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Simulating eutrophication in a metacommunity landscape : an aquatic model ecosystem
AuthorDi Carvalho, Josie Antonucci ; Wickham, Stephen A.
Published in
Oecologia, Berlin, 2018, Vol. 2018, page 1-14
PublishedBerlin : Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2018
Document typeJournal Article
Keywords (EN)Interconnected patches / Diversity Fragmentation / Nutrient addition / Microcosm experiment
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-10984 Persistent Identifier (URN)
 The work is publicly available
Simulating eutrophication in a metacommunity landscape [2.59 mb]
Abstract (English)

Aquatic habitats are often characterized by both high diversity and the threat of multiple anthropogenic stressors. Our research deals with temporal and spatial aspects of two of the main threats for biodiversity, namely eutrophication and fragmentation. It is known that pulsed nutrient addition creates temporal differences in environmental conditions, promoting higher diversity by preventing the best competitor from dominating. Furthermore, a metacommunity landscape with intermediate connectivity increases autotrophs diversity and stability. However, it is yet unclear if these two factors are additive in increasing diversity and if the effects extend to the consumer level. With the goal of understanding how eutrophication impacts biodiversity in a metacommunity landscape, we hypothesized that pulsed nutrient addition will increase diversity among both autotrophs and heterotrophs, and this effect will be even greater in a metacommunity landscape. We simulated eutrophication and fragmentation in a microcosm experiment using phytoplankton as primary producers and microzooplankton as grazers. Four treatment combinations were tested including two different landscapes (metacommunity and isolated community) and two forms of nutrient supply (pulsed and continuous): metacommunity/continuous nutrient addition (MC); metacommunity/pulsed nutrient addition (MP); isolated community/continuous nutrient addition (IC); isolated community/pulsed nutrient addition (IP). As expected, pulsed nutrient addition had a persistent positive effect on phytoplankton diversity, with a weaker influence of landscape type. In contrast, the grazer community strongly benefited from a metacommunity landscape, with less significance of pulsed or continuous nutrient addition. Overall, the metacommunity landscape with pulsed nutrient supply supported higher diversity of primary producers and grazers.

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