Browsing by Subject "CHIRONOMIDAE"

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  • Lienart, Camilla; Cirtwill, Alyssa R.; Hedgespeth, Melanie L.; Bradshaw, Clare (2022)
    Allochthonous subsidies to marine ecosystems have mainly focused on biogeochemical cycles, but there has also been recent interest in how terrestrial carbon (C) influences marine food webs. In the Baltic Sea, pine (Pinus sylvestris) pollen is found in large amounts in shallow bays in early summer. Pollen is a significant C-source in freshwater ecosystems and may also be important in coastal food webs. We examined the consumption of pollen and autochthonous resources by benthic invertebrates in shallow bays of the Baltic Sea. We used stable isotopes to estimate diets and reconstructed consumer-resource networks (food webs) for grazers and particulate organic matter (POM)-feeders to compare how these different guilds used pollen. We found that P. sylvestris pollen was consumed in small amounts by a variety of animals and in some cases made up a sizeable proportion of invertebrates' diets. However, invertebrates generally depended less on pollen than other resources. The degree of pollen consumption was related to feeding traits, with generalist invertebrate grazers consuming more pollen (> 10% of diet) than the more specialist POM-feeders (< 5% of diet contributed by pollen). POM-feeders may consume additional microbially-degraded pollen which was not identifiable in our model. We suggest that pollen is a small but substantial allochthonous C-source in shallow bay food webs of the Baltic Sea, with the potential to affect the dynamics of these ecosystems.
  • Luoto, Tomi P.; Leppänen, Jaakko Johannes; Weckström, Jan (2019)
    The Talvivaara/Terrafame multi-metal mining company is Europe’s largest nickel open cast mine, it is also known for the largest wastewater leakage in the Finnish mining history and a series of other accidents. In this paleolimnological study, influences of a recently constructed treated waste water discharge pipeline into Lake Nuasjärvi were investigated by analyzing past (pre-disturbance) and present community compositions of key aquatic organism groups, including diatoms, Cladocera and Chironomidae, along spatial (distance, water depth) gradients. In addition to defining ecological changes and impacts of saline mine waters in the lake, chironomids were used to quantitatively reconstruct bottom water oxygen conditions before and after the pipe installation (in 2015). The diatom and cladoceran communities, which reflect more the open-water habitat, showed only relatively minor changes throughout the lake, but a general decrease in diversity was observed within both groups. Chironomids, which live on substrates, showed more significant changes, including complete faunal turnovers and deteriorated benthic quality, especially at the sites close to the pipe outlet, where also chironomid diversity was almost completely lost. Furthermore, the reconstructed hypolimnetic oxygen values indicated a major oxygen decline and even anoxia at the sites near the pipe outlet. The limnoecological influence of the pipe decreased at sites located counter-flow or behind underwater barriers suggesting that the waste waters currently have location-specific impacts. Our study clearly demonstrates that whereas the upper water layers appear to have generally maintained their previous state, the deep-water layers close to the pipe outlet have lost their ecological integrity. Furthermore, the current hypolimnetic anoxia close to the pipe indicates enhanced lake stratification caused by the salinated mine waters. This study clearly exhibits the need to investigate different water bodies at several trophic levels in a spatiotemporal context to be able to reliably assess limnoecological impacts of mining.