Terrestrial runoff boosts phytoplankton in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon, but these effects do not propagate to higher trophic levels
2016 (English)In: Hydrobiologia, ISSN 0018-8158, E-ISSN 1573-5117, Vol. 766, no 1, 275-291 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Heavy rainfall events causing significant terrestrial runoff into coastal marine ecosystems are predicted to become more frequent with climate change in the Mediterranean. To simulate the effects of soil runoff on the pelagic food web of an oligotrophic Mediterranean coastal lagoon, we crossed soil extract addition (increasing nutrient availability and turbidity) and fish presence in a full factorial design to coastal mesocosms containing a natural pelagic community. Soil extract addition increased both bacteria and phytoplankton biomass. Diatoms however profited most from soil extract addition, especially in the absence of fish. In contrast zooplankton and fish did not profit from soil extract addition. Furthermore, our data indicate that nutrients (instead of light or carbon) limited basal production. Presumed changes in carbon availability are relatively unimportant to primary and secondary production in strongly nutrient limited systems like the Thau Lagoon. We conclude that in shallow Mediterranean coastal ecosystems, heavy rainfall events causing soil runoff will (1) increase the relative abundance of phytoplankton in relation to bacteria and zooplankton, especially in the absence of fish (2) not lead to higher biomass of zooplankton and fish, possibly due to the brevity of the phytoplankton bloom and the slow biomass response of higher trophic levels.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 766, no 1, 275-291 p.
Bacteria, Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), Mesocosm experiment, Phytoplankton, Nutrient subsidy, Terrestrial subsidy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120835DOI: 10.1007/s10750-015-2461-4ISI: 000367196900021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120835DiVA: diva2:930269