Browsing by Subject "ecosystem functioning"

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  • Bernard, Guillaume; Kauppi, Laura; Lavesque, Nicolas; Ciutat, Aurelie; Gremare, Antoine; Masse, Cecile; Maire, Olivier (2020)
    The invasive mussel Arcuatula senhousia has successfully colonized shallow soft sediments worldwide. This filter feeding mussel modifies sedimentary habitats while forming dense populations and efficiently contributes to nutrient cycling. In the present study, the density of A. senhousia was manipulated in intact sediment cores taken within an intertidal Zostera noltei seagrass meadow in Arcachon Bay (French Atlantic coast), where the species currently occurs at levels corresponding to an early invasion stage. It aimed at testing the effects of a future invasion on (1) bioturbation (bioirrigation and sediment mixing) as well as on (2) total benthic solute fluxes across the sediment-water interface. Results showed that increasing densities of A. senhousia clearly enhanced phosphate and ammonium effluxes, but conversely did not significantly affect community bioturbation rates, highlighting the ability of A. senhousia to control nutrient cycling through strong excretion rates with potential important consequences for nutrient cycling and benthic-pelagic coupling at a broader scale. However, it appears that the variability in the different measured solute fluxes were underpinned by different interactions between the manipulated density of A. senhousia and several faunal and/or environmental drivers, therefore underlining the complexity of anticipating the effects of an invasion process on ecosystem functioning within a realistic context.
  • Tiusanen, Mikko; Huotari, Tea; Hebert, Paul D. N.; Andersson, Tommi; Asmus, Ashley; Bety, Joel; Davis, Emma; Gale, Jennifer; Hardwick, Bess; Hik, David; Körner, Christian; Lanctot, Richard B.; Loonen, Maarten J. J. E.; Partanen, Rauni; Reischke, Karissa; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Senez-Gagnon, Fanny; Smith, Paul A.; Sulavik, Jan; Syvanpera, Ilkka; Urbanowicz, Christine; Williams, Sian; Woodard, Paul; Zaika, Yulia; Roslin, Tomas (2019)
    Pollination is an ecosystem function of global importance. Yet, who visits the flower of specific plants, how the composition of these visitors varies in space and time and how such variation translates into pollination services are hard to establish. The use of DNA barcodes allows us to address ecological patterns involving thousands of taxa that are difficult to identify. To clarify the regional variation in the visitor community of a widespread flower resource, we compared the composition of the arthropod community visiting species in the genus Dryas (mountain avens, family Rosaceae), throughout Arctic and high-alpine areas. At each of 15 sites, we sampled Dryas visitors with 100 sticky flower mimics and identified specimens to Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) using a partial sequence of the mitochondrial COI gene. As a measure of ecosystem functioning, we quantified variation in the seed set of Dryas. To test for an association between phylogenetic and functional diversity, we characterized the structure of local visitor communities with both taxonomic and phylogenetic descriptors. In total, we detected 1,360 different BINs, dominated by Diptera and Hymenoptera. The richness of visitors at each site appeared to be driven by local temperature and precipitation. Phylogeographic structure seemed reflective of geological history and mirrored trans-Arctic patterns detected in plants. Seed set success varied widely among sites, with little variation attributable to pollinator species richness. This pattern suggests idiosyncratic associations, with function dominated by few and potentially different taxa at each site. Taken together, our findings illustrate the role of post-glacial history in the assembly of flower-visitor communities in the Arctic and offer insights for understanding how diversity translates into ecosystem functioning.
  • Roth, Florian; RAdecker, Nils; Carvalho, Susana; Duarte, Carlos M.; Saderne, Vincent; Anton, Andrea; Silva, Luis; Calleja, Maria Ll; MorAn, XosE Anxelu G.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Kuerten, Benjamin; Jones, Burton H.; Wild, Christian (2021)
    Shifts from coral to algal dominance are expected to increase in tropical coral reefs as a result of anthropogenic disturbances. The consequences for key ecosystem functions such as primary productivity, calcification, and nutrient recycling are poorly understood, particularly under changing environmental conditions. We used a novel in situ incubation approach to compare functions of coral- and algae-dominated communities in the central Red Sea bimonthly over an entire year. In situ gross and net community primary productivity, calcification, dissolved organic carbon fluxes, dissolved inorganic nitrogen fluxes, and their respective activation energies were quantified to describe the effects of seasonal changes. Overall, coral-dominated communities exhibited 30% lower net productivity and 10 times higher calcification than algae-dominated communities. Estimated activation energies indicated a higher thermal sensitivity of coral-dominated communities. In these communities, net productivity and calcification were negatively correlated with temperature (>40% and >65% reduction, respectively, with +5 degrees C increase from winter to summer), whereas carbon losses via respiration and dissolved organic carbon release more than doubled at higher temperatures. In contrast, algae-dominated communities doubled net productivity in summer, while calcification and dissolved organic carbon fluxes were unaffected. These results suggest pronounced changes in community functioning associated with coral-algal phase shifts. Algae-dominated communities may outcompete coral-dominated communities because of their higher productivity and carbon retention to support fast biomass accumulation while compromising the formation of important reef framework structures. Higher temperatures likely amplify these functional differences, indicating a high vulnerability of ecosystem functions of coral-dominated communities to temperatures even below coral bleaching thresholds. Our results suggest that ocean warming may not only cause but also amplify coral-algal phase shifts in coral reefs.
  • Rodil, Iván F.; Lohrer, Andrew M.; Attard, Karl M.; Thrush, Simon F.; Norkko, Alf (2022)
    Coastal vegetated habitats such as seagrasses are known to play a critical role in carbon cycling and the potential to mitigate climate change, as blue carbon habitats have been repeatedly highlighted. However, little information is known about the role of associated macrofauna communities on the dynamics of critical processes of seagrass carbon metabolism (e.g., respiration, turnover, and production). We conducted a field study across a spatial gradient of seagrass meadows involving variable environmental conditions and macrobenthic diversity to investigate (1) the relationship between macrofauna biodiversity and secondary production (i.e., consumer incorporation of organic matter per time unit), and (2) the role of macrofauna communities in seagrass organic carbon metabolism (i.e., respiration and primary production). We show that, although several environmental factors influence secondary production, macrofauna biodiversity controls the range of local seagrass secondary production. We demonstrate that macrofauna respiration rates were responsible for almost 40% of the overall seafloor community respiration. Macrofauna represented on average >25% of the total benthic organic C stocks, high secondary production that is likely to become available to upper trophic levels of the coastal food web. Our findings support the role of macrofauna biodiversity in maintaining productive ecosystems, implying that biodiversity loss due to ongoing environmental change yields less productive seagrass ecosystems. Therefore, the assessment of carbon dynamics in coastal habitats should include associated macrofauna biodiversity elements if we aim to obtain robust estimates of global carbon budgets required to implement management actions for the sustainable functioning of the world's coasts.
  • Robinson, Sinikka; O'Gorman, Eoin J.; Frey, Beat; Hagner, Marleena; Mikola, Juha (2022)
    The impacts of climate change on ecosystem structure and functioning are likely to be strongest at high latitudes due to the adaptation of biota to relatively low temperatures and nutrient levels. Soil warming is widely predicted to alter microbial, invertebrate, and plant communities, with cascading effects on ecosystem functioning, but this has largely been demonstrated over short-term (
  • Lowe, Elizabeth C.; Wolff, Jonas O.; Aceves-Aparicio, Alfonso; Birkhofer, Klaus; Branco, Vasco V; Cardoso, Pedro; Chichorro, Filipe; Fukushima, Caroline Sayuri; Goncalves-Sousa, T.; Haddad, Charles; Isaia, Marco; Krehenwinkel, H.; Audisio, Tracy Lynn; Macias Hernandez, Nuria; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba; Mammola, Stefano; McLean, Donald James; Michalko, Radek; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Pekar, Stano; Petillon, Julien; Privet, Kaina; Scott, Catherine; Uhl, Gabriele; Urbano Tenorio, Fernando; Wong, Boon Hui; Herbestein, Marie E. (2020)
    A main goal of ecological and evolutionary biology is understanding and predicting interactions between populations and both abiotic and biotic environments, the spatial and temporal variation of these interactions, and the effects on population dynamics and performance. Trait-based approaches can help to model these interactions and generate a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functioning. A central tool is the collation of databases that include species trait information. Such centralized databases have been set up for a number of organismal groups but is lacking for one of the most important groups of predators in terrestrial ecosystems - spiders. Here we promote the collation of an open spider traits database, integrated into the global Open Traits Network. We explore the current collation of spider data and cover the logistics of setting up a global database, including which traits to include, the source of data, how to input data, database governance, geographic cover, accessibility, quality control and how to make the database sustainable long-term. Finally, we explore the scope of research questions that could be investigated using a global spider traits database.