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Food web interactions determine energy transfer efficiency and top consumer responses to inputs of dissolved organic carbon
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF). (EcoChange; UMFpub)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF).
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (EcoChange)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (EcoChange)
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2018 (English)In: Hydrobiologia, ISSN 0018-8158, E-ISSN 1573-5117, Vol. 805, no 1, 131-146 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change projections indicate increased precipitation in northern Europe, leading to increased inflow of allochthonous organic matter to aquatic systems. The food web responses are poorly known, and may differ depending on the trophic structure. We performed an experimental mesocosm study where effects of labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on two different pelagic food webs were investigated, one having zooplankton as highest trophic level and the other with planktivorous fish as top consumer. In both food webs, DOC caused higher bacterial production and lower food web efficiency, i.e., energy transfer efficiency from the base to the top of the food web. However, the top-level response to DOC addition differed in the zooplankton and the fish systems. The zooplankton production increased due to efficient channeling of energy via both the bacteria land the phytoplankton pathway, while the fish production decreased due to channeling of energy mainly via the longer and less efficient bacterial pathway. We conclude that the added DOC either acted as a subsidy by increasing the production of the top trophic level (mesozooplankton), or as a sink causing decreased top consumer production (planktivorous fish).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 805, no 1, 131-146 p.
Keyword [en]
Food web efficiency, Carbon transfer, Allochthonous dissolved organic carbon, Mesocosm, Planktivorous fish
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102789DOI: 10.1007/s10750-017-3298-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-102789DiVA: diva2:809646
Funder
Ecosystem dynamics in the Baltic Sea in a changing climate perspective - ECOCHANGE
Note

Originally published in manuscript form with title Food web interactions determine transfer efficiency and top consumer responses to increased allochthonous carbon input

Available from: 2015-05-05 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2017-11-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Response of marine food webs to climate-induced changes in temperature and inflow of allochthonous organic matter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Response of marine food webs to climate-induced changes in temperature and inflow of allochthonous organic matter
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Global records of temperature show a warming trend both in the atmosphere and in the oceans. Current climate change scenarios indicate that global temperature will continue to increase in the future. The effects will however be very different in different geographic regions. In northern Europe precipitation is projected to increase along with temperature. Increased precipitation will lead to higher river discharge to the Baltic Sea, which will be accompanied by higher inflow of allochthonous organic matter (ADOM) from the terrestrial system. Both changes in temperature and ADOM may affect community composition, altering the ratio between heterotrophic and autotrophic organisms. Climate changes may thus have severe and complex effects in the Baltic Sea, which has low species diversity and is highly vulnerable to environmental change. The aim of my thesis was to acquire a conceptual understanding of aquatic food web responses to increased temperature and inputs of ADOM. These factors were chosen to reflect plausible climate change scenarios. I performed microcosm and mesocosm experiments as well as a theoretical modeling study. My studies had a holistic approach as they covered entire food webs, from bacteria and phytoplankton to planktivorous fish. The results indicate a strong positive effect of increased temperature and ADOM input on the bacterial community and the microbial food web. However, at the prevailing naturally low nutrient concentrations in the Baltic Sea, the effect of increased temperature may be hampered by nutrient deficiency. In general my results show that inputs of ADOM will cause an increase of the bacterial production. This in turn can negatively affect the production at higher trophic levels, due to establishment of an intermediate trophic level, consisting of protozoa. However, the described effects can be counteracted by a number of factors, as for example the relatively high temperature optimum of fish, which will lead to a more efficient exploitation of the system. Furthermore, the length of the food web was observed to be a strong regulating factor for food web responses and ecosystem functioning. Hence, the effect of environmental changes may differ quite drastically depending on the number of trophic levels and community composition of the system. The results of my thesis are of importance as they predict possible ecological consequences of climate change, and as they also demonstrate that variables cannot be examined separately.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2015. 28 p.
Keyword
Climate change, bacterial production, mesocosm, food web efficiency, Baltic Sea
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102791 (URN)978-91-7601-266-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-28, KBC-huset, Lilla Hörsalen, KB3A9, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Ecosystem dynamics in the Baltic Sea in a changing climate perspective - ECOCHANGESwedish Research Council Formas, AA and SL (217-2006-674)
Note

This thesis was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council FORMAS to AA and SL (217-2006-674), the Centre for Environmental Research in Umeå (CMF) to UB, AA and SL, and by the Swedish strategic research program ECOCHANGE to Umeå University.

Available from: 2015-05-07 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2017-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Degerman, RickardLefébure, RobertByström, PärBåmstedt, UlfLarsson, StefanAndersson, Agneta
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