Browsing by Subject "diatoms"

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  • Turunen, Jarno; Muotka, Timo; Aroviita, Jukka (Springer Link, 2020)
    Hydrobiologia 847 2
    Forestry-related land use can cause increasing instream sedimentation, burying and eradicating stream bryophytes, with severe ecological consequences. However, there is limited understanding of the relative roles and overall importance of the two frequently co-occurring stressors, increased fine sediments and loss of bryophytes, to stream biodiversity and ecosystem functions. By using random forest modeling and partial dependence functions, we studied the relative importance of stream bryophytes and fine sediments to multiple biological endpoints (leaf-decaying fungi, diatom, bryophyte, and benthic macroinvertebrate communities; leaf decomposition) using field survey data from headwater streams. Stream bryophyte abundance and richness were negatively related to fine sediment cover, highlighting the detrimental effect of sedimentation on bryophytes. However, bryophyte abundance was consistently more important a determinant of variation in community composition than was fine sediment cover. Leaf decomposition was influenced by shredder abundance, water temperature and, to a lesser degree, stream size. Our results suggest that the loss of stream bryophytes due to increasing sedimentation, rather than fine sediments per se, seems to be the key factor affecting multiple biological responses. Enhancing the re-establishment of bryophyte stands could partly compensate for the negative impacts of sedimentation on bryophytes and, consequently, on several other components of boreal stream ecosystems.
  • 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.
  • Milardi, Marco; Lappalainen, Jyrki; McGowan, Suzanne; Weckström, Jan (2017)
    The additional input and enhanced cycling of nutrients derived from introduced fish can be a significant factor altering nutrient dynamics in oligotrophic lakes. To test this, we used a bioenergetic model to estimate the fish-derived nutrient load in Lake Kuutsjurvi, a historically fishless boreal lake of northern Fennoscandia. The lake was selected because of the absence of other anthropogenic stressors, a known stocking history and the possibility of quantitatively estimating the size-structure and biomass of the fish population through a mass removal. Subsequently, we used a mass balance model to compare fish-derived nutrients with other nutrient load pathways. For comparison over longer timescales, we used lake sediment records of diatoms, chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments, C: N ratios and stable isotopes to infer whether fish introduction produced detectable changes in the lake trophic state, primary productivity and terrestrial nutrient input. Based on the nutrient mass balance model, we found that phosphorus and nitrogen derived from fish were 0.46% and 2.2%, respectively, of the total load to the lake, suggesting that fish introduction could not markedly increase the nutrient load. Accordingly, the palaeolimnological record indicated little increase in primary production but instead a shift from pelagic to benthic production after fish introduction.
  • Courroux, Maxime (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The changes in lake diatom assemblages as a response to climate warming over the past three decades were examined in 26 lakes across Northwestern Finnish Lapland using multivariate statistical techniques. The lakes are distributed along a steep climatic and vegetational gradient, covering three distinct vegetation zones spanning boreal coniferous forest, mountain birch woodland, and treeless tundra. Lakes were selected following a study realised by Weckström and Korhola in 2001, who had sampled the same lakes for surface-sediment diatom assemblages, physical, and chemical limnological variables. Climate data from the past 30 years was retrieved, showing a slow and steady yearly increase in temperature, with strong seasonal fluctuation and fall months experiencing the strongest warming. Surface sediment samples were taken from the lakes and their diatom communities analysed. A total of 185 diatom taxa representing 27 genera were recorded. Ordination techniques (DCA, CCA) at the genus and species level were performed to identify the main patterns of variation between diatom data from the original data set and the current study, and their relationship to environmental variables. Strong changes were recorded in four of the lakes with major shifts in dominant diatom species. Moderate changes were recorded in eight lakes, where dominance changes were recorded for a few species while the majority remained unchanged. The remaining 14 lakes did not show noticeable changes over the 30-year period. Changes observed in the studied lakes did not follow a widely observed pattern in northern Hemisphere lakes. The results indicate that while climate change is a driving factor behind changing lake dynamics with increasing temperatures and decreasing lake ice cover duration, it cannot be the only force responsible.
  • Peltomaa, Elina; Hällfors, Heidi; Taipale, Sami J. (2019)
    Recent studies have clearly shown the importance of omega-3 (-3) and omega-6 (-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for human and animal health. The long-chain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6-3) are especially recognized for their nutritional value, and ability to alleviate many diseases in humans. So far, fish oil has been the main human source of EPA and DHA, but alternative sources are needed to satisfy the growing need for them. Therefore, we compared a fatty acid profile and content of 10 diatoms and seven dinoflagellates originating from marine, brackish and freshwater habitats. These two phytoplankton groups were chosen since they are excellent producers of EPA and DHA in aquatic food webs. Multivariate analysis revealed that, whereas the phytoplankton group (46%) explained most of the differences in the fatty acid profiles, habitat (31%) together with phytoplankton group (24%) explained differences in the fatty acid contents. In both diatoms and dinoflagellates, the total fatty acid concentrations and the -3 and -6 PUFAs were markedly higher in freshwater than in brackish or marine strains. Our results show that, even though the fatty acid profiles are genetically ordered, the fatty acid contents may vary greatly by habitat and affect the -3 and -6 availability in food webs.
  • Shala, Shyhrete; Helmens, Karin F.; Luoto, Tomi P.; Salonen, J. Sakari; Väliranta, Minna; Weckström, Jan (2017)
    Four biotic proxies (plant macrofossils, pollen, chironomids and diatoms) are employed to quantitatively reconstruct variations in mean July air temperatures (T-jul) at Lake Loitsana (northern Finland) during the Holocene. The aim is to evaluate the robustness and biases in these temperature reconstructions and to compare the timing of highest T-jul in the individual reconstructions. The reconstructed T-jul values are evaluated in relation to local-scale/site-specific processes associated with the Holocene lake development at Loitsana as these factors have been shown to significantly influence the fossil assemblages found in the Lake Loitsana sediments. While pollen-based temperatures follow the classical trend of gradually increasing early-Holocene T-jul with a mid-Holocene maximum, the aquatic/wetland assemblages reconstruct higher-than-present T-jul already during the early Holocene, that is, at the peak of summer insolation. The relatively low early-Holocene July temperatures recorded by the pollen are the result of site-specific factors possibly combined with a delayed response of the terrestrial ecosystem compared with the aquatic ecosystem. Our study shows that all reconstructions are influenced at least to some extent by local factors. This finding stresses the need to evaluate quantitatively reconstructed climate values against local lake development and highlights the benefit of using multi-proxy data in Holocene climate reconstructions.
  • Virta, Leena; Soininen, Janne; Norkko, Alf (2020)
    Aim Global biodiversity loss has raised interest in understanding variation in diversity at different scales. In particular, studies conducted across large spatial gradients are crucial, because they can increase perspectives on how ecological patterns change relative to environmental factors and facilitate predictions of possible responses to environmental change. We explored the full extent of a brackish sea to test the hypotheses that: (a) benthic communities are defined by the limited ranges of species, controlled by varying drivers along a large environmental gradient; (b) the responses of taxonomic and functional community composition and turnover to the environmental gradient are different, thus highlighting the need to include both measures in ecological studies; and (c) diversity reaches the minimum at intermediate salinities (Remane curve) owing to the low adaptation of freshwater and marine species. Location A large environmental and spatial gradient spanning the entire Swedish coastline (c. 2,300 km; salinity 1.2-27.6), the Baltic Sea. Time period August 2018. Major taxa studied Benthic diatoms. Methods We assessed environmental drivers for the communities and calculated the taxonomic and functional alpha and beta diversity along the gradient. We also compared the taxonomic and functional composition and diversity of communities among areas with different salinity. Results We found support for the hypothesis of limited species ranges, because taxonomic beta diversity, mainly induced by changes in salinity and climate, was high, whereas functional beta diversity remained considerably lower, and the composition and diversity of communities, in addition to environmental drivers controlling the communities, differed between regions with different salinity. The lowest taxonomic diversity was found at intermediate salinities of 5-6. Main conclusions These findings advance understanding of large-scale patterns of benthic diversity, emphasize the importance of large gradient studies for a better understanding of general ecological patterns and highlight the vulnerability of brackish water ecosystems as ecologically important tipping-point realms.
  • Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Karjalainen, Juha; Hämäläinen, Heikki; Nyholm, Kristiina; Rahkola-Sorsa, Minna; Cai, Yongjiu; Heino, Jani (Springer Link, 2020)
    Aquatic Ecology 54 3 (2020)
    Lake littoral environments are heterogeneous, and different organisms typically show specific responses to this environmental variation. We examined local environmental and spatial factors affecting lake littoral biodiversity and the structuring of assemblages of phytoplankton, zooplankton and macroinvertebrates within and among three basins of a large lake system. We explored congruence of species composition and species richness among the studied organism groups to evaluate their general indicator potential to represent spatial variation in other groups. We expected that effects of water chemistry on plankton assemblages were stronger than effects of habitat characteristics. In contrast, we anticipated stronger effects of habitat on macroinvertebrates due to their mainly benthic mode of life. We also expected that within-basin spatial effects would be strongest on macroinvertebrates and weakest on phytoplankton. We predicted weak congruence in assemblage composition and species richness among the organism groups. Phytoplankton assemblages were mainly structured by the shared effects of water chemistry and large-scale spatial factors. In contrast to our expectations, habitat effects were stronger than water chemistry effects on zooplankton assemblages. However, as expected, macroinvertebrate species composition and richness were mainly affected by habitat conditions. Among-group congruence was weak for assemblage composition and insignificant for richness. Albeit weak, congruence was strongest between phytoplankton and zooplankton assemblages, as we expected. In summary, our analyses do not support the idea of using a single organism group as a wholesale biodiversity indicator.
  • Brittain, John E.; Heino, Jani; Friberg, Nikolai; Aroviita, Jukka; Kahlert, Maria; Karjalainen, Satu‐Maaria; Keck, François; Lento, Jennifer; Liljaniemi, Petri; Mykrä, Heikki; Schneider, Susanne C.; Ylikörkkö, Jukka (Blackwell Scientific, 2022)
    Freshwater Biology
    1. Arctic freshwaters support biota adapted to the harsh conditions at these latitudes, but the climate is changing rapidly and so are the underlying environmental filters. Currently, we have limited understanding of broad-scale patterns of Arctic riverine biodiversity and the correlates of α- and β-diversity. 2. Using information from a database set up within the scope of the Arctic Council's Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Plan, we analysed patterns and correlates of α- and β-diversity in benthic diatom and macroinvertebrate communities across northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland. We analysed variation in total β-diversity and its replacement and richness difference components in relation to location of the river reach and its drainage basin (Baltic Sea in the south, the Barents Sea in the east and the north, and the Norwegian Sea in the west), in addition to climate and environmental variables. 3. In both macroinvertebrates and diatoms, the replacement and richness difference components showed wide variation. For macroinvertebrates, the richness difference component was the more important, whereas for diatoms, the replacement component was the more important in contributing to variation in β-diversity. There was no significant difference in β-diversity between the three main drainage basins, but species composition differed among the drainage basins. 4. Based on the richness difference component of β-diversity, climate variables were most strongly associated with community variation in macroinvertebrates. In diatoms, both environmental and climate variables were strongly correlated with community compositional variation. In both groups, there were also significant differences in α-diversity among the three main drainage basins, and several taxa were significant indicators of one of these drainage basins. Alpha diversity was greater in areas with a continental climate, while the oceanic areas in the west harboured greatly reduced flora and fauna. 5. The correlates of biodiversity were relatively similar in macroinvertebrates and diatoms. Climate variables, in particular temperature, were the most strongly associated with biodiversity patterns in the Arctic rivers of Fennoscandia. Sedimentary geology may be associated with increased productivity and, to a lesser extent, with sensitivity to acidification. There was considerable variation in community composition across Arctic Fennoscandia, indicating the necessity of protecting several stream reaches or even whole catchments within each region to conserve total riverine biodiversity. Furthermore, it is likely that the predicted changes in temperature in Arctic areas will influence riverine diversity patterns across Fennoscandia.
  • Wang, Huan; García Molinos, Jorge; Heino, Jani; Zhang, Huan; Zhang, Peiyu; Xu, Jun (Pergamon, 2021)
    Environment International 153 (2021), 106494
    Eutrophication is a major problem currently impacting many surface water ecosystems. Impacts of increased nutrient concentrations on biodiversity may differ between different scales, different organism groups, and different trophic states. Surveys at different spatial scales have suggested that biodiversity of different taxa may exhibit significant cross-taxon congruence. In our study, we examined the diversity of zooplankton and zoobenthos across 261 lakes in the Lake Taihu watershed, an area that is undergoing a severe eutrophication process. We tested the cross-taxon congruence in species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity between zooplankton and zoobenthos along a nutrient gradient across the lakes. Our findings were consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, considering nutrient input as the disturbance. Also, we found significant cross-taxon congruence between zooplankton and zoobenthos diversities. Our results confirmed that excess nutrient levels resulted in diversity loss and community simplification. Zoobenthos were more sensitive to nutrient increases compared with zooplankton, which decreased cross-taxon congruence because these organism groups did not respond similarly to the anthropogenic disturbance.
  • Teittinen, Anette; Virta, Leena (2021)
    Biodiversity has traditionally been quantified using taxonomic information but the importance of also considering its functional characteristics has recently gained an increasing attention among microorganisms. However, studies exploring multiple aspects of taxonomic and functional diversity and their temporal variations are scarce for diatoms, which is one of the most important microbial groups in aquatic ecosystems. Here, our aim was to examine the taxonomic and functional alpha and beta diversities of diatoms in a coastal rock pool system characterized by a naturally high environmental heterogeneity. We also investigated the temporal differences in the diversity patterns and drivers. The relationship between the species richness and functional dispersion was temporally coherent, such that species-poor communities tended to be functionally clustered. The trend between the species richness and taxonomic uniqueness of community composition was temporally inconsistent, changing from negative to non-significant over time. Conductivity or distance to the sea or both were key determinants of species richness, functional dispersion, and uniqueness of community composition. The increase of community dissimilarity with an increasing environmental distance was stronger for the taxonomic than the functional composition. Our results suggest that even minor decreases in the species richness may result in a lowered functional diversity and decreased ecosystem functioning. Species-poor ecosystems may, however, have unique species compositions and high contributions to regional biodiversity. Despite changing the species compositions along the environmental gradients, communities may remain to have a high functional similarity and robustness in the face of environmental changes. Our results highlight the advantage of considering multiple biodiversity metrics and incorporating a temporal component for a deeper understanding of the effects of environmental changes on microbial biodiversity.
  • Teittinen, Anette; Virta, Leena; Li, Mingjia; Wang, Jianjun (2021)
    Islands provide ideal model systems to examine the factors influencing biodiversity, yet knowledge of microbial biodiversity on islands remains scarce. We collected a dataset from 101 rock pools along a freshwater to brackish water transition on islands of the Baltic Sea and investigated the patterns and drivers of community composition and species richness of diatoms, cyanobacteria and non-cyanobacteria bacteria among islands. We also examined whether environmental heterogeneity increased beta diversity and species richness within islands. Among islands, the patterns in community composition were concordant among the microbial groups, with distinct changes along the freshwater-brackish gradient. The patterns in species richness were context-dependent for each microbial group. In general, richness patterns were most strongly associated with nutrient concentrations or the distances to potential sources of immigrants, whereas no positive relationships between ecosystem size and richness were found. Within islands, environmental heterogeneity was positively correlated with the beta diversity of each microbial group, but not species richness. Our findings provide novel insights into the factors influencing microbial biodiversity. The results suggest that island microbial biodiversity patterns are influenced by species sorting and dispersal-related mechanisms and highlight the importance of environmental heterogeneity for beta diversity.
  • 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.
  • Salminen, Sarianna; Tammelin, Mira; Jilbert, Tom; Fukumoto, Yu; Saarni, Saija (Kluwer Academic, 2021)
    Journal of Paleolimnology 2021
    The influence of lake restoration efforts on lake bottom-water conditions and varve preservation is not well known. We studied varved sediments deposited during the last 80 years along a water-depth transect in the Enonsaari Deep, a deep-water area of the southernmost Enonselkä Basin, Lake Vesijärvi, southern Finland. For the last few decades, the Enonselkä Basin has been subject to ongoing restoration efforts. Varve, elemental, and diatom analyses were undertaken to explore how these actions and other human activities affected varve preservation in the Enonsaari Deep. In contrast to most varved Finnish lakes, whose water columns have a natural tendency to stratify, and possess varve records that span thousands of years, varve formation and preservation in Lake Vesijärvi was triggered by relatively recent anthropogenic stressors. The multi-core varve analysis revealed that sediment in the Enonsaari Deep was initially non-varved, but became fully varved in the late 1930s, a time of increasing anthropogenic influence on the lake. The largest spatial extent of varves occurred in the 1970s, which was followed by a period of less distinguishable varves, which coincided with diversion of sewage from the lake. Varve preservation weakened during subsequent decades and was terminated completely by lake aeration in the 2010s. Despite improvements in water quality, hypolimnetic oxygen depletion and varve preservation persisted beyond the reduction in sewage loading, initial aeration, and biomanipulation. These restoration efforts, however, along with other human actions such as harbor construction and dredging, did influence varve characteristics. Varves were also influenced by diatom responses to anthropogenic forcing, because diatoms form a substantial part of the varve structure. Of all the restoration efforts, a second episode of aeration seems to have had the single most dramatic impact on profundal conditions in the basin, resulting in replacement of a sediment accumulation zone by a transport or erosional zone in the Enonsaari Deep. We conclude that human activities in a lake and its catchment can alter lake hypolimnetic conditions, leading to shifts in lake bottom dynamics and changes in varve preservation.
  • Stigzelius, Tiina (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    For the conservation of biodiversity, it is important to examine the factors that shape species richness in different ecosystems. Global warming is predicted to be most pronounced in arctic-alpine areas and arctic environments, especially in major ecotones, like environments close to the tree lines. Therefore by examining the species richness, distribution and requirements of species living in mountainous areas, it is possible to assess the effects of climate change in different spatial scales. Elevational gradients are suitable for this kind of research, because many ecosystems processes and structure of local communities change along elevational gradients. Studies carried out in elevational gradients can help us to find out the mechanisms that shape local communities. The elevational patterns of species richness of micro-organisms like diatoms have been studied increasingly lately, but the results of the factors shaping species richness along elevational gradient are varied between different studies and groups of micro-organisms. Therefore it is important to learn more about the factors that shape species richness of micro-organisms along elevational gradients. In this thesis’s the elevational patterns of species richness and species evenness were studied in three different mountain streams in northern Norway and Kilpisjärvi (n= 44). The study also examines the effects of altitude to taxonomic relatedness of diatom species. Diatom and water chemistry samples were collected in August 2013. Generalized linear models (GLM) were used to analyse species richness and the correlation between environmental variables and species richness were examined with pairwise correlation tests. Taxonomic distinctness was calculated with taxondive-command. According to the GLM, the species richness was best explained (49,2 %) by pH of stream water, stream depth, conductivity and altitude. Species evenness was best explained (45,6 %) by water temperature and total nitrogen (TN). Altitude showed a statistically significant relation to species richness (p= 0,003) and species evenness only in Lepänjoki (p< 5,45e+07). Species were not phylogenetically more clustered as elevation increased. Altitude did not explain the taxonomic distinctness of diatom species in the research streams. It can be concluded that a deeper riverbed guarantee more stable conditions to diatom species. Similarly, higher water pH value is more favorable habitat for diatoms, than acidic waters. Altitude may affect species richness through bedrock geology, which probably affects pH value and conductivity in the research streams. The short elevational gradients probably affect the fact that species richness did not decrease as altitude increased and that the species were not closely related to each other at the upper end of the gradient.
  • Limoges, Audrey; Weckström, Kaarina; Ribeiro, Sofia; Georgiadis, Eleanor; Hansen, Katrine E.; Martinez, Philippe; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig; Giraudeau, Jacques; Crosta, Xavier; Masse, Guillaume (2020)
    Climate warming is rapidly reshaping the Arctic cryosphere and ocean conditions, with consequences for sea ice and pelagic productivity patterns affecting the entire marine food web. To predict how ongoing changes will impact Arctic marine ecosystems, concerted effort from various disciplines is required. Here, we contribute multi-decadal reconstructions of changes in diatom production and sea-ice conditions in relation to Holocene climate and ocean conditions off northwest Greenland. Our multiproxy study includes diatoms, sea-ice biomarkers (IP(25)and HBI III) and geochemical tracers (TOC [total organic carbon], TOC:TN [total nitrogen], delta C-13, delta N-15) from a sediment core record spanning the last c. 9,000 years. Our results suggest that the balance between the outflow of polar water from the Arctic, and input of Atlantic water from the Irminger Current into the West Greenland Current is a key factor in controlling sea-ice conditions, and both diatom phenology and production in northeastern Baffin Bay. Our proxy record notably shows that changes in sea-surface conditions initially forced by Neoglacial cooling were dynamically amplified by the shift in the dominant phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) mode that occurred at c. 3,000 yr BP, and caused drastic changes in community composition and a decline in diatom production at the study site. In the future, with projected dominant-positive AO conditions favored by Arctic warming, increased water column stratification may counteract the positive effect of a longer open-water growth season and negatively impact diatom production.
  • Teittinen, Anette; Wang, Jianjun; Stromgard, Simon; Soininen, Janne (2017)
    Aim: Elevational biodiversity patterns are understudied in high-latitude aquatic systems, even though these systems are important for detecting very early impacts of climatic changes on Earth. The aim of this study was to examine the elevational trends in species richness and local contribution to beta diversity (LCBD) of three biofilm microbial groups in freshwater ponds and to identify the key mechanisms underlying these patterns. Location: One hundred and forty-six ponds in subarctic Finland and Norway distributed across the tree line along an elevational gradient of 10-1,038 m a.s.l., spanning from forested landscape to barren boulder fields. Time period: July-August 2015. Major taxa studied: Diatoms, cyanobacteria and non-cyanobacteria. Methods: Generalized linear models were used to identify the most important pond variables explaining richness and LCBD. Structural equation models were used to explore the direct and indirect effects of multiscale drivers on richness and LCBD. Results: Diatom and cyanobacteria richness showed unimodal elevational patterns, whereas non-cyanobacteria richness decreased with increasing elevation. The LCBD-elevation relationship was U-shaped for all three microbial groups. Diatom and cyanobacteria richness and LCBD were best explained by local pond variables, especially by pH. Non-cyanobacteria richness and LCBD were related to pond variables, elevation as a proxy for climatic conditions, and normalized difference vegetation index as a proxy for terrestrial productivity. Main conclusions: Aquatic autotrophs were primarily controlled by environmental filtering, whereas heterotrophic bacteria were also affected by terrestrial productivity and elevation. All studied aspects of microbial diversity were directly or indirectly linked to elevation; therefore, climatic changes may greatly alter aquatic microbial assemblages.
  • Zawiska, Izabela; Dimante-Deimantovica, Inta; Luoto, Tomi P.; Rzodkiewicz, Monika; Saarni, Saija; Stivrins, Normunds; Tylmann, Wojciech; Lanka, Anna; Robeznieks, Martins; Jilbert, Tom (2020)
    Cultural eutrophication, the process by which pollution due to human activity speeds up natural eutrophication, is a widespread and consequential issue. Here, we present the 85-year history of a small, initially Lobelia-Isoetes dominated lake. The lake's ecological deterioration was intensified by water pumping station activities when it received replenishment water for more than 10 years from a eutrophic lake through a pipe. In this study, we performed a paleolimnological assessment to determine how the lake's ecosystem functioning changed over time. A multi-proxy (pollen, Cladocera, diatoms, and Chironomidae) approach was applied alongside a quantitative reconstruction of total phosphorus using diatom and hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen with chironomid-based transfer functions. The results of the biotic proxy were supplemented with a geochemical analysis. The results demonstrated significant changes in the lake community's structure, its sediment composition, and its redox conditions due to increased eutrophication, water level fluctuations, and erosion. The additional nutrient load, particularly phosphorus, increased the abundance of planktonic eutrophic-hypereutrophic diatoms, the lake water's transparency decreased, and hypolimnetic anoxia occurred. Cladocera, Chironomidae, and diatoms species indicated a community shift towards eutrophy, while the low trophy species were suppressed or disappeared.
  • 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.
  • Vilmi, Annika; Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Heino, Jani (Elsevier, 2019)
    Ecological Indicators, 99, 159-166
    We examined how niche position, niche breadth, biological traits and taxonomic relatedness affect interspecific variation in occupancy and abundance of two commonly-used biological indicator groups, i.e. diatoms and macroinvertebrates. We studied 291 diatom and 103 macroinvertebrate species that occupied the littoral zones of a large (305 km2) highly-connected freshwater system. We collated information on the biological traits and taxonomic relatedness of each species. Using principal coordinates analysis, we formed biological trait and taxonomic vectors describing distances between species and used the resulting vectors as predictor variables. As environmental data, we had site-specific physico-chemical variables, which were used in outlying mean index analyses to determine the niche position and niche breadth of each species. We used linear models to study if and how these two niche parameters and biological traits as well as taxonomic relatedness affected occupancy and abundance. We observed positive occupancy-abundance relationships for both diatoms and macroinvertebrates. We further found that, for both groups, occupancy was better explained by the predictor variables compared with abundance. We also observed that niche parameters, especially niche position, were the main determinants of variation in occupancy and abundance for both diatoms and macroinvertebrates. Local abundances of diatom and macroinvertebrate species were also, to a small degree, affected by biological traits or taxonomic relatedness. We further saw that the relationship between niche position and occupancy was negative, indicating that the more marginal the niche position, the rarer a species is. Our findings provide support for the use of diatoms and macroinvertebrates as ecological indicators as their occupancies and abundances were affected by niche parameters, which is not necessarily always clear in challenging study systems with high connectivity (i.e. high movement of material and species) among sites. These findings also suggest that indices using information on species’ occupancy, abundance and niche requirements are useful in environmental assessment.