umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Food web structures and carbon transfer efficiencies in a brackish water ecosystem
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (EcoChange)
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Two differently structured food webs can be distinguished in the pelagic habitat of aquatic systems; the classical one (autotrophic) with phytoplankton as a base and the microbial food web (heterotrophic) with bacteria as a base. Energy (produced at the basal trophic level) reaches higher trophic levels, i.e. zooplankton, directly in the classical food web in contrast to the microbial food web where it passes through additional trophic levels before reaching zooplankton. Energy is lost between each trophic level and therefore less energy should reach higher trophic levels in the microbial food web than in the classical food web. However, factors such as edibility of prey, temperature and properties of the predator, might also influence the food web structures and functions.

In this thesis I studied which factors are important for an efficient carbon transfer and how a potential climate change might alter the food web efficiency in pelagic and pelagic-benthic food webs in the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, one of the most dominant zooplankton in the northern Baltic Sea, Limnocalanus macrurus, was studied in order to establish the seasonal pattern of lipid reserves in relation to food consumption.

My studies showed that the carbon transfer efficiency during summer was not directly connected to the basal production, but factors such as the ratio between heterotrophs and autotrophs, the relationship between cladocerans and calanoid copepods and the size and community structure of both phytoplankton and zooplankton were important for the carbon transfer efficiency. In a climate change perspective, the temperature as well as the relative importance of the microbial food web is likely to increase. A temperature increase may have a positive effect on the pelagic food web efficiency, whereas increasing heterotrophy will have a negative effect on the pelagic and pelagic-benthic food web efficiency, reduce the fatty acid content of zooplankton and reduce the individual weight of both zooplankton and the benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis. During the seasonal study on the calanoid copepod L. macrurus, I found that this species is mainly a carnivore, feeding on mesozooplankton during most of the year but switches to feeding on phytoplankton when these are abundant. Furthermore, when food is scarce, it utilizes lipids that are built up during the course of the year.

From these studies I can draw some major conclusions; there are many factors that influence how efficient carbon is transferred in the food web and different factors are probably of various importance in different areas. In order to determine the carbon transfer efficiency, the various strategies exerted by different organism groups have to be considered, as for example that some zooplankton utilize lipid reserves instead of feeding all year around. Also, in a climate change perspective, the pelagic-benthic food web efficiency will decrease, as will the quality of zooplankton and M. affinis, possibly having implications for higher trophic levels such as fish.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för Ekologi, Miljö och Geovetenskap , 2010. , 25 p.
Keyword [en]
Carbon transfer efficiency, Food web efficiency, zooplankton, production, pelagic, benthic, fatty acids, wax esters
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38014ISBN: 978-91-7459-087-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-38014DiVA: diva2:371844
Public defence
2010-12-17, Stora Hörsalen, KB3B1, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-11-26 Created: 2010-11-22 Last updated: 2017-09-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Planktonic production and carbon transfer efficiency along a north-south gradient in the Baltic sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Planktonic production and carbon transfer efficiency along a north-south gradient in the Baltic sea
Show others...
2010 (English)In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 409, 77-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A 1 yr study was conducted along a brackish-water production gradient to enhance the understanding of factors governing pelagic food web function. This was achieved by measuring carbon transfer efficiency (TE) from the basal resource to an intermediate trophic level. TE was defined as mesozooplankton carbon consumption rate divided by production at the basal trophic level, which is composed of phytoplankton and bacteria. A north–south transect in the Baltic Sea was used as a model system, with 2 stations each in the Bothnian Bay, Bothnian Sea and Baltic Proper being sampled 5 to 8× during 2006. In addition, data from monitoring programmes were used, which comprised 10 to 22 samplings stn–1. TE was expected to be governed by the size distribution of phytoplankton and due to the nutrient gradient, we expected to find an optimal cell size, and thus also a high TE, in the intermediate-productive Bothnian Sea. The basal production during summer/autumn increased 5-fold from north to south, while the mesozooplankton carbon consumption rate exhibited a peak inthe Bothnian Sea, being ~3× higher than in both Bothnian Bay and Baltic Proper. TE was found to be intermediate in the Bothnian Bay (average: 0.8), highest in the Bothnian Sea (1.6), and lowest in the Baltic Proper (0.2). We suggest that the variation in carbon transfer efficiency can be explained by the composition of the phytoplankton community, the abundance balance between copepods and cladocerans, as well as the species composition of mesozooplankton in relation to the size structure of phytoplankton.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Inter-Research, 2010
Keyword
Carbon transfer efficiency, pelagic production, mesozooplankton, Baltic sea
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37859 (URN)10.3354/meps08615 (DOI)000279054000007 ()
Available from: 2010-11-22 Created: 2010-11-17 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved
2. Influence of plankton structure and temperature on pelagic food web efficiency in a brackish water system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>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
Abstract [en]

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.

Keyword
Pelagic food web efficiency, food quality, climate change, Baltic sea
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37861 (URN)10.1007/s10452-011-9355-y (DOI)
Available from: 2010-11-22 Created: 2010-11-17 Last updated: 2017-10-23Bibliographically approved
3. Effects of warming and shifts of pelagic food web structure on benthic productivity in a coastal marine system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of warming and shifts of pelagic food web structure on benthic productivity in a coastal marine system
2009 (English)In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 396, 13-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been predicted that climate change will lead to increased temperature and precipitation in northern latitudes, which in turn may lead to brownification of coastal sea areas. This will increase the importance of the heterotrophic microbial food web in areas like the northern Baltic Sea. Such a structural change in the pelagic food web would hamper benthic productivity, since microheterotrophs have lower settling rates than phytoplankton. We tested how variation in temperature and alteration of the pelagic food web structure affected the productivity of a key benthic species, the amphipod Monoporeia affinis, and the pelagic-benthic food web efficiency (FWE). Using water from the northern Baltic Sea, a mesocosm experiment was performed in which the temperature was altered by 5°C. The structure of the pelagic food web changed from one based on algae to one based on bacteria. Amphipod productivity was 3 times higher and FWE was 25 times higher in the algae than in the bacteria-based food web, showing that an altered pelagic food web will have severe effects on benthic productivity. Temperature variation, on the other hand, did not cause any changes in either growth of M. affinis or FWE. Our data indicate that indirect effects of climate change, leading to structural changes in the pelagic food web, will have much more severe effects on benthic productivity than the direct effect of increased temperature.

Keyword
Climate change, altered pelagic food web structure, decreased benthic productivity, Pelagic-benthic coupling, Monoporeia affinis
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30258 (URN)10.3354/meps08290 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-12-15 Created: 2009-12-15 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved
4. Seasonal variation in wax ester concentration and gut content in a Baltic Sea copepod [Limnocalanus macrurus (Sars 1863)]
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seasonal variation in wax ester concentration and gut content in a Baltic Sea copepod [Limnocalanus macrurus (Sars 1863)]
2012 (English)In: Journal of Plankton Research, ISSN 0142-7873, E-ISSN 1464-3774, Vol. 34, no 4, 286-297 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Limnocalanus macrurus from Bothnian Bay in the northern part of the Baltic Sea was studied during the ice-free period (AprilDecember) in order to understand its life history and feeding biology. Our data on the population dynamics indicated that reproduction occurred during the ice-covered period, during which lipid storage was reduced to a minimum. From spring to late summer, the lipid reserve increased by a factor of 3, while the gonads of adult females were immature during this period, continuing to December as indicated by the small size of the eggs. Average stomach fullness was always ca. 50 indicating continuous feeding activity. A newly developed denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography method was used to analyse the gut contents over the study period. More than 30 taxa (at different taxonomic levels) could be identified. However, phytoplankton was only represented by one taxon (Diatomophycea), and was restricted to July. Thus, adult L. macrurus seems to have a strongly carnivorous feeding preference in the northern Baltic Sea.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012
Keyword
Limnocalanus macrurus, wax esters, gut content, DHPLC, Bothnian Bay
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-53926 (URN)10.1093/plankt/fbs005 (DOI)000301360800003 ()
Available from: 2012-04-12 Created: 2012-04-10 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(611 kB)1345 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 611 kBChecksum SHA-512
daffb767c7bf0894ac173c9d2944ce03eac5b745c2a3cb91a19ec527b3a62b9ed2a763336e1597c97ac25486b5f8720ef3dbad9fbc2c4b55c3f1f13a6706085f
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Dahlgren, Kristin
By organisation
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Ecology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1345 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 281 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf