Influence of plankton structure and temperature on pelagic food web efficiency in a brackish water system
2011 (English)In: Aquatic Ecology, ISSN 1386-2588, E-ISSN 1573-5125, Vol. 45, 307-323 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
As part of one climate change scenario, water temperature as well as the ratio between heterotrophic and autotrophic production is expected to increase; the latter at least in higher latitudes. In order to test how this scenario would affect organisms, such as metazooplankton, at higher trophic levels and carbon transfer up the food chain, a mesocosm experiment was performed at two different temperatures; 5 and 10°C, with two food webs; one phytoplankton-based (NP; autotrophic) and one bacteria-based (CNP; heterotrophic). The groups of pelagic organisms included in the mesocosms were bacteria, flagellates, ciliates, phytoplankton and metazooplankton. Metazooplankton production was observed to increase with temperature, but was not significantly affected by food web structure. A change in food web structure, i.e. increased heterotrophy, did however lead to decreased fatty acid content and lower individual weight of the metazooplankton. Food web efficiency (FWE), defined as metazooplankton production divided by basal production, increased with autotrophy and temperature: 5CNP (0.2%) < 10CNP (0.4%) < 5NP (1.2%) < 10NP (7.3%). Our results indicate that in the climate change scenario under consideration, the temperature will have a positive effect on FWE whereas the increase in heterotrophy will have a negative effect on FWE. Furthermore, the quality, in terms of fatty acid content and individual weight of the metazooplankton, will be reduced with possible negative effects on higher trophic levels.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 45, 307-323 p.
Pelagic food web efficiency, food quality, climate change, Baltic sea
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37861DOI: 10.1007/s10452-011-9355-yOAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37861DiVA: diva2:371731