Browsing by Subject "DELTA-C-13"

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  • Kivilä, E. Henriikka; Luoto, Tomi P.; Rantala, Marttiina V.; Kiljunen, Mikko; Rautio, Milla; Nevalainen, Liisa (2019)
    Climate warming and consequent greening of subarctic landscapes increase the availability of organic carbon to the detrital food webs in aquatic ecosystems. This may cause important shifts in ecosystem functioning through the functional feeding patterns of benthic organisms that rely differently on climatically altered carbon resources. Twenty-five subarctic lakes in Finnish Lapland across a tree line ecotone were analysed for limnological and optical variables, carbon (delta C-13) and nitrogen (delta N-15) stable isotope (SI) composition of surface sediment organic matter (OM) and fossil Chironomidae (Diptera) remains to examine environmental controls behind chironomid functional feeding group (FFG) structure and their isotopic associations for assessing ecosystem functioning and carbon utilisation. We hypothesise that the chironomid SI signatures reflect increased allochthony with increasing allochthonous input, but the resource use may be altered by the functional characteristics of the assemblage. Multivariate analyses indicated that carbon geochemistry in the sediments (delta C-13, delta N-15, C/N), nutrients, indices of productivity (chlorophyll-a) and lake water optical properties, related to increasing presence of OM, played a key role in defining the chironomid FFG composition and isotopic signatures. Response modelling was used to examine how individual FFGs respond to environmental gradients. They showed divergent responses for OM quantity, dissolved organic carbon and nutrients between feeding strategies, suggesting that detritivores and filter feeders prefer contrasting carbon and nutrient conditions, and may thus hold paleoecological indicator potential to identify changes between different carbon fluxes. Benthic production was the primary carbon source for the chironomid assemblages according to a three-source SI mixing model, whereas pelagic and terrestrial components contributed less. Between-lake variability in source utilisation was high and controlled primarily by allochthonous OM inputs. Combination of biogeochemical modelling and functional classification is useful to widen our understanding of subarctic lake ecosystem functions and responses to climate-driven changes in limnology and catchment characteristics for long-term environmental change assessments and functional paleoecology.
  • Gagnon, Karine; Gustafsson, Camilla; Salo, Tiina; de Rossi, Francesca; Gunell, Sonja; Richardson, J. Paul; Reynolds, Pamela L.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Boström, Christoffer (2021)
    Understanding the ecological interactions that enhance the resilience of threatened ecosystems is essential in assuring their conservation and restoration. Top-down trophic interactions can increase resilience to bottom-up nutrient enrichment, however, as many seagrass ecosystems are threatened by both eutrophication and trophic modifications, understanding how these processes interact is important. Using a combination of approaches, we explored how bottom-up and top-down processes, acting individually or in conjunction, can affect eelgrass meadows and associated communities in the northern Baltic Sea. Field surveys along with fish diet and stable isotope analyses revealed that the eelgrass trophic network included two main top predatory fish species, each of which feeds on a separate group of invertebrate mesograzers (crustaceans or gastropods). Mesograzer abundance in the study area was high, and capable of mitigating the effects of increased algal biomass that resulted from experimental nutrient enrichment in the field. When crustacean mesograzers were experimentally excluded, gastropod mesograzers were able to compensate and limit the effects of nutrient enrichment on eelgrass biomass and growth. Our results suggest that top-down processes (i.e., suppression of algae by different mesograzer groups) may ensure eelgrass resilience to nutrient enrichment in the northern Baltic Sea, and the existence of multiple trophic pathways can provide additional resilience in the face of trophic modifications. However, the future resilience of these meadows is likely threatened by additional local stressors and global environmental change. Understanding the trophic links and interactions that ensure resilience is essential for managing and conserving these important ecosystems and the services they provide.