Browsing by Subject "aquatic ecosystems"

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  • Pieterse, Arnold; Rytkönen, Mari; Hellsten, Seppo (Finnish Environment Institute, 2009)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 15/2009
  • Camarena‐Gómez, María Teresa; Ruiz‐González, Clara; Piiparinen, Jonna; Lipsewers, Tobias; Sobrino, Cristina; Logares, Ramiro; Spilling, Kristian (American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, 2021)
    Limnology and Oceanography 66: 1, 255-271
    In parts of the Baltic Sea, the phytoplankton spring bloom communities, commonly dominated by diatoms, are shifting toward the co-occurrence of diatoms and dinoflagellates. Although phytoplankton are known to shape the composition and function of associated bacterioplankton communities, the potential bacterial responses to such a decrease of diatoms are unknown. Here we explored the changes in bacterial communities and heterotrophic production during the spring bloom in four consecutive spring blooms across several sub-basins of the Baltic Sea and related them to changes in environmental variables and in phytoplankton community structure. The taxonomic structure of bacterioplankton assemblages was partially explained by salinity and temperature but also linked to the phytoplankton community. Higher carbon biomass of the diatoms Achnanthes taeniata, Skeletonema marinoi, Thalassiosira levanderi, and Chaetoceros spp. was associated with more diverse bacterial communities dominated by copiotrophic bacteria (Flavobacteriia, Gammaproteobacteria, and Betaproteobacteria) and higher bacterial production. During dinoflagellate dominance, bacterial production was low and bacterial communities were dominated by Alphaproteobacteria, mainly SAR11. Our results suggest that increases in dinoflagellate abundance during the spring bloom will largely affect the structuring and functioning of the associated bacterial communities. This could decrease pelagic remineralization of organic matter and possibly affect the bacterial grazers communities.
  • García-Girón, Jorge; Heino, Jani; García-Criado, Francisco; Fernández-Aláez, Camino; Alahuhta, Janne (Wiley Online Library, 2020)
    Ecography 43 8 (2020)
    Biotic interactions are fundamental drivers governing biodiversity locally, yet their effects on geographical variation in community composition (i.e. incidence-based) and community structure (i.e. abundance-based) at regional scales remain controversial. Ecologists have only recently started to integrate different types of biotic interactions into community assembly in a spatial context, a theme that merits further empirical quantification. Here, we applied partial correlation networks to infer the strength of spatial dependencies between pairs of organismal groups and mapped the imprints of biotic interactions on the assembly of pond metacommunities. To do this, we used a comprehensive empirical dataset from Mediterranean landscapes and adopted the perspective that community assembly is best represented as a network of interacting organismal groups. Our results revealed that the co-variation among the beta diversities of multiple organismal groups is primarily driven by biotic interactions and, to a lesser extent, by the abiotic environment. These results suggest that ignoring biotic interactions may undermine our understanding of assembly mechanisms in spatially extensive areas and decrease the accuracy and performance of predictive models. We further found strong spatial dependencies in our analyses which can be interpreted as functional relationships among several pairs of organismal groups (e.g. macrophytes–macroinvertebrates, fish–zooplankton). Perhaps more importantly, our results support the notion that biotic interactions make crucial contributions to the species sorting paradigm of metacommunity theory and raise the question of whether these biologically-driven signals have been equally underappreciated in other aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Although more research is still required to empirically capture the importance of biotic interactions across ecosystems and at different spatial resolutions and extents, our findings may allow decision makers to better foresee the main consequences of human-driven impacts on inland waters, particularly those associated with the addition or removal of key species.
  • Lindholm, Marja; Alahuhta, Janne; Heino, Jani; Hjort, Jan; Toivonen, Heikki (Springer Link, 2020)
    Hydrobiologia 847 (2020)
    Functional homogenisation occurs across many areas and organism groups, thereby seriously affecting biodiversity loss and ecosystem functioning. In this study, we examined how functional features of aquatic macrophytes have changed during a 70-year period at community and species levels in a boreal lake district. At the community level, we examined if aquatic macrophyte communities showed different spatial patterns in functional composition and functional richness in relation to main environmental drivers between the time periods. We also observed each species in functional space to assess if species with certain sets of traits have become more common or rare in the 70-year study period. We found changes in the relationship between functional community composition and the environment. The aquatic macrophyte communities showed different patterns in functional composition between the two time periods, and the main environmental drivers for these changes were partly different. Temporal changes in functional richness were only partially linked to concomitant changes in the environment, while stable factors were more important. Species’ functional traits were not associated with commonness or rarity patterns. Our findings revealed that functional homogenisation has not occurred across these boreal lakes, ranging from small oligotrophic forest lakes to larger lakes affected by human impacts.
  • Sörenson, Eva; Bertos-Fortis, Mireia; Farnelid, Hanna; Kremp, Anke; Krüger, Karen; Lindehoff, Elin; Legrand, Catherine (Wiley & Sons, 2019)
    Environmental Microbiology Reports, 11: 425-433
    Phytoplankton and bacteria interactions have a significant role in aquatic ecosystem functioning. Associations can range from mutualistic to parasitic, shaping biogeochemical cycles and having a direct influence on phytoplankton growth. How variations in phenotype and sampling location, affect the phytoplankton microbiome is largely unknown. A high-resolution characterization of the bacterial community in cultures of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium was performed on strains isolated from different geographical locations and at varying anthropogenic impact levels. Microbiomes of Baltic Sea Alexandrium ostenfeldii isolates were dominated by Betaproteobacteria and were consistent over phenotypic and genotypic Alexandrium strain variation, resulting in identification of an A. ostenfeldii core microbiome. Comparisons with in situ bacterial communities showed that taxa found in this A. ostenfeldii core were specifically associated to dinoflagellate dynamics in the Baltic Sea. Microbiomes of Alexandrium tamarense and minutum, isolated from the Mediterranean Sea, differed from those of A. ostenfeldii in bacterial diversity and composition but displayed high consistency, and a core set of bacterial taxa was identified. This indicates that Alexandrium isolates with diverse phenotypes host predictable, species-specific, core microbiomes reflecting the abiotic conditions from which they were isolated. These findings enable in-depth studies of potential interactions occurring between Alexandrium and specific bacterial taxa.
  • Vuorio, Kristiina; Mäki, Anita; Salmi, Pauliina; Aalto, Sanni L.; Tiirola, Marja (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020)
    Frontiers in Microbiology 11 (2020) 96
    The composition of phytoplankton community is the basis for environmental monitoring and assessment of the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. Community composition studies of phytoplankton have been based on time-consuming and expertise-demanding light microscopy analyses. Molecular methods have the potential to replace microscopy, but the high copy number variation of ribosomal genes and the lack of universal primers for simultaneous amplification of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes complicate data interpretation. In this study, we used our previously developed directional primer-independent high-throughput sequencing (HTS) approach to analyze 16S and 18S rRNA community structures. Comparison of 83 boreal lake samples showed that the relative abundances of eukaryotic phytoplankton at class level and prokaryotic cyanobacteria at order level were consistent between HTS and microscopy results. At the genus level, the results had low correspondence, mainly due to lack of sequences in the reference library. HTS was superior to identify genera that are extensively represented in the reference databases but lack specific morphological characteristics. Targeted metatranscriptomics proved to be a feasible method to complement the microscopy analysis. The metatranscriptomics can also be applied without linking the sequences to taxonomy. However, direct indexing of the sequences to their environmental indicator values needs collections of more comprehensive sample sets, as long as the coverage of molecular barcodes of eukaryotic species remains insufficient.
  • Li, Zhengfei; Wang, Jun; Liu, Zhenyuan; Meng, Xingliang; Heino, Jani; Jiang, Xuankong; Xiong, Xiong; Jiang, Xiaoming; Xie, Zhicai (2019)
    Science of the Total Environment 655:1288-1300
    Examining the relative contribution of local environmental stressors and regional factors in structuring biological communities is essential for biodiversity conservation and environmental assessment, yet their relative roles for different community characterizations remain elusive. Here, we examined the responses of taxonomic and functional structures of stream macroinvertebrate communities to local and regional factors across a human-induced environmental gradient in the Han River Basin, one subtropical biodiversity hotspot in China. Our objectives were: 1) to examine the responses of traditional taxonomic measures and functional traits to anthropogenic disturbances; 2) to compare the relative importance of environmental versus spatial variables and catchment-scale versus reach-scale variables for the two community characterizations. We found that both species and trait compositions performed well in differentiating anthropogenic disturbances, indicating that both taxonomic and functional structures of macroinvertebrate communities were strongly altered by human activities. Particularly, some traits related to life history (e.g., voltinism), resilience and resistance (e.g., adult flying ability) are well suited for predicting changes of communities towards anthropogenic disturbances owing to their mechanistic relationship with environmental gradients. We found that environmental variables played more important roles than spatial effects in structuring both taxonomic and functional facets of macroinvertebrate communities. Environmental filtering was more important in determining functional than taxonomic structure, and the opposite was true for spatial effects. In terms of environmental variables, catchment land-uses played the primary role in determining taxonomic composition, whereas reach-scale variables related to local habitat heterogeneity were more influential for functional structure. Our study highlights the importance of employing metacommunity perspectives and different community characterizations in both theoretical and applied research. For stream bioassessment and management, we argue that the combination of taxonomic and functional characterizations of community should be implemented, as different facets of biological communities responded to different types of anthropogenic disturbances.
  • Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Lehosmaa, Kaisa; Aroviita, Jukka; Turunen, Jarno; Rajakallio, Maria; Marttila, Hannu; Tolkkinen, Mikko; Mykrä, Heikki; Muotka, Timo (Elsevier, 2021)
    Ecological Indicators 121 (2021), 106986
    Degradation of freshwater ecosystems requires efficient tools for assessing the ecological status of freshwater biota and identifying potential cause(s) for their biological degradation. While diatoms and macroinvertebrates are widely used in stream bioassessment, the potential utility of microbial communities has not been fully harnessed. Using data from 113 Finnish streams, we assessed the performance of aquatic leaf-associated fungal decomposers, relative to benthic macroinvertebrates and diatoms, in modelling-based bioassessment. We built multi-taxon niche -type predictive models for fungal assemblages by using genus-based and sequence-based identification levels. We then compared the models’ precision and accuracy in the prediction of reference conditions (number of native taxa) to corresponding models for macroinvertebrates and diatoms. Genus-based fungal model nearly equalled the accuracy and precision of our best model (macroinvertebrates), whereas the sequence-based model was less accurate and tended to overestimate the number of taxa. However, when the models were applied to streams disturbed by anthropogenic stressors (nutrient enrichment, sedimentation and acidification), alone or in combination, the sequence-based fungal assemblages were more sensitive than other taxonomic groups, especially when multiple stressors were present. Microbial leaf decomposition rates were elevated in sediment-stressed streams whereas decomposition attributable to leaf-shredding macroinvertebrates was accelerated by nutrients and decelerated by sedimentation. Comparison of leaf decomposition results to model output suggested that leaf decomposition rates do not detect effectively the presence of multiple simultaneous disturbances. The rapid development of global microbial database may soon enable species-level identification of leaf-associated fungi, facilitating a more precise and accurate modelling of reference conditions in streams using fungal communities. This development, combined with the sensitivity of aquatic fungi in detecting the presence of multiple human disturbances, makes leaf-associated fungal assemblages an indispensable addition in a stream ecologist’s toolbox.
  • Lääne, Ain; Kraav, Eva; Galina, Titova (the University of Kalmar, 2005)
  • Truchy, Amélie; Sarremejane, Romain; Muotka, Timo; Mykrä, Heikki; Angeler, David G.; Lehosmaa, Kaisa; Huusko, Ari; Johnson, Richard K.; Sponseller, Ryan A.; McKie, Brendan G. (Wiley, 2020)
    Global Change Biology 26 6 (2020)
    Ongoing climate change is increasing the occurrence and intensity of drought episodes worldwide, including in boreal regions not previously regarded as drought prone, and where the impacts of drought remain poorly understood. Ecological connectivity is one factor that might influence community structure and ecosystem functioning post-drought, by facilitating the recovery of sensitive species via dispersal at both local (e.g. a nearby habitat patch) and regional (from other systems within the same region) scales. In an outdoor mesocosm experiment, we investigated how impacts of drought on boreal stream ecosystems are altered by the spatial arrangement of local habitat patches within stream channels, and variation in ecological connectivity with a regional species pool. We measured basal ecosystem processes underlying carbon and nutrient cycling: (a) algal biomass accrual; (b) microbial respiration; and (c) decomposition of organic matter, and sampled communities of aquatic fungi and benthic invertebrates. An 8-day drought event had strong impacts on both community structure and ecosystem functioning, including algal accrual, leaf decomposition and microbial respiration, with many of these impacts persisting even after water levels had been restored for 3.5 weeks. Enhanced connectivity with the regional species pool and increased aggregation of habitat patches also affected multiple response variables, especially those associated with microbes, and in some cases reduced the effects of drought to a small extent. This indicates that spatial processes might play a role in the resilience of communities and ecosystem functioning, given enough time. These effects were however insufficient to facilitate significant recovery in algal growth before seasonal dieback began in autumn. The limited resilience of ecosystem functioning in our experiment suggests that even short-term droughts can have extended consequences for stream ecosystems in the world's vast boreal region, and especially on the ecosystem processes and services mediated by algal biofilms.
  • Heino, Jani; Alahuhta, Janne; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Cai, Yongjiu; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina; Hellsten, Seppo; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Kotamaki, Niina; Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Vihervaara, Petteri; Vilmi, Annika; Angeler, David G. (Wiley & Sons, 2021)
    Biological Reviews 96(1), 89-106
    The Anthropocene presents formidable threats to freshwater ecosystems. Lakes are especially vulnerable and important at the same time. They cover only a small area worldwide but harbour high levels of biodiversity and contribute disproportionately to ecosystem services. Lakes differ with respect to their general type (e.g. land-locked, drainage, floodplain and large lakes) and position in the landscape (e.g. highland versus lowland lakes), which contribute to the dynamics of these systems. Lakes should be generally viewed as ‘meta-systems’, whereby biodiversity is strongly affected by species dispersal, and ecosystem dynamics are contributed by the flow of matter and substances among locations in a broader waterscape context. Lake connectivity in the waterscape and position in the landscape determine the degree to which a lake is prone to invasion by non-native species and accumulation of harmful substances. Highly connected lakes low in the landscape accumulate nutrients and pollutants originating from ecosystems higher in the landscape. The monitoring and restoration of lake biodiversity and ecosystem services should consider the fact that a high degree of dynamism is present at local, regional and global scales. However, local and regional monitoring may be plagued by the unpredictability of ecological phenomena, hindering adaptive management of lakes. Although monitoring data are increasingly becoming available to study responses of lakes to global change, we still lack suitable integration of models for entire waterscapes. Research across disciplinary boundaries is needed to address the challenges that lakes face in the Anthropocene because they may play an increasingly important role in harbouring unique aquatic biota as well as providing ecosystem goods and services in the future.
  • Keskitalo, Jorma; Salonen, Kalevi (National Board of Waters and the Environment, 1994)
    Publications of the Water and Environment Administration - Series B 16
  • Cai, Yongjiu; Zhang, You; Hu, Zhixin; Deng, Jianming; Qin, Boqiang; Yin, Hongbin; Wang, Xiaolong; Gong, Zhijun; Heino, Jani (2019)
    Ecological Indicators 103: 713-721
    Metacommunity theory emphasizes that local communities are jointly affected by environmental filtering and spatial processes. However, the roles of spatial processes are often given insufficient attention in bioassessment practices, which may bias the assessments of ecological status based on biotic metrics. Here, we quantified the relative importance and the seasonal stability of spatial processes, natural conditions and human-induced factors in structuring variation in different bioassessment metrics based on macroinvertebrate communities. Our study systems were two extensively sampled large and shallow lakes with strong nutrient gradients related to human disturbance. The roles of different drivers were examined for three kinds of indicators: general diversity, trait-based and taxonomic distinctness metrics, and their performance in characterizing human disturbance was evaluated. Overall, human-induced and spatial factors were all important in explaining variation in the three types of bioassessment metrics. Contrary to our expectations, however, we found that the importance of spatial processes on bioassessment metrics can be comparable to the effects of local environmental conditions at the within-lake scale. Furthermore, the results showed substantial seasonal variability in the relative roles of different drivers, which might be linked to life-cycle seasonality of macroinvertebrates. As expected, trait-based metrics generally were best associated with human-induced variables in both lakes, whereas general diversity and taxonomic distinctness metrics performed poorly. The low effectiveness of taxonomic distinctness metrics might due to low species richness associated with high nutrient levels. To conclude, our results suggest that bioassessment cannot exclusively rely on the idea of environmental filtering even if we focus on fine spatial scales. We hence strongly urge that spatial processes, natural drivers and temporal variability should be better considered in combination in the development and application of bioassessment approaches. In addition, taxonomic distinctness measures should be used with caution, especially for the ecosystems and organism groups typically characterized by low species richness.
  • Blanka, Gál; Szivák, ldikó; Heino, Jani; Schmera, Dénes (2019)
    Ecological Indicators 104: 357-364
    Understanding the effects of urbanization on the diversity of freshwater macroinvertebrates is an important topic of biodiversity research and has direct conservation relevance. The absence of evidence-based systematic overviews on this topic motivated us to perform meta-analyses and to synthetize the present state of knowledge. We observed significant heterogeneity among individual case studies, reporting negative, neutral and positive effects. As expected, urbanization had an overall negative effect on the diversity of freshwater macroinvertebrates. These results are based mainly on the study of lotic (stream and river) ecosystems because there are insufficient data available for lentic (pond and lake) ecosystems. Compared to individual case studies, the present review reports an evidence-based synthesis for the first time. We identified knowledge gaps regarding case studies reporting the effects of urbanization on pond and lake ecosystems, case studies examining the phylogenetic and functional facets of biodiversity, as well case studies investigating the effect of urbanization on the beta diversity component of macroinvertebrate communities. The identification of these knowledge gaps allowed us to make recommendations for future research: (1) report results on specific taxonomic groups and not only the entire macroinvertebrate community, (2) study the impacts of urbanization on macroinvertebrate diversity in different habitat types and understudied continents, (3) focus on the functional and phylogenetic facets of diversity and (4) examine community differentiation (e.g. beta diversity) in urban freshwater ecosystems. Our results also suggested that the analysis of diversity- environment relationships is crucial for developing macroinvertebrate indicators especially in the increasingly urbanized world.
  • Jiang, Xiaoming; Pan, Baozhu; Jiang, Wanxiang; Hou, Yiming; Yang, Haiqiang; Zhu, Penghui; Heino, Jani (Elsevier, 2021)
    Ecological Indicators 124 (2021), 107407
    There is a growing recognition that examining patterns of ecological communities and their underlying determinants is not only feasible based on taxonomic data, but also functional and phylogenetic approaches. This is because these additional facets can enhance the understanding of the relative contribution of multiple processes in shaping biodiversity. However, few studies have focused on multifaceted beta diversities in lotic macroinvertebrates, especially when considering driving factors operating at multiple spatial scales. Here, we examined the spatial patterns of multi-faceted (i.e., taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic) beta diversity and their components (i.e., turnover and nestedness) of macroinvertebrates in 50 sites in 10 streams situated in the north and south slope of the Qinling Mountains, the geographical dividing line of Northern and Southern China. We found that the streams draining the north slope showed significantly lower values of beta diversity based on all three facets than the streams draining the south slope. Such north-to-south increases of beta diversity were caused by the distinct climatic and local environmental conditions between the sides of the mountain range. Moreover, spatial variables generally played the most important role in structuring all facets and components of beta diversity, followed by local environmental and climatic variables, whereas catchment variables were less important. Despite the similar results of relative contribution of explanatory variables on each beta diversity facet, the details of community-environment relationships (e.g., important explanatory variables and explanatory power) were distinct among different diversity facets and their components. In conclusion, measuring functional and phylogenetic beta diversity provides complementary information to traditional taxonomic approach. Therefore, an integrative approach embracing multiple facets of diversity can better reveal the mechanisms shaping biodiversity, which is essential in assessing and valuing aquatic ecosystems for biodiversity management and conservation.
  • Van Looy, Kris; Tonkin, Jonathan D.; Floury, Mathieu; Leigh, Catherine; Soininen, Janne; Larsen, Stefano; Heino, Jani; Poff, N. LeRoy; Delong, Michael; Jaehnig, Sonja C.; Datry, Thibault; Bonada, Nuria; Rosebery, Juliette; Jamoneau, Aurélien; Ormerod, Steve J.; Collier, Kevin J.; Wolter, Christian (2019)
    River Research and Applications 35 (2): 107-120
    Resilience in river ecosystems requires that organisms must persist in the face of highly dynamic hydrological and geomorphological variations. Disturbance events such as floods and droughts are postulated to shape life history traits that support resilience, but river management and conservation would benefit from greater understanding of the emergent effects in communities of river organisms. We unify current knowledge of taxonomic-, phylogenetic-, and trait-based aspects of river communities that might aid the identification and quantification of resilience mechanisms. Temporal variations in river productivity, physical connectivity, and environmental heterogeneity resulting from floods and droughts are highlighted as key characteristics that promote resilience in these dynamic ecosystems. Three community-wide mechanisms that underlie resilience are (a) partitioning (competition/facilitation) of dynamically varying resources, (b) dispersal, recolonization, and recruitment promoted by connectivity, and (c) functional redundancy in communities promoted by resource heterogeneity and refugia. Along with taxonomic and phylogenetic identity, biological traits related to feeding specialization, dispersal ability, and habitat specialization mediate organism responses to disturbance. Measures of these factors might also enable assessment of the relative contributions of different mechanisms to community resilience. Interactions between abiotic drivers and biotic aspects of resource use, dispersal, and persistence have clear implications for river conservation and management. To support these management needs, we propose a set of taxonomic, phylogenetic, and life-history trait metrics that might be used to measure resilience mechanisms. By identifying such indicators, our proposed framework can enable targeted management strategies to adapt river ecosystems to global change.