Direct and indirect effects in herbivore - periphyton interactions

Liess, A. and Hillebrand, Helmut (2004) Direct and indirect effects in herbivore - periphyton interactions Archiv für Hydrobiologie, 159 . pp. 433-453. DOI 10.1127/0003-9136/2004/0159-0433.

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In this article we review the indirect interactions prevailing in littoral communities and compare their importance to direct trophic interactions. We focus on the interaction between benthic algae and their herbivorous consumers, i. e. invertebrate grazers and herbivorous fish. In addition to the effects of grazers on periphyton biomass and production, we categorise and describe the types of indirect interactions observed and we present a quantitative meta-analysis to compare the effect magnitude of indirect and direct effects. Our review shows that herbivore-plant interactions comprise considerable complexity beyond consumption. We identify and review three different indirect interactions, which play important roles for periphyton-grazer interactions in benthic food webs. These are keystone predation, trophic cascading and habitat facilitation. Direct negative effects were stronger than indirect positive effect, because grazing leads in almost all studies to a decrease in algal biomass. We found positive effects of grazing on algal nutrient content, biomass-specific productivity and evenness. We found negative overall effects on species richness and area-specific productivity. Moreover, spatial heterogeneity was on average increased by grazing. The magnitudes of direct and indirect effects were often correlated

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Grazing, periphyton, indirect effects, meta-analysis, diversity, productivity, heterogeneity, nutrient content
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1127/0003-9136/2004/0159-0433
ISSN: 0003-9136
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2009 23:33
Last Modified: 26 May 2016 11:53

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