPMDs may be due to desorption of nonracemic residues from FBOM. EFs for some atropisomers were significantly different among FBOM, CPOM, and periphyton, suggesting that their microbial communities have different biotransformation processes. Nonracemic EFs in clams and fish suggest both in vivo biotransformation and uptake of nonracemic residues from their food sources. Longitudinal variability in EFs was generally low among congeners observed in matrices. ?? 2010 American Chemical Society.

  9. Ecosystem differences in the trophic enrichment of 13C in aquatic food webs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    France, R.L.; Peters, R.H.

    1997-01-01

    Data from 35 published studies were collated to examine patterns in the trophic enrichment of 13 C of consumers. Because both δ 13 C and δ 14 N vary systematically across ecosystems, it was necessary to standardize for such differences before combining data from numerous sources. Relationships of these measures of ecosystem-standardized δ 13 C to ecosystem-standardized trophic position (Δδ 15 N) for freshwater, estuarine, coastal, and open-ocean and for all aquatic ecosystems yielded regression equations of low predictive capability (average of 20% explained variance in δ 13 C). However, differences were observed in the slopes between δ 13 C and standardized trophic position when data were examined study-specifically: the average trophic fractionation of 13 C was found to increase from +0.2micron for freshwater to +0.5micron for estuarine to +0.8micron for coastal, and to +1.1micron for open-ocean food webs. This ecosystem-specific gradient in 13 C enrichment for consumers supports previous findings of a similar continuum existing for zooplankton - particulate organic matter differences in δ 13 C. Possible mechanisms to explain these ecosystem-specific patterns in 13 C enrichment may be related to the relative importance of detritus, heterotrophic respiration, partial reliance on alternative food sources, and lipid influences in the different ecosystems. (author)

  10. 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

  11. Impact of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis on the microbial food web in the western Wadden Sea, The Netherlands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, P.; Riegman, R.; van der Meer, J.

    2015-01-01

    To study the impact of juvenile blue mussels Mytilus edulis on the microbial food web in the Dutch Wadden Sea, natural sea water was first exposed to mussel filtration. Subsequently, filtered plankton communities were used in a dilution experiment to establish mussel-induced changes in bacterial,

  12. Impact of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis on the microbial food web in the western Wadden Sea, the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, P.; Riegman, R.; Meer, van der J.

    2015-01-01

    To study the impact of juvenile blue mussels Mytilus edulis on the microbial food web in the Dutch Wadden Sea, natural sea water was first exposed to mussel filtration. Subsequently, filtered plankton communities were used in a dilution experiment to establish mussel-induced changes in bacterial,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Response of the benthic food web to short- and long-term nutrient enrichment in saltmarsh mudflats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pascal, P.-Y.; Fleeger, J.W.; Boschker, H.T.S.; Mitwally, H.M.; Johnson, D.S.

    2013-01-01

    We examined the responses of biota at or near the base of the benthic food web to nutrient enrichment in salt marsh mudflats in Plum Island estuary (Massachusetts, USA). To simulate eutrophication, nitrate and phosphate loading rates were increased 10- to 15-fold in creeks fertilized for 2 mo (i.e.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Macfadyen, S.; Gibson, R.; Polaszek, A.; Morris, R.J.; Craze, P.G.; Planque, R.; Symondson, W.O.C.; Memmott, J.

    2009-01-01

    While many studies have demonstrated that organic farms support greater levels of biodiversity, it is not known whether this translates into better provision of ecosystem services. Here we use a food-web approach to analyse the community structure and function at the whole-farm scale. Quantitative

  1. 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.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Bacterial traits, organism mass, and numerical abundance in the detrital soil food web of Dutch agricultural grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, C.; Cohen, J.E.; Setälä, H.; Bloem, J.; Breure, A.M.

    2005-01-01

    This paper compares responses to environmental stress of the ecophysiological traits of organisms in the detrital soil food webs of grasslands in the Netherlands, using the relationship between average body mass M and numerical abundance N. The microbial biomass and biodiversity of belowground fauna

  4. Stocked exotic predators and their interaction with native galaxiids (Pisces: Galaxiidae) shape the food web structure in Tasmanian lakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas; Amsinck, Susanne Lildal; Barmuta, Leon

    2015-01-01

    maximum body size, but not of cladocerans. The zooplankton community food web was wider in lakes with lower pelagic contribution to the fish diet. Our results suggest a negative effect by exotic predators on the niche width of galaxiids, but weak cascading effects on phytoplankton biomass, and a negative...

  5. Selective alteration of soil food web components by invasive Giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) in two distinct habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quist, C.W.; Vervoort, M.T.W.; Megen, van H.H.B.; Gort, G.; Bakker, J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Helder, J.

    2014-01-01

    Apart from relatively well-studied aboveground effects, invasive plant species will also impact the soil food web. So far, most research has been focusing on primary decomposers, while studies on effects at higher trophic levels are relatively scarce. Giant goldenrod Solidago gigantea, native to

  6. Selective alteration of soil food web components by invasive giant goldenrod Solidago gigantea in two distinct habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quist, C.W.; Vervoort, M.T.W.; Van Megen, H.; Gort, G.; Bakker, J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Helder, J.

    2014-01-01

    Apart from relatively well-studied aboveground effects, invasive plant species will also impact the soil food web. So far, most research has been focusing on primary decomposers, while studies on effects at higher trophic levels are relatively scarce. Giant goldenrod Solidago gigantea, native to

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Food web structure dynamics and ecosystem functioning are strongly linked, and both are indispensable in evaluating ecosystem development in lakes under multiple anthropogenic stressors. However, model-based approaches concerning the changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning in a

  10. Effects of Didymosphenia geminata massive growth on stream communities: Smaller organisms and simplified food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladrera, Rubén; Gomà, Joan; Prat, Narcís

    2018-01-01

    This study aims to contribute to the understanding of the impact of Didymosphenia geminata massive growths upon river ecosystem communities' composition and functioning. This is the first study to jointly consider the taxonomic composition and functional structure of diatom and macroinvertebrate assemblages in order to determine changes in community structure, and the food web alterations associated with this invasive alga. This study was carried out in the Lumbreras River (Ebro Basin, La Rioja, Northern Spain), which has been affected by a considerable massive growth of D. geminata since 2011. The study shows a profound alteration in both the river community composition and in the food web structure at the sites affected by the massive growth, which is primarily due to the alteration of the environmental conditions, thus demonstrating that D. geminata has an important role as an ecosystem engineer in the river. Thick filamentous mats impede the movement of large invertebrates-especially those that move and feed up on it-and favor small, opportunistic, herbivorous organisms, mainly chironomids, that are capable of moving between filaments and are aided by the absence of large trophic competitors and predators -prey release effect-. Only small predators, such as hydra, are capable of surviving in the new environment, as they are favored by the increase in chironomids, a source of food, and by the reduction in both their own predators and other midge predators -mesopredator release-. This change in the top-down control affects the diatom community, since chironomids may feed on large diatoms, increasing the proportion of small diatoms in the substrate. The survival of small and fast-growing pioneer diatoms is also favored by the mesh of filaments, which offers them a new habitat for colonization. Simultaneously, D. geminata causes a significant reduction in the number of diatoms with similar ecological requirements (those attached to the substrate). Overall, D

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Water quality management in Lake Kinneret (Israel: hydrological and food web perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moshe GOPHEN

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available Long term (1969-2001 data record of nutrient and plankton temporal distribution, and hydrological parameters in Lake Kinneret, combined with metabolic parameters of zooplankton, which were experimentally measured, were statistically (ANOVA analyzed. Trophic relations between food web compartments were quantitatively considered to evaluate directional combination of ecological forces. Monthly data of inflow discharges, and lake volume were used to calculate residence time values and the data were incorporated into the ecological analysis. The seasonal fluctuations of the hydrological parameters, nutrients, and plankton inventories represent typical subtropical climate conditions: high level in winter and low in summer months. It was found that nitrogen inventories in the lake declined and the biomass of grazable phytoplankton was enhanced since early 1980’s. Dissolved phosphorus was decreased mostly in summer months when the lake is nutrient limited, as a result of phytoplankton uptake. Zooplankton was declined until 1993 and increased later. Zooplankton preferably feed on chlorophytes and diatoms with supplemental resources of detritus, bacteria and protozoa. The most abundant zooplanktivorous fish, Lavnun (Bleak, Acanthobrama spp. populated the lake very densely during 1993-95 and biomanipulation management of subsidized fishery caused lowering of predation pressure resulted in zooplankton enhancement and suppression of additional primary produced matter. It is concluded that zooplankton in Lake Kinneret is not food limited and fishery management (Lavnun removal might be efficient to enhance zooplankton grazing capacity and algal suppression if phosphorus flux is reduced. Long term changes of nano-phytoplankton are affected by both phosphorus availability and zooplankton grazing and fish predation has a significant impact on zooplankton density. Fishery management aimed at algal suppression might be efficient if phosphorus supply is reduced

  13. Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of mercury and selenium in african sub-tropical fluvial reservoirs food webs (Burkina Faso.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ousséni Ouédraogo

    Full Text Available The bioaccumulation and biomagnification of mercury (Hg and selenium (Se were investigated in sub-tropical freshwater food webs from Burkina Faso, West Africa, a region where very few ecosystem studies on contaminants have been performed. During the 2010 rainy season, samples of water, sediment, fish, zooplankton, and mollusks were collected from three water reservoirs and analysed for total Hg (THg, methylmercury (MeHg, and total Se (TSe. Ratios of δ13C and δ15N were measured to determine food web structures and patterns of contaminant accumulation and transfer to fish. Food chain lengths (FCLs were calculated using mean δ15N of all primary consumer taxa collected as the site-specific baseline. We report relatively low concentrations of THg and TSe in most fish. We also found in all studied reservoirs short food chain lengths, ranging from 3.3 to 3.7, with most fish relying on a mixture of pelagic and littoral sources for their diet. Mercury was biomagnified in fish food webs with an enrichment factor ranging from 2.9 to 6.5 for THg and from 2.9 to 6.6 for MeHg. However, there was no evidence of selenium biomagnification in these food webs. An inverse relationship was observed between adjusted δ15N and log-transformed Se:Hg ratios, indicating that Se has a lesser protective effect in top predators, which are also the most contaminated animals with respect to MeHg. Trophic position, carbon source, and fish total length were the factors best explaining Hg concentration in fish. In a broader comparison of our study sites with literature data for other African lakes, the THg biomagnification rate was positively correlated with FCL. We conclude that these reservoir systems from tropical Western Africa have low Hg biomagnification associated with short food chains. This finding may partly explain low concentrations of Hg commonly reported in fish from this area.

  14. 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

  15. Role of small-sized copepods in the lipid-driven Arctic marine food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daase, M.; Boissonnot, L.; Graeve, M.; Søreide, J.; Niehoff, B.

    2016-02-01

    Despite of the low individual biomass of small-sized copepods such as the calanoid Pseudocalanus minutus and the cyclopoid Oithona similis, they are extremely numerous which make them an important trophic component in Arctic marine ecosystems. Due to the strong seasonality in light and thus primary production and food availability, the accumulation of lipid reserves is a key feature in Arctic marine ecosystems. However, very few studies exist on the lipid biochemistry of small copepods such as P. minutus and O. similis. In order to investigate the importance of these species in terms of transfer of lipids from primary production to higher trophic levels, feeding experiments were conducted, based on animals from Billefjorden, a high-Arctic fjord in Svalbard, Norway. A mixture of 13C labeled flagellates and diatoms was fed to the animals and the transfer and assimilation of lipid carbon, fatty acids and fatty alcohols was analyzed with gas chromatography-IRMS technique (CSIA). The results revealed that both species were incorporating dietary lipids in high quantities. The highest accumulation occurred in P. minutus in which 54.4% of the lipids were exchanged after 21 days, whereas 9.4% were assimilated in O. similis. Hence, at least this amount of carbon was used for metabolism and replaced by feeding. The lipid composition of the copepods did not reflect exactly the algal lipids, and differed between P. minutus and O. similis. Our results suggested intrinsic preferences in the accumulation of particular fatty acids, probably related to species-specific body requirements. This emphasizes the importance of also food quality in Arctic marine systems. Due to the relatively high lipid turnover rates in particularly in P. minutus, also small copepods are important drivers of the lipid-driven Arctic marine food web.

  16. Relative validity of a web-based food frequency questionnaire for Danish adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjerregaard, Anne A; Halldorsson, Thorhallur I; Kampmann, Freja B; Olsen, Sjurdur F; Tetens, Inge

    2018-01-12

    With increased focus on dietary intake among youth and risk of diseases later in life, it is of importance, prior to assessing diet-disease relationships, to examine the validity of the dietary assessment tool. This study's objective was to evaluate the relative validity of a self-administered web-based FFQ among Danish children aged 12 to 15 years. From a nested sub-cohort within the Danish National Birth Cohort, 124 adolescents participated. Four weeks after completion of the FFQ, adolescents were invited to complete three telephone-based 24HRs; administered 4 weeks apart. Mean or median intakes of nutrients and food groups estimated from the FFQ were compared with the mean of 3x24HRs. To assess the level of ranking we calculated the proportion of correctly classified into the same quartile, and the proportion of misclassified (into the opposite quartile). Spearman's correlation coefficients and de-attenuated coefficients were calculated to assess agreement between the FFQ and 24HRs. The mean percentage of all food groups, for adolescents classified into the same and opposite quartile was 35 and 7.5%, respectively. Mean Spearman's correlation was 0.28 for food groups and 0.35 for nutrients, respectively. Adjustment for energy and within-person variation in the 24HRs had little effect on the magnitude of the correlations for food groups and nutrients. We found overestimation by the FFQ compared with the 24HRs for fish, fruits, vegetables, oils and dressing and underestimation by the FFQ for meat/poultry and sweets. Median intake of beverages, dairy, bread, cereals, the mean total energy and carbohydrate intake did not differ significantly between the two methods. The relative validity of the FFQ compared with the 3x24HRs showed that the ranking ability differed across food groups and nutrients with best ranking for estimated intake of dairy, fruits, and oils and dressing. Larger variation was observed for fish, sweets and vegetables. For nutrients, the ranking

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  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 L.; Marrari, Marina; Ribic, Christine A.; Smith, Walker O.; Steele, John H.

    2014-01-01

    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. 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.

  20. Trophodynamics of Organic Pollutants in Pelagic and Benthic Food Webs of Lake Dianchi: Importance of Ingested Sediment As Uptake Route.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Senrong; Wang, Beili; Liu, Hang; Gao, Shixiong; Li, Tong; Wang, Shuran; Liu, Yong; Liu, Xueqin; Wan, Yi

    2017-12-19

    Habitat is of great importance in determining the trophic transfer of pollutants in freshwater ecosystems; however, the major factors influencing chemical trophodynamics in pelagic and benthic food webs remain unclear. This study investigated the levels of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and substituted PAHs (s-PAHs) in 2 plankton species, 6 invertebrate species, and 10 fish species collected from Lake Dianchi in southern China. Relatively high concentrations of PAHs and s-PAHs were detected with total concentrations of 11.4-1400 ng/g wet weight (ww) and 5.3-115 ng/g ww, respectively. Stable isotope analysis and stomach content analysis were applied to quantitatively determine the trophic level of individual organisms and discriminate between pelagic and benthic pathways, and the trophodynamics of the detected compounds in the two food webs were assessed. P,p'-DDE was found to exhibit relatively higher trophic magnification rate in the pelagic food web than in the benthic food web. In contrast, PAHs and s-PAHs exhibited greater dilution rates along the trophic levels in the pelagic food web. The lower species differences of pollutants accumulated in benthic organisms compared to pelagic organisms is attributable to extra uptake via ingested sediment in benthos. The average uptake proportions of PAHs and s-PAHs via ingested sediment in benthic biotas were estimated to be 31-77%, and that of p,p'-DDE was 46%. The uptake routes are of importance for assessing the trophic magnification potentials of organic pollutants, especially in eutrophic freshwater ecosystems.

  1. Land use related silica dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems.

    OpenAIRE

    Clymans, Wim

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) provides the base component for well-balanced food-webs in aquatic systems. Here, together with nitrogen and phosphorous Si determines phytoplankton composition, and plays a major role in eutrophication problems and carbon sequestration. Rivers are the primary source of Si for the oceans, and is ultimately derived from mineral weathering. However there is growing evidence illustrating the importance of biological Si cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Riverine Si fluxes will be af...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lavoie, Raphael A.; Hebert, Craig E.; Rail, Jean-Francois; Braune, Birgit M.; Yumvihoze, Emmanuel; Hill, Laura G.; Lean, David R.S.

    2010-01-01

    Even at low concentrations in the environment, mercury has the potential to biomagnify in food chains and reaches levels of concern in apex predators. The aim of this study was to relate the transfer of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in a Gulf of St. Lawrence food web to the trophic structure, from primary consumers to seabirds, using stable nitrogen (δ 15 N) and carbon (δ 13 C) isotope analysis and physical environmental parameters. The energy reaching upper trophic level species was principally derived from pelagic primary production, with particulate organic matter (POM) at the base of the food chain. We developed a biomagnification factor (BMF) taking into account the various prey items consumed by a given predator using stable isotope mixing models. This BMF provides a more realistic estimation than when using a single prey. Lipid content, body weight, trophic level and benthic connection explained 77.4 and 80.7% of the variation in THg and MeHg concentrations, respectively in this food web. When other values were held constant, relationships with lipid and benthic connection were negative whereas relationships with trophic level and body weight were positive. Total Hg and MeHg biomagnified in this food web with biomagnification power values (slope of the relationship with δ 15 N) of 0.170 and 0.235, respectively on wet weight and 0.134 and 0.201, respectively on dry weight. Values of biomagnification power were greater for pelagic and benthopelagic species compared to benthic species whereas the opposite trend was observed for levels at the base of the food chain. This suggests that Hg would be readily bioavailable to organisms at the base of the benthic food chain, but trophic transfer would be more efficient in each trophic level of pelagic and benthopelagic food chains.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Sodium co-limits and catalyzes macronutrients in a prairie food web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaspari, Michael; Roeder, Karl A.; Benson, Brittany

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen and phosphorus frequently limit terrestrial plant production, but have a mixed record in regulating the abundance of terrestrial invertebrates. We contrasted four ways that Na could interact with an NP fertilizer to shape the plants and invertebrates of an inland prairie. We applied NP a...

  5. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Bridging Food Webs, Ecosystem Metabolism, and Biogeochemistry Using Ecological Stoichiometry Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Welti

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Although aquatic ecologists and biogeochemists are well aware of the crucial importance of ecosystem functions, i.e., how biota drive biogeochemical processes and vice-versa, linking these fields in conceptual models is still uncommon. Attempts to explain the variability in elemental cycling consequently miss an important biological component and thereby impede a comprehensive understanding of the underlying processes governing energy and matter flow and transformation. The fate of multiple chemical elements in ecosystems is strongly linked by biotic demand and uptake; thus, considering elemental stoichiometry is important for both biogeochemical and ecological research. Nonetheless, assessments of ecological stoichiometry (ES often focus on the elemental content of biota rather than taking a more holi