Grazer diversity effects in an eelgrass-epiphyte-microphytobenthos system

Jaschinski, Sybill, Aberle, Nicole, Gohse-Reimann, S., Brendelberger, H., Wiltshire, K. and Sommer, Ulrich (2009) Grazer diversity effects in an eelgrass-epiphyte-microphytobenthos system Oecologia, 159 (3). pp. 607-615. DOI 10.1007/s00442-008-1236-2.

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The dramatic loss of biodiversity and its consequences for ecosystem processes have been of considerable interest in recent ecological studies. However, the complex and interacting processes influencing diversity effects in multitrophic systems are still poorly understood. We used an experimental eelgrass system to study the effects of changing richness of three consumer species on the biomass, diversity and taxonomic composition of both epiphytic and benthic microalgal assemblages. After 1 week, consumer richness enhanced the grazing impact on epiphyte biomass relative to single consumer treatments and a positive effect of consumer richness on prey diversity was found. Moreover, strong effects of consumer species identity on taxonomic composition were found in both microalgal assemblages. However, the effects of consumer richness were not consistent over time. The consequences of high nutrient availability seemed to have masked consumer richness effects.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Diversity, consumer, seagrass, ecosystem functioning, enrichment, Nutrients
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00442-008-1236-2
ISSN: 0029-8549
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2009 10:02
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 14:44

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