Browsing by Subject "freshwater"

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  • Heino, Jani; Culp, Joseph M.; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Goedkoop, Willem; Lento, Jennifer; Rühland, Kathleen; Smol, John P.; Britton, Robert (British Ecological Society, 2020)
    Journal of Applied Ecology Volume 57, Issue 7 (2020)
    1. Arctic regions support a wide variety of freshwater ecosystems. These naturally oligotrophic and cold-water streams, rivers, ponds and lakes are currently being impacted by a diverse range of anthropogenic pressures, such as accelerated climate change, permafrost thaw, land-use change, eutrophication, brownification and the replacement of northern biota with the range expansion of more southern species. 2. Multiple stressors are rapidly changing Arctic freshwater systems as aquatic habitats are becoming more suitable for species originating from more southerly regions and thereby threatening biota adapted to cold waters. The livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples of the north will be altered when ecosystem services associated with changes in biodiversity are affected. Unfortunately, monitoring of biodiversity change in Arctic freshwaters is currently inadequate, making it difficult, if not impossible, to predict changes in ecosystem services. 3. Synthesis and applications. We propose a three-step approach to better address and facilitate monitoring of the rapid ecological changes that Arctic freshwater ecosystems are currently experiencing as a result of climate change. First, we should increase our efforts in the monitoring of freshwaters across all Arctic countries by setting up a network of monitoring sites and devoting more effort to a broad-scale baseline survey using standardized methods. Second, we should enhance modelling efforts to include both ecological change and socio-economic development. These models should help pinpoint species, ecosystems and geographical areas that are likely to show abrupt changes in response to any changes. Third, we should increase interaction among scientists, policymakers and different stakeholder groups. In particular, Indigenous Peoples must be involved in the leadership, planning and execution of monitoring and assessment activities of Arctic freshwaters. The proposed approach, which is critical to detecting the effects of climate change in the circumpolar region, has broader applications for global coordination of Arctic freshwater biomonitoring. Through routine monitoring, standardization of methods, enhanced modelling of integrated scientific and socio-economic change, and increased collaboration within and among sectors, more effective monitoring and management of climate change impacts on freshwater biodiversity will be possible in the Arctic and globally.
  • Rajakallio, Maria; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Muotka, Timo; Aroviita, Jukka (Blackwell, 2021)
    Journal of Applied Ecology 58: 7, 1523-1532
    1. Growing bioeconomy is increasing the pressure to clear-cut drained peatland forests. Yet, the cumulative effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on the biodiversity of recipient freshwater ecosystems are largely unknown. 2. We studied the isolated and combined effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on stream macroinvertebrate communities. We further explored whether the impact of these forestry-driven catchment alterations to benthic invertebrates is related to stream size. We quantified the impact on invertebrate biodiversity by comparing communities in forestry-impacted streams to expected communities modelled with a multi-taxon niche model. 3. The impact of clear-cutting of drained peatland forests exceeded the sum of the independent effects of drainage and clear-cutting, indicating a synergistic interaction between the two disturbances in small streams. Peatland drainage reduced benthic biodiversity in both small and large streams, whereas clear-cutting did the same only in small streams. Small headwater streams were more sensitive to forestry impacts than the larger downstream sites. 4. We found 11 taxa (out of 25 modelled) to respond to forestry disturbances. These taxa were mainly different from those previously reported as sensitive to forestry-driven alterations, indicating the context dependence of taxonomic responses to forestry. In contrast, most of the functional traits previously identified as responsive to agricultural sedimentation also responded to forestry pressures. In particular, taxa that live temporarily in hyporheic habitats, move by crawling, disperse actively in water, live longer than 1 year, use eggs as resistance form and obtain their food by scraping became less abundant than expected, particularly in streams impacted by both drainage and clear-cutting. 5. Synthesis and applications. Drained peatland forests in boreal areas are reaching maturity and will soon be harvested. Clear-cutting of these forests incurs multiple environmental hazards but previous studies have focused on terrestrial ecosystems. Our results show that the combined impacts of peatland drainage and clear-cutting may extend across ecosystem boundaries and cause significant biodiversity loss in recipient freshwater ecosystems. This information supports a paradigm shift in boreal forest management, whereby continuous-cover forestry based on partial harvest may provide the most sustainable approach to peatland forestry.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gavioli, Anna; Milardi, Marco; Castaldelli, Giuseppe; Fano, Elisa Anna; Soininen, Janne (2019)
    Aim Exotic species are a major threat to biodiversity and have modified native communities worldwide. Invasion processes have been extensively studied, but studies on species richness and beta diversity patterns of exotic and native species are rare. We investigate such patterns among exotic and native fish communities in upland and lowland rivers to explore their relationship with environmental drivers. Location Northern Italy. Methods Exotic and native fish beta diversity patterns were investigated separately in lowland and upland sites using Local Contribution to Beta Diversity (LCBD) and Species Contribution to Beta Diversity (SCBD) analyses. To examine the main environmental variables affecting the LCBD, a Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) method was used. Community dispersion among and within stream orders was investigated with the PERMDISP test. Results In lowland sites, exotic species richness was higher than native species richness, especially in large rivers and drainage canals. An opposite trend was found in upland sites, where native species richness was higher than exotic species richness, especially in large rivers. No clear LCBD patterns were found along stream orders in the lowland, whereas higher stream orders in the upland showed the highest LCBD. Its patterns in upland and lowland sites were related to a number of factors, such as total suspended solids and total phosphorus. Community dispersion among stream orders did not show a relationship with environmental heterogeneity. SCBD values were positively correlated with species occupancy in the study area, and native species showed higher SCBD values than exotic species only in the uplands. Main conclusions Large rivers in the uplands are important in maintaining native fish diversity and should be protected against invasive fish. In contrast, most lowland rivers have suffered from biological homogenization. Some rare native species can show low contribution to beta diversity, but still need conservation actions due to their risk of local extinction.
  • Hampton, Stephanie E.; Galloway, Aaron W. E.; Powers, Stephen M.; Ozersky, Ted; Woo, Kara H.; Batt, Ryan D.; Labou, Stephanie G.; O'Reilly, Catherine M.; Sharma, Sapna; Lottig, Noah R.; Stanley, Emily H.; North, Rebecca L.; Stockwell, Jason D.; Adrian, Rita; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.; Arvola, Lauri; Baulch, Helen M.; Bertani, Isabella; Bowman, Larry L.; Carey, Cayelan C.; Catalan, Jordi; Colom-Montero, William; Domine, Leah M.; Felip, Marisol; Granados, Ignacio; Gries, Corinna; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Haberman, Juta; Haldna, Marina; Hayden, Brian; Higgins, Scott N.; Jolley, Jeff C.; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; Kaup, Enn; Kehoe, Michael J.; MacIntyre, Sally; Mackay, Anson W.; Mariash, Heather L.; Mckay, Robert M.; Nixdorf, Brigitte; Noges, Peeter; Noges, Tiina; Palmer, Michelle; Pierson, Don C.; Post, David M.; Pruett, Matthew J.; Rautio, Milla; Read, Jordan S.; Roberts, Sarah L.; Ruecker, Jacqueline; Sadro, Steven; Silow, Eugene A.; Smith, Derek E.; Sterner, Robert W.; Swann, George E. A.; Timofeyev, Maxim A.; Toro, Manuel; Twiss, Michael R.; Vogt, Richard J.; Watson, Susan B.; Whiteford, Erika J.; Xenopoulos, Marguerite A. (2017)
    Winter conditions are rapidly changing in temperate ecosystems, particularly for those that experience periods of snow and ice cover. Relatively little is known of winter ecology in these systems, due to a historical research focus on summer 'growing seasons'. We executed the first global quantitative synthesis on under-ice lake ecology, including 36 abiotic and biotic variables from 42 research groups and 101 lakes, examining seasonal differences and connections as well as how seasonal differences vary with geophysical factors. Plankton were more abundant under ice than expected; mean winter values were 43.2% of summer values for chlorophyll a, 15.8% of summer phytoplankton biovolume and 25.3% of summer zooplankton density. Dissolved nitrogen concentrations were typically higher during winter, and these differences were exaggerated in smaller lakes. Lake size also influenced winter-summer patterns for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), with higher winter DOC in smaller lakes. At coarse levels of taxonomic aggregation, phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition showed few systematic differences between seasons, although literature suggests that seasonal differences are frequently lake-specific, species-specific, or occur at the level of functional group. Within the subset of lakes that had longer time series, winter influenced the subsequent summer for some nutrient variables and zooplankton biomass.
  • Ovaskainen, Otso Tapio; Weigel, Benjamin Matthias; Potyutko, Oleg; Buyvolov, Yury (2019)
    Scale-related assessment strategies are important contributions to successful ecosystem management. With varying impact of environmental drivers from local to regional scales, a focal task is to understand scale-de- pendent responses when assessing the state of an ecosystem. In this study we use large-scale monitoring data, spanning 40 years and including four aquatic bioindicator groups (phytoplankton, zooplankton, periphyton, zoobenthos) to expose the long-term changes of water quality across Russia. We include four hierarchical spatial scales (region, basin, waterbody and observation point) to identify the relative importance of different spatio- temporal scales for the variation of each bioindicator and patterns of co-variation among the bioindicators at different hierarchical levels. We analysed the data with Hierarchical Modelling of Species Communities (HMSC), an approach that belongs to the framework of joint species distribution models. We performed a cross validation to reveal the predictive power of modelled bioindicator variation, partitioned explained variance among the fixed effects (waterbody type, and influence of human population density) and the random effects (spatial and spatio-temporal variation at the four hierarchical scales), and examined the co-variation among bioindicators at each spatio-temporal scale. We detected generally decreasing water quality across Russian freshwaters, yet with region and bioindicator specific trends. For all bioindicators, the dominating part of the variation was attributed the largest (region) and smallest (observation point) hierarchical scales, the region particularly important for benthic and the observation point for pelagic bioindicators. All bioindicators captured the same spatial variation in water quality at the smallest scale of observation point, with phytoplankton, zooplankton and periphyton being associated positively to each other and negatively to zoobenthos. However, at larger spatial scales and at spatio-temporal scales, the associations among the bioindicators became more complex, with phytoplankton and zooplankton showing opposite trends over time. Our study reveals the sensitivity of bioindicators to spatial and temporal scales. While delivering unidirectional robust water quality assessments at the local scale, bioindicator co-variation is more complex over larger geographic scales and over time.
  • Kochanova, Elena; Nair, Abhilash; Sukhikh, Natalia; Väinölä, Risto; Husby, Arild (2021)
    Comparative phylogeography has become a powerful approach in exploring hidden or cryptic diversity within widespread species and understanding how historical and biogeographical factors shape the modern patterns of their distribution. Most comparative phylogeographic studies so far focus on terrestrial and vertebrate taxa, while aquatic invertebrates (and especially freshwater invertebrates) remain unstudied. In this article, we explore and compare the patterns of molecular diversity and phylogeographic structure of four widespread freshwater copepod crustaceans in European water bodies: the harpacticoids Attheyella crassa, Canthocamptus staphylinus and Nitokra hibernica, and the cyclopoid Eucyclops serrulatus, using sequence data from mtDNA COI and nuclear ITS/18S rRNA genes. The three taxa A. crassa, C. staphylinus and E. serrulatus each consist of deeply diverged clusters and are deemed to represent complexes of species with largely (but not completely) non-overlapping distributions, while in N. hibernica only little differentiation was found, which may however reflect the geographically more restricted sampling. However, the geographical patterns of subdivision differ. The divisions in A. crassa and E. serrulatus follow an east-west pattern in Northern Europe whereas that in C. staphylinus has more of a north-south pattern, with a distinct Fennoscandian clade. The deep mitochondrial splits among populations of A. crassa, C. staphylinus and E. serrulatus (model-corrected distances 26-36%) suggest that divergence of the lineages predate the Pleistocene glaciations. This study provides an insight into cryptic diversity and biogeographic distribution of freshwater copepods.
  • Taipale, Sami J.; Kers, Erwin; Peltomaa, Elina; Loehr, John; Kainz, Martin J. (2021)
    Gammarid amphipods are a crucial link connecting primary producers with secondary consumers, but little is known about their nutritional ecology. Here we asked how starvation and subsequent feeding on different nutritional quality algae influences fatty acid retention, compound-specific isotopic carbon fractionation, and biosynthesis of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the relict gammarid amphipod Pallaseopsis quadrispinosa. The fatty acid profiles of P. quadrispinosa closely matched with those of the dietary green algae after only seven days of refeeding, whereas fatty acid patterns of P. quadrispinosa were less consistent with those of the diatom diet. This was mainly due to P. quadrispinosa suffering energy limitation in the diatom treatment which initiated the metabolization of 16:1 omega 7 and partly 18:1 omega 9 for energy, but retained high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) similar to those found in wild-caught organisms. Moreover, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from green algae was mainly stored and not allocated to membranes at high levels nor biosynthesized to EPA. The arachidonic acid (ARA) content in membrane was much lower than EPA and P. quadrispinosa was able to biosynthesize long-chain omega-6 PUFA from linoleic acid (LA). Our experiment revealed that diet quality has a great impact on fatty acid biosynthesis, retention and turnover in this consumer.
  • Taipale, Sami J.; Hiltunen, Minna; Vuorio, Kristiina; Peltomaa, Elina (2016)
    The composition and abundance of phytoplankton is an important factor defining ecological status of marine and freshwater ecosystems. Chemotaxonomic markers (e.g., pigments and fatty acids) are needed for monitoring changes in a phytoplankton community and to know the nutritional quality of seston for herbivorous zooplankton. Here we investigated the suitability of sterols along with fatty acids as chemotaxonomic markers using multivariate statistics, by analyzing the sterol and fatty acid composition of 10 different phytoplankton classes including altogether 37 strains isolated from freshwater lakes. We were able to detect a total of 47 fatty acids and 29 sterols in our phytoplankton samples, which both differed statistically significantly between phytoplankton classes. Due to the high variation of fatty acid composition among Cyanophyceae, taxonomical differentiation increased when Cyanophyceae were excluded from statistical analysis. Sterol composition was more heterogeneous within class than fatty acids and did not improve separation of phytoplankton classes when used alongside fatty acids. However, we conclude that sterols can provide additional information on the abundance of specific genera within a class which can be generated by using fatty acids. For example, whereas high C-16 omega-3 PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acid) indicates the presence of Chlorophyceae, a simultaneous high amount of ergosterol could specify the presence of Chlamydomonas spp. (Chlorophyceae). Additionally, we found specific 4 alpha-methyl sterols for distinct Dinophyceae genera, suggesting that 4a-methyl sterols can potentially separate freshwater dinoflagellates from each other.
  • Englund, William F.; Njoroge, Laban; Biström, Olof; Miller, Kelly B.; Bilton, David T.; Bergsten, Johannes (2020)
    We revise the Afrotropical Agabus raffrayi species group, motivated by the discovery of new diversity in Kenya and South Africa. Whilst Agabus is mainly a holarctic genus, the Agabus raffrayi group is restricted to high altitude regions of eastern Africa and temperate parts of South Africa, from where we describe the southernmost Agabus in the world. The following new species are introduced: Agabus anguluverpus sp. nov. from Mount Kenya in central Kenya, Agabus austellus sp. nov. a widespread species in South Africa, Agabus riberae sp. nov. from the Kamiesberg and northeastern Cederberg ranges in the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa and Agabus agulhas sp. nov. from the Agulhas Plain, Western Cape Province, South Africa. We provide a distribution map, a determination key for males, quantitative measurements of diagnostic characters, habitus photos and detailed photos of male genitalia for all described species in the group, as well as images of diagnostic characters and habitats. The presence or absence of an elongated section between the subapical broadening and the base of the apical and subapicalteeth of the male aedeagus is a useful novel character, first revealed by our study. In contrast with the most recent revision of Afrotropical Agabus, we show that Agabus ruwenzoricus Guignot, 1936 is restricted to eastern Africa; South African records of this species having been based on misidentifications, no species of the group being common to southern and eastern Africa. We speculate that the raffrayi group may display phylogenetic niche conservatism, being restricted, as an originally temperate taxon, to higher elevations in tropical eastern Africa, but occurring at lower altitudes in temperate South Africa.
  • Huovinen, Lena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Lake ecosystems are shaped by water chemistry processes that affect the lake environment and the species communities within. Changes in the water chemistry thus have far-reaching consequences. Water colour is one variable that affects water chemistry and stems from humic substances in the water. Dark water reduces light availability and also affects nutrient and oxygen availability. A trend of brownification of freshwater systems has been observed in recent years and it is expected to influence species community’s diversity and composition. The aim of this thesis was to study whether brownification is an ongoing issue in the study lakes and whether it has had a negative effect on phytoplankton diversity and resulted in shifts in the phytoplankton composition. A data set including about a 100 lakes in Finland with measurements from 1965 up until now served as the study system which was analysed with statistical methods. The results indicated a brownification trend in the past decades. The brownification so far had a positive impact on species richness but a negative impact on beta diversity. Brownification also affected species composition. Flagellates and autotrophic species increased in darker waters but mixotrophic species that are known to dominate in dark water colour, did not show a clear increase with water colour. Other hydrological variables than water colour could have had a bigger impact on the phytoplankton community than water colour but future monitoring of the phytoplankton community is recommended to see if water colour will have a negative impact on species diversity in the future.
  • Cameron, Erin K.; Sundqvist, Maja K.; Keith, Sally A.; CaraDonna, Paul J.; Mousing, Erik A.; Nilsson, Karin A.; Metcalfe, Daniel B.; Classen, Aimée T. (2019)
    Abstract Trophic interactions within food webs affect species distributions, coexistence, and provision of ecosystem services but can be strongly impacted by climatic changes. Understanding these impacts is therefore essential for managing ecosystems and sustaining human well-being. Here, we conducted a global synthesis of terrestrial, marine, and freshwater studies to identify key gaps in our knowledge of climate change impacts on food webs and determine whether the areas currently studied are those most likely to be impacted by climate change. We found research suffers from a strong geographic bias, with only 3.5% of studies occurring in the tropics. Importantly, the distribution of sites sampled under projected climate changes was biased?areas with decreases or large increases in precipitation and areas with low magnitudes of temperature change were under-represented. Our results suggest that understanding of climate change impacts on food webs could be broadened by considering more than two trophic levels, responses in addition to species abundance and biomass, impacts of a wider suite of climatic variables, and tropical ecosystems. Most importantly, to enable better forecasts of biodiversity responses to climate change, we identify critically under-represented geographic regions and climatic conditions which should be prioritized in future research.
  • Taipale, Sami; Peltomaa, Elina; Salmi, Pauliina (2020)
    Phytoplankton synthesizes essential omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for consumers in the aquatic food webs. Only certain phytoplankton taxa can synthesize eicosapentaenoic (EPA; 20:5 omega 3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6 omega 3), whereas all phytoplankton taxa can synthesize shorter-chain omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA. Here, we experimentally studied how the proportion, concentration (per DW and cell-specific), and production (mu g FA L-1 day(-1)) of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA varied among six different phytoplankton main groups (16 freshwater strains) and between exponential and stationary growth phase. EPA and DHA concentrations, as dry weight, were similar among cryptophytes and diatoms. However, Cryptomonas erosa had two-27 times higher EPA and DHA content per cell than the other tested cryptophytes, diatoms, or golden algae. The growth was fastest with diatoms, green algae, and cyanobacteria, resulting in high production of medium chain omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA. Even though the dinoflagellate Peridinium cinctum grew slowly, the content of EPA and DHA per cell was high, resulting in a three- and 40-times higher production rate of EPA and DHA than in cryptophytes or diatoms. However, the production of EPA and DHA was 40 and three times higher in cryptophytes and diatoms than in golden algae (chrysophytes and synyrophytes), respectively. Our results show that phytoplankton taxon explains 56-84% and growth phase explains similar to 1% of variation in the cell-specific concentration and production of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA, supporting understanding that certain phytoplankton taxa play major roles in the synthesis of essential fatty acids. Based on the average proportion of PUFA of dry weight during growth, we extrapolated the seasonal availability of PUFA during phytoplankton succession in a clear water lake. This extrapolation demonstrated notable seasonal and interannual variation, the availability of EPA and DHA being prominent in early and late summer, when dinoflagellates or diatoms increased.