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Impact of nitrogen deposition on forest and lake food webs in nitrogen-limited environments
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.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2016 (English)In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 22, no 1, 164-179 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Increased reactive nitrogen (N-r) deposition has raised the amount of N available to organisms and has greatly altered the transfer of energy through food webs, with major consequences for trophic dynamics. The aim of this review was to: (i) clarify the direct and indirect effects of N-r deposition on forest and lake food webs in N-limited biomes, (ii) compare and contrast how aquatic and terrestrial systems respond to increased N-r deposition, and (iii) identify how the nutrient pathways within and between ecosystems change in response to N-r deposition. We present that N-r deposition releases primary producers from N limitation in both forest and lake ecosystems and raises plants' N content which in turn benefits herbivores with high N requirements. Such trophic effects are coupled with a general decrease in biodiversity caused by different N-use efficiencies; slow-growing species with low rates of N turnover are replaced by fast-growing species with high rates of N turnover. In contrast, N-r deposition diminishes below-ground production in forests, due to a range of mechanisms that reduce microbial biomass, and decreases lake benthic productivity by switching herbivore growth from N to phosphorus (P) limitation, and by intensifying P limitation of benthic fish. The flow of nutrients between ecosystems is expected to change with increasing N-r deposition. Due to higher litter production and more intense precipitation, more terrestrial matter will enter lakes. This will benefit bacteria and will in turn boost the microbial food web. Additionally, N-r deposition promotes emergent insects, which subsidize the terrestrial food web as prey for insectivores or by dying and decomposing on land. So far, most studies have examined N-r-deposition effects on the food web base, whereas our review highlights that changes at the base of food webs substantially impact higher trophic levels and therefore food web structure and functioning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 22, no 1, 164-179 p.
Keyword [en]
arctic, boreal, bottom-up, ecological stoichiometry, food quality, nutrient cycle, top-down, trophic teraction, POSITION, ITS NATURE AND IMPACTS : ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION AND FORESTS, SEP 16-21, 1990
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-116085DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12967ISI: 000367982900012PubMedID: 25953197OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-116085DiVA: diva2:902153
Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-08 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved

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Meunier, Cedric L.Sanchez, Irene S.Liess, Antonia
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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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