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Sample records for cascading trophic interactions

  1. Howling about Trophic Cascades

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kowalewski, David

    2012-01-01

    Following evolutionary theory and an agriculture model, ecosystem research has stressed bottom-up dynamics, implying that top wild predators are epiphenomenal effects of more basic causes. As such, they are assumed expendable. A more modern co-evolutionary and wilderness approach--trophic cascades--instead suggests that top predators, whose…

  2. Unintended consequences of management actions in salt pond restoration: cascading effects in trophic interactions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Takekawa, John Y.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Brand, Arriana; Graham, Tanya R.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark; Topping, Brent R.; Shellenbarger, Gregory; Kuwabara, James S.; Mruz, Eric; Piotter, Sara L.; Athearn, Nicole D.

    2015-01-01

    Salt evaporation ponds have played an important role as habitat for migratory waterbirds across the world, however, efforts to restore and manage these habitats to maximize their conservation value has proven to be challenging. For example, salinity reduction has been a goal for restoring and managing former salt evaporation ponds to support waterbirds in the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Here, we describe a case study of unexpected consequences of a low-dissolved oxygen (DO) event on trophic interactions in a salt pond system following management actions to reduce salinity concentrations. We document the ramifications of an anoxic event in water quality including salinity, DO, and temperature, and in the response of the biota including prey fish biomass, numerical response by California Gulls (Larus californicus), and chick survival of Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri). Management actions intended to protect receiving waters resulted in decreased DO concentrations that collapsed to zero for ≥ 4 consecutive days, resulting in an extensive fish kill. DO depletion likely resulted from an algal bloom that arose following transition of the pond system from high to low salinity as respiration and decomposition outpaced photosynthetic production. We measured a ≥ 6-fold increase in biomass of fish dropped on the levee by foraging avian predators compared with weeks prior to and following the low-DO event. California Gulls rapidly responded to the availability of aerobically-stressed and vulnerable fish and increased in abundance by two orders of magnitude. Mark-recapture analysis of 254 Forster's Tern chicks indicated that their survival declined substantially following the increase in gull abundance. Thus, management actions to reduce salinity concentrations resulted in cascading effects in trophic interactions that serves as a cautionary tale illustrating the importance of understanding the interaction of water quality

  3. Unintended Consequences of Management Actions in Salt Pond Restoration: Cascading Effects in Trophic Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Takekawa, John Y.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Brand, L. Arriana; Graham, Tanya R.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark P.; Topping, Brent R.; Shellenbarger, Gregory G.; Kuwabara, James S.; Mruz, Eric; Piotter, Sara L.; Athearn, Nicole D.

    2015-01-01

    Salt evaporation ponds have played an important role as habitat for migratory waterbirds across the world, however, efforts to restore and manage these habitats to maximize their conservation value has proven to be challenging. For example, salinity reduction has been a goal for restoring and managing former salt evaporation ponds to support waterbirds in the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Here, we describe a case study of unexpected consequences of a low-dissolved oxygen (DO) event on trophic interactions in a salt pond system following management actions to reduce salinity concentrations. We document the ramifications of an anoxic event in water quality including salinity, DO, and temperature, and in the response of the biota including prey fish biomass, numerical response by California Gulls (Larus californicus), and chick survival of Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri). Management actions intended to protect receiving waters resulted in decreased DO concentrations that collapsed to zero for ≥ 4 consecutive days, resulting in an extensive fish kill. DO depletion likely resulted from an algal bloom that arose following transition of the pond system from high to low salinity as respiration and decomposition outpaced photosynthetic production. We measured a ≥ 6-fold increase in biomass of fish dropped on the levee by foraging avian predators compared with weeks prior to and following the low-DO event. California Gulls rapidly responded to the availability of aerobically-stressed and vulnerable fish and increased in abundance by two orders of magnitude. Mark-recapture analysis of 254 Forster's Tern chicks indicated that their survival declined substantially following the increase in gull abundance. Thus, management actions to reduce salinity concentrations resulted in cascading effects in trophic interactions that serves as a cautionary tale illustrating the importance of understanding the interaction of water quality

  4. Unintended consequences of management actions in salt pond restoration: cascading effects in trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Takekawa, John Y; Ackerman, Joshua T; Brand, L Arriana; Graham, Tanya R; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Herzog, Mark P; Topping, Brent R; Shellenbarger, Gregory G; Kuwabara, James S; Mruz, Eric; Piotter, Sara L; Athearn, Nicole D

    2015-01-01

    Salt evaporation ponds have played an important role as habitat for migratory waterbirds across the world, however, efforts to restore and manage these habitats to maximize their conservation value has proven to be challenging. For example, salinity reduction has been a goal for restoring and managing former salt evaporation ponds to support waterbirds in the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Here, we describe a case study of unexpected consequences of a low-dissolved oxygen (DO) event on trophic interactions in a salt pond system following management actions to reduce salinity concentrations. We document the ramifications of an anoxic event in water quality including salinity, DO, and temperature, and in the response of the biota including prey fish biomass, numerical response by California Gulls (Larus californicus), and chick survival of Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri). Management actions intended to protect receiving waters resulted in decreased DO concentrations that collapsed to zero for ≥ 4 consecutive days, resulting in an extensive fish kill. DO depletion likely resulted from an algal bloom that arose following transition of the pond system from high to low salinity as respiration and decomposition outpaced photosynthetic production. We measured a ≥ 6-fold increase in biomass of fish dropped on the levee by foraging avian predators compared with weeks prior to and following the low-DO event. California Gulls rapidly responded to the availability of aerobically-stressed and vulnerable fish and increased in abundance by two orders of magnitude. Mark-recapture analysis of 254 Forster's Tern chicks indicated that their survival declined substantially following the increase in gull abundance. Thus, management actions to reduce salinity concentrations resulted in cascading effects in trophic interactions that serves as a cautionary tale illustrating the importance of understanding the interaction of water quality

  5. Trophic cascades, invasive species and body-size hierarchies interactively modulate climate change responses of ecotonal temperate–boreal forest

    PubMed Central

    Frelich, Lee E.; Peterson, Rolf O.; Dovčiak, Martin; Reich, Peter B.; Vucetich, John A.; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2012-01-01

    As the climate warms, boreal tree species are expected to be gradually replaced by temperate species within the southern boreal forest. Warming will be accompanied by changes in above- and below-ground consumers: large moose (Alces alces) replaced by smaller deer (Odocoileus virginianus) above-ground, and small detritivores replaced by larger exotic earthworms below-ground. These shifts may induce a cascade of ecological impacts across trophic levels that could alter the boreal to temperate forest transition. Deer are more likely to browse saplings of temperate tree species, and European earthworms favour seedlings of boreal tree species more than temperate species, potentially hindering the ability of temperate tree species to expand northwards. We hypothesize that warming-induced changes in consumers will lead to novel plant communities by changing the filter on plant species success, and that above- and below-ground cascades of trophic interactions will allow boreal tree species to persist during early phases of warming, leading to an abrupt change at a later time. The synthesis of evidence suggests that consumers can modify the climate change-induced transition of ecosystems. PMID:23007083

  6. Trophic cascades, invasive species and body-size hierarchies interactively modulate climate change responses of ecotonal temperate-boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Frelich, Lee E; Peterson, Rolf O; Dovčiak, Martin; Reich, Peter B; Vucetich, John A; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2012-11-01

    As the climate warms, boreal tree species are expected to be gradually replaced by temperate species within the southern boreal forest. Warming will be accompanied by changes in above- and below-ground consumers: large moose (Alces alces) replaced by smaller deer (Odocoileus virginianus) above-ground, and small detritivores replaced by larger exotic earthworms below-ground. These shifts may induce a cascade of ecological impacts across trophic levels that could alter the boreal to temperate forest transition. Deer are more likely to browse saplings of temperate tree species, and European earthworms favour seedlings of boreal tree species more than temperate species, potentially hindering the ability of temperate tree species to expand northwards. We hypothesize that warming-induced changes in consumers will lead to novel plant communities by changing the filter on plant species success, and that above- and below-ground cascades of trophic interactions will allow boreal tree species to persist during early phases of warming, leading to an abrupt change at a later time. The synthesis of evidence suggests that consumers can modify the climate change-induced transition of ecosystems. PMID:23007083

  7. A meta-analysis of the freshwater trophic cascade.

    PubMed Central

    Brett, M T; Goldman, C R

    1996-01-01

    The generality of the trophic cascade has been an intensely debated topic among ecologists. We conducted a meta-analysis of 54 separate enclosure and pond experiments that measured the response of the zooplankton and phytoplankton to zooplanktivorous fish treatments. These results provide unequivocal support for the trophic cascade hypothesis in freshwater food webs. Zooplanktivorous fish treatments resulted in reduced zooplankton biomass and increased phytoplankton biomass. The trophic cascade was weakly dampened at the level of the phytoplankton. However, the response of the phytoplankton to the trophic cascade was highly skewed, with very strong responses in slightly more than one-third of the cases and weak responses in the others. PMID:11607694

  8. Trophic cascade alters ecosystem carbon exchange

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Michael S.; Hawlena, Dror; Reese, Aspen; Bradford, Mark A.; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2013-01-01

    Trophic cascades—the indirect effects of carnivores on plants mediated by herbivores—are common across ecosystems, but their influence on biogeochemical cycles, particularly the terrestrial carbon cycle, are largely unexplored. Here, using a 13C pulse-chase experiment, we demonstrate how trophic structure influences ecosystem carbon dynamics in a meadow system. By manipulating the presence of herbivores and predators, we show that even without an initial change in total plant or herbivore biomass, the cascading effects of predators in this system begin to affect carbon cycling through enhanced carbon fixation by plants. Prolonged cascading effects on plant biomass lead to slowing of carbon loss via ecosystem respiration and reallocation of carbon among plant aboveground and belowground tissues. Consequently, up to 1.4-fold more carbon is retained in plant biomass when carnivores are present compared with when they are absent, owing primarily to greater carbon storage in grass and belowground plant biomass driven largely by predator nonconsumptive (fear) effects on herbivores. Our data highlight the influence that the mere presence of predators, as opposed to direct consumption of herbivores, can have on carbon uptake, allocation, and retention in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:23776213

  9. Trophically unique species are vulnerable to cascading extinction.

    PubMed

    Petchey, Owen L; Eklöf, Anna; Borrvall, Charlotte; Ebenman, Bo

    2008-05-01

    Understanding which species might become extinct and the consequences of such loss is critical. One consequence is a cascade of further, secondary extinctions. While a significant amount is known about the types of communities and species that suffer secondary extinctions, little is known about the consequences of secondary extinctions for biodiversity. Here we examine the effect of these secondary extinctions on trophic diversity, the range of trophic roles played by the species in a community. Our analyses of natural and model food webs show that secondary extinctions cause loss of trophic diversity greater than that expected from chance, a result that is robust to variation in food web structure, distribution of interactions strengths, functional response, and adaptive foraging. Greater than expected loss of trophic diversity occurs because more trophically unique species are more vulnerable to secondary extinction. This is not a straightforward consequence of these species having few links with others but is a complex function of how direct and indirect interactions affect species persistence. A positive correlation between a species' extinction probability and the importance of its loss defines high-risk species and should make their conservation a priority. PMID:18419567

  10. Critical assessment and ramifications of a purported marine trophic cascade

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grubbs, R. Dean; Carlson, John K; Romine, Jason G.; Curtis, Tobey H; McElroy, W. David; McCandless, Camilla T; Cotton, Charles F; Musick, John A.

    2016-01-01

    When identifying potential trophic cascades, it is important to clearly establish the trophic linkages between predators and prey with respect to temporal abundance, demographics, distribution, and diet. In the northwest Atlantic Ocean, the depletion of large coastal sharks was thought to trigger a trophic cascade whereby predation release resulted in increased cownose ray abundance, which then caused increased predation on and subsequent collapse of commercial bivalve stocks. These claims were used to justify the development of a predator-control fishery for cownose rays, the “Save the Bay, Eat a Ray” fishery, to reduce predation on commercial bivalves. A reexamination of data suggests declines in large coastal sharks did not coincide with purported rapid increases in cownose ray abundance. Likewise, the increase in cownose ray abundance did not coincide with declines in commercial bivalves. The lack of temporal correlations coupled with published diet data suggest the purported trophic cascade is lacking the empirical linkages required of a trophic cascade. Furthermore, the life history parameters of cownose rays suggest they have low reproductive potential and their populations are incapable of rapid increases. Hypothesized trophic cascades should be closely scrutinized as spurious conclusions may negatively influence conservation and management decisions.

  11. Critical assessment and ramifications of a purported marine trophic cascade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grubbs, R. Dean; Carlson, John K.; Romine, Jason G.; Curtis, Tobey H.; McElroy, W. David; McCandless, Camilla T.; Cotton, Charles F.; Musick, John A.

    2016-02-01

    When identifying potential trophic cascades, it is important to clearly establish the trophic linkages between predators and prey with respect to temporal abundance, demographics, distribution, and diet. In the northwest Atlantic Ocean, the depletion of large coastal sharks was thought to trigger a trophic cascade whereby predation release resulted in increased cownose ray abundance, which then caused increased predation on and subsequent collapse of commercial bivalve stocks. These claims were used to justify the development of a predator-control fishery for cownose rays, the “Save the Bay, Eat a Ray” fishery, to reduce predation on commercial bivalves. A reexamination of data suggests declines in large coastal sharks did not coincide with purported rapid increases in cownose ray abundance. Likewise, the increase in cownose ray abundance did not coincide with declines in commercial bivalves. The lack of temporal correlations coupled with published diet data suggest the purported trophic cascade is lacking the empirical linkages required of a trophic cascade. Furthermore, the life history parameters of cownose rays suggest they have low reproductive potential and their populations are incapable of rapid increases. Hypothesized trophic cascades should be closely scrutinized as spurious conclusions may negatively influence conservation and management decisions.

  12. Critical assessment and ramifications of a purported marine trophic cascade

    PubMed Central

    Grubbs, R. Dean; Carlson, John K.; Romine, Jason G.; Curtis, Tobey H.; McElroy, W. David; McCandless, Camilla T.; Cotton, Charles F.; Musick, John A.

    2016-01-01

    When identifying potential trophic cascades, it is important to clearly establish the trophic linkages between predators and prey with respect to temporal abundance, demographics, distribution, and diet. In the northwest Atlantic Ocean, the depletion of large coastal sharks was thought to trigger a trophic cascade whereby predation release resulted in increased cownose ray abundance, which then caused increased predation on and subsequent collapse of commercial bivalve stocks. These claims were used to justify the development of a predator-control fishery for cownose rays, the “Save the Bay, Eat a Ray” fishery, to reduce predation on commercial bivalves. A reexamination of data suggests declines in large coastal sharks did not coincide with purported rapid increases in cownose ray abundance. Likewise, the increase in cownose ray abundance did not coincide with declines in commercial bivalves. The lack of temporal correlations coupled with published diet data suggest the purported trophic cascade is lacking the empirical linkages required of a trophic cascade. Furthermore, the life history parameters of cownose rays suggest they have low reproductive potential and their populations are incapable of rapid increases. Hypothesized trophic cascades should be closely scrutinized as spurious conclusions may negatively influence conservation and management decisions. PMID:26876514

  13. Critical assessment and ramifications of a purported marine trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Grubbs, R Dean; Carlson, John K; Romine, Jason G; Curtis, Tobey H; McElroy, W David; McCandless, Camilla T; Cotton, Charles F; Musick, John A

    2016-01-01

    When identifying potential trophic cascades, it is important to clearly establish the trophic linkages between predators and prey with respect to temporal abundance, demographics, distribution, and diet. In the northwest Atlantic Ocean, the depletion of large coastal sharks was thought to trigger a trophic cascade whereby predation release resulted in increased cownose ray abundance, which then caused increased predation on and subsequent collapse of commercial bivalve stocks. These claims were used to justify the development of a predator-control fishery for cownose rays, the "Save the Bay, Eat a Ray" fishery, to reduce predation on commercial bivalves. A reexamination of data suggests declines in large coastal sharks did not coincide with purported rapid increases in cownose ray abundance. Likewise, the increase in cownose ray abundance did not coincide with declines in commercial bivalves. The lack of temporal correlations coupled with published diet data suggest the purported trophic cascade is lacking the empirical linkages required of a trophic cascade. Furthermore, the life history parameters of cownose rays suggest they have low reproductive potential and their populations are incapable of rapid increases. Hypothesized trophic cascades should be closely scrutinized as spurious conclusions may negatively influence conservation and management decisions. PMID:26876514

  14. Spider foraging strategy affects trophic cascades under natural and drought conditions.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shengjie; Chen, Jin; Gan, Wenjin; Schaefer, Douglas; Gan, Jianmin; Yang, Xiaodong

    2015-01-01

    Spiders can cause trophic cascades affecting litter decomposition rates. However, it remains unclear how spiders with different foraging strategies influence faunal communities, or present cascading effects on decomposition. Furthermore, increased dry periods predicted in future climates will likely have important consequences for trophic interactions in detritus-based food webs. We investigated independent and interactive effects of spider predation and drought on litter decomposition in a tropical forest floor. We manipulated densities of dominant spiders with actively hunting or sit-and-wait foraging strategies in microcosms which mimicked the tropical-forest floor. We found a positive trophic cascade on litter decomposition was triggered by actively hunting spiders under ambient rainfall, but sit-and-wait spiders did not cause this. The drought treatment reversed the effect of actively hunting spiders on litter decomposition. Under drought conditions, we observed negative trophic cascade effects on litter decomposition in all three spider treatments. Thus, reduced rainfall can alter predator-induced indirect effects on lower trophic levels and ecosystem processes, and is an example of how such changes may alter trophic cascades in detritus-based webs of tropical forests. PMID:26202370

  15. Spider foraging strategy affects trophic cascades under natural and drought conditions

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shengjie; Chen, Jin; Gan, Wenjin; Schaefer, Douglas; Gan, Jianmin; Yang, Xiaodong

    2015-01-01

    Spiders can cause trophic cascades affecting litter decomposition rates. However, it remains unclear how spiders with different foraging strategies influence faunal communities, or present cascading effects on decomposition. Furthermore, increased dry periods predicted in future climates will likely have important consequences for trophic interactions in detritus-based food webs. We investigated independent and interactive effects of spider predation and drought on litter decomposition in a tropical forest floor. We manipulated densities of dominant spiders with actively hunting or sit-and-wait foraging strategies in microcosms which mimicked the tropical-forest floor. We found a positive trophic cascade on litter decomposition was triggered by actively hunting spiders under ambient rainfall, but sit-and-wait spiders did not cause this. The drought treatment reversed the effect of actively hunting spiders on litter decomposition. Under drought conditions, we observed negative trophic cascade effects on litter decomposition in all three spider treatments. Thus, reduced rainfall can alter predator-induced indirect effects on lower trophic levels and ecosystem processes, and is an example of how such changes may alter trophic cascades in detritus-based webs of tropical forests. PMID:26202370

  16. Trophic cascade facilitates coral recruitment in a marine reserve

    PubMed Central

    Mumby, Peter J.; Harborne, Alastair R.; Williams, Jodene; Kappel, Carrie V.; Brumbaugh, Daniel R.; Micheli, Fiorenza; Holmes, Katherine E.; Dahlgren, Craig P.; Paris, Claire B.; Blackwell, Paul G.

    2007-01-01

    Reduced fishing pressure and weak predator–prey interactions within marine reserves can create trophic cascades that increase the number of grazing fishes and reduce the coverage of macroalgae on coral reefs. Here, we show that the impacts of reserves extend beyond trophic cascades and enhance the process of coral recruitment. Increased fish grazing, primarily driven by reduced fishing, was strongly negatively correlated with macroalgal cover and resulted in a 2-fold increase in the density of coral recruits within a Bahamian reef system. Our conclusions are robust because four alternative hypotheses that may generate a spurious correlation between grazing and coral recruitment were tested and rejected. Grazing appears to influence the density and community structure of coral recruits, but no detectable influence was found on the overall size-frequency distribution, community structure, or cover of corals. We interpret this absence of pattern in the adult coral community as symptomatic of the impact of a recent disturbance event that masks the recovery trajectories of individual reefs. Marine reserves are not a panacea for conservation but can facilitate the recovery of corals from disturbance and may help sustain the biodiversity of organisms that depend on a complex three-dimensional coral habitat. PMID:17488824

  17. Trophic Cascades by Large Carnivores: A Case for Strong Inference and Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Ford, Adam T; Goheen, Jacob R

    2015-12-01

    Studies on trophic cascades involving large carnivores typically are limited by a lack of replication and control, giving rise to a spirited debate over the ecological role of these iconic species. We argue that much of this debate can be resolved by decomposing the trophic cascade hypothesis into three constituent interactions, quantifying each interaction individually, and accommodating alternative hypotheses. We advocate for a novel approach that couples the rigor characterizing foundational work on trophic cascades (i.e., from studies carried out in mesocosm and whole lake systems) with the conservation relevance of large carnivore-dominated food webs. Because of their iconic status, it is crucial that inferences about the ecological role of large carnivores rise to meet the same rigorous standards to which other studies in community ecology are held. PMID:26498385

  18. Understanding patterns and processes in models of trophic cascades

    PubMed Central

    Heath, Michael R; Speirs, Douglas C; Steele, John H; Lafferty, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Climate fluctuations and human exploitation are causing global changes in nutrient enrichment of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and declining abundances of apex predators. The resulting trophic cascades have had profound effects on food webs, leading to significant economic and societal consequences. However, the strength of cascades–that is the extent to which a disturbance is diminished as it propagates through a food web–varies widely between ecosystems, and there is no formal theory as to why this should be so. Some food chain models reproduce cascade effects seen in nature, but to what extent is this dependent on their formulation? We show that inclusion of processes represented mathematically as density-dependent regulation of either consumer uptake or mortality rates is necessary for the generation of realistic ‘top-down’ cascades in simple food chain models. Realistically modelled ‘bottom-up’ cascades, caused by changing nutrient input, are also dependent on the inclusion of density dependence, but especially on mortality regulation as a caricature of, e.g. disease and parasite dynamics or intraguild predation. We show that our conclusions, based on simple food chains, transfer to a more complex marine food web model in which cascades are induced by varying river nutrient inputs or fish harvesting rates. PMID:24165353

  19. Charismatic microfauna alter cyanobacterial production through a trophic cascade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geange, S. W.; Stier, A. C.

    2010-06-01

    The trophic ecology of cyanobacterial blooms is poorly understood on coral reefs. Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, Lyngbya majuscula, can quickly form large mats. The herbivorous sea hare, Stylocheilus striatus, and the predatory nudibranch, Gymnodoris ceylonica, often associate with these blooms, forming a linear food chain: nudibranch—sea hare—cyanobacteria. Using laboratory studies, this study quantified (1) the functional response of nudibranchs, (2) the effect of sea hare size on predation rates, and (3) the strength of the indirect effect of sea hare predation on cyanobacteria (i.e., a trophic cascade). Nudibranchs consumed on average 2.4 sea hares d-1, with the consumption of small sea hares 22 times greater than the consumption of large sea hares. Predation of sea hares reduced herbivory. Cyanobacterial biomass was 1.5 times greater when nudibranchs were present relative to when nudibranchs were absent. Although sea hare grazing can substantially reduce cyanobacterial biomass, predation of sea hares may mitigate grazing pressure, and therefore increase the abundance of cyanobacteria.

  20. Influence of Carbonate Crusts on Trophic Cascades in Big Sur Streams.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rundio, D.; Lindley, S.

    2005-05-01

    Top-down effects of fish predation in streams are influenced by habitat conditions and traits of intermediate consumers. Along the Big Sur coast, seasonal carbonate crusts form in many streams, and appear to alter insect communities. We conducted a small-scale field experiment in two adjacent tributaries (crusted and crust-free) to determine the effects of predation by juvenile steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) on invertebrates and algae in these different stream types. We hypothesized that a trophic cascade would be more likely in the crusted stream, which was dominated by an herbivore vulnerable to steelhead predation (Baetis), than in the crust-free stream, which was dominated by a less vulnerable herbivore (Agapetus). However, excluding steelhead from paving bricks had no effect on algae or Baetis in the crusted stream. Algal abundance was low, suggesting possible bottom-up control. In the crust-free stream, steelhead predation did not affect Agapetus, but nevertheless produced a trophic cascade by causing Baetis to increase by 85%, which in turn depressed algae by 25%. These results suggest that trophic interactions may differ between crust forming and non-crust forming streams, which we plan to test with additional sampling and experiments replicated across stream types.

  1. Seasonal Trophic Niche Shift and Cascading Effect of a Generalist Predator Fish

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Zhijun; Zhang, Min; Xie, Ping; Hansson, Lars-Anders

    2012-01-01

    Few studies have examined how foraging niche shift of a predator over time cascade down to local prey communities. Here we examine patterns of temporal foraging niche shifts of a generalist predator (yellow catfish, Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) and the abundance of prey communities in a subtropical lake. We predicted that the nature of these interactions would have implications for patterns in diet shifts and growth of the predator. Our results show significant decreases in planktivory and benthivory from late spring to summer and autumn, whereas piscivory increased significantly from mid-summer until late autumn and also increased steadily with predator body length. The temporal dynamics in predator/prey ratios indicate that the predation pressure on zooplankton and zoobenthos decreased when the predation pressure on the prey fish and shrimps was high. Yellow catfish adjusted their foraging strategies to temporal changes in food availability, which is in agreement with optimal foraging theory. Meanwhile the decrease in planktivory and benthivory of yellow catfish enabled primary consumers, such as zooplankton and benthic invertebrates, to develop under low grazing pressure via trophic cascading effects in the local food web. Thus, yellow catfish shifts its foraging niche to intermediate consumers in the food web to benefit the energetic demand on growth and reproduction during summer, which in turn indirectly facilitate the primary consumers. In complex food webs, trophic interactions are usually expected to reduce the strength and penetrance of trophic cascades. However, our study demonstrates strong associations between foraging niche of piscivorous fish and abundance of prey. This relationship appeared to be an important factor in producing top-down effects on both benthic and planktonic food webs. PMID:23251347

  2. Dynamics of a Subterranean Trophic Cascade in Space and Time

    PubMed Central

    Ram, Karthik; Gruner, Daniel S.; McLaughlin, John P.; Preisser, Evan L.; Strong, Donald R.

    2008-01-01

    Trophic cascades, whereby predators indirectly benefit plant biomass by reducing herbivore pressure, form the mechanistic basis for classical biological control of pest insects. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) are lethal to a variety of insect hosts with soil-dwelling stages, making them promising biocontrol agents. EPN biological control programs, however, typically fail because nematodes do not establish, persist and/or recycle over multiple host generations in the field. A variety of factors such as local abiotic conditions, host quantity and quality, and rates of movement affect the probability of persistence. Here, we review results from 13 years of study on the biology and ecology of an endemic population of Heterorhabditis marelatus (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) in a California coastal prairie. In a highly seasonal abiotic environment with intrinsic variation in soils, vegetation structure, and host availability, natural populations of H. marelatus persisted at high incidence at some but not all sites within our study area. Through a set of field and lab experiments, we describe mechanisms and hypotheses to understand the persistence of H. marelatus. We suggest that further ecological study of naturally occurring EPN populations can yield significant insight to improve the practice and management of biological control of soil-dwelling insect pests. PMID:19259524

  3. Trophic cascades linking wolves (Canis lupus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and small mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, B.J.; Harlow, H.J.; Harlow, T.S.; Biggins, D.; Ripple, W.J.

    2012-01-01

    When large carnivores are extirpated from ecosystems that evolved with apex predators, these systems can change at the herbivore and plant trophic levels. Such changes across trophic levels are called cascading effects and they are very important to conservation. Studies on the effects of reintroduced wolves in Yellowstone National Park have examined the interaction pathway of wolves (Canis lupus L., 1758) to ungulates to plants. This study examines the interaction effects of wolves to coyotes to rodents (reversing mesopredator release in the absence of wolves). Coyotes (Canis latrans Say, 1823) generally avoided areas near a wolf den. However, when in the proximity of a den, they used woody habitats (pine or sage) compared with herbaceous habitats (grass or forb or sedge)- when they were away from the wolf den. Our data suggested a significant increase in rodent numbers, particularly voles (genus Microtus Schrank, 1798), during the 3-year study on plots that were within 3 km of the wolf den, but we did not detect a significant change in rodent numbers over time for more distant plots. Predation by coyotes may have depressed numbers of small mammals in areas away from the wolf den. These factors indicate a top-down effect by wolves on coyotes and subsequently on the rodents of the area. Restoration of wolves could be a powerful tool for regulating predation at lower trophic levels.

  4. Wolves trigger a trophic cascade to berries as alternative food for grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Ripple, William J; Beschta, Robert L; Fortin, Jennifer K; Robbins, Charles T

    2015-05-01

    This is a Forum article in response to: Barber-Meyer, S. (2015) Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears or changing abundance of bears and alternate foods? Journal of Animal Ecology, 83, doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12338. We used multiple data sets and study areas as well as several lines of evidence to investigate potential trophic linkages in Yellowstone National Park. Our results suggest that a trophic cascade from wolves to elk to berry production to berry consumption by grizzly bears may now be underway in the Park. PMID:25732407

  5. Evaluating trophic cascades as drivers of regime shifts in different ocean ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Pershing, Andrew J.; Mills, Katherine E.; Record, Nicholas R.; Stamieszkin, Karen; Wurtzell, Katharine V.; Byron, Carrie J.; Fitzpatrick, Dominic; Golet, Walter J.; Koob, Elise

    2015-01-01

    In ecosystems that are strongly structured by predation, reducing top predator abundance can alter several lower trophic levels—a process known as a trophic cascade. A persistent trophic cascade also fits the definition of a regime shift. Such ‘trophic cascade regime shifts' have been reported in a few pelagic marine systems—notably the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and eastern Scotian Shelf—raising the question of how common this phenomenon is in the marine environment. We provide a general methodology for distinguishing top-down and bottom-up effects and apply this methodology to time series from these three ecosystems. We found evidence for top-down forcing in the Black Sea due primarily to gelatinous zooplankton. Changes in the Baltic Sea are primarily bottom-up, strongly structured by salinity, but top-down forcing related to changes in cod abundance also shapes the ecosystem. Changes in the eastern Scotian Shelf that were originally attributed to declines in groundfish are better explained by changes in stratification. Our review suggests that trophic cascade regime shifts are rare in open ocean ecosystems and that their likelihood increases as the residence time of water in the system increases. Our work challenges the assumption that negative correlation between consecutive trophic levels implies top-down forcing.

  6. Recovery of African wild dogs suppresses prey but does not trigger a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Ford, Adam T; Goheen, Jacob R; Augustine, David J; Kinnaird, Margaret F; O'Brien, Timothy G; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M; Woodroffe, Rosie

    2015-10-01

    Increasingly, the restoration of large carnivores is proposed as a means through which to restore community structure and ecosystem function via trophic cascades. After a decades-long absence, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) recolonized the Laikipia Plateau in central Kenya, which we hypothesized would trigger a trophic cascade via suppression of their primary prey (dik-dik, Madoqua guentheri) and the subsequent relaxation of browsing pressure on trees. We tested the trophic-cascade hypothesis using (1) a 14-year time series of wild dog abundance; (2) surveys of dik-dik population densities conducted before and after wild dog recovery; and (3) two separate, replicated, herbivore-exclusion experiments initiated before and after wild dog recovery. The dik-dik population declined by 33% following wild dog recovery, which is best explained by wild dog predation. Dik-dik browsing suppressed tree abundance, but the strength of suppression did not differ between before and after wild dog recovery. Despite strong, top-down limitation between adjacent trophic levels (carnivore-herbivore and herbivore-plant), a trophic cascade did not occur, possibly because of a time lag in indirect effects, variation in rainfall, and foraging by herbivores other than dik-dik. Our ability to reject the trophic-cascade hypothesis required two important approaches: (1) temporally replicated herbivore exclusions, separately established before and after wild dog recovery; and (2) evaluating multiple drivers of variation in the abundance of dik-dik and trees. While the restoration of large carnivores is often a conservation priority, our results suggest that indirect effects are mediated by ecological context, and that trophic cascades are not a foregone conclusion of such recoveries. PMID:26649391

  7. Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears in Yellowstone.

    PubMed

    Ripple, William J; Beschta, Robert L; Fortin, Jennifer K; Robbins, Charles T

    2014-01-01

    We explored multiple linkages among grey wolves (Canis lupus), elk (Cervus elaphus), berry-producing shrubs and grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Yellowstone National Park. We hypothesized competition between elk and grizzly bears whereby, in the absence of wolves, increases in elk numbers would increase browsing on berry-producing shrubs and decrease fruit availability to grizzly bears. After wolves were reintroduced and with a reduced elk population, we hypothesized there would be an increase in the establishment of berry-producing shrubs, such as serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), which is a major berry-producing plant. We also hypothesized that the percentage fruit in the grizzly bear diet would be greater after than before wolf reintroduction. We compared the frequency of fruit in grizzly bear scats to elk densities prior to wolf reintroduction during a time of increasing elk densities (1968-1987). For a period after wolf reintroduction, we calculated the percentage fruit in grizzly bear scat by month based on scats collected in 2007-2009 (n = 778 scats) and compared these results to scat data collected before wolf reintroduction. Additionally, we developed an age structure for serviceberry showing the origination year of stems in a northern range study area. We found that over a 19-year period, the percentage frequency of fruit in the grizzly diet (6231 scats) was inversely correlated (P < 0·001) with elk population size. The average percentage fruit in grizzly bear scats was higher after wolf reintroduction in July (0·3% vs. 5·9%) and August (7·8% vs. 14·6%) than before. All measured serviceberry stems accessible to ungulates originated since wolf reintroduction, while protected serviceberry growing in a nearby ungulate exclosure originated both before and after wolf reintroduction. Moreover, in recent years, browsing of serviceberry outside of the exclosure decreased while their heights increased. Overall, these results are consistent with a trophic

  8. Evolutionary trade-offs in plants mediate the strength of trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Kailen A; Halitschke, Rayko; Kessler, Andre; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2010-03-26

    Predators determine herbivore and plant biomass via so-called trophic cascades, and the strength of such effects is influenced by ecosystem productivity. To determine whether evolutionary trade-offs among plant traits influence patterns of trophic control, we manipulated predators and soil fertility and measured impacts of a major herbivore (the aphid Aphis nerii) on 16 milkweed species (Asclepias spp.) in a phylogenetic field experiment. Herbivore density was determined by variation in predation and trade-offs between herbivore resistance and plant growth strategy. Neither herbivore density nor predator effects on herbivores predicted the cascading effects of predators on plant biomass. Instead, cascade strength was strongly and positively associated with milkweed response to soil fertility. Accordingly, contemporary patterns of trophic control are driven by evolutionary convergent trade-offs faced by plants. PMID:20339073

  9. Trophic cascades triggered by overfishing reveal possible mechanisms of ecosystem regime shifts

    PubMed Central

    Daskalov, Georgi M.; Grishin, Alexander N.; Rodionov, Sergei; Mihneva, Vesselina

    2007-01-01

    Large-scale transitions between alternative states in ecosystems are known as regime shifts. Once described as healthy and dominated by various marine predators, the Black Sea ecosystem by the late 20th century had experienced anthropogenic impacts such as heavy fishing, cultural eutrophication, and invasions by alien species. We studied changes related to these “natural experiments” to reveal the mechanisms of regime shifts. Two major shifts were detected, the first related to a depletion of marine predators and the second to an outburst of the alien comb jelly Mnemiopsis leidyi; both shifts were triggered by intense fishing resulting in system-wide trophic cascades. The complex nature of ecosystem responses to human activities calls for more elaborate approaches than currently provided by traditional environmental and fisheries management. This implies challenging existing practices and implementing explanatory models of ecosystem interactions that can better reconcile conservation and ecosystem management ideals. PMID:17548831

  10. Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears or changing abundance of bears and alternate foods?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barber-Meyer, Shannon M.

    2015-01-01

    This is a Forum article commenting on: Ripple, W. J., Beschta, R. L., Fortin, J. K., & Robbins, C. T. (2014) Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears in Yellowstone. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83, 223–233. Comparisons Ripple et al. (2014) used to demonstrate increased fruit availability and consumption by grizzly bears post-wolf reintroduction are flawed and tenuous at best. Importantly, a more parsimonious (than trophic cascades) hypothesis, not sufficiently considered by Ripple et al., exists and is better supported by available data I review.

  11. Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears or changing abundance of bears and alternate foods?

    PubMed

    Barber-Meyer, Shannon M

    2015-05-01

    This is a Forum article commenting on: Ripple, W. J., Beschta, R. L., Fortin, J. K., & Robbins, C. T. (2014) Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears in Yellowstone. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83, 223-233. Comparisons Ripple et al. (2014) used to demonstrate increased fruit availability and consumption by grizzly bears post-wolf reintroduction are flawed and tenuous at best. Importantly, a more parsimonious (than trophic cascades) hypothesis, not sufficiently considered by Ripple et al., exists and is better supported by available data I review. PMID:25732302

  12. Bacterial community response to changes in a tri-trophic cascade during a whole-lake fish manipulation.

    PubMed

    Saarenheimo, J; Aalto, S L; Syväranta, J; Devlin, S P; Tiirola, M; Jones, R I

    2016-03-01

    Microbial communities play a key role in biogeochemical processes by degrading organic material and recycling nutrients, but can also be important food sources for upper trophic levels. Trophic cascades might modify microbial communities either directly via grazing or indirectly by inducing changes.in other biotic or in abiotic factors (e.g., nutrients). We studied the effects of a tri-trophic cascade on microbial communities during a whole-lake manipulation in which European perch (Perca fluviatilis) were added to a naturally fishless lake divided experimentally into two basins. We measured environmental parameters (oxygen, temperature, and nutrients) and zooplankton biomass and studied the changes in the bacterial community using next generation sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and cell counting. Introduction of fish reduced the biomass of zooplankton, mainly Daphnia, which partly altered the bacterial community composition and affected the bacterial cell abundances. However, the microbial community composition was mainly governed by stratification patterns and associated vertical oxygen concentration. Slowly growing green sulfur bacteria (Chlorobium) dominated the anoxic water layers together with bacteria of the candidate division ODI. We conclude that alterations in trophic interactions can affect microbial abundance, but that abiotic factors seem to be more significant controls of microbial community composition in sheltered boreal lakes. PMID:27197395

  13. Long-term effects of a trophic cascade in a large lake ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Bonnie K.; Stanford, Jack A.; Goodman, Daniel; Stafford, Craig P.; Gustafson, Daniel L.; Beauchamp, David A.; Chess, Dale W.; Craft, James A.; Deleray, Mark A.; Hansen, Barry S.

    2011-01-01

    Introductions or invasions of nonnative organisms can mediate major changes in the trophic structure of aquatic ecosystems. Here we document multitrophic level impacts in a spatially extensive system that played out over more than a century. Positive interactions among exotic vertebrate and invertebrate predators caused a substantial and abrupt shift in community composition resulting in a trophic cascade that extended to primary producers and to a nonaquatic species, the bald eagle. The opossum shrimp, Mysis diluviana, invaded Flathead Lake, Montana, the largest freshwater lake in the western United States. Lake trout had been introduced 80 y prior but remained at low densities until nonnative Mysis became established. The bottom-dwelling mysids eliminated a recruitment bottleneck for lake trout by providing a deep water source of food where little was available previously. Lake trout subsequently flourished on mysids and this voracious piscivore now dominates the lake fishery; formerly abundant kokanee were extirpated, and native bull and westslope cutthroat trout are imperiled. Predation by Mysis shifted zooplankton and phytoplankton community size structure. Bayesian change point analysis of primary productivity (27-y time series) showed a significant step increase of 55 mg C m−2 d−1 (i.e., 21% rise) concurrent with the mysid invasion, but little trend before or after despite increasing nutrient loading. Mysis facilitated predation by lake trout and indirectly caused the collapse of kokanee, redirecting energy flow through the ecosystem that would otherwise have been available to other top predators (bald eagles). PMID:21199944

  14. Long-term effects of a trophic cascade in a large lake ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Bonnie K; Stanford, Jack A; Goodman, Daniel; Stafford, Craig P; Gustafson, Daniel L; Beauchamp, David A; Chess, Dale W; Craft, James A; Deleray, Mark A; Hansen, Barry S

    2011-01-18

    Introductions or invasions of nonnative organisms can mediate major changes in the trophic structure of aquatic ecosystems. Here we document multitrophic level impacts in a spatially extensive system that played out over more than a century. Positive interactions among exotic vertebrate and invertebrate predators caused a substantial and abrupt shift in community composition resulting in a trophic cascade that extended to primary producers and to a nonaquatic species, the bald eagle. The opossum shrimp, Mysis diluviana, invaded Flathead Lake, Montana, the largest freshwater lake in the western United States. Lake trout had been introduced 80 y prior but remained at low densities until nonnative Mysis became established. The bottom-dwelling mysids eliminated a recruitment bottleneck for lake trout by providing a deep water source of food where little was available previously. Lake trout subsequently flourished on mysids and this voracious piscivore now dominates the lake fishery; formerly abundant kokanee were extirpated, and native bull and westslope cutthroat trout are imperiled. Predation by Mysis shifted zooplankton and phytoplankton community size structure. Bayesian change point analysis of primary productivity (27-y time series) showed a significant step increase of 55 mg C m(-2) d(-1) (i.e., 21% rise) concurrent with the mysid invasion, but little trend before or after despite increasing nutrient loading. Mysis facilitated predation by lake trout and indirectly caused the collapse of kokanee, redirecting energy flow through the ecosystem that would otherwise have been available to other top predators (bald eagles). PMID:21199944

  15. Trophic and Non-Trophic Interactions in a Biodiversity Experiment Assessed by Next-Generation Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Tiede, Julia; Wemheuer, Bernd; Traugott, Michael; Daniel, Rolf; Tscharntke, Teja; Ebeling, Anne; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Plant diversity affects species richness and abundance of taxa at higher trophic levels. However, plant diversity effects on omnivores (feeding on multiple trophic levels) and their trophic and non-trophic interactions are not yet studied because appropriate methods were lacking. A promising approach is the DNA-based analysis of gut contents using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Here, we integrate NGS-based analysis into the framework of a biodiversity experiment where plant taxonomic and functional diversity were manipulated to directly assess environmental interactions involving the omnivorous ground beetle Pterostichus melanarius. Beetle regurgitates were used for NGS-based analysis with universal 18S rDNA primers for eukaryotes. We detected a wide range of taxa with the NGS approach in regurgitates, including organisms representing trophic, phoretic, parasitic, and neutral interactions with P. melanarius. Our findings suggest that the frequency of (i) trophic interactions increased with plant diversity and vegetation cover; (ii) intraguild predation increased with vegetation cover, and (iii) neutral interactions with organisms such as fungi and protists increased with vegetation cover. Experimentally manipulated plant diversity likely affects multitrophic interactions involving omnivorous consumers. Our study therefore shows that trophic and non-trophic interactions can be assessed via NGS to address fundamental questions in biodiversity research. PMID:26859146

  16. Trophic and Non-Trophic Interactions in a Biodiversity Experiment Assessed by Next-Generation Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Tiede, Julia; Wemheuer, Bernd; Traugott, Michael; Daniel, Rolf; Tscharntke, Teja; Ebeling, Anne; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Plant diversity affects species richness and abundance of taxa at higher trophic levels. However, plant diversity effects on omnivores (feeding on multiple trophic levels) and their trophic and non-trophic interactions are not yet studied because appropriate methods were lacking. A promising approach is the DNA-based analysis of gut contents using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Here, we integrate NGS-based analysis into the framework of a biodiversity experiment where plant taxonomic and functional diversity were manipulated to directly assess environmental interactions involving the omnivorous ground beetle Pterostichus melanarius. Beetle regurgitates were used for NGS-based analysis with universal 18S rDNA primers for eukaryotes. We detected a wide range of taxa with the NGS approach in regurgitates, including organisms representing trophic, phoretic, parasitic, and neutral interactions with P. melanarius. Our findings suggest that the frequency of (i) trophic interactions increased with plant diversity and vegetation cover; (ii) intraguild predation increased with vegetation cover, and (iii) neutral interactions with organisms such as fungi and protists increased with vegetation cover. Experimentally manipulated plant diversity likely affects multitrophic interactions involving omnivorous consumers. Our study therefore shows that trophic and non-trophic interactions can be assessed via NGS to address fundamental questions in biodiversity research. PMID:26859146

  17. Recovery of African wild dogs suppresses prey but does not trigger a trophic cascade

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Large carnivores can powerfully shape ecosystems by directly suppressing herbivores, thereby indirectly benefitting plants in a process known as a trophic cascade. In 2002, after a 20-year absence, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) recolonized the Laikipia Plateau in central Kenya. We hypothesized t...

  18. Trophic cascades induced by lobster fishing are not ubiquitous in southern California kelp forests.

    PubMed

    Guenther, Carla M; Lenihan, Hunter S; Grant, Laura E; Lopez-Carr, David; Reed, Daniel C

    2012-01-01

    Fishing can trigger trophic cascades that alter community structure and dynamics and thus modify ecosystem attributes. We combined ecological data of sea urchin and macroalgal abundance with fishery data of spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) landings to evaluate whether: (1) patterns in the abundance and biomass among lobster (predator), sea urchins (grazer), and macroalgae (primary producer) in giant kelp forest communities indicated the presence of top-down control on urchins and macroalgae, and (2) lobster fishing triggers a trophic cascade leading to increased sea urchin densities and decreased macroalgal biomass. Eight years of data from eight rocky subtidal reefs known to support giant kelp forests near Santa Barbara, CA, USA, were analyzed in three-tiered least-squares regression models to evaluate the relationships between: (1) lobster abundance and sea urchin density, and (2) sea urchin density and macroalgal biomass. The models included reef physical structure and water depth. Results revealed a trend towards decreasing urchin density with increasing lobster abundance but little evidence that urchins control the biomass of macroalgae. Urchin density was highly correlated with habitat structure, although not water depth. To evaluate whether fishing triggered a trophic cascade we pooled data across all treatments to examine the extent to which sea urchin density and macroalgal biomass were related to the intensity of lobster fishing (as indicated by the density of traps pulled). We found that, with one exception, sea urchins remained more abundant at heavily fished sites, supporting the idea that fishing for lobsters releases top-down control on urchin grazers. Macroalgal biomass, however, was positively correlated with lobster fishing intensity, which contradicts the trophic cascade model. Collectively, our results suggest that factors other than urchin grazing play a major role in controlling macroalgal biomass in southern California kelp forests, and

  19. Trophic cascades in the bryosphere: the impact of global change factors on top-down control of cyanobacterial N2 -fixation.

    PubMed

    Kardol, Paul; Spitzer, Clydecia M; Gundale, Michael J; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2016-08-01

    Trophic cascades in which predators regulate densities of organisms at lower trophic levels are important drivers of population dynamics, but effects of trophic cascades on ecosystem-level fluxes and processes, and the conditions under which top-down control is important, remain unresolved. We manipulated the structure of a food web in boreal feather mosses and found that moss-inhabiting microfauna exerted top-down control of N2 -fixation by moss-associated cyanobacteria. However, the presence of higher trophic levels alleviated this top-down control, likely through feeding on bacterivorous microfauna. These effects of food-web structure on cyanobacterial N2 -fixation were dependent on global change factors and strongly suppressed under N fertilisation. Our findings illustrate how food web interactions and trophic cascades can regulate N cycling in boreal ecosystems, where carbon uptake is generally strongly N-limited, and shifting trophic control of N cycling under global change is therefore likely to impact ecosystem functioning. PMID:27320725

  20. Human-induced trophic cascades along the fecal detritus pathway.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Elizabeth; Uriarte, María; Peres, Carlos A; Louzada, Julio; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Schiffler, Gustavo; Endo, Whaldener; Spector, Sacha H

    2013-01-01

    Human presence and activity in tropical forest is thought to exert top-down regulation over the various 'green-world' pathways of plant-based foodwebs. However, these effects have never been explored for the 'brown-world' pathways of fecal-detritus webs. The strong effects of humans on tropical game mammals are likely to indirectly influence fecal detritivores (including Scarabaeine dung beetles), with subsequent indirect impacts on detrivore-mediated and plant-facilitating detrital processes. Across a 380-km gradient of human influence in the western Brazilian Amazon, we conducted the first landscape-level assessment of human-induced cascade effects on the fecal detritus pathway, by coupling data on human impact, game mammal and detritivore community structure, and rate measurements of a key detritus process (i.e. dung beetle-mediated secondary seed dispersal). We found evidence that human impact indirectly influences both the diversity and biomass of fecal detritivores, but not detritivore-mediated processes. Cascade strength varied across detritivore groups defined by species' traits. We found smaller-bodied dung beetles were at higher risk of local decline in areas of human presence, and that body size was a better predictor of cascade structure than fecal resource manipulation strategy. Cascade strength was also stronger in upland, unflooded forests, than in seasonally flooded forests. Our results suggest that the impact of human activity in tropical forest on fecal-detritus food web structure is mediated by both species' traits and habitat type. Further research will be required to determine the conditions under which these cascade effects influence fecal-detritus web function. PMID:24146780

  1. Human-Induced Trophic Cascades along the Fecal Detritus Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Elizabeth; Uriarte, María; Peres, Carlos A.; Louzada, Julio; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Schiffler, Gustavo; Endo, Whaldener; Spector, Sacha H.

    2013-01-01

    Human presence and activity in tropical forest is thought to exert top-down regulation over the various ‘green-world’ pathways of plant-based foodwebs. However, these effects have never been explored for the ‘brown-world’ pathways of fecal-detritus webs. The strong effects of humans on tropical game mammals are likely to indirectly influence fecal detritivores (including Scarabaeine dung beetles), with subsequent indirect impacts on detrivore-mediated and plant-facilitating detrital processes. Across a 380-km gradient of human influence in the western Brazilian Amazon, we conducted the first landscape-level assessment of human-induced cascade effects on the fecal detritus pathway, by coupling data on human impact, game mammal and detritivore community structure, and rate measurements of a key detritus process (i.e. dung beetle-mediated secondary seed dispersal). We found evidence that human impact indirectly influences both the diversity and biomass of fecal detritivores, but not detritivore-mediated processes. Cascade strength varied across detritivore groups defined by species' traits. We found smaller-bodied dung beetles were at higher risk of local decline in areas of human presence, and that body size was a better predictor of cascade structure than fecal resource manipulation strategy. Cascade strength was also stronger in upland, unflooded forests, than in seasonally flooded forests. Our results suggest that the impact of human activity in tropical forest on fecal-detritus food web structure is mediated by both species' traits and habitat type. Further research will be required to determine the conditions under which these cascade effects influence fecal-detritus web function. PMID:24146780

  2. Fear of large carnivores causes a trophic cascade

    PubMed Central

    Suraci, Justin P.; Clinchy, Michael; Dill, Lawrence M.; Roberts, Devin; Zanette, Liana Y.

    2016-01-01

    The fear large carnivores inspire, independent of their direct killing of prey, may itself cause cascading effects down food webs potentially critical for conserving ecosystem function, particularly by affecting large herbivores and mesocarnivores. However, the evidence of this has been repeatedly challenged because it remains experimentally untested. Here we show that experimentally manipulating fear itself in free-living mesocarnivore (raccoon) populations using month-long playbacks of large carnivore vocalizations caused just such cascading effects, reducing mesocarnivore foraging to the benefit of the mesocarnivore's prey, which in turn affected a competitor and prey of the mesocarnivore's prey. We further report that by experimentally restoring the fear of large carnivores in our study system, where most large carnivores have been extirpated, we succeeded in reversing this mesocarnivore's impacts. We suggest that our results reinforce the need to conserve large carnivores given the significant “ecosystem service” the fear of them provides. PMID:26906881

  3. Fear of large carnivores causes a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Suraci, Justin P; Clinchy, Michael; Dill, Lawrence M; Roberts, Devin; Zanette, Liana Y

    2016-01-01

    The fear large carnivores inspire, independent of their direct killing of prey, may itself cause cascading effects down food webs potentially critical for conserving ecosystem function, particularly by affecting large herbivores and mesocarnivores. However, the evidence of this has been repeatedly challenged because it remains experimentally untested. Here we show that experimentally manipulating fear itself in free-living mesocarnivore (raccoon) populations using month-long playbacks of large carnivore vocalizations caused just such cascading effects, reducing mesocarnivore foraging to the benefit of the mesocarnivore's prey, which in turn affected a competitor and prey of the mesocarnivore's prey. We further report that by experimentally restoring the fear of large carnivores in our study system, where most large carnivores have been extirpated, we succeeded in reversing this mesocarnivore's impacts. We suggest that our results reinforce the need to conserve large carnivores given the significant "ecosystem service" the fear of them provides. PMID:26906881

  4. Predator transitory spillover induces trophic cascades in ecological sinks.

    PubMed

    Casini, Michele; Blenckner, Thorsten; Möllmann, Christian; Gårdmark, Anna; Lindegren, Martin; Llope, Marcos; Kornilovs, Georgs; Plikshs, Maris; Stenseth, Nils Christian

    2012-05-22

    Understanding the effects of cross-system fluxes is fundamental in ecosystem ecology and biological conservation. Source-sink dynamics and spillover processes may link adjacent ecosystems by movement of organisms across system boundaries. However, effects of temporal variability in these cross-system fluxes on a whole marine ecosystem structure have not yet been presented. Here we show, using 35 y of multitrophic data series from the Baltic Sea, that transitory spillover of the top-predator cod from its main distribution area produces cascading effects in the whole food web of an adjacent and semi-isolated ecosystem. At varying population size, cod expand/contract their distribution range and invade/retreat from the neighboring Gulf of Riga, thereby affecting the local prey population of herring and, indirectly, zooplankton and phytoplankton via top-down control. The Gulf of Riga can be considered for cod a "true sink" habitat, where in the absence of immigration from the source areas of the central Baltic Sea the cod population goes extinct due to the absence of suitable spawning grounds. Our results add a metaecosystem perspective to the ongoing intense scientific debate on the key role of top predators in structuring natural systems. The integration of regional and local processes is central to predict species and ecosystem responses to future climate changes and ongoing anthropogenic disturbances. PMID:22505739

  5. Weak Interactions and Instability Cascades.

    PubMed

    Kadoya, Taku; McCann, Kevin S

    2015-01-01

    Food web theory states that a weak interactor which is positioned in the food web such that it tends to deflect, or mute, energy away from a potentially oscillating consumer-resource interaction often enhances community persistence and stability. Here we examine how adding other weak interactions (predation/harvesting) on the stabilizing weak interactor alters the stability of food web using a set of well-established food web models/modules. We show that such "weak on weak" interaction chains drive an indirect dynamic cascade that can rapidly ignite a distant consumer-resource oscillator. Nonetheless, we also show that the "weak on weak" interactions are still more stable than the food web without them, and so weak interactions still generally act to stabilize food webs. Rather, these results are best interpreted to say that the degree of the stabilizing effect of a given important weak interaction can be severely compromised by other weak interactions (including weak harvesting). PMID:26219561

  6. Trait-mediated trophic cascade creates enemy-free space for nesting hummingbirds

    PubMed Central

    Greeney, Harold F.; Meneses, M. Rocio; Hamilton, Chris E.; Lichter-Marck, Eli; Mannan, R. William; Snyder, Noel; Snyder, Helen; Wethington, Susan M.; Dyer, Lee A.

    2015-01-01

    The indirect effects of predators on nonadjacent trophic levels, mediated through traits of intervening species, are collectively known as trait-mediated trophic cascades. Although birds are important predators in terrestrial ecosystems, clear examples of trait-mediated indirect effects involving bird predators have almost never been documented. Such indirect effects are important for structuring ecological communities and are likely to be negatively impacted by habitat fragmentation, climate change, and other factors that reduce abundance of top predators. We demonstrate that hummingbirds in Arizona realize increased breeding success when nesting in association with hawks. An enemy-free nesting space is created when jays, an important source of mortality for hummingbird nests, alter their foraging behavior in the presence of their hawk predators. PMID:26601258

  7. Trait-mediated trophic cascade creates enemy-free space for nesting hummingbirds.

    PubMed

    Greeney, Harold F; Meneses, M Rocio; Hamilton, Chris E; Lichter-Marck, Eli; Mannan, R William; Snyder, Noel; Snyder, Helen; Wethington, Susan M; Dyer, Lee A

    2015-09-01

    The indirect effects of predators on nonadjacent trophic levels, mediated through traits of intervening species, are collectively known as trait-mediated trophic cascades. Although birds are important predators in terrestrial ecosystems, clear examples of trait-mediated indirect effects involving bird predators have almost never been documented. Such indirect effects are important for structuring ecological communities and are likely to be negatively impacted by habitat fragmentation, climate change, and other factors that reduce abundance of top predators. We demonstrate that hummingbirds in Arizona realize increased breeding success when nesting in association with hawks. An enemy-free nesting space is created when jays, an important source of mortality for hummingbird nests, alter their foraging behavior in the presence of their hawk predators. PMID:26601258

  8. Trophic cascades on the edge: fostering seagrass resilience via a novel pathway.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Brent B; Hammerstrom, Kamille K; Grant, Nora E; Hoshijima, Umi; Eby, Ron; Wasson, Kerstin

    2016-09-01

    Despite widespread degradation, some coastal ecosystems display remarkable resilience. For seagrasses, a century-old paradigm has implicated macroalgal blooms stimulated by anthropogenic nutrient, loading as a primary driver of seagrass decline, yet relatively little attention has been given to drivers of seagrass resilience. In Elkhorn Slough, CA, an estuarine system characterized by extreme anthropogenic nutrient loading and macroalgal (Ulva spp.) blooms, seagrass (Zostera marina) beds have recovered concurrent with colonization of the estuary by top predators, sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Here, we follow up on the results of a previous experiment at the seagrass interior, showing how sea otters can generate a trophic cascade that promotes seagrass. We conducted an experiment and constructed structural equation models to determine how sea otters, through a trophic cascade, might affect the edge of seagrass beds where expansion occurs. We found that at the edge, sea otters promoted both seagrass and ephemeral macroalgae, with the latter contributing beneficial grazers to the seagrass. The surprising results that sea otters promote two potentially competing vegetation types, and a grazer assemblage at their boundary provides a mechanism by which seagrasses can expand in eutrophic environments, and contributes to a growing body of literature demonstrating that ephemeral macroalgae are not always negatively associated with seagrass. Our results highlight the potential for top predator recovery to enhance ecosystem resilience to anthropogenic alterations through several cascading mechanisms. PMID:27167224

  9. Evidence for a trophic cascade on rocky reefs following sea star mass mortality in British Columbia

    PubMed Central

    Cloutier, Ryan N.; Côté, Isabelle M.

    2016-01-01

    Echinoderm population collapses, driven by disease outbreaks and climatic events, may be important drivers of population dynamics, ecological shifts and biodiversity. The northeast Pacific recently experienced a mass mortality of sea stars. In Howe Sound, British Columbia, the sunflower star Pycnopodia helianthoides—a previously abundant predator of bottom-dwelling invertebrates—began to show signs of a wasting syndrome in early September 2013, and dense aggregations disappeared from many sites in a matter of weeks. Here, we assess changes in subtidal community composition by comparing the abundance of fish, invertebrates and macroalgae at 20 sites in Howe Sound before and after the 2013 sea star mortality to evaluate evidence for a trophic cascade. We observed changes in the abundance of several species after the sea star mortality, most notably a four-fold increase in the number of green sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, and a significant decline in kelp cover, which are together consistent with a trophic cascade. Qualitative data on the abundance of sunflower stars and green urchins from a citizen science database show that the patterns of echinoderm abundance detected at our study sites reflected wider local trends. The trophic cascade evident at the scale of Howe Sound was observed at half of the study sites. It remains unclear whether the urchin response was triggered directly, via a reduction in urchin mortality, or indirectly, via a shift in urchin distribution into areas previously occupied by the predatory sea stars. Understanding the ecological implications of sudden and extreme population declines may further elucidate the role of echinoderms in temperate seas, and provide insight into the resilience of marine ecosystems to biological disturbances. PMID:27168988

  10. Trophic cascade effects of avian predation on a willow in an urban wetland.

    PubMed

    Wu, Pei-Chen; Shaner, Pei-Jen L

    2016-01-01

    Trophic cascades play a crucial role in ecosystem functioning. In this study, we tested the effects of avian predation on willows (Salix warburgii) and associated arthropods in an urban wetland. We excluded birds by netting around willow branches for 20 months from September-November 2010 to June 2012. We compared the leaf count, leaf area, leaf biomass, bud count, catkin (flower) count and herbivory from pairs of bird-exclusion and no-exclusion branches on 11 trees. Simultaneously, we compared herbivorous and predatory arthropod abundances associated with bird-exclusion and no-exclusion branches. Another nine trees were used as reference branches to assess whether the bird exclusion impacted other branches of the same trees (i.e., no-exclusion branches). Bird exclusion resulted in increased herbivory 1 year after the treatment, followed by a reduced leaf count, leaf area, leaf biomass, bud count and catkin count in the second year. The bird-exclusion branches exhibited greater spider abundance than the no-exclusion branches. However, herbivorous arthropod abundances were similar between the branch types. The reference branches had similar values in all plant traits and for all arthropod abundances to those of the no-exclusion branches. This study demonstrated the branch-level effects of trophic cascades on willows via the exclusion of birds and a resulting reduction in herbivory. However, whether and how the arthropods mediate such effects require further investigation. This study adds to the limited empirical data demonstrating the effects of trophic cascades on plant reproduction. Our findings highlight the importance of bird conservation in urban wetlands. PMID:26391382

  11. Evidence for a trophic cascade on rocky reefs following sea star mass mortality in British Columbia.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Jessica A; Cloutier, Ryan N; Côté, Isabelle M

    2016-01-01

    Echinoderm population collapses, driven by disease outbreaks and climatic events, may be important drivers of population dynamics, ecological shifts and biodiversity. The northeast Pacific recently experienced a mass mortality of sea stars. In Howe Sound, British Columbia, the sunflower star Pycnopodia helianthoides-a previously abundant predator of bottom-dwelling invertebrates-began to show signs of a wasting syndrome in early September 2013, and dense aggregations disappeared from many sites in a matter of weeks. Here, we assess changes in subtidal community composition by comparing the abundance of fish, invertebrates and macroalgae at 20 sites in Howe Sound before and after the 2013 sea star mortality to evaluate evidence for a trophic cascade. We observed changes in the abundance of several species after the sea star mortality, most notably a four-fold increase in the number of green sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, and a significant decline in kelp cover, which are together consistent with a trophic cascade. Qualitative data on the abundance of sunflower stars and green urchins from a citizen science database show that the patterns of echinoderm abundance detected at our study sites reflected wider local trends. The trophic cascade evident at the scale of Howe Sound was observed at half of the study sites. It remains unclear whether the urchin response was triggered directly, via a reduction in urchin mortality, or indirectly, via a shift in urchin distribution into areas previously occupied by the predatory sea stars. Understanding the ecological implications of sudden and extreme population declines may further elucidate the role of echinoderms in temperate seas, and provide insight into the resilience of marine ecosystems to biological disturbances. PMID:27168988

  12. Testing the generality of a trophic-cascade model for plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collinge, S.K.; Johnson, W.C.; Ray, C.; Matchett, R.; Grensten, J.; Cully, J.F., Jr.; Gage, K.L.; Kosoy, M.Y.; Loye, J.E.; Martin, A.P.

    2005-01-01

    Climate may affect the dynamics of infectious diseases by shifting pathogen, vector, or host species abundance, population dynamics, or community interactions. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are highly susceptible to plague, yet little is known about factors that influence the dynamics of plague epizootics in prairie dogs. We investigated temporal patterns of plague occurrence in black-tailed prairie dogs to assess the generality of links between climate and plague occurrence found in previous analyses of human plague cases. We examined long-term data on climate and plague occurrence in prairie dog colonies within two study areas. Multiple regression analyses revealed that plague occurrence in prairie dogs was not associated with climatic variables in our Colorado study area. In contrast, plague occurrence was strongly associated with climatic variables in our Montana study area. The models with most support included a positive association with precipitation in April-July of the previous year, in addition to a positive association with the number of "warm" days and a negative association with the number of "hot" days in the same year as reported plague events. We conclude that the timing and magnitude of precipitation and temperature may affect plague occurrence in some geographic areas. The best climatic predictors of plague occurrence in prairie dogs within our Montana study area are quite similar to the best climatic predictors of human plague cases in the southwestern United States. This correspondence across regions and species suggests support for a (temperature-modulated) trophic-cascade model for plague, including climatic effects on rodent abundance, flea abundance, and pathogen transmission, at least in regions that experience strong climatic signals. ?? 2005 EcoHealth Journal Consortium.

  13. Animal water balance drives top-down effects in a riparian forest-implications for terrestrial trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    McCluney, Kevin E; Sabo, John L

    2016-08-17

    Despite the clear importance of water balance to the evolution of terrestrial life, much remains unknown about the effects of animal water balance on food webs. Based on recent research suggesting animal water imbalance can increase trophic interaction strengths in cages, we hypothesized that water availability could drive top-down effects in open environments, influencing the occurrence of trophic cascades. We manipulated large spider abundance and water availability in 20 × 20 m open-air plots in a streamside forest in Arizona, USA, and measured changes in cricket and small spider abundance and leaf damage. As expected, large spiders reduced both cricket abundance and herbivory under ambient, dry conditions, but not where free water was added. When water was added (free or within moist leaves), cricket abundance was unaffected by large spiders, but spiders still altered herbivory, suggesting behavioural effects. Moreover, we found threshold-type increases in herbivory at moderately low soil moisture (between 5.5% and 7% by volume), suggesting the possibility that water balance may commonly influence top-down effects. Overall, our results point towards animal water balance as an important driver of direct and indirect species interactions and food web dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:27534953

  14. Coyotes, deer, and wildflowers: diverse evidence points to a trophic cascade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waser, Nickolas M.; Price, Mary V.; Blumstein, Daniel T.; Arózqueta, S. Reneé; Escobar, Betsabé D. Castro; Pickens, Richard; Pistoia, Alessandra

    2014-05-01

    Spatial gradients in human activity, coyote activity, deer activity, and deer herbivory provide an unusual type of evidence for a trophic cascade. Activity of coyotes, which eat young mule deer (fawns), decreased with proximity to a remote biological field station, indicating that these predators avoided an area of high human activity. In contrast, activity of adult female deer (does) and intensity of herbivory on palatable plant species both increased with proximity to the station and were positively correlated with each other. The gradient in deer activity was not explained by availabilities of preferred habitats or plant species because these did not vary with distance from the station. Does spent less time feeding when they encountered coyote urine next to a feed block, indicating that increased vigilance may contribute, along with avoidance of areas with coyotes, to lower herbivory away from the station. Judging from two palatable wildflower species whose seed crop and seedling recruitment were greatly reduced near the field station, the coyote-deer-wildflower trophic cascade has the potential to influence plant community composition. Our study illustrates the value of a case-history approach, in which different forms of ecological data about a single system are used to develop conceptual models of complex ecological phenomena. Such an iterative model-building process is a common, but underappreciated, way of understanding how ecological systems work.

  15. Coyotes, deer, and wildflowers: diverse evidence points to a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Waser, Nickolas M; Price, Mary V; Blumstein, Daniel T; Arózqueta, S Reneé; Escobar, Betsabé D Castro; Pickens, Richard; Pistoia, Alessandra

    2014-05-01

    Spatial gradients in human activity, coyote activity, deer activity, and deer herbivory provide an unusual type of evidence for a trophic cascade. Activity of coyotes, which eat young mule deer (fawns), decreased with proximity to a remote biological field station, indicating that these predators avoided an area of high human activity. In contrast, activity of adult female deer (does) and intensity of herbivory on palatable plant species both increased with proximity to the station and were positively correlated with each other. The gradient in deer activity was not explained by availabilities of preferred habitats or plant species because these did not vary with distance from the station. Does spent less time feeding when they encountered coyote urine next to a feed block, indicating that increased vigilance may contribute, along with avoidance of areas with coyotes, to lower herbivory away from the station. Judging from two palatable wildflower species whose seed crop and seedling recruitment were greatly reduced near the field station, the coyote-deer-wildflower trophic cascade has the potential to influence plant community composition. Our study illustrates the value of a case-history approach, in which different forms of ecological data about a single system are used to develop conceptual models of complex ecological phenomena. Such an iterative model-building process is a common, but underappreciated, way of understanding how ecological systems work. PMID:24728614

  16. Predation risk, elk, and aspen: tests of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Winnie, John A

    2012-12-01

    Aspen in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are hypothesized to be recovering from decades of heavy browsing by elk due to a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade (BMTC). Several authors have suggested that wolves interact with certain terrain features, creating places of high predation risk at fine spatial scales, and that elk avoid these places, which creates refugia for plants. This hypothesized BMTC could release aspen from elk browsing pressure, leading to a patchy recovery in places of high risk. I tested whether four specific, hypothesized fine-scale risk factors are correlated with changes in current elk browsing pressure on aspen, or with aspen recruitment since wolf reintroduction, in the Daly Creek drainage in Yellowstone National Park, and near two aspen enclosures outside of the park boundary. Aspen were not responding to hypothesized fine-scale risk factors in ways consistent with the current BMTC hypothesis. PMID:23431591

  17. Recovering aspen follow changing elk dynamics in Yellowstone: evidence of a trophic cascade?

    PubMed

    Painter, Luke E; Beschta, Robert L; Larsen, Eric J; Ripple, William J

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the extent and causes of recent quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) recruitment in northern Yellowstone National Park, we measured browsing intensity and height of young aspen in 87 randomly selected aspen stands in 2012, and compared our results to similar data collected in 1997-1998. We also examined the relationship between aspen recovery and the distribution of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) and bison (Bison bison) on the Yellowstone northern ungulate winter range, using ungulate fecal pile densities and annual elk count data. In 1998, 90% of young aspen were browsed and none were taller-than 200 cm, the height at which aspen begin to escape from elk browsing. In 2012, only 37% in the east and 63% in the west portions of the winter range were browsed, and 65% of stands in the east had young aspen taller than 200 cm. Heights of young aspen were inversely related to browsing intensity, with the least browsing and greatest heights in the eastern portion of the range, corresponding with recent changes in elk density and distribution. In contrast with historical elk distribution (1930s-1990s), the greatest densities of elk recently (2006-2012) have been north of the park boundary (approximately 5 elk/km2), and in the western part of the range (2-4 elk/km2), with relatively few elk in the eastern portion of the range (<2 elk/km2), even in mild winters. This redistribution of elk and decrease in density inside the park, and overall reduction in elk numbers, explain why many aspen stands have begun to recover. Increased predation pressure following the reintroduction of gray wolves (Canis lupius) in 1995-1996 played a role in these changing elk population dynamics, interacting with other influences including increased predation by bears (Ursus spp.), competition with an expanding bison population, and shifting patterns of human land use and hunting outside the park. The resulting new aspen recruitment is evidence of a landscape-scale trophic cascade

  18. Colonisation rate and adaptive foraging control the emergence of trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Fahimipour, Ashkaan K; Anderson, Kurt E

    2015-08-01

    Ecological communities are assembled and sustained by colonisation. At the same time, predators make foraging decisions based on the local availabilities of potential resources, which reflects colonisation. We combined field and laboratory experiments with mathematical models to demonstrate that a feedback between these two processes determines emergent patterns in community structure. Namely, our results show that prey colonisation rate determines the strength of trophic cascades - a feature of virtually all ecosystems - by prompting behavioural shifts in adaptively foraging omnivorous fish predators. Communities experiencing higher colonisation rates were characterised by higher invertebrate prey and lower producer biomasses. Consequently, fish functioned as predators when colonisation rate was high, but as herbivores when colonisation rate was low. Human land use is changing habitat connectivity worldwide. A deeper quantitative understanding of how spatial processes modify individual behaviour, and how this scales to the community level, will be required to predict ecosystem responses to these changes. PMID:26096758

  19. Are wolves saving Yellowstone's aspen? A landscape-level test of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kauffman, Matthew J.; Brodie, Jedediah F.; Jules, Erik S.

    2010-01-01

    Behaviorally mediated trophic cascades (BMTCs) occur when the fear of predation among herbivores enhances plant productivity. Based primarily on systems involving small-bodied predators, BMTCs have been proposed as both strong and ubiquitous in natural ecosystems. Recently, however, synthetic work has suggested that the existence of BMTCs may be mediated by predator hunting mode, whereby passive (sit-and-wait) predators have much stronger effects than active (coursing) predators. One BMTC that has been proposed for a wide-ranging active predator system involves the reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park, USA, which is thought to be leading to a recovery of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) by causing elk (Cervus elaphus) to avoid foraging in risky areas. Although this BMTC has been generally accepted and highly popularized, it has never been adequately tested. We assessed whether wolves influence aspen by obtaining detailed demographic data on aspen stands using tree rings and by monitoring browsing levels in experimental elk exclosures arrayed across a gradient of predation risk for three years. Our study demonstrates that the historical failure of aspen to regenerate varied widely among stands (last recruitment year ranged from 1892 to 1956), and our data do not indicate an abrupt cessation of recruitment. This pattern of recruitment failure appears more consistent with a gradual increase in elk numbers rather than a rapid behavioral shift in elk foraging following wolf extirpation. In addition, our estimates of relative survivorship of young browsable aspen indicate that aspen are not currently recovering in Yellowstone, even in the presence of a large wolf population. Finally, in an experimental test of the BMTC hypothesis we found that the impacts of elk browsing on aspen demography are not diminished in sites where elk are at higher risk of predation by wolves. These findings suggest the need to further evaluate how trophic

  20. A Disease-Mediated Trophic Cascade in the Serengeti and its Implications for Ecosystem C

    PubMed Central

    Holdo, Ricardo M.; Sinclair, Anthony R. E.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Metzger, Kristine L.; Bolker, Benjamin M.; Ritchie, Mark E.; Holt, Robert D.

    2009-01-01

    Tree cover is a fundamental structural characteristic and driver of ecosystem processes in terrestrial ecosystems, and trees are a major global carbon (C) sink. Fire and herbivores have been hypothesized to play dominant roles in regulating trees in African savannas, but the evidence for this is conflicting. Moving up a trophic scale, the factors that regulate fire occurrence and herbivores, such as disease and predation, are poorly understood for any given ecosystem. We used a Bayesian state-space model to show that the wildebeest population irruption that followed disease (rinderpest) eradication in the Serengeti ecosystem of East Africa led to a widespread reduction in the extent of fire and an ongoing recovery of the tree population. This supports the hypothesis that disease has played a key role in the regulation of this ecosystem. We then link our state-space model with theoretical and empirical results quantifying the effects of grazing and fire on soil carbon to predict that this cascade may have led to important shifts in the size of pools of C stored in soil and biomass. Our results suggest that the dynamics of herbivores and fire are tightly coupled at landscape scales, that fire exerts clear top-down effects on tree density, and that disease outbreaks in dominant herbivores can lead to complex trophic cascades in savanna ecosystems. We propose that the long-term status of the Serengeti and other intensely grazed savannas as sources or sinks for C may be fundamentally linked to the control of disease outbreaks and poaching. PMID:19787022

  1. Restricting Prey Dispersal Can Overestimate the Importance of Predation in Trophic Cascades

    PubMed Central

    Geraldi, Nathan R.; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2013-01-01

    Predators can affect prey populations and, via trophic cascades, predators can indirectly impact resource populations (2 trophic levels below the predator) through consumption of prey (density-mediated indirect effects; DMIEs) and by inducing predator-avoidance behavior in prey (trait-mediated indirect effects; TMIEs). Prey often employ multiple predator-avoidance behaviors, such as dispersal or reduced foraging activity, but estimates of TMIEs are usually on individual behaviors. We assessed direct and indirect predator effects in a mesocosm experiment using a marine food chain consisting of a predator (toadfish – Opsanus tau), prey (mud crab - Panopeus herbstii) and resource (ribbed mussel – Geukensia demissa). We measured dispersal and foraging activity of prey separately by manipulating both the presence and absence of the predator, and whether prey could or could not disperse into a predator-free area. Consumption of prey was 9 times greater when prey could not disperse, probably because mesocosm boundaries increased predator capture success. Although predator presence did not significantly affect the number of crabs that emigrated, the presence of a predator decreased resource consumption by prey, which resulted in fewer resources consumed for each prey that emigrated in the presence of a predator, and reduced the overall TMIE. When prey were unable to disperse, TMIEs on mussel survival were 3 times higher than the DMIEs. When prey were allowed to disperse, the TMIEs on resource survival increased to 11-times the DMIEs. We found that restricting the ability of prey to disperse, or focusing on only one predator-avoidance behavior, may be underestimating TMIEs. Our results indicate that the relative contribution of behavior and consumption in food chain dynamics will depend on which predator-avoidance behaviors are allowed to occur and measured. PMID:23408957

  2. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S; Barber, Nicholas A; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities. PMID:20368418

  3. Trait-mediated trophic interactions: is foraging theory keeping up?

    PubMed

    Railsback, Steven F; Harvey, Bret C

    2013-02-01

    Many ecologists believe that there is a lack of foraging theory that works in community contexts, for populations of unique individuals each making trade-offs between food and risk that are subject to feedbacks from behavior of others. Such theory is necessary to reproduce the trait-mediated trophic interactions now recognized as widespread and strong. Game theory can address feedbacks but does not provide foraging theory for unique individuals in variable environments. 'State- and prediction-based theory' (SPT) is a new approach that combines existing trade-off methods with routine updating: individuals regularly predict future food availability and risk from current conditions to optimize a fitness measure. SPT can reproduce a variety of realistic foraging behaviors and trait-mediated trophic interactions with feedbacks, even when the environment is unpredictable. PMID:22995894

  4. Plant toxins and trophic cascades alter fire regime and succession on a boral forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feng, Zhilan; Alfaro-Murillo, Jorge A.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Schmidt, Jennifer; Barga, Matthew; Zheng, Yiqiang; Ahmad Tamrin, Muhammad Hanis B.; Olson, Mark; Glaser, Tim; Kielland, Knut; Chapin, F. Stuart, III; Bryant, John

    2012-01-01

    Two models were integrated in order to study the effect of plant toxicity and a trophic cascade on forest succession and fire patterns across a boreal landscape in central Alaska. One of the models, ALFRESCO, is a cellular automata model that stochastically simulates transitions from spruce dominated 1 km2 spatial cells to deciduous woody vegetation based on stochastic fires, and from deciduous woody vegetation to spruce based on age of the cell with some stochastic variation. The other model, the ‘toxin-dependent functional response’ model (TDFRM) simulates woody vegetation types with different levels of toxicity, an herbivore browser (moose) that can forage selectively on these types, and a carnivore (wolf) that preys on the herbivore. Here we replace the simple succession rules in each ALFRESCO cell by plant–herbivore–carnivore dynamics from TDFRM. The central hypothesis tested in the integrated model is that the herbivore, by feeding selectively on low-toxicity deciduous woody vegetation, speeds succession towards high-toxicity evergreens, like spruce. Wolves, by keeping moose populations down, can help slow the succession. Our results confirmed this hypothesis for the model calibrated to the Tanana floodplain of Alaska. We used the model to estimate the effects of different levels of wolf control. Simulations indicated that management reductions in wolf densities could reduce the mean time to transition from deciduous to spruce by more than 15 years, thereby increasing landscape flammability. The integrated model can be useful in estimating ecosystem impacts of wolf control and moose harvesting in central Alaska.

  5. Nationwide trophic cascades: changes in avian community structure driven by ungulates.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Georgina; Stephens, Philip A; Ward, Alastair I; Willis, Stephen G

    2015-01-01

    In recent decades, many ungulate populations have changed dramatically in abundance, resulting in cascading effects across ecosystems. However, studies of such effects are often limited in their spatial and temporal scope. Here, we contrast multi-species composite population trends of deer-sensitive and deer-tolerant woodland birds at a national scale, across Britain. We highlight the divergent fates of these two groups between 1994 and 2011, and show a striking association between the calculated divergence and a composite population trend of woodland deer. Our results demonstrate the link between changes in deer populations and changes in bird communities. In a period when composite population trends for deer increased by 46%, the community population trend across deer-sensitive birds (those dependent on understory vegetation) declined much more than the community trend for deer-tolerant birds. Our findings suggest that ongoing changes in the populations of herbivorous ungulates in many countries worldwide may help explain patterns of community restructuring at other trophic levels. Ungulate impacts on other taxa may require more consideration by conservation practitioners than they currently receive. PMID:26499183

  6. Nationwide trophic cascades: changes in avian community structure driven by ungulates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Georgina; Stephens, Philip A.; Ward, Alastair I.; Willis, Stephen G.

    2015-10-01

    In recent decades, many ungulate populations have changed dramatically in abundance, resulting in cascading effects across ecosystems. However, studies of such effects are often limited in their spatial and temporal scope. Here, we contrast multi-species composite population trends of deer-sensitive and deer-tolerant woodland birds at a national scale, across Britain. We highlight the divergent fates of these two groups between 1994 and 2011, and show a striking association between the calculated divergence and a composite population trend of woodland deer. Our results demonstrate the link between changes in deer populations and changes in bird communities. In a period when composite population trends for deer increased by 46%, the community population trend across deer-sensitive birds (those dependent on understory vegetation) declined much more than the community trend for deer-tolerant birds. Our findings suggest that ongoing changes in the populations of herbivorous ungulates in many countries worldwide may help explain patterns of community restructuring at other trophic levels. Ungulate impacts on other taxa may require more consideration by conservation practitioners than they currently receive.

  7. Nationwide trophic cascades: changes in avian community structure driven by ungulates

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Georgina; Stephens, Philip A.; Ward, Alastair I.; Willis, Stephen G.

    2015-01-01

    In recent decades, many ungulate populations have changed dramatically in abundance, resulting in cascading effects across ecosystems. However, studies of such effects are often limited in their spatial and temporal scope. Here, we contrast multi-species composite population trends of deer-sensitive and deer-tolerant woodland birds at a national scale, across Britain. We highlight the divergent fates of these two groups between 1994 and 2011, and show a striking association between the calculated divergence and a composite population trend of woodland deer. Our results demonstrate the link between changes in deer populations and changes in bird communities. In a period when composite population trends for deer increased by 46%, the community population trend across deer-sensitive birds (those dependent on understory vegetation) declined much more than the community trend for deer-tolerant birds. Our findings suggest that ongoing changes in the populations of herbivorous ungulates in many countries worldwide may help explain patterns of community restructuring at other trophic levels. Ungulate impacts on other taxa may require more consideration by conservation practitioners than they currently receive. PMID:26499183

  8. Natural and experimental tests of trophic cascades: gray wolves and white-tailed deer in a Great Lakes forest.

    PubMed

    Flagel, D G; Belovsky, G E; Beyer, D E

    2016-04-01

    Herbivores can be major drivers of environmental change, altering plant community structure and changing biodiversity through the amount and species of plants consumed. If natural predators can reduce herbivore numbers and/or alter herbivore foraging behavior, then predators may reduce herbivory on sensitive plants, and a trophic cascade will emerge. We have investigated whether gray wolves (Canis lupus) generate such trophic cascades by reducing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) herbivory on saplings and rare forbs in a northern mesic forest (Land O' Lakes, WI). Our investigation used an experimental system of deer exclosures in areas of high and low wolf use that allowed us to examine the role that wolf predation may play in reducing deer herbivory through direct reduction in deer numbers or indirectly through changing deer behavior. We found that in areas of high wolf use, deer were 62 % less dense, visit duration was reduced by 82 %, and percentage of time spent foraging was reduced by 43 %; in addition, the proportion of saplings browsed was nearly sevenfold less. Average maple (Acer spp.) sapling height and forb species richness increased 137 and 117 % in areas of high versus low wolf use, respectively. The results of the exclosure experiments revealed that the negative impacts of deer on sapling growth and forb species richness became negligible in high wolf use areas. We conclude that wolves are likely generating trophic cascades which benefit maples and rare forbs through trait-mediated effects on deer herbivory, not through direct predation kills. PMID:26670677

  9. Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator–prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape

    PubMed Central

    Dorresteijn, Ine; Schultner, Jannik; Nimmo, Dale G.; Fischer, Joern; Hanspach, Jan; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Kehoe, Laura; Ritchie, Euan G.

    2015-01-01

    Apex predators perform important functions that regulate ecosystems worldwide. However, little is known about how ecosystem regulation by predators is influenced by human activities. In particular, how important are top-down effects of predators relative to direct and indirect human-mediated bottom-up and top-down processes? Combining data on species' occurrence from camera traps and hunting records, we aimed to quantify the relative effects of top-down and bottom-up processes in shaping predator and prey distributions in a human-dominated landscape in Transylvania, Romania. By global standards this system is diverse, including apex predators (brown bear and wolf), mesopredators (red fox) and large herbivores (roe and red deer). Humans and free-ranging dogs represent additional predators in the system. Using structural equation modelling, we found that apex predators suppress lower trophic levels, especially herbivores. However, direct and indirect top-down effects of humans affected the ecosystem more strongly, influencing species at all trophic levels. Our study highlights the need to explicitly embed humans and their influences within trophic cascade theory. This will greatly expand our understanding of species interactions in human-modified landscapes, which compose the majority of the Earth's terrestrial surface. PMID:26336169

  10. Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator-prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape.

    PubMed

    Dorresteijn, Ine; Schultner, Jannik; Nimmo, Dale G; Fischer, Joern; Hanspach, Jan; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Kehoe, Laura; Ritchie, Euan G

    2015-09-01

    Apex predators perform important functions that regulate ecosystems worldwide. However, little is known about how ecosystem regulation by predators is influenced by human activities. In particular, how important are top-down effects of predators relative to direct and indirect human-mediated bottom-up and top-down processes? Combining data on species' occurrence from camera traps and hunting records, we aimed to quantify the relative effects of top-down and bottom-up processes in shaping predator and prey distributions in a human-dominated landscape in Transylvania, Romania. By global standards this system is diverse, including apex predators (brown bear and wolf), mesopredators (red fox) and large herbivores (roe and red deer). Humans and free-ranging dogs represent additional predators in the system. Using structural equation modelling, we found that apex predators suppress lower trophic levels, especially herbivores. However, direct and indirect top-down effects of humans affected the ecosystem more strongly, influencing species at all trophic levels. Our study highlights the need to explicitly embed humans and their influences within trophic cascade theory. This will greatly expand our understanding of species interactions in human-modified landscapes, which compose the majority of the Earth's terrestrial surface. PMID:26336169

  11. Does cadmium pollution change trophic interactions in rockpool food webs?

    SciTech Connect

    Koivisto, S.; Arner, M.; Kautsky, N.

    1997-06-01

    The authors studied the regulation of phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass in rockpool food webs under chronic cadmium pollution. Experimental food webs with two and three trophic levels were composed of phytoplankton, small-bodied zooplankton (Chydorus sphaericus, Cyclops sp., and rotifers), Daphnia magna, and Notonecta sp., a zooplanktivorous predator. Every food web received a control and cadmium treatment allowing a separate study of cadmium and predation effects. After a 3-week stabilization period, cadmium and Notonecta were added and changes in primary productivity, chlorophyll, zooplankton species composition, and biomass were followed during 8 weeks. The results showed that phytoplankton and Daphnia were consumer regulated in both control and cadmium treatments, although resource availability ultimately determined the biomass at each trophic level. Daphnia was the only zooplankton species that reduced phytoplankton and also the only species that was eliminated by Notonecta predation. Notonecta had an indirect positive impact on phytoplankton biomass that increased after the extinction of Daphnia. Cadmium significantly reduced phytoplankton and Daphnia but did not change the trophic interactions between them, i.e., Daphnia and chlorophyll were significantly negatively correlated both in the control and cadmium treatments. Cadmium did not affect the relationship between Daphnia and Notonecta.

  12. A multifaceted trophic cascade in a detritus-based system: density-, trait-, or processing-chain-mediated effects?

    PubMed Central

    Albeny-Simões, Daniel; Murrell, Ebony G.; Vilela, Evaldo F.; Juliano, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated three pathways by which predators on an intermediate trophic level may produce a trophic cascade in detritus-based systems. Predators may increase lower trophic levels (bacteria) by reducing density of bacteriovores, by altering behavior of bacteriovores, and by processing living bacteriovores into carcasses, feces, and dissolved nutrients that are substrates for bacteria. We tested these pathways in laboratory experiments with mosquitoes in water-filled containers. Larval Toxorhynchites rutilus prey on larval Aedes triseriatus, which feed on bacteria. Using containers stocked with oak leaf infusion as a bacterial substrate, we compared bacterial productivity at 7 and 14 days for: prey alone; prey with a predator; and prey with predation cues but no predator. Controls contained no larvae, either with predation cues or without cues. Predation cues in the control treatment increased bacterial abundance at 7 days, but this effect waned by 14 days. Aedes triseriatus larvae reduced bacterial abundance significantly at 14 days. Predator cues and real predation both eliminated the negative effect of A. triseriatus on bacterial abundance. Predation cues reduced survivorship of A. triseriatus larvae at 14 days, however this effect was smaller than the effect of real predation. We further tested effects of residues from predation as cues or as detritus in a second experiment in which A. triseriatus were killed at similar rates by: real predators; mechanical damage without the predator and carcasses left as detritus; or mechanical damage and carcasses removed. No prey larvae were killed in controls. Bacterial productivity was greater with real predation than in all other treatments and greater when prey larvae were killed or killed and removed, than in controls. Thus we find evidence that all three pathways contribute to the trophic cascade from T. rutilus to bacteria in tree hole systems. PMID:25844268

  13. A trophic cascade induced by predatory ants in a fig-fig wasp mutualism.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Geng, Xiang-Zong; Ma, Li-Bin; Cook, James M; Wang, Rui-Wu

    2014-09-01

    A trophic cascade occurs when predators directly decrease the densities, or change the behaviour, of herbivores and thus indirectly increase plant productivity. The predator-herbivore-plant context is well known, but some predators attack species beneficial to plants (e.g. pollinators) and/or enemies of herbivores (e.g. parasites), and their role in the dynamics of mutualisms remains largely unexplored. We surveyed the predatory ant species and studied predation by the dominant ant species, the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina, associated with the fig tree Ficus racemosa in southwest China. We then tested the effects of weaver ants on the oviposition behaviour of pollinating and non-pollinating fig wasps in an ant-exclusion experiment. The effects of weaver ants on fig wasp community structure and fig seed production were then compared between trees with and without O. smaragdina. Oecophylla smaragdina captured more non-pollinating wasps (Platyneura mayri) than pollinators as the insects arrived to lay eggs. When ants were excluded, more non-pollinators laid eggs into figs and fewer pollinators entered figs. Furthermore, trees with O. smaragdina produced more pollinator offspring and fewer non-pollinator offspring, shifting the community structure significantly. In addition, F. racemosa produced significantly more seeds on trees inhabited by weaver ants. Oecophylla smaragdina predation reverses the dominance of the two commonest wasp species at the egg-laying stage and favours the pollinators. This behavioural pattern is mirrored by wasp offspring production, with pollinators' offspring dominating figs produced by trees inhabited by weaver ants, and offspring of the non-pollinator P. mayri most abundant in figs on trees inhabited by other ants. Overall, our results suggest that predation by weaver ants limits the success of the non-pollinating P. mayri and therefore indirectly benefits the mutualism by increasing the reproductive success of both the

  14. Trophic interactions within the Ross Sea continental shelf ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Walker O; Ainley, David G; Cattaneo-Vietti, Riccardo

    2006-01-01

    The continental shelf of the Ross Sea is one of the Antarctic's most intensively studied regions. We review the available data on the region's physical characteristics (currents and ice concentrations) and their spatial variations, as well as components of the neritic food web, including lower and middle levels (phytoplankton, zooplankton, krill, fishes), the upper trophic levels (seals, penguins, pelagic birds, whales) and benthic fauna. A hypothetical food web is presented. Biotic interactions, such as the role of Euphausia crystallorophias and Pleuragramma antarcticum as grazers of lower levels and food for higher trophic levels, are suggested as being critical. The neritic food web contrasts dramatically with others in the Antarctic that appear to be structured around the keystone species Euphausia superba. Similarly, we suggest that benthic–pelagic coupling is stronger in the Ross Sea than in most other Antarctic regions. We also highlight many of the unknowns within the food web, and discuss the impacts of a changing Ross Sea habitat on the ecosystem. PMID:17405209

  15. Bears benefit plants via a cascade with both antagonistic and mutualistic interactions.

    PubMed

    Grinath, Joshua B; Inouye, Brian D; Underwood, Nora

    2015-02-01

    Predators can influence primary producers by generating cascades of effects in ecological webs. These effects are often non-intuitive, going undetected because they involve many links and different types of species interactions. Particularly, little is understood about how antagonistic (negative) and mutualistic (positive) interactions combine to create cascades. Here, we show that black bears can benefit plants by consuming ants. The ants are mutualists of herbivores and protect herbivores from other arthropod predators. We found that plants near bear-damaged ant nests had greater reproduction than those near undamaged nests, due to weaker ant protection for herbivores, which allowed herbivore suppression by arthropod predators. Our results highlight the need to integrate mutualisms into trophic cascade theory, which is based primarily on antagonistic relationships. Predators are often conservation targets, and our results suggest that bears and other predators should be managed with the understanding that they can influence primary producers through many paths. PMID:25534277

  16. Trophic interactions determine the effects of drought on an aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2016-06-01

    Species interactions can be important mediators of community and ecosystem responses to environmental stressors. However, we still lack a mechanistic understanding of the indirect ecological effects of stress that arise via altered species interactions. To understand how species interactions will be altered by environmental stressors, we need to know if the species that are vulnerable to such stressors also have large impacts on the ecosystem. As predators often exhibit certain traits that are linked to a high vulnerability to stress (e.g., large body size, long generation time), as well as having large effects on communities (e.g., top-down trophic effects), predators may be particularly likely to mediate ecological effects of environmental stress. Other functional groups, like facilitators, are known to have large impacts on communities, but their vulnerability to perturbations remains undocumented. Here, we use aquatic insect communities in bromeliads to examine the indirect effects of an important stressor (drought) on community and ecosystem responses. In a microcosm experiment, we manipulated predatory and facilitative taxa under a range of experimental droughts, and quantified effects on community structure and ecosystem function. Drought, by adversely affecting the top predator, had indirect cascading effects on the entire food web, altering community composition and decomposition. We identified the likely pathway of how drought cascaded through the food web from the top-down as drought -->predator --> shredder --> decomposition. This stress-induced cascade depended on predators exhibiting both a strong vulnerability to drought and large impacts on prey (especially shredders), as well as shredders exhibiting high functional importance as decomposers. PMID:27459778

  17. A continental scale trophic cascade from wolves through coyotes to foxes.

    PubMed

    Newsome, Thomas M; Ripple, William J

    2015-01-01

    Top-down processes, via the direct and indirect effects of interspecific competitive killing (no consumption of the kill) or intraguild predation (consumption of the kill), can potentially influence the spatial distribution of terrestrial predators, but few studies have demonstrated the phenomenon at a continental scale. For example, in North America, grey wolves Canis lupus are known to kill coyotes Canis latrans, and coyotes, in turn, may kill foxes Vulpes spp., but the spatial effects of these competitive interactions at large scales are unknown. Here, we analyse fur return data across eight jurisdictions in North America to test whether the presence or absence of wolves has caused a continent-wide shift in coyote and red fox Vulpes vulpes density. Our results support the existence of a continental scale cascade whereby coyotes outnumber red foxes in areas where wolves have been extirpated by humans, whereas red foxes outnumber coyotes in areas where wolves are present. However, for a distance of up to 200 km on the edge of wolf distribution, there is a transition zone where the effects of top-down control are weakened, possibly due to the rapid dispersal and reinvasion capabilities of coyotes into areas where wolves are sporadically distributed or at low densities. Our results have implications for understanding how the restoration of wolf populations across North America could potentially affect co-occurring predators and prey. We conclude that large carnivores may need to occupy large continuous areas to facilitate among-carnivore cascades and that studies of small areas may not be indicative of the effects of top-down mesopredator control. PMID:24930631

  18. Cryptic Population Dynamics: Rapid Evolution Masks Trophic Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Takehito; Ellner, Stephen P; Jones, Laura E; Bohannan, Brendan J. M; Lenski, Richard E; Hairston, Nelson G

    2007-01-01

    Trophic relationships, such as those between predator and prey or between pathogen and host, are key interactions linking species in ecological food webs. The structure of these links and their strengths have major consequences for the dynamics and stability of food webs. The existence and strength of particular trophic links has often been assessed using observational data on changes in species abundance through time. Here we show that very strong links can be completely missed by these kinds of analyses when changes in population abundance are accompanied by contemporaneous rapid evolution in the prey or host species. Experimental observations, in rotifer-alga and phage-bacteria chemostats, show that the predator or pathogen can exhibit large-amplitude cycles while the abundance of the prey or host remains essentially constant. We know that the species are tightly linked in these experimental microcosms, but without this knowledge, we would infer from observed patterns in abundance that the species are weakly or not at all linked. Mathematical modeling shows that this kind of cryptic dynamics occurs when there is rapid prey or host evolution for traits conferring defense against attack, and the cost of defense (in terms of tradeoffs with other fitness components) is low. Several predictions of the theory that we developed to explain the rotifer-alga experiments are confirmed in the phage-bacteria experiments, where bacterial evolution could be tracked. Modeling suggests that rapid evolution may also confound experimental approaches to measuring interaction strength, but it identifies certain experimental designs as being more robust against potential confounding by rapid evolution. PMID:17803356

  19. Disentangling trophic interactions inside a Caribbean marine reserve.

    PubMed

    Kellner, Julie B; Litvin, Steven Y; Hastings, Alan; Micheli, Fiorenza; Mumby, Peter J

    2010-10-01

    Recent empirical studies have demonstrated that human activities such as fishing can strongly affect the natural capital and services provided by tropical seascapes. However, policies to mitigate anthropogenic impacts can also alter food web structure and interactions, regardless of whether the regulations are aimed at single or multiple species, with possible unexpected consequences for the ecosystems and their associated services. Complex community response to management interventions have been highlighted in the Caribbean, where, contrary to predictions from linear food chain models, a reduction in fishing intensity through the establishment of a marine reserve has led to greater biomass of herbivorous fish inside the reserve, despite an increased abundance of large predatory piscivores. This positive multi-trophic response, where both predators and prey benefit from protection, highlights the need to take an integrated approach that considers how numerous factors control species coexistence in both fished and unfished systems. In order to understand these complex relationships, we developed a general model to examine the trade-offs between fishing pressure and trophic control on reef fish communities, including an exploration of top-down and bottom-up effects. We then validated the general model predictions by parameterizing the model for a reef system in the Bahamas in order to tease apart the wide range of species responses to reserves in the Caribbean. Combining the development of general theory and site-specific models parameterized with field data reveals the underlying driving forces in these communities and enables us to make better predictions about possible population and community responses to different management schemes. PMID:21049884

  20. The relevance of food peak architecture in trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Vatka, Emma; Orell, Markku; Rytkönen, Seppo

    2016-04-01

    Phenological shifts and associated changes in the temporal match between trophic levels have been a major focus of the study of ecological consequences of climate change. Previously, the food peak has been thought to respond as an entity to warming temperatures. However, food peak architecture, that is, timings and abundances of prey species and the level of synchrony between them, determines the timing and shape of the food peak. We demonstrate this with a case example of three passerine prey species and their predator. We explored temporal trends in the timing, height, width, and peakedness of prey availabilities and explained their variation with food peak architecture and ambient temperatures of prebreeding and breeding seasons. We found a temporal match between the predator's breeding schedule and food availability. Temporal trends in the timing of the food peak or in the synchrony between the prey species were not found. However, the food peak has become wider and more peaked over time. With more peaked food availabilities, predator's breeding success will depend more on the temporal match between its breeding schedule and the food peak, ultimately affecting the timing of breeding in the predator population. The height and width of the food peak depended on the abundances and breeding season lengths of individual prey species and their reciprocal synchronies. Peakednesses of separate prey species' availability distributions alone explained the peakedness of the food peak. Timing and quantity of food production were associated with temperatures of various time periods with variable relevance in different prey species. Alternating abundances of early and late breeding prey species caused high annual fluctuation in the timing of the food peak. Interestingly, the food peak may become later even when prey species' schedules are advanced. Climate warming can thus produce unexpected changes in the food availabilities, intervening in trophic interactions. PMID

  1. Top-predator control-induced trophic cascades: an alternative hypothesis to the conclusion of Colman et al.

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Benjamin L.

    2015-01-01

    Colman et al. (2014 Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20133094. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.3094)) recently argued that observed positive relationships between dingoes and small mammals were a result of top-down processes whereby lethal dingo control reduced dingoes and increased mesopredators and herbivores, which then suppressed small mammals. Here, I show that the prerequisite negative effects of dingo control on dingoes were not shown, and that the same positive relationships observed may simply represent well-known bottom-up processes whereby more generalist predators are found in places with more of their preferred prey. Identification of top-predator control-induced trophic cascades first requires demonstration of some actual effect of control on predators, typically possible only through manipulative experiments with the ability to identify cause and effect. PMID:25473006

  2. Top-predator control-induced trophic cascades: an alternative hypothesis to the conclusion of Colman et al.

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin L

    2015-01-22

    Colman et al. (2014 Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20133094. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.3094)) recently argued that observed positive relationships between dingoes and small mammals were a result of top-down processes whereby lethal dingo control reduced dingoes and increased mesopredators and herbivores, which then suppressed small mammals. Here, I show that the prerequisite negative effects of dingo control on dingoes were not shown, and that the same positive relationships observed may simply represent well-known bottom-up processes whereby more generalist predators are found in places with more of their preferred prey. Identification of top-predator control-induced trophic cascades first requires demonstration of some actual effect of control on predators, typically possible only through manipulative experiments with the ability to identify cause and effect. PMID:25473006

  3. Metabolic and trophic interactions modulate methane production by Arctic peat microbiota in response to warming.

    PubMed

    Tveit, Alexander Tøsdal; Urich, Tim; Frenzel, Peter; Svenning, Mette Marianne

    2015-05-12

    Arctic permafrost soils store large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC) that could be released into the atmosphere as methane (CH4) in a future warmer climate. How warming affects the complex microbial network decomposing SOC is not understood. We studied CH4 production of Arctic peat soil microbiota in anoxic microcosms over a temperature gradient from 1 to 30 °C, combining metatranscriptomic, metagenomic, and targeted metabolic profiling. The CH4 production rate at 4 °C was 25% of that at 25 °C and increased rapidly with temperature, driven by fast adaptations of microbial community structure, metabolic network of SOC decomposition, and trophic interactions. Below 7 °C, syntrophic propionate oxidation was the rate-limiting step for CH4 production; above this threshold temperature, polysaccharide hydrolysis became rate limiting. This change was associated with a shift within the functional guild for syntrophic propionate oxidation, with Firmicutes being replaced by Bacteroidetes. Correspondingly, there was a shift from the formate- and H2-using Methanobacteriales to Methanomicrobiales and from the acetotrophic Methanosarcinaceae to Methanosaetaceae. Methanogenesis from methylamines, probably stemming from degradation of bacterial cells, became more important with increasing temperature and corresponded with an increased relative abundance of predatory protists of the phylum Cercozoa. We concluded that Arctic peat microbiota responds rapidly to increased temperatures by modulating metabolic and trophic interactions so that CH4 is always highly produced: The microbial community adapts through taxonomic shifts, and cascade effects of substrate availability cause replacement of functional guilds and functional changes within taxa. PMID:25918393

  4. Metabolic and trophic interactions modulate methane production by Arctic peat microbiota in response to warming

    PubMed Central

    Tveit, Alexander Tøsdal; Urich, Tim; Frenzel, Peter; Svenning, Mette Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Arctic permafrost soils store large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC) that could be released into the atmosphere as methane (CH4) in a future warmer climate. How warming affects the complex microbial network decomposing SOC is not understood. We studied CH4 production of Arctic peat soil microbiota in anoxic microcosms over a temperature gradient from 1 to 30 °C, combining metatranscriptomic, metagenomic, and targeted metabolic profiling. The CH4 production rate at 4 °C was 25% of that at 25 °C and increased rapidly with temperature, driven by fast adaptations of microbial community structure, metabolic network of SOC decomposition, and trophic interactions. Below 7 °C, syntrophic propionate oxidation was the rate-limiting step for CH4 production; above this threshold temperature, polysaccharide hydrolysis became rate limiting. This change was associated with a shift within the functional guild for syntrophic propionate oxidation, with Firmicutes being replaced by Bacteroidetes. Correspondingly, there was a shift from the formate- and H2-using Methanobacteriales to Methanomicrobiales and from the acetotrophic Methanosarcinaceae to Methanosaetaceae. Methanogenesis from methylamines, probably stemming from degradation of bacterial cells, became more important with increasing temperature and corresponded with an increased relative abundance of predatory protists of the phylum Cercozoa. We concluded that Arctic peat microbiota responds rapidly to increased temperatures by modulating metabolic and trophic interactions so that CH4 is always highly produced: The microbial community adapts through taxonomic shifts, and cascade effects of substrate availability cause replacement of functional guilds and functional changes within taxa. PMID:25918393

  5. Interacting trophic forcing and the population dynamics of herring.

    PubMed

    Lindegren, Martin; Ostman, Orjan; Gårdmark, Anna

    2011-07-01

    Small pelagic fish occupy a central position in marine ecosystems worldwide, largely by determining the energy transfer from lower trophic levels to predators at the top of the food web, including humans. Population dynamics of small pelagic fish may therefore be regulated neither strictly bottom-up nor top-down, but rather through multiple external and internal drivers. While in many studies single drivers have been identified, potential synergies of multiple factors, as well as their relative importance in regulating population dynamics of small pelagic fish, is a largely unresolved issue. Using a statistical, age-structured modeling approach, we demonstrate the relative importance and influence of bottom-up (e.g., climate, zooplankton availability) and top-down (i.e., fishing and predation) factors on the population dynamics of Bothnian Sea herring (Clupea harengus) throughout its life cycle. Our results indicate significant bottom-up effects of zooplankton and interspecific competition from sprat (Sprattus sprattus), particularly on younger age classes of herring. Although top-down forcing through fishing and predation by grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) also was evident, these factors were less important than resource availability and interspecific competition. Understanding key ecological processes and interactions is fundamental to ecosystem-based management practices necessary to promote sustainable exploitation of small pelagic fish. PMID:21870614

  6. Trophic interactions between parasitoids and necrophagous flies in Central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Sereno, Ana P; Salvo, Adriana; Battán-Horenstein, Moira

    2016-10-01

    Larvae of necrophagous flies in the families Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae and Muscidae are the main exploiters of decaying organic matter. Knowledge of insect species associated with each stage of decay can be used to estimate the time since death in the crime scene. Dipteran larvae are attacked by a rich community of parasitoids, including species of Braconidae, Ichneumonidae and Pteromalidae (Hymenoptera: Parasitica). This study examined the parasitic complex associated with flies of forensic and sanitary importance in the city of Córdoba (Argentina). Sampling was conducted at two sites with different urbanization levels from December 2012 to March 2013; parasitoids were collected using fly traps baited with beef liver. Rates of parasitism and of parasitized pupae were estimated and species composition was analyzed for both communities. Sarcophagidae was the most abundant family, represented by two species, followed by Calliphoridae. Nasonia vitripennis Ashmead (Hymenoptera) was the most abundant species and was collected from a wider variety of hosts. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study providing accurate information about trophic interactions between calyptrate dipteran species and their hymenopteran parasitoids in central Argentina. PMID:27423397

  7. Trophic cascades and future harmful algal blooms within ice-free Arctic Seas north of Bering Strait: A simulation analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, John J.; Dieterle, Dwight A.; Chen, F. Robert; Lenes, Jason M.; Maslowski, Wieslaw; Cassano, John J.; Whitledge, Terry E.; Stockwell, Dean; Flint, Mikhail; Sukhanova, Irina N.; Christensen, John

    2011-11-01

    Within larger ice-free regions of the western Arctic Seas, subject to ongoing trophic cascades induced by past overfishing, as well as to possible future eutrophication of the drainage basins of the Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers, prior very toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs) - first associated with ∼100 human deaths near Sitka, Alaska in 1799 - may soon expand. Blooms of calcareous coccolithophores in the Bering Sea during 1997-1998 were non-toxic harbingers of the subsequent increments of other non-siliceous phytoplankton. But, now saxitoxic dinoflagellates, e.g. Alexandrium tamarense, were instead found by us within the adjacent downstream Chukchi Sea during SBI cruises of 2002 and 2003. A previous complex, coupled biophysical model had been validated earlier by ship-board observations from the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas during the summer of 2002. With inclusion of phosphorus as another chemical state variable to modulate additional competition by recently observed nitrogen-fixers, we now explore here the possible consequences of altered composition of dominant phytoplankton functional groups [diatoms, microflagellates, prymnesiophyte Phaeocystis colonies, coccolithophores, diazotrophs, and dinoflagellates] in relation to increases of the toxic A. tamarense, responding to relaxation of grazing pressure by herbivores north of Bering Strait as part of a continuing trophic cascade. Model formulation was guided by validation observations obtained during 2002-2004 from: cruises of the SBI, CHINARE, and CASES programs; moored arrays in Bering Strait; other RUSALCA cruises around Wrangel Island; and SBI helicopter surveys of the shelf-break regions of the Arctic basin. Our year-long model scenarios during 2002-2003 indicate that post bloom silica-limitation of diatoms, after smaller simulated spring grazing losses, led to subsequent competitive advantages in summer for the coccolithophores, dinoflagellates, and diazotrophs. Immediate top-down control is exerted by imposed

  8. Bald eagles and sea otters in the Aleutian Archipelago: indirect effects of trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Anthony, Robert G; Estes, James A; Ricca, Mark A; Miles, A Keith; Forsman, Eric D

    2008-10-01

    Because sea otters (Enhydra lutris) exert a wide array of direct and indirect effects on coastal marine ecosystems throughout their geographic range, we investigated the potential influence of sea otters on the ecology of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA. We studied the diets, productivity, and density of breeding Bald Eagles on four islands during 1993-1994 and 2000-2002, when sea otters were abundant and scarce, respectively. Bald Eagles depend on nearshore marine communities for most of their prey in this ecosystem, so we predicted that the recent decline in otter populations would have an indirect negative effect on diets and demography of Bald Eagles. Contrary to our predictions, we found no effects on density of breeding pairs on four islands from 1993-1994 to 2000-2002. In contrast, diets and diet diversity of Bald Eagles changed considerably between the two time periods, likely reflecting a change in prey availability resulting from the increase and subsequent decline in sea otter populations. The frequency of sea otter pups, rock greenling (Hexagammus lagocephalus), and smooth lumpsuckers (Aptocyclus ventricosus) in the eagle's diet declined with corresponding increases in Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens), Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius), and various species of seabirds during the period of the recent otter population decline. Breeding success and productivity of Bald Eagles also increased during this time period, which may be due to the higher nutritional quality of avian prey consumed in later years. Our results provide further evidence of the wide-ranging indirect effects of sea otter predation on nearshore marine communities and another apex predator, the Bald Eagle. Although the indirect effects of sea otters are widely known, this example is unique because the food-web pathway transcended five species and several trophic levels in linking one apex predator

  9. Bald eagles and sea otters in the Aleutian Archipelago: indirect effects of trophic cascades.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.G.; Estes, J.A.; Ricca, M.A.; Miles, A.K.; Forsman, E.D.

    2008-01-01

    Because sea otters (Enhydra lutris) exert a wide array of direct and indirect effects on coastal marine ecosystems throughout their geographic range, we investigated the potential influence of sea otters on the ecology of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA. We studied the diets, productivity, and density of breeding Bald Eagles on four islands during 1993-1994 and 2000-2002, when sea otters were abundant and scarce, respectively. Bald Eagles depend on nearshore marine communities for most of their prey in this ecosystem, so we predicted that the recent decline in otter populations would have an indirect negative effect on diets and demography of Bald Eagles. Contrary to our predictions, we found no effects on density of breeding pairs on four islands from 1993-1994 to 2000-2002. In contrast, diets and diet diversity of Bald Eagles changed considerably between the two time periods, likely reflecting a change in prey availability resulting from the increase and subsequent decline in sea otter populations. The frequency of sea otter pups, rock greenling (Hexagammus lagocephalus), and smooth lumpsuckers (Aptocyclus ventricosus) in the eagle's diet declined with corresponding increases in Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens), Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius), and various species of seabirds during the period of the recent otter population decline. Breeding success and productivity of Bald Eagles also increased during this time period, which may be due to the higher nutritional quality of avian prey consumed in later years. Our results provide further evidence of the wide-ranging indirect effects of sea otter predation on nearshore marine communities and another apex predator, the Bald Eagle. Although the indirect effects of sea otters are widely known, this example is unique because the food-web pathway transcended five species and several trophic levels in linking one apex predator

  10. Herbivory drives large-scale spatial variation in reef fish trophic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Longo, Guilherme O; Ferreira, Carlos Eduardo L; Floeter, Sergio R

    2014-01-01

    Trophic interactions play a critical role in the structure and function of ecosystems. Given the widespread loss of biodiversity due to anthropogenic activities, understanding how trophic interactions respond to natural gradients (e.g., abiotic conditions, species richness) through large-scale comparisons can provide a broader understanding of their importance in changing ecosystems and support informed conservation actions. We explored large-scale variation in reef fish trophic interactions, encompassing tropical and subtropical reefs with different abiotic conditions and trophic structure of reef fish community. Reef fish feeding pressure on the benthos was determined combining bite rates on the substrate and the individual biomass per unit of time and area, using video recordings in three sites between latitudes 17°S and 27°S on the Brazilian Coast. Total feeding pressure decreased 10-fold and the composition of functional groups and species shifted from the northern to the southernmost sites. Both patterns were driven by the decline in the feeding pressure of roving herbivores, particularly scrapers, while the feeding pressure of invertebrate feeders and omnivores remained similar. The differential contribution to the feeding pressure across trophic categories, with roving herbivores being more important in the northernmost and southeastern reefs, determined changes in the intensity and composition of fish feeding pressure on the benthos among sites. It also determined the distribution of trophic interactions across different trophic categories, altering the evenness of interactions. Feeding pressure was more evenly distributed at the southernmost than in the southeastern and northernmost sites, where it was dominated by few herbivores. Species and functional groups that performed higher feeding pressure than predicted by their biomass were identified as critical for their potential to remove benthic biomass. Fishing pressure unlikely drove the large

  11. Herbivory drives large-scale spatial variation in reef fish trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Longo, Guilherme O; Ferreira, Carlos Eduardo L; Floeter, Sergio R

    2014-12-01

    Trophic interactions play a critical role in the structure and function of ecosystems. Given the widespread loss of biodiversity due to anthropogenic activities, understanding how trophic interactions respond to natural gradients (e.g., abiotic conditions, species richness) through large-scale comparisons can provide a broader understanding of their importance in changing ecosystems and support informed conservation actions. We explored large-scale variation in reef fish trophic interactions, encompassing tropical and subtropical reefs with different abiotic conditions and trophic structure of reef fish community. Reef fish feeding pressure on the benthos was determined combining bite rates on the substrate and the individual biomass per unit of time and area, using video recordings in three sites between latitudes 17°S and 27°S on the Brazilian Coast. Total feeding pressure decreased 10-fold and the composition of functional groups and species shifted from the northern to the southernmost sites. Both patterns were driven by the decline in the feeding pressure of roving herbivores, particularly scrapers, while the feeding pressure of invertebrate feeders and omnivores remained similar. The differential contribution to the feeding pressure across trophic categories, with roving herbivores being more important in the northernmost and southeastern reefs, determined changes in the intensity and composition of fish feeding pressure on the benthos among sites. It also determined the distribution of trophic interactions across different trophic categories, altering the evenness of interactions. Feeding pressure was more evenly distributed at the southernmost than in the southeastern and northernmost sites, where it was dominated by few herbivores. Species and functional groups that performed higher feeding pressure than predicted by their biomass were identified as critical for their potential to remove benthic biomass. Fishing pressure unlikely drove the large

  12. A trophic cascade triggers collapse of a salt-marsh ecosystem with intensive recreational fishing.

    PubMed

    Altieri, Andrew H; Bertness, Mark D; Coverdale, Tyler C; Herrmann, Nicholas C; Angelini, Christine

    2012-06-01

    Overexploitation of predators has been linked to the collapse of a growing number of shallow-water marine ecosystems. However, salt-marsh ecosystems are often viewed and managed as systems controlled by physical processes, despite recent evidence for herbivore-driven die-off of marsh vegetation. Here we use field observations, experiments, and historical records at 14 sites to examine whether the recently reported die-off of northwestern Atlantic salt marshes is associated with the cascading effects of predator dynamics and intensive recreational fishing activity. We found that the localized depletion of top predators at sites accessible to recreational anglers has triggered the proliferation of herbivorous crabs, which in turn results in runaway consumption of marsh vegetation. This suggests that overfishing may be a general mechanism underlying the consumer-driven die-off of salt marshes spreading throughout the western Atlantic. Our findings support the emerging realization that consumers play a dominant role in regulating marine plant communities and can lead to ecosystem collapse when their impacts are amplified by human activities, including recreational fishing. PMID:22834380

  13. Invasive species triggers a massive loss of ecosystem services through a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Jake R; Carpenter, Stephen R; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2016-04-12

    Despite growing recognition of the importance of ecosystem services and the economic and ecological harm caused by invasive species, linkages between invasions, changes in ecosystem functioning, and in turn, provisioning of ecosystem services remain poorly documented and poorly understood. We evaluate the economic impacts of an invasion that cascaded through a food web to cause substantial declines in water clarity, a valued ecosystem service. The predatory zooplankton, the spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus), invaded the Laurentian Great Lakes in the 1980s and has subsequently undergone secondary spread to inland lakes, including Lake Mendota (Wisconsin), in 2009. In Lake Mendota, Bythotrephes has reached unparalleled densities compared with in other lakes, decreasing biomass of the grazer Daphnia pulicaria and causing a decline in water clarity of nearly 1 m. Time series modeling revealed that the loss in water clarity, valued at US$140 million (US$640 per household), could be reversed by a 71% reduction in phosphorus loading. A phosphorus reduction of this magnitude is estimated to cost between US$86.5 million and US$163 million (US$430-US$810 per household). Estimates of the economic effects of Great Lakes invasive species may increase considerably if cases of secondary invasions into inland lakes, such as Lake Mendota, are included. Furthermore, such extreme cases of economic damages call for increased investment in the prevention and control of invasive species to better maximize the economic benefits of such programs. Our results highlight the need to more fully incorporate ecosystem services into our analysis of invasive species impacts, management, and public policy. PMID:27001838

  14. Trophic interactions, ecosystem structure and function in the southern Yellow Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Qun; Jin, Xianshi; Zhang, Bo

    2013-01-01

    The southern Yellow Sea is an important fishing ground, providing abundant fishery resources. However, overfishing and climate change have caused a decline in the resource and damaged the ecosystem. We developed an ecosystem model to analyze the trophic interactions and ecosystem structure and function to guide sustainable development of the ecosystem. A trophic mass-balance model of the southern Yellow Sea during 2000-2001 was constructed using Ecopath with Ecosim software. We defined 22 important functional groups and studied their diet composition. The trophic levels of fish, shrimp, crabs, and cephalopods were between 2.78 and 4.39, and the mean trophic level of the fisheries was 3.24. The trophic flows within the food web occurred primarily in the lower trophic levels. The mean trophic transfer efficiency was 8.1%, of which 7.1% was from primary producers and 9.3% was from detritus within the ecosystem. The transfer efficiency between trophic levels II to III to IV to V to >V was 5.0%, 5.7%, 18.5%, and 19.7%-20.4%, respectively. Of the total flow, phytoplankton contributed 61% and detritus contributed 39%. Fishing is defined as a top predator within the ecosystem, and has a negative impact on most commercial species. Moreover, the ecosystem had a high gross efficiency of the fishery and a high value of primary production required to sustain the fishery. Together, our data suggest there is high fishing pressure in the southern Yellow Sea. Based on analysis of Odum's ecological parameters, this ecosystem was at an immature stage. Our results provide some insights into the structure and development of this ecosystem.

  15. Effects of exurban development on trophic interactions in a desert landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Context Mechanisms of ecosystem change in urbanizing landscapes are poorly understood, especially in exurban areas featuring residential or commercial development set in a matrix of modified and natural vegetation. We asked how development altered trophic interactions and ecosystem processes in the ...

  16. Trophic interactions between native and introduced fish species in a littoral fish community.

    PubMed

    Monroy, M; Maceda-Veiga, A; Caiola, N; De Sostoa, A

    2014-11-01

    The trophic interactions between 15 native and two introduced fish species, silverside Odontesthes bonariensis and rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, collected in a major fishery area at Lake Titicaca were explored by integrating traditional ecological knowledge and stable-isotope analyses (SIA). SIA suggested the existence of six trophic groups in this fish community based on δ(13)C and δ(15)N signatures. This was supported by ecological evidence illustrating marked spatial segregation between groups, but a similar trophic level for most of the native groups. Based on Bayesian ellipse analyses, niche overlap appeared to occur between small O. bonariensis (<90 mm) and benthopelagic native species (31.6%), and between the native pelagic killifish Orestias ispi and large O. bonariensis (39%) or O. mykiss (19.7%). In addition, Bayesian mixing models suggested that O. ispi and epipelagic species are likely to be the main prey items for the two introduced fish species. This study reveals a trophic link between native and introduced fish species, and demonstrates the utility of combining both SIA and traditional ecological knowledge to understand trophic relationships between fish species with similar feeding habits. PMID:25263642

  17. The loss of indirect interactions leads to cascading extinctions of carnivores.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Dirk; Sutter, Louis; van Veen, F J Frank

    2013-05-01

    Species extinctions are biased towards higher trophic levels, and primary extinctions are often followed by unexpected secondary extinctions. Currently, predictions on the vulnerability of ecological communities to extinction cascades are based on models that focus on bottom-up effects, which cannot capture the effects of extinctions at higher trophic levels. We show, in experimental insect communities, that harvesting of single carnivorous parasitoid species led to a significant increase in extinction rate of other parasitoid species, separated by four trophic links. Harvesting resulted in the release of prey from top-down control, leading to increased interspecific competition at the herbivore trophic level. This resulted in increased extinction rates of non-harvested parasitoid species when their host had become rare relative to other herbivores. The results demonstrate a mechanism for horizontal extinction cascades, and illustrate that altering the relationship between a predator and its prey can cause wide-ranging ripple effects through ecosystems, including unexpected extinctions. PMID:23445500

  18. Impact of conservation areas on trophic interactions between apex predators and herbivores on coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Rizzari, Justin R; Bergseth, Brock J; Frisch, Ashley J

    2015-04-01

    Apex predators are declining at alarming rates due to exploitation by humans, but we have yet to fully discern the impacts of apex predator loss on ecosystem function. In a management context, it is critically important to clarify the role apex predators play in structuring populations of lower trophic levels. Thus, we examined the top-down influence of reef sharks (an apex predator on coral reefs) and mesopredators on large-bodied herbivores. We measured the abundance, size structure, and biomass of apex predators, mesopredators, and herbivores across fished, no-take, and no-entry management zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia. Shark abundance and mesopredator size and biomass were higher in no-entry zones than in fished and no-take zones, which indicates the viability of strictly enforced human exclusion areas as tools for the conservation of predator communities. Changes in predator populations due to protection in no-entry zones did not have a discernible influence on the density, size, or biomass of different functional groups of herbivorous fishes. The lack of a relationship between predators and herbivores suggests that top-down forces may not play a strong role in regulating large-bodied herbivorous coral reef fish populations. Given this inconsistency with traditional ecological theories of trophic cascades, trophic structures on coral reefs may need to be reassessed to enable the establishment of appropriate and effective management regimes. PMID:25185522

  19. Patterns of top-down control in a seagrass ecosystem: could a roving apex predator induce a behaviour-mediated trophic cascade?

    PubMed

    Burkholder, Derek A; Heithaus, Michael R; Fourqurean, James W; Wirsing, Aaron; Dill, Lawrence M

    2013-11-01

    1. The loss of large-bodied herbivores and/or top predators has been associated with large-scale changes in ecosystems around the world, but there remain important questions regarding the contexts in which such changes are most likely and the mechanisms through which they occur, particularly in marine ecosystems. 2. We used long-term exclusion cages to examine the effects of large grazers (sea cows, Dugong dugon; sea turtles Chelonia mydas) on seagrass community structure, biomass and nutrient dynamics. Experiments were conducted in habitats with high risk of predation (interior of shallow banks) and lower risk (edges of banks) to elucidate whether nonconsumptive (risk) effects of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier), a roving predator, structure herbivore impacts on seagrasses. 3. In lower-risk habitats, excluding large herbivores resulted in increased leaf length for Cymodocea angustata and Halodule uninervis. C. angustata shoot densities nearly tripled when released from herbivory, while H. uninervis nearly disappeared from exclusion cages over the course of the study. 4. We found no support for the hypothesis that grazing increases seagrass nutrient content. Instead, phosphorus content was higher in seagrasses within exclosures. This pattern is consistent with decreased light availability in the denser C. angustata canopies that formed in exclosures, and may indicate that competition for light led to the decrease in H. uninervis. 5. Impacts of large grazers were consistent with a behaviour-mediated trophic cascade (BMTC) initiated by tiger sharks and mediated by risk-sensitive foraging by large grazers. 6, Our results suggest that large-bodied grazers likely played important roles in seagrass ecosystem dynamics historically and that roving predators are capable of initiating a BMTC. Conservation efforts in coastal ecosystems must account for such interactions or risk unintended consequences. PMID:23730871

  20. Accounting for size-specific predation improves our ability to predict the strength of a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Christine F; Demes, Kyle W; Salomon, Anne K

    2016-02-01

    Predation can influence the magnitude of herbivory that grazers exert on primary producers by altering both grazer abundance and their per capita consumption rates via changes in behavior, density-dependent effects, and size. Therefore, models based solely on changes in abundance may miss key components of grazing pressure. We estimated shifts in grazing pressure associated with changes in the abundance and per capita consumption rates of sea urchins triggered by size-selective predation by sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Field surveys suggest that sea otters dramatically decreased the abundance and median size of sea urchins. Furthermore, laboratory experiments revealed that kelp consumption by sea urchins varied nonlinearly as a function of urchin size such that consumption rates increased to the 0.56 and 0.68 power of biomass for red and green urchins, respectively. This reveals that shifts in urchin size structure due to size-selective predation by sea otters alter sea urchin per capita grazing rates. Comparison of two quantitative models estimating total consumptive capacity revealed that a model incorporating shifts in urchin abundance while neglecting urchin size structure overestimated grazing pressure compared to a model that incorporated size. Consequently, incorporating shifts in urchin size better predicted field estimates of kelp abundance compared to equivalent models based on urchin abundance alone. We provide strong evidence that incorporating size-specific parameters increases our ability to describe and predict trophic interactions. PMID:26941943

  1. Zooplanktivory and nutrient regeneration by invertebrate (Mysis relicta) and vertebrate (Oncorhynchus nerka) planktivores: Implications for trophic interactions in oligotrophic lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chipps, S.R.; Bennett, D.H.

    2000-01-01

    We investigated zooplanktivory and nutrient regeneration by the opossum shrimp Mysis relicta and kokanee Oncorhynchus nerka to assess the relative roles of these planktivores in oligotrophic food webs. Using bioenergetic models and clearance rate estimates, we quantified phosphorus (P) excretion rates and consumption of cladoceran prey by Mysis and kokanees in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, from 1995 to 1996. Consumption of cladoceran prey by Mysis was 186 kg ?? ha-1 ?? year-1, whereas consumption by kokanees was less than one quarter as much, at 45 kg ?? ha-1 ?? year-1. Similarly, Mysis excreted approximately 0.250 kg P ?? ha-1 ?? year-1 during nighttime migrations into the upper water column, whereas P excretion by kokanees was less than one third as much, at approximately 0.070 kg P ?? ha-1 ?? year-1. On a volumetric basis, nocturnal excretion by Mysis ranged from 0.002 to 0.007 ??g P ?? L-1 ?? d-1 and accounted for less than 1% of the soluble reactive P typically measured in the upper water column of the lake. Hence, nutrient recycling by Mysis may be limited in the upper water column because of the nocturnal feeding habitats that constrain Mysis to deeper strata for much of the day. In spring and autumn months, low abundance of cladoceran prey coincided with high seasonal energy requirements of the Mysis population that were linked to timing of annual Mysis brood release and abundance of age-0 Mysis. Predation by Mysis accounted for 5-70% of daily cladoceran standing stock, supporting the notion that seasonal availability of cladocerans may be regulated by Mysis predation. In lakes where Mysis experience little predation mortality, they likely play a dominant role in food web interactions (e.g., trophic cascades) relative to planktivorous fishes. Biotic mechanisms, such as successful predator-avoidance behavior, omnivorous feeding habits, and seasonal variation in Mysisbiomass, enhance the ability of Mysis to influence food web interactions from an intermediate

  2. Trophic interactions in the coastal ecosystem of Sri Lanka: An ECOPATH preliminary approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haputhantri, S. S. K.; Villanueva, M. C. S.; Moreau, J.

    2008-01-01

    This study attempts to assemble and summarize existing information in order to build a general representation of the trophic interactions within the shallow coastal ecosystem of Sri Lanka. A multispecific ecosystem-based approach on trophic relationships and their possible variations was performed using ECOPATH. Thirty-nine functional groups were considered representing all trophic levels in the food web. Time-dynamic simulation was carried out using the ECOSIM routine to evaluate the impact of the 1998 El Niño event on key functional groups. Results show that the time needed for any impacted functional group to recover to its initial abundance increased with the trophic level. Two time-series data sets derived from commercial catch and effort statistics were used for validation of ECOSIM results. The El Niño simulation results validated by the time-series data confirmed the ability of the proposed multispecies model to describe the sudden environmental changes. Possible impacts due to increase of fishing effort were also simulated by separately considering frequently used fishing gears. The analysis revealed that small-mesh gillnet fishery operates independently from the other existing developing fisheries in the same area and can be managed accordingly. Fishing-effort simulations suggest that the increase of fishing intensity by small-mesh gillnets would contribute to the decline of small pelagic catch. This was also found to influence the overall catch. The present level of exploitation of small pelagic fishery resources does not seem sustainable.

  3. Interaction of upstream flow distortions with high Mach number cascades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Englert, G. W.

    1981-01-01

    Features of the interaction of flow distortions, such as gusts and wakes with blade rows of advance type fans and compressors having high tip Mach numbers are modeled. A typical disturbance was assumed to have harmonic time dependence and was described, at a far upstream location, in three orthogonal spatial coordinates by a double Fourier series. It was convected at supersonic relative to a linear cascade described as an unrolled annulus. Conditions were selected so that the component of this velocity parallel to the axis of the turbomachine was subsonic, permitting interaction between blades through the upstream as well as downstream flow media. A strong, nearly normal shock was considered in the blade passages which was allowed curvature and displacement. The flows before and after the shock were linearized relative to uniform mean velocities in their respective regions. Solution of the descriptive equations was by adaption of the Wiener-Hopf technique, enabling a determination of distortion patterns through and downstream of the cascade as well as pressure distributions on the blade and surfaces. Details of interaction of the disturbance with the in-passage shock were discussed. Infuences of amplitude, wave length, and phase of the disturbance on lifts and moments of cascade configurations are presented. Numerical results are clarified by reference to an especially orderly pattern of upstream vertical motion in relation to the cascade parameters.

  4. Uncovering Trophic Interactions in Arthropod Predators through DNA Shotgun-Sequencing of Gut Contents.

    PubMed

    Paula, Débora P; Linard, Benjamin; Crampton-Platt, Alex; Srivathsan, Amrita; Timmermans, Martijn J T N; Sujii, Edison R; Pires, Carmen S S; Souza, Lucas M; Andow, David A; Vogler, Alfried P

    2016-01-01

    Characterizing trophic networks is fundamental to many questions in ecology, but this typically requires painstaking efforts, especially to identify the diet of small generalist predators. Several attempts have been devoted to develop suitable molecular tools to determine predatory trophic interactions through gut content analysis, and the challenge has been to achieve simultaneously high taxonomic breadth and resolution. General and practical methods are still needed, preferably independent of PCR amplification of barcodes, to recover a broader range of interactions. Here we applied shotgun-sequencing of the DNA from arthropod predator gut contents, extracted from four common coccinellid and dermapteran predators co-occurring in an agroecosystem in Brazil. By matching unassembled reads against six DNA reference databases obtained from public databases and newly assembled mitogenomes, and filtering for high overlap length and identity, we identified prey and other foreign DNA in the predator guts. Good taxonomic breadth and resolution was achieved (93% of prey identified to species or genus), but with low recovery of matching reads. Two to nine trophic interactions were found for these predators, some of which were only inferred by the presence of parasitoids and components of the microbiome known to be associated with aphid prey. Intraguild predation was also found, including among closely related ladybird species. Uncertainty arises from the lack of comprehensive reference databases and reliance on low numbers of matching reads accentuating the risk of false positives. We discuss caveats and some future prospects that could improve the use of direct DNA shotgun-sequencing to characterize arthropod trophic networks. PMID:27622637

  5. Multiple vs. single phytoplankton species alter stoichiometry of trophic interaction with zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Plum, Christoph; Hüsener, Matthias; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2015-11-01

    Despite the progress made in explaining trophic interactions through the stoichiometric interplay between consumers and resources, it remains unclear how the number of species in a trophic group influences the effects of elemental imbalances in food webs. Therefore, we conducted a laboratory experiment to test the hypothesis that multispecies producer assemblages alter the nutrient dynamics in a pelagic community. Four algal species were reared in mono- and polycultures under a 2 x 2 factorial combination of light and nutrient supply, thereby contrasting the stoichiometry of trophic interactions involving single vs. multiple producer species. After 9 d, these cultures were fed to the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa, and we monitored biomass, resource use, and C:N:P stoichiometry in both phyto- and zooplankton. According to our expectations, light and N supply resulted in gradients of phytoplankton biomass and nutrient composition (C:N:P). Significant net diversity effects for algal biomass and C:N:P ratios reflected the greater responsiveness of the phytoplankton polyculture to altered resource supply compared to monocultures. These alterations of elemental ratios were common, and were partly triggered by changes in species frequency in the mixtures and partly by diversity-related changes in resource use. Copepod individual biomass increased under high light (HL) and N-reduced (-N) conditions, when food was high in C:N but low in C:P and N:P, whereas copepod growth was obviously P limited, and copepod stoichiometry was not affected by phytoplankton elemental composition. Correspondingly, copepod individual biomass reflected significant net diversity effects: compared to expectations- derived from monocultures, copepod individuals feeding on algal polycultures remained smaller than predicted under HL and N-sufficient (+N) conditions but grew larger than predicted under HL, -N and low light +N conditions. In conclusion, multiple producer species altered the

  6. Cascading trait-mediated interactions induced by ant pheromones.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Hsun-Yi; Liere, Heidi; Soto, Estelí J; Perfecto, Ivette

    2012-09-01

    Trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMII) can be as important as density-mediated indirect interactions. Here, we provide evidence for a novel trait-mediated cascade (where one TMII affects another TMII) and demonstrate that the mechanism consists of a predator eavesdropping on chemical signaling. Ants protect scale insects from predation by adult coccinellid beetles - the first TMII. However, parasitic phorid flies reduce ant foraging activity by 50% - the second TMII, providing a window of opportunity for female beetles to oviposit in high-quality microsites. Beetle larvae are protected from ant predation and benefit from living in patches with high scale densities. We demonstrate that female beetles can detect pheromones released by the ant when attacked by phorids, and that only females, and especially gravid females, are attracted to the ant pheromone. As ants reduce their movement when under attack by phorids, we conclude that phorids facilitate beetle oviposition, thus producing the TMII cascade. PMID:23139877

  7. Cascading trait-mediated interactions induced by ant pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Hsun-Yi; Liere, Heidi; Soto, Estelí J; Perfecto, Ivette

    2012-01-01

    Trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMII) can be as important as density-mediated indirect interactions. Here, we provide evidence for a novel trait-mediated cascade (where one TMII affects another TMII) and demonstrate that the mechanism consists of a predator eavesdropping on chemical signaling. Ants protect scale insects from predation by adult coccinellid beetles – the first TMII. However, parasitic phorid flies reduce ant foraging activity by 50% – the second TMII, providing a window of opportunity for female beetles to oviposit in high-quality microsites. Beetle larvae are protected from ant predation and benefit from living in patches with high scale densities. We demonstrate that female beetles can detect pheromones released by the ant when attacked by phorids, and that only females, and especially gravid females, are attracted to the ant pheromone. As ants reduce their movement when under attack by phorids, we conclude that phorids facilitate beetle oviposition, thus producing the TMII cascade. PMID:23139877

  8. [Trophic chains in soil].

    PubMed

    2013-01-01

    Trophic links of soil animals are extensively diverse but also flexible. Moreover, feeding activity of large soil saprotrophs often cascades into a range of ecosystem-level consequences via the ecological engineering. Better knowledge on the main sources of energy utilized by soil animals is needed for understanding functional structure of soil animal communities and their participation in the global carbon cycling. Using published and original data, we consider the relative importance of dead organic matter and saprotrophic microorganisms as a basal energy source in the detritus-based food chains, the feeding of endogeic macrofauna on the stabilized soil organic matter, and the role of recent photosynthate in the energy budget of soil communities. Soil food webs are spatially and functionally compartmentalized, though the separation of food chains into bacteria- and fungi-based channels seems to be an over-simplification. The regulation of the litter decomposition rates via top-down trophic interactions across more than one trophic level is only partly supported by experimental data, but mobile litter-dwelling predators play a crucial role in integrating local food webs within and across neighboring ecosystems. PMID:25508107

  9. [Trophic chains in soil].

    PubMed

    Goncharov, A A; Tiunov, A V

    2013-01-01

    Trophic links of soil animals are extensively diverse but also flexible. Moreover, feeding activity of large soil saprotrophs often cascades into a range of ecosystem-level consequences via the ecological engineering. Better knowledge on the main sources of energy utilized by soil animals is needed for understanding functional structure of soil animal communities and their participation in the global carbon cycling. Using published and original data, we consider the relative importance of dead organic matter and saprotrophic microorganisms as a basal energy source in the detritus-based food chains, the feeding of endogeic macrofauna on the stabilized soil organic matter, and the role of recent photosynthate in the energy budget of soil communities. Soil food webs are spatially and functionally compartmentalized, though the separation of food chains into bacteria- and fungi-based channels seems to be an over-simplification. The regulation of the litter decomposition rates via top-down trophic interactions across more than one trophic level is only partly supported by experimental data, but mobile litter-dwelling predators play a crucial role in integrating local food webs within and across neighboring ecosystems. PMID:25438576

  10. Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat.

    PubMed

    Pasotti, Francesca; Saravia, Leonardo Ariel; De Troch, Marleen; Tarantelli, Maria Soledad; Sahade, Ricardo; Vanreusel, Ann

    2015-01-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing strong environmental changes as a consequence of ongoing regional warming. Glaciers in the area are retreating rapidly and increased sediment-laden meltwater runoff threatens the benthic biodiversity at shallow depths. We identified three sites with a distinct glacier-retreat related history and different levels of glacial influence in the inner part of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetland Islands), a fjord-like embayment impacted since the 1950s by a tidewater glacier retreat. We compared the soft sediment meio- and macrofauna isotopic niche widths (δ13C and δ15N stable isotope analysis) at the three sites to investigate possible glacier retreat-related influences on benthic trophic interactions. The isotopic niches were locally shaped by the different degrees of glacier retreat-related disturbance within the Cove. Wider isotopic niche widths were found at the site that has become ice-free most recently, and narrower niches at the older ice-free sites. At an intermediate state of glacier retreat-related disturbance (e.g. via ice-growler scouring) species with different strategies could settle. The site at the earliest stage of post-retreat development was characterized by an assemblage with lower trophic redundancy. Generally, the isotopic niche widths increased with increasing size spectra of organisms within the community, excepting the youngest assemblage, where the pioneer colonizer meiofauna size class displayed the highest isotopic niche width. Meiofauna at all sites generally occupied positions in the isotopic space that suggested a detrital-pool food source and/or the presence of predatory taxa. In general ice scour and glacial impact appeared to play a two-fold role within the Cove: i) either stimulating trophic diversity by allowing continuous re-colonization of meiofaunal species or, ii) over time driving the benthic assemblages into a more compact trophic structure with increased

  11. Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat

    PubMed Central

    Pasotti, Francesca; Saravia, Leonardo Ariel; De Troch, Marleen; Tarantelli, Maria Soledad; Sahade, Ricardo; Vanreusel, Ann

    2015-01-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing strong environmental changes as a consequence of ongoing regional warming. Glaciers in the area are retreating rapidly and increased sediment-laden meltwater runoff threatens the benthic biodiversity at shallow depths. We identified three sites with a distinct glacier-retreat related history and different levels of glacial influence in the inner part of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetland Islands), a fjord-like embayment impacted since the 1950s by a tidewater glacier retreat. We compared the soft sediment meio- and macrofauna isotopic niche widths (δ13C and δ15N stable isotope analysis) at the three sites to investigate possible glacier retreat-related influences on benthic trophic interactions. The isotopic niches were locally shaped by the different degrees of glacier retreat-related disturbance within the Cove. Wider isotopic niche widths were found at the site that has become ice-free most recently, and narrower niches at the older ice-free sites. At an intermediate state of glacier retreat-related disturbance (e.g. via ice-growler scouring) species with different strategies could settle. The site at the earliest stage of post-retreat development was characterized by an assemblage with lower trophic redundancy. Generally, the isotopic niche widths increased with increasing size spectra of organisms within the community, excepting the youngest assemblage, where the pioneer colonizer meiofauna size class displayed the highest isotopic niche width. Meiofauna at all sites generally occupied positions in the isotopic space that suggested a detrital-pool food source and/or the presence of predatory taxa. In general ice scour and glacial impact appeared to play a two-fold role within the Cove: i) either stimulating trophic diversity by allowing continuous re-colonization of meiofaunal species or, ii) over time driving the benthic assemblages into a more compact trophic structure with increased

  12. Effects of urbanization on direct and indirect interactions in a tri-trophic system.

    PubMed

    Tabea, Turrini; Dirk, Sanders; Eva, Knop

    2016-04-01

    While effects of urbanization on species assemblages are receiving increasing attention, effects on ecological interactions remain largely unexplored. We investigated how urbanization influences the strength of direct and indirect trophic interactions in a tri- trophic system. In a field experiment including five cities and nearby farmed areas, we used potted Vicia faba plants and manipulated the presence of Megoura viciae aphids and that of naturally occurring aphid predators. When predators could access aphids, they reduced their abundance less in the urban than in the agricultural ecosystem. Compared to aphid abundance on plants without predator access, abundance on plants with predator access was 2.58 times lower in urban and 5.27 times lower in agricultural areas. This indicates that urbanization limited top-down control of aphids by predators. In both ecosystems, plant biomass was negatively affected by herbivores and positively affected by predators, but the positive indirect predator effect was weaker in cities. Compared to aphid-infested plants without predator access, plants with predator access were 1.89 times heavier in urban and 2.12 times heavier in agricultural areas. Surprisingly, differences between ecosystems regarding the indirect predator effect on plants were not explained by the differentially strong herbivore suppression. Instead, the urban environment limited plant biomass per se, thereby mitigating the scope of a positive predator effect. Our results show that urbanization can influence direct and indirect trophic interactions through effects on biotic top-down forces and on plant growth. In order to understand how urbanization affects biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, it is fundamental to not only consider species assemblages, but also species interactions. PMID:27411241

  13. A Time Domain Analysis of Gust-Cascade Interaction Noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nallasamy, M.; Hixon, R.; Sawyer, S. D.; Dyson, R. W.

    2003-01-01

    The gust response of a 2 D cascade is studied by solving the full nonlinear Euler equations employing higher order accurate spatial differencing and time stepping techniques. The solutions exhibit the exponential decay of the two circumferential mode orders of the cutoff blade passing frequency (BPF) tone and propagation of one circumferential mode order at 2BPF, as would be expected for the flow configuration considered. Two frequency excitations indicate that the interaction between the frequencies and the self interaction contribute to the amplitude of the propagating mode.

  14. CXCL12 Mediates Trophic Interactions between Endothelial and Tumor Cells in Glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Choe, Eun Joo; Woerner, B. Mark; Jackson, Erin; Sun, Tao; Leonard, Jeffrey; Piwnica-Worms, David; Rubin, Joshua B.

    2012-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests endothelial cells (EC) play a critical role in promoting Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cell proliferation and resistance to therapy. The molecular basis for GBM-EC interactions is incompletely understood. We hypothesized that the chemokine CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 could mediate direct interactions between GBM cells and tumor-associated endothelial cells and that disruption of this interaction might be the molecular basis for the anti-tumor effects of CXCR4 antagonists. We investigated this possibility in vivo and in an in vitro co-culture model that incorporated extracellular matrix, primary human brain microvascular ECs (HBMECs) and either an established GBM cell line or primary GBM specimens. Depletion of CXCR4 in U87 GBM cells blocked their growth as intracranial xenografts indicating that tumor cell CXCR4 is required for tumor growth in vivo. In vitro, co-culture of either U87 cells or primary GBM cells with HBMECs resulted in their co-localization and enhanced GBM cell growth. Genetic manipulation of CXCL12 expression and pharmacological inhibition of its receptors CXCR4 and CXCR7 revealed that the localizing and trophic effects of endothelial cells on GBM cells were dependent upon CXCL12 and CXCR4. These findings indicate that the CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway directly mediates endothelial cell trophic function in GBMs and that inhibition of CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling may uniquely target this activity. Therapeutic disruption of endothelial cell trophic functions could complement the structural disruption of anti-angiogenic regimens and, in combination, might also improve the efficacy of radiation and chemotherapy in treating GBMs. PMID:22427929

  15. A role for fungi as parasites in the black box of marine trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Richards, Thomas A; Chambouvet, Aurélie

    2016-08-01

    The role of microbial parasites in aquatic environments remains under-investigated and likely under-estimated limiting our understanding of trophic interactions and biogeochemical cycles (Lefèvre et al., ; Worden et al., ). All natural interactions between microbes are difficult to capture and study but those occurring in the open ocean more so, because the scale and the complexity of the system makes repeat sampling a challenge. Lepère and colleagues, by combining a range of cell recovery and detection techniques, have identified parasitic interactions between putative fungi and eukaryotic algae (Lepère et al., ) allowing us to peer into the black box of microbial parasitism in the marine water column. PMID:26971571

  16. 'Trophic whales' as biotic buffers: weak interactions stabilize ecosystems against nutrient enrichment.

    PubMed

    Schwarzmüller, Florian; Eisenhauer, Nico; Brose, Ulrich

    2015-05-01

    Human activities may compromise biodiversity if external stressors such as nutrient enrichment endanger overall network stability by inducing unstable dynamics. However, some ecosystems maintain relatively high diversity levels despite experiencing continuing disturbances. This indicates that some intrinsic properties prevent unstable dynamics and resulting extinctions. Identifying these 'ecosystem buffers' is crucial for our understanding of the stability of ecosystems and an important tool for environmental and conservation biologists. In this vein, weak interactions have been suggested as stabilizing elements of complex systems, but their relevance has rarely been tested experimentally. Here, using network and allometric theory, we present a novel concept for a priori identification of species that buffer against externally induced instability of increased population oscillations via weak interactions. We tested our model in a microcosm experiment using a soil food-web motif. Our results show that large-bodied species feeding at the food web's base, so called 'trophic whales', can buffer ecosystems against unstable dynamics induced by nutrient enrichment. Similar to the functionality of chemical or mechanical buffers, they serve as 'biotic buffers' that take up stressor effects and thus protect fragile systems from instability. We discuss trophic whales as common functional building blocks across ecosystems. Considering increasing stressor effects under anthropogenic global change, conservation of these network-intrinsic biotic buffers may help maintain the stability and diversity of natural ecosystems. PMID:25420573

  17. Microbial trophic interactions and mcrA gene expression in monitoring of anaerobic digesters

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado, Alejandra; Montañez-Hernández, Lilia E.; Palacio-Molina, Sandra L.; Oropeza-Navarro, Ricardo; Luévanos-Escareño, Miriam P.; Balagurusamy, Nagamani

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a biological process where different trophic groups of microorganisms break down biodegradable organic materials in the absence of oxygen. A wide range of AD technologies is being used to convert livestock manure, municipal and industrial wastewaters, and solid organic wastes into biogas. AD gains importance not only because of its relevance in waste treatment but also because of the recovery of carbon in the form of methane, which is a renewable energy and is used to generate electricity and heat. Despite the advances on the engineering and design of new bioreactors for AD, the microbiology component always poses challenges. Microbiology of AD processes is complicated as the efficiency of the process depends on the interactions of various trophic groups involved. Due to the complex interdependence of microbial activities for the functionality of the anaerobic bioreactors, the genetic expression of mcrA, which encodes a key enzyme in methane formation, is proposed as a parameter to monitor the process performance in real time. This review evaluates the current knowledge on microbial groups, their interactions, and their relationship to the performance of anaerobic biodigesters with a focus on using mcrA gene expression as a tool to monitor the process. PMID:25429286

  18. Microbial trophic interactions and mcrA gene expression in monitoring of anaerobic digesters.

    PubMed

    Alvarado, Alejandra; Montañez-Hernández, Lilia E; Palacio-Molina, Sandra L; Oropeza-Navarro, Ricardo; Luévanos-Escareño, Miriam P; Balagurusamy, Nagamani

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a biological process where different trophic groups of microorganisms break down biodegradable organic materials in the absence of oxygen. A wide range of AD technologies is being used to convert livestock manure, municipal and industrial wastewaters, and solid organic wastes into biogas. AD gains importance not only because of its relevance in waste treatment but also because of the recovery of carbon in the form of methane, which is a renewable energy and is used to generate electricity and heat. Despite the advances on the engineering and design of new bioreactors for AD, the microbiology component always poses challenges. Microbiology of AD processes is complicated as the efficiency of the process depends on the interactions of various trophic groups involved. Due to the complex interdependence of microbial activities for the functionality of the anaerobic bioreactors, the genetic expression of mcrA, which encodes a key enzyme in methane formation, is proposed as a parameter to monitor the process performance in real time. This review evaluates the current knowledge on microbial groups, their interactions, and their relationship to the performance of anaerobic biodigesters with a focus on using mcrA gene expression as a tool to monitor the process. PMID:25429286

  19. Science for a wilder Anthropocene: Synthesis and future directions for trophic rewilding research

    PubMed Central

    Svenning, Jens-Christian; Pedersen, Pil B. M.; Donlan, C. Josh; Ejrnæs, Rasmus; Faurby, Søren; Galetti, Mauro; Hansen, Dennis M.; Sandel, Brody; Sandom, Christopher J.; Terborgh, John W.; Vera, Frans W. M.

    2016-01-01

    Trophic rewilding is an ecological restoration strategy that uses species introductions to restore top-down trophic interactions and associated trophic cascades to promote self-regulating biodiverse ecosystems. Given the importance of large animals in trophic cascades and their widespread losses and resulting trophic downgrading, it often focuses on restoring functional megafaunas. Trophic rewilding is increasingly being implemented for conservation, but remains controversial. Here, we provide a synthesis of its current scientific basis, highlighting trophic cascades as the key conceptual framework, discussing the main lessons learned from ongoing rewilding projects, systematically reviewing the current literature, and highlighting unintentional rewilding and spontaneous wildlife comebacks as underused sources of information. Together, these lines of evidence show that trophic cascades may be restored via species reintroductions and ecological replacements. It is clear, however, that megafauna effects may be affected by poorly understood trophic complexity effects and interactions with landscape settings, human activities, and other factors. Unfortunately, empirical research on trophic rewilding is still rare, fragmented, and geographically biased, with the literature dominated by essays and opinion pieces. We highlight the need for applied programs to include hypothesis testing and science-based monitoring, and outline priorities for future research, notably assessing the role of trophic complexity, interplay with landscape settings, land use, and climate change, as well as developing the global scope for rewilding and tools to optimize benefits and reduce human–wildlife conflicts. Finally, we recommend developing a decision framework for species selection, building on functional and phylogenetic information and with attention to the potential contribution from synthetic biology. PMID:26504218

  20. Science for a wilder Anthropocene: Synthesis and future directions for trophic rewilding research.

    PubMed

    Svenning, Jens-Christian; Pedersen, Pil B M; Donlan, C Josh; Ejrnæs, Rasmus; Faurby, Søren; Galetti, Mauro; Hansen, Dennis M; Sandel, Brody; Sandom, Christopher J; Terborgh, John W; Vera, Frans W M

    2016-01-26

    Trophic rewilding is an ecological restoration strategy that uses species introductions to restore top-down trophic interactions and associated trophic cascades to promote self-regulating biodiverse ecosystems. Given the importance of large animals in trophic cascades and their widespread losses and resulting trophic downgrading, it often focuses on restoring functional megafaunas. Trophic rewilding is increasingly being implemented for conservation, but remains controversial. Here, we provide a synthesis of its current scientific basis, highlighting trophic cascades as the key conceptual framework, discussing the main lessons learned from ongoing rewilding projects, systematically reviewing the current literature, and highlighting unintentional rewilding and spontaneous wildlife comebacks as underused sources of information. Together, these lines of evidence show that trophic cascades may be restored via species reintroductions and ecological replacements. It is clear, however, that megafauna effects may be affected by poorly understood trophic complexity effects and interactions with landscape settings, human activities, and other factors. Unfortunately, empirical research on trophic rewilding is still rare, fragmented, and geographically biased, with the literature dominated by essays and opinion pieces. We highlight the need for applied programs to include hypothesis testing and science-based monitoring, and outline priorities for future research, notably assessing the role of trophic complexity, interplay with landscape settings, land use, and climate change, as well as developing the global scope for rewilding and tools to optimize benefits and reduce human-wildlife conflicts. Finally, we recommend developing a decision framework for species selection, building on functional and phylogenetic information and with attention to the potential contribution from synthetic biology. PMID:26504218

  1. Noise generated by convected gusts interacting with swept airfoil cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Envia, E.; Kerschen, E. J.

    1986-07-01

    An analysis is developed for the noise generated by the interaction of a rotor viscous wake with a cascade of swept stator vanes. The stator vanes span a channel formed by infinite parallel walls and containing a subsonic mean flow. High frequency interactions, for which the noise generation is concentrated at the vane leading edge, are considered. The analysis utilizes a superposition of the solution to the isolated stator vane problem, presented in an earlier paper, to develop an approximate solution to the cascade problem. The rotor wake model includes the features of wake circumferential lean and a linear spanwise variation of the magnitude of the wake deficit velocity. Calculations are presented which show that, for rotor wakes with moderate circumferential lean, stator sweep produces substantial reductions in noise level. The vane sweep must be oriented to enhance the phase lags along the vane leading edge produced by wake lean. The noise levels are found to be fairly insensitive to spanwise variations in the wake deficit.

  2. Food-web dynamics and trophic-level interactions in a multispecies community of freshwater unionids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, S.J.; Garling, D.

    2000-01-01

    We compared feeding habits and trophic-level relationships of unionid species in a detritus-dominated river and an alga-dominated lake using biochemical analyses, gut contents, and stable-isotope ratios. The δ13C ratios for algae and other food-web components show that all unionids from both the river and the lake used bacterial carbons, not algal carbons, as their main dietary source, in spite of positive selection and concentration of diatoms and green algae from the water column in the gut and mantle cavity. Algae did provide key nutrients such as vitamins A and D and phytosterols that were bioaccumulated in the tissues of all species. The δ15N ratios for the multispecies unionid community in the Huron River indicated some differences in nitrogen enrichment between species, the greatest enrichment being found in Pyganadon grandis. These δ15N ratios indicate that unionids may not always feed as primary consumers or omnivores. Stable-isotope data were critical for delineating diets and trophic-level interactions of this group of filter-feeders. Further refinements in identifying bacterial and picoplankton components of the fine particulate organic matter are needed to complete our understanding of resource partitioning between multispecies unionid populations.

  3. Trophic interactions in the St. Lawrence Estuary (Canada): Must the blue whale compete for krill?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savenkoff, C.; Comtois, S.; Chabot, D.

    2013-09-01

    Inverse methodology was used to construct a mass-balance model of the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary (LSLE) for the 2008-2010 time period. Our first objective was to make an overall description of community structure, trophic interactions, and the effects of fishing and predation on the vertebrate and invertebrate communities of the ecosystem. A second objective was to identify other important predators of krill, and to assess if these compete with blue whales, listed as endangered under the Canadian Species at Risk Act in 2005 (northwest Atlantic population). The Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence are summer feeding grounds for blue whales and other marine mammals. Blue whales eat only euphausiids (krill) and require dense concentrations of prey to meet their energy requirements, which makes them particularly vulnerable to changes in prey availability. In the LSLE, many species from secondary producers (hyperiid amphipods, other macrozooplankton) to top predators (fish, birds, and marine mammals) consumed euphausiids. Consequently, krill predators were found at all consumer trophic levels. However, our results showed that only about 35% of the estimated euphausiid production was consumed by all predator species combined. Euphausiid did not seem to be a restricted resource in the LSLE ecosystem, at least during the study period. The blue whale did not appear to have to compete for krill in the LSLE.

  4. Interactions between trophic levels in upwelling and non-upwelling regions during summer monsoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malik, A.; Fernandes, C. E. G.; Gonsalves, M.-J. B. D.; Subina, N. S.; Mamatha, S. S.; Krishna, K.; Varik, S.; Kumari, R.; Gauns, M.; Cejoice, R. P.; Pandey, S. S.; Jineesh, V. K.; Kamaleson, A. S.; Vijayan, V.; Mukherjee, I.; Subramanyan, S.; Nair, S.; Ingole, B.; LokaBharathi, P. A.

    2015-01-01

    Coastal upwelling is a regular phenomenon occurring along the southwest coast of India during summer monsoon (May-September). We hypothesize that there could be a shift in environmental parameters along with changes in the network of interactions between bacteria, phytoplankton, and zooplankton in upwelling and non-upwelling regions. During cruise # 267 on FORV Sagar Sampada, water samples were analysed for environmental and biological parameters from two transects, one upwelling region off Trivandrum (TVM) (8°26‧N, 76°20‧E-8°30‧N, 76°50‧E), and the other non-upwelling region off Calicut (CLT) (11°11‧N, 75°30‧E-11°14‧N,74°54‧E), about 230 nmi to the north. Meteorological, hydrological, and nutrient profiles confirmed upwelling off TVM. Bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton significantly responded. Primary and bacterial productivity enhanced together with increase in the percentage of viable bacteria (TVC). Pearson's correlation analysis pointed out the differences in bacterial interactions with other trophic levels at both transects. TVC played a prominent role in trophic interactions off TVM by depending on phytoplankton for substrate (r = 0.754). This contrasted with CLT where total counts (TC) played an important role. However, most interrelationships were less pronounced. Principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed the correlation analysis and further showed that the factor loadings of the biotic and abiotic parameters differed in strength and direction in the two regions. More importantly, the processes of mineralization by bacteria and uptake by phytoplankton are obviously more coupled off TVM as evidenced by the clustering of the related parameters in the PCA biplot. Canonical correspondence analysis also complements these findings and demonstrated that the abiotic factors influenced phytoplankton and bacteria similarly at TVM but differently at CLT. The impact on the trophic interrelationships is evident by the close association

  5. Climatic control of trophic interaction strength: the effect of lizards on spiders.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2008-01-01

    We investigated how temporal variation in rainfall influences the impact of lizards on spiders inhabiting small islands in Abaco, Bahamas. Annual censuses of web spiders were conducted on nine lizard islands and on eight no-lizard islands 1994-2003. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that annual variation in spider density (time) and in the lizard effect on spider density (lizard x time) were both significant. Correlation coefficients between the lizard effect (ln ratio of no-lizard to lizard spider densities) and number of rainfall days were generally negative, and strengthened with length of the time period during which rainfall was measured prior to annual spider censuses. Spider density was also negatively correlated with rainfall days and strengthened with length of the prior time period. Longer time intervals included the hurricane season, suggesting that the strong negative correlations were linked to high rainfall years during which tropical storms impacted the region and reduced spider and lizard densities. Split-plot ANOVA showed that rainfall during the hurricane season had a significant effect on the lizard effect and on spider density. Results in this study are opposite to those found in our previous 10-year study (1981-1990) conducted in the Exuma Cays, a moderately xeric region of the Bahamas, where the relation between rainfall and the lizard effect on spider density was positive. Combined data from the Exuma and Abaco studies produce a unimodal relation between trophic interaction strength and rainfall; we suggest that the negative effect of storms associated with rainfall was paramount in the present study, whereas the positive bottom-up effect of rainfall prevailed in our previous study. We conclude that climatic variability has a major impact on the trophic interaction and suggest that a substantial change in precipitation in either direction may weaken the interaction significantly. PMID:17972107

  6. Trophic interactions in the plankton of Malyi Sevan in July, 1984

    SciTech Connect

    Gulelmacher, B.L.; Simonyan, A.A.

    1986-09-01

    This paper describes some studies of the trophic interactions in the plankton in Lchashenskaya Bay in Malyi Sevan in July, 1984. The goal was to study the feeding characteristics of the major crustacean species and their influence on the phytoplankton. To study the effect of the planktonic crustaceans on the phytoplankton, a flask with an added 50 Acanthodiaptomus and a flask without crustaceans were exposed for 24 h after which a radioactive carbon isotope was added to them in the form of sodium carbonate. The radioactivity of the filters and working solutions was measured and autoradiographic preparations were made. It is shown that the more than threefold drop in the quantity of algae in a flask resulting from crustacean feeding did not lead to a significant decrease in primary production.

  7. Indirect trophic interactions with an invasive species affect phenotypic divergence in a top consumer.

    PubMed

    Hirsch, P E; Eklöv, P; Svanbäck, R

    2013-05-01

    While phenotypic responses to direct species interactions are well studied, we know little about the consequences of indirect interactions for phenotypic divergence. In this study we used lakes with and without the zebra mussel to investigate effects of indirect trophic interactions on phenotypic divergence between littoral and pelagic perch. We found a greater phenotypic divergence between littoral and pelagic individuals in lakes with zebra mussels and propose a mussel-mediated increase in pelagic and benthic resource availability as a major factor underlying this divergence. Lakes with zebra mussels contained higher densities of large plankton taxa and large invertebrates. We suggest that this augmented resource availability improved perch foraging opportunities in both the littoral and pelagic zones. Perch in both habitats could hence express a more specialized foraging morphology, leading to an increased divergence of perch forms in lakes with zebra mussels. As perch do not prey on mussels directly, we conclude that the increased divergence results from indirect interactions with the mussels. Our results hence suggest that species at lower food web levels can indirectly affect phenotypic divergence in species at the top of the food chain. PMID:23463242

  8. Vole and lemming activity observed from space: trophic cascade driven interannual vegetation cycles at a regional scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olofsson, J.; Tömmervik, H.; Callaghan, T.

    2011-12-01

    Present global warming requires an understanding of the factors controlling plant biomass and production. The extent to which plant biomass and production is controlled by bottom-up drivers like climate, nutrient and water availability and by top down drivers like herbivory and diseases in terrestrial systems is still under debate. By annually recording plant biomass and community composition in grazed control plots and in herbivore-free exclosures, at twelve sites in a subarctic ecosystem, we were able to show that the regular interannual density fluctuations of voles and lemmings drive synchronous interannual fluctuations in biomass of ground and field layer vegetation (Fig. 1). The effect of the rodents on the vegetation is so strong that it can be detected in fluctuations of NDVI estimates from satellite images of a 20km2 area of tundra heathland. Plant biomass in the field layer was between 9 and 23% lower and NDVI was between 1 % and 25 % lower, the year after a vole peak than the year before. The synchronous decline of most dominant shrub species in the winter following an autumn rodent peak drives the fluctuations in total plant biomass. That the rodent cycles are detectable from satellite images, despite the wide range of abiotic, biotic and antropogenic forces that influence the vegetation, shows that the effects of rodents are strong enough to influence how primary production, carbon storage and biodiversity will respond to ongoing and future climate change. Changes of the rodent cycle may thus cause cascading changes of ecosystem functioning in a changing climate.

  9. The effects of urbanization on trophic interactions in a desert landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Question/Methods: Trophic systems can be affected through top-down (predators) and bottom-up (resources) impacts. Human activity can alter trophic systems by causing predators to avoid areas (top-down) or by providing increased resources through irrigation and decorative plants that attra...

  10. Imprudent fishing harvests and consequent trophic cascades on the West Florida shelf over the last half century: A harbinger of increased human deaths from paralytic shellfish poisoning along the southeastern United States, in response to oligotrophication?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, J. J.; Tomas, C. R.; Steidinger, K. A.; Lenes, J. M.; Chen, F. R.; Weisberg, R. H.; Zheng, L.; Landsberg, J. H.; Vargo, G. A.; Heil, C. A.

    2011-06-01

    Within the context of ubiquitous overfishing of piscivores, recent consequent increments of jellyfish and clupeids have occurred at the zooplanktivore trophic level in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), after overfishing of one of their predators, i.e. red snapper. Initiation of a local trophic cascade thence led to declines of herbivore stocks, documented here on the West Florida shelf. These exacerbating world-wide trophic cascades have resulted in larger harmful algal blooms (HABs), already present at the base of most coastal food webs. Impacts on human health have thus far been minimal within nutrient-rich coastal regions. To provide a setting for past morbidities, consideration is given to chronologies of other trophic cascades within eutrophic, cold water marine ecosystems of the Scotian Sea, in the Gulf of Alaska, off Southwest Africa, within the Barents, White, and Black Seas, in the Gulf of Maine, and finally in the North Sea. Next, comparison is now made here of recent ten-fold increments within Florida waters of both relatively benign and saxitoxic HABs, some of which are fatal to humans. These events are placed in a perspective of other warm shelf systems of the South China and Caribbean Seas to assess prior and possible future poison toxicities of oligotrophic coastal habitats. Past wide-spread kills of fishes and sea urchins over the Caribbean Sea and the downstream GOM are examined in relation to the potential transmission of dinoflagellate saxitoxin and other epizootic poison vectors by western boundary currents over larger "commons" than local embayments. Furthermore, since some HABs produce more potent saxitoxins upon nutrient depletion, recent decisions to ban seasonal fertilizer applications to Florida lawns may have unintended consequences. In the future, human-killing phytoplankton, rather than relatively benign fish-killing HABs of the past, may be dispersed along the southeastern United States seaboard.

  11. Interaction of LRRK2 with kinase and GTPase signaling cascades

    PubMed Central

    Boon, Joon Y.; Dusonchet, Julien; Trengrove, Chelsea; Wolozin, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    LRRK2 is a protein that interacts with a plethora of signaling molecules, but the complexity of LRRK2 function presents a challenge for understanding the role of LRRK2 in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Studies of LRRK2 using over-expression in transgenic mice have been disappointing, however, studies using invertebrate systems have yielded a much clearer picture, with clear effects of LRRK2 expression, knockdown or deletion in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila on modulation of survival of dopaminergic neurons. Recent studies have begun to focus attention on particular signaling cascades that are a target of LRRK2 function. LRRK2 interacts with members of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and might regulate the pathway action by acting as a scaffold that directs the location of MAPK pathway activity, without strongly affecting the amount of MAPK pathway activity. Binding to GTPases, GTPase-activating proteins and GTPase exchange factors are another strong theme in LRRK2 biology, with LRRK2 binding to rac1, cdc42, rab5, rab7L1, endoA, RGS2, ArfGAP1, and ArhGEF7. All of these molecules appear to feed into a function output for LRRK2 that modulates cytoskeletal outgrowth and vesicular dynamics, including autophagy. These functions likely impact modulation of α-synuclein aggregation and associated toxicity eliciting the disease processes that we term PD. PMID:25071441

  12. NanoSIMS study of trophic interactions in the coral-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, Christophe; Mathieu, Pernice; Domart-Coulon, Isabelle; Djediat, Chakib; Spangenberg, Jorge; Alexander, Duncan; Hignette, Michel; Meziane, Tarik; Meibom, Anders

    2013-04-01

    Tropical and subtropical reef-building corals generally form a stable endosymbiotic association with autotrophic single-celled dinoflagellate algae, commonly known as "zooxanthellae", which is crucial for the development of coral reef ecosystems. In the present work, the spatial and temporal dynamics of trophic interactions between corals and their dinoflagellates was investigated in situ and at a subcellular level in the reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and quantitative NanoSIMS isotopic imaging of tissue ultra-thin sections (70 nm) were combined to precisely track the assimilation and the fate of 15N-labeled compounds (ammonium, nitrate and aspartic acid) within each symbiotic partner of the coral-dinoflagellate association. Among our main results, we found that (i) both dinoflagellate algae and coral tissue rapidly assimilate ammonium and aspartic acid from the environment, (ii) however only the dinoflagellates assimilate nitrate, (ii) nitrogen is rapidly and temporary stored within the dinoflagellate cells into uric acid crystals, and (iii) the dinoflagellate endosymbionts translocate nitrogenous compounds to their coral host. This study paves the way for exploring in details the wide range of metabolic interactions between partners of any symbiosis in the biosphere.

  13. Detritivores ameliorate the enhancing effect of plant-based trophic cascades on nitrogen cycling in an old-field system.

    PubMed

    Buchkowski, Robert W; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-04-01

    Nitrogen (N) cycling is a fundamental process central to numerous ecosystem functions and services. Accumulating evidence suggests that species within detritus- and plant-based food chains can play an instrumental role in regulating this process. However, the effects of each food chain are usually examined in isolation of each other, so it remains uncertain if their effects are equally important or if one chain exerts predominant control. We experimentally manipulated the species composition of detritus-based (isopods and spiders) and plant-based (grasshoppers and spiders) food chains individually and in combination within mesocosms containing plants and microbes from an old-field ecosystem. We tested: (i) their relative impact on N cycling, and (ii) whether interactions between them moderated the influence of one group or the other. We found that spiders in plant-based food chains exerted the only positive effect on N cycling. Detritus-based food chains had no net effects on N cycling but, when combined with plant-based food chains, ameliorated the positive effects of plant-based species. Our results suggest that detritus-based food chains may ultimately limit rates of N cycling by eroding the enhancing effects of plant-based food chains when antagonistic interactions between detritus- and plant-based species exist. PMID:25878045

  14. Detritivores ameliorate the enhancing effect of plant-based trophic cascades on nitrogen cycling in an old-field system

    PubMed Central

    Buchkowski, Robert W.; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) cycling is a fundamental process central to numerous ecosystem functions and services. Accumulating evidence suggests that species within detritus- and plant-based food chains can play an instrumental role in regulating this process. However, the effects of each food chain are usually examined in isolation of each other, so it remains uncertain if their effects are equally important or if one chain exerts predominant control. We experimentally manipulated the species composition of detritus-based (isopods and spiders) and plant-based (grasshoppers and spiders) food chains individually and in combination within mesocosms containing plants and microbes from an old-field ecosystem. We tested: (i) their relative impact on N cycling, and (ii) whether interactions between them moderated the influence of one group or the other. We found that spiders in plant-based food chains exerted the only positive effect on N cycling. Detritus-based food chains had no net effects on N cycling but, when combined with plant-based food chains, ameliorated the positive effects of plant-based species. Our results suggest that detritus-based food chains may ultimately limit rates of N cycling by eroding the enhancing effects of plant-based food chains when antagonistic interactions between detritus- and plant-based species exist. PMID:25878045

  15. Weak trophic interactions among birds, insects and white oak saplings (Quercus alba)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lichtenberg, J.S.; Lichtenberg, D.A.

    2002-01-01

    We examined the interactions among insectivorous birds, arthropods and white oak saplings (Quercus alba L.) in a temperate deciduous forest under 'open' and 'closed' canopy environments. For 2 y, we compared arthropod densities, leaf damage and sapling growth. Saplings from each canopy environment were assigned to one of four treatments: (1) reference, (2) bird exclosure, (3) insecticide and (4) exclosure + insecticide. Sap-feeding insects were the most abundant arthropod feeding guild encountered and birds reduced sap-feeder densities in 1997, but not in 1998. Although there was no detectable influence of birds on leaf-chewer densities in either year, leaf damage to saplings was greater within bird exclosures than outside of bird exclosures in 1997. Insecticide significantly reduced arthropod densities and leaf damage to saplings, but there was no corresponding increase in sapling growth. Growth and biomass were greater for saplings in more open canopy environments for both years. Sap-feeder densities were higher on closed canopy than open canopy saplings in 1997, but canopy environment did not influence the effects of birds on lower trophic levels. Although previous studies have found birds to indirectly influence plant growth and biomass, birds did not significantly influence the growth or biomass of white oak saplings during our study.

  16. [Pollinators of Bertholletia excelsa (Lecythidales: Lecythidaceae): interactions with stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) and trophic niche].

    PubMed

    Santos, Charles F; Absy, Maria L

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the foraging behavior and interactions of Xylocopa frontalis Olivier (Apidae: Xylocopini) and Eulaema mocsaryi (Friese) (Apidae: Euglossini) in the presence of stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) in flowers of Bertholletia excelsa, the Brazilian nut. The palynological load carried by both species was also examined. This study was conducted in the farm Aruanã, Itacoatiara/ Amazonas state, Brazil, during the flowering peak of B. excelsa. The visitation by the main pollinators X. frontalis and E. mocsaryi were influenced by the presence and activities of stingless bees in the flowers of B. excelsa. Meliponini bees did not have any effect on the visits and collection of floral resources by X. frontalis, while negatively affecting the number of visits by E. mocsaryi. The stingless bees presented a variety of strategies to get access to pollen grains of B. excelsa, grouped into two categories: opportunism -Frieseomelitta trichocerata Moure, Tetragona goettei (Friese), and Tetragona kaieteurensis (Schwarz), and stealing -Trigona branneri Cockerell, Trigona fuscipennis Friese, and Trigona guianae Cockerell. The palynological analysis from X. frontalis showed that the bee collected pollen in a few species of plants, but mainly on B. excelsa. The pollen grains of B. excelsa were poorly represented in the pollen shipments of E. mocsaryi, due to its large trophic niche in the locality. PMID:21271049

  17. Trophic interactions and direct physical effects control phytoplankton biomass and production in an estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alpine, A.E.; Cloern, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    San Francisco Bay has recently been invaded by the suspension-feeding clam Potamocorbula amurensis. Previous work has shown that phytoplankton biomass in the upper estuary is low (2-3 mg Chl a m-3) during seasonal periods of high river flow and short residence time and it is usually high (peak >30 mg Chl a m-3) during the summer-autumn seasons of low river flow and long residence time. However since P. amurensis became widespread and abundant in 1987, the summer phytoplankton biomass maximum has disappeared, presumably because of increased grazing pressure by this newly introduced species. For 1977-1990, mean estimated primary production was only 39 g C m-2 yr-1 during years when bivalve suspension feeders were abundant (>2000 m-2), compared to 106 g C m-2 yr-1 when bivalves were absent or present in low numbers. These observations support the hypothesis that seasonal and interannual fluctuations in estuarine phytoplankton biomass and primary production can be regulated jointly by direct physical effects (eg river-driven transport) and trophic interactions (episodes of enhanced grazing pressure by immigrant populations of benthic suspension feeders). -from Authors

  18. Food Web Architecture and Basal Resources Interact to Determine Biomass and Stoichiometric Cascades along a Benthic Food Web

    PubMed Central

    Guariento, Rafael D.; Carneiro, Luciana S.; Caliman, Adriano; Leal, João J. F.; Bozelli, Reinaldo L.; Esteves, Francisco A.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the effects of predators and resources on primary producers has been a major focus of interest in ecology. Within this context, the trophic cascade concept especially concerning the pelagic zone of lakes has been the focus of the majority of these studies. However, littoral food webs could be especially interesting because base trophic levels may be strongly regulated by consumers and prone to be light limited. In this study, the availability of nutrients and light and the presence of an omnivorous fish (Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus) were manipulated in enclosures placed in a humic coastal lagoon (Cabiúnas Lagoon, Macaé – RJ) to evaluate the individual and interactive effects of resource availability (nutrients and light) and food web configuration on the biomass and stoichiometry of periphyton and benthic grazers. Our findings suggest that light and nutrients interact to determine periphyton biomass and stoichiometry, which propagates to the consumer level. We observed a positive effect of the availability of nutrients on periphytic biomass and grazers' biomass, as well as a reduction of periphytic C∶N∶P ratios and an increase of grazers' N and P content. Low light availability constrained the propagation of nutrient effects on periphyton biomass and induced higher periphytic C∶N∶P ratios. The effects of fish presence strongly interacted with resource availability. In general, a positive effect of fish presence was observed for the total biomass of periphyton and grazer's biomass, especially with high resource availability, but the opposite was found for periphytic autotrophic biomass. Fish also had a significant effect on periphyton stoichiometry, but no effect was observed on grazers' stoichiometric ratios. In summary, we observed that the indirect effect of fish predation on periphyton biomass might be dependent on multiple resources and periphyton nutrient stoichiometric variation can affect consumers' stoichiometry. PMID:21789234

  19. Complex trophic interactions of calanoid copepods in the Benguela upwelling system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schukat, Anna; Auel, Holger; Teuber, Lena; Lahajnar, Niko; Hagen, Wilhelm

    2014-01-01

    Life-cycle adaptations, dietary preferences and trophic levels of calanoid copepods from the northern Benguela Current off Namibia were determined via lipid classes, marker fatty acids and stable isotope analyses, respectively. Trophic levels of copepod species were compared to other zooplankton and top consumers. Lipid class analyses revealed that three of the dominant calanoid copepod species stored wax esters, four accumulated triacylglycerols and another three species were characterised by high phospholipid levels. The two biomarker approaches (via fatty acids and stable isotopes) revealed a complex pattern of trophic positions for the various copepod species, but also highlighted the dietary importance of diatoms and dinoflagellates. Calanoides carinatus and Nannocalanus minor occupied the lowest trophic level (predominantly herbivorous) corresponding to high amounts of fatty acid markers for diatoms (e.g. 16:1(n - 7)) and dinoflagellates (e.g. 18:4(n - 3)). These two copepod species represent the classical link between primary production and higher trophic levels. All other copepods belonged to secondary or even tertiary (some deep-sea copepods) consumers. The calanoid copepod species cover the entire range of δ15N ratios, as compared to δ15N ratios of all non-calanoid taxa investigated, from salps to adult fish. These data emphasise that the trophic roles of calanoid copepods are far more complex than just interlinking primary producers with pelagic fish, which should also be considered in the process of developing realistic food-web models of coastal upwelling systems.

  20. Hazard Interactions and Interaction Networks (Cascades) within Multi-Hazard Methodologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, Joel; Malamud, Bruce D.

    2016-04-01

    Here we combine research and commentary to reinforce the importance of integrating hazard interactions and interaction networks (cascades) into multi-hazard methodologies. We present a synthesis of the differences between 'multi-layer single hazard' approaches and 'multi-hazard' approaches that integrate such interactions. This synthesis suggests that ignoring interactions could distort management priorities, increase vulnerability to other spatially relevant hazards or underestimate disaster risk. We proceed to present an enhanced multi-hazard framework, through the following steps: (i) describe and define three groups (natural hazards, anthropogenic processes and technological hazards/disasters) as relevant components of a multi-hazard environment; (ii) outline three types of interaction relationship (triggering, increased probability, and catalysis/impedance); and (iii) assess the importance of networks of interactions (cascades) through case-study examples (based on literature, field observations and semi-structured interviews). We further propose visualisation frameworks to represent these networks of interactions. Our approach reinforces the importance of integrating interactions between natural hazards, anthropogenic processes and technological hazards/disasters into enhanced multi-hazard methodologies. Multi-hazard approaches support the holistic assessment of hazard potential, and consequently disaster risk. We conclude by describing three ways by which understanding networks of interactions contributes to the theoretical and practical understanding of hazards, disaster risk reduction and Earth system management. Understanding interactions and interaction networks helps us to better (i) model the observed reality of disaster events, (ii) constrain potential changes in physical and social vulnerability between successive hazards, and (iii) prioritise resource allocation for mitigation and disaster risk reduction.

  1. Chemosensory reception, behavioral expression, and ecological interactions at multiple trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Ryan P; Zimmer, Richard K

    2007-05-01

    Chemoreception may function throughout an entire animal lifetime, with independent, stage-specific selection pressures leading to changes in physiological properties, behavioral expression, and hence, trophic interactions. When the California newt (Taricha torosa) metamorphoses from an entirely aquatic larva to a semi-terrestrial juvenile/adult form, its chemosensory organs undergo dramatic reorganization. The relationship between newt life-history stage and chemosensory-mediated behavior was established by comparing responses of adults (as determined here) to those of conspecific larvae (as studied previously). Bioassays were performed in mountain streams, testing responses of free-ranging adults to 13 individual l-amino acids. Relative to stream water (controls), adults turned immediately upcurrent and moved to the source of arginine, glycine or alanine release. These responses were indicative of predatory search. Arginine was the strongest attractant tested, with a response threshold (median effective dose) of 8.3x10(-7) mol l(-1) (uncorrected for dilution associated with chemical release and delivery). In contrast to adult behavior, arginine suppressed cannibal-avoidance and failed to evoke search reactions in larvae. For a common set of arginine analogs, the magnitudes of adult attraction and larval suppression were not positively correlated. Suppression of cannibal-avoidance behavior in larvae was unaffected by most structural modifications of the arginine molecule. Adult behavior, on the other hand, was strongly influenced by even subtle alterations in the parent compound. Reactions to arginine in both adults and larvae were eliminated by blocking the external openings of the nasal cavity. Stimulating adult predatory search in one case and inhibiting larval cannibal avoidance in the other, arginine is a chemical signal with opposing behavioral effects and varying ecological consequences. Significant differences between responses of adults and larvae to

  2. Establishment and metabolic analysis of a model microbial community for understanding trophic and electron accepting interactions of subsurface anaerobic environments

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Lance D; Mosher, Jennifer J; Venkateswaran, Amudhan; Yang, Zamin Koo; Palumbo, Anthony Vito; Phelps, Tommy Joe; Podar, Mircea; Schadt, Christopher Warren; Keller, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Communities of microorganisms control the rates of key biogeochemical cycles, and are important for biotechnology, bioremediation, and industrial microbiological processes. For this reason, we constructed a model microbial community comprised of three species dependent on trophic interactions. The three species microbial community was comprised of Clostridium cellulolyticum, Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, and Geobacter sulfurreducens and was grown under continuous culture conditions. Cellobiose served as the carbon and energy source for C. cellulolyticum, whereas D. vulgaris and G. sulfurreducens derived carbon and energy from the metabolic products of cellobiose fermentation and were provided with sulfate and fumarate respectively as electron acceptors.

  3. Protein-protein interactions in plant mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tong; Chen, Sixue; Harmon, Alice C

    2016-02-01

    Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) form tightly controlled signaling cascades that play essential roles in plant growth, development, and defense. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying MAPK cascades are still elusive, due largely to our poor understanding of how they relay the signals. Extensive effort has been devoted to characterization of MAPK-substrate interactions to illustrate phosphorylation-based signaling. The diverse MAPK substrates identified also shed light on how spatiotemporal-specific protein-protein interactions function in distinct MAPK cascade-mediated biological processes. This review surveys various technologies used for characterizing MAPK-substrate interactions and presents case studies of MPK4 and MPK6, highlighting the multiple functions of MAPKs. Mass spectrometry-based approaches in identifying MAPK-interacting proteins are emphasized due to their increasing utility and effectiveness. The potential for using MAPKs and their substrates in enhancing plant stress tolerance is also discussed. PMID:26646897

  4. Herbivore-initiated interaction cascades and their modulation by productivity in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Pringle, Robert M; Young, Truman P; Rubenstein, Daniel I; McCauley, Douglas J

    2007-01-01

    Despite conceptual recognition that indirect effects initiated by large herbivores are likely to have profound impacts on ecological community structure and function, the existing literature on indirect effects focuses largely on the role of predators. As a result, we know neither the frequency and extent of herbivore-initiated indirect effects nor the mechanisms that regulate their strength. We examined the effects of ungulates on taxa (plants, arthropods, and an insectivorous lizard) representing several trophic levels, using a series of large, long-term, ungulate-exclusion plots that span a landscape-scale productivity gradient in an African savanna. At each of six sites, lizards, trees, and the numerically dominant order of arthropods (Coleoptera) were more abundant in the absence of ungulates. The effect of ungulates on arthropods was mediated by herbaceous vegetation cover. The effect on lizards was simultaneously mediated by both tree density (lizard microhabitat) and arthropod abundance (lizard food). The magnitudes of the experimental effects on all response variables (trees, arthropods, and lizards) were negatively correlated with two distinct measures of primary productivity. These results demonstrate strong cascading effects of ungulates, both trophic and nontrophic, and support the hypothesis that productivity regulates the strength of these effects. Hence, the strongest indirect effects (and thus, the greatest risks to ecosystem integrity after large mammals are extirpated) are likely to occur in low-productivity habitats. PMID:17190823

  5. Spatial analysis of the trophic interactions between two juvenile fish species and their preys along a coastal-estuarine gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, Dorothée; Le Bris, Hervé; Grimaud, Lucille; Nérot, Caroline; Brind'Amour, Anik

    2013-08-01

    Coastal and estuarine systems provide nursery grounds for many marine fish species. Their productivity has been correlated with terrigeneous inputs entering the coastal-estuarine benthic food web, thereby favouring the establishment of fish juveniles. Studies in these ecosystems often describe the nursery as a single large habitat without verifying nor considering the presence of contiguous habitats. Our study aimed at identifying different habitats based on macrozoobenthic communities and morpho-sedimentary characteristics and assessing the trophic interactions between fish juveniles and their benthic preys within these habitats. It included 43 sampling sites covering 5 habitats in which we described taxonomically and quantitatively the invertebrates and fish communities with stable isotopes and gut contents. It suggested that the benthic common sole Solea solea displayed feeding plasticity at the population level, separating the juveniles (G0) from the older fish (G1) into different "feeding sub-populations". Size-based feeding plasticity was also observable in the spatial occupancy of that species in the studied bay. The demersal pouting, Trisopterus luscus, equally used the different habitats but displayed low feeding plasticity across and inside each habitat. Stable isotopes proved to be powerful tools to study the spatial distribution of trophic interactions in complex ecosystems like the bay of Vilaine and to define optimal habitats for fish that use the coastal-estuarine ecosystem as nursery grounds.

  6. Elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} alters root-microbe interactions and belowground trophic structure

    SciTech Connect

    Klironomos, J.N.; Rillig, M.C.; Allen, M.F.

    1995-09-01

    Various aspects of plant and ecosystem responses to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide have been described. However, very little is known about the fate of carbon allocated belowground, microbial activity, and trophic structure in the rhizosphere. Rhizosphere microbes are fed primarily by root-derived substrates, fulfill functions such as mineralization, immobilization, decomposition, pathogeneity, and improvement of plant nutrition, and form the base of the below-ground food web. Belowground processes have so far been monitored using a black-box approach, thereby ignoring effects of global change at a finer (functional group) level of resolution. This study is the first to describe shifts in the activity and dominance between microbial functional groups, and the results of this on higher trophic levels. We observed that, in a nutrient-rich soil, carbon flow in the plant-soil system was shunted from a mutualistic-closed, mycorrhizal dominated flow to an opportunist-open, saprobe/pathogen dominated one. This indicates that elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} may lead to far less predictable consequences than previously thought.

  7. Establishment and metabolic analysis of a model microbial community for understanding trophic and electron accepting interactions of subsurface anaerobic environments

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Communities of microorganisms control the rates of key biogeochemical cycles, and are important for biotechnology, bioremediation, and industrial microbiological processes. For this reason, we constructed a model microbial community comprised of three species dependent on trophic interactions. The three species microbial community was comprised of Clostridium cellulolyticum, Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, and Geobacter sulfurreducens and was grown under continuous culture conditions. Cellobiose served as the carbon and energy source for C. cellulolyticum, whereas D. vulgaris and G. sulfurreducens derived carbon and energy from the metabolic products of cellobiose fermentation and were provided with sulfate and fumarate respectively as electron acceptors. Results qPCR monitoring of the culture revealed C. cellulolyticum to be dominant as expected and confirmed the presence of D. vulgaris and G. sulfurreducens. Proposed metabolic modeling of carbon and electron flow of the three-species community indicated that the growth of C. cellulolyticum and D. vulgaris were electron donor limited whereas G. sulfurreducens was electron acceptor limited. Conclusions The results demonstrate that C. cellulolyticum, D. vulgaris, and G. sulfurreducens can be grown in coculture in a continuous culture system in which D. vulgaris and G. sulfurreducens are dependent upon the metabolic byproducts of C. cellulolyticum for nutrients. This represents a step towards developing a tractable model ecosystem comprised of members representing the functional groups of a trophic network. PMID:20497531

  8. Hydrogen sulphide in cardiovascular system: A cascade from interaction between sulphur atoms and signalling molecules.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ming-Jie; Cai, Wen-Jie; Zhu, Yi-Chun

    2016-05-15

    As a gasotransmitter, hydrogen sulphide exerts its extensive physiological and pathophysiological effects in mammals. The interaction between sulphur atoms and signalling molecules forms a cascade that modulates cellular functions and homeostasis. In this review, we focus on the signalling mechanism underlying the effect of hydrogen sulphide in the cardiovascular system and metabolism as well as the biological relevance to human diseases. PMID:27071836

  9. Benchmark Solution For The Category 3, Problem 2: Cascade - Gust Interaction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Envia, Edmane

    2004-01-01

    The benchmark solution for the cascade-gust interaction problem is computed using a linearized Euler code called LINFLUX. The inherently three-dimensional code is run in the thin-annulus limit to compute the two-dimensional cascade response. The calculations are carried out in the frequency-domain and the unsteady response at each of the gust s three frequency component is computed. The results are presented on modal basis for pressure perturbations (i.e., acoustic modes) as well as velocity perturbations (i.e., convected gust modes) at each frequency.

  10. Direct observation of size scaling and elastic interaction between nano-scale defects in collision cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, X.; Sand, A. E.; Mason, D. R.; Kirk, M. A.; Roberts, S. G.; Nordlund, K.; Dudarev, S. L.

    2015-05-01

    Using in situ transmission electron microscopy, we have directly observed nano-scale defects formed in ultra-high-purity tungsten by low-dose high-energy self-ion irradiation at 30 K. At cryogenic temperature lattice defects have reduced mobility, so these microscope observations offer a window on the initial, primary damage caused by individual collision cascade events. Electron microscope images provide direct evidence for a power-law size distribution of nano-scale defects formed in high-energy cascades, with an upper size limit independent of the incident ion energy, as predicted by Sand et al. (EPL, 103 (2013) 46003). Furthermore, the analysis of pair distribution functions of defects observed in the micrographs shows significant intra-cascade spatial correlations consistent with strong elastic interaction between the defects.

  11. High frequency formulation for the acoustic power spectrum due to cascade-turbulence interaction.

    PubMed

    Cheong, Cheolung; Joseph, Phillip; Lee, Soogab

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the noise radiated by a cascade of flat-plate airfoils interacting with homogeneous, isotropic turbulence. An analytic formulation for the spectrum of acoustic power of a two-dimensional flat-plate is derived. The main finding of this paper is that the acoustic power spectrum from the cascade of flat airfoils may be split into two distinct frequency regions of low frequency and high frequency, separated by a critical frequency. Below this frequency, cascade effects due to the interaction between neighboring airfoils are shown to be important. At frequencies above the critical frequency, cascade effects are shown to be relatively weak. In this frequency range, acoustic power is shown to be approximately proportional to the number of blades. Based on this finding at high frequencies, an approximate expression is derived for the power spectrum that is valid above the critical frequency and which is in excellent agreement with the exact expression for the broadband power spectrum. The formulation is used to perform a parametric study on the effects on the power spectrum of the blade number, stagger angle, gap-chord ratio, and Mach number. The theory is also shown to provide a close fit to the measured spectrum of rotor-stator interaction. PMID:16454269

  12. Relation between the interaction potential, replacement collision sequences, and collision cascade expansion in iron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becquart, C. S.; Souidi, A.; Hou, M.

    2002-10-01

    The binary collision approximation (BCA) grounded on molecular dynamics results is used to investigate the influence of the range and stiffness of interatomic potentials on the replacement collision sequence (RCS) length and frequency distributions as well as on the displacement cascade expansion and density. Different screened Coulomb potential functions are used in the Marlowe BCA program with suitably adjusted screening lengths. We show in this paper that for screened Coulomb potentials, the shorter the range, the lower the focusing threshold and the more important the RCS production. The cascade expansion and density is quite sensitive to the potential range at high interaction energies. The overall cascade expansion is found to be governed by the 10% highest-energy recoils. Their energy is above the RCS focusing energy threshold. The cascade density, i.e., the number of transient defects produced per unit volume, is suggested sufficient to interfere significantly with RCS propagation and thus with the spatial distribution of Frenkel pairs. Primary damage production thus involves the combined effect of high-energy collisions and RCS production. A careful choice of the short range potential has thus to be made when simulating displacement cascades.

  13. Trophic interactions of common elasmobranchs in deep-sea communities of the Gulf of Mexico revealed through stable isotope and stomach content analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churchill, Diana A.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Vaudo, Jeremy J.; Grubbs, R. Dean; Gastrich, Kirk; Castro, José I.

    2015-05-01

    Deep-water sharks are abundant and widely distributed in the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico. As mid- and upper-level consumers that can range widely, sharks likely are important components of deep-sea communities and their trophic interactions may serve as system-wide baselines that could be used to monitor the overall health of these communities. We investigated the trophic interactions of deep-sea sharks using a combination of stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) and stomach content analyses. Two hundred thirty-two muscle samples were collected from elasmobranchs captured off the bottom at depths between 200 and 1100 m along the northern slope (NGS) and the west Florida slope (WFS) of the Gulf of Mexico during 2011 and 2012. Although we detected some spatial, temporal, and interspecific variation in apparent trophic positions based on stable isotopes, there was considerable isotopic overlap among species, between locations, and through time. Overall δ15N values in the NGS region were higher than in the WFS. The δ15N values also increased between April 2011 and 2012 in the NGS, but not the WFS, within Squalus cf. mitsukurii. We found that stable isotope values of S. cf. mitsukurii, the most commonly captured elasmobranch, varied between sample regions, through time, and also with sex and size. Stomach content analysis (n=105) suggested relatively similar diets at the level of broad taxonomic categories of prey among the taxa with sufficient sample sizes. We did not detect a relationship between body size and relative trophic levels inferred from δ15N, but patterns within several species suggest increasing trophic levels with increasing size. Both δ13C and δ15N values suggest a substantial degree of overlap among most deep-water shark species. This study provides the first characterization of the trophic interactions of deep-sea sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and establishes system baselines for future investigations.

  14. The inverted trophic cascade in tropical plankton communities: impacts of exotic fish in the Middle Rio Doce lake district, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinto-Coelho, R M; Bezerra-Neto, J F; Miranda, F; Mota, T G; Resck, R; Santos, A M; Maia-Barbosa, P M; Mello, N A S T; Marques, M M; Campos, M O; Barbosa, F A R

    2008-11-01

    The present study deals with the ecological impacts of the introduction of two alien species of piscivorous fish in several lakes of the Middle Rio Doce lake district in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It was demonstrated that these effects were not restricted only to the fish community. The introduction of the predatory red piranha Pygocentrus nattereri and the tucunaré Cichla cf. ocellaris caused not only a sharp decrease in the number of native fish species, but also major shifts in other trophic levels. Just after the fish were introduced, most lakes began to show conspicuous changes in phytoplankton species composition, in which Cyanophyceae gradually came to dominate. The zooplankton community lost several species, and in some cases, such as Lake Carioca, all the cladoceran species disappeared. On the other hand, invertebrate predators, represented by the dipteran Chaoboridae, boomed in the lake, with higher densities of exotic species, probably as a result of the 'ecological release' by reduction of the original fish fauna. There was a general trend of species loss in different trophic levels. All these changes are apparently associated with decreases in water quality. The present situation in these lakes demands new approaches to the management and conservation of these ecosystems. PMID:19197473

  15. Dynamical interaction of helium bubbles with cascade damage in Fe-9Cr ferritic alloy.

    SciTech Connect

    Ono, K.; Miyamoto, M.; Arakawa, K.; Birtcher, R. C.; Materials Science Division; Shimane Univ.; Osaka Univ.

    2008-12-01

    Dynamic interaction of helium bubble with cascade damage in Fe-9Cr ferritic alloy has been studied using in situ irradiation and electron microscopy. During the irradiation of the alloy by 400 keV Fe{sup +} ions at temperatures where no thermal motion takes place, induced displacement of small helium bubbles was observed: the bubbles underwent sporadic and instant displacement. The displacement was of the order of a few nanometers. The experimentally determined displacement probability of helium bubbles is consistent with the calculated probability of their dynamic interaction with sub-cascades introduced by the irradiation. Furthermore, during the irradiation of the alloy at higher temperatures, both retarded and accelerated Brownian type motions were observed. These results are discussed on the basis of dynamic interaction of helium bubbles with point defects that survive through high-energy self-ion irradiation.

  16. The role of life histories and trophic interactions in population recovery.

    PubMed

    Audzijonyte, Asta; Kuparinen, Anna

    2016-08-01

    Factors affecting population recovery from depletion are at the focus of wildlife management. Particularly, it has been debated how life-history characteristics might affect population recovery ability and productivity. Many exploited fish stocks have shown temporal changes towards earlier maturation and reduced adult body size, potentially owing to evolutionary responses to fishing. Whereas such life-history changes have been widely documented, their potential role on stock's ability to recover from exploitation often remains ignored by traditional fisheries management. We used a marine ecosystem model parameterized for Southeastern Australian ecosystem to explore how changes towards "faster" life histories might affect population per capita growth rate r. We show that for most species changes towards earlier maturation during fishing have a negative effect (3-40% decrease) on r during the recovery phase. Faster juvenile growth and earlier maturation were beneficial early in life, but smaller adult body sizes reduced the lifetime reproductive output and increased adult natural mortality. However, both at intra- and inter-specific level natural mortality and trophic position of the species were as important in determining r as species longevity and age of maturation, suggesting that r cannot be predicted from life-history traits alone. Our study highlights that factors affecting population recovery ability and productivity should be explored in a multi-species context, where both age-specific fecundity and survival schedules are addressed simultaneously. It also suggests that contemporary life-history changes in harvested species are unlikely to increase their resilience and recovery ability. PMID:26538016

  17. Interaction of displacement cascade with helium bubbles in alpha-iron: Computer simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Pu, Jin; Yang, Li; Gao, Fei; Heinisch, Howard L.; Kurtz, Richard J.; Zu, Xiaotao T.

    2008-09-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) method has been performed to study the interaction of displacement cascade with He bubbles with two sets of potentials. The results show that the stability of He bubbles depends much on the initial He-vacancy (He/V) ratio and the recoil energy. For an initial He/V ratio of 3, the cascade leads to the increase in the number of vacancies in the He bubble and the decrease in the He/V ratio. For an initial He/V ratio of 0.5, the interaction of a cascade with the He/V bubble results in the decrease in the number of vacancies and the increase in the He/V ratio. For an initial He/V ratio of 1, the stability of the bubbles slightly depends on the primary knock-on atom (PKA) energy. Furthermore, a large number of self-interstitial atom clusters are formed after cascade collision for the He/V ratio of 3, while large vacancy clusters are observed for the He/V ratio of 0.5. However, some differences of defect production and clustering between the two sets of potentials are observed, which may be associated the formation energies of He-V clusters, the binding energies of vacancies and He atoms to the clusters and the probability of subcascade formation.

  18. Trophic Interactions Between Insects and Stream-Associated Amphibians in Steep, Cobble-Bottom Streams of the Pacific Coast of North America

    PubMed Central

    Atwood, Trisha; Richardson, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Two native, stream-associated amphibians are found in coastal streams of the west coast of North America, the tailed frog and the coastal giant salamander, and each interacts with stream insects in contrasting ways. For tailed frogs, their tadpoles are the primary life stage found in steep streams and they consume biofilm from rock surfaces, which can have trophic and non-trophic effects on stream insects. By virtue of their size the tadpoles are relatively insensitive to stream insect larvae, and tadpoles are capable of depleting biofilm levels directly (exploitative competition), and may also “bulldoze” insect larvae from the surfaces of stones (interference competition). Coastal giant salamander larvae, and sometimes adults, are found in small streams where they prey primarily on stream insects, as well as other small prey. This predator-prey interaction with stream insects does not appear to result in differences in the stream invertebrate community between streams with and without salamander larvae. These two examples illustrate the potential for trophic and non-trophic interactions between stream-associated amphibians and stream insects, and also highlights the need for further research in these systems. PMID:26466536

  19. Modeling Microbial Dynamics in Aquifers Considering the Interaction Between the Higher Trophic Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajracharya, B. M.; Cirpka, O. A.; Lu, C.

    2014-12-01

    Models of microbial dynamics coupled to solute transport in aquifers typically require the introduction of a bacterial carrying capacity term to prevent excessive microbial growth close to substrate-injection boundaries. The factors controlling this carrying capacity, however, are not fully understood. Most explanations for the occurrence of a carrying capacity discussed are based on the assumption of a bottom-up control of groundwater ecosystems. An alternative explanation is based on top-down control. Our model considers substrate, bacteria and higher trophic levels, such as grazers or bacteriophages. The dissolved substrate is transported with water flow whereas the biomasses of bacteria and grazers are considered essentially immobile. The one-dimensional reactive transport model also accounts for substrate dispersion and a random walk of grazers influenced by the bacteria concentration. The grazers grow on the bacteria, leading to a negative feedback on the bacteria concentration which may limit the turnover of the substrate. A single retentostat model with Monod kinetics of bacterial growth and a second-order grazing shows that the system oscillates but approaches a stable steady state with non-zero concentrations of substrate, bacteria, and grazers. The steady-state concentration of the bacteria biomass is independent of the substrate concentration in the inflow. When coupling several retentostats in a series to mimic a groundwater column, the steady-state bacteria concentrations remain at a constant level over a significant travel distance. The results show that grazing is a possible explanation of the carrying capacity, provided that there is enough substrate to sustain bacteria and grazers.

  20. Direct and indirect trophic effects of predator depletion on basal trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huili; Hagerty, Steven; Crotty, Sinead M; Bertness, Mark D

    2016-02-01

    Human population growth and development have heavily degraded coastal ecosystems with cascading impacts across multiple trophic levels. Understanding both the direct and indirect trophic effects of human activities is important for coastal conservation. In New England, recreational overfishing has triggered a regional trophic cascade. Predator depletion releases the herbivorous purple marsh crab from consumer control and leads to overgrazing of marsh cordgrass and salt marsh die-off. The direct and indirect trophic effects of predator depletion on basal trophic levels, however, are not understood. Using observational and experimental data, we examined the hypotheses that (1) direct trophic effects of predator depletion decrease meiofaunal abundance by releasing deposit feeding fiddler crabs from consumer control, and/or (2) indirect trophic effects of predator depletion increase meiofaunal abundance by releasing blue carbon via the erosion of centuries of accreted marsh peat. Experimental deposit feeder removal led to 23% higher meiofaunal density at die-off than at healthy sites, while reciprocally transplanting sediment from die-off and healthy sites revealed that carbon-rich die-off sediment increased meiofauna density by over 164%: six times stronger than direct trophic effects. Recovering sites had both carbon-rich sediment and reduced deposit feeding leading to higher meiofauna densities than both die-off and healthy sites. This suggests that consequences of the trophic downgrading of coastal habitats can be driven by both direct and indirect trophic mechanisms that may vary in direction and magnitude, making their elucidation dependent on experimental manipulations. PMID:27145609

  1. Cascading effects of a highly specialized beech-aphid–fungus interaction on forest regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Maynard, Lauren; Lemoine, Nathan P.; Shue, Jessica; Parker, John D.

    2014-01-01

    Specialist herbivores are thought to often enhance or maintain plant diversity within ecosystems, because they prevent their host species from becoming competitively dominant. In contrast, specialist herbivores are not generally expected to have negative impacts on non-hosts. However, we describe a cascade of indirect interactions whereby a specialist sooty mold (Scorias spongiosa) colonizes the honeydew from a specialist beech aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator), ultimately decreasing the survival of seedlings beneath American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia). A common garden experiment indicated that this mortality resulted from moldy honeydew impairing leaf function rather than from chemical or microbial changes to the soil. In addition, aphids consistently and repeatedly colonized the same large beech trees, suggesting that seedling-depauperate islands may form beneath these trees. Thus this highly specialized three-way beech-aphid–fungus interaction has the potential to negatively impact local forest regeneration via a cascade of indirect effects. PMID:25024911

  2. Trophic organisation and predator-prey interactions among commercially exploited demersal finfishes in the coastal waters of the southeastern Arabian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdurahiman, K. P.; Nayak, T. H.; Zacharia, P. U.; Mohamed, K. S.

    2010-05-01

    Trophic interactions in commercially exploited demersal finfishes in the southeastern Arabian Sea of India were studied to understand trophic organization with emphasis on ontogenic diet shifts within the marine food web. In total, the contents of 4716 stomachs were examined from which 78 prey items were identified. Crustaceans and fishes were the major prey groups to most of the fishes. Based on cluster analysis of predator feeding similarities and ontogenic diet shift within each predator, four major trophic guilds and many sub-guilds were identified. The first guild 'detritus feeders' included all size groups of Cynoglossus macrostomus, Pampus argenteus, Leiognathus bindus and Priacanthus hamrur. Guild two, named 'Shrimp feeders', was the largest guild identified and included all size groups of Rhynchobatus djiddensis and Nemipterus mesoprion, medium and large Nemipterus japonicus, P. hamrur and Grammoplites suppositus, small and medium Otolithes cuvieri and small Lactarius lactarius. Guild three, named 'crab and squilla feeders', consisted of few predators. The fourth trophic guild, 'piscivores', was mainly made up of larger size groups of all predators and all size groups of Pseudorhombus arsius and Carcharhinus limbatus. The mean diet breadth and mean trophic level showed strong correlation with ontogenic diet shift. The mean trophic level varied from 2.2 ± 0.1 in large L. bindus to 4.6 ± 0.2 in large Epinephelus diacanthus and the diet breadth from 1.4 ± 0.3 in medium P. argenteus to 8.3 ± 0.2 in medium N. japonicus. Overall, the present study showed that predators in the ecosystem have a strong feeding preference for the sergestid shrimp Acetes indicus, penaeid shrimps, epibenthic crabs and detritus.

  3. NITROGEN: DEFINING LIMITS TO ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION; THE INFLUENCE OF SUCCESSION AND TROPHIC INTERACTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A goal of this research is to investigate the interacting characteristics of biota and abiotic conditions relative to nitrogen cycling in the ecosystem. The research will support development of nitrogen cycling models with an ultimate application directed towards identification ...

  4. Consistent role of weak and strong interactions in high- and low-diversity trophic food webs.

    PubMed

    Gellner, Gabriel; McCann, Kevin S

    2016-01-01

    The growing realization of a looming biodiversity crisis has inspired considerable progress in the quest to link biodiversity, structure and ecosystem function. Here we construct a method that bridges low- and high-diversity approaches to food web theory by elucidating the connection between the stability of the basic building block of food webs and the mean stability properties of large random food web networks. Applying this theoretical framework to common food web models reveals two key findings. First, in almost all cases, high-diversity food web models yield a stability relationship between weak and strong interactions that are compatible in every way to simple low-diversity models. And second, the models that generate the recently discovered phenomena of being purely stabilized by increasing interaction strength correspond to the biologically implausible assumption of perfect interaction strength symmetry. PMID:27068000

  5. Consistent role of weak and strong interactions in high- and low-diversity trophic food webs

    PubMed Central

    Gellner, Gabriel; McCann, Kevin S.

    2016-01-01

    The growing realization of a looming biodiversity crisis has inspired considerable progress in the quest to link biodiversity, structure and ecosystem function. Here we construct a method that bridges low- and high-diversity approaches to food web theory by elucidating the connection between the stability of the basic building block of food webs and the mean stability properties of large random food web networks. Applying this theoretical framework to common food web models reveals two key findings. First, in almost all cases, high-diversity food web models yield a stability relationship between weak and strong interactions that are compatible in every way to simple low-diversity models. And second, the models that generate the recently discovered phenomena of being purely stabilized by increasing interaction strength correspond to the biologically implausible assumption of perfect interaction strength symmetry. PMID:27068000

  6. Impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 and O3 on forests: phytochemistry, trophic interactions, and ecosystem dynamics.

    PubMed

    Lindroth, Richard L

    2010-01-01

    Prominent among the many factors now affecting the sustainability of forest ecosystems are anthropogenically-generated carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3). CO2 is the substrate for photosynthesis and thus can accelerate tree growth, whereas O3 is a highly reactive oxygen species and interferes with basic physiological functions. This review summarizes the impacts of CO2 and O3 on tree chemical composition and highlights the consequences thereof for trophic interactions and ecosystem dynamics. CO2 and O3 influence phytochemical composition by altering substrate availability and biochemical/physiological processes such as photosynthesis and defense signaling pathways. Growth of trees under enriched CO2 generally leads to an increase in the C/N ratio, due to a decline in foliar nitrogen and concomitant increases in carbohydrates and phenolics. Terpenoid levels generally are not affected by atmospheric CO2 concentration. O3 triggers up-regulation of antioxidant defense pathways, leading to the production of simple phenolics and flavonoids (more so in angiosperms than gymnosperms). Tannins levels generally are unaffected, while terpenoids exhibit variable responses. In combination, CO2 and O3 exert both additive and interactive effects on tree chemical composition. CO2-and O3-mediated changes in plant chemistry influence host selection, individual performance (development, growth, reproduction), and population densities of herbivores (primarily phytophagous insects) and soil invertebrates. These changes can effect shifts in the amount and temporal pattern of forest canopy damage and organic substrate deposition. Decomposition rates of leaf litter produced under elevated CO2 and O3 may or may not be altered, and can respond to both the independent and interactive effects of the pollutants. Overall, however, CO2 and O3 effects on decomposition will be influenced more by their impacts on the quantity, rather than quality, of litter produced. A prominent theme to emerge

  7. Molecular detection of trophic interactions: emerging trends, distinct advantages, significant considerations and conservation applications

    PubMed Central

    Clare, Elizabeth L

    2014-01-01

    The emerging field of ecological genomics contains several broad research areas. Comparative genomic and conservation genetic analyses are providing great insight into adaptive processes, species bottlenecks, population dynamics and areas of conservation priority. Now the same technological advances in high-throughput sequencing, coupled with taxonomically broad sequence repositories, are providing greater resolution and fundamentally new insights into functional ecology. In particular, we now have the capacity in some systems to rapidly identify thousands of species-level interactions using non-invasive methods based on the detection of trace DNA. This represents a powerful tool for conservation biology, for example allowing the identification of species with particularly inflexible niches and the investigation of food-webs or interaction networks with unusual or vulnerable dynamics. As they develop, these analyses will no doubt provide significant advances in the field of restoration ecology and the identification of appropriate locations for species reintroduction, as well as highlighting species at ecological risk. Here, I describe emerging patterns that have come from the various initial model systems, the advantages and limitations of the technique and key areas where these methods may significantly advance our empirical and applied conservation practices. PMID:25553074

  8. A Cascade Random Forests Algorithm for Predicting Protein-Protein Interaction Sites.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhi-Sen; Yang, Jing-Yu; Shen, Hong-Bin; Yu, Dong-Jun

    2015-10-01

    Protein-protein interactions exist ubiquitously and play important roles in the life cycles of living cells. The interaction sites (residues) are essential to understanding the underlying mechanisms of protein-protein interactions. Previous research has demonstrated that the accurate identification of protein-protein interaction sites (PPIs) is helpful for developing new therapeutic drugs because many drugs will interact directly with those residues. Because of its significant potential in biological research and drug development, the prediction of PPIs has become an important topic in computational biology. However, a severe data imbalance exists in the PPIs prediction problem, where the number of the majority class samples (non-interacting residues) is far larger than that of the minority class samples (interacting residues). Thus, we developed a novel cascade random forests algorithm (CRF) to address the serious data imbalance that exists in the PPIs prediction problem. The proposed CRF resolves the negative effect of data imbalance by connecting multiple random forests in a cascade-like manner, each of which is trained with a balanced training subset that includes all minority samples and a subset of majority samples using an effective ensemble protocol. Based on the proposed CRF, we implemented a new sequence-based PPIs predictor, called CRF-PPI, which takes the combined features of position-specific scoring matrices, averaged cumulative hydropathy, and predicted relative solvent accessibility as model inputs. Benchmark experiments on both the cross validation and independent validation datasets demonstrated that the proposed CRF-PPI outperformed the state-of-the-art sequence-based PPIs predictors. The source code for CRF-PPI and the benchmark datasets are available online at http://csbio.njust.edu.cn/bioinf/CRF-PPI for free academic use. PMID:26441427

  9. Coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy utilizing phase mismatched cascaded quadratic optical interactions in nonlinear crystals

    PubMed Central

    Petrov, Georgi I.; Zhi, Miaochan; Yakovlev, Vladislav V.

    2013-01-01

    We experimentally investigated the nonlinear optical interaction between the instantaneous four-wave mixing and the cascaded quadratic frequency conversion in commonly used nonlinear optical KTP and LiNbO3 with the aim of a possible background suppression of the non-resonant background in coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering. The possibility of background-free heterodyne coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microspectroscopy is investigated at the interface formed by a liquid (isopropyl alcohol) and a nonlinear crystal (LiNbO3). PMID:24514791

  10. Trophic interactions and population growth rates: describing patterns and identifying mechanisms.

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Peter J; Dobson, Andy P; Cattadori, Isabella M; Newborn, David; Haydon, Dan T; Shaw, Darren J; Benton, Tim G; Grenfell, Bryan T

    2002-01-01

    While the concept of population growth rate has been of central importance in the development of the theory of population dynamics, few empirical studies consider the intrinsic growth rate in detail, let alone how it may vary within and between populations of the same species. In an attempt to link theory with data we take two approaches. First, we address the question 'what growth rate patterns does theory predict we should see in time-series?' The models make a number of predictions, which in general are supported by a comparative study between time-series of harvesting data from 352 red grouse populations. Variations in growth rate between grouse populations were associated with factors that reflected the quality and availability of the main food plant of the grouse. However, while these results support predictions from theory, they provide no clear insight into the mechanisms influencing reductions in population growth rate and regulation. In the second part of the paper, we consider the results of experiments, first at the individual level and then at the population level, to identify the important mechanisms influencing changes in individual productivity and population growth rate. The parasitic nematode Trichostrongylus tenuis is found to have an important influence on productivity, and when incorporated into models with their patterns of distribution between individuals has a destabilizing effect and generates negative growth rates. The hypothesis that negative growth rates at the population level were caused by parasites was demonstrated by a replicated population level experiment. With a sound and tested model framework we then explore the interaction with other natural enemies and show that in general they tend to stabilize variations in growth rate. Interestingly, the models show selective predators that remove heavily infected individuals can release the grouse from parasite-induced regulation and allow equilibrium populations to rise. By contrast, a

  11. Trophic dynamics in an aquatic community: interactions among primary producers, grazers, and a pathogenic fungus.

    PubMed

    Buck, Julia C; Scholz, Katharina I; Rohr, Jason R; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2015-05-01

    Free-living stages of parasites are consumed by a variety of predators, which might have important consequences for predators, parasites, and hosts. For example, zooplankton prey on the infectious stage of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen responsible for amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Predation on parasites is predicted to influence community structure and function, and affect disease risk, but relatively few studies have explored its consequences empirically. We investigated interactions among Rana cascadae tadpoles, zooplankton, and Bd in a fully factorial experiment in outdoor mesocosms. We measured growth, development, survival, and infection of amphibians and took weekly measurements of the abundance of zooplankton, phytoplankton (suspended algae), and periphyton (attached algae). We hypothesized that zooplankton might have positive indirect effects on tadpoles by consuming Bd zoospores and by consuming phytoplankton, thus reducing the shading of a major tadpole resource, periphyton. We also hypothesized that zooplankton would have negative effects on tadpoles, mediated by competition for algal resources. Mixed-effects models, repeated-measures ANOVAs, and a structural equation model revealed that zooplankton significantly reduced phytoplankton but had no detectable effects on Bd or periphyton. Hence, the indirect positive effects of zooplankton on tadpoles were negligible when compared to the indirect negative effect mediated by competition for phytoplankton. We conclude that examination of host-pathogen dynamics within a community context may be necessary to elucidate complex community dynamics. PMID:25432573

  12. The comparative uptake and interaction of several radionuclides in the trophic levels surrounding the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (LAMPF) waste water ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, G.H. Jr.

    1989-08-01

    A study was undertaken to examine the uptake, distribution, and interaction of five activation products (Co-57, Be-7, Cs-134, Rb-83, and Mn-54) within the biotic and abiotic components surrounding the waste treatment lagoons of the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (LAMPF). The study attempted to ascertain where, and what specific interactions were taking place among the isotopes and the biotic/abiotic components. A statistical approach, utilizing Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), was conducted testing the radioisotopic concentrations by (1) the trophic levels (TROPLVL) in each position sampled on the grid, (2) where sampled on the grid (TRAN), (3) where sampled with-in each grid line (PLOT), and (4) the side with which sampled (SIDE). This provided both the dependent and independent variables that would be tested. The Null Hypothesis (Ho) tested the difference in the mean values of the isotopes within/between each of the four independent variables. The Rb-83 statistic indicated an accumulation within the TRAN and PLOT variables within the sampled area. The Co-57 test statistic provided a value which indicated that accumulation of this isotope within TROPLVL was taking place. Mn-54 test values indicated that accumulation was also taking place at the higher trophic levels within the PLOT, TRAN, and SIDE positions. Cs-134 was found to accumulate to third level in this trophic level structure (TROPLVL-(vegetation)), and then decrease from there. The Be-7 component provided no variance from known compartmental transfers. 210 refs., 17 figs., 4 tabs.

  13. Mast pulses shape trophic interactions between fluctuating rodent populations in a primeval forest.

    PubMed

    Selva, Nuria; Hobson, Keith A; Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Zalewski, Andrzej; Donázar, José Antonio

    2012-01-01

    How different functional responses of consumers exploiting pulsed resources affect community dynamics is an ongoing question in ecology. Tree masting is a common resource pulse in terrestrial ecosystems that can drive rodent population cycles. Using stable isotope (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) analyses, we investigated the dietary response of two fluctuating rodent species, the yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis and the bank vole Myodes glareolus, to mast events in Białowieża Forest (NE Poland). Rodent hair samples were obtained non-invasively from faeces of their predators for an 11-year period that encompassed two mast events. Spectacular seed crops of deciduous trees, namely oak Quercus robur and hornbeam Carpinus betulus, occur after several intermediate years of moderate seed production, with a post-mast year characterised by a nil crop. While a Bayesian isotopic (SIAR) mixing model showed a variety of potential vegetation inputs to rodent diets, the isotopic niche of the yellow-necked mouse was strongly associated with mast of deciduous trees (>80% of diet), showing no variation among years of different seed crop. However, bank voles showed a strong functional response; in mast years the vole shifted its diet from herbs in deciduous forest (~66% of diet) to mast (~74%). Only in mast years did the isotopic niche of both rodent species overlap. Previous research showed that bank voles, subordinate and more generalist than mice, showed higher fluctuations in numbers in response to masting. This study provides unique data on the functional response of key pulse consumers in forest food webs, and contributes to our understanding of rodent population fluctuations and the mechanisms governing pulse-consumer interactions. PMID:23251475

  14. Mast Pulses Shape Trophic Interactions between Fluctuating Rodent Populations in a Primeval Forest

    PubMed Central

    Selva, Nuria; Hobson, Keith A.; Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Zalewski, Andrzej; Donázar, José Antonio

    2012-01-01

    How different functional responses of consumers exploiting pulsed resources affect community dynamics is an ongoing question in ecology. Tree masting is a common resource pulse in terrestrial ecosystems that can drive rodent population cycles. Using stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) analyses, we investigated the dietary response of two fluctuating rodent species, the yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis and the bank vole Myodes glareolus, to mast events in Białowieża Forest (NE Poland). Rodent hair samples were obtained non-invasively from faeces of their predators for an 11-year period that encompassed two mast events. Spectacular seed crops of deciduous trees, namely oak Quercus robur and hornbeam Carpinus betulus, occur after several intermediate years of moderate seed production, with a post-mast year characterised by a nil crop. While a Bayesian isotopic (SIAR) mixing model showed a variety of potential vegetation inputs to rodent diets, the isotopic niche of the yellow-necked mouse was strongly associated with mast of deciduous trees (>80% of diet), showing no variation among years of different seed crop. However, bank voles showed a strong functional response; in mast years the vole shifted its diet from herbs in deciduous forest (∼66% of diet) to mast (∼74%). Only in mast years did the isotopic niche of both rodent species overlap. Previous research showed that bank voles, subordinate and more generalist than mice, showed higher fluctuations in numbers in response to masting. This study provides unique data on the functional response of key pulse consumers in forest food webs, and contributes to our understanding of rodent population fluctuations and the mechanisms governing pulse–consumer interactions. PMID:23251475

  15. Interaction of the Walker Lane and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, Northern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muffler, L.; Blakely, R.; Clynne, M.

    2008-12-01

    We utilize modern geologic and gravity data sets to examine the interaction between the Walker Lane and the southernmost Cascade Volcanic Arc. The Cascade Volcanic Arc in the Lassen region is the product of eastward subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North American plate in northern California. To the southeast, the Walker Lane is a structural zone that takes up ~15-25% of the dextral movement between the Pacific and North American plates. The intersection of these two tectonic features in northeastern California is presumed to migrate northward roughly parallel to the northward migration of the Mendocino Triple Junction. Several workers have inferred that NW-trending dextral faults of the Walker Lane intersect and interact with the southernmost Cascade Volcanic Arc in the Lassen region. In the southernmost Cascade Arc, a pronounced unconformity separates <3.5 Ma volcanic rocks from underlying pre-Tertiary sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The southern limit of volcanism has contracted northward from 40°7.5' at ~3.5 Ma to 40°22.5' at 0.5--0 Ma. Volcanism along the axis is dominated by volcanic centers---large, long-lived, composite, calc-alkaline edifices erupting the full range of compositions from basaltic andesite to rhyolite. Older volcanic centers (3.5--1 Ma) show no correlation with residual gravity, whereas a negative gravity anomaly (-15 mGal) does coincide with <800 ka focused volcanism at the Lassen Volcanic Center (LVC) and the Caribou Volcanic Field (CVF). The most negative part of this gravity anomaly (-30 mGal) coincides with the LVC, a locus of major silicic volcanism, including a significant caldera eruption at 610 ka and a 300--0 ka silicic domefield. Faults are conspicuous E, SE and N of the LVC, but are nearly absent within the LVC. Faults and gravity gradients SE of the LVC strike ~315°, sub-parallel to Walker Lane trends farther to the SE, whereas vent alignments and gravity gradients north of the LVC strike ~345°. Pronounced

  16. Seasonal dynamics and Trophic interactions of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the Vistula Lagoon of the Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitrieva, O. A.; Semenova, A. S.

    2012-11-01

    The trophic relationships of the phytoplankton and zooplankton in the Vistula Lagoon in 2008-2010 were investigated. In the current period, the lagoon is an eutrophic water body with summer blooms of blue-green algae. The trophic level of the Vistula Lagoon influences both the composition and quantitative characteristics of the communities of phytoplankton and zooplankton and the trophic relationships between them. In the analyzed period, the consumption of phytoplankton by the zooplankton on the average in the growing season was 28%, which is 1.5 times higher than in the late 1970s. The high grazing pressure of the zooplankton on the phytoplankton reduces its biomass, production, and the intensity of the blooming by the blue-green algae in the Vistula Lagoon.

  17. Multi-trophic interactions driving the transmission cycle of Borrelia afzelii between Ixodes ricinus and rodents: a review.

    PubMed

    van Duijvendijk, Gilian; Sprong, Hein; Takken, Willem

    2015-01-01

    The tick Ixodes ricinus is the main vector of the spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causal agent of Lyme borreliosis, in the western Palearctic. Rodents are the reservoir host of B. afzelii, which can be transmitted to I. ricinus larvae during a blood meal. The infected engorged larvae moult into infected nymphs, which can transmit the spirochaetes to rodents and humans. Interestingly, even though only about 1% of the larvae develop into a borreliae-infected nymph, the enzootic borreliae lifecycle can persist. The development from larva to infected nymph is a key aspect in this lifecycle, influencing the density of infected nymphs and thereby Lyme borreliosis risk. The density of infected nymphs varies temporally and geographically and is influenced by multi-trophic (tick-host-borreliae) interactions. For example, blood feeding success of ticks and spirochaete transmission success differ between rodent species and host-finding success appears to be affected by a B. afzelii infection in both the rodent and the tick. In this paper, we review the major interactions between I. ricinus, rodents and B. afzelii that influence this development, with the aim to elucidate the critical factors that determine the epidemiological risk of Lyme borreliosis. The effects of the tick, rodent and B. afzelii on larval host finding, larval blood feeding, spirochaete transmission from rodent to larva and development from larva to nymph are discussed. Nymphal host finding, nymphal blood feeding and spirochaete transmission from nymph to rodent are the final steps to complete the enzootic B. afzelii lifecycle and are included in the review. It is concluded that rodent density, rodent infection prevalence, and tick burden are the major factors affecting the development from larva to infected nymph and that these interact with each other. We suggest that the B. afzelii lifecycle is dependent on the aggregation of ticks among rodents, which is manipulated by the pathogen

  18. Gyrokinetic turbulence cascade via predator-prey interactions between different scales

    SciTech Connect

    Kobayashi, Sumire Gurcan, Ozgur D.

    2015-05-15

    Gyrokinetic simulations in a closed fieldline geometry are presented to explore the physics of nonlinear transfer in plasma turbulence. As spontaneously formed zonal flows and small-scale turbulence demonstrate “predator-prey” dynamics, a particular cascade spectrum emerges. The electrostatic potential and the density spectra appear to be in good agreement with the simple theoretical prediction based on Charney-Hasegawa-Mima equation | ϕ{sup ~}{sub k} |{sup 2}∼| n{sup ~}{sub k} |{sup 2}∝k{sup −3}/(1+k{sup 2}){sup 2}, with the spectra becoming anisotropic at small scales. The results indicate that the disparate scale interactions, in particular, the refraction and shearing of larger scale eddies by the self-consistent zonal flows, dominate over local interactions, and contrary to the common wisdom, the comprehensive scaling relation is created even within the energy injection region.

  19. Gyrokinetic turbulence cascade via predator-prey interactions between different scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Sumire; Gurcan, Ozgur D.

    2015-05-01

    Gyrokinetic simulations in a closed fieldline geometry are presented to explore the physics of nonlinear transfer in plasma turbulence. As spontaneously formed zonal flows and small-scale turbulence demonstrate "predator-prey" dynamics, a particular cascade spectrum emerges. The electrostatic potential and the density spectra appear to be in good agreement with the simple theoretical prediction based on Charney-Hasegawa-Mima equation |ϕ˜ k | 2˜|n˜ k | 2∝k-3/(1+k2 ) 2 , with the spectra becoming anisotropic at small scales. The results indicate that the disparate scale interactions, in particular, the refraction and shearing of larger scale eddies by the self-consistent zonal flows, dominate over local interactions, and contrary to the common wisdom, the comprehensive scaling relation is created even within the energy injection region.

  20. An analysis for high Reynolds number inviscid/viscid interactions in cascades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnett, Mark; Verdon, Joseph M.; Ayer, Timothy C.

    1993-01-01

    An efficient steady analysis for predicting strong inviscid/viscid interaction phenomena such as viscous-layer separation, shock/boundary-layer interaction, and trailing-edge/near-wake interaction in turbomachinery blade passages is needed as part of a comprehensive analytical blade design prediction system. Such an analysis is described. It uses an inviscid/viscid interaction approach, in which the flow in the outer inviscid region is assumed to be potential, and that in the inner or viscous-layer region is governed by Prandtl's equations. The inviscid solution is determined using an implicit, least-squares, finite-difference approximation, the viscous-layer solution using an inverse, finite-difference, space-marching method which is applied along the blade surfaces and wake streamlines. The inviscid and viscid solutions are coupled using a semi-inverse global iteration procedure, which permits the prediction of boundary-layer separation and other strong-interaction phenomena. Results are presented for three cascades, with a range of inlet flow conditions considered for one of them, including conditions leading to large-scale flow separations. Comparisons with Navier-Stokes solutions and experimental data are also given.

  1. Electromagnetic cascade in high-energy electron, positron, and photon interactions with intense laser pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulanov, S. S.; Schroeder, C. B.; Esarey, E.; Leemans, W. P.

    2013-06-01

    The interaction of high-energy electrons, positrons, and photons with intense laser pulses is studied in head-on collision geometry. It is shown that electrons and/or positrons undergo a cascade-type process involving multiple emissions of photons. These photons can consequently convert into electron-positron pairs. As a result charged particles quickly lose their energy developing an exponentially decaying energy distribution, which suppresses the emission of high-energy photons, thus reducing the number of electron-positron pairs being generated. Therefore, this type of interaction suppresses the development of the electromagnetic avalanche-type discharge, i.e., the exponential growth of the number of electrons, positrons, and photons does not occur in the course of interaction. The suppression will occur when three-dimensional effects can be neglected in the transverse particle orbits, i.e., for sufficiently broad laser pulses with intensities that are not too extreme. The final distributions of electrons, positrons, and photons are calculated for the case of a high-energy e-beam interacting with a counterstreaming, short intense laser pulse. The energy loss of the e-beam, which requires a self-consistent quantum description, plays an important role in this process, as well as provides a clear experimental observable for the transition from the classical to quantum regime of interaction.

  2. Marine reserves reduce risk of climate-driven phase shift by reinstating size- and habitat-specific trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Ling, S D; Johnson, C R

    2012-06-01

    Spatial closures in the marine environment are widely accepted as effective conservation and fisheries management tools. Given increasing human-derived stressors acting on marine ecosystems, the need for such effective action is urgently clear. Here we explore mechanisms underlying the utility of marine reserves to reinstate trophic dynamics and to increase resilience of kelp beds against climate-driven phase shift to sea urchin barrens on the rapidly warming Tasmanian east coast. Tethering and tagging experiments were used to examine size- and shelter-specific survival of the range-extending sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii (Diadematidae) translocated to reefs inside and outside no-take Tasmanian marine reserves. Results show that survival rates of C. rodgersii exposed on flat reef substratum by tethering were approximately seven times (small urchins 10.1 times; large urchins 6.1 times) lower on protected reef within marine reserve boundaries (high abundance of large predatory-capable lobsters) compared to fished reef (large predatory lobsters absent). When able to seek crevice shelter, tag-resighting models estimated that mortality rates of C. rodgersii were lower overall but remained 3.3 times (small urchins 2.1 times; large urchins 6.4 times) higher in the presence of large lobsters inside marine reserves, with higher survival of small urchins owing to greater access to crevices relative to large urchins. Indeed, shelter was 6.3 times and 3.1 times more important to survival of small and large urchins, respectively, on reserved relative to fished reef. Experimental results corroborate with surveys throughout the range extension region, showing greater occurrence of overgrazing on high-relief rocky habitats where shelter for C. rodgersii is readily available. This shows that ecosystem impacts mediated by range extension of such habitat-modifying organisms will be heterogeneous in space, and that marine systems with a more natural complement of large and thus

  3. Interaction of Dirac Fermion excitons and biexciton-exciton cascade in graphene quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozfidan, Isil; Korkusinski, Marek; Hawrylak, Pawel

    2015-03-01

    We present a microscopic theory of interacting Dirac quasi-electrons and quasi-holes confined in graphene quantum dots. The single particle states of quantum dots are described using a tight binding model and screened direct, exchange, and scattering Coulomb matrix elements are computed using Slater pz orbitals. The many-body ground and excited states are expanded in a finite number of electron-hole pair excitations from the Hartree-Fock ground state and computed using exact diagonalization techniques. The resulting exciton and bi-exciton spectrum reflects the degeneracy of the top of the valence and bottom of the conduction band characteristic of graphene quantum dots with C3 symmetry. We study the interaction of multi-electron and hole complexes as a function of quantum dot size, shape and strength of Coulomb interactions. We identify two degenerate bright exciton (X) states and a corresponding biexciton (XX) state as XX-X cascade candidates, a source of entangled photon pairs. We next calculate the exciton to bi-exciton transitions detected in transient absorption experiments to extract the strength of exciton-exciton interactions and biexciton binding energies. We further explore the possibility of excitonic instability.

  4. Compound-specific isotopes of fatty acids as indicators of trophic interactions in the East China Sea ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ying; Wang, Na; Zhang, Jing; Wan, Ruijing; Dai, Fangqun; Jin, Xianshi

    2016-01-01

    The composition and compound-specific isotopes of fatty acids were studied within food webs in the East China Sea. Lipid-normalized stable carbon isotopes of total organic carbon had a good correlation with trophic level. Variations in fatty acid compositions among diff erent species were observed but were unclear. Diff erent dietary structures could be traced from molecular isotopes of selected fatty acids in the Shiba shrimp (Matapenaeus joyneri), the coastal mud shrimp (Solenocera crassicornis) and the northern Maoxia shrimp (Acetes chinensis). Both M. joyneri and S. crassicornis are mainly benthos feeders, while A. chinensis is a pelagic species, although they have a similar fatty acid composition. There was a good correlation for isotopes of arachidonic acid (C20:4n6; ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6n3; DHA) among pelagic species from higher trophic levels. The isotopic compositions of DHA in benthic species were more negative than those of pelagic species at the same trophic level. The fact that the diet of benthic species contains more degraded items, the carbon isotopes of which are derived from a large biochemical fraction, may be the reason for this variation. A comparative study of benthic and pelagic species demonstrated the diff erent carbon sources in potential food items and the presence of a more complex system at the water-sediment interface.

  5. Compound-specific isotopes of fatty acids as indicators of trophic interactions in the East China Sea ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ying; Wang, Na; Zhang, Jing; Wan, Ruijing; Dai, Fangqun; Jin, Xianshi

    2016-09-01

    The composition and compound-specific isotopes of fatty acids were studied within food webs in the East China Sea. Lipid-normalized stable carbon isotopes of total organic carbon had a good correlation with trophic level. Variations in fatty acid compositions among diff erent species were observed but were unclear. Diff erent dietary structures could be traced from molecular isotopes of selected fatty acids in the Shiba shrimp ( Matapenaeus joyneri), the coastal mud shrimp ( Solenocera crassicornis) and the northern Maoxia shrimp ( Acetes chinensis). Both M. joyneri and S. crassicornis are mainly benthos feeders, while A. chinensis is a pelagic species, although they have a similar fatty acid composition. There was a good correlation for isotopes of arachidonic acid (C20:4n6; ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6n3; DHA) among pelagic species from higher trophic levels. The isotopic compositions of DHA in benthic species were more negative than those of pelagic species at the same trophic level. The fact that the diet of benthic species contains more degraded items, the carbon isotopes of which are derived from a large biochemical fraction, may be the reason for this variation. A comparative study of benthic and pelagic species demonstrated the diff erent carbon sources in potential food items and the presence of a more complex system at the water-sediment interface.

  6. Electron-phonon interaction in three-barrier nanosystems as active elements of quantum cascade detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Tkach, N. V. Seti, Ju. A.; Grynyshyn, Yu. B.

    2015-04-15

    The theory of electron tunneling through an open nanostructure as an active element of a quantum cascade detector is developed, which takes into account the interaction of electrons with confined and interface phonons. Using the method of finite-temperature Green’s functions and the electron-phonon Hamiltonian in the representation of second quantization over all system variables, the temperature shifts and electron-level widths are calculated and the contributions of different electron-phonon-interaction mechanisms to renormalization of the spectral parameters are analyzed depending on the geometrical configuration of the nanosystem. Due to weak electron-phonon coupling in a GaAs/Al{sub 0.34}Ga{sub 0.66}As-based resonant tunneling nanostructure, the temperature shift and rf field absorption peak width are not very sensitive to the electron-phonon interaction and result from a decrease in potential barrier heights caused by a difference in the temperature dependences of the well and barrier band gaps.

  7. Trophic interactions of the pelagic ecosystem over the Reykjanes Ridge as evaluated by fatty acid and stable isotope analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petursdottir, H.; Gislason, A.; Falk-Petersen, S.; Hop, H.; Svavarsson, J.

    2008-01-01

    Trophic relationships of the important oceanic crustacean species Calanus finmarchicus, Meganyctiphanes norvegica and Sergestes arcticus, as well as the mesopelagic fishes Maurolicus muelleri, Benthosema glaciale and Sebastes mentella, were investigated over the Reykjanes Ridge in June 2003 and in June 2004. Measurements were performed of length, wet weight, dry weight, total lipid, lipid class, fatty acid and fatty alcohol profiles and stable isotopes (δ 13C and δ 15N). High amounts of the Calanus lipid markers, 20:1(n-9) and 22:1(n-11) in these species confirm the importance of Calanus spp. in this ecosystem. Comparisons of fatty acid/alcohol profiles by multivariate analysis revealed two main trophic pathways over the Reykjanes Ridge. In one pathway, Calanus spp. was an important part of the diet for the small mesopelagic fish species M. muelleri and B. glaciale and the shrimp S. arcticus, whereas in the other pathway, the euphausiid M. norvegica was the dominant food for the redfish S. mentella, and Calanus spp. were of less importance. M. muelleri and the smaller B. glaciale feed on C. finmarchicus, whereas the larger B. glaciale and S. arcticus select the larger, deeper-living C. hyperboreus. All investigated species are true pelagic species except for the shrimp S. arcticus, which seems to have a benthic feeding habit as well. The δ 15N levels show that of the species investigated, C. finmarchicus occupies the lowest trophic level (2.0) and the redfish, S. mentella, the highest (4.2). All the species were lipid rich, typical for subarctic pelagic ecosystem. Calanus finmarchicus, S. arcticus and B. glaciale store wax esters as their lipid stores, while M. norvegica, M. muelleri and S. mentella store triacylglycerols.

  8. Plasticity of trophic interactions among sharks from the oceanic south-western Indian Ocean revealed by stable isotope and mercury analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiszka, Jeremy J.; Aubail, Aurore; Hussey, Nigel E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Caurant, Florence; Bustamante, Paco

    2015-02-01

    Sharks are a major component of the top predator guild in oceanic ecosystems, but the trophic relationships of many populations remain poorly understood. We examined chemical tracers of diet and habitat (δ15N and δ13C, respectively) and total mercury (Hg) concentrations in muscle tissue of seven pelagic sharks: blue shark (Prionace glauca), short-fin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus), crocodile shark (Pseudocarcharias kamoharai) and silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), from the data poor south-western tropical Indian Ocean. Minimal interspecific variation in mean δ15N values and a large degree of isotopic niche overlap - driven by high intraspecific variation in δ15N values - was observed among pelagic sharks. Similarly, δ13C values of sharks overlapped considerably for all species with the exception of P. glauca, which had more 13C-depleted values indicating possibly longer residence times in purely pelagic waters. Geographic variation in δ13C, δ15N and Hg were observed for P. glauca and I. oxyrinchus. Mean Hg levels were similar among species with the exception of P. kamoharai which had significantly higher Hg concentrations likely related to mesopelagic feeding. Hg concentrations increased with body size in I. oxyrinchus, P. glauca and C. longimanus. Values of δ15N and δ13C varied with size only in P. glauca, suggesting ontogenetic shifts in diets or habitats. Together, isotopic data indicate that - with few exceptions - variance within species in trophic interactions or foraging habitats is greater than differentiation among pelagic sharks in the south-western Indian Ocean. Therefore, it is possible that this group exhibits some level of trophic redundancy, but further studies of diets and fine-scale habitat use are needed to fully test this hypothesis.

  9. Phylogenetic diversity and co-evolutionary signals among trophic levels change across a habitat edge.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Guadalupe; Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Varsani, Arvind; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2015-03-01

    Incorporating the evolutionary history of species into community ecology enhances understanding of community composition, ecosystem functioning and responses to environmental changes. Phylogenetic history might partly explain the impact of fragmentation and land-use change on assemblages of interacting organisms and even determine potential cascading effects across trophic levels. However, it remains unclear whether phylogenetic diversity of basal resources is reflected at higher trophic levels in the food web. In particular, phylogenetic determinants of community structure have never been incorporated into habitat edge studies, even though edges are recognized as key factors affecting communities in fragmented landscapes. Here, we test whether phylogenetic diversity at different trophic levels (plants, herbivores and parasitoids) and signals of co-evolution (i.e. phylogenetic congruence) among interacting trophic levels change across an edge gradient between native and plantation forests. To ascertain whether there is a signal of co-evolution across trophic levels, we test whether related consumer species generally feed on related resource species. We found differences across trophic levels in how their phylogenetic diversity responded to the habitat edge gradient. Plant and native parasitoid phylogenetic diversity changed markedly across habitats, while phylogenetic variability of herbivores (which were predominantly native) did not change across habitats, though phylogenetic evenness declined in plantation interiors. Related herbivore species did not appear to feed disproportionately on related plant species (i.e. there was no signal of co-evolution) even when considering only native species, potentially due to the high trophic generality of herbivores. However, related native parasitoid species tended to feed on related herbivore species, suggesting the presence of a co-evolutionary signal at higher trophic levels. Moreover, this signal was stronger in

  10. Trophic interactions and distribution of some Squaliforme sharks, including new diet descriptions for Deania calcea and Squalus acanthias.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Matthew R; Stevens, Darren W; Forman, Jeffrey S; Connell, Amelia

    2013-01-01

    Squaliforme sharks are a common but relatively vulnerable bycatch in many deep water fisheries. Eleven species of squaliforme shark are commonly caught at depths of 200-1200 m on Chatham Rise, New Zealand, and their diversity suggests they might occupy different niches. The diets of 133 Deania calcea and 295 Squalus acanthias were determined from examination of stomach contents. The diet of D. calcea was characterised by mesopelagic fishes, and S. acanthias by benthic to pelagic fishes, but was more adaptive and included likely scavenging. Multivariate analyses found the most important predictors of diet variability in S. acanthias were year, bottom temperature, longitude, and fish weight. The diet of the nine other commonly caught squaliforme sharks was reviewed, and the spatial and depth distribution of all species on Chatham Rise described from research bottom trawl survey catches. The eleven species had a variety of different diets, and depth and location preferences, consistent with niche separation to reduce interspecific competition. Four trophic groups were identified, characterised by: mesopelagic fishes and invertebrates (Centroselachus crepidater, D. calcea, and Etmopterus lucifer); mesopelagic and benthopelagic fishes and invertebrates (Centroscymnus owstoni, Etmopterus baxteri); demersal and benthic fishes (Centrophorus squamosus, Dalatias licha, Proscymnodon plunketi); and a generalist diet of fishes and invertebrates (S. acanthias). The trophic levels of the species in each of the four groups were estimated as 4.18-4.24, 4.20-4.23, 4.24-4.48, and 3.84 respectively. The diet of Oxynotus bruniensis and Squalus griffini are unknown. The different niches occupied by different species are likely to influence their vulnerability to bottom trawl fisheries. Some species may benefit from fisheries through an increased availability of scavenged prey. PMID:23536896

  11. Trophic Interactions and Distribution of Some Squaliforme Sharks, Including New Diet Descriptions for Deania calcea and Squalus acanthias

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Matthew R.; Stevens, Darren W.; Forman, Jeffrey S.; Connell, Amelia

    2013-01-01

    Squaliforme sharks are a common but relatively vulnerable bycatch in many deep water fisheries. Eleven species of squaliforme shark are commonly caught at depths of 200–1200 m on Chatham Rise, New Zealand, and their diversity suggests they might occupy different niches. The diets of 133 Deania calcea and 295 Squalus acanthias were determined from examination of stomach contents. The diet of D. calcea was characterised by mesopelagic fishes, and S. acanthias by benthic to pelagic fishes, but was more adaptive and included likely scavenging. Multivariate analyses found the most important predictors of diet variability in S. acanthias were year, bottom temperature, longitude, and fish weight. The diet of the nine other commonly caught squaliforme sharks was reviewed, and the spatial and depth distribution of all species on Chatham Rise described from research bottom trawl survey catches. The eleven species had a variety of different diets, and depth and location preferences, consistent with niche separation to reduce interspecific competition. Four trophic groups were identified, characterised by: mesopelagic fishes and invertebrates (Centroselachus crepidater, D. calcea, and Etmopterus lucifer); mesopelagic and benthopelagic fishes and invertebrates (Centroscymnus owstoni, Etmopterus baxteri); demersal and benthic fishes (Centrophorus squamosus, Dalatias licha, Proscymnodon plunketi); and a generalist diet of fishes and invertebrates (S. acanthias). The trophic levels of the species in each of the four groups were estimated as 4.18–4.24, 4.20–4.23, 4.24–4.48, and 3.84 respectively. The diet of Oxynotus bruniensis and Squalus griffini are unknown. The different niches occupied by different species are likely to influence their vulnerability to bottom trawl fisheries. Some species may benefit from fisheries through an increased availability of scavenged prey. PMID:23536896

  12. Scale-dependent bi-trophic interactions in a semi-arid savanna: how herbivores eliminate benefits of nutrient patchiness to plants.

    PubMed

    van der Waal, Cornelis; de Kroon, Hans; van Langevelde, Frank; de Boer, Willem F; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Slotow, Rob; Pretorius, Yolanda; Prins, Herbert H T

    2016-08-01

    The scale of resource heterogeneity may influence how resources are locally partitioned between co-existing large and small organisms such as trees and grasses in savannas. Scale-related plant responses may, in turn, influence herbivore use of the vegetation. To examine these scale-dependent bi-trophic interactions, we varied fertilizer [(nitrogen (N)/phosphorus (P)/potassium (K)] applications to patches to create different scales of nutrient patchiness (patch size 2 × 2 m, 10 × 10 m, or whole-plot 50 × 50 m) in a large field experiment in intact African savanna. Within-patch fertilizer concentration and the total fertilizer load per plot were independently varied. We found that fertilization increased the leaf N and P concentrations of trees and grasses, resulting in elevated utilization by browsers and grazers. Herbivory off-take was particularly considerable at higher nutrient concentrations. Scale-dependent effects were weak. The net effect of fertilization and herbivory was that plants in fertilized areas tended to grow less and develop smaller rather than larger standing biomass compared to plants growing in areas that remained unfertilized. When all of these effects were considered together at the community (plot) level, herbivory completely eliminated the positive effects of fertilization on the plant community. While this was true for all scales of fertilization, grasses tended to profit more from coarse-grained fertilization and trees from fine-grained fertilization. We conclude that in herbivore-dominated communities, such as the African savanna, nutrient patchiness results in the herbivore community profiting rather more than the plant community, irrespective of the scale of patchiness. At the community level, the allometric scaling theory's prediction of plant-and probably also animal-production does not hold or may even be reversed as a result of complex bi-trophic interactions. PMID:27094543

  13. Combination of cascade chemical reactions with graphene-DNA interaction to develop new strategy for biosensor fabrication.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiaoli; Sun, Liya; Chen, Yangyang; Ye, Zonghuang; Shen, Zhongming; Li, Genxi

    2013-09-15

    Graphene, a single atom thick and two dimensional carbon nano-material, has been proven to possess many unique properties, one of which is the recent discovery that it can interact with single-stranded DNA through noncovalent π-π stacking. In this work, we demonstrate that a new strategy to fabricate many kinds of biosensors can be developed by combining this property with cascade chemical reactions. Taking the fabrication of glucose sensor as an example, while the detection target, glucose, may regulate the graphene-DNA interaction through three cascade chemical reactions, electrochemical techniques are employed to detect the target-regulated graphene-DNA interaction. Experimental results show that in a range from 5μM to 20mM, the glucose concentration is in a natural logarithm with the logarithm of the amperometric response, suggesting a best detection limit and detection range. The proposed biosensor also shows favorable selectivity, and it has the advantage of no need for labeling. What is more, by controlling the cascade chemical reactions, detection of a variety of other targets may be achieved, thus the strategy proposed in this work may have a wide application potential in the future. PMID:23542067

  14. [Trophic interactions of the six most abundant fish species in the artisanal fishery in two bays, central Mexican Pacific].

    PubMed

    Flores Ortega, J R; Godínez Domínguez, E; Rojo Vázquez, J A; Corgos, A; Galván Piña, V H; Sansón González, G

    2010-03-01

    We surveyed the trophic components in six species of Bahía de Navidad and Bahía de Chamela: Microlepidotus brevipinnis, Caranx caballus, Haemulon flaviguttatum, Lutjanus guttatus, L. argentiventris and Mulloidichthys dentatus. Two main seasonal periods were considered: 1) North Equatorial Counter Current NECC period influence (T1) and 2) California Current CC period influence (T2). In Bahía de Navidad 78 prey taxa were identified in the stomachs. From July to December (T1), 64 prey taxa were found, and from January to June (T2), 45 prey items. In Bahía de Chamela 93 prey items were identified; 74 during T1 and 60 during T2. The highest prey number was found in the stomachs of M. dentatus during T1 in Bahía de Navidad and the lowest prey number (7) was recorded in H. flaviguttatum in Bahía de Navidad in the same period. Crustaceans were the most frequently recorded prey items, followed by fishes, mollusks, polychaetes, and echinoderms in both seasonal periods and sites. The six fish species studied are considered as specialist feeders due the low values of the niche breadth index. There was little similarity among the diets. PMID:20411730

  15. Competitive interactions between invasive Nile tilapia and native fish: the potential for altered trophic exchange and modification of food webs.

    PubMed

    Martin, Charles W; Valentine, Marla M; Valentine, John F

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have highlighted both the positive and negative impacts of species invasions. Most of these studies have been conducted on either immobile invasive plants or sessile fauna found at the base of food webs. Fewer studies have examined the impacts of vagile invasive consumers on native competitors. This is an issue of some importance given the controlling influence that consumers have on lower order plants and animals. Here, we present results of laboratory experiments designed to assess the impacts of unintended aquaculture releases of the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), in estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico, on the functionally similar redspotted sunfish (Lepomis miniatus). Laboratory choice tests showed that tilapia prefer the same structured habitat that native sunfish prefer. In subsequent interspecific competition experiments, agonistic tilapia displaced sunfish from their preferred structured habitats. When a piscivore (largemouth bass) was present in the tank with both species, the survival of sunfish decreased. Based on these findings, if left unchecked, we predict that the proliferation of tilapia (and perhaps other aggressive aquaculture fishes) will have important detrimental effects on the structure of native food webs in shallow, structured coastal habitats. While it is likely that the impacts of higher trophic level invasive competitors will vary among species, these results show that consequences of unintended releases of invasive higher order consumers can be important. PMID:21200433

  16. Importance of interactions between food quality, quantity, and gut transit time on consumer feeding, growth, and trophic dynamics.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Aditee; Flynn, Kevin J

    2007-05-01

    Ingestion kinetics of animals are controlled by both external food availability and feedback from the quantity of material already within the gut. The latter varies with gut transit time (GTT) and digestion of the food. Ingestion, assimilation efficiency, and thus, growth dynamics are not related in a simple fashion. For the first time, the important linkage between these processes and GTT is demonstrated; this is achieved using a biomass-based, mechanistic multinutrient model fitted to experimental data for zooplankton growth dynamics when presented with food items of varying quality (stoichiometric composition) or quantity. The results show that trophic transfer dynamics will vary greatly between the extremes of feeding on low-quantity/high-quality versus high-quantity/low-quality food; these conditions are likely to occur in nature. Descriptions of consumer behavior that assume a constant relationship between the kinetics of grazing and growth irrespective of food quality and/or quantity, with little or no recognition of the combined importance of these factors on consumer behavior, may seriously misrepresent consumer activity in dynamic situations. PMID:17427134

  17. Trophic interactions of the endangered Southern river otter ( Lontra provocax) in a Chilean Ramsar wetland inferred from prey sampling, fecal analysis, and stable isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Marcela; Guevara, Giovany; Correa, Loreto; Soto-Gamboa, Mauricio

    2013-04-01

    Non-invasive methodological approaches are highly recommended and commonly used to study the feeding ecology of elusive and threatened mammals. In this study, we use multiple lines of evidence to assess the feeding strategies of the endangered Southern river otter, by determining seasonal prey availability (electrofishing), analysis of undigested prey remains (spraints), and the use of stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) in otter spraints ( n = 262) and prey in a wetland ecosystem of southern Chile (39°49'S, 73°15'W). Fecal and isotopic analyses suggest that the otter diet is restricted to a few prey items, particularly the less-mobile, bottom-living, and larger prey such as crayfish ( Samastacus spinifrons, 86.11 %) and crabs ( Aegla spp., 32.45 %), supplemented opportunistically by cyprinids ( Cyprinus carpio, 9.55 %) and catfish ( Diplomystes camposensis, 5.66 %). The results suggest that the river otter is highly specialized in bottom foraging. Isotopic signatures of food sources and feces revealed a mid-upper trophic position for the Southern river otter, with either higher or lower δ15N values than their potential prey items. δ13C values for river otters were less enriched than their potential food resources. We suggest that due to their narrow trophic niche and possible dependence on only a few food items, this species may be highly vulnerable to the reduction in its prey populations. Finally, maintaining the ecological interactions between Southern river otters and their prey is considered a central priority for the survival of this endangered carnivore mammal.

  18. Freely-migrating defects: Their production and interaction with cascade remnants

    SciTech Connect

    Rehn, L.E.; Wiedersich, H.

    1991-05-01

    Many microstructural changes that occur during irradiation are driven primarily by freely-migrating defects, i.e. those defects which escape from nascent cascades to migrate over distances that are large relative to typical cascade dimensions. Several measurements during irradiation at elevated temperatures have shown that the survival rate of freely-migrating defects decreases much more strongly with increasing primary recoil energy than does the survival rate for defects generated at liquid helium temperatures. For typical fission or fusion recoil spectra, and for heavy-ion bombardment, the fraction of defects that migrate long-distances is apparently only {approximately}1% of the calculated dpa. This small surviving fraction of freely-migrating defects results at least partially from additional intracascade recombination at elevated temperatures. However, cascade remnants, e.g., vacancy and interstitial clusters, also contribute by enhancing intercascade defect annihilation. A recently developed rate-theory approach is used to discuss the relative importance of intra- and intercascade recombination to the survival rate of freely-migrating defects. Within the validity of certain simplifying assumptions, the additional sink density provided by defect clusters produced directly within individual cascades can explain the difference between a defect survival rate of about 30% for low dose, low temperature irradiations with heavy ions, and a survival rate of only {approximately}1% for freely-migrating defects at elevated temperatures. The status of our current understanding of freely-migrating defects, including remaining unanswered questions, is also discussed. 33 refs., 5 figs.

  19. Table scraps: inter-trophic food provisioning by pumas.

    PubMed

    Elbroch, L Mark; Wittmer, Heiko U

    2012-10-23

    Large carnivores perform keystone ecological functions through direct predation, or indirectly, through food subsidies to scavengers or trophic cascades driven by their influence on the distributions of their prey. Pumas (Puma concolor) are an elusive, cryptic species difficult to study and little is known about their inter-trophic-level interactions in natural communities. Using new GPS technology, we discovered that pumas in Patagonia provided 232 ± 31 kg of edible meat/month/100 km(2) to near-threatened Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) and other members of a diverse scavenger community. This is up to 3.1 times the contributions by wolves (Canis lupus) to communities in Yellowstone National Park, USA, and highlights the keystone role large, solitary felids play in natural systems. These findings are more pertinent than ever, for managers increasingly advocate controlling pumas and other large felids to bolster prey populations and mitigate concerns over human and livestock safety, without a full understanding of the potential ecological consequences of their actions. PMID:22696284

  20. Table scraps: inter-trophic food provisioning by pumas

    PubMed Central

    Elbroch, L. Mark; Wittmer, Heiko U.

    2012-01-01

    Large carnivores perform keystone ecological functions through direct predation, or indirectly, through food subsidies to scavengers or trophic cascades driven by their influence on the distributions of their prey. Pumas (Puma concolor) are an elusive, cryptic species difficult to study and little is known about their inter-trophic-level interactions in natural communities. Using new GPS technology, we discovered that pumas in Patagonia provided 232 ± 31 kg of edible meat/month/100 km2 to near-threatened Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) and other members of a diverse scavenger community. This is up to 3.1 times the contributions by wolves (Canis lupus) to communities in Yellowstone National Park, USA, and highlights the keystone role large, solitary felids play in natural systems. These findings are more pertinent than ever, for managers increasingly advocate controlling pumas and other large felids to bolster prey populations and mitigate concerns over human and livestock safety, without a full understanding of the potential ecological consequences of their actions. PMID:22696284

  1. Ecotoxicity and genotoxicity of cadmium in different marine trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Pavlaki, Maria D; Araújo, Mário J; Cardoso, Diogo N; Silva, Ana Rita R; Cruz, Andreia; Mendo, Sónia; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Calado, Ricardo; Loureiro, Susana

    2016-08-01

    Cadmium ecotoxicity and genotoxicity was assessed in three representative species of different trophic levels of marine ecosystems - the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa, the decapod shrimp, Palaemon varians and the pleuronectiform fish Solea senegalensis. Ecotoxicity endpoints assessed in this study were adult survival, hatching success and larval development ratio (LDR) for A. tonsa, survival of the first larval stage (zoea I) and post-larvae of P. varians, egg and larvae survival, as well as the presence of malformations in the larval stage of S. senegalensis. In vivo genotoxicity was assessed on adult A. tonsa, the larval and postlarval stage of P. varians and newly hatched larvae of S. senegalensis using the comet assay. Results showed that the highest sensitivity to cadmium is displayed by A. tonsa, with the most sensitive endpoint being the LDR of nauplii to copepodites. Sole eggs displayed the highest tolerance to cadmium compared to the other endpoints evaluated for all tested species. Recorded cadmium toxicity was (by increasing order): S. senegalensis eggs < P. varians post-larvae < P. varians zoea I < S. senegalensis larvae < A. tonsa eggs < A. tonsa LDR. DNA damage to all species exposed to cadmium increased with increasing concentrations. Overall, understanding cadmium chemical speciation is paramount to reliably evaluate the effects of this metal in marine ecosystems. Cadmium is genotoxic to all three species tested and therefore may differentially impact individuals and populations of marine taxa. As A. tonsa was the most sensitive species and occupies a lower trophic level, it is likely that cadmium contamination may trigger bottom-up cascading effects in marine trophic interactions. PMID:27203468

  2. Short-term disturbance of a grazer has long-term effects on bacterial communities--relevance of trophic interactions for recovery from pesticide effects.

    PubMed

    Foit, Kaarina; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Liess, Matthias

    2010-08-15

    Little is known about the transfer of pesticide effects from higher trophic levels to bacterial communities by grazing. We investigated the effects of pulse exposure to the pyrethroid Fenvalerate on a grazer-prey system that comprised populations of Daphnia magna and bacterial communities. We observed the abundance and population size structure of D. magna by image analysis. Aquatic bacteria were monitored with regard to abundance (by cell staining) and community structure (by a 16S ribosomal RNA fingerprinting method). Shortly after exposure (2 days), the abundance of D. magna decreased. In contrast, the abundance of bacteria increased; in particular fast-growing bacteria proliferated, which changed the bacterial community structure. Long after pulse exposure (26 days), the size structure of D. magna was still affected and dominated by a cohort of small individuals. This cohort of small D. magna grazed actively on bacteria, which resulted in low bacterial abundance and low percentage of fast-growing bacteria. We identified grazing pressure as an important mediator for translating long-term pesticide effects from a grazer population on its prey. Hence, bacterial communities are potentially affected throughout the period that their grazers show pesticide effects concerning abundance or population size structure. Owing to interspecific interactions, the recovery of one species can only be assessed by considering its community context. PMID:20554058

  3. Deep sequencing of amplified Prasinovirus and host green algal genes from an Indian Ocean transect reveals interacting trophic dependencies and new genotypes.

    PubMed

    Clerissi, Camille; Desdevises, Yves; Romac, Sarah; Audic, Stéphane; de Vargas, Colomban; Acinas, Silvia G; Casotti, Raffaella; Poulain, Julie; Wincker, Patrick; Hingamp, Pascal; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Grimsley, Nigel

    2015-12-01

    High-throughput sequencing of Prasinovirus DNA polymerase and host green algal (Mamiellophyceae) ribosomal RNA genes was used to analyse the diversity and distribution of these taxa over a ∼10 000 km latitudinal section of the Indian Ocean. New viral and host groups were identified among the different trophic conditions observed, and highlighted that although unknown prasinoviruses are diverse, the cosmopolitan algal genera Bathycoccus, Micromonas and Ostreococcus represent a large proportion of the host diversity. While Prasinovirus communities were correlated to both the geography and the environment, host communities were not, perhaps because the genetic marker used lacked sufficient resolution. Nevertheless, analysis of single environmental variables showed that eutrophic conditions strongly influence the distributions of both hosts and viruses. Moreover, these communities were not correlated, in their composition or specific richness. These observations could result from antagonistic dynamics, such as that illustrated in a prey-predator model, and/or because hosts might be under a complex set of selective pressures. Both of these reasons must be considered to interpret environmental surveys of viruses and hosts, because covariation does not always imply interaction. PMID:26472079

  4. Mutualistic and antagonistic trophic interactions in canola: the role of aphids in shaping pest and predator populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aphids have important effects on the abundance and occurrence of tending ants, predators, and pests in agronomic systems, and DNA-based gut content analysis can aid in establishing predator-prey interactions. The purpose of this study was to determine how the presence of aphids, ants, and pest indiv...

  5. Cascading ecological effects of eliminating fishery discards.

    PubMed

    Heath, Michael R; Cook, Robin M; Cameron, Angus I; Morris, David J; Speirs, Douglas C

    2014-01-01

    Discarding by fisheries is perceived as contrary to responsible harvesting. Legislation seeking to end the practice is being introduced in many jurisdictions. However, discarded fish are food for a range of scavenging species; so, ending discarding may have ecological consequences. Here we investigate the sensitivity of ecological effects to discarding policies using an ecosystem model of the North Sea--a region where 30-40% of trawled fish catch is currently discarded. We show that landing the entire catch while fishing as usual has conservation penalties for seabirds, marine mammals and seabed fauna, and no benefit to fish stocks. However, combining landing obligations with changes in fishing practices to limit the capture of unwanted fish results in trophic cascades that can benefit birds, mammals and most fish stocks. Our results highlight the importance of considering the broader ecosystem consequences of fishery management policy, since species interactions may dissipate or negate intended benefits. PMID:24820200

  6. Cascading ecological effects of eliminating fishery discards

    PubMed Central

    Heath, Michael R.; Cook, Robin M.; Cameron, Angus I.; Morris, David J.; Speirs, Douglas C.

    2014-01-01

    Discarding by fisheries is perceived as contrary to responsible harvesting. Legislation seeking to end the practice is being introduced in many jurisdictions. However, discarded fish are food for a range of scavenging species; so, ending discarding may have ecological consequences. Here we investigate the sensitivity of ecological effects to discarding policies using an ecosystem model of the North Sea—a region where 30–40% of trawled fish catch is currently discarded. We show that landing the entire catch while fishing as usual has conservation penalties for seabirds, marine mammals and seabed fauna, and no benefit to fish stocks. However, combining landing obligations with changes in fishing practices to limit the capture of unwanted fish results in trophic cascades that can benefit birds, mammals and most fish stocks. Our results highlight the importance of considering the broader ecosystem consequences of fishery management policy, since species interactions may dissipate or negate intended benefits. PMID:24820200

  7. Ecological consequences of body size decline in harvested fish species: positive feedback loops in trophic interactions amplify human impact.

    PubMed

    Audzijonyte, Asta; Kuparinen, Anna; Gorton, Rebecca; Fulton, Elizabeth A

    2013-04-23

    Humans are changing marine ecosystems worldwide, both directly through fishing and indirectly through climate change. One of the little explored outcomes of human-induced change involves the decreasing body sizes of fishes. We use a marine ecosystem model to explore how a slow (less than 0.1% per year) decrease in the length of five harvested species could affect species interactions, biomasses and yields. We find that even small decreases in fish sizes are amplified by positive feedback loops in the ecosystem and can lead to major changes in natural mortality. For some species, a total of 4 per cent decrease in length-at-age over 50 years resulted in 50 per cent increase in predation mortality. However, the magnitude and direction in predation mortality changes differed among species and one shrinking species even experienced reduced predation pressure. Nevertheless, 50 years of gradual decrease in body size resulted in 1-35% decrease in biomasses and catches of all shrinking species. Therefore, fisheries management practices that ignore contemporary life-history changes are likely to overestimate long-term yields and can lead to overfishing. PMID:23365151

  8. Radioactive tracers as a tool for the study of in situ meiofaunal-microbial trophic interactions in marine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Carman, K.R.

    1989-01-01

    Three methods of delivering labeled substrates to natural cores of sediments were compared. Slurried sediments disrupted the sedimentary structure and significantly altered uptake of labeled substrates by copepod species. Thus, disruption of sedimentary structure can significantly alter microbial-meiofaunal interactions and influence the results of grazing studies. The ({sup 3}H)-thymidine technique for measuring bacterial production was evaluated. The metabolic fate of labeled thymidine in a coastal marine sediment was not consistent with assumptions necessary for measuring bacterial production or its consumption by meiofauna. Microautoradiography was used to demonstrate the sedimentary microalgae and heterotrophic bacteria can be selectively labeled with ({sup 14}C)bicarbonate and labeled organic substrates, respectively. A study was performed to determine if radioactivity measured in copepods from grazing experiments was the result of ingestion of labeled microorganisms or the result of uptake by non-feeding processes. Uptake of label by copepods from ({sup 14}C)-bicarbonate was due almost exclusively to grazing on microalgae. Uptake of label by copepods from ({sup 14}C)-acetate, however, resulted from activity by epicuticular bacteria and was not due to ingestion of labeled bacteria.

  9. Nature and Timing of Interaction Between the Cascade Arc and Cascadia Backarc Structural Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meigs, A.

    2012-12-01

    Upper plate deformation in Cascadia is among the most unusual of any convergent plate boundary. In Cascadia, migration of a forearc sliver plus vertical axis rotation occur in the upper plate and the rotational deformation field affects the forearc, arc, and backarc. Rotation rate decreases eastward, which requires differential motion between the arc and backarc and between backarc structural provinces. Backarc structure changes from north-south-directed crustal shortening in the north to east-west crustal extension in the south. Backarc shortening structures in the north intersect and may cross the arc at a high angle. In contrast, the Cascade graben marks the western-most extensional structure in the south and thus represents the edge of the Basin and Range province. A Miocene through Quaternary depocenter filled with volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, the Deschutes Basin (DB) formed between the 3 principal arc and backarc structural provinces of Cascadia (the Cascade arc graben (CG), faults of the northwestern Basin and Range extensional province (NWBR), and the Yakima fold and thrust belt (YFB)). Geological data suggest that Mutton Mountain, the YFB fold bounding the northern margin of the DB, was active after 15 Ma. Mutton Mountain is a structural high cored by an Oligocene rhyolite complex, unconformably overlain by Columbia River Basalt (CRB) and younger volcaniclastic sediments and basaltic lava flows on the north flank. Progressive folding of these strata to the north in the Tygh Valley syncline continued until after 3 Ma. Mutton Mountain and the Tygh Valley syncline are apparently truncated by the CG in the west. Along the western basin boundary of the DB, published stratigraphic relationships demonstrate that extension across the CG initiated after ~7.4 Ma. Extension of the NWBR occurred in two stages. From the latitude of the Oregon-Idaho border eastward, extension began after 15 Ma. Extension shifted westward across the corner of the NWBR after 10 Ma

  10. Multi-tissue stable isotope analysis and acoustic telemetry reveal seasonal variability in the trophic interactions of juvenile bull sharks in a coastal estuary.

    PubMed

    Matich, Philip; Heithaus, Michael R

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how natural and anthropogenic drivers affect extant food webs is critical to predicting the impacts of climate change and habitat alterations on ecosystem dynamics. In the Florida Everglades, seasonal reductions in freshwater flow and precipitation lead to annual migrations of aquatic taxa from marsh habitats to deep-water refugia in estuaries. The timing and intensity of freshwater reductions, however, will be modified by ongoing ecosystem restoration and predicted climate change. Understanding the importance of seasonally pulsed resources to predators is critical to predicting the impacts of management and climate change on their populations. As with many large predators, however, it is difficult to determine to what extent predators like bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) in the coastal Everglades make use of prey pulses currently. We used passive acoustic telemetry to determine whether shark movements responded to the pulse of marsh prey. To investigate the possibility that sharks fed on marsh prey, we modelled the predicted dynamics of stable isotope values in bull shark blood and plasma under different assumptions of temporal variability in shark diets and physiological dynamics of tissue turnover and isotopic discrimination. Bull sharks increased their use of upstream channels during the late dry season, and although our previous work shows long-term specialization in the diets of sharks, stable isotope values suggested that some individuals adjusted their diets to take advantage of prey entering the system from the marsh, and as such this may be an important resource for the nursery. Restoration efforts are predicted to increase hydroperiods and marsh water levels, likely shifting the timing, duration and intensity of prey pulses, which could have negative consequences for the bull shark population and/or induce shifts in behaviour. Understanding the factors influencing the propensity to specialize or adopt more flexible trophic interactions

  11. Gut contents as direct indicators for trophic relationships in the Cambrian marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Vannier, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Present-day ecosystems host a huge variety of organisms that interact and transfer mass and energy via a cascade of trophic levels. When and how this complex machinery was established remains largely unknown. Although exceptionally preserved biotas clearly show that Early Cambrian animals had already acquired functionalities that enabled them to exploit a wide range of food resources, there is scant direct evidence concerning their diet and exact trophic relationships. Here I describe the gut contents of Ottoia prolifica, an abundant priapulid worm from the middle Cambrian (Stage 5) Burgess Shale biota. I identify the undigested exoskeletal remains of a wide range of small invertebrates that lived at or near the water sediment interface such as hyolithids, brachiopods, different types of arthropods, polychaetes and wiwaxiids. This set of direct fossil evidence allows the first detailed reconstruction of the diet of a 505-million-year-old animal. Ottoia was a dietary generalist and had no strict feeding regime. It fed on both living individuals and decaying organic matter present in its habitat. The feeding behavior of Ottoia was remarkably simple, reduced to the transit of food through an eversible pharynx and a tubular gut with limited physical breakdown and no storage. The recognition of generalist feeding strategies, exemplified by Ottoia, reveals key-aspects of modern-style trophic complexity in the immediate aftermath of the Cambrian explosion. It also shows that the middle Cambrian ecosystem was already too complex to be understood in terms of simple linear dynamics and unique pathways. PMID:23300612

  12. Gut Contents as Direct Indicators for Trophic Relationships in the Cambrian Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Vannier, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Present-day ecosystems host a huge variety of organisms that interact and transfer mass and energy via a cascade of trophic levels. When and how this complex machinery was established remains largely unknown. Although exceptionally preserved biotas clearly show that Early Cambrian animals had already acquired functionalities that enabled them to exploit a wide range of food resources, there is scant direct evidence concerning their diet and exact trophic relationships. Here I describe the gut contents of Ottoia prolifica, an abundant priapulid worm from the middle Cambrian (Stage 5) Burgess Shale biota. I identify the undigested exoskeletal remains of a wide range of small invertebrates that lived at or near the water sediment interface such as hyolithids, brachiopods, different types of arthropods, polychaetes and wiwaxiids. This set of direct fossil evidence allows the first detailed reconstruction of the diet of a 505-million-year-old animal. Ottoia was a dietary generalist and had no strict feeding regime. It fed on both living individuals and decaying organic matter present in its habitat. The feeding behavior of Ottoia was remarkably simple, reduced to the transit of food through an eversible pharynx and a tubular gut with limited physical breakdown and no storage. The recognition of generalist feeding strategies, exemplified by Ottoia, reveals key-aspects of modern-style trophic complexity in the immediate aftermath of the Cambrian explosion. It also shows that the middle Cambrian ecosystem was already too complex to be understood in terms of simple linear dynamics and unique pathways. PMID:23300612

  13. Toll-like receptor cascade and gene polymorphism in host–pathogen interaction in Lyme disease

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Shusmita; Shering, Maria; Ogden, Nicholas H; Lindsay, Robbin; Badawi, Alaa

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease (LD) risk occurs in North America and Europe where the tick vectors of the causal agent Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato are found. It is associated with local and systemic manifestations, and has persistent posttreatment health complications in some individuals. The innate immune system likely plays a critical role in both host defense against B. burgdorferi and disease severity. Recognition of B. burgdorferi, activation of the innate immune system, production of proinflammatory cytokines, and modulation of the host adaptive responses are all initiated by Toll-like receptors (TLRs). A number of Borrelia outer-surface proteins (eg, OspA and OspB) are recognized by TLRs. Specifically, TLR1 and TLR2 were identified as the receptors most relevant to LD. Several functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified in TLR genes, and are associated with varying cytokines types and synthesis levels, altered pathogen recognition, and disruption of the downstream signaling cascade. These single-nucleotide polymorphism-related functional alterations are postulated to be linked to disease development and posttreatment persistent illness. Elucidating the role of TLRs in LD may facilitate a better understanding of disease pathogenesis and can provide an insight into novel therapeutic targets during active disease or postinfection and posttreatment stages. PMID:27330321

  14. Toll-like receptor cascade and gene polymorphism in host-pathogen interaction in Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Shusmita; Shering, Maria; Ogden, Nicholas H; Lindsay, Robbin; Badawi, Alaa

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease (LD) risk occurs in North America and Europe where the tick vectors of the causal agent Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato are found. It is associated with local and systemic manifestations, and has persistent posttreatment health complications in some individuals. The innate immune system likely plays a critical role in both host defense against B. burgdorferi and disease severity. Recognition of B. burgdorferi, activation of the innate immune system, production of proinflammatory cytokines, and modulation of the host adaptive responses are all initiated by Toll-like receptors (TLRs). A number of Borrelia outer-surface proteins (eg, OspA and OspB) are recognized by TLRs. Specifically, TLR1 and TLR2 were identified as the receptors most relevant to LD. Several functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified in TLR genes, and are associated with varying cytokines types and synthesis levels, altered pathogen recognition, and disruption of the downstream signaling cascade. These single-nucleotide polymorphism-related functional alterations are postulated to be linked to disease development and posttreatment persistent illness. Elucidating the role of TLRs in LD may facilitate a better understanding of disease pathogenesis and can provide an insight into novel therapeutic targets during active disease or postinfection and posttreatment stages. PMID:27330321

  15. Prey size structure diminishes cascading effects by increasing interference competition and predation among prey.

    PubMed

    Geraldii, Nathan R

    2015-09-01

    The size of an organism can change by orders of magnitude during its lifespan. Size can determine whether an individual consumes, is consumed, competes, or avoids individuals of the same or different species. Two complementary mesocosm experiments with a tri-trophic food chain (top predator, toadfish, Opsanus tau; intermediate prey, mud crab, family Xanthidae; basal resource, oyster, Crassostrea virginica) were conducted to measure how the size of both the top predator and the intermediate prey affects consumptive and behavioral interactions in trophic cascades. In the first experiment, I systematically varied the sizes of predators and prey, respectively. The amount of crab biomass consumed was dependent on crab size and not toadfish size, but the effect of crab size did not cascade to alter oyster survival. Increased oyster survival from crab interference competition in the absence of toadfish was similar to oyster survival,from predator-avoidance behavior in the presence of a toadfish. When all crab size classes were present, crab mortality was similar in the presence and absence of toadfish, highlighting the importance of intraguild predation in food-web dynamics. The second experiment separated crab mortality by other crabs from crab mortality by predatory toadfish and found that crab mortality generally switched from intra- to interguild predation when a toadfish was present. In addition, field surveys indicated mud crab abundance and size was primarily influenced by mud crab recruitment, but not by toadfish abundance, which supports our experimental results that interactions among mud crabs have similar effects to predator-prey interactions. These findings indicate that changes in size or abundance of intermediate prey may be comparable to changes in top predator abundance in terms of trophic interactions and their transmission to lower levels, which suggests that certain types of relatively simple food chains can be resilient to the loss of higher trophic

  16. Cascading life-history interactions: alternative density-dependent pathways drive recruitment dynamics in a freshwater fish.

    PubMed

    Vandenbos, Rena E; Tonn, William M; Boss, Shelly M

    2006-07-01

    Although density-dependent mechanisms in early life-history are important regulators of recruitment in many taxa, consequences of such mechanisms on other life-history stages are poorly understood. To examine interacting and cascading effects of mechanisms acting on different life-history stages, we stocked experimental ponds with fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) at two different densities. We quantified growth and survival of the stocked fish, the eggs they produced, and the resulting offspring during their first season of life. Per-capita production and survival of eggs were inversely related to density of stocked fish; significant egg cannibalism by stocked minnows resulted in initial young-of-the-year (YOY) densities that were inversely related to adult densities. Subsequent growth and survival of YOY were then inversely related to these initial YOY densities, and survival of YOY was selective for larger fish. Because of these compensatory processes in the egg and YOY stages, treatments did not differ in YOY abundance and mean size at the end of the growing season. Because of differences in the intensity of size-selective mortality, however, variation in end-of season sizes of YOY was strongly (and inversely) related to densities of stocked fish. When mortality was severe in the egg stage (high densities of stocked fish), final YOY size distributions were more variable than when the dominant mortality was size-selective in the YOY stage (low stocked fish densities). These differences in size variation could have subsequent recruitment consequences, as overwinter survival is typically selective for YOY fish larger than a critical threshold size. Density-dependent effects on a given life stage are not independent, but will be influenced by earlier stages; alternative recruitment pathways can result when processes at earlier stages differ in magnitude or selectivity. Appreciation of these cascading effects should enhance our overall understanding of the

  17. Eco-evolutionary trophic dynamics: loss of top predators drives trophic evolution and ecology of prey.

    PubMed

    Palkovacs, Eric P; Wasserman, Ben A; Kinnison, Michael T

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems are being altered on a global scale by the extirpation of top predators. The ecological effects of predator removal have been investigated widely; however, predator removal can also change natural selection acting on prey, resulting in contemporary evolution. Here we tested the role of predator removal on the contemporary evolution of trophic traits in prey. We utilized a historical introduction experiment where Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) were relocated from a site with predatory fishes to a site lacking predators. To assess the trophic consequences of predator release, we linked individual morphology (cranial, jaw, and body) to foraging performance. Our results show that predator release caused an increase in guppy density and a "sharpening" of guppy trophic traits, which enhanced food consumption rates. Predator release appears to have shifted natural selection away from predator escape ability and towards resource acquisition ability. Related diet and mesocosm studies suggest that this shift enhances the impact of guppies on lower trophic levels in a fashion nuanced by the omnivorous feeding ecology of the species. We conclude that extirpation of top predators may commonly select for enhanced feeding performance in prey, with important cascading consequences for communities and ecosystems. PMID:21526156

  18. Cascading processes and interactions in torrent catchments and their influence on the damage pattern

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiler, Margreth; Gebbers, David

    2014-05-01

    Research on single geomorphological processes during damaging events has a long history; however, comprehensive documentations and analyses of the events have been conducted not until the late 1980s. Thus, for highly damaging events insights about triggering, the evolution and the impacts of processes during an event and the resulting damage were produced. Though, in the majority of cases the processes were studied in a well-defined procedure of one disciplinary focus. These focused studies neglect mutable influences which may alter the sequence of the process or the event. During damaging events multiple geomorphological processes are active which leads to the assumption that they have a certain impact on each other and the course of damaging effect. Consequently, for a comprehensive hazard and risk analysis all processes of a catchment have to be analysed and evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively (MARZOCCHI, 2007). Although the demand for a sophisticated risk management is increasing, the research on interactions as well as on physical vulnerability to multiple hazards, including the different processes impact effects, is still very limited (KAPPES et al., 2010, 2011). The challenges in this field are the quantity of data needed, and furthermore to conduct this kind of analysis is very complex and complicated (KAPPES et al. 2012). Yet, knowledge about possible interactions and resulting impact effects could significantly contribute to the reduction of risk in a region. The objective of this study is to analyse, i) how geomorphological processes interact with each other and with other factors of the surrounding during a damaging event, ii) what influences those interactions have on the resulting damage of the event and iii) whether or not different events are comparable in terms of those interactions and their impacts. To meet these objectives, 15 damaging torrent events, which occurred between 2000 and 2011 in the Bernese Oberland and the Pennine Alps

  19. Effective screening strategy using ensembled pharmacophore models combined with cascade docking: application to p53-MDM2 interaction inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Xue, Xin; Wei, Jin-Lian; Xu, Li-Li; Xi, Mei-Yang; Xu, Xiao-Li; Liu, Fang; Guo, Xiao-Ke; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Xiao-Jin; Zhang, Ming-Ye; Lu, Meng-Chen; Sun, Hao-Peng; You, Qi-Dong

    2013-10-28

    Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) play a crucial role in cellular function and form the backbone of almost all biochemical processes. In recent years, protein-protein interaction inhibitors (PPIIs) have represented a treasure trove of potential new drug targets. Unfortunately, there are few successful drugs of PPIIs on the market. Structure-based pharmacophore (SBP) combined with docking has been demonstrated as a useful Virtual Screening (VS) strategy in drug development projects. However, the combination of target complexity and poor binding affinity prediction has thwarted the application of this strategy in the discovery of PPIIs. Here we report an effective VS strategy on p53-MDM2 PPI. First, we built a SBP model based on p53-MDM2 complex cocrystal structures. The model was then simplified by using a Receptor-Ligand complex-based pharmacophore model considering the critical binding features between MDM2 and its small molecular inhibitors. Cascade docking was subsequently applied to improve the hit rate. Based on this strategy, we performed VS on NCI and SPECS databases and successfully discovered 6 novel compounds from 15 hits with the best, compound 1 (NSC 5359), K(i) = 180 ± 50 nM. These compounds can serve as lead compounds for further optimization. PMID:24050442

  20. Trophic shift, not collapse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madenjian, Charles P.; Rutherford, Edward S.; Stow, Craig A.; Roseman, Edward F.; He, Ji X.

    2013-01-01

    scientists who are closely monitoring Lake Huron’s food web, we believe that the ongoing changes are more accurately characterized as a trophic shift in which benthic pathways have become more prominent. While decreases in abundance have occurred for some species, others are experiencing improved reproduction resulting in the restoration of several important native species.

  1. Lake trophic applications: Wisconsin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scarpace, F.

    1981-01-01

    Efforts to classify the water quality characteristics of lakes using LANDSAT imagery are reported. Image processing and registration techniques are described. A lake classification scheme which involves the assignment of a trophic class number was used in the data analysis. The resulting values were compared to the corresponding rank assignment derived from field measurements.

  2. Cascading effects of fire retardant on plant-microbe interactions, community composition, and invasion.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Abigail; Waller, Lauren; Lekberg, Ylva

    2016-06-01

    Climate change, historical fire suppression, and a rise in human movements in urban-forest boundaries have resulted in an increased use of long-term fire retardant (LTFR). While LTFR is an effective fire-fighting tool, it contains high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, and little is known about how this nutrient pulse affects terrestrial ecosystems. We used field surveys and greenhouse experiments to quantify effects of LTFR on plant productivity, community composition, and plant interactions with the ubiquitous root symbiont arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). In the field, LTFR applications were associated with persistent shifts in plant communities toward exotic annuals with little or no dependency of AMF. Plants exposed to LTFR were less colonized by AMF, both in field surveys and in the greenhouse, and this was most likely due to the substantial and persistent increase in soil available phosphorus. All plants grew bigger with LTFR in the greenhouse, but the invasive annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) benefitted most. While LTFR can control fires, it may cause long-term changes in soil nutrient availabilities, disrupt plant interactions with beneficial soil microbes, and exasperate invasion by some exotic plants. PMID:27509743

  3. Unsteady Euler cascade analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Jong-Shang; Sockol, Peter M.

    1989-01-01

    The results of an investigation of the rotor-stator interaction phenomena in turbomachines are presented. Numerical study was carried out by solving the unsteady Euler equations in the blade-to-blade direction for a variety of cascade geometries. The problem of uneven rotor and stator blades is addressed by adopting the tilted time domain technique. Computed solutions are presented and discussed for a NACA 0012 type cascade and the first stage fuel turbopump of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME).

  4. Trophic assimilation efficiency markedly increases at higher trophic levels in four-level host-parasitoid food chain.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Dirk; Moser, Andrea; Newton, Jason; van Veen, F J Frank

    2016-03-16

    Trophic assimilation efficiency (conversion of resource biomass into consumer biomass) is thought to be a limiting factor for food chain length in natural communities. In host-parasitoid systems, which account for the majority of terrestrial consumer interactions, a high trophic assimilation efficiency may be expected at higher trophic levels because of the close match of resource composition of host tissue and the consumer's resource requirements, which would allow for longer food chains. We measured efficiency of biomass transfer along an aphid-primary-secondary-tertiary parasitoid food chain and used stable isotope analysis to confirm trophic levels. We show high efficiency in biomass transfer along the food chain. From the third to the fourth trophic level, the proportion of host biomass transferred was 45%, 65% and 73%, respectively, for three secondary parasitoid species. For two parasitoid species that can act at the fourth and fifth trophic levels, we show markedly increased trophic assimilation efficiencies at the higher trophic level, which increased from 45 to 63% and 73 to 93%, respectively. In common with other food chains, δ(15)N increased with trophic level, with trophic discrimination factors (Δ(15)N) 1.34 and 1.49‰ from primary parasitoids to endoparasitic and ectoparasitic secondary parasitoids, respectively, and 0.78‰ from secondary to tertiary parasitoids. Owing to the extraordinarily high efficiency of hyperparasitoids, cryptic higher trophic levels may exist in host-parasitoid communities, which could alter our understanding of the dynamics and drivers of community structure of these important systems. PMID:26962141

  5. Trophic assimilation efficiency markedly increases at higher trophic levels in four-level host–parasitoid food chain

    PubMed Central

    Moser, Andrea; van Veen, F. J. Frank

    2016-01-01

    Trophic assimilation efficiency (conversion of resource biomass into consumer biomass) is thought to be a limiting factor for food chain length in natural communities. In host–parasitoid systems, which account for the majority of terrestrial consumer interactions, a high trophic assimilation efficiency may be expected at higher trophic levels because of the close match of resource composition of host tissue and the consumer's resource requirements, which would allow for longer food chains. We measured efficiency of biomass transfer along an aphid-primary–secondary–tertiary parasitoid food chain and used stable isotope analysis to confirm trophic levels. We show high efficiency in biomass transfer along the food chain. From the third to the fourth trophic level, the proportion of host biomass transferred was 45%, 65% and 73%, respectively, for three secondary parasitoid species. For two parasitoid species that can act at the fourth and fifth trophic levels, we show markedly increased trophic assimilation efficiencies at the higher trophic level, which increased from 45 to 63% and 73 to 93%, respectively. In common with other food chains, δ15N increased with trophic level, with trophic discrimination factors (Δ15N) 1.34 and 1.49‰ from primary parasitoids to endoparasitic and ectoparasitic secondary parasitoids, respectively, and 0.78‰ from secondary to tertiary parasitoids. Owing to the extraordinarily high efficiency of hyperparasitoids, cryptic higher trophic levels may exist in host–parasitoid communities, which could alter our understanding of the dynamics and drivers of community structure of these important systems. PMID:26962141

  6. Species Introductions and Their Cascading Impacts on Biotic Interactions in desert riparian ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hultine, Kevin R; Bean, Dan W; Dudley, Tom L; Gehring, Catherine A

    2015-10-01

    Desert riparian ecosystems of North America are hotspots of biodiversity that support many sensitive species, and are in a region experiencing some of the highest rates of climatic alteration in North America. Fremont cottonwood, Populus fremontii, is a foundation tree species of this critical habitat, but it is threatened by global warming and regional drying, and by a non-native tree/shrub, Tamarix spp., all of which can disrupt the mutualism between P. fremontii and its beneficial mycorrhizal fungal communities. Specialist herbivorous leaf beetles (Diorhabda spp.) introduced for biocontrol of Tamarix are altering the relationship between this shrub and its environment. Repeated episodic feeding on Tamarix foliage by Diorhabda results in varying rates of dieback and mortality, depending on genetic variation in allocation of resources, growing conditions, and phenological synchrony between herbivore and host plant. In this article, we review the complex interaction between climatic change and species introductions and their combined impacts on P. fremontii and their associated communities. We anticipate that (1) certain genotypes of P. fremontii will respond more favorably to the presence of Tamarix and to climatic change due to varying selection pressures to cope with competition and stress; (2) the ongoing evolution of Diorhabda's life cycle timing will continue to facilitate its expansion in North America, and will over time enhance herbivore impact to Tamarix; (3) defoliation by Diorhabda will reduce the negative impact of Tamarix on P. fremontii associations with mycorrhizal fungi; and (4) spatial variability in climate and climatic change will modify the capacity for Tamarix to survive episodic defoliation by Diorhabda, thereby altering the relationship between Tamarix and P. fremontii, and its associated mycorrhizal fungal communities. Given the complex biotic/abiotic interactions outlined in this review, conservation biologists and riparian ecosystem

  7. Concentrations and trophic interactions of novel brominated flame retardants, HBCD, and PBDEs in zooplankton and fish from Lake Maggiore (Northern Italy).

    PubMed

    Poma, Giulia; Volta, Pietro; Roscioli, Claudio; Bettinetti, Roberta; Guzzella, Licia

    2014-05-15

    Following the release of the international regulations on PBDEs and HBCD, the aim of this study is to evaluate the concentrations of novel brominated flame retardants (NBFRs), including 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), hexabromobenzene (HBB), and pentabromoethylbenzene (PBEB), in an Italian subalpine lake located in a populated and industrial area. The study investigated specifically the potential BFR biomagnification in a particular lake's pelagic food web, whose structure and dynamics were evaluated using the Stable Isotope Analysis. The potential BFR biomagnification was investigated by using the trophic-level adjusted BMFs and Trophic Magnification Factors (TMFs), confirming that HBCD and some PBDE congeners are able to biomagnify within food webs. Comparing the calculated values of BMFTL and TMF, a significant positive correlation was observed between the two factors, suggesting that the use of BMFTL to investigate the biomagnification potential of organic chemical compounds might be an appropriate approach when a simple food web is considered. PMID:24614155

  8. Trophic flexibility and the persistence of understory birds in intensively logged rainforest.

    PubMed

    Edwards, David P; Woodcock, Paul; Newton, Rob J; Edwards, Felicity A; Andrews, David J R; Docherty, Teegan D S; Mitchell, Simon L; Ota, Takahiro; Benedick, Suzan; Bottrell, Simon H; Hamer, Keith C

    2013-10-01

    Effects of logging on species composition in tropical rainforests are well known but may fail to reveal key changes in species interactions. We used nitrogen stable-isotope analysis of 73 species of understory birds to quantify trophic responses to repeated intensive logging of rainforest in northern Borneo and to test 4 hypotheses: logging has significant effects on trophic positions and trophic-niche widths of species, and the persistence of species in degraded forest is related to their trophic positions and trophic-niche widths in primary forest. Species fed from higher up the food chain and had narrower trophic-niche widths in degraded forest. Species with narrow trophic-niche widths in primary forest were less likely to persist after logging, a result that indicates a higher vulnerability of dietary specialists to local extinction following habitat disturbance. Persistence of species in degraded forest was not related to a species' trophic position. These results indicate changes in trophic organization that were not apparent from changes in species composition and highlight the importance of focusing on trophic flexibility over the prevailing emphasis on membership of static feeding guilds. Our results thus support the notion that alterations to trophic organization and interactions within tropical forests may be a pervasive and functionally important hidden effect of forest degradation. PMID:23647024

  9. Trigeminal trophic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Parimalam; Thomas, Jayakar

    2014-01-01

    Trigeminal trophic syndrome (TTS) is a rare cause of facial ulceration, consequent to damage to the trigeminal nerve or its central sensory connections. We reporta case of TTS in a 48-year-old woman with Bell's palsy following herpes zoster infection. The patient was treated and counseled. There hasnot been any recurrence for 1 year and the patient is being followed-up. The diagnosis of TTS should be suspected when there is unilateral facial ulceration, especially involving the ala nasi associated with sensory impairment. PMID:24470665

  10. Multiplicities of secondaries in interactions of 1.8 GeV/nucleon Fe-56 nuclei with photoemulsion and the cascade evaporation model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudkin, V. E; Kovalev, E. E.; Nefedov, N. A.; Antonchik, V. A.; Bogdanov, S. D.; Ostroumov, V. I.; Crawford, H. J.; Benton, E. V.

    1995-01-01

    A nuclear photographic emulsion method was used to study the charge-state, ionization, and angular characteristics of secondaries produced in inelastic interactions of Fe-56 nuclei at 1.8 GeV/nucleon with H, CNO, and AgBr nuclei. The data obtained are compared with the results of calculations made in terms of the Dubna version of the cascade evaporation model (DCM). The DCM has been shown to satisfactorily describe most of the interaction characteristics for two nuclei in the studied reactions. At the same time, quantitative differences are observed in some cases.

  11. Trophic classification of selected Colorado lakes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blackwell, R. J.; Boland, D. H. P.

    1979-01-01

    Multispectral scanner data, acquired over several Colorado lakes using LANDSAT-1 and aircraft, were used in conjunction with contact-sensed water quality data to determine the feasibility of assessing lacustrine trophic levels. A trophic state index was developed using contact-sensed data for several trophic indicators. Relationships between the digitally processed multispectral scanner data, several trophic indicators, and the trophic index were examined using a supervised multispectral classification technique and regression techniques. Statistically significant correlations exist between spectral bands, several of the trophic indicators and the trophic state index. Color-coded photomaps were generated which depict the spectral aspects of trophic state.

  12. Interactions between mafic eruptions and glacial ice or snow: implications of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, eruption for hazard assessments in the central Oregon Cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKay, D.; Cashman, K. V.

    2010-12-01

    The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, demonstrated the importance of addressing hazards specific to mafic eruptions in regions where interactions with glacial ice or snow are likely. One such region is the central Oregon Cascades, where there are hundreds of mafic vents, many of which are Holocene in age. Here we present field observations and quantitative analyses of tephra deposits from recent eruptions at Sand Mountain, Yapoah Cone, and Collier Cone (all <4 ka). These deposits differ from typical Cascade cinder cone deposits in several ways. Most significantly, the Sand Mountain eruption produced a relatively large tephra blanket (~1 km3) that is unusually fine-grained: average clast size is 0.063 - 0.5 mm, in contrast to tephra from typical Cascade cinder cones, which are dominated by small lapilli-sized clasts rather than ash. The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull earlier this year prompted us to investigate the role that ice or snow may have played in the production of unusually fine-grained tephra during the Sand Mountain eruption. The eruption date of Sand Mountain is not well constrained, but it likely occurred during the Neoglacial phase of ice advance, which lasted from ~2 to 8 ka in the central Oregon Cascades (Marcott et al., 2009). During the Neoglacial, winter snowfall was likely ~23% greater and summer temperatures ~1.4°C cooler than present (Marcott, 2009). Although ice did not advance to the elevation of the Sand Mountain vents during this time, the eruption could have occurred through several meters of snow. We have also seen very fine-grained tephra at Yapoah Cone, which is located at a higher elevation and may have interacted with glacial ice. In addition to being characterized by unusually fine grainsize, the Yapoah tephra blanket is deposited directly on top of hyaloclastite in several locations. Tephra from Collier Cone is not characterized by unusually fine grainsize, but several sections of the deposit exhibit features that suggest

  13. Trophic coherence determines food-web stability

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Samuel; Domínguez-García, Virginia; Donetti, Luca; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2014-01-01

    Why are large, complex ecosystems stable? Both theory and simulations of current models predict the onset of instability with growing size and complexity, so for decades it has been conjectured that ecosystems must have some unidentified structural property exempting them from this outcome. We show that trophic coherence—a hitherto ignored feature of food webs that current structural models fail to reproduce—is a better statistical predictor of linear stability than size or complexity. Furthermore, we prove that a maximally coherent network with constant interaction strengths will always be linearly stable. We also propose a simple model that, by correctly capturing the trophic coherence of food webs, accurately reproduces their stability and other basic structural features. Most remarkably, our model shows that stability can increase with size and complexity. This suggests a key to May’s paradox, and a range of opportunities and concerns for biodiversity conservation. PMID:25468963

  14. Trophic coherence determines food-web stability.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Samuel; Domínguez-García, Virginia; Donetti, Luca; Muñoz, Miguel A

    2014-12-16

    Why are large, complex ecosystems stable? Both theory and simulations of current models predict the onset of instability with growing size and complexity, so for decades it has been conjectured that ecosystems must have some unidentified structural property exempting them from this outcome. We show that trophic coherence--a hitherto ignored feature of food webs that current structural models fail to reproduce--is a better statistical predictor of linear stability than size or complexity. Furthermore, we prove that a maximally coherent network with constant interaction strengths will always be linearly stable. We also propose a simple model that, by correctly capturing the trophic coherence of food webs, accurately reproduces their stability and other basic structural features. Most remarkably, our model shows that stability can increase with size and complexity. This suggests a key to May's paradox, and a range of opportunities and concerns for biodiversity conservation. PMID:25468963

  15. Secondary foundation species as drivers of trophic and functional diversity: evidence from a tree-epiphyte system.

    PubMed

    Angelini, Christine; Silliman, Brian R

    2014-01-01

    Facilitation cascades arise where primary foundation species facilitate secondary (dependent) foundation species, and collectively, they increase habitat complexity and quality to enhance biodiversity. Whether such phenomena occur in nonmarine systems and if secondary foundation species enhance food web structure (e.g., support novel feeding guilds) and ecosystem function (e.g., provide nursery for juveniles) remain unclear. Here we report on field experiments designed to test whether trees improve epiphyte survival and epiphytes secondarily increase the number and diversity of adult and juvenile invertebrates in a potential live oak-Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish moss) facilitation cascade. Our results reveal that trees reduce physical stress to facilitate Tillandsia, which, in turn, reduces desiccation and predation stress to facilitate invertebrates. In experimental removals, invertebrate total density, juvenile density, species richness and H' diversity were 16, 60, 1.7, and 1.5 times higher, and feeding guild richness and H' were 5 and 11 times greater in Tillandsia-colonized relative to Tillandsia-removal limb plots. Tillandsia enhanced communities similarly in a survey across the southeastern United States. These findings reveal that a facilitation cascade organizes this widespread terrestrial assemblage and expand the role of secondary foundation species as drivers of trophic structure and ecosystem function. We conceptualize the relationship between foundation species' structural attributes and associated species abundance and composition in a Foundation Species-Biodiversity (FSB) model. Importantly, the FSB predicts that, where secondary foundation species form expansive and functionally distinct structures that increase habitat availability and complexity within primary foundation species, they generate and maintain hot spots of biodiversity and trophic interactions. PMID:24649658

  16. Tracking Earthquake Cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, T. H.

    2011-12-01

    In assessing their risk to society, earthquakes are best characterized as cascades that can propagate from the natural environment into the socio-economic (built) environment. Strong earthquakes rarely occur as isolated events; they usually cluster in foreshock-mainshock-aftershock sequences, seismic swarms, and extended sequences of large earthquakes that propagate along major fault systems. These cascades are regulated by stress-mediated interactions among faults driven by tectonic loading. Within these cascades, each large event can itself cause a chain reaction in which the primary effects of faulting and ground shaking induce secondary effects, including tsunami, landslides, liquefaction, and set off destructive processes within the built environment, such as fires and radiation leakage from nuclear plants. Recent earthquakes have demonstrated how the socio-economic effects of large earthquakes can reverberate for many years. To reduce earthquake risk and improve the resiliency of communities to earthquake damage, society depends on five geotechnologies for tracking earthquake cascades: long-term probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA), short-term (operational) earthquake forecasting, earthquake early warning, tsunami warning, and the rapid production of post-event information for response and recovery (see figure). In this presentation, I describe how recent advances in earthquake system science are leading to improvements in this geotechnology pipeline. In particular, I will highlight the role of earthquake simulations in predicting strong ground motions and their secondary effects before and during earthquake cascades

  17. Trophic interactions in the benthic boundary layer of the Beaufort Sea shelf, Arctic Ocean: Combining bulk stable isotope and fatty acid signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, Tara L.; Deibel, Don; Parrish, Christopher C.

    2014-01-01

    The food web structure and diets of 26 taxa of benthic boundary layer (BBL) zooplankton on the Beaufort Sea shelf were studied using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes and fatty acids. Mean δ15N values ranged from 7.3‰ for the amphipod Melita formosa to 14.9‰ for an unidentified polychaete, suggesting that taxa sampled came from three trophic levels. For 8 taxa, the lightest carbon signature occurred near the mouth of the Mackenzie River. Stable isotope ratios helped clarify the origin of signature fatty acids. Levels of certain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were negatively correlated with δ15N, with the exception of 22:6ω3, which was positively correlated with δ15N, suggesting that this essential PUFA was retained through the food web. Discriminant analysis proved to be a powerful tool, predicting taxa from fatty acid profiles with 99% accuracy, and revealing strong phylogenetic trends in fatty acid profiles. The amphipod Arrhis phyllonyx had higher levels of ω6 PUFA, especially 20:4ω6 with several possible sources, than other peracarid crustaceans. The holothurian had high levels of odd numbered and branched chain fatty acids, indicative of bacterial consumption, while fatty acids of phytoplankton origin were important discriminants for Calanus hyperboreus and the chaetognaths Eukrohnia hamata and Parasagitta elegans. This relationship indicates that the conventional phytoplankton-copepod-chaetognath food web found in the water column also exists in the BBL. This observation, as well as generally low δ15N and high levels of certain PUFA in samples with lower δ15N, strongly suggests that BBL zooplankton on the Beaufort Sea shelf have access to fresh material of phytoplankton origin either by feeding on sedimenting matter or by active migration to surface waters.

  18. Tectonic Geomorphology and Volcano-Tectonic Interaction in the Eastern Boundary of the Southern Cascades (Hat Creek Graben), California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paguican, E. M. R.; Bursik, M. I.

    2015-12-01

    The eastern boundary of the Southern Cascades (Hat Creek Graben), California, USA is an extensively faulted volcanic corridor with spectacular, high, steep scarps in a bedrock of late Tertiary and Quaternary volcanic and sedimentary deposits. The morphology of the graben is a result of the plate motions associated with multiple tectonic provinces, faulting, and recurring volcanic activity from more than 500 vents, over the past 7 my. The graben is at the boundary between two distinct geologic and geomorphic areas -- the Cascade Range on the west and the Modoc Plateau on the east -- between Mt. Shasta and Medicine Lake Highlands volcano, and Lassen Volcanic Center on the north and south, respectively. This study describes the geomorphological and tectonic features, their alignment and distribution, to understand the volcano-tectonic and geomorphology relationships in the Hat Creek Graben. We interpret topographic models generated from satellite images to create a database of volcanic centers and structures, and analyze the spatial distribution of the volcanic centers in the Hat Creek Graben. Poisson Nearest Neighbor analysis reveals a clustered distribution of volcanic centers, implying continuous or recurrent activity of magma sources as it propagates to the surface. Volcanic centers in the Hat Creek Graben have multiple preferred alignments, typical for extensional tectonic environments because of competing regional and local stress field influences and the presence of pre-existing, near-surface fractures. Most small stratovolcanoes ("lava cones") on the west are influenced by normal regional stress, and have crater amphitheater openings perpendicular to the maximum horizontal stress (σHmax), while those on the east, in a transcurrent regional stress regime, are at an acute angle. These results can be used as an indicator of the degree of impingement of the Walker Lane shear zone on the Cascades region.

  19. Collisional Cascades Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlichting, Hilke; Pan, M.

    2013-01-01

    Collisional cascades are believed to be the primary mechanism operating in circumstellar dusty debris disks, and are thought to be important in the Kuiper and Asteroid belt. Collisional cascades transfer mass via destructive collisions from larger bodies to smaller ones. Their widespread occurrence and potential importance in understanding planet formation and planet-disk interactions have motivated detailed studies of collisional cascades. The standard theoretical treatment of collisional cascades derives a steady-state size distribution assuming a single constant velocity dispersion for all bodies regardless of size. We relax this assumption and solve self-consistently for the bodies' steady-state size and size-dependent velocity distributions. Specifically, we account for viscous stirring, dynamical friction, and collisional damping of the bodies' random velocities in addition to the mass conservation requirement typically applied to find the size distribution in a steady-state cascade. The resulting size distributions are significantly steeper than those derived without velocity evolution. For example, accounting self-consistently for the velocities can change the standard q = 3.5 power-law index of the Dohnanyi differential size spectrum to an index as large as q = 4. Similarly, for bodies held together by their own gravity, the corresponding power-law index range 2.88 < q < 3.14 of Pan & Sari (2005) can steepen to values as large as q = 3.26. These differences in the size distribution power law index are very important when estimating the total disk mass, including larger bodies, by extrapolating from the observed dust masses. Our velocity results allow quantitative predictions of the bodies' scale heights as a function of size. Together with our predictions, observations of the scale heights for different-sized bodies in, for example, extrasolar debris disks may constrain the total mass in large bodies stirring the cascade as well as the colliding bodies

  20. Coupled 2-dimensional cascade theory for noise and unsteady aerodynamics of blade row interaction in turbofans. Volume 1: Theory development and parametric studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, Donald B.

    1994-01-01

    Typical analytical models for interaction between rotor and stator in a turbofan analyze the effect of wakes from the rotor impinging on the stator, producing unsteady loading, and thereby generating noise. Reflection/transmission characteristics of the rotor are sometimes added in a separate calculation. In those models, there is a one-to-one relationship between wake harmonics and noise harmonics; that is, the BPF (blade passing frequency) wake harmonic causes only the BPF noise harmonic, etc. This report presents a more complete model in which flow tangency boundary conditions are satisfied on two cascades in relative motion for several harmonics simultaneously. By an extension of S.N. Smith's code for two dimensional flat plate cascades, the noise generation/frequency scattering/blade row reflection problem is solved in a single matrix inversion. It is found that the BPF harmonic excitation of the stator scatters considerable energy in the higher BPF harmonics due to relative motion between the blade rows. Furthermore, when swirl between the rotor and stator is modeled, a 'mode trapping' effect occurs which explains observations on fans operating at rotational speeds below BFP cuton: the BPF mode amplifies between blade rows by multiple reflections but cannot escape to the inlet and exit ducts. However, energy scattered into higher harmonics does propagate and dominates the spectrum at two and three times BPF. This report presents the complete derivation of the theory, comparison with a previous (more limited) coupled rotor/stator interaction theory due to Kaji and Okazaki, exploration of the mode trapping phenomenon, and parametric studies showing the effects of vane/blade ratio and rotor/stator interaction. For generality, the analysis applies to stages where the rotor is either upstream or downstream of the stator and to counter rotation stages. The theory has been coded in a FORTRAN program called CUP2D, documented in Volume 2 of this report. It is

  1. Cascaded-systems analyses and the detective quantum efficiency of single-Z x-ray detectors including photoelectric, coherent and incoherent interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Yun, Seungman; Tanguay, Jesse; Cunningham, Ian A.; Kim, Ho Kyung

    2013-04-15

    Purpose: Theoretical models of the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) of x-ray detectors are an important step in new detector development by providing an understanding of performance limitations and benchmarks. Previous cascaded-systems analysis (CSA) models accounted for photoelectric interactions only. This paper describes an extension of the CSA approach to incorporate coherent and incoherent interactions, important for low-Z detectors such as silicon and selenium. Methods: A parallel-cascade approach is used to describe the three types of x-ray interactions. The description of incoherent scatter required developing expressions for signal and noise transfer through an 'energy-labeled reabsorption' process where the parameters describing reabsorption are random functions of the scatter photon energy. The description of coherent scatter requires the use of scatter form factors that may not be accurate for some crystalline detector materials. The model includes the effects of scatter reabsorption and escape, charge collection, secondary quantum sinks, noise aliasing, and additive noise. Model results are validated by Monte Carlo calculations for Si and Se detectors assuming free-atom atomic form factors. Results: The new signal and noise transfer expressions were validated by showing agreement with Monte Carlo results. Coherent and incoherent scatter can degrade the DQE of Si and sometimes Se detectors depending on detector thickness and incident-photon energy. Incoherent scatter can produce a substantial low-frequency drop in the modulation transfer function and DQE. Conclusions: A generally useful CSA model of the DQE is described that is believed valid for any single-Z material up to 10 cycles/mm at both mammographic and radiographic energies within the limitations of Fourier-based linear-systems models and the use of coherent-scatter form factors. The model describes a substantial low-frequency drop in the DQE of Si systems due to incoherent scatter above 20

  2. Interaction of dense shelf water cascading and open-sea convection in the northwestern Mediterranean during winter 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durrieu de Madron, X.; Houpert, L.; Puig, P.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; Testor, P.; Bosse, A.; Estournel, C.; Somot, S.; Bourrin, F.; Bouin, M. N.; Beauverger, M.; Beguery, L.; Calafat, A.; Canals, M.; Cassou, C.; Coppola, L.; Dausse, D.; D'Ortenzio, F.; Font, J.; Heussner, S.; Kunesch, S.; Lefevre, D.; Le Goff, H.; MartíN, J.; Mortier, L.; Palanques, A.; Raimbault, P.

    2013-04-01

    The winter of 2012 experienced peculiar atmospheric conditions that triggered a massive formation of dense water on the continental shelf and in the deep basin of the Gulf of Lions. Multiplatforms observations enabled a synoptic view of dense water formation and spreading at basin scale. Five months after its formation, the dense water of coastal origin created a distinct bottom layer up to a few hundreds of meters thick over the central part of the NW Mediterranean basin, which was overlaid by a layer of newly formed deep water produced by open-sea convection. These new observations highlight the role of intense episodes of both dense shelf water cascading and open-sea convection to the progressive modification of the NW Mediterranean deep waters.

  3. Eastern Scotian Shelf trophic dynamics: A review of the evidence for diverse hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinclair, Michael; Power, Michael; Head, Erica; Li, William K. W.; McMahon, Michael; Mohn, Robert; O'Boyle, Robert; Swain, Douglas; Tremblay, John

    2015-11-01

    Two hypotheses have been proposed to account for trophic dynamic control of the eastern Scotian Shelf ecosystem off Atlantic Canada: (1) top-down: fishery induced trophic cascade and (2) bottom-up: climate variability. We evaluate the evidence in support of these hypotheses: including observations on top-down drivers (fishing effort and predation by grey seals), bottom-up drivers (nutrient supply and water column stratification), and the several trophic levels (groundfish, macro-invertebrates, small pelagic fish, and plankton). There is limited support for the fishery-induced trophic cascade hypothesis. The predictions of the climate variability hypothesis are generally met for the lower and middle trophic levels, but the ongoing high levels of natural mortality of groundfish are not accounted for. We propose an alternative hypothesis encompassing concurrent top-down and bottom-up processes, and conclude that many species of groundfish (including cod) and small pelagic fish stocks (including herring) will not recover with the ongoing high levels of natural mortality generated by grey seal predation. Predictions on future trends in abundance of the commercially important macro-invertebrate species (lobster, snow crab, and shrimp) are not possible based on the available evidence.

  4. Stochastic background of atmospheric cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilk, G.; WŁOdarczyk, Z.

    1993-06-01

    Fluctuations in the atmospheric cascades developing during the propagation of very high energy cosmic rays through the atmosphere are investigated using stochastic branching model of pure birth process with immigration. In particular, we show that the multiplicity distributions of secondaries emerging from gamma families are much narrower than those resulting from hadronic families. We argue that the strong intermittent like behaviour found recently in atmospheric families results from the fluctuations in the cascades themselves and are insensitive to the details of elementary interactions.

  5. Stochastic background of atmospheric cascades

    SciTech Connect

    Wilk, G. ); Wlodarczyk, Z. )

    1993-06-15

    Fluctuations in the atmospheric cascades developing during the propagation of very high energy cosmic rays through the atmosphere are investigated using stochastic branching model of pure birth process with immigration. In particular, we show that the multiplicity distributions of secondaries emerging from gamma families are much narrower than those resulting from hadronic families. We argue that the strong intermittent like behaviour found recently in atmospheric families results from the fluctuations in the cascades themselves and are insensitive to the details of elementary interactions.

  6. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    PubMed

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. PMID:26439435

  7. Influence of climate change and trophic coupling across four trophic levels in the Celtic Sea.

    PubMed

    Lauria, Valentina; Attrill, Martin J; Pinnegar, John K; Brown, Andrew; Edwards, Martin; Votier, Stephen C

    2012-01-01

    Climate change has had profound effects upon marine ecosystems, impacting across all trophic levels from plankton to apex predators. Determining the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems requires understanding the direct effects on all trophic levels as well as indirect effects mediated by trophic coupling. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of climate change on the pelagic food web in the Celtic Sea, a productive shelf region in the Northeast Atlantic. Using long-term data, we examined possible direct and indirect 'bottom-up' climate effects across four trophic levels: phytoplankton, zooplankton, mid-trophic level fish and seabirds. During the period 1986-2007, although there was no temporal trend in the North Atlantic Oscillation index (NAO), the decadal mean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) in the Celtic Sea increased by 0.66 ± 0.02 °C. Despite this, there was only a weak signal of climate change in the Celtic Sea food web. Changes in plankton community structure were found, however this was not related to SST or NAO. A negative relationship occurred between herring abundance (0- and 1-group) and spring SST (0-group: p = 0.02, slope = -0.305 ± 0.125; 1-group: p = 0.04, slope = -0.410 ± 0.193). Seabird demographics showed complex species-specific responses. There was evidence of direct effects of spring NAO (on black-legged kittiwake population growth rate: p = 0.03, slope = 0.0314 ± 0.014) as well as indirect bottom-up effects of lagged spring SST (on razorbill breeding success: p = 0.01, slope = -0.144 ± 0.05). Negative relationships between breeding success and population growth rate of razorbills and common guillemots may be explained by interactions between mid-trophic level fish. Our findings show that the impacts of climate change on the Celtic Sea ecosystem is not as marked as in nearby regions (e.g. the North Sea), emphasizing the need for more research at regional scales. PMID:23091621

  8. Contrasting cascades: insectivorous birds increase pine but not parasitic mistletoe growth.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Kailen A; Linhart, Yan B

    2006-03-01

    1. Intraguild predation occurs when top predators feed upon both intermediate predators and herbivores. Intraguild predators may thus have little net impact on herbivore abundance. Variation among communities in the strength of trophic cascades (the indirect effects of predators on plants) may be due to differing frequencies of intraguild predation. Less is known about the influence of variation within communities in predator-predator interactions upon trophic cascade strength. 2. We compared the effects of a single predator community between two sympatric plants and two herbivore guilds. We excluded insectivorous birds with cages from ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa trees parasitized by dwarf mistletoe Arceuthobium vaginatum. For 3 years we monitored caged and control trees for predatory arthropods that moved between the two plants, foliage-feeding caterpillars and sap-feeding hemipterans that were host-specific, and plant damage and growth. 3. Excluding birds increased the abundance of ant-tended aphids on pine and resulted in an 11% reduction in pine woody growth. Mutualist ants protected pine-feeding aphids from predatory arthropods, allowing aphid populations to burgeon in cages even though predatory arthropods also increased in cages. By protecting pine-feeding aphids from predatory arthropods but not birds, mutualist ants created a three-tiered linear food chain where bird effects cascaded to pine growth via aphids. 4. In contrast to the results for tended aphids on pine, bird exclusion had no net effects on untended pine herbivores, the proportion of pine foliage damaged by pine-feeding caterpillars, or the proportion of mistletoe plants damaged by mistletoe-feeding caterpillars. These results suggest that arthropod predators, which were more abundant in cages as compared with control trees, compensated for bird predation of untended pine and mistletoe herbivores. 5. These contrasting effects of bird exclusion support food web theory: where birds were

  9. A dynamic model of plant growth with interactions between development and functional mechanisms to study plant structural plasticity related to trophic competition

    PubMed Central

    Mathieu, A.; Cournède, P. H.; Letort, V.; Barthélémy, D.; de Reffye, P.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims The strong influence of environment and functioning on plant organogenesis has been well documented by botanists but is poorly reproduced in most functional–structural models. In this context, a model of interactions is proposed between plant organogenesis and plant functional mechanisms. Methods The GreenLab model derived from AMAP models was used. Organogenetic rules give the plant architecture, which defines an interconnected network of organs. The plant is considered as a collection of interacting ‘sinks’ that compete for the allocation of photosynthates coming from ‘sources’. A single variable characteristic of the balance between sources and sinks during plant growth controls different events in plant development, such as the number of branches or the fruit load. Key Results Variations in the environmental parameters related to light and density induce changes in plant morphogenesis. Architecture appears as the dynamic result of this balance, and plant plasticity expresses itself very simply at different levels: appearance of branches and reiteration, number of organs, fructification and adaptation of ecophysiological characteristics. Conclusions The modelling framework serves as a tool for theoretical botany to explore the emergence of specific morphological and architectural patterns and can help to understand plant phenotypic plasticity and its strategy in response to environmental changes. PMID:19297366

  10. Herbivore Diet Breadth and Host Plant Defense Mediate the Tri-Trophic Effects of Plant Toxins on Multiple Coccinellid Predators

    PubMed Central

    Katsanis, Angelos; Rasmann, Sergio; Mooney, Kailen A.

    2016-01-01

    Host plant defenses are known to cascade up food chains to influence herbivores and their natural enemies, but how herbivore and predator traits and identity mediate such tri-trophic dynamics is largely unknown. We assessed the influence of plant defense on aphid and coccinellid performance in laboratory trials with low- vs. high-glucosinolate varieties of Brassica napus, a dietary specialist (Brevicoryne brassicae) and generalist (Myzus persicae) aphid, and five species of aphidophagous coccinellids. The performance of the specialist and generalist aphids was similar and unaffected by variation in plant defense. Aphid glucosinolate concentration and resistance to predators differed by aphid species and host plant defense, and these effects acted independently. With respect to aphid species, the dietary generalist aphid (vs. specialist) had 14% lower glucosinolate concentration and coccinellid predators ate three-fold more aphids. With respect to host plant variety, the high-glucosinolate plants (vs. low) increased aphid glucosinolate concentration by 21%, but had relatively weak effects on predation by coccinellids and these effects varied among coccinellid species. In turn, coccinellid performance was influenced by the interactive effects of plant defense and aphid species, as the cascading, indirect effect of plant defense was greater when feeding upon the specialist than generalist aphid. When feeding upon specialist aphids, low- (vs. high-) glucosinolate plants increased coccinellid mass gain by 78% and accelerated development by 14%. In contrast, when feeding upon generalist aphids, low- (vs. high-) glucosinolate plants increased coccinellid mass gain by only 11% and had no detectable effect on development time. These interactive effects of plant defense and aphid diet breadth on predator performance also varied among coccinellid species; the indirect negative effects of plant defenses on predator performance was consistent among the five predators when