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Ontogenetic asymmetry modulates population biomass production and response to harvest
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Univ Amsterdam, Inst Biodivers & Ecosyst Dynam, NL-1090 GE Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2015 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 6, 6441Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Patterns in biomass production are determined by resource input (productivity) and trophic transfer efficiency. At fixed resource input, variation in consumer biomass production has been related to food quality, metabolic type and diversity among species. In contrast, intraspecific variation in individual body size because of ontogenetic development, which characterizes the overwhelming majority of taxa, has been largely neglected. Here we show experimentally in a long-term multigenerational study that reallocating constant resource input in a two-stage consumer system from an equal resource delivery to juveniles and adults to an adult-biased resource delivery is sufficient to cause more than a doubling of total consumer biomass. We discuss how such changes in consumer stage-specific resource allocation affect the likelihood for alternative stable states in harvested populations as a consequence of stage-specific overcompensation in consumer biomass and thereby the risk of catastrophic collapses in exploited populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2015. Vol. 6, 6441
National Category
Ecology Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103167DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7441ISI: 000352633900025PubMedID: 25737320OAI: diva2:814602
Available from: 2015-05-27 Created: 2015-05-18 Last updated: 2015-09-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Ontogenetic bottlenecks: effects on intraguild predation systems and ecosystem efficiency
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ontogenetic bottlenecks: effects on intraguild predation systems and ecosystem efficiency
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Size-dependent differences between individuals in size-structured organisms have fundamental effect on population and community dynamics. Intraguild predation (IGP) is one specifically interesting constellation that often arises when two size-structured populations interact. Ontogenetic bottlenecks that determine population size-structure are affected by both population intrinsic as well as population extrinsic factors, and are therefore context-dependent. Surprisingly, size-structured IGP systems have mainly been investigated theoretically and especially long-term empirical studies are widely lacking. In this thesis I investigate empirically how habitat complexity, interaction strength, and stage-specific resource availabilities affect population processes and their effects on the dynamics of a size-structured IGP system. I conducted multi-generation experiments in a size-structured IGP system, with the Least Killifish (Heterandria formosa) as IG prey and the Common Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) as IG predator. With no alternative resource next to the shared resource, IG predator and IG prey could not coexist. Weak interactions only increased IG prey and IG predator persistence times and observed exclusion patterns depended on habitat complexity. An alternative resource for either the juvenile IG predator or the juvenile IG prey on the other hand promoted coexistence. However, this coexistence was context-dependent. Ontogenetic bottlenecks played a central role in the dynamics of the size-structured IGP system in general. In the final study I show that an ontogenetic bottleneck can, through changes in stage-specific resource availabilities, be affected in a way that leads to increased trophic transfer efficiency with potential effects on higher trophic levels.

Overall, the results emphasize importance of the broader context in which size-structured communities are embedded. Especially, when managing natural communities it is important to account for the combined effects of size-structure, stage-specific resource availabilities, and habitat structure. Specifically, when managing species that connect habitats or ecosystems all life-stages’ environmental conditions must be consider in order to ensure strong predictive power of tools used for ecosystem management planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2015. 29 p.
mixed interactions, cannibalism, life-history omnivory, ontogenetic niche shift, biomass overcompensation, biomass production, ontogenetic asymmetry, indirect effects
National Category
Research subject
biology; Animal Ecology
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105759 (URN)978-91-7601-299-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-25, Lilla hörsalen (KB3A9), KBC-huset, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 14:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2015-09-02Bibliographically approved

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