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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

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The biogeography of trophic cascades on US oyster reefs.

    PubMed

    Kimbro, David L; Byers, James E; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Hughes, A Randall; Piehler, Michael F

    2014-07-01

    Predators can indirectly benefit prey populations by suppressing mid-trophic level consumers, but often the strength and outcome of trophic cascades are uncertain. We manipulated oyster reef communities to test the generality of potential causal factors across a 1000-km region. Densities of oyster consumers were weakly influenced by predators at all sites. In contrast, consumer foraging behaviour in the presence of predators varied considerably, and these behavioural effects altered the trophic cascade across space. Variability in the behavioural cascade was linked to regional gradients in oyster recruitment to and sediment accumulation on reefs. Specifically, asynchronous gradients in these factors influenced whether the benefits of suppressed consumer foraging on oyster recruits exceeded costs of sediment accumulation resulting from decreased consumer activity. Thus, although predation on consumers remains consistent, predator influences on behaviour do not; rather, they interact with environmental gradients to cause biogeographic variability in the net strength of trophic cascades.

  9. Trophic cascades in a complex terrestrial community

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, L. A.; Letourneau, D. K.

    1999-01-01

    To test for direct and indirect effects of a top predator on three lower trophic levels, we conducted two multiyear predator addition experiments in a tropical wet forest. Periodic additions of a top predator (predatory clerid beetle) to a wet forest understory shrub caused a reduction in the predatory beetle’s prey (a predatory ant), increased herbivory, and reduced leaf area of the plant. These effects occurred whether beetles were added to naturally occurring shrubs or to reproductive fragments, suggesting fitness effects of top predators through three trophic levels. A correlational study showed that trophic effects of top predators also cascaded to nearby conspecifics in the forest understory. We use trends from understory plant surveys to suggest mechanisms by which these cascades could ultimately affect species diversity in the local plant community. PMID:10220420

  10. 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

  11. Warming modifies trophic cascades and eutrophication in experimental freshwater communities.

    PubMed

    Kratina, Pavel; Greig, Hamish S; Thompson, Patrick L; Carvalho-Pereira, Ticiana S A; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2012-06-01

    Climate warming is occurring in concert with other anthropogenic changes to ecosystems. However, it is unknown whether and how warming alters the importance of top-down vs. bottom-up control over community productivity and variability. We performed a 16-month factorial experimental manipulation of warming, nutrient enrichment, and predator presence in replicated freshwater pond mesocosms to test their independent and interactive impacts. Warming strengthened trophic cascades from fish to primary producers, and it decreased the impact of eutrophication on the mean and temporal variation of phytoplankton biomass. These impacts varied seasonally, with higher temperatures leading to stronger trophic cascades in winter and weaker algae blooms under eutrophication in summer. Our results suggest that higher temperatures may shift the control of primary production in freshwater ponds toward stronger top-down and weaker bottom-up effects. The dampened temporal variability of algal biomass under eutrophication at higher temperatures suggests that warming may stabilize some ecosystem processes.

  12. 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

  13. Novel trophic cascades: apex predators enable coexistence.

    PubMed

    Wallach, Arian D; Ripple, William J; Carroll, Scott P

    2015-03-01

    Novel assemblages of native and introduced species characterize a growing proportion of ecosystems worldwide. Some introduced species have contributed to extinctions, even extinction waves, spurring widespread efforts to eradicate or control them. We propose that trophic cascade theory offers insights into why introduced species sometimes become harmful, but in other cases stably coexist with natives and offer net benefits. Large predators commonly limit populations of potentially irruptive prey and mesopredators, both native and introduced. This top-down force influences a wide range of ecosystem processes that often enhance biodiversity. We argue that many species, regardless of their origin or priors, are allies for the retention and restoration of biodiversity in top-down regulated ecosystems. PMID:25687158

  14. Novel trophic cascades: apex predators enable coexistence.

    PubMed

    Wallach, Arian D; Ripple, William J; Carroll, Scott P

    2015-03-01

    Novel assemblages of native and introduced species characterize a growing proportion of ecosystems worldwide. Some introduced species have contributed to extinctions, even extinction waves, spurring widespread efforts to eradicate or control them. We propose that trophic cascade theory offers insights into why introduced species sometimes become harmful, but in other cases stably coexist with natives and offer net benefits. Large predators commonly limit populations of potentially irruptive prey and mesopredators, both native and introduced. This top-down force influences a wide range of ecosystem processes that often enhance biodiversity. We argue that many species, regardless of their origin or priors, are allies for the retention and restoration of biodiversity in top-down regulated ecosystems.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-23

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Willow on Yellowstone's northern range: evidence for a trophic cascade?

    PubMed

    Beyer, Hawthorne L; Merrill, Evelyn H; Varley, Nathan; Boyce, Mark S

    2007-09-01

    Reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park in 1995-1996 has been argued to promote a trophic cascade by altering elk (Cervus elaphus) density, habitat-selection patterns, and behavior that, in turn, could lead to changes within the plant communities used by elk. We sampled two species of willow (Salix boothii and S. geyeriana) on the northern winter range to determine whether (1) there was quantitative evidence of increased willow growth following wolf reintroduction, (2) browsing by elk affected willow growth, and (3) any increase in growth observed was greater than that expected by climatic and hydrological factors alone, thereby indicating a trophic cascade caused by wolves. Using stem sectioning techniques to quantify historical growth patterns we found an approximately twofold increase in stem growth-ring area following wolf reintroduction for both species of willow. This increase could not be explained by climate and hydrological factors alone; the presence of wolves on the landscape was a significant predictor of stem growth above and beyond these abiotic factors. Growth-ring area was positively correlated with the previous year's ring area and negatively correlated with the percentage of twigs browsed from the stem during the winter preceding growth, indicating that elk browse impeded stem growth. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade on Yellowstone's northern winter range following wolf reintroduction. We suggest that the community-altering effects of wolf restoration are an endorsement of ecological-process management in Yellowstone National Park.

  5. Willow on Yellowstone's northern range: evidence for a trophic cascade?

    PubMed

    Beyer, Hawthorne L; Merrill, Evelyn H; Varley, Nathan; Boyce, Mark S

    2007-09-01

    Reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park in 1995-1996 has been argued to promote a trophic cascade by altering elk (Cervus elaphus) density, habitat-selection patterns, and behavior that, in turn, could lead to changes within the plant communities used by elk. We sampled two species of willow (Salix boothii and S. geyeriana) on the northern winter range to determine whether (1) there was quantitative evidence of increased willow growth following wolf reintroduction, (2) browsing by elk affected willow growth, and (3) any increase in growth observed was greater than that expected by climatic and hydrological factors alone, thereby indicating a trophic cascade caused by wolves. Using stem sectioning techniques to quantify historical growth patterns we found an approximately twofold increase in stem growth-ring area following wolf reintroduction for both species of willow. This increase could not be explained by climate and hydrological factors alone; the presence of wolves on the landscape was a significant predictor of stem growth above and beyond these abiotic factors. Growth-ring area was positively correlated with the previous year's ring area and negatively correlated with the percentage of twigs browsed from the stem during the winter preceding growth, indicating that elk browse impeded stem growth. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade on Yellowstone's northern winter range following wolf reintroduction. We suggest that the community-altering effects of wolf restoration are an endorsement of ecological-process management in Yellowstone National Park. PMID:17913123

  6. Induced defenses in herbivores and plants differentially modulate a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Van der Stap, Irene; Vos, Matthijs; Verschoor, Antonie M; Helmsing, Nico R; Mooij, Wolf M

    2007-10-01

    Inducible defenses are dynamic traits that modulate the strength of both plant-herbivore and herbivore-carnivore interactions. Surprisingly few studies have considered the relative contributions of induced plant and herbivore defenses to the overall balance of bottom-up and top-down control. Here we compare trophic cascade strengths using replicated two-level and three-level plankton communities in which we systematically varied the presence or absence of induced defenses at the plant and/or herbivore levels. Our results show that a trophic cascade, i.e., significantly higher plant biomass in three-level than in two-level food chains, occurred whenever herbivores were undefended against carnivores. Trophic cascades did not occur when herbivores exhibited an induced defense. This pattern was obtained irrespective of the presence or absence of induced defenses at the plant level. We thus found that herbivore defenses, not plant defenses, had an overriding effect on cascade strength. We discuss these results in relation to variation in cascade strengths in natural communities.

  7. Climate change impact on Balearic shearwater through a trophic cascade

    PubMed Central

    Luczak, C.; Beaugrand, G.; Jaffré, M.; Lenoir, S.

    2011-01-01

    A recent study showed that a critically endangered migratory predator species, the Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus, rapidly expanded northwards in northeast Atlantic waters after the mid-1990s. As a significant positive correlation was found between the long-term changes in the abundance of this seabird and sea temperature around the British Isles, it was hypothesized that the link between the biogeographic shift and temperature occurred through the food web. Here, we test this conjecture and reveal concomitant changes in a regional index of sea temperature, plankton (total calanoid copepod), fish prey (anchovy and sardine) and the Balearic shearwater for the period 1980–2003. All three trophic levels exhibit a significant shift detected between 1994 and 1996. Our findings therefore support the assertion of both a direct and an indirect effect of climate change on the spatial distribution of post-breeding Balearic shearwater through a trophic cascade. PMID:21508020

  8. Indirect effects and traditional trophic cascades: a test involving wolves, coyotes, and pronghorn.

    PubMed

    Berger, Kim Murray; Gese, Eric M; Berger, Joel

    2008-03-01

    The traditional trophic cascades model is based on consumer resource interactions at each link in a food chain. However, trophic-level interactions, such as mesocarnivore release resulting from intraguild predation, may also be important mediators of cascades. From September 2001 to August 2004, we used spatial and seasonal heterogeneity in wolf distribution and abundance in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to evaluate whether mesopredator release of coyotes (Canis latrans), resulting from the extirpation of wolves (Canis lupus), accounts for high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) fawns observed in some areas. Results of this ecological perturbation in wolf densities, coyote densities, and pronghorn neonatal survival at wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites support the existence of a species-level trophic cascade. That wolves precipitated a trophic cascade was evidenced by fawn survival rates that were four-fold higher at sites used by wolves. A negative correlation between coyote and wolf densities supports the hypothesis that interspecific interactions between the two species facilitated the difference in fawn survival. Whereas densities of resident coyotes were similar between wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites, the abundance of transient coyotes was significantly lower in areas used by wolves. Thus, differential effects of wolves on solitary coyotes may be an important mechanism by which wolves limit coyote densities. Our results support the hypothesis that mesopredator release of coyotes contributes to high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn fawns, and demonstrate the importance of alternative food web pathways in structuring the dynamics of terrestrial systems. PMID:18459344

  9. Indirect effects and traditional trophic cascades: a test involving wolves, coyotes, and pronghorn.

    PubMed

    Berger, Kim Murray; Gese, Eric M; Berger, Joel

    2008-03-01

    The traditional trophic cascades model is based on consumer resource interactions at each link in a food chain. However, trophic-level interactions, such as mesocarnivore release resulting from intraguild predation, may also be important mediators of cascades. From September 2001 to August 2004, we used spatial and seasonal heterogeneity in wolf distribution and abundance in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to evaluate whether mesopredator release of coyotes (Canis latrans), resulting from the extirpation of wolves (Canis lupus), accounts for high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) fawns observed in some areas. Results of this ecological perturbation in wolf densities, coyote densities, and pronghorn neonatal survival at wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites support the existence of a species-level trophic cascade. That wolves precipitated a trophic cascade was evidenced by fawn survival rates that were four-fold higher at sites used by wolves. A negative correlation between coyote and wolf densities supports the hypothesis that interspecific interactions between the two species facilitated the difference in fawn survival. Whereas densities of resident coyotes were similar between wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites, the abundance of transient coyotes was significantly lower in areas used by wolves. Thus, differential effects of wolves on solitary coyotes may be an important mechanism by which wolves limit coyote densities. Our results support the hypothesis that mesopredator release of coyotes contributes to high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn fawns, and demonstrate the importance of alternative food web pathways in structuring the dynamics of terrestrial systems.

  10. Invasive species cause large-scale loss of native California oyster habitat by disrupting trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Kimbro, David L; Grosholz, Edwin D; Baukus, Adam J; Nesbitt, Nicholas J; Travis, Nicole M; Attoe, Sarikka; Coleman-Hulbert, Caitlin

    2009-06-01

    Although invasive species often resemble their native counterparts, differences in their foraging and anti-predator strategies may disrupt native food webs. In a California estuary, we showed that regions dominated by native crabs and native whelks have low mortality of native oysters (the basal prey), while regions dominated by invasive crabs and invasive whelks have high oyster mortality and are consequently losing a biologically diverse habitat. Using field experiments, we demonstrated that the invasive whelk's distribution is causally related to a large-scale pattern of oyster mortality. To determine whether predator-prey interactions between crabs (top predators) and whelks (intermediate consumers) indirectly control the pattern of oyster mortality, we manipulated the presence and invasion status of the intermediate and top trophic levels in laboratory mesocosms. Our results show that native crabs indirectly maintain a portion of the estuary's oyster habitat by both consuming native whelks (density-mediated trophic cascade) and altering their foraging behavior (trait-mediated trophic cascade). In contrast, invasive whelks are naive to crab predators and fail to avoid them, thereby inhibiting trait-mediated cascades and their invasion into areas with native crabs. Similarly, when native crabs are replaced with invasive crabs, the naive foraging strategy and smaller size of invasive crabs prevents them from efficiently consuming adult whelks, thereby inhibiting strong density-mediated cascades. Thus, while trophic cascades allow native crabs, whelks, and oysters to locally co-exist, the replacement of native crabs and whelks by functionally similar invasive species results in severe depletion of native oysters. As coastal systems become increasingly invaded, the mismatch of evolutionarily based strategies among predators and prey may lead to further losses of critical habitat that support marine biodiversity and ecosystem function.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Complex trophic interactions in kelp forest ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Estes, J. A.; Danner, E.M.; Doak, D.F.; Konar, B.; Springer, A.M.; Steinberg, P.D.; Tinker, M. Tim; Williams, T.M.

    2004-01-01

    The distributions and abundances of species and populations change almost continuously. Understanding the processes responsible is perhaps ecology’s most fundamental challenge. Kelp-forest ecosystems in southwest Alaska have undergone several phase shifts between alga- and herbivore-dominated states in recent decades. Overhunting and recovery of sea otters caused the earlier shifts. Studies focusing on these changes demonstrate the importance of top-down forcing processes, a variety of indirect food-web interactions associated with the otter-urchin-kelp trophic cascade, and the role of food-chain length in the coevolution of defense and resistance in plants and their herbivores. This system unexpectedly shifted back to an herbivore-dominated state during the 1990s, because of a sea-otter population collapse that apparently was driven by increased predation by killer whales. Reasons for this change remain uncertain but seem to be linked to the whole-sale collapse of marine mammals in the North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea. We hypothesize that killer whales sequentially "fished down" pinniped and sea-otter populations after their earlier prey, the great whales, were decimated by commercial whaling. The dynamics of kelp forests in southwest Alaska thus appears to have been influenced by an ecological chain reaction that encompassed numerous species and large scales of space and time.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Human influences on trophic cascades along rocky shores

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindberg, D.R.; Estes, J.A.; Warheit, K.I.

    1998-01-01

    A three-trophic-level interaction among American Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani), limpets (Lottia spp.), and erect fleshy algae in rocky intertidal communities of central and southern California was documented via manipulative and 'natural' experiments. Removal of the territorial limpet (Lottia gigantea) initially caused large increases in the percent cover of erect fleshy algae, followed by a more gradual increase in density of small limpets (Lottia spp.) and a decline in algal cover. Algal cover increased following the removal of small limpets at the sites from which L. gigantea had been removed earlier, thus demonstrating that the large and small limpets had similar inhibitory effects on plant populations. A comparison of sites with and without oyster-catchers showed that L. gigantea occupied substrate inclinations in proportion to their availability at sites where oystercatchers were rare, whereas the distribution of L. gigantea was skewed toward vertically inclined substrates where oystercatchers were common. Survival rates of limpets translocated to horizontal and vertical substrates were similar in sites lacking oystercatcher predation, but were much lower on horizontal substrates where oystercatchers were common. Our results are consistent with those from several prior studies in demonstrating that shorelines frequented by humans typically lack oystercatchers. Humans also exploit L. gigantea and reduce populations to low densities of small individuals. These findings may explain why the midlittoral zone of rocky intertidal communities in western North America are so often dominated by high population densities of small limpets.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-19

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Context-dependent effects of fishing: variation in trophic cascades across environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Shears, Nick T; Babcock, Russell C; Salomon, Anne K

    2008-12-01

    . These results suggest that trophic cascades are not ubiquitous to northeastern New Zealand's subtidal reefs and the importance of sea urchins, and indirectly predators, in controlling macroalgal biomass will vary at local and regional scales in relation to abiotic factors. A better mechanistic understanding of how environmental variation affects the strength of species interactions across multiple spatial scales is needed to predict the ecosystem-level effects of fishing. PMID:19263884

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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 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

  17. Trophic Cascades Induced by Lobster Fishing Are Not Ubiquitous in Southern California Kelp Forests

    PubMed Central

    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

  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 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Fear of large carnivores causes a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-23

    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.

  6. Trophic cascades in agricultural landscapes: indirect effects of landscape composition on crop yield.

    PubMed

    Liere, Heidi; Kim, Tania N; Werling, Benjamin P; Meehan, Timothy D; Landis, Douglas A; Gratton, Claudio

    2015-04-01

    The strength and prevalence of trophic cascades, defined as positive, indirect effects of natural enemies (predatory and parasitic arthropods) on plants, is highly variable in agroecosystems. This variation may in part be due to the spatial or landscape context in which hese trophic cascades occur. In 2011 and 2012, we conducted a natural enemy exclusion experiment in soybean fields along a gradient of landscape composition across southern Wisconsin and Michigan, USA. We used structural equation modeling to ask (1) whether natural enemies influence biocontrol of soybean aphids (SBA) and soybean yield and (2) whether landscape effects on natural enemies influence the strength of the trophic cascades. We found that natural enemies (NE) suppressed aphid populations in both years of our study, and, in 2011, the yield of soybean plants exposed to natural enemies was 37% higher than the yield of plants with aphid populations protected from natural enemies. The strength of the :rophic cascade was also influenced by landscape context. We found that landscapes with a higher proportion of soybean and higher diversity habitats resulted in more NE, fewer aphids, and, in some cases, a trend toward greater soybean yield. These results indicate that landscape context is important for understanding spatial variability in biocontrol and yield, but other factors, such as environmental variability and compensatory growth, might overwhelm the beneficial effects of biocontrol on crop yield. PMID:26214911

  7. Wolf presence and increased willow consumption by Yellowstone elk: implications for trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Creel, Scott; Christianson, David

    2009-09-01

    Recent increases in the height and growth ring width of willow (Salix spp.) and other woody plants in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) have been attributed to a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade from wolves (Canis lupus) to elk (Cervus elaphus) to willows. This hypothesis predicts that individual elk consume less willow in response to the presence of wolves, but this prediction has not been directly tested with data from elk. We collected 727 fecal samples from elk in the Gallatin Canyon portion of the GYE over three winters and used microhistological methods to quantify the proportion of willow in each sample. We then tested the effect of wolf presence on willow consumption by elk, controlling for the effects of snow conditions, sex, and habitat type. During the period of study, 8-17 wolves occupied the study area, and wolves were locally present on 49% of 260 sampling days, stratified at two-week intervals across three drainages. Over the three years combined, willow consumption was related to snow conditions, wolf presence, and a wolf X sex interaction. As expected, willow consumption increased with deeper and less penetrable snow, and this effect was strong. Contrary to expectation, willow consumption increased in the presence of wolves. As with other aspects of antipredator behavior, wolves had different effects on willow consumption by males and females. Finally, we aggregated the data to estimate winter-long mean willow consumption within each drainage; at this broader scale, willow consumption again increased as predation risk increased. In summary, willow consumption was more strongly affected by snow conditions than by the presence of wolves. Interactions between elk and willow were affected by wolves, but not as predicted by the hypothesis that wolf presence favors willow release through a reduction in the selection of willow by individual elk. If a trophic cascade is operating, our results suggest that a decline in the size of the elk

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Omnivory and grazer functional composition moderate cascading trophic effects in experimental Fucus vesiculosus habitats.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Britas Klemens; van Sluis, Christiaan; Sieben, Katrin; Kautsky, Lena; Råberg, Sonja

    2011-01-01

    We tested the relative strength of direct versus indirect effects of an aquatic omnivore depending on the functional composition of grazers by manipulating the presence of gastropod and amphipod grazers and omnivorous shrimp in outdoor mesocosms. By selectively preying upon amphipods and reducing their abundance by 70-80%, omnivorous shrimp favoured the dominance of gastropods. While gastropods were the main microalgal grazers, amphipods controlled macroalgal biomass in the experiment. However, strong predation on the amphipod by the shrimp had no significant indirect effects on macroalgal biomass, indicating that when amphipod abundances declined, complementary feeding by the omnivore on macroalgae may have suppressed a trophic cascade. Accordingly, in the absence of amphipods, the shrimp grazed significantly on green algae and thereby suppressed the diversity of the macroalgal community. Our experiment demonstrates direct consumer effects by an omnivore on both the grazer and producer trophic levels in an aquatic food web, regulated by prey availability.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.; 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.

  20. Competition among penguins and cetaceans reveals trophic cascades in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Ainley, David G; Ballard, Grant; Dugger, Katie M

    2006-08-01

    An apparent trophic cascade that appears during summer in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, explains why the Antarctic silverfish (Pleuragramma antarcticum) there becomes cannibalistic; its principal prey, crystal krill (Euphausia crystallorophias) becomes scarce; and the diatom community is minimally grazed compared to adjacent areas. The krill is the major grazer of diatoms. On the basis of fieldwork at Ross Island, we suggest that the cascade results from foraging by unusually numerous Adélie Penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae), minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), and fish-eating killer whales (Orcinus orca). These species and other top predators apparently deplete the krill and silverfish. In drawing our conclusions, we were aided by two "natural experiments." In one "experiment," large, grounded icebergs altered the seasonal pattern of change in regional sea-ice cover, but not the seasonal change in penguin diet and foraging behavior that was also detected during the pre-iceberg era. In the other "experiment," a short-term polynya (opening in the ice) brought penguins and whales together in a confined area, this time altering both penguin diet and foraging behavior. We conclude that the foraging of penguins and whales, and not a formerly hypothesized seasonal decrease in sea-ice cover, explains (1) the annual switch in the penguins' prey from krill to silverfish, (2) the subsequent lengthening of penguin foraging trips, and (3) a marked decline of cetaceans in the area later in the season. Reduction in the middle-trophic-level prey is expressed in the relaxed grazing pressure on phytoplankton.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Bifenthrin causes trophic cascades and alters insect emergence in mesocosms: implication for small streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, Holly; Schmidt, Travis S.; Dabney, Brittanie L.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Mahler, Barbara J.; VanMetre, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Direct and indirect ecological effects of the widely used insecticide bifenthrin on stream ecosystems are largely unknown. To investigate such effects, a manipulative experiment was conducted in stream mesocosms that were colonized by aquatic insect communities and exposed to bifenthrin-contaminated sediment; implications for natural streams were interpreted through comparison of mesocosm results to a survey of 100 Midwestern streams, USA. In the mesocosm experiment, direct effects of bifenthrin exposure included reduced larval macroinvertebrate abundance, richness, and biomass at concentrations (EC50s ranged 197.6 – 233.5 ng bifenthrin/ g organic carbon) previously thought safe for aquatic life. Indirect effects included a trophic cascade in which periphyton abundance increased after macroinvertebrate scrapers decreased. Adult emergence dynamics and corresponding terrestrial subsidies were altered at all bifenthrin concentrations tested. Extrapolating these results to the Midwestern stream assessment suggests pervasive ecological effects, with altered emergence dynamics likely in 40% of streams and a trophic cascade in 7% of streams. This study provides new evidence that a common pyrethroid might alter aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem function at the regional scale.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Trophic cascades result in large-scale coralline algae loss through differential grazer effects.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, Jennifer K; McClanahan, Timothy R

    2010-12-01

    Removal of predators can have strong indirect effects on primary producers through trophic cascades. Crustose coralline algae (CCA) are major primary producers worldwide that may be influenced by predator removal through changes in grazer composition and biomass. CCA have been most widely studied in Caribbean and temperate reefs, where cover increases with increasing grazer biomass due to removal of competitive fleshy algae. However, each of these systems has one dominant grazer type, herbivorous fishes or sea urchins, which may not be functionally equivalent. Where fishes and sea urchins co-occur, fishing can result in a phase shift in the grazing community with subsequent effects on CCA and other substrata. Kenyan reefs have herbivorous fishes and sea urchins, providing an opportunity to determine the relative impacts of each grazer type and evaluate potential human-induced trophic cascades. We hypothesized that fish benefit CCA, abundant sea urchins erode CCA, and that fishing indirectly reduces CCA cover by removing sea urchin predators. We used closures and fished reefs as a large-scale, long-term natural experiment to assess how fishing and resultant changes in communities affect CCA abundance. We used a short-term caging experiment to directly test the effects of grazing on CCA. CCA cover declined with increasing fish and sea urchin abundance, but the negative impact of sea urchin grazing was much stronger than that of fishes. Abundant sea urchins reduced the CCA growth rate to almost zero and prevented CCA accumulation. A warming event (El Niño Southern Oscillation, ENSO) occurred during the 18-year study and had a strong but short-term positive effect on CCA cover. However, the effect of the ENSO on CCA was lower in magnitude than the effect of sea urchin grazing. We compare our results with worldwide literature on bioerosion by fishes and sea urchins. Grazer influence depends on whether benefits of fleshy algae removal outweigh costs of grazer

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

    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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Consequences of omnivory for trophic interactions on a salt marsh shrub.

    PubMed

    Ho, Chuan-Kai; Pennings, Steven C

    2008-06-01

    Although omnivory is common in nature, its impact on trophic interactions is variable. Predicting the food web consequences of omnivory is complicated because omnivores can simultaneously produce conflicting direct and indirect effects on the same species or trophic level. We conducted field and laboratory experiments testing the top-down impacts of an omnivorous salt marsh crab, Armases cinereum, on the shrub Iva frutescens and its herbivorous and predatory arthropod fauna. Armases is a "true omnivore," consuming both Iva and arthropods living on Iva. We hypothesized that Armases would benefit Iva through a top-down trophic cascade, and that this benefit would be stronger than the direct negative effect of Armases on Iva. A field experiment on Sapelo Island, Georgia (USA), supported this hypothesis. Although Armases suppressed predators (spiders), it also suppressed herbivores (aphids), and benefited Iva, increasing leaf number, and reducing the proportion of dead shoots. A one-month laboratory experiment, focusing on the most common species in the food web, also supported this hypothesis. Armases strongly suppressed aphids and consumed fewer Iva leaves if aphids were available as an alternate diet. Armases gained more body mass if they could feed on aphids as well as on Iva. Although Armases had a negative effect on Iva when aphids were not present, Armases benefited Iva if aphids were present, because Armases controlled aphid populations, releasing Iva from herbivory. Although Armases is an omnivore, it produced strong top-down forces and a trophic cascade because it fed preferentially on herbivores rather than plants when both were available. At the same time, the ability of Armases to subsist on a plant diet allows it to persist in the food web when animal food is not available. Because omnivores feed on multiple trophic levels, their effects on food webs may differ from those predicted by standard trophic models that assume that each species feeds only on a

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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; 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Thermal acclimation modulates the impacts of temperature and enrichment on trophic interaction strengths and population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sentis, Arnaud; Morisson, Julie; Boukal, David S

    2015-09-01

    Global change affects individual phenotypes and biotic interactions, which can have cascading effects up to the ecosystem level. However, the role of environmentally induced phenotypic plasticity in species interactions is poorly understood, leaving a substantial gap in our knowledge of the impacts of global change on ecosystems. Using a cladoceran-dragonfly system, we experimentally investigated the effects of thermal acclimation, acute temperature change and enrichment on predator functional response and metabolic rate. Using our experimental data, we next parameterized a population dynamics model to determine the consequences of these effects on trophic interaction strength and food-chain stability. We found that (1) predation and metabolic rates of the dragonfly larvae increase with acute warming, (2) warm-acclimated larvae have a higher maximum predation rate than cold-acclimated ones, and (3) long-term interaction strength increases with enrichment but decreases with both acclimation and acute temperatures. Overall, our experimental results show that thermal acclimation can buffer negative impacts of environmental change on predators and increase food-web stability and persistence. We conclude that the effect of acclimation and, more generally, phenotypic plasticity on trophic interactions should not be overlooked if we aim to understand the effects of climate change and enrichment on species interaction strength and food-web stability. PMID:25808556

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Copepod grazing during spring blooms: Can Pseudocalanus newmani induce trophic cascades?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leising, Andrew W.; Pierson, James J.; Halsband-Lenk, Claudia; Horner, Rita; Postel, James

    2005-11-01

    During late winter and spring of 2002 and 2003, 24 two- to three-day cruises were conducted to Dabob Bay, Washington State, USA, to examine the grazing, egg production, and hatching success rates of adult female Calanus pacificus and Pseudocalanus newmani. Here, we discuss the results of our grazing experiments for P. newmani. Each week, we conducted traditional microzooplankton dilution experiments and “copepod dilution” experiments, each from two different layers. Grazing was measured by changes in chlorophyll concentration and direct cell counts. Clearance rates on individual prey species, as calculated by cell counts, showed that Pseudocalanus are highly selective in their feeding, and may have much higher grazing rates on individual taxa than calculated from bulk chlorophyll disappearance. The grazing rates of the copepods, however, are typically an order of magnitude lower than the grazing rates of the microzooplankton community, or the growth rates of the phytoplankton. P. newmani ingested diatoms, but, at certain times fed preferentially on microzooplankton, such as ciliates, tintinnids, and larger dinoflagellates. Removal of the microzooplankton may have released the other phytoplankton species from grazing pressure, allowing those species’ abundance to increase, which was measured as an apparent “negative” grazing on those phytoplankton species. The net result of grazing on some phytoplankton species, while simultaneously releasing others from grazing pressure resulted in bulk chlorophyll-derived estimates of grazing which were essentially zero or slightly negative; thus bulk chlorophyll disappearance is a poor indicator of copepod grazing. Whether copepods can significantly release phytoplankton from the grazing pressure by microzooplankton in situ, thus causing a trophic cascade, remains to be verified, but is suggested by our study.

  8. 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.

  9. Trophic interactions in a high arctic snow goose colony.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Gilles; Bêty, Joël; Giroux, Jean-François; Rochefort, Line

    2004-04-01

    We examined the role of trophic interactions in structuring a high arctic tundra community characterized by a large breeding colony of greater snow geese (Chen caerulescens atlantica). According to the exploitation ecosystem hypothesis of Oksanen et al. (1981), food chains are controlled by top-down interactions. However, because the arctic primary productivity is low, herbivore populations are too small to support functional predator populations and these communities should thus be dominated by the plant/ herbivore trophic-level interaction. Since 1990, we have been monitoring annual abundance and productivity of geese, the impact of goose grazing, predator abundance (mostly arctic foxes, Alopex lagopus) and the abundance of lemmings, the other significant herbivore in this community, on Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada. Goose grazing consistently removed a significant proportion of the standing crop (∼40%) in tundra wetlands every year. Grazing changed plant community composition and reduced the production of grasses and sedges to a low-level equilibrium compared to the situation where the presence of geese had been removed. Lemming cyclic fluctuations were strong and affected fox reproduction. Fox predation on goose eggs was severe and generated marked annual variation in goose productivity. Predation intensity on geese was closely related to the lemming cycle, a consequence of an indirect interaction between lemming and geese via shared predators. We conclude that, contrary to the exploitation ecosystem hypothesis, both the plant/herbivore and predator/prey interactions are significant in this arctic community. PMID:21680492

  10. Humans Strengthen Bottom-Up Effects and Weaken Trophic Cascades in a Terrestrial Food Web

    PubMed Central

    Muhly, Tyler B.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Paton, Dale; Pitt, Justin A.; Boyce, Mark S.; Musiani, Marco

    2013-01-01

    -up predominance and weaken top-down trophic cascades in ecosystems. We suggest that human influences on ecosystems may usurp top-down and bottom-up effects. PMID:23667705

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Cascading extinctions, functional complementarity, and selection in two-trophic-level model communities: a trait-based mechanistic approach.

    PubMed

    Sapijanskas, Jurgis; Loreau, Michel

    2010-12-01

    The influence of diversity on ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services is now well established. Yet predictive mechanistic models that link species traits and community-level processes remain scarce, particularly for multitrophic systems. Here we revisit MacArthur's classical consumer resource model and develop a trait-based approach to predict the effects of consumer diversity on cascading extinctions and aggregated ecosystem processes in a two-trophic-level system. We show that functionally redundant efficient consumers generate top-down cascading extinctions. This counterintuitive result reveals the limits of the functional redundancy concept to predict the consequences of species deletion. Our model also predicts that the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship is different for different ecosystem processes and depends on the range of variation of consumer traits in the regional species pool, which determines the sign of selection effects. Lastly, competition among resources and consumer generalism both weaken complementarity effects, which suggests that selection effects may prevail at higher trophic levels. Our work emphasizes the potential of trait-based approaches for transforming biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research into a more predictive science.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Climate change can cause spatial mismatch of trophically interacting species.

    PubMed

    Schweiger, Oliver; Settele, Josef; Kudrna, Otakar; Klotz, Stefan; Kühn, Ingolf

    2008-12-01

    Climate change is one of the most influential drivers of biodiversity. Species-specific differences in the reaction to climate change can become particularly important when interacting species are considered. Current studies have evidenced temporal mismatching of interacting species at single points in space, and recently two investigations showed that species interactions are relevant for their future ranges. However, so far we are not aware that the ranges of interacting species may become substantially spatially mismatched. We developed separate ecological-niche models for a monophagous butterfly (Boloria titania) and its larval host plant (Polygonum bistorta) based on monthly interpolated climate data, land-cover classes, and soil data at a 10'-grid resolution. We show that all of three chosen global-change scenarios, which cover a broad range of potential developments in demography, socio-economics, and technology during the 21st century from moderate to intermediate to maximum change, will result in a pronounced spatial mismatch between future niche spaces of these species. The butterfly may expand considerably its future range (by 124-258%) if the host plant has unlimited dispersal, but it could lose 52-75% of its current range if the host plant is not able to fill its projected ecological niche space, and 79-88% if the butterfly also is assumed to be highly dispersal limited. These findings strongly suggest that climate change has the potential to disrupt trophic interactions because co-occurring species do not necessarily react in a similar manner to global change, having important consequences at ecological and evolutionary time scales.

  2. Insect endosymbionts: manipulators of insect herbivore trophic interactions?

    PubMed

    Clark, Emily L; Karley, Alison J; Hubbard, Stephen F

    2010-08-01

    Throughout their evolutionary history, insects have formed multiple relationships with bacteria. Although many of these bacteria are pathogenic, with deleterious effects on the fitness of infected insects, there are also numerous examples of symbiotic bacteria that are harmless or even beneficial to their insect host. Symbiotic bacteria that form obligate or facultative associations with insects and that are located intracellularly in the host insect are known as endosymbionts. Endosymbiosis can be a strong driving force for evolution when the acquisition and maintenance of a microorganism by the insect host results in the formation of novel structures or changes in physiology and metabolism. The complex evolutionary dynamics of vertically transmitted symbiotic bacteria have led to distinctive symbiont genome characteristics that have profound effects on the phenotype of the host insect. Symbiotic bacteria are key players in insect-plant interactions influencing many aspects of insect ecology and playing a key role in shaping the diversification of many insect groups. In this review, we discuss the role of endosymbionts in manipulating insect herbivore trophic interactions focussing on their impact on plant utilisation patterns and parasitoid biology.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Perplexing Metabolomes in Fungal-Insect Trophic Interactions: A Terra Incognita of Mycobiocontrol Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Digar; Son, Su Y.; Lee, Choong H.

    2016-01-01

    The trophic interactions of entomopathogenic fungi in different ecological niches viz., soil, plants, or insect themselves are effectively regulated by their maneuvered metabolomes and the plethora of metabotypes. In this article, we discuss a holistic framework of co-evolutionary metabolomes and metabotypes to model the interactions of biocontrol fungi especially with mycosed insects. Conventionally, the studies involving fungal biocontrol mechanisms are reported in the context of much aggrandized fungal entomotoxins while the adaptive response mechanisms of host insects are relatively overlooked. The present review asserts that the selective pressure exerted among the competing or interacting species drives alterations in their overall metabolomes which ultimately implicates in corresponding metabotypes. Quintessentially, metabolomics offers a most generic and tractable model to assess the fungal-insect antagonism in terms of interaction biomarkers, biosynthetic pathway plasticity, and their co-evolutionary defense. The fungi chiefly rely on a battery of entomotoxins viz., secondary metabolites falling in the categories of NRP’s (non-ribosomal peptides), PK’s (polyketides), lysine derive alkaloids, and terpenoids. On the contrary, insects overcome mycosis through employing different layers of immunity manifested as altered metabotypes (phenoloxidase activity) and overall metabolomes viz., carbohydrates, lipids, fatty acids, amino acids, and eicosanoids. Here, we discuss the recent findings within conventional premise of fungal entomotoxicity and the evolution of truculent immune response among host insect. The metabolomic frameworks for fungal–insect interaction can potentially transmogrify our current comprehensions of biocontrol mechanisms to develop the hypervirulent biocontrol strains with least environmental concerns. Moreover, the interaction metabolomics (interactome) in complementation with other -omics cascades could further be applied to address

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Habitat structure, trophic structure and ecosystem function: interactive effects in a bromeliad-insect community.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Diane S

    2006-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that ecosystem functions are affected by either trophic structure or habitat structure, there has been little consideration of their combined effects. Such interactions may be particularly important in systems where habitat and trophic structure covary. I use the aquatic insects in bromeliads to examine the combined effects of trophic structure and habitat structure on a key ecosystem function: detrital processing. In Costa Rican bromeliads, trophic structure naturally covaries with both habitat complexity and habitat size, precluding any observational analysis of interactions between factors. I therefore designed mesocosms that allowed each factor to be manipulated separately. Increases in mesocosm complexity reduced predator (damselfly larva) efficiency, resulting in high detritivore abundances, indirectly increasing detrital processing rates. However, increased complexity also directly reduced the per capita foraging efficiency of the detritivores. Over short time periods, these trends effectively cancelled each other out in terms of detrital processing. Over longer time periods, more complex patterns emerged. Increases in mesocosm size also reduced both predator efficiency and detritivore efficiency, leading to no net effect on detrital processing. In many systems, ecosystem functions may be impacted by strong interactions between trophic structure and habitat structure, cautioning against examining either effect in isolation.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Statistical models to evaluate invertebrate-plant trophic interactions in arable systems.

    PubMed

    Bohan, D A; Hawes, C; Haughton, A J; Denholm, I; Champion, G T; Perry, J N; Clark, S J

    2007-06-01

    Over the past 40 years there have been marked shifts in arable farmland management that are widely believed to have had a considerable impact on flowering plants and invertebrates and the small mammals and birds that rely upon them. It is not yet possible to predict the dynamics of plants and invertebrates either with past or future changes in farmland management. This study investigates whether a basic invertebrate classification, formed of broad trophic groups, can be used to describe interactions between invertebrates and their resource plants and evaluate management impacts for genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) and conventional herbicide management in both spring- and winter-sown oilseed rape. It is argued that the analyses validate trophic-based approaches for describing the dynamics of invertebrates in farmland and that linear models might be used to describe the changes in invertebrate trophic group abundance in farmland when driven by primary producer abundance or biomass and interactions between invertebrates themselves. The analyses indicate that invertebrate dynamics under GMHT management are not unique, but similar to conventional management occurring over different resource ranges, and that dynamics differed considerably between spring- and winter-sown oilseed rape. Thus, herbicide management was of much lower impact on trophic relationships than sowing date. Results indicate that invertebrate dynamics in oilseed rape are regulated by a combination of top-down and bottom-up trophic processes.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Crop domestication and its impact on naturally selected trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yolanda H; Gols, Rieta; Benrey, Betty

    2015-01-01

    Crop domestication is the process of artificially selecting plants to increase their suitability to human requirements: taste, yield, storage, and cultivation practices. There is increasing evidence that crop domestication can profoundly alter interactions among plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies. Overall, little is known about how these interactions are affected by domestication in the geographical ranges where these crops originate, where they are sympatric with the ancestral plant and share the associated arthropod community. In general, domestication consistently has reduced chemical resistance against herbivorous insects, improving herbivore and natural enemy performance on crop plants. More studies are needed to understand how changes in morphology and resistance-related traits arising from domestication may interact with environmental variation to affect species interactions across multiple scales in agroecosystems and natural ecosystems.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Cascading effects of predator-detritivore interactions depend on environmental context in a Tibetan alpine meadow.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xinwei; Griffin, John N; Sun, Shucun

    2014-05-01

    Studies of grazing food webs show that species traits can interact with environmental factors to determine the strength of trophic cascades, but analogous context dependencies in detrital food webs remain poorly understood. In predator-detritivore-plant interaction chains, predators are expected to indirectly suppress plant biomass by reducing the density of plant-facilitating detritivores. However, this outcome can be reversed where above-ground predators drive burrowing detritivores to lower soil levels, strengthening their plant-facilitating effects. Here, we show that these trait-mediated indirect interactions further depend on environmental context in a Tibetan alpine meadow. In our study system, undulating topography generates higher (dry soil) patches interspersed with lower (wet soil) patches. Because the ability of detritivores to form deep burrows is likely to be limited by oxygen availability in low patches (wet soil), we hypothesized that (i) burrowing detritivores would undergo a vertical habitat shift, allowing them to more effectively avoid predation, in high - but not low - patches, and (ii) this shift would transmit positive effects of predators to plants in high patches by improving conditions in the lower soil layer. We tested these hypotheses using complementary field and glasshouse experiments examining whether the cascading effects of above-ground predatory beetles (presence/absence) on the density and behaviour of tunnel-forming detritivorous beetles, soil properties, and plant growth varied with patch type (low/high). Results revealed that predatory beetles did not reduce the density of detritivores in either patch type but had context-dependent trait-mediated effects, increasing the tunnelling depth of detritivores, improving soil conditions and ultimately increasing plant biomass in the high but not low patches. This study adds to an emerging predictive framework linking predators to plants in detritus food webs, demonstrating that these

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Trophic interactions between indigenous and non-indigenous species in Lampedusa Island, Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Marić, Martina; De Troch, Marleen; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna; Olenin, Sergej

    2016-09-01

    Using stable isotope analysis, we investigated trophic interactions between indigenous benthic taxa and the non-indigenous species (NIS): the green alga Caulerpa cylindracea, the red alga Asparagopsis taxiformis, the crab Percnon gibbesi and the sea hare Aplysia dactylomela. The study was conducted on Lampedusa Island, Mediterranean Sea. We evaluated the trophic positions and isotopic niches of consumers. Using Bayesian mixing models, we quantified the food source contribution to diets of indigenous and non-indigenous herbivores. Isotopic niche of NIS showed no overlap with the ones of indigenous macroinvertebrates and fish. Caulerpa cylindracea provided the largest contribution to the diet of P. gibbesi (0.431-1), while the dietary contribution estimates overlapped considerably for all sources of A. dactylomela and indigenous herbivores. From these results, we conclude that the invasion of C. cylindracea is increasing the diversity of available prey and might facilitate the expansion of other NIS. PMID:27568584

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. '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.

  10. '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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Convergence of trophic interaction strengths in grassland food webs through metabolic scaling of herbivore biomass.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Price, Jessica R

    2011-11-01

    1. Food web theory hypothesizes that trophic interaction strengths of consumers should vary with consumer metabolic body mass (mass(0·75) ) rather than simply with consumer body mass (mass(1·0) ) owing to constraints on consumption imposed by metabolic demand for and metabolic capacity to process nutrients and energy. Accordingly, species with similar metabolic body masses should have similar trophic interaction strengths. 2. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by assembling food webs comprised of species of arthropod predators, small sap-feeding and large leaf-chewing insect herbivores and herbaceous plants in a New England, USA meadow grassland. The experiment comprised of a density-matching treatment where herbivore species were stocked into field mesocosms at equal densities to quantify baseline species identity and metabolic body mass effects. The experiment also comprised of a metabolic biomass-matching treatment where smaller sap-feeding herbivore (SH) species were stocked into mesocosms such that the product of their density and metabolic body mass (metabolic biomass) was equal to the large herbivore (LH) species. We compared the magnitude of the direct effects of herbivore species on plants in the different treatments. We also compared the magnitude of indirect effects between predators and plants mediated by herbivores in the different treatments. 3. Consistent with the hypothesis, we found that increasing metabolic biomass translated into a 9-14-fold increase in magnitude of herbivore direct effects and up to a fivefold increase in indirect effects on plants. Moreover, metabolic biomass matching caused interaction strengths among herbivore species to converge. This result came about through increases in the herbivore mean effects as well as decreases in variation in effects among treatment replicates as herbivore metabolic biomass increased. 4. We found, however, that herbivore feeding mode rather than herbivore metabolic biomass explained

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Out-of-sample predictions from plant-insect food webs: robustness to missing and erroneous trophic interaction records.

    PubMed

    Pearse, Ian S; Altermatt, Florian

    2015-10-01

    With increasing biotic introductions, there is a great need for predictive tools to anticipate which new trophic interactions will develop and which will not. Phylogenetic constraint of interactions in both native and novel food webs can make some novel interactions predictable. However, many food webs are sparsely sampled, or may include inaccurate interactions. In such cases, it is unclear whether modeling methods are still useful to anticipate novel interactions. We ran bootstrap simulations of host-use models on a Lepidoptera-plant data set to remove native trophic records or add erroneous records in order to observe the effect of missing or erroneous data on the prediction of interactions with novel plants. We found that the model was robust to a large amount of missing interaction records, but lost predictive power with the addition of relatively few erroneous interaction records. The loss of predictive power with missing records was due to inaccuracy in estimating phylogenetic distance between native and novel hosts. Removal of interaction records proportionally to their encounter frequency in the field had little effect on the loss of predictive power. Host-use models may have immediate value for predicting novel interactions from large, but sparsely sampled databases of trophic interactions.

  2. 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.

  3. Rain forest promotes trophic interactions and diversity of trap-nesting Hymenoptera in adjacent agroforestry.

    PubMed

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tscharntke, Teja

    2006-03-01

    1. Human alteration of natural ecosystems to agroecosystems continues to accelerate in tropical countries. The resulting world-wide decline of rain forest causes a mosaic landscape, comprising simple and complex agroecosystems and patchily distributed rain forest fragments of different quality. Landscape context and agricultural management can be expected to affect both species diversity and ecosystem services by trophic interactions. 2. In Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, 24 agroforestry systems, differing in the distance to the nearest natural forest (0-1415 m), light intensity (37.5-899.6 W/m(-2)) and number of vascular plant species (7-40 species) were studied. Ten standardized trap nests for bees and wasps, made from reed and knotweed internodes, were exposed in each study site. Occupied nests were collected every month, over a period totalling 15 months. 3. A total of 13,617 brood cells were reared to produce adults of 14 trap-nesting species and 25 natural enemy species, which were mostly parasitoids. The total number of species was affected negatively by increasing distance from forest and increased with light intensity of agroforestry systems. The parasitoids in particular appeared to benefit from nearby forests. Over a 500-m distance, the number of parasitoid species decreased from eight to five, and parasitism rates from 12% to 4%. 4. The results show that diversity and parasitism, as a higher trophic interaction and ecosystem service, are enhanced by (i) improved connectivity of agroecosystems with natural habitats such as agroforestry adjacent to rain forest and (ii) management practices to increase light availability in agroforestry, which also enhances richness of flowering plants in the understorey.

  4. 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

  5. Study of a tri-trophic prey-dependent food chain model of interacting populations.

    PubMed

    Haque, Mainul; Ali, Nijamuddin; Chakravarty, Santabrata

    2013-11-01

    The current paper accounts for the influence of intra-specific competition among predators in a prey dependent tri-trophic food chain model of interacting populations. We offer a detailed mathematical analysis of the proposed food chain model to illustrate some of the significant results that has arisen from the interplay of deterministic ecological phenomena and processes. Biologically feasible equilibria of the system are observed and the behaviours of the system around each of them are described. In particular, persistence, stability (local and global) and bifurcation (saddle-node, transcritical, Hopf-Andronov) analysis of this model are obtained. Relevant results from previous well known food chain models are compared with the current findings. Global stability analysis is also carried out by constructing appropriate Lyapunov functions. Numerical simulations show that the present system is capable enough to produce chaotic dynamics when the rate of self-interaction is very low. On the other hand such chaotic behaviour disappears for a certain value of the rate of self interaction. In addition, numerical simulations with experimented parameters values confirm the analytical results and shows that intra-specific competitions bears a potential role in controlling the chaotic dynamics of the system; and thus the role of self interactions in food chain model is illustrated first time. Finally, a discussion of the ecological applications of the analytical and numerical findings concludes the paper.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Invasive plant architecture alters trophic interactions by changing predator abundance and behavior.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E

    2009-03-01

    As primary producers, plants are known to influence higher trophic interactions by initiating food chains. However, as architects, plants may bypass consumers to directly affect predators with important but underappreciated trophic ramifications. Invasion of western North American grasslands by the perennial forb, spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), has fundamentally altered the architecture of native grassland vegetation. Here, I use long-term monitoring, observational studies, and field experiments to document how changes in vegetation architecture have affected native web spider populations and predation rates. Native spiders that use vegetation as web substrates were collectively 38 times more abundant in C. maculosa-invaded grasslands than in uninvaded grasslands. This increase in spider abundance was accompanied by a large shift in web spider community structure, driven primarily by the strong response of Dictyna spiders to C. maculosa invasion. Dictyna densities were 46-74 times higher in C. maculosa-invaded than native grasslands, a pattern that persisted over 6 years of monitoring. C. maculosa also altered Dictyna web building behavior and foraging success. Dictyna webs on C. maculosa were 2.9-4.0 times larger and generated 2.0-2.3 times higher total prey captures than webs on Achillea millefolium, their primary native substrate. Dictyna webs on C. maculosa also captured 4.2 times more large prey items, which are crucial for reproduction. As a result, Dictyna were nearly twice as likely to reproduce on C. maculosa substrates compared to native substrates. The overall outcome of C. maculosa invasion and its transformative effects on vegetation architecture on Dictyna density and web building behavior were to increase Dictyna predation on invertebrate prey >/=89 fold. These results indicate that invasive plants that change the architecture of native vegetation can substantially impact native food webs via nontraditional plant --> predator --> consumer

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Hazard interactions and interaction networks (cascades) within multi-hazard methodologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, Joel C.; Malamud, Bruce D.

    2016-08-01

    This paper combines 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 between important environmental and anthropogenic processes could distort management priorities, increase vulnerability to other spatially relevant hazards or underestimate disaster risk. In this paper we proceed to present an enhanced multi-hazard framework through the following steps: (i) description and definition of three groups (natural hazards, anthropogenic processes and technological hazards/disasters) as relevant components of a multi-hazard environment, (ii) outlining of three types of interaction relationship (triggering, increased probability, and catalysis/impedance), and (iii) assessment of the importance of networks of interactions (cascades) through case study examples (based on the literature, field observations and semi-structured interviews). We further propose two visualisation frameworks to represent these networks of interactions: hazard interaction matrices and hazard/process flow diagrams. Our approach reinforces the importance of integrating interactions between different aspects of the Earth system, together with human activity, 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Predator effects on a detritus-based food web are primarily mediated by non-trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Majdi, Nabil; Boiché, Anatole; Traunspurger, Walter; Lecerf, Antoine

    2014-07-01

    Predator effects on ecosystems can extend far beyond their prey and are often not solely lethally transmitted. Change in prey traits in response to predation risk can have important repercussions on community assembly and key ecosystem processes (i.e. trait-mediated indirect effects). In addition, some predators themselves alter habitat structure or nutrient cycling through ecological engineering effects. Tracking these non-trophic pathways is thus an important, yet challenging task to gain a better grasp of the functional role of predators. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that, in detritus-based food webs, non-trophic interactions may prevail over purely trophic interactions in determining predator effects on plant litter decomposition. This hypothesis was tested in a headwater stream by modulating the density of a flatworm predator (Polycelis felina) in enclosures containing oak (Quercus robur) leaf litter exposed to natural colonization by small invertebrates and microbial decomposers. Causal path modelling was used to infer how predator effects propagated through the food web. Flatworms accelerated litter decomposition through positive effects on microbial decomposers. The biomass of prey and non-prey invertebrates was not negatively affected by flatworms, suggesting that net predator effect on litter decomposition was primarily determined by non-trophic interactions. Flatworms enhanced the deposition and retention of fine sediments on leaf surface, thereby improving leaf colonization by invertebrates - most of which having strong affinities with interstitial habitats. This predator-induced improvement of habitat availability was attributed to the sticky nature of the mucus that flatworms secrete in copious amount while foraging. Results of path analyses further indicated that this bottom-up ecological engineering effect was as powerful as the top-down effect on invertebrate prey. Our findings suggest that predators have the potential to affect substantially

  17. Crop-noncrop spillover: arable fields affect trophic interactions on wild plants in surrounding habitats.

    PubMed

    Gladbach, David J; Holzschuh, Andrea; Scherber, Christoph; Thies, Carsten; Dormann, Carsten F; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-06-01

    Ecosystem processes in agricultural landscapes are often triggered by resource availability in crop and noncrop habitats. We investigated how oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus, Brassicaceae) affects noncrop plants in managed systems and semi-natural habitat, using trophic interactions among wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis, Brassicaceae), rape pollen beetles (Meligethes aeneus, Nitidulidae) and their parasitoids (Tersilochus heterocerus, Ichneumonidae). We exposed wild mustard as phytometer plants in two cropland habitat types (wheat field, field margin) and three noncrop habitat types (fallow, grassland, wood margin) across eight landscapes along a gradient from simple to complex (quantified as % arable land). Both landscape and local factors affected the abundance of rape pollen beetles and parasitoids. Rape pollen beetle infestation and parasitism rates on these plants were lower in noncrop habitats and higher in wheat fields and field margins, whereas beetles and parasitoids responded differently to landscape scale parameters. We found the hypothesized spillover from OSR crop onto wild plants in surrounding habitats only for parasitoids, but not for pollen beetles. Parasitism rates were not related to landscape simplification, but benefited from increasing proportions of OSR. In contrast, rape pollen beetles benefited from simple landscape structures, presumably due to multi-annual population build-ups resulting from long-term OSR planting (as part of the crop rotation). In conclusion, we showed that spillover from cropland affects parasitism rates on related wild plants outside cropland, which has not been shown so far, but can be expected to be a widespread effect shaping noncrop food webs.

  18. [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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Trophic omnivory across a productivity gradient: intraguild predation theory and the structure and strength of species interactions

    PubMed Central

    Novak, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Intraguild predation theory centres on two predictions: (i) for an omnivore and an intermediate predator (IG-prey) to coexist on shared resources, the IG-prey must be the superior resource competitor, and (ii) increasing resource productivity causes the IG-prey's equilibrium abundance to decline. I tested these predictions with a series of species-rich food webs along New Zealand's rocky shores, focusing on two predatory whelks, Haustrum haustorium, a trophic omnivore, and Haustrum scobina, the IG-prey. In contrast to theory, the IG-prey's abundance increased with productivity. Furthermore, feeding rates and allometric considerations indicate a competitive advantage for the omnivore when non-shared prey are considered, despite the IG-prey's superiority for shared prey. Nevertheless, clear and regular cross-gradient changes in network structure and interaction strengths were observed that challenge the assumptions of current theory. These insights suggest that the consideration of consumer-dependent functional responses, non-equilibrium dynamics, the dynamic nature of prey choice and non-trophic interactions among basal prey will be fruitful avenues for theoretical development. PMID:23864601

  4. Cascade effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Shi, PeiJian; Hui, Cang; Men, XingYuan; Zhao, ZiHua; Ouyang, Fang; Ge, Feng; Jin, XianShi; Cao, HaiFeng; Li, B Larry

    2014-07-01

    Understanding how plant species richness influences the diversity of herbivorous and predatory/parasitic arthropods is central to community ecology. We explore the effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies. Using data from a four-year experiment with five levels of crop species richness, we found that crop species richness significantly affected the pest species richness, but there were no significant effects on richness of the pests' natural enemies. In contrast, the species richness of pest insects significantly affected their natural enemies. These findings suggest a cascade effect where trophic interactions are strong between adjacent trophic levels, while the interactions between connected but nonadjacent trophic levels are weakened by the intermediate trophic level. High crop species richness resulted in a more stable arthropod community compared with communities in monoculture crops. Our results highlight the complicated cross-trophic interactions and the crucial role of crop diversity in the food webs of agro-ecosystems.

  5. The Potential for Signal Integration and Processing in Interacting Map Kinase Cascades

    PubMed Central

    Schwacke, John H.; Voit, Eberhard O.

    2009-01-01

    The cellular response to environmental stimuli requires biochemical information processing through which sensory inputs and cellular status are integrated and translated into appropriate responses by way of interacting networks of enzymes. One such network, the Mitogen Activated Protein (MAP) kinase cascade is a highly conserved signal transduction module that propagates signals from cell surface receptors to various cytosolic and nuclear targets by way of a phosphorylation cascade. We have investigated the potential for signal processing within a network of interacting feed-forward kinase cascades typified by the MAP kinase cascade. A genetic algorithm was used to search for sets of kinetic parameters demonstrating representative key input-output patterns of interest. We discuss two of the networks identified in our study, one implementing the exclusive-or function (XOR) and another implementing what we refer to as an in-band detector (IBD) or two-sided threshold. These examples confirm the potential for logic and amplitude-dependent signal processing in interacting MAP kinase cascades demonstrating limited cross-talk. Specifically, the XOR function allows the network to respond to either one, but not both signals simultaneously, while the IBD permits the network to respond exclusively to signals within a given range of strength, and to suppress signals below as well as above this range. The solution to the XOR problem is interesting in that it requires only two interacting pathways, crosstalk at only one layer, and no feedback or explicit inhibition. These types of responses are not only biologically relevant but constitute signal processing modules that can be combined to create other logical functions and that, in contrast to amplification, cannot be achieved with a single cascade or with two non-interacting cascades. Our computational results revealed surprising similarities between experimental data describing the JNK/MKK4/MKK7 pathway and the solution for

  6. 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

  7. JAK/STAT and Hox Dynamic Interactions in an Organogenetic Gene Cascade

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Pedro B.; Espinosa-Vázquez, Jose Manuel; Rivas, María Luísa; Hombría, James Castelli-Gair

    2015-01-01

    Organogenesis is controlled by gene networks activated by upstream selector genes. During development the gene network is activated stepwise, with a sequential deployment of successive transcription factors and signalling molecules that modify the interaction of the elements of the network as the organ forms. Very little is known about the steps leading from the early specification of the cells that form the organ primordium to the moment when a robust gene network is in place. Here we study in detail how a Hox protein induces during early embryogenesis a simple organogenetic cascade that matures into a complex gene network through the activation of feedback and feed forward interaction loops. To address how the network organization changes during development and how the target genes integrate the genetic information it provides, we analyze in Drosophila the induction of posterior spiracle organogenesis by the Hox gene Abdominal-B (Abd-B). Initially, Abd-B activates in the spiracle primordium a cascade of transcription factors and signalling molecules including the JAK/STAT signalling pathway. We find that at later stages STAT activity feeds back directly into Abd-B, initiating the transformation of the Hox cascade into a gene-network. Focusing on crumbs, a spiracle downstream target gene of Abd-B, we analyze how a modular cis regulatory element integrates the dynamic network information set by Abd-B and the JAK/STAT signalling pathway during development. We describe how a Hox induced genetic cascade transforms into a robust gene network during organogenesis due to the repeated interaction of Abd-B and one of its targets, the JAK/STAT signalling cascade. Our results show that in this network STAT functions not just as a direct transcription factor, but also acts as a "counter-repressor", uncovering a novel mode for STAT directed transcriptional regulation. PMID:26230388

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Numerical calculations of cosmic ray cascade in the Earth's atmosphere using different particle interaction models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesterenok, A. V.; Naidenov, V. O.

    2015-12-01

    The interaction of primary cosmic rays with the Earth's atmosphere is investigated using the simulation toolkit GEANT4. Two reference lists of physical processes - QGSP_BIC_HP and FTFP_BERT_HP - are used in the simulations of cosmic ray cascade in the atmosphere. The cosmic ray neutron fluxes are calculated for mean level of solar activity, high geomagnetic latitudes and sea level. The calculated fluxes are compared with the published results of other analogous simulations and with experimental data.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Atwood, Trisha; Richardson, John S

    2012-04-10

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Intensity interactions in cascades of a two-stage Raman fiber laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babin, S. A.; Churkin, D. V.; Podivilov, E. V.

    2003-10-01

    Effects of intensity interactions (pump power depletion and sequential saturation of cascade generation) have been studied in a two-stage phosphosilicate Raman fiber laser in experiment and modeling. An analytical model of the laser which takes into account power variation along the fiber and spectral broadening of the first Stokes wave has been developed that describes experimental data both qualitatively and quantitatively. Good agreement between calculated and experimental values of the thresholds, differential efficiency for the first and the second Stokes waves and saturation levels for the residual pump and the first Stokes wave powers is demonstrated.

  20. A viscous-inviscid interactive procedure for rotational flow in cascades of two-dimensional airfoils of arbitrary shape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, W.; Sockol, P.

    1983-01-01

    A viscous-inviscid interactive calculation procedure is developed for application to flow in cascades of two-dimensional airfoils. This procedure has essentially three components. First, a numerical solution of the Euler equations which can accommodate an arbitrarily specified cascade geometry is carried out on a nonorthogonal curvileanear grid mesh that is fitted to the geometry of the cascade. A method of grid generation has been used which relies in part on a succession of conformal mappings. Second, a viscous solution for use in boundary layer and wake regions has been programmed. Finally, an interactive scheme which takes the form of a source-sink distribution along the blade surface and wake centerline is employed. Results have been obtained with this procedure for several cascade flow situations, and some comparisons with experiment are presented.

  1. A viscous-inviscid interactive procedure for rotational flow in cascades of two dimensional airfoils of arbitrary shape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, W. A.

    1983-01-01

    A viscous-inviscid interactive calculation procedure is developed for application to flow in cascades of two-dimensional airfoils. This procedure has essentially three components. First, a numerical solution of the Eulers equations which can accommodate an arbitrarily specified cascade geometry of the cascade. A method of grid generation has been used which relics in part on a succession of conformal mappings. Second, a viscous solution for use in boundary layers and wake regions was programmed. Finally, an interactive scheme which takes the form of a source-sink distribution along the blade surface and wake centerline is employed. Results were obtained with this procedure for several cascade flow situations, and some comparisons with experiment are presented.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Trophic downgrading of planet Earth.

    PubMed

    Estes, James A; Terborgh, John; Brashares, Justin S; Power, Mary E; Berger, Joel; Bond, William J; Carpenter, Stephen R; Essington, Timothy E; Holt, Robert D; Jackson, Jeremy B C; Marquis, Robert J; Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Paine, Robert T; Pikitch, Ellen K; Ripple, William J; Sandin, Stuart A; Scheffer, Marten; Schoener, Thomas W; Shurin, Jonathan B; Sinclair, Anthony R E; Soulé, Michael E; Virtanen, Risto; Wardle, David A

    2011-07-15

    Until recently, large apex consumers were ubiquitous across the globe and had been for millions of years. The loss of these animals may be humankind's most pervasive influence on nature. Although such losses are widely viewed as an ethical and aesthetic problem, recent research reveals extensive cascading effects of their disappearance in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems worldwide. This empirical work supports long-standing theory about the role of top-down forcing in ecosystems but also highlights the unanticipated impacts of trophic cascades on processes as diverse as the dynamics of disease, wildfire, carbon sequestration, invasive species, and biogeochemical cycles. These findings emphasize the urgent need for interdisciplinary research to forecast the effects of trophic downgrading on process, function, and resilience in global ecosystems.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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

  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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Allosteric interactions and bifunctionality make the response of glutamine synthetase cascade system of Escherichia coli robust and ultrasensitive.

    PubMed

    Mutalik, Vivek K; Shah, Parag; Venkatesh, K V

    2003-07-18

    Glutamine synthetase (GS) regulation in Escherichia coli by reversible covalent modification cycles is a prototype of signal transduction by enzyme cascades. Such enzyme cascades are known to exhibit ultrasensitive response to primary stimuli and act as signal integration systems. Here, we have quantified GS bicyclic cascade based on steady state analysis by evaluating Hill coefficient. We demonstrate that adenylylation of GS with glutamine as input is insensitive to total enzyme concentrations of GS, uridylyltransferase/uridylyl-removing enzyme, regulatory protein PII, and adenylyltransferase/adenylyl-removing enzyme. This robust response of GS adenylylation is also observed for change in system parameters. From numerical analyses, we show that the robust ultrasensitive response of bicyclic cascade is because of allosteric interactions of glutamine and 2-ketoglutarate, bifunctionality of converter enzymes, and closed loop bicyclic cascade structure. By system level quantification of the GS bicyclic cascade, we conclude that such a robust response may help the cell in adapting to different carbon and nitrogen status. PMID:12676964

  19. Trophic levels and trophic tangles: the prevalence of omnivory in real food webs.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Ross M; Hemberg, Martin; Starzomski, Brian M; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2007-03-01

    The concept of trophic levels is one of the oldest in ecology and informs our understanding of energy flow and top-down control within food webs, but it has been criticized for ignoring omnivory. We tested whether trophic levels were apparent in 58 real food webs in four habitat types by examining patterns of trophic position. A large proportion of taxa (64.4%) occupied integer trophic positions, suggesting that discrete trophic levels do exist. Importantly however, the majority of those trophic positions were aggregated around integer values of 0 and 1, representing plants and herbivores. For the majority of the real food webs considered here, secondary consumers were no more likely to occupy an integer trophic position than in randomized food webs. This means that, above the herbivore trophic level, food webs are better characterized as a tangled web of omnivores. Omnivory was most common in marine systems, rarest in streams, and intermediate in lakes and terrestrial food webs. Trophic-level-based concepts such as trophic cascades may apply to systems with short food chains, but they become less valid as food chains lengthen.

  20. Cascading effects from predator removal depend on resource availability in a benthic food web.

    PubMed

    Sieben, Katrin; Rippen, Anneke D; Eriksson, Britas Klemens

    2011-01-01

    We tested joint effects of predator loss and increased resource availability on the grazers' trophic level and the propagation of trophic interactions in a benthic food web by excluding larger predatory fish from cages and manipulating nutrients in the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea. The combination of nutrient enrichment and excluding larger predators induced an increase in medium-sized predatory fish (three-spined stickleback). The meso-predator fish in turn did not change the total abundance of the invertebrate herbivores, but did cause a substantial shift in their community composition towards the dominance of gastropods by reducing amphipods by 40-60%, while gastropods were left unchanged. The shift in grazer composition generated a 23 times higher producer biomass, but only under nutrient enrichment. Our results show that top-predator declines can substantially shift the species composition at the grazers' level, but that cascading effects on producers by a trophic cascade strongly depend on resource availability.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. Effects of an invasive plant transcend ecosystem boundaries through a dragonfly-mediated trophic pathway.

    PubMed

    Burkle, Laura A; Mihaljevic, Joseph R; Smith, Kevin G

    2012-12-01

    Trophic interactions can strongly influence the structure and function of terrestrial and aquatic communities through top-down and bottom-up processes. Species with life stages in both terrestrial and aquatic systems may be particularly likely to link the effects of trophic interactions across ecosystem boundaries. Using experimental wetlands planted with purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), we tested the degree to which the bottom-up effects of floral density of this invasive plant could trigger a chain of interactions, changing the behavior of terrestrial flying insect prey and predators and ultimately cascading through top-down interactions to alter lower trophic levels in the aquatic community. The results of our experiment support the linkage of terrestrial and aquatic food webs through this hypothesized pathway, with high loosestrife floral density treatments attracting high levels of visiting insect pollinators and predatory adult dragonflies. High floral densities were also associated with increased adult dragonfly oviposition and subsequently high larval dragonfly abundance in the aquatic community. Finally, high-flower treatments were coupled with changes in zooplankton species richness and shifts in the composition of zooplankton communities. Through changes in animal behavior and trophic interactions in terrestrial and aquatic systems, this work illustrates the broad and potentially cryptic effects of invasive species, and provides additional compelling motivation for ecologists to conduct investigations that cross traditional ecosystem boundaries.

  5. Identification of trophic interactions within an estuarine food web (northern New Zealand) using fatty acid biomarkers and stable isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alfaro, Andrea C.; Thomas, François; Sergent, Luce; Duxbury, Mark

    2006-10-01

    Fatty acid biomarkers and stable isotope signatures were used to identify the trophic dynamics of a mangrove/seagrass estuarine food web at Matapouri, northern New Zealand. Specific fatty acids were used to identify the preferred food sources (i.e., mangroves, seagrass, phytoplankton, macroalgae, bacteria, and zooplankton) of dominant fauna (i.e., filter feeders, grazing snails, scavenger/predatory snails, shrimp, crabs, and fish), and their presence in water and sediment samples throughout the estuary. The diets of filter feeders were found to be dominated by dinoflagellates, whereas grazers showed a higher diatom contribution. Bacteria associated with organic debris on surface sediments and brown algal ( Hormosira banksii) material in the form of suspended organic matter also accounted for a high proportion of most animal diets. Animals within higher trophic levels had diverse fatty acid profiles, revealing their varied feeding strategies and carbon sources. The stable isotope (δ 13C and δ 15N) analyses of major primary producers and consumers/predators revealed a trend of 15N enrichment with increasing trophic level, while δ 13C values provided a generally good description of carbon flow through the food web. Overall results from both fatty acid profiles and stable isotopes indicate that a variety of carbon sources with a range of trophic pathways typify this food web. Moreover, none of the animals studied was dependent on a single food source. This study is the first to use a comprehensive fatty acid biomarker and stable isotope approach to investigate the food web dynamics within a New Zealand temperate mangrove/seagrass estuary. This quantitative research may contribute to the currently developing management strategies for estuaries in northern New Zealand, especially for those perceived to have expanding mangrove fringes.

  6. 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.

  7. A new cascaded control strategy for paralleled line-interactive UPS with LCL filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, X. Y.; Zhang, X. H.; Li, L.; Luo, F.; Zhang, Y. S.

    2016-08-01

    Traditional uninterrupted power supply (UPS) is difficult to meet the output voltage quality and grid-side power quality requirements at the same time, and usually has some disadvantage, such as multi-stage conversion, complex structure, or harmonic current pollution to the utility grid and so on. A three-phase three-level paralleled line-interactive UPS with LCL filter is presented in this paper. It can achieve the output voltage quality and grid-side power quality control simultaneously with only single-conversion power stage, but the multi-objective control strategy design is difficult. Based on the detailed analysis of the circuit structure and operation mechanism, a new cascaded control strategy for the power, voltage, and current is proposed. An outer current control loop based on the resonant control theory is designed to ensure the grid-side power quality. An inner voltage control loop based on the capacitance voltage and capacitance current feedback is designed to ensure the output voltage quality and avoid the resonance peak of the LCL filter. Improved repetitive controller is added to reduce the distortion of the output voltage. The setting of the controller parameters is detailed discussed. A 100kVA UPS prototype is built and experiments under the unbalanced resistive load and nonlinear load are carried out. Theoretical analysis and experimental results show the effectiveness of the control strategy. The paralleled line-interactive UPS can not only remain constant three-phase balanced output voltage, but also has the comprehensive power quality management functions with three-phase balanced grid active power input, low THD of output voltage and grid current, and reactive power compensation. The UPS is a green friendly load to the utility.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Multiplication of the frequency shift of optical radiation by means of cascade acousto-optic interaction

    SciTech Connect

    Kotov, V M

    2000-04-30

    A method for increasing the frequency shift of optical radiation by means of cascade acousto-optic diffraction of light is proposed and studied. The method is based on special features of anisotropic diffraction in an anisotropic medium and optical properties of gyrotropic media. Five-cascade diffraction of radiation from a He - Ne laser ({lambda}=0.633 {mu}m) in a TeO{sub 2} single crystal with an efficiency of 8% was obtained experimentally. (laser applications and other topics in quantum electronics)

  15. Computation of Gust-Cascade Interaction Using the CE/SE Method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, X.-Y.; Himansu, A.; Chang, S.-C.; Jorgenson, P. C. E.

    2004-01-01

    The problem 2 in Category 3 of the 4th Computational Aeroacoustic(CAA) Workshop is solved using the space-time conservation element and solution element (CE/SE) method. This problem models rotor-stator interaction in a 2D cascade. It involves complex geometries and flow physics including vortex shedding and acoustic radiation. The parallel version of the 2D nonlinear Euler solver is used with an unstructured triangular mesh to solve this problem. The Giles approach is incorporated with the CE/SE method to handle non-equal pitches of the rotor and stator. Validation on the Giles approach is performed using Problem 3.1 in the 2nd CAA Workshop. The space-time CE/SE method is a finite volume method with second-order accuracy in both space and time. The flux conservation is enforced in both space and time instead of space only. It has low numerical dissipation and dispersion errors. It uses simple non-reflecting boundary conditions and is compatible with unstructured meshes. It is simple, flexible, and generate reasonably accurate solutions. The CE/SE method has been successfully applied to solve numerous practical problems, especially aeroacoustic problems. Some preliminary numerical results of the benchmark problem 3.2 of the 4th CAA Workshop are shown. The steady-state pressure contour is plotted. The mean pressure distribution on the blade surface is compared with Turbo solution showing a good agreement. The sound pressure level versus the rotor harmonic n at the six designated positions on the blade surface, three locations at inlet plane, and three locations at the outlet plane are plotted. It can be seen that the acoustic response exists only at the excitation frequencies (n = 1,2,3). On the blade surface, the acoustic wave at n = 1 is dominant, while at the inlet and outlet planes, the sound pressure level at n = 2 becomes the largest, which is similar to the results presented. The distribution of sound pressure level at different spatial modes along the z

  16. 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

  17. Competitive Interactions between Invasive Nile Tilapia and Native Fish: The Potential for Altered Trophic Exchange and Modification of Food Webs

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. [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.

  19. 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

    2010-12-21

    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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 (δ(15)N and δ(13)C) 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 δ(15)N values than their potential prey items. δ(13)C 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.

  2. Interactions among three trophic levels and diversity of parasitoids: a case of top-down processes in Mexican tropical dry forest.

    PubMed

    Cuevas-Reyes, Pablo; Quesada, Mauricio; Hanson, Paul; Oyama, Ken

    2007-08-01

    The objective of this study was to analyze the relationship between plant hosts, galling insects, and their parasitoids in a tropical dry forest at Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve in western Mexico. In 120 transects of 30 by 5 m (60 in deciduous forest and 60 in riparian habitats), 29 galling insects species were found and represented in the following order: Diptera (Cecidomyiidae, which induced the greatest abundance of galls with 22 species; 76%), Homoptera (Psylloidea, 6.9%; Psyllidae, 6.9%; Triozidae, 3.4%), Hymenoptera (Tanaostigmatidae, 3.4%; which were rare), and one unidentified morphospecies (3.4%). In all cases, there was a great specificity between galling insect species and their host plant species; one galling insect species was associated with one specific plant species. In contrast, there was no specificity between parasitoid species and their host galling insect species. Only 11 species of parasitoids were associated with 29 galling insect species represented in the following families: Torymidae (18.2%), Eurytomidae (18.2%), Eulophidae (18.2%), Eupelmidae (9.1%), Pteromalidae (9.1%), family Braconidae (9.1%), Platygastridae (9.1%), and one unidentified (9.1%). Most parasitoid species parasitized several gall species (Torymus sp.: 51.1%, Eurytoma sp.: 49.7%, Torymoides sp.: 46.9%). Therefore, the effects of variation in plant defenses do not extend to the third trophic level, because a few species of parasitoids can determine the community structure and composition of galling insect species in tropical plants, and instead, top-down processes seem to be regulating trophic interactions of galling insect species in tropical gall communities.

  3. Cascade effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Shi, PeiJian; Hui, Cang; Men, XingYuan; Zhao, ZiHua; Ouyang, Fang; Ge, Feng; Jin, XianShi; Cao, HaiFeng; Li, B Larry

    2014-07-01

    Understanding how plant species richness influences the diversity of herbivorous and predatory/parasitic arthropods is central to community ecology. We explore the effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies. Using data from a four-year experiment with five levels of crop species richness, we found that crop species richness significantly affected the pest species richness, but there were no significant effects on richness of the pests' natural enemies. In contrast, the species richness of pest insects significantly affected their natural enemies. These findings suggest a cascade effect where trophic interactions are strong between adjacent trophic levels, while the interactions between connected but nonadjacent trophic levels are weakened by the intermediate trophic level. High crop species richness resulted in a more stable arthropod community compared with communities in monoculture crops. Our results highlight the complicated cross-trophic interactions and the crucial role of crop diversity in the food webs of agro-ecosystems. PMID:24907938

  4. Linking predator-prey interactions with exposure to a trophically transmitted parasite using PCR-based analyses.

    PubMed

    Luong, Lien T; Chapman, Eric G; Harwood, James D; Hudson, Peter J

    2013-01-01

    Parasite transmission is determined by the rate of contact between a susceptible host and an infective stage and susceptibility to infection given an exposure event. Attempts to measure levels of variation in exposure in natural populations can be especially challenging. The level of exposure to a major class of parasites, trophically transmitted parasites, can be estimated by investigating the host's feeding behaviour. Since the parasites rely on the ingestion of infective intermediate hosts for transmission, the potential for exposure to infection is inherently linked to the definitive host's feeding ecology. Here, we combined epidemiological data and molecular analyses (polymerase chain reaction) of the diet of the definitive host, the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), to investigate temporal and individual heterogeneities in exposure to infection. Our results show that the consumption of cricket intermediate hosts accounted for much of the variation in infection; mice that had consumed crickets were four times more likely to become infected than animals that tested negative for cricket DNA. In particular, pregnant female hosts were three times more likely to consume crickets, which corresponded to a threefold increase in infection compared with nonpregnant females. Interestingly, males in breeding condition had a higher rate of infection even though breeding males were just as likely to test positive for cricket consumption as nonbreeding males. These results suggest that while heterogeneity in host diet served as a strong predictor of exposure risk, differential susceptibility to infection may also play a key role, particularly among male hosts. By combining PCR analyses with epidemiological data, we revealed temporal variation in exposure through prey consumption and identified potentially important individual heterogeneities in parasite transmission. PMID:23110593

  5. Computation of a Single Airfoil Gust Response and Gust-Cascade Interaction Using the CE/SE Method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen; Himansu, Ananda; Chang, Sin-Chung; Jorgenson, Philip C. E.

    2004-01-01

    The problems 1 and 2 in Category 3 are solved using the space-time conservation element and solution element (CE/SE) method. Problem 1 concerns the acoustic field generated by the interaction of a harmonic vertical gust with a single isolated airfoil. Problem 2 models rotor-stator interaction in a 2D cascade. Both problems involve complex geometries and flow physics including vortex shielding and acoustic radiation. An unstructured triangular mesh is used to solve both problems. For problem 2, the Giles approach is incorporated with the CE/SE method to handle non-equal pitches of the rotor and stator. Numerical solution of both near and far fields of problem 1 are presented and compared with a frequency-domain solver GUST3D and a time-domain high-order Discontinuous Spectra Element Method (DSEM) solutions. For problem 2, numerical solutions on the blade surface, inlet and outlet planes are presented.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Thermalization of gluons in ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions by including three-body interactions in a parton cascade

    SciTech Connect

    Xu Zhe; Greiner, Carsten

    2005-06-01

    We develop a new 3 + 1 dimensional Monte Carlo cascade solving the kinetic on-shell Boltzmann equations for partons including the inelastic gg{r_reversible}ggg pQCD processes. The back reaction channel is treated - for the first time - fully consistently within this scheme. An extended stochastic method is used to solve the collision integral. The frame dependence and convergency are studied for a fixed tube with thermal initial conditions. The detailed numerical analysis shows that the stochastic method is fully covariant and that convergency is achieved more efficiently than within a standard geometrical formulation of the collision term, especially for high gluon interaction rates. The cascade is then applied to simulate parton evolution and to investigate thermalization of gluons for a central Au+Au collision at RHIC energy. For this study the initial conditions are assumed to be generated by independent minijets with p{sub T}>p{sub 0}=2 GeV. With that choice it is demonstrated that overall kinetic equilibration is driven mainly by the inelastic processes and is achieved on a scale of 1 fm/c. The further evolution of the expanding gluonic matter in the central region then shows almost an ideal hydrodynamical behavior. In addition, full chemical equilibration of the gluons follows on a longer time scale of about 3 fm/c.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Interaction of primary cascades with different atomic grain boundaries in α-Zr: An atomic scale study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatami, F.; Feghhi, S. A. H.; Arjhangmehr, A.; Esfandiarpour, A.

    2016-11-01

    In this paper, we investigate interaction of primary cascades with grain boundaries (GBs) in α-Zr using the atomistic-scale simulations, and intend to study the influence of different GB structures on production and evolution of defects on picosecond timescale. We observe that, contrary to the previous results in cubic metals, GBs in α-Zr are not necessarily biased toward interstitials, and can preferentially absorb vacancies. Further, in terms of energetic and kinetic behavior, we find that GBs act as defect sinks due to the substantial reduction of defect formation energies and migration barriers in close vicinity of the GB center, with either a preference toward interstitials or vacancies which depends on the atomic structure of the boundaries. Finally, using continuous ion bombardment, we investigate the stability of GBs in sever irradiation environment. The results indicate that the sink strength and efficiency of boundaries varies with increasing accumulated defects in GB region.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Interaction of Gold Nuclei with Photoemulsion Nuclei at Energies in the Range 100-1200 MeV per Nucleon and Cascade-Evaporation Model

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdanov, S.D.; Shablya, E.Ya.; Kosmach, V.F.; Vokal, S.; Plyuschev, V.A.

    2005-09-01

    The interaction of gold nuclei with photoemulsion nuclei at energies in the range 100-1200 MeV per nucleon was studied experimentally. A consistent comparison of the experimental data obtained in this way with the results of the calculations based on the cascade-evaporation model is performed.

  20. Dependence of the average spatial and energy characteristics of the hadron-lepton cascade on the strong interaction parameters at superhigh energies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boyadjian, N. G.; Dallakyan, P. Y.; Garyaka, A. P.; Mamidjanian, E. A.

    1985-01-01

    A method for calculating the average spatial and energy characteristics of hadron-lepton cascades in the atmosphere is described. The results of calculations for various strong interaction models of primary protons and nuclei are presented. The sensitivity of the experimentally observed extensive air showers (EAS) characteristics to variations of the elementary act parameters is analyzed.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. EDR1 Physically Interacts with MKK4/MKK5 and Negatively Regulates a MAP Kinase Cascade to Modulate Plant Innate Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chunzhao; Nie, Haozhen; Shen, Qiujing; Zhang, Shuqun; Lukowitz, Wolfgang; Tang, Dingzhong

    2014-01-01

    Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling cascades play important roles in the regulation of plant defense. The Raf-like MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) EDR1 negatively regulates plant defense responses and cell death. However, how EDR1 functions, and whether it affects the regulation of MAPK cascades, are not well understood. Here, we showed that EDR1 negatively regulates the MKK4/MKK5-MPK3/MPK6 kinase cascade in Arabidopsis. We found that edr1 mutants have highly activated MPK3/MPK6 kinase activity and higher levels of MPK3/MPK6 proteins than wild type. EDR1 physically interacts with MKK4 and MKK5, and this interaction requires the N-terminal domain of EDR1. EDR1 also negatively affects MKK4/MKK5 protein levels. In addition, the mpk3, mkk4 and mkk5 mutations suppress edr1-mediated resistance, and over-expression of MKK4 or MKK5 causes edr1-like resistance and mildew-induced cell death. Taken together, our data indicate that EDR1 physically associates with MKK4/MKK5 and negatively regulates the MAPK cascade to fine-tune plant innate immunity. PMID:24830651

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. The evolution of trophic structure.

    PubMed

    Bell, G

    2007-11-01

    The trophic relationships of an ecological community were represented by digital individuals consuming resources or prey within a simulated ecosystem and producing offspring that may differ from their parents. When individuals meet, a few simple rules are used to decide the outcome of their interaction. Trophically complex systems persist for long periods of time even in finite communities, provided that the strength of predator-prey interaction is sufficient to repay the cost of maintenance. The topology of the food web and important system-level attributes such as overall productivity follow from the rules of engagement: that is, the macroscopic properties of the ecosystem follow from the microscopic attributes of individuals, without the need to invoke the emergence of novel processes at the level of the whole system. Evolutionarily stable webs exist only when the pool of available species is small. If the pool is large, or speciation is allowed, species composition changes continually, while overall community properties are maintained. Ecologically separate and topologically different source webs based on the same pool of resources usually coexist for long periods of time, through negative frequency-dependent selection at the level of the source web as a whole. Thus, the evolved food web of species-rich communities is a highly dynamic structure with continual species turnover. It both imposes selection on each species and itself responds to selection, but selection does not necessarily maximize stability, productivity or any other community property.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. The mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade is activated by B-Raf in response to nerve growth factor through interaction with p21ras.

    PubMed Central

    Jaiswal, R K; Moodie, S A; Wolfman, A; Landreth, G E

    1994-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) activates the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade through a p21ras-dependent signal transduction pathway in PC12 cells. The linkage between p21ras and MEK1 was investigated to identify those elements which participate in the regulation of MEK1 activity. We have screened for MEK activators using a coupled assay in which the MAP kinase cascade has been reconstituted in vitro. We report that we have detected a single NGF-stimulated MEK-activating activity which has been identified as B-Raf. PC12 cells express both B-Raf and c-Raf1; however, the MEK-activating activity was found only in fractions containing B-Raf. c-Raf1-containing fractions did not exhibit a MEK-activating activity. Gel filtration analysis revealed that the B-Raf eluted with an apparent M(r) of 250,000 to 300,000, indicating that it is present within a stable complex with other unidentified proteins. Immunoprecipitation with B-Raf-specific antisera quantitatively precipitated all MEK activator activity from these fractions. We also demonstrate that B-Raf, as well as c-Raf1, directly interacted with activated p21ras immobilized on silica beads. NGF treatment of the cells had no effect on the ability of B-Raf or c-Raf1 to bind to activated p21ras. These data indicate that this interaction was not dependent upon the activation state of these enzymes; however, MEK kinase activity was found to be associated with p21ras following incubation with NGF-treated samples at levels higher than those obtained from unstimulated cells. These data provide direct evidence that NGF-stimulated B-Raf is responsible for the activation of the MAP kinase cascade in PC12 cells, whereas c-Raf1 activity was not found to function within this pathway. Images PMID:7935411

  1. Ecological versus phylogenetic determinants of trophic associations in a plant-leafminer-parasitoid food web.

    PubMed

    Leppänen, Sanna A; Altenhofer, Ewald; Liston, Andrew D; Nyman, Tommi

    2013-05-01

    Specialized trophic interactions in plant-herbivore-parasitoid food webs can spur "bottom-up" diversification if speciation in plants leads to host-shift driven divergence in insect herbivores, and if the effect then cascades up to the third trophic level. Conversely, parasitoids that search for victims on certain plant taxa may trigger "top-down" diversification by pushing herbivores into "enemy-free space" on novel hosts. We used phylogenetic regression methods to compare the relative importance of ecology versus phylogeny on associations between Heterarthrinae leafmining sawflies and their parasitoids. We found that: (1) the origin of leafmining led to escape from most parasitoids attacking external-feeding sawflies; (2) the current enemies mainly consist of generalists that are shared with other leafmining taxa, and of more specialized lineages that may have diversified by shifting among heterarthrines; and (3) parasitoid-leafminer associations are influenced more by the phylogeny of the miners' host plants than by relationships among miner species. Our results suggest that vertical diversifying forces have a significant-but not ubiquitous-role in speciation: many of the parasitoids have remained polyphagous despite niche diversification in the miners, and heterarthrine host shifts also seem to be strongly affected by host availability.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Disease-mediated bottom-up regulation: An emergent virus affects a keystone prey, and alters the dynamics of trophic webs

    PubMed Central

    Monterroso, Pedro; Garrote, Germán; Serronha, Ana; Santos, Emídio; Delibes-Mateos, Miguel; Abrantes, Joana; Perez de Ayala, Ramón; Silvestre, Fernando; Carvalho, João; Vasco, Inês; Lopes, Ana M.; Maio, Elisa; Magalhães, Maria J.; Mills, L. Scott; Esteves, Pedro J.; Simón, Miguel Ángel; Alves, Paulo C.

    2016-01-01

    Emergent diseases may alter the structure and functioning of ecosystems by creating new biotic interactions and modifying existing ones, producing cascading processes along trophic webs. Recently, a new variant of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV2 or RHDVb) arguably caused widespread declines in a keystone prey in Mediterranean ecosystems - the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). We quantitatively assess the impact of RHDV2 on natural rabbit populations and in two endangered apex predator populations: the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) and the Spanish Imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti). We found 60–70% declines in rabbit populations, followed by decreases of 65.7% in Iberian lynx and 45.5% in Spanish Imperial eagle fecundities. A revision of the web of trophic interactions among rabbits and their dependent predators suggests that RHDV2 acts as a keystone species, and may steer Mediterranean ecosystems to management-dependent alternative states, dominated by simplified mesopredator communities. This model system stresses the importance of diseases as functional players in the dynamics of trophic webs. PMID:27796353

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Complexity of multitrophic interactions in a grassland ecosystem depends on plant species diversity.

    PubMed

    Rzanny, Michael; Voigt, Winfried

    2012-05-01

    1. We studied the theoretical prediction that a loss of plant species richness has a strong impact on community interactions among all trophic levels and tested whether decreased plant species diversity results in a less complex structure and reduced interactions in ecological networks. 2. Using plant species-specific biomass and arthropod abundance data from experimental grassland plots (Jena Experiment), we constructed multitrophic functional group interaction webs to compare communities based on 4 and 16 plant species. 427 insect and spider species were classified into 13 functional groups. These functional groups represent the nodes of ecological networks. Direct and indirect interactions among them were assessed using partial Mantel tests. Interaction web complexity was quantified using three measures of network structure: connectance, interaction diversity and interaction strength. 3. Compared with high plant diversity plots, interaction webs based on low plant diversity plots showed reduced complexity in terms of total connectance, interaction diversity and mean interaction strength. Plant diversity effects obviously cascade up the food web and modify interactions across all trophic levels. The strongest effects occurred in interactions between adjacent trophic levels (i.e. predominantly trophic interactions), while significant interactions among plant and carnivore functional groups, as well as horizontal interactions (i.e. interactions between functional groups of the same trophic level), showed rather inconsistent responses and were generally rarer. 4. Reduced interaction diversity has the potential to decrease and destabilize ecosystem processes. Therefore, we conclude that the loss of basal producer species leads to more simple structured, less and more loosely connected species assemblages, which in turn are very likely to decrease ecosystem functioning, community robustness and tolerance to disturbance. Our results suggest that the functioning

  14. Laser-tissue interaction of a continuous-wave 2-μm, 3-μm cascade oscillation fiber laser: sharp incision with controlled coagulation layer thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, Tsunenori; Sumiyoshi, Tetsumi; Naruse, Kyota; Ishihara, Miya; Sato, Shunichi; Kikuchi, Makoto; Kasamatsu, Tadashi; Sekita, Hitoshi; Obara, Minoru

    2000-06-01

    We studied coagulation layer controlled incision with newly developed continuous wave 2 micrometer, 3 micrometer cascade oscillation fiber laser in vitro. Since this laser device simultaneously oscillates 2 micrometer and 3 micrometer radiation, we could change tissue interaction by arranging power ratio of 2 micrometer to 3 micrometer radiation. About one watt of total irradiation power with various power ratios was focused to extracted fresh porcine myocardium or anesthetized rabbit on an automatic moving stage to obtain line incision. Macro photograph and microscopic histology were used to observe tissue interaction phenomenon. The incised specimen showed that precise cutting groove with thin coagulation layer was attained by a 3 micrometer based radiation, meanwhile addition of 2 micrometer radiation to 3 micrometer radiation made coagulation layer thicker. A heat conduction simulator using finite-element method was used to qualitatively explain obtained coagulation layer thickness. This precise incision with controllable side coagulation layer may effective to control bleeding during incision, for instance, for skin, liver, and kidney incisions. Pure continuous wave radiation of 2 micrometer and 3 micrometer may eliminate stress wave induced tissue damage which is frequently found in Ho:YAG and/or Er:YAG tissue interactions. Moreover, sapphire fiber might offer flexible power delivery to this new laser to establish endoscopic application and/or to improved beam handling.

  15. Trophic mismatch requires seasonal heterogeneity of warming.

    PubMed

    Straile, Dietmar; Kerimoglu, Onur; Peeters, Frank

    2015-10-01

    Climate warming has been shown to advance the phenology of species. Asynchronous changes in phenology between interacting species may disrupt feeding interactions (phenological mismatch), which could have tremendous consequences for ecosystem functioning. Long-term field observations have suggested asynchronous shifts in phenology with warming, whereas experimental studies have not been conclusive. Using proxy-based modeling of three trophic levels (algae, herbivores, and fish), we .show that asynchronous changes in phenology only occur if warming is seasonally heterogeneous, but not if warming is constant throughout the year. If warming is seasonally heterogeneous, the degree and even direction of asynchrony depends on the specific seasonality of the warming. Conclusions about phenological mismatches in food web interactions may therefore produce controversial results if the analyses do not distinguish between seasonally constant and seasonal specific warming. Furthermore, our results suggest that predicting asynchrony between interacting species requires reliable warming predictions that resolve sub-seasonal time scales. PMID:26649399

  16. Molecular and trophic mechanisms of tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Levy, Andy

    2008-03-01

    A significant proportion of pituitary macroadenomas, and by definition all microadenomas, regain trophic stability after an initial period of deregulated growth. Classical proto-oncogene activation and tumor suppressor mutation are rarely responsible, and no histologic or molecular markers reliably predict behavior. GNAS1 activation and the mutations associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 and Carney complex, aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein gene mutations, and a narrowing region of chromosome 11q13 in familial isolated acromegaly together account for such a small proportion of pituitary adenomas that the pituitary adenoma pathogenic epiphany is surely yet to come. PMID:18226729

  17. Hadron cascades produced by electromagnetic cascades

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, W.R.; Jenkins, T.M.; Ranft, J.

    1986-12-01

    A method for calculating high energy hadron cascades induced by multi-GeV electron and photon beams is described. Using the EGS4 computer program, high energy photons in the EM shower are allowed to interact hadronically according to the vector meson dominance (VMD) model, facilitated by a Monte Carlo version of the dual multistring fragmentation model which is used in the hadron cascade code FLUKA. The results of this calculation compare very favorably with experimental data on hadron production in photon-proton collisions and on the hadron production by electron beams on targets (i.e., yields in secondary particle beam lines). Electron beam induced hadron star density contours are also presented and are compared with those produced by proton beams. This FLUKA-EGS4 coupling technique could find use in the design of secondary beams, in the determination high energy hadron source terms for shielding purposes, and in the estimation of induced radioactivity in targets, collimators and beam dumps.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Diversity cascades in alfalfa fields: from plant quality to agroecosystem diversity.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Clark V; Massad, Tara J; Dyer, Lee A

    2008-08-01

    To examine top-down and bottom-up influences on managed terrestrial communities, we manipulated plant resources and arthropod abundance in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) fields. We modified arthropod communities using three nonfactorial manipulations: pitfall traps to remove selected arthropods, wooden crates to create habitat heterogeneity, and an arthropod removal treatment using a reversible leaf blower. These manipulations were crossed with fertilizer additions, which were applied to half of the plots. We found strong effects of fertilizer on plant quality and biomass, and these effects cascaded up to increase herbivore abundance and diversity. The predator community also exhibited a consistent positive effect on the maintenance of herbivore species richness and abundance. These top-down changes in arthropods did not cascade down to affect plant biomass; however, plant quality (saponin content) increased with higher herbivore densities. These results corroborate previous studies in alfalfa that show complex indirect effects, such as trophic cascades, can operate in agricultural systems, but the specifics of the interactions depend on the assemblages of arthropods involved.

  1. A cascade of evolutionary change alters consumer-resource dynamics and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Matthew R; DeLong, John P; Hanley, Torrance C; Post, David M

    2012-08-22

    It is becoming increasingly clear that intraspecific evolutionary divergence influences the properties of populations, communities and ecosystems. The different ecological impacts of phenotypes and genotypes may alter selection on many species and promote a cascade of ecological and evolutionary change throughout the food web. Theory predicts that evolutionary interactions across trophic levels may contribute to hypothesized feedbacks between ecology and evolution. However, the importance of 'cascading evolutionary change' in a natural setting is unknown. In lakes in Connecticut, USA, variation in migratory behaviour and feeding morphology of a fish predator, the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), drives life-history evolution in a species of zooplankton prey (Daphnia ambigua). Here we evaluated the reciprocal impacts of Daphnia evolution on ecological processes in laboratory mesocosms. We show that life-history evolution in Daphnia facilitates divergence in rates of population growth, which in turn significantly alters consumer-resource dynamics and ecosystem function. These experimental results parallel trends observed in lakes. Such results argue that a cascade of evolutionary change, which has occurred over contemporary timescales, alters community and ecosystem processes.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Trophic interactions between two herbivorous insects, Galerucella calmariensis and Myzus lythri, feeding on purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, and two insect predators, Harmonia axyridis and Chrysoperla carnea.

    PubMed

    Matos, Bethzayda; Obrycki, John J

    2007-01-01

    The effects of two herbivorous insects, Galerucella calmariensis Duftschmid and Myzus lythri L. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), feeding on purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria L. (Myrtiflorae: Lythraceae), were measured in the presence of two insect predators, Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). A greenhouse cage experiment examined the direct effects of these predators on these herbivores, and indirect effects of predation on aboveground biomass, defoliation, number of leaves, and internode length. Eight treatment combinations with G. calmariensis, M. lythri, H. axyridis and C. carnea were applied to caged L. salicaria. The experiment ended when G. calmariensis adults were observed, 11 to 13 days after release of first instar G. calmariensis. G. calmariensis larvae alone removed significant amounts of leaf tissue and reduced the number of L. salicaria leaves. Predators did not reduce levels of defoliation by G. calmariensis. C. carnea had no effect on G. calmariensis survival, but H. axyridis reduced G. calmariensis survival in the presence of M. lythri. Both predators reduced the survival of M. lythri. This short duration greenhouse study did not demonstrate that predator-prey interactions altered herbivore effects on L. salicaria.

  5. Epibiotic mutualists alter coral susceptibility and response to biotic disturbance through cascading trait-mediated indirect interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergsma, G. S.

    2012-06-01

    Biotic disturbances are important drivers of community structure, but interactions among community members can determine trajectories of response and recovery. On coral reefs in French Polynesia, epibiotic amphipods induce the formation of branch-like "fingers" on flat colonies of encrusting Montipora coral. The fingers form as coral encrusts the amphipods' tubes and lead to significant changes in colony morphology. I tested whether the induced morphological changes affect Montipora's susceptibility to predation by pincushion ( Culcita novaeguineae) and crown-of-thorns sea stars ( Acanthaster planci). Montipora with fingers were less likely to be attacked and more likely to survive attack than colonies without fingers. Furthermore, the presence of fingers altered A. planci prey preference. Sea stars preferred Montipora without fingers over other common coral genera, but preferred other genera when Montipora had fingers. Amphipods indirectly affected Montipora's resistance and resilience to predation, and the susceptibility of other coral genera to predation, through induced morphological changes. Such trait-mediated indirect interactions likely play an important role in determining how species respond to periodic sea star outbreaks.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. Bottom-up effects of plant diversity on multitrophic interactions in a biodiversity experiment.

    PubMed

    Scherber, Christoph; Eisenhauer, Nico; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schmid, Bernhard; Voigt, Winfried; Fischer, Markus; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Allan, Eric; Bessler, Holger; Bonkowski, Michael; Buchmann, Nina; Buscot, François; Clement, Lars W; Ebeling, Anne; Engels, Christof; Halle, Stefan; Kertscher, Ilona; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Koller, Robert; König, Stephan; Kowalski, Esther; Kummer, Volker; Kuu, Annely; Lange, Markus; Lauterbach, Dirk; Middelhoff, Cornelius; Migunova, Varvara D; Milcu, Alexandru; Müller, Ramona; Partsch, Stephan; Petermann, Jana S; Renker, Carsten; Rottstock, Tanja; Sabais, Alexander; Scheu, Stefan; Schumacher, Jens; Temperton, Vicky M; Tscharntke, Teja

    2010-11-25

    Biodiversity is rapidly declining, and this may negatively affect ecosystem processes, including economically important ecosystem services. Previous studies have shown that biodiversity has positive effects on organisms and processes across trophic levels. However, only a few studies have so far incorporated an explicit food-web perspective. In an eight-year biodiversity experiment, we studied an unprecedented range of above- and below-ground organisms and multitrophic interactions. A multitrophic data set originating from a single long-term experiment allows mechanistic insights that would not be gained from meta-analysis of different experiments. Here we show that plant diversity effects dampen with increasing trophic level and degree of omnivory. This was true both for abundance and species richness of organisms. Furthermore, we present comprehensive above-ground/below-ground biodiversity food webs. Both above ground and below ground, herbivores responded more strongly to changes in plant diversity than did carnivores or omnivores. Density and richness of carnivorous taxa was independent of vegetation structure. Below-ground responses to plant diversity were consistently weaker than above-ground responses. Responses to increasing plant diversity were generally positive, but were negative for biological invasion, pathogen infestation and hyperparasitism. Our results suggest that plant diversity has strong bottom-up effects on multitrophic interaction networks, with particularly strong effects on lower trophic levels. Effects on higher trophic levels are indirectly mediated through bottom-up trophic cascades.

  10. Extending earthquakes' reach through cascading.

    PubMed

    Marsan, David; Lengliné, Olivier

    2008-02-22

    Earthquakes, whatever their size, can trigger other earthquakes. Mainshocks cause aftershocks to occur, which in turn activate their own local aftershock sequences, resulting in a cascade of triggering that extends the reach of the initial mainshock. A long-lasting difficulty is to determine which earthquakes are connected, either directly or indirectly. Here we show that this causal structure can be found probabilistically, with no a priori model nor parameterization. Large regional earthquakes are found to have a short direct influence in comparison to the overall aftershock sequence duration. Relative to these large mainshocks, small earthquakes collectively have a greater effect on triggering. Hence, cascade triggering is a key component in earthquake interactions.

  11. [Trophic types of the nematodes].

    PubMed

    Kornobis, Franciszek Wojciech

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the article is to present trophic types (i.e non-systematic groups feeding on the same kind of food) of the nematodes. Seven trophic types (covering all known species) are described: (1) microbivores (nematodes feeding on unicellular microorganisms) with two examples: C. elegans and the nematodes of two families: Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae, (2) parasites of Vertebrates, (3) parasites of Invertebrates with example of the family Acugutturidae, (4) parasites of plants with two examples: Tylenchorhynchus dubius and Heterodera schachtii, (5) parasites of fungi, (6) predatory nematodes, (7) omnivores (nematodes feeding on different kinds of food). Basic information on the anatomy of the alimentary canal and feeding behaviour of the nematodes are also provided.

  12. Effects of Trophic Skewing of Species Richness on Ecosystem Functioning in a Diverse Marine Community

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Pamela L.; Bruno, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Widespread overharvesting of top consumers of the world’s ecosystems has “skewed” food webs, in terms of biomass and species richness, towards a generally greater domination at lower trophic levels. This skewing is exacerbated in locations where exotic species are predominantly low-trophic level consumers such as benthic macrophytes, detritivores, and filter feeders. However, in some systems where numerous exotic predators have been added, sometimes purposefully as in many freshwater systems, food webs are skewed in the opposite direction toward consumer dominance. Little is known about how such modifications to food web topology, e.g., changes in the ratio of predator to prey species richness, affect ecosystem functioning. We experimentally measured the effects of trophic skew on production in an estuarine food web by manipulating ratios of species richness across three trophic levels in experimental mesocosms. After 24 days, increasing macroalgal richness promoted both plant biomass and grazer abundance, although the positive effect on plant biomass disappeared in the presence of grazers. The strongest trophic cascade on the experimentally stocked macroalgae emerged in communities with a greater ratio of prey to predator richness (bottom-rich food webs), while stronger cascades on the accumulation of naturally colonizing algae (primarily microalgae with some early successional macroalgae that recruited and grew in the mesocosms) generally emerged in communities with greater predator to prey richness (the more top-rich food webs). These results suggest that trophic skewing of species richness and overall changes in food web topology can influence marine community structure and food web dynamics in complex ways, emphasizing the need for multitrophic approaches to understand the consequences of marine extinctions and invasions. PMID:22693549

  13. Effects of trophic skewing of species richness on ecosystem functioning in a diverse marine community.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Pamela L; Bruno, John F

    2012-01-01

    Widespread overharvesting of top consumers of the world's ecosystems has "skewed" food webs, in terms of biomass and species richness, towards a generally greater domination at lower trophic levels. This skewing is exacerbated in locations where exotic species are predominantly low-trophic level consumers such as benthic macrophytes, detritivores, and filter feeders. However, in some systems where numerous exotic predators have been added, sometimes purposefully as in many freshwater systems, food webs are skewed in the opposite direction toward consumer dominance. Little is known about how such modifications to food web topology, e.g., changes in the ratio of predator to prey species richness, affect ecosystem functioning. We experimentally measured the effects of trophic skew on production in an estuarine food web by manipulating ratios of species richness across three trophic levels in experimental mesocosms. After 24 days, increasing macroalgal richness promoted both plant biomass and grazer abundance, although the positive effect on plant biomass disappeared in the presence of grazers. The strongest trophic cascade on the experimentally stocked macroalgae emerged in communities with a greater ratio of prey to predator richness (bottom-rich food webs), while stronger cascades on the accumulation of naturally colonizing algae (primarily microalgae with some early successional macroalgae that recruited and grew in the mesocosms) generally emerged in communities with greater predator to prey richness (the more top-rich food webs). These results suggest that trophic skewing of species richness and overall changes in food web topology can influence marine community structure and food web dynamics in complex ways, emphasizing the need for multitrophic approaches to understand the consequences of marine extinctions and invasions.

  14. Trophic Ecology of Benthic Marine Invertebrates with Bi-Phasic Life Cycles: What Are We Still Missing?

    PubMed

    Calado, Ricardo; Leal, Miguel Costa

    2015-01-01

    The study of trophic ecology of benthic marine invertebrates with bi-phasic life cycles is critical to understand the mechanisms shaping population dynamics. Moreover, global climate change is impacting the marine environment at an unprecedented level, which promotes trophic mismatches that affect the phenology of these species and, ultimately, act as drivers of ecological and evolutionary change. Assessing the trophic ecology of marine invertebrates is critical to understanding maternal investment, larval survival to metamorphosis, post-metamorphic performance, resource partitioning and trophic cascades. Tools already available to assess the trophic ecology of marine invertebrates, including visual observation, gut content analysis, food concentration, trophic markers, stable isotopes and molecular genetics, are reviewed and their main advantages and disadvantages for qualitative and quantitative approaches are discussed. The challenges to perform the partitioning of ingestion, digestion and assimilation are discussed together with different approaches to address each of these processes for short- and long-term fingerprinting. Future directions for research on the trophic ecology of benthic marine invertebrates with bi-phasic life cycles are discussed with emphasis on five guidelines that will allow for systematic study and comparative meta-analysis to address important unresolved questions.

  15. Prey size diversity hinders biomass trophic transfer and predator size diversity promotes it in planktonic communities

    PubMed Central

    García-Comas, Carmen; Sastri, Akash R.; Ye, Lin; Chang, Chun-Yi; Lin, Fan-Sian; Su, Min-Sian; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Hsieh, Chih-hao

    2016-01-01

    Body size exerts multiple effects on plankton food-web interactions. However, the influence of size structure on trophic transfer remains poorly quantified in the field. Here, we examine how the size diversity of prey (nano-microplankton) and predators (mesozooplankton) influence trophic transfer efficiency (using biomass ratio as a proxy) in natural marine ecosystems. Our results support previous studies on single trophic levels: transfer efficiency decreases with increasing prey size diversity and is enhanced with greater predator size diversity. We further show that communities with low nano-microplankton size diversity and high mesozooplankton size diversity tend to occur in warmer environments with low nutrient concentrations, thus promoting trophic transfer to higher trophic levels in those conditions. Moreover, we reveal an interactive effect of predator and prey size diversities: the positive effect of predator size diversity becomes influential when prey size diversity is high. Mechanistically, the negative effect of prey size diversity on trophic transfer may be explained by unicellular size-based metabolic constraints as well as trade-offs between growth and predation avoidance with size, whereas increasing predator size diversity may enhance diet niche partitioning and thus promote trophic transfer. These findings provide insights into size-based theories of ecosystem functioning, with implications for ecosystem predictive models. PMID:26865298

  16. Prey size diversity hinders biomass trophic transfer and predator size diversity promotes it in planktonic communities.

    PubMed

    García-Comas, Carmen; Sastri, Akash R; Ye, Lin; Chang, Chun-Yi; Lin, Fan-Sian; Su, Min-Sian; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Hsieh, Chih-Hao

    2016-02-10

    Body size exerts multiple effects on plankton food-web interactions. However, the influence of size structure on trophic transfer remains poorly quantified in the field. Here, we examine how the size diversity of prey (nano-microplankton) and predators (mesozooplankton) influence trophic transfer efficiency (using biomass ratio as a proxy) in natural marine ecosystems. Our results support previous studies on single trophic levels: transfer efficiency decreases with increasing prey size diversity and is enhanced with greater predator size diversity. We further show that communities with low nano-microplankton size diversity and high mesozooplankton size diversity tend to occur in warmer environments with low nutrient concentrations, thus promoting trophic transfer to higher trophic levels in those conditions. Moreover, we reveal an interactive effect of predator and prey size diversities: the positive effect of predator size diversity becomes influential when prey size diversity is high. Mechanistically, the negative effect of prey size diversity on trophic transfer may be explained by unicellular size-based metabolic constraints as well as trade-offs between growth and predation avoidance with size, whereas increasing predator size diversity may enhance diet niche partitioning and thus promote trophic transfer. These findings provide insights into size-based theories of ecosystem functioning, with implications for ecosystem predictive models.

  17. Mesoscale eddies are oases for higher trophic marine life.

    PubMed

    Godø, Olav R; Samuelsen, Annette; Macaulay, Gavin J; Patel, Ruben; Hjøllo, Solfrid Sætre; Horne, John; Kaartvedt, Stein; Johannessen, Johnny A

    2012-01-01

    Mesoscale eddies stimulate biological production in the ocean, but knowledge of energy transfers to higher trophic levels within eddies remains fragmented and not quantified. Increasing the knowledge base is constrained by the inability of traditional sampling methods to adequately sample biological processes at the spatio-temporal scales at which they occur. By combining satellite and acoustic observations over spatial scales of 10 s of km horizontally and 100 s of m vertically, supported by hydrographical and biological sampling we show that anticyclonic eddies shape distribution and density of marine life from the surface to bathyal depths. Fish feed along density structures of eddies, demonstrating that eddies catalyze energy transfer across trophic levels. Eddies create attractive pelagic habitats, analogous to oases in the desert, for higher trophic level aquatic organisms through enhanced 3-D motion that accumulates and redistributes biomass, contributing to overall bioproduction in the ocean. Integrating multidisciplinary observation methodologies promoted a new understanding of biophysical interaction in mesoscale eddies. Our findings emphasize the impact of eddies on the patchiness of biomass in the sea and demonstrate that they provide rich feeding habitat for higher trophic marine life.

  18. Mesoscale Eddies Are Oases for Higher Trophic Marine Life

    PubMed Central

    Godø, Olav R.; Samuelsen, Annette; Macaulay, Gavin J.; Patel, Ruben; Hjøllo, Solfrid Sætre; Horne, John; Kaartvedt, Stein; Johannessen, Johnny A.

    2012-01-01

    Mesoscale eddies stimulate biological production in the ocean, but knowledge of energy transfers to higher trophic levels within eddies remains fragmented and not quantified. Increasing the knowledge base is constrained by the inability of traditional sampling methods to adequately sample biological processes at the spatio-temporal scales at which they occur. By combining satellite and acoustic observations over spatial scales of 10 s of km horizontally and 100 s of m vertically, supported by hydrographical and biological sampling we show that anticyclonic eddies shape distribution and density of marine life from the surface to bathyal depths. Fish feed along density structures of eddies, demonstrating that eddies catalyze energy transfer across trophic levels. Eddies create attractive pelagic habitats, analogous to oases in the desert, for higher trophic level aquatic organisms through enhanced 3-D motion that accumulates and redistributes biomass, contributing to overall bioproduction in the ocean. Integrating multidisciplinary observation methodologies promoted a new understanding of biophysical interaction in mesoscale eddies. Our findings emphasize the impact of eddies on the patchiness of biomass in the sea and demonstrate that they provide rich feeding habitat for higher trophic marine life. PMID:22272294

  19. Diversity Effects on Productivity Are Stronger within than between Trophic Groups in the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Alexander M.; Antunes, Pedro M.; Klironomos, John N.

    2012-01-01

    Background The diversity of plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) has been experimentally shown to alter plant and AMF productivity. However, little is known about how plant and AMF diversity interact to shape their respective productivity. Methodology/Principal Findings We co-manipulated the diversity of both AMF and plant communities in two greenhouse studies to determine whether the productivity of each trophic group is mainly influenced by plant or AMF diversity, respectively, and whether there is any interaction between plant and fungal diversity. In both experiments we compared the productivity of three different plant species monocultures, or their respective 3-species mixtures. Similarly, in both studies these plant treatments were crossed with an AMF diversity gradient that ranged from zero (non-mycorrhizal controls) to a maximum of three and five taxonomically distinct AMF taxa, respectively. We found that within both trophic groups productivity was significantly influenced by taxon identity, and increased with taxon richness. These main effects of AMF and plant diversity on their respective productivities did not depend on each other, even though we detected significant individual taxon effects across trophic groups. Conclusions/Significance Our results indicate that similar ecological processes regulate diversity-productivity relationships within trophic groups. However, productivity-diversity relationships are not necessarily correlated across interacting trophic levels, leading to asymmetries and possible biotic feedbacks. Thus, biotic interactions within and across trophic groups should be considered in predictive models of community assembly. PMID:22629347

  20. The evolution of trophic transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    1999-01-01

    Parasite increased trophic transmission (PITT) is one of the more fascinating tales of parasite evolution. The implications of this go beyond cocktail party anecdotes and science fiction plots as the phenomenon is pervasive and likely to be ecologically and evolutionarily important. Although the subject has already received substantial review, Kevin Lafferty here focuses on evolutionary aspects that have not been fully explored, specifically: (1) How strong should PITT be? (2) How might sexual selection and limb autotomy facilitate PITT? (3) How might infrapopulation regulation in final hosts be important in determining avoidance of infected prey? And (4) what happens when more than one species of parasite is in the same intermediate host?

  1. Search for QGP signals at AGS with a TPC spectrometer, and comparison of our event generator predictions for plasma model and cascade interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Lindenbaum, S.J.; Foley, K.J.; Eiseman, S.E.; Etkin, A.; Hackenburg, R.W.; Longacre, R.S.; Love, W.A.; Morris, T.W.; Platner, E.D.; Saulys, A.C.

    1988-06-21

    We have developed and successfully tested a TPC Magnetic Spectrometer to search for QGP signals produced by ion beams at AGS. We also developed a cascade and plasma event generator the predictions of which are used to illustrate how our technique can detect possible plasma signals. 4 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  2. The "trophic" value of foods.

    PubMed

    Williams, R J; Heffley, J D; Yew, M L; Bode, C W

    1973-03-01

    Foods must furnish (i) calories, which can readily be measured, and (ii) raw materials necessary for the building and maintenance of metabolic machinery which makes possible fuel utilization. We have called this "beyond-calorie" quality of food its "trophic" value. This concept has more unity than appears on the surface, and is capable of approximate measurement by biological testing as our experiments show. The trophic value of a food cannot be ascertained from food composition tables because only a smattering of the necessary information is commonly furnished. A food cannot support life if it is missing, or deficient with respect to, any one of the necessary nutrients. A tabulation which includes only a few nutrients-e.g., calcium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, and iron-can be woefully misleading, especially if these individual nutrients have been added by way of fortification. THE MEASUREMENT WE HAVE APPLIED TO A NUMBER OF FOODS IS POTENTIALLY VALUABLE FOR COMPARING SIMILAR FOOD PRODUCTS: two grains, two breads, two milk products, or for comparison of the same food grown, processed, or preserved in different ways. By using essentially this method we have found that barnyard eggs are somewhat superior to battery eggs, but that whether they are fertile or infertile makes no difference. We are of the opinion that extensive biological testing of many commercial food products is highly desirable to help promote human health and better internal environments for our cells and tissues.

  3. Trophic amplification of climate warming

    PubMed Central

    Kirby, Richard R.; Beaugrand, Gregory

    2009-01-01

    Ecosystems can alternate suddenly between contrasting persistent states due to internal processes or external drivers. It is important to understand the mechanisms by which these shifts occur, especially in exploited ecosystems. There have been several abrupt marine ecosystem shifts attributed either to fishing, recent climate change or a combination of these two drivers. We show that temperature has been an important driver of the trophodynamics of the North Sea, a heavily fished marine ecosystem, for nearly 50 years and that a recent pronounced change in temperature established a new ecosystem dynamic regime through a series of internal mechanisms. Using an end-to-end ecosystem approach that included primary producers, primary, secondary and tertiary consumers, and detritivores, we found that temperature modified the relationships among species through nonlinearities in the ecosystem involving ecological thresholds and trophic amplifications. Trophic amplification provides an alternative mechanism to positive feedback to drive an ecosystem towards a new dynamic regime, which in this case favours jellyfish in the plankton and decapods and detritivores in the benthos. Although overfishing is often held responsible for marine ecosystem degeneration, temperature can clearly bring about similar effects. Our results are relevant to ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), seen as the way forward to manage exploited marine ecosystems. PMID:19740882

  4. Trophic amplification of climate warming.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Richard R; Beaugrand, Gregory

    2009-12-01

    Ecosystems can alternate suddenly between contrasting persistent states due to internal processes or external drivers. It is important to understand the mechanisms by which these shifts occur, especially in exploited ecosystems. There have been several abrupt marine ecosystem shifts attributed either to fishing, recent climate change or a combination of these two drivers. We show that temperature has been an important driver of the trophodynamics of the North Sea, a heavily fished marine ecosystem, for nearly 50 years and that a recent pronounced change in temperature established a new ecosystem dynamic regime through a series of internal mechanisms. Using an end-to-end ecosystem approach that included primary producers, primary, secondary and tertiary consumers, and detritivores, we found that temperature modified the relationships among species through nonlinearities in the ecosystem involving ecological thresholds and trophic amplifications. Trophic amplification provides an alternative mechanism to positive feedback to drive an ecosystem towards a new dynamic regime, which in this case favours jellyfish in the plankton and decapods and detritivores in the benthos. Although overfishing is often held responsible for marine ecosystem degeneration, temperature can clearly bring about similar effects. Our results are relevant to ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), seen as the way forward to manage exploited marine ecosystems.

  5. Emergence of event cascades in inhomogeneous networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onaga, Tomokatsu; Shinomoto, Shigeru

    2016-09-01

    There is a commonality among contagious diseases, tweets, and neuronal firings that past events facilitate the future occurrence of events. The spread of events has been extensively studied such that the systems exhibit catastrophic chain reactions if the interaction represented by the ratio of reproduction exceeds unity; however, their subthreshold states are not fully understood. Here, we report that these systems are possessed by nonstationary cascades of event-occurrences already in the subthreshold regime. Event cascades can be harmful in some contexts, when the peak-demand causes vaccine shortages, heavy traffic on communication lines, but may be beneficial in other contexts, such that spontaneous activity in neural networks may be used to generate motion or store memory. Thus it is important to comprehend the mechanism by which such cascades appear, and consider controlling a system to tame or facilitate fluctuations in the event-occurrences. The critical interaction for the emergence of cascades depends greatly on the network structure in which individuals are connected. We demonstrate that we can predict whether cascades may emerge, given information about the interactions between individuals. Furthermore, we develop a method of reallocating connections among individuals so that event cascades may be either impeded or impelled in a network.

  6. Emergence of event cascades in inhomogeneous networks.

    PubMed

    Onaga, Tomokatsu; Shinomoto, Shigeru

    2016-01-01

    There is a commonality among contagious diseases, tweets, and neuronal firings that past events facilitate the future occurrence of events. The spread of events has been extensively studied such that the systems exhibit catastrophic chain reactions if the interaction represented by the ratio of reproduction exceeds unity; however, their subthreshold states are not fully understood. Here, we report that these systems are possessed by nonstationary cascades of event-occurrences already in the subthreshold regime. Event cascades can be harmful in some contexts, when the peak-demand causes vaccine shortages, heavy traffic on communication lines, but may be beneficial in other contexts, such that spontaneous activity in neural networks may be used to generate motion or store memory. Thus it is important to comprehend the mechanism by which such cascades appear, and consider controlling a system to tame or facilitate fluctuations in the event-occurrences. The critical interaction for the emergence of cascades depends greatly on the network structure in which individuals are connected. We demonstrate that we can predict whether cascades may emerge, given information about the interactions between individuals. Furthermore, we develop a method of reallocating connections among individuals so that event cascades may be either impeded or impelled in a network. PMID:27625183

  7. Emergence of event cascades in inhomogeneous networks

    PubMed Central

    Onaga, Tomokatsu; Shinomoto, Shigeru

    2016-01-01

    There is a commonality among contagious diseases, tweets, and neuronal firings that past events facilitate the future occurrence of events. The spread of events has been extensively studied such that the systems exhibit catastrophic chain reactions if the interaction represented by the ratio of reproduction exceeds unity; however, their subthreshold states are not fully understood. Here, we report that these systems are possessed by nonstationary cascades of event-occurrences already in the subthreshold regime. Event cascades can be harmful in some contexts, when the peak-demand causes vaccine shortages, heavy traffic on communication lines, but may be beneficial in other contexts, such that spontaneous activity in neural networks may be used to generate motion or store memory. Thus it is important to comprehend the mechanism by which such cascades appear, and consider controlling a system to tame or facilitate fluctuations in the event-occurrences. The critical interaction for the emergence of cascades depends greatly on the network structure in which individuals are connected. We demonstrate that we can predict whether cascades may emerge, given information about the interactions between individuals. Furthermore, we develop a method of reallocating connections among individuals so that event cascades may be either impeded or impelled in a network. PMID:27625183

  8. Trophic shifts of a generalist consumer in response to resource pulses.

    PubMed

    Shaner, Pei-Jen L; Macko, Stephen A

    2011-01-01

    Trophic shifts of generalist consumers can have broad food-web and biodiversity consequences through altered trophic flows and vertical diversity. Previous studies have used trophic shifts as indicators of food-web responses to perturbations, such as species invasion, and spatial or temporal subsidies. Resource pulses, as a form of temporal subsidies, have been found to be quite common among various ecosystems, affecting organisms at multiple trophic levels. Although diet switching of generalist consumers in response to resource pulses is well documented, few studies have examined if the switch involves trophic shifts, and if so, the directions and magnitudes of the shifts. In this study, we used stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes with a Bayesian multi-source mixing model to estimate proportional contributions of three trophic groups (i.e. producer, consumer, and fungus-detritivore) to the diets of the White-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) receiving an artificial seed pulse or a naturally-occurring cicadas pulse. Our results demonstrated that resource pulses can drive trophic shifts in the mice. Specifically, the producer contribution to the mouse diets was increased by 32% with the seed pulse at both sites examined. The consumer contribution to the mouse diets was also increased by 29% with the cicadas pulse in one of the two grids examined. However, the pattern was reversed in the second grid, with a 13% decrease in the consumer contribution with the cicadas pulse. These findings suggest that generalist consumers may play different functional roles in food webs under perturbations of resource pulses. This study provides one of the few highly quantitative descriptions on dietary and trophic shifts of a key consumer in forest food webs, which may help future studies to form specific predictions on changes in trophic interactions following resource pulses. PMID:21437248

  9. Trophic Shifts of a Generalist Consumer in Response to Resource Pulses

    PubMed Central

    Shaner, Pei-Jen L.; Macko, Stephen A.

    2011-01-01

    Trophic shifts of generalist consumers can have broad food-web and biodiversity consequences through altered trophic flows and vertical diversity. Previous studies have used trophic shifts as indicators of food-web responses to perturbations, such as species invasion, and spatial or temporal subsidies. Resource pulses, as a form of temporal subsidies, have been found to be quite common among various ecosystems, affecting organisms at multiple trophic levels. Although diet switching of generalist consumers in response to resource pulses is well documented, few studies have examined if the switch involves trophic shifts, and if so, the directions and magnitudes of the shifts. In this study, we used stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes with a Bayesian multi-source mixing model to estimate proportional contributions of three trophic groups (i.e. producer, consumer, and fungus-detritivore) to the diets of the White-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) receiving an artificial seed pulse or a naturally-occurring cicadas pulse. Our results demonstrated that resource pulses can drive trophic shifts in the mice. Specifically, the producer contribution to the mouse diets was increased by 32% with the seed pulse at both sites examined. The consumer contribution to the mouse diets was also increased by 29% with the cicadas pulse in one of the two grids examined. However, the pattern was reversed in the second grid, with a 13% decrease in the consumer contribution with the cicadas pulse. These findings suggest that generalist consumers may play different functional roles in food webs under perturbations of resource pulses. This study provides one of the few highly quantitative descriptions on dietary and trophic shifts of a key consumer in forest food webs, which may help future studies to form specific predictions on changes in trophic interactions following resource pulses. PMID:21437248

  10. Cascading Effects Following Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Gerald R.; Forgatch, Marion S.; DeGarmo, David S.

    2010-01-01

    Four different sources for cascade effects were examined using 9-year process and outcome data from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a preventive intervention using Parent Management Training – Oregon Model (PMTO™). The social interaction learning (SIL) model of child antisocial behavior serves as one basis for predicting change. A second source addresses the issue of comorbid relationships among clinical diagnoses. The third source, collateral changes, describes events in which changes in one family member correlate with changes in another. The fourth component is based on the long-term effects of reducing coercion and increasing positive interpersonal processes within the family. New findings from the 9-year follow-up show that mothers experienced benefits as measured by standard of living (i.e., income, occupation, education, and financial stress) and frequency of police arrests. It is assumed that PMTO reduces the level of coercion, which sets the stage for a massive increase in positive social interaction. In effect, PMTO alters the family environment and thereby opens doors to healthy new social environments. PMID:20883592

  11. Cascading effects following intervention.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Gerald R; Forgatch, Marion S; Degarmo, David S

    2010-11-01

    Four different sources for cascade effects were examined using 9-year process and outcome data from a randomized controlled trial of a preventive intervention using the Parent Management Training-Oregon Model (PMTO™). The social interaction learning model of child antisocial behavior serves as one basis for predicting change. A second source addresses the issue of comorbid relationships among clinical diagnoses. The third source, collateral changes, describes events in which changes in one family member correlate with changes in another. The fourth component is based on the long-term effects of reducing coercion and increasing positive interpersonal processes within the family. New findings from the 9-year follow-up show that mothers experienced benefits as measured by standard of living (i.e., income, occupation, education, and financial stress) and frequency of police arrests. It is assumed that PMTO reduces the level of coercion, which sets the stage for a massive increase in positive social interaction. In effect, PMTO alters the family environment and thereby opens doors to healthy new social environments. PMID:20883592

  12. A freshwater predator hit twice by the effects of warming across trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Jonsson, Tomas; Setzer, Malin

    2015-01-14

    Many ecological responses to climate change have been documented. However, due to indirect effects, some responses can be complex and difficult to predict. For example, our understanding of effects on consumers involving responses on several trophic levels is limited. Here, combining the knowledge of trophic interactions in the EU's fourth largest lake with long-term climate and catch data, we analyse potential drivers of change in this system's apex predator. We show that warm winters correlate with later poor catches of great Arctic charr (Salvelinus umbla), and that in recent years predator-prey cycles involving this species have disappeared. The likely mechanisms are trophic mismatches directly and indirectly affecting two stages of charr, the fry and the juveniles, respectively. Our study illustrates how a long-lived consumer may be subjected to double jeopardy from the effects of warming across trophic levels, and that a food web approach can aid in disentangling the chain of mechanisms responsible.

  13. Taxonomic and trophic-level differences in the climate sensitivity of seasonal events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Høye, T. T.; Thackeray, S.; Henrys, P. A.; Hemming, D.; Bell, J. R.; Botham, M. S.; Burthe, S.; Helaouet, P.; Johns, D.; Jones, I. D.; Leech, D. I.; Mackay, E. B.; Massimino, D.; Atkinson, S.; Bacon, P. J.; Brereton, T. M.; Carvalho, L.; Clutton-Brock, T. H.; Duck, C.; Edwards, M.; Elliott, J. M.; Hall, S.; Harrington, R.; Pearce-Higgins, J. W.; Kruuk, L. E.; Pemberton, J. M.; Sparks, T. H.; Thompson, P. M.; White, I.; Winfield, I. J.; Wanless, S.

    2015-12-01

    Among-species differences in phenological responses to climate change are of sufficient magnitude to desynchronise key ecological interactions, threatening ecosystem function and services. To assess these threats, it is vital to quantify the relative impact of climate change on species at different trophic levels. Here we apply a novel Climate Sensitivity Profile approach to 10,003 terrestrial and aquatic phenological data sets, spatially matched to temperature and precipitation data, quantifying among-species variation in climate sensitivity. The direction, magnitude and timing of climate sensitivity varied markedly among organisms sharing taxonomic affinities or trophic position. Despite this, we detected a systematic difference in the direction and magnitude, but not seasonal timing, of phenological climate sensitivity among trophic levels. Secondary consumers showed consistently lower climate sensitivity than other groups and are projected to lag behind phenological changes at lower trophic levels, potentially making them at higher risk of disconnection with seasonal resources.

  14. Community, trophic structure and functioning in two contrasting Laminaria hyperborea forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leclerc, Jean-Charles; Riera, Pascal; Laurans, Martial; Leroux, Cédric; Lévêque, Laurent; Davoult, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide kelp forests have been the focus of several studies concerning ecosystem dysfunction in the past decades. Multifactorial kelp threats have been described and include deforestation due to human impact, cascading effects and climate change. Here, we compared community and trophic structure in two contrasting kelp forests off the coasts of Brittany. One has been harvested five years before sampling and shelters abundant omnivorous predators, almost absent from the other, which has been treated as preserved from kelp harvest. δ15N analyses conducted on the overall communities were linked to the tropho-functional structure of different strata featuring these forests (stipe and holdfast of canopy kelp and rock). Our results yielded site-to-site differences of community and tropho-functional structures across kelp strata, particularly contrasting in terms of biomass on the understorey. Similarly, isotope analyses inferred the top trophic position of Marthasterias glacialis and Echinus esculentus which may be considered as strong interactors in the sub-canopy. We interrogate these patterns and propose a series of probable and testable alternative hypotheses to explain them. For instance, we propose that differences of trophic structure and functioning result from confounded effects of contrasting wave dissipation depending on kelp size-density structure and community cascading involving these omnivorous predators. Given the species diversity and complexity of food web highlighted in these habitats, we call for further comprehensive research about the overall strata and tropho-functional groups for conservation management in kelp forests.

  15. Echinoderms Display Morphological and Behavioural Phenotypic Plasticity in Response to Their Trophic Environment

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Adam D.; Brunner, Lars; Cook, Elizabeth J.; Kelly, Maeve S.; Wilson, Ben

    2012-01-01

    The trophic interactions of sea urchins are known to be the agents of phase shifts in benthic marine habitats such as tropical and temperate reefs. In temperate reefs, the grazing activity of sea urchins has been responsible for the destruction of kelp forests and the formation of ‘urchin barrens’, a rocky habitat dominated by crustose algae and encrusting invertebrates. Once formed, these urchin barrens can persist for decades. Trophic plasticity in the sea urchin may contribute to the stability and resilience of this alternate stable state by increasing diet breadth in sea urchins. This plasticity promotes ecological connectivity and weakens species interactions and so increases ecosystem stability. We test the hypothesis that sea urchins exhibit trophic plasticity using an approach that controls for other typically confounding environmental and genetic factors. To do this, we exposed a genetically homogenous population of sea urchins to two very different trophic environments over a period of two years. The sea urchins exhibited a wide degree of phenotypic trophic plasticity when exposed to contrasting trophic environments. The two populations developed differences in their gross morphology and the test microstructure. In addition, when challenged with unfamiliar prey, the response of each group was different. We show that sea urchins exhibit significant morphological and behavioural phenotypic plasticity independent of their environment or their nutritional status. PMID:22870211

  16. Echinoderms display morphological and behavioural phenotypic plasticity in response to their trophic environment.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Adam D; Brunner, Lars; Cook, Elizabeth J; Kelly, Maeve S; Wilson, Ben

    2012-01-01

    The trophic interactions of sea urchins are known to be the agents of phase shifts in benthic marine habitats such as tropical and temperate reefs. In temperate reefs, the grazing activity of sea urchins has been responsible for the destruction of kelp forests and the formation of 'urchin barrens', a rocky habitat dominated by crustose algae and encrusting invertebrates. Once formed, these urchin barrens can persist for decades. Trophic plasticity in the sea urchin may contribute to the stability and resilience of this alternate stable state by increasing diet breadth in sea urchins. This plasticity promotes ecological connectivity and weakens species interactions and so increases ecosystem stability. We test the hypothesis that sea urchins exhibit trophic plasticity using an approach that controls for other typically confounding environmental and genetic factors. To do this, we exposed a genetically homogenous population of sea urchins to two very different trophic environments over a period of two years. The sea urchins exhibited a wide degree of phenotypic trophic plasticity when exposed to contrasting trophic environments. The two populations developed differences in their gross morphology and the test microstructure. In addition, when challenged with unfamiliar prey, the response of each group was different. We show that sea urchins exhibit significant morphological and behavioural phenotypic plasticity independent of their environment or their nutritional status. PMID:22870211

  17. Decline in top predator body size and changing climate alter trophic structure in an oceanic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Shackell, Nancy L; Frank, Kenneth T; Fisher, Jonathan A D; Petrie, Brian; Leggett, William C

    2010-05-01

    Globally, overfishing large-bodied groundfish populations has resulted in substantial increases in their prey populations. Where it has been examined, the effects of overfishing have cascaded down the food chain. In an intensively fished area on the western Scotian Shelf, Northwest Atlantic, the biomass of prey species increased exponentially (doubling time of 11 years) even though the aggregate biomass of their predators remained stable over 38 years. Concomitant reductions in herbivorous zooplankton and increases in phytoplankton were also evident. This anomalous trophic pattern led us to examine how declines in predator body size (approx. 60% in body mass since the early 1970s) and climatic regime influenced lower trophic levels. The increase in prey biomass was associated primarily with declines in predator body size and secondarily to an increase in stratification. Sea surface temperature and predator biomass had no influence. A regression model explained 65 per cent of prey biomass variability. Trait-mediated effects, namely a reduction in predator size, resulted in a weakening of top predation pressure. Increased stratification may have enhanced growing conditions for prey fish. Size-selective harvesting under changing climatic conditions initiated a trophic restructuring of the food chain, the effects of which may have influenced three trophic levels.

  18. Exploited species impacts on trophic linkages along reef-seagrass interfaces in the Florida Keys.

    PubMed

    Valentine, John F; Heck, Kenneth L; Blackmon, Derrick; Goecker, Margene E; Christian, Juliet; Kroutil, Ryan M; Peterson, Bradley J; Vanderklift, Mathew A; Kirsch, Kevin D; Beck, Mike

    2008-09-01

    The removal of fish biomass by extensive commercial and recreational fishing has been hypothesized to drastically alter the strength of trophic linkages among adjacent habitats. We evaluated the effects of removing predatory fishes on trophic transfers between coral reefs and adjacent seagrass meadows by comparing fish community structure, grazing intensity, and invertebrate predation potential in predator-rich no-take sites and nearby predator-poor fished sites in the Florida Keys (USA). Exploited fishes were more abundant at the no-take sites than at the fished sites. Most of the exploited fishes were either omnivores or invertivores. More piscivores were recorded at no-take sites, but most (approximately 95%) were moderately fished and unexploited species (barracuda and bar jacks, respectively). Impacts of these consumers on lower trophic levels were modest. Herbivorous and smaller prey fish (< 10 cm total length) densities and seagrass grazing diminished with distance from reefs and were not negatively impacted by the elevated densities of exploited fishes at no-take sites. Predation by reef fishes on most tethered invertebrates was high, but exploited species impacts varied with prey type. The results of the study show that, even though abundances of reef-associated fishes have been reduced at fished sites, there is little evidence that this has produced cascading trophic effects or interrupted cross-habitat energy exchanges between coral reefs and seagrasses.

  19. Trophic complexity enhances ecosystem functioning in an aquatic detritus-based model system.

    PubMed

    Jabiol, Jérémy; McKie, Brendan G; Bruder, Andreas; Bernadet, Caroline; Gessner, Mark O; Chauvet, Eric

    2013-09-01

    1. Understanding the functional significance of species interactions in ecosystems has become a major challenge as biodiversity declines rapidly worldwide. Ecosystem consequences arising from the loss of diversity either within trophic levels (horizontal diversity) or across trophic levels (vertical diversity) are well documented. However, simultaneous losses of species at different trophic levels may also result in interactive effects, with potentially complex outcomes for ecosystem functioning. 2. Because of logistical constraints, the outcomes of such interactions have been difficult to assess in experiments involving large metazoan species. Here, we take advantage of a detritus-based model system to experimentally assess the consequences of biodiversity change within both horizontal and vertical food-web components on leaf-litter decomposition, a fundamental process in a wide range of ecosystems. 3. Our concurrent manipulation of fungal decomposer diversity (0, 1 or 5 species), detritivore diversity (0, 1 or 3 species), and the presence of predatory fish scent showed that trophic complexity is key to eliciting diversity effects on ecosystem functioning. Specifically, although fungi and detritivores tended to promote decomposition individually, rates were highest in the most complete community where all trophic levels were represented at the highest possible species richness. In part, the effects were trait-mediated, reflected in the contrasting foraging responses of the detritivore species to predator scent. 4. Our results thus highlight the importance of interactive effects of simultaneous species loss within multiple trophic levels on ecosystem functioning. If a common phenomenon, this outcome suggests that functional ecosystem impairment resulting from widespread biodiversity loss could be more severe than inferred from previous experiments confined to varying diversity within single trophic levels.

  20. Terahertz quantum cascade VECSEL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Luyao; Curwen, Christopher A.; Hon, Philip W. C.; Itoh, Tatsuo; Williams, Benjamin S.

    2016-03-01

    Vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VECSELs) have been successfully used in the visible and near-infrared to achieve high output power with excellent Gaussian beam quality. However, the concept of VECSEL has been impossible to implement for quantum-cascade (QC) lasers due to the "intersubband selection rule". We have recently demonstrated the first VECSEL in the terahertz range. The enabling component for the QC-VECSEL is an amplifying metasurface reflector composed of a sparse array of metallic sub-cavities, which allows the normally incident radiation to interact with the electrically pumped QC gain medium. In this work, we presented multiple design variations based on the first demonstrated THz QC-VECSEL, regarding the lasing frequencies, the output coupler and the intra-cavity aperture. Our work on THz QC-VECSEL initiates a new approach towards achieving scalable output power in combination with a diffraction-limited beam pattern for THz QC-lasers. The design variations presented in this work further demonstrate the practicality and potential of VECSEL approach to make ideal terahertz QC-laser sources.

  1. Phenological sensitivity to climate across taxa and trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Thackeray, Stephen J; Henrys, Peter A; Hemming, Deborah; Bell, James R; Botham, Marc S; Burthe, Sarah; Helaouet, Pierre; Johns, David G; Jones, Ian D; Leech, David I; Mackay, Eleanor B; Massimino, Dario; Atkinson, Sian; Bacon, Philip J; Brereton, Tom M; Carvalho, Laurence; Clutton-Brock, Tim H; Duck, Callan; Edwards, Martin; Elliott, J Malcolm; Hall, Stephen J G; Harrington, Richard; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Høye, Toke T; Kruuk, Loeske E B; Pemberton, Josephine M; Sparks, Tim H; Thompson, Paul M; White, Ian; Winfield, Ian J; Wanless, Sarah

    2016-06-29

    Differences in phenological responses to climate change among species can desynchronise ecological interactions and thereby threaten ecosystem function. To assess these threats, we must quantify the relative impact of climate change on species at different trophic levels. Here, we apply a Climate Sensitivity Profile approach to 10,003 terrestrial and aquatic phenological data sets, spatially matched to temperature and precipitation data, to quantify variation in climate sensitivity. The direction, magnitude and timing of climate sensitivity varied markedly among organisms within taxonomic and trophic groups. Despite this variability, we detected systematic variation in the direction and magnitude of phenological climate sensitivity. Secondary consumers showed consistently lower climate sensitivity than other groups. We used mid-century climate change projections to estimate that the timing of phenological events could change more for primary consumers than for species in other trophic levels (6.2 versus 2.5-2.9 days earlier on average), with substantial taxonomic variation (1.1-14.8 days earlier on average).

  2. Phenological sensitivity to climate across taxa and trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Thackeray, Stephen J; Henrys, Peter A; Hemming, Deborah; Bell, James R; Botham, Marc S; Burthe, Sarah; Helaouet, Pierre; Johns, David G; Jones, Ian D; Leech, David I; Mackay, Eleanor B; Massimino, Dario; Atkinson, Sian; Bacon, Philip J; Brereton, Tom M; Carvalho, Laurence; Clutton-Brock, Tim H; Duck, Callan; Edwards, Martin; Elliott, J Malcolm; Hall, Stephen J G; Harrington, Richard; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Høye, Toke T; Kruuk, Loeske E B; Pemberton, Josephine M; Sparks, Tim H; Thompson, Paul M; White, Ian; Winfield, Ian J; Wanless, Sarah

    2016-07-14

    Differences in phenological responses to climate change among species can desynchronise ecological interactions and thereby threaten ecosystem function. To assess these threats, we must quantify the relative impact of climate change on species at different trophic levels. Here, we apply a Climate Sensitivity Profile approach to 10,003 terrestrial and aquatic phenological data sets, spatially matched to temperature and precipitation data, to quantify variation in climate sensitivity. The direction, magnitude and timing of climate sensitivity varied markedly among organisms within taxonomic and trophic groups. Despite this variability, we detected systematic variation in the direction and magnitude of phenological climate sensitivity. Secondary consumers showed consistently lower climate sensitivity than other groups. We used mid-century climate change projections to estimate that the timing of phenological events could change more for primary consumers than for species in other trophic levels (6.2 versus 2.5-2.9 days earlier on average), with substantial taxonomic variation (1.1-14.8 days earlier on average). PMID:27362222

  3. Increasing trophic complexity influences aphid attendance by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and predation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Species that are involved in multitrophic interactions are affected by the trophic levels that are above and below them in both indirect and direct ways. In this experiment, interactions among ants (Formica montana Wheeler; Hymenoptera: Formicidae), aphids (Myzus persicae [Sulzer]; Hemiptera: Aphidi...

  4. Phylogenetic analysis of trophic associations.

    PubMed

    Ives, A R; Godfray, H C J

    2006-07-01

    Ecologists frequently collect data on the patterns of association between adjacent trophic levels in the form of binary or quantitative food webs. Here, we develop statistical methods to estimate the roles of consumer and resource phylogenies in explaining patterns of consumer-resource association. We use these methods to ask whether closely related consumer species are more likely to attack the same resource species and whether closely related resource species are more likely to be attacked by the same consumer species. We then show how to use estimates of phylogenetic signals to predict novel consumer-resource associations solely from the phylogenetic position of species for which no other (or only partial) data are available. Finally, we show how to combine phylogenetic information with information about species' ecological characteristics and life-history traits to estimate the effects of species traits on consumer-resource associations while accounting for phylogenies. We illustrate these techniques using a food web comprising species of parasitoids, leaf-mining moths, and their host plants.

  5. Trophic relationships in an estuarine environment: A quantitative fatty acid analysis signature approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnone, Larisa; Bessonart, Martin; Gadea, Juan; Salhi, María

    2015-12-01

    In order to better understand the functioning of aquatic environments, it is necessary to obtain accurate diet estimations in food webs. Their description should incorporate information about energy flow and the relative importance of trophic pathways. Fatty acids have been extensively used in qualitative studies on trophic relationships in food webs. Recently a new method to estimate quantitatively single predator diet has been developed. In this study, a model of aquatic food web through quantitative fatty acid signature analysis was generated to identify the trophic interactions among the species in the Rocha Lagoon. The biological sampling over two consecutive annual periods was comprehensive enough to identify all functional groups in the aquatic food web (except birds and mammals). Heleobia australis seemed to play a central role in this estuarine ecosystem. As both, a grazer and a prey to several other species, probably H. australis is transferring a great amount of energy to upper trophic levels. Most of the species at Rocha Lagoon have a wide range of prey items in their diet reflecting a complex food web, which is characteristic of extremely dynamic environment as estuarine ecosystems. QFASA is a model in tracing and quantitative estimate trophic pathways among species in an estuarine food web. The results obtained in the present work are a valuable contribution in the understanding of trophic relationships in Rocha Lagoon.

  6. ATLSS: Across trophic level system simulation for the freshwater areas of the Everglades

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, F.D. ); Deangelis, D.L.; Gross, L.J. )

    1994-06-01

    The Everglades of South Florida are characterized by complex patterns of spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability, with water flow being the major factor controlling the trophic dynamics of the system. A key objective of modeling studies is to compare the future effects of alternate hydrologic scenarios on the biotic components of the system. Due to the varying scales at which trophic interactions occur, and the importance of population structure and individual behavior for population prediction in higher trophic level organisms, use of a single modeling approach is not appropriate. We will describe a scheme to integrate three approaches for different trophic levels of the system: (1) process models for lower trophic levels (including benthic insects, periphyton and zooplankton), (2) structured population models for five functional groups of fish and macroinvertebrates, and (3) individual-based models for large consumers (wood storks, great blue herons, white ibis, American alligators, white-tailed deer, and Florida panther). These are integrated across the freshwater landscape of the Everglades and coupled to GIS maps for cover type. Spatial scales of resolution for the models are as small as 100 m, with the capability to vary this based upon the scale of available input data. The system is then coupled to a hydrology model, and used to assess the effects of alternative proposed restoration scenarios on trophic structure.

  7. Biomass changes and trophic amplification of plankton in a warmer ocean.

    PubMed

    Chust, Guillem; Allen, J Icarus; Bopp, Laurent; Schrum, Corinna; Holt, Jason; Tsiaras, Kostas; Zavatarelli, Marco; Chifflet, Marina; Cannaby, Heather; Dadou, Isabelle; Daewel, Ute; Wakelin, Sarah L; Machu, Eric; Pushpadas, Dhanya; Butenschon, Momme; Artioli, Yuri; Petihakis, George; Smith, Chris; Garçon, Veronique; Goubanova, Katerina; Le Vu, Briac; Fach, Bettina A; Salihoglu, Baris; Clementi, Emanuela; Irigoien, Xabier

    2014-07-01

    Ocean warming can modify the ecophysiology and distribution of marine organisms, and relationships between species, with nonlinear interactions between ecosystem components potentially resulting in trophic amplification. Trophic amplification (or attenuation) describe the propagation of a hydroclimatic signal up the food web, causing magnification (or depression) of biomass values along one or more trophic pathways. We have employed 3-D coupled physical-biogeochemical models to explore ecosystem responses to climate change with a focus on trophic amplification. The response of phytoplankton and zooplankton to global climate-change projections, carried out with the IPSL Earth System Model by the end of the century, is analysed at global and regional basis, including European seas (NE Atlantic, Barents Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Bay of Biscay, Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea) and the Eastern Boundary Upwelling System (Benguela). Results indicate that globally and in Atlantic Margin and North Sea, increased ocean stratification causes primary production and zooplankton biomass to decrease in response to a warming climate, whilst in the Barents, Baltic and Black Seas, primary production and zooplankton biomass increase. Projected warming characterized by an increase in sea surface temperature of 2.29 ± 0.05 °C leads to a reduction in zooplankton and phytoplankton biomasses of 11% and 6%, respectively. This suggests negative amplification of climate driven modifications of trophic level biomass through bottom-up control, leading to a reduced capacity of oceans to regulate climate through the biological carbon pump. Simulations suggest negative amplification is the dominant response across 47% of the ocean surface and prevails in the tropical oceans; whilst positive trophic amplification prevails in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. Trophic attenuation is projected in temperate seas. Uncertainties in ocean plankton projections, associated to the use of single global and

  8. Biomass changes and trophic amplification of plankton in a warmer ocean.

    PubMed

    Chust, Guillem; Allen, J Icarus; Bopp, Laurent; Schrum, Corinna; Holt, Jason; Tsiaras, Kostas; Zavatarelli, Marco; Chifflet, Marina; Cannaby, Heather; Dadou, Isabelle; Daewel, Ute; Wakelin, Sarah L; Machu, Eric; Pushpadas, Dhanya; Butenschon, Momme; Artioli, Yuri; Petihakis, George; Smith, Chris; Garçon, Veronique; Goubanova, Katerina; Le Vu, Briac; Fach, Bettina A; Salihoglu, Baris; Clementi, Emanuela; Irigoien, Xabier

    2014-07-01

    Ocean warming can modify the ecophysiology and distribution of marine organisms, and relationships between species, with nonlinear interactions between ecosystem components potentially resulting in trophic amplification. Trophic amplification (or attenuation) describe the propagation of a hydroclimatic signal up the food web, causing magnification (or depression) of biomass values along one or more trophic pathways. We have employed 3-D coupled physical-biogeochemical models to explore ecosystem responses to climate change with a focus on trophic amplification. The response of phytoplankton and zooplankton to global climate-change projections, carried out with the IPSL Earth System Model by the end of the century, is analysed at global and regional basis, including European seas (NE Atlantic, Barents Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Bay of Biscay, Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea) and the Eastern Boundary Upwelling System (Benguela). Results indicate that globally and in Atlantic Margin and North Sea, increased ocean stratification causes primary production and zooplankton biomass to decrease in response to a warming climate, whilst in the Barents, Baltic and Black Seas, primary production and zooplankton biomass increase. Projected warming characterized by an increase in sea surface temperature of 2.29 ± 0.05 °C leads to a reduction in zooplankton and phytoplankton biomasses of 11% and 6%, respectively. This suggests negative amplification of climate driven modifications of trophic level biomass through bottom-up control, leading to a reduced capacity of oceans to regulate climate through the biological carbon pump. Simulations suggest negative amplification is the dominant response across 47% of the ocean surface and prevails in the tropical oceans; whilst positive trophic amplification prevails in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. Trophic attenuation is projected in temperate seas. Uncertainties in ocean plankton projections, associated to the use of single global and

  9. Wasp-Waist Interactions in the North Sea Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Fauchald, Per; Skov, Henrik; Skern-Mauritzen, Mette; Johns, David; Tveraa, Torkild

    2011-01-01

    Background In a “wasp-waist” ecosystem, an intermediate trophic level is expected to control the abundance of predators through a bottom-up interaction and the abundance of prey through a top-down interaction. Previous studies suggest that the North Sea is mainly governed by bottom-up interactions driven by climate perturbations. However, few studies have investigated the importance of the intermediate trophic level occupied by small pelagic fishes. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the numeric interactions among 10 species of seabirds, two species of pelagic fish and four groups of zooplankton in the North Sea using decadal-scale databases. Linear models were used to relate the time series of zooplankton and seabirds to the time series of pelagic fish. Seabirds were positively related to herring (Clupea harengus), suggesting a bottom-up interaction. Two groups of zooplankton; Calanus helgolandicus and krill were negatively related to sprat (Sprattus sprattus) and herring respectively, suggesting top-down interactions. In addition, we found positive relationships among the zooplankton groups. Para/pseudocalanus was positively related to C. helgolandicus and C. finmarchicus was positively related to krill. Conclusion/Significance Our results indicate that herring was important in regulating the abundance of seabirds through a bottom-up interaction and that herring and sprat were important in regulating zooplankton through top-down interactions. We suggest that the positive relationships among zooplankton groups were due to selective foraging and switching in the two clupeid fishes. Our results suggest that “wasp-waist” interactions might be more important in the North Sea than previously anticipated. Fluctuations in the populations of pelagic fish due to harvesting and depletion of their predators might accordingly have profound consequences for ecosystem dynamics through trophic cascades. PMID:21829494

  10. Trophic-level dependent effects on CO2 emissions from experimental stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Atwood, Trisha B; Hammill, Edd; Richardson, John S

    2014-11-01

    Concern over accelerating rates of species invasions and losses have initiated investigations into how local and global changes to predator abundance mediate trophic cascades that influence CO2 fluxes of aquatic ecosystems. However, to date, no studies have investigated how species additions or losses at other consumer trophic levels influence the CO2 flux of aquatic ecosystems. In this study, we added a large predatory stonefly, detritivorous stonefly, or grazer tadpole to experimental stream food webs and over a 70-day period quantified their effects on community composition, leaf litter decomposition, chlorophyll-a concentrations, and stream CO2 emissions. In general, streams where the large grazer or large detritivore were added showed no change in total invertebrate biomass, leaf litter loss, chlorophyll-a concentrations, or stream CO2 emissions compared with controls; although we did observe a spike in CO2 emissions in the large grazer treatment following a substantial reduction in chlorophyll-a concentrations on day 28. However, the large grazer and large detritivore altered the community composition of streams by reducing the densities of other grazer and detritivore taxa, respectively, compared with controls. Conversely, the addition of the large predator created trophic cascades that reduced total invertebrate biomass and increased primary producer biomass. The cascading effects of the predator additions on the food web ultimately led to decreased CO2 emissions from stream channels by up to 95%. Our results suggest that stream ecosystem processes were more influenced by changes in large predator abundance than large grazer or detritivore abundance, because of a lack of functionally similar large predators. Our study demonstrates that the presence/absence of species with unique functional roles may have consequences for the exchange of CO2 between the ecosystem and the atmosphere.

  11. Habitat cascades: the conceptual context and global relevance of facilitation cascades via habitat formation and modification.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Mads S; Wernberg, Thomas; Altieri, Andrew; Tuya, Fernando; Gulbransen, Dana; McGlathery, Karen J; Holmer, Marianne; Silliman, Brian R

    2010-08-01

    The importance of positive interactions is increasingly acknowledged in contemporary ecology. Most research has focused on direct positive effects of one species on another. However, there is recent evidence that indirect positive effects in the form of facilitation cascades can also structure species abundances and biodiversity. Here we conceptualize a specific type of facilitation cascade-the habitat cascade. The habitat cascade is defined as indirect positive effects on focal organisms mediated by successive facilitation in the form of biogenic formation or modification of habitat. Based on a literature review, we demonstrate that habitat cascades are a general phenomenon that enhances species abundance and diversity in forests, salt marshes, seagrass meadows, and seaweed beds. Habitat cascades are characterized by a hierarchy of facilitative interactions in which a basal habitat former (typically a large primary producer, e.g., a tree) creates living space for an intermediate habitat former (e.g., an epiphyte) that in turn creates living space for the focal organisms (e.g., spiders, beetles, and mites). We then present new data on a habitat cascade common to soft-bottom estuaries in which a relatively small invertebrate provides basal habitat for larger intermediate seaweeds that, in turn, generate habitat for focal invertebrates and epiphytes. We propose that indirect positive effects on focal organisms will be strongest when the intermediate habitat former is larger and different in form and function from the basal habitat former. We also discuss how humans create, modify, and destroy habitat cascades via global habitat destruction, climatic change, over-harvesting, pollution, or transfer of invasive species. Finally, we outline future directions for research that will lead to a better understanding of habitat cascades. PMID:21558196

  12. The nitrogen cascade

    SciTech Connect

    Galloway J.N.; Aber J.D.; Erisman J.W.; Seitzinger S.P.; Howarth R.W.; Cowling E.B.; Cosby B.J.

    2003-04-01

    Human production of food and energy is the dominant continental process that breaks the triple bond in molecular nitrogen (N{sub 2}) and creates reactive nitrogen (Nr) species. Circulation of anthropogenic Nr in Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere has a wide variety of consequences, which are magnified with time as Nr moves along its biogeochemical pathway. The same atom of Nr can cause multiple effects in the atmosphere, in terrestrial ecosystems, in freshwater and marine systems, and on human health. We call this sequence of effects the nitrogen cascade. As the cascade progresses, the origin of Nr becomes unimportant. Reactive nitrogen does not cascade at the same rate through all environmental systems; some systems have the ability to accumulate Nr, which leads to lag times in the continuation of the cascade. These lags slow the cascade and result in Nr accumulation in certain reservoirs, which in turn can enhance the effects of Nr on that environment. The only way to eliminate Nr accumulation and stop the cascade is to convert Nr back to nonreactive N{sub 2}.

  13. Habitat effects on the relative importance of trait- and density-mediated indirect interactions.

    PubMed

    Trussell, Geoffrey C; Ewanchuk, Patrick J; Matassa, Catherine M

    2006-11-01

    Classical views of trophic cascades emphasize the primacy of consumptive predator effects on prey populations to the transmission of indirect effects [density-mediated indirect interactions (DMIIs)]. However, trophic cascades can also emerge without changes in the density of interacting species because of non-consumptive predator effects on prey traits such as foraging behaviour [trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs)]. Although ecologists appreciate this point, measurements of the relative importance of each indirect predator effect are rare. Experiments with a three-level, rocky shore food chain containing an invasive predatory crab (Carcinus maenas), an intermediate consumer (the snail, Nucella lapillus) and a basal resource (the barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides) revealed that the strength of TMIIs is comparable with, or exceeds, that of DMIIs. Moreover, the sign and strength of each indirect predator effect depends on whether it is measured in risky or refuge habitats. Because habitat shifts are often responsible for the emergence of TMIIs, attention to the sign and strength of these interactions in both habitats will improve our understanding of the link between individual behaviour and community dynamics.

  14. Habitat effects on the relative importance of trait- and density-mediated indirect interactions.

    PubMed

    Trussell, Geoffrey C; Ewanchuk, Patrick J; Matassa, Catherine M

    2006-11-01

    Classical views of trophic cascades emphasize the primacy of consumptive predator effects on prey populations to the transmission of indirect effects [density-mediated indirect interactions (DMIIs)]. However, trophic cascades can also emerge without changes in the density of interacting species because of non-consumptive predator effects on prey traits such as foraging behaviour [trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs)]. Although ecologists appreciate this point, measurements of the relative importance of each indirect predator effect are rare. Experiments with a three-level, rocky shore food chain containing an invasive predatory crab (Carcinus maenas), an intermediate consumer (the snail, Nucella lapillus) and a basal resource (the barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides) revealed that the strength of TMIIs is comparable with, or exceeds, that of DMIIs. Moreover, the sign and strength of each indirect predator effect depends on whether it is measured in risky or refuge habitats. Because habitat shifts are often responsible for the emergence of TMIIs, attention to the sign and strength of these interactions in both habitats will improve our understanding of the link between individual behaviour and community dynamics. PMID:17040327

  15. Experimental Evidence for the Population-Dynamic Mechanisms Underlying Extinction Cascades of Carnivores.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Dirk; Kehoe, Rachel; van Veen, F J Frank

    2015-12-01

    Species extinction rates due to human activities are high, and initial extinctions can trigger cascades of secondary extinctions, leading to further erosion of biodiversity. A potential major mechanism for secondary extinction cascades is provided by the long-standing theory that the diversity of consumer species is maintained due to the positive indirect effects that these species have on each other by reducing competition among their respective resource species. This means that the loss of one carnivore species could lead to competitive exclusion at the prey trophic level, leading to extinctions of further carnivore species. Evidence for these effects is difficult to obtain due to many confounding factors in natural systems, but extinction cascades that could be due to this mechanism have been demonstrated in simplified laboratory microcosms. We established complex insect food webs in replicated field mesocosms and found that the overharvesting of one parasitoid wasp species caused increased extinction rates of other parasitoid species, compared to controls, but only when we manipulated the spatial distribution of herbivore species such that the potential for interspecific competition at this level was high. This provides clear evidence for horizontal extinction cascades at high trophic levels due to the proposed mechanism. Our results demonstrate that the loss of carnivores can have widespread effects on other species at the same trophic level due to indirect population-dynamic effects that are rarely considered in this context. PMID:26585283

  16. Experimental Evidence for the Population-Dynamic Mechanisms Underlying Extinction Cascades of Carnivores.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Dirk; Kehoe, Rachel; van Veen, F J Frank

    2015-12-01

    Species extinction rates due to human activities are high, and initial extinctions can trigger cascades of secondary extinctions, leading to further erosion of biodiversity. A potential major mechanism for secondary extinction cascades is provided by the long-standing theory that the diversity of consumer species is maintained due to the positive indirect effects that these species have on each other by reducing competition among their respective resource species. This means that the loss of one carnivore species could lead to competitive exclusion at the prey trophic level, leading to extinctions of further carnivore species. Evidence for these effects is difficult to obtain due to many confounding factors in natural systems, but extinction cascades that could be due to this mechanism have been demonstrated in simplified laboratory microcosms. We established complex insect food webs in replicated field mesocosms and found that the overharvesting of one parasitoid wasp species caused increased extinction rates of other parasitoid species, compared to controls, but only when we manipulated the spatial distribution of herbivore species such that the potential for interspecific competition at this level was high. This provides clear evidence for horizontal extinction cascades at high trophic levels due to the proposed mechanism. Our results demonstrate that the loss of carnivores can have widespread effects on other species at the same trophic level due to indirect population-dynamic effects that are rarely considered in this context.

  17. Stability of Helium Clusters during Displacement Cascades

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Li; Zu, Xiaotao T.; Xiao, H. Y.; Gao, Fei; Heinisch, Howard L.; Kurtz, Richard J.; Wang, Zhiguo; Liu, K. Z.

    2007-02-01

    The interaction of displacement cascades with helium-vacancy clusters is investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The He-vacancy clusters initially consist of 20 vacancies with a Helium-to-vacancy ratio ranging from 0.2 to 3. The primary knock-on atom (PKA) energy, Ep, varies from 2 keV to 10 keV, and the PKA direction is chosen such that a displacement cascade is able to directly interact with a helium-vacancy cluster. The simulation results show that the effect of displacement cascades on a helium-vacancy cluster strongly depends on both the helium-to-vacancy ratio and the PKA energy. For the same PKA energy, the size of helium-vacancy clusters increases with the He/V ratio, but for the same ratio, the cluster size changes more significantly with increasing PKA energy. It has been observed that the He-vacancy clusters can be dissolved when the He/V ratio less than 1, but they are able to re-nucleate during the thermal spike phase, forming small He-V nuclei. When the He/V ratio is larger than 1, the He-V clusters can absorb a number of vacancies produced by displacement cascades, forming larger He-V clusters. These results are discussed in terms of PKA energy, helium-to-vacancy ratio, number of vacancies produced by cascades, and mobility of helium atoms.

  18. Interaction strength combinations and the overfishing of a marine food web.

    PubMed

    Bascompte, Jordi; Melián, Carlos J; Sala, Enric

    2005-04-12

    The stability of ecological communities largely depends on the strength of interactions between predators and their prey. Here we show that these interaction strengths are structured nonrandomly in a large Caribbean marine food web. Specifically, the cooccurrence of strong interactions on two consecutive levels of food chains occurs less frequently than expected by chance. Even when they occur, these strongly interacting chains are accompanied by strong omnivory more often than expected by chance. By using a food web model, we show that these interaction strength combinations reduce the likelihood of trophic cascades after the overfishing of top predators. However, fishing selectively removes predators that are overrepresented in strongly interacting chains. Hence, the potential for strong community-wide effects remains a threat.

  19. Trophic structure, stability, and parasite persistence threshold in food webs.

    PubMed

    McQuaid, C Finn; Britton, Nicholas F

    2013-11-01

    Food web structure of free-living species is an important determinant of parasite species richness. Downwardly asymmetric predator-prey interactions (where there are more prey than predator species) have been shown, both theoretically and empirically, to harbour more trophically transmitted parasite species than expected due to chance. Here, we demonstrate that this could be due to the increase in the basic reproductive ratio that the addition of non-host prey species to a system creates. However, we note that the basic reproductive ratio is only increased by those prey that stabilise oscillations in a predator-prey system, and is decreased by those that do not. PMID:23943365

  20. Trophic Hierarchies Illuminated via Amino Acid Isotopic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Steffan, Shawn A.; Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Horton, David R.; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Singleton, Merritt E.; Miliczky, Eugene; Hogg, David B.; Jones, Vincent P.

    2013-01-01

    Food web ecologists have long sought to characterize the trophic niches of animals using stable isotopic analysis. However, distilling trophic position from isotopic composition has been difficult, largely because of the variability associated with trophic discrimination factors (inter-trophic isotopic fractionation and routing). We circumvented much of this variability using compound-specific isotopic analysis (CSIA). We examined the 15N signatures of amino acids extracted from organisms reared in pure culture at four discrete trophic levels, across two model communities. We calculated the degree of enrichment at each trophic level and found there was a consistent trophic discrimination factor (~7.6‰). The constancy of the CSIA-derived discrimination factor permitted unprecedented accuracy in the measurement of animal trophic position. Conversely, trophic position estimates generated via bulk-15N analysis significantly underestimated trophic position, particularly among higher-order consumers. We then examined the trophic hierarchy of a free-roaming arthropod community, revealing the highest trophic position (5.07) and longest food chain ever reported using CSIA. High accuracy in trophic position estimation brings trophic function into sharper focus, providing greater resolution to the analysis of food webs. PMID:24086703

  1. Cascading Off Continental Shelves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huthnance, J.

    Cascading is the motion of dense water that is formed by cooling, evaporation or freezing in the surface layer, along a sloping sea bottom to a greater depth. It is in- fluential in water-mass formation and particularly in ventilation of intermediate and abyssal layers, hence affecting thermohaline circulation and global climate. Cascad- ing is intermittent in time and space, takes place in the bottom layers and cannot be traced via satellites. Hence it is rarely observed while in progress, and there is a dearth of knowledge of the statistical and main individual characteristics of cascading: most favourable locations, frequency of occurrence, density difference, speed of sinking, off-shore volume fluxes etc. The INTAS 99-1600 project "Dense water overflows off continental shelves (cascading)" aims to (i) improve understanding and modelling of dense water overflows, ie. cascading as a meso-scale process (ii) extrapolate from spe- cific observations (focused on the edge of the continental shelf) using generic models and (iii) estimate its influence on fluxes of dissolved and particulate matter between the shelf and open ocean in the bottom boundary layer. An overview of the project to date will be given: - collation of existing confirmed observations of cascading, and data of relevant laboratory experiments, to provide a common data base for modelling; - search of oceanographic data banks and collation of wider relevant data; - systematic analysis; inter-comparison, identifying factors and mechanisms in pre-conditioning, initiation, the evolving form and the end-stages of dense water overflow. - developing a linked set of new or modified models (1.5-layer to 3-D full-physics) capable of sim- ulating the main driving mechanisms and predicting the characteristics of cascading; - developing a model to study the generation and movement of mudslides that the cas- cading process can trigger if sediment material becomes unstable over a steep bottom slope.

  2. Examination of the Trophic Interactions Between a Species in Decline, the Ozark Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi), and a Prey Base Composed of Multiple Crayfish Species Using Stable Isotope Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiler, W. R.; Wheeler, B. A.; Trauth, S. E.; Christian, A. D.

    2005-05-01

    Since the early 1980's the Ozark hellbender, North America's largest salamander, has undergone a series of declines throughout its entire range. Two Arkansas rivers known to have populations of hellbenders are the Eleven Point (EP) and Spring (SR) rivers. Ozark hellbenders from the SR have undergone the most drastic population decline witnessed within their range over the past 20 years. Shifts in benthic habitat and community compositions could influence these declines, which could affect the species composition of their primary prey item, the crayfish. The objectives of our study were to use stable C and N isotope analysis to 1) determine what individual or multiple species of crayfish contribute to hellbender diets, and 2) determine if certain size classes of crayfish contribute to hellbender diets. We chose four study sites, three from the EP and one from the SR and collected tissue plugs from a total of 10 hellbenders. Tissue samples from three size classes of the crayfish known to occur in the EP and SR rivers were also collected. By linking stable C and N ratios results and relative abundances of crayfish in each of the river sites, we hope to identify species-specific trophic relationships between hellbenders and crayfish.

  3. Tectonic geomorphology and volcano-tectonic interaction in the eastern boundary of the Southern Cascades (Hat Creek Graben region), California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paguican, Engielle Mae; Bursik, Marcus

    2016-07-01

    The eastern boundary of the Southern Cascades (Hat Creek Graben region), California, USA, is an extensively faulted volcanic corridor between the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau. The east-west extending region is in the transition zone between the convergence and subduction of the Gorda Plate underneath the North American Plate; north-south shortening within the Klamath Mountain region; and transcurrent movement in the Walker Lane. We describe the geomorphological and tectonic features, their alignment and distribution, in order to understand the tectonic geomorphology and volcano-tectonic relationships. One outcome of the work is a more refined morpho-structural description that will affect future hazard assessment in the area. A database of volcanic centers and structures was created from interpretations of topographic models generated from satellite images. Volcanic centers in the region were classified by morphological type into cones, sub-cones, shields and massifs. A second classification by height separated the bigger and smaller edifices and revealed an evolutionary trend. Poisson Nearest Neighbor analysis shows that bigger volcanoes are spatially dispersed while smaller ones are clustered. Using volcano centroid locations, about 90 lineaments consisting of at least three centers within 6km of one another were found, revealing that preferential north-northwest directed pathways control the transport of magma from the source to the surface, consistent with the strikes of the major fault systems. Most of the volcano crater openings are perpendicular to the maximum horizontal stress, expected for extensional environments with dominant normal regional faults. These results imply that the extension of the Hat Creek Graben region and impingement of the Walker Lane is accommodated mostly by extensional faults and partly by the intrusions that formed the volcanoes. Early in the history of a volcano or volcano cluster, melt produced at depth in the region propagates

  4. Cascading effects of belowground predators on plant communities are density-dependent.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Madhav Prakash; Herrmann, Martina; Steinauer, Katja; Rennoch, Saskia; Cesarz, Simone; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-01

    Soil food webs comprise a multitude of trophic interactions that can affect the composition and productivity of plant communities. Belowground predators feeding on microbial grazers like Collembola could decelerate nutrient mineralization by reducing microbial turnover in the soil, which in turn could negatively influence plant growth. However, empirical evidences for the ecological significance of belowground predators on nutrient cycling and plant communities are scarce. Here, we manipulated predator density (Hypoaspis aculeifer: predatory mite) with equal densities of three Collembola species as a prey in four functionally dissimilar plant communities in experimental microcosms: grass monoculture (Poa pratensis), herb monoculture (Rumex acetosa), legume monoculture (Trifolium pratense), and all three species as a mixed plant community. Density manipulation of predators allowed us to test for density-mediated effects of belowground predators on Collembola and lower trophic groups. We hypothesized that predator density will reduce Collembola population causing a decrease in nutrient mineralization and hence detrimentally affect plant growth. First, we found a density-dependent population change in predators, that is, an increase in low-density treatments, but a decrease in high-density treatments. Second, prey suppression was lower at high predator density, which caused a shift in the soil microbial community by increasing the fungal: bacterial biomass ratio, and an increase of nitrification rates, particularly in legume monocultures. Despite the increase in nutrient mineralization, legume monocultures performed worse at high predator density. Further, individual grass shoot biomass decreased in monocultures, while it increased in mixed plant communities with increasing predator density, which coincided with elevated soil N uptake by grasses. As a consequence, high predator density significantly increased plant complementarity effects indicating a decrease in

  5. Analysis of the multiple roles of gld-1 in germline development: Interactions with the sex determination cascade and the glp-1 signaling pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, R.; Schedl, T.; Maine, E.

    1995-02-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans gene gld-1 is essential for oocyte development; in gld-1 (null) hermaphrodites, a tumor forms where oogenesis would normally occur. We use genetic epistasis analysis to demonstrate that tumor formation is dependent on the sexual fate of the germline. When the germline sex determination pathway is set in the female mode (terminal fem/fog genes inactive), gld-1 (null) germ cells exit meiotic prophase and proliferate to form a tumor, but when the pathway is et in the male mode, they develop into sperm. We conclude that the gld-1 (null) phenotype is cell-type specific and that gld-1(+) acts at the end of the cascade to direct oogenesis. We also use cell ablation and epistasis analysis to examine the dependence of tumor formation on the glp-1 signaling pathway. Although glp-1 activity promotes tumor growth, it is not essential for tumor formation by gld-1 (null) germ cells. These data also reveal that gld-1(+) plays a nonessential (and sex nonspecific) role in regulating germ cell proliferation before their entry into meiosis. Thus gld-1(+) may negatively regulate proliferation at two distinct points in germ cell development: before entry into meiotic prophase in both sexes (nonessential premeiotic gld-1 function) and during meiotic prophase when the sex determination pathway is set in the female mode (essential meiotic gld-1 function). 46 refs., 9 figs., 4 tabs.

  6. Trigeminal trophic syndrome with histopathologic correlation.

    PubMed

    Dolohanty, Lindsey B; Richardson, Steven J; Herrmann, David N; Markman, John; Mercurio, Mary Gail

    2015-03-01

    We present the case of a 49-year-old woman with trigeminal trophic syndrome (TTS), also known as trophic trigeminal neuralgia, trigeminal neurotrophic ulceration, and/or trigeminal neuropathy with nasal ulceration. Our case represents an uncommon report of intractable itching and chronic pain associated with TTS. Emphasis was placed on skin biopsy histology, which revealed no neuronal innervation of the affected scalp despite reports of intractable itching and chronic pain. Trigeminal trophic syndrome of the V1 branch of the trigeminal nerve secondary to herpes zoster (HZ) with correlated histology is described. This article provides a discussion of TTS and correlated histology as well as a brief discussion of intractable itching and postherpetic neuralgia.

  7. Temperature cascade control of distillation columns

    SciTech Connect

    Wolff, E.A.; Skogestad, S.

    1996-02-01

    This paper examines how difficult control tasks are enhanced by introducing secondary measurements, creating control cascades. Temperature is much used as secondary measurement because of cheap implementation and quick and accurate response. Distillation is often operated in this manner due to slow or lacking composition measurements, although the benefits have hardly been investigated closely, especially for multivariable control applications. The authors therefore use distillation as the example when quantifying improvements in interaction and disturbance rejection. They also give analytical expressions for the secondary controller gain. The improvements are reached through simple cascade operation of the control system and require no complicated estimator function.

  8. Using stable isotopes to test for trophic niche partitioning: a case study with stream salamanders and fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sepulveda, Adam; Lowe, Winsor H.; Marra, Peter P.

    2012-01-01

    5. Although we did not identify mechanisms that facilitate salamander and fish coexistence, our empirical data and use of novel approaches to describe the trophic niche did yield important insights on the role of predator–prey interactions and cannibalism as alternative coexistence mechanisms. In addition, we found that 95% kernel estimators are a simple and robust method to describe population-level measure of trophic structure.

  9. Dominance and species co-occurrence in highly diverse ant communities: a test of the interstitial hypothesis and discovery of a three-tiered competition cascade.

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Gaucherel, Cédric; Andersen, Alan N

    2011-07-01

    The role of competitive exclusion is problematic in highly diverse ant communities where exceptional species richness occurs in the face of exceptionally high levels of behavioural dominance. A possible non-niche-based explanation is that the abundance of behaviourally dominant ants is highly patchy at fine spatial scales, and subordinate species act as insinuators by preferentially occupying these gaps--we refer to this as the interstitial hypothesis. To test this hypothesis, we examined fine-scale patterns of ant abundance and richness according to a three-tiered competition hierarchy (dominants, subdominants and subordinates) in an Australian tropical savanna using pitfall traps spaced at 2 m intervals. Despite the presence of gaps in the fine-scale abundance of individual species, the combined abundance of dominant ants (species of Iridomyrmex, Papyirus and Oecophylla) was relatively uniform. There was therefore little or no opportunity for subordinate species to preferentially occupy gaps in the foraging ranges of dominant species, and we found no relationship between the abundance of dominant ants and nondominant species richness at fine spatial scales. However, we found a negative relationship between subdominant and subordinate ants, a negative relationship between dominant and subdominant ants, and a positive relationship between dominant and subordinate ants. These results suggest that dominant species actually promote species richness by neutralizing the effects of subdominant species on subordinate species. Such indirect interactions have very close parallels with three-tiered trophic cascades in food webs, and we propose a "competition cascade" where the interactions are through a competition rather than trophic hierarchy.

  10. Resonant Cascaded Downconversion

    SciTech Connect

    Weedbrook, Christian; Parrett, Ben; Kheruntsyan, Karen; Drummond, Peter; Pooser, Raphael C; Pfister, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    We analyze an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) in which cascaded down-conversion occurs inside a cavity resonant for all modes but the initial pump. Due to the resonant cascade design, the OPO presents two {chi}{sup (2)}-level oscillation thresholds that are therefore much lower than for a {chi}{sup (3)} OPO. This is promising for reaching the regime of an effective third-order nonlinearity well above both thresholds. Such a {chi}{sup (2)} cascaded device also has potential applications in frequency conversion to far-infrared regimes. But, most importantly, it can generate novel multipartite quantum correlations in the output radiation, which represent a step beyond squeezed or entangled light. The output can be highly non-Gaussian and therefore not describable by any semiclassical model. In this paper, we derive quantum stochastic equations in the positive-P representation and undertake an analysis of steady-state and dynamical properties of this system.

  11. Cascades Volcano Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Driedger, Carolyn; Pallister, John

    2008-01-01

    Washington's Mount St. Helens volcano reawakens explosively on October 1, 2004, after 18 years of quiescence. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) study and observe Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes of the Cascade Range in Washington, Oregon, and northern California that hold potential for future eruptions. CVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about Mount St. Helens and CVO at http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/.

  12. Intra Nucleon Cascade Program

    1998-08-18

    The package consists of three programs ISABEL, EVA, and PACE-2. ISABEL and PACE-2 are part of the LAHET code. ISABEL is an intra-nucleon cascade program. The output cascades are used as directly as input files to the two evaporation programs EVA and PACE-2. EVA ignores the effect of the angular momentum of the excited nuclei on the deexcitation and also ignores the possibility of gamma emission as long as particle emission is energetically allowed. PACE-2more » takes full account of angular momentum effects including irast levels and gamma emission at all stages of the evaporation chain.« less

  13. Limited differences in fish and benthic communities and possible cascading effects inside and outside a protected marine area in Sagres (SW Portugal).

    PubMed

    Gil Fernández, C; Paulo, D; Serrão, E A; Engelen, A H

    2016-03-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a relatively recent fisheries management and conservation tool for conservation of marine ecosystems and serve as experimental grounds to assess trophic cascade effects in areas were fishing is restricted to some extent. A series of descriptive field studies were performed to assess fish and benthic communities between two areas within a newly established MPA in SW Portugal. We characterized benthic macroalgal composition and determined the size, density and biomass of the main benthic predatory and herbivorous fish species as well as the main benthic herbivorous invertebrates to assess indications of top-down control on the phytobenthic assemblages. Fish species were identical inside and outside the MPA, in both cases Sarpa salpa was the most abundant fish herbivore and Diplodus spp. accounted for the great majority of the benthic predators. However, size and biomass of D. spp. were higher inside than outside the MPA. The main herbivorous invertebrate was the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, which was smaller and predominantly showing a crevice-dwelling behaviour in the MPA. In addition, P. lividus size frequency distribution showed a unimodal pattern outside and a bimodal pattern inside the MPA. We found significant differences in the algal assemblages between inside and outside the MPA, with higher abundance of turf and foliose algae inside, and articulated calcareous and corticated macrophytes outside the MPA, but no differences in the invasive Asparagopsis spp. The obtained results show differences in predatory fish and benthic community structure, but not in species richness, inside and outside the MPA. We hypothesize these differences lead to variation in species interactions: directly through predation and indirectly via affecting sea urchins behavioural patterns, predators might drive changes in macroalgal assemblages via trophic cascade in the study area. However due to non-biological differences between the two areas it

  14. Limited differences in fish and benthic communities and possible cascading effects inside and outside a protected marine area in Sagres (SW Portugal).

    PubMed

    Gil Fernández, C; Paulo, D; Serrão, E A; Engelen, A H

    2016-03-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a relatively recent fisheries management and conservation tool for conservation of marine ecosystems and serve as experimental grounds to assess trophic cascade effects in areas were fishing is restricted to some extent. A series of descriptive field studies were performed to assess fish and benthic communities between two areas within a newly established MPA in SW Portugal. We characterized benthic macroalgal composition and determined the size, density and biomass of the main benthic predatory and herbivorous fish species as well as the main benthic herbivorous invertebrates to assess indications of top-down control on the phytobenthic assemblages. Fish species were identical inside and outside the MPA, in both cases Sarpa salpa was the most abundant fish herbivore and Diplodus spp. accounted for the great majority of the benthic predators. However, size and biomass of D. spp. were higher inside than outside the MPA. The main herbivorous invertebrate was the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, which was smaller and predominantly showing a crevice-dwelling behaviour in the MPA. In addition, P. lividus size frequency distribution showed a unimodal pattern outside and a bimodal pattern inside the MPA. We found significant differences in the algal assemblages between inside and outside the MPA, with higher abundance of turf and foliose algae inside, and articulated calcareous and corticated macrophytes outside the MPA, but no differences in the invasive Asparagopsis spp. The obtained results show differences in predatory fish and benthic community structure, but not in species richness, inside and outside the MPA. We hypothesize these differences lead to variation in species interactions: directly through predation and indirectly via affecting sea urchins behavioural patterns, predators might drive changes in macroalgal assemblages via trophic cascade in the study area. However due to non-biological differences between the two areas it

  15. Rescaling the trophic structure of marine food webs.

    PubMed

    Hussey, Nigel E; Macneil, M Aaron; McMeans, Bailey C; Olin, Jill A; Dudley, Sheldon F J; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P; Fennessy, Sean T; Fisk, Aaron T

    2014-02-01

    Measures of trophic position (TP) are critical for understanding food web interactions and human-mediated ecosystem disturbance. Nitrogen stable isotopes (δ(15) N) provide a powerful tool to estimate TP but are limited by a pragmatic assumption that isotope discrimination is constant (change in δ(15) N between predator and prey, Δ(15) N = 3.4‰), resulting in an additive framework that omits known Δ(15) N variation. Through meta-analysis, we determine narrowing discrimination from an empirical linear relationship between experimental Δ(15) N and δ(15) N values of prey consumed. The resulting scaled Δ(15) N framework estimated reliable TPs of zooplanktivores to tertiary piscivores congruent with known feeding relationships that radically alters the conventional structure of marine food webs. Apex predator TP estimates were markedly higher than currently assumed by whole-ecosystem models, indicating perceived food webs have been truncated and species-interactions over simplified. The scaled Δ(15) N framework will greatly improve the accuracy of trophic estimates widely used in ecosystem-based management.

  16. Rescaling the trophic structure of marine food webs

    PubMed Central

    Hussey, Nigel E; MacNeil, M Aaron; McMeans, Bailey C; Olin, Jill A; Dudley, Sheldon FJ; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P; Fennessy, Sean T; Fisk, Aaron T

    2014-01-01

    Measures of trophic position (TP) are critical for understanding food web interactions and human-mediated ecosystem disturbance. Nitrogen stable isotopes (δ15N) provide a powerful tool to estimate TP but are limited by a pragmatic assumption that isotope discrimination is constant (change in δ15N between predator and prey, Δ15N = 3.4‰), resulting in an additive framework that omits known Δ15N variation. Through meta-analysis, we determine narrowing discrimination from an empirical linear relationship between experimental Δ15N and δ15N values of prey consumed. The resulting scaled Δ15N framework estimated reliable TPs of zooplanktivores to tertiary piscivores congruent with known feeding relationships that radically alters the conventional structure of marine food webs. Apex predator TP estimates were markedly higher than currently assumed by whole-ecosystem models, indicating perceived food webs have been truncated and species-interactions over simplified. The scaled Δ15N framework will greatly improve the accuracy of trophic estimates widely used in ecosystem-based management. PMID:24308860

  17. Phenological Advances and Trophic Consequences in Low- and High-Arctic Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Høye, T. T.; Schmidt, N. M.; Forchhammer, M. C.; Bøving, P. S.; Post, E.

    2009-12-01

    Seasonal timing of reproduction (phenology) is highly responsive to global warming, especially in the Arctic. Here, we present a comparative analysis of multi-annual observational data on phenological dynamics across trophic levels from Zackenberg, North-East Greenland (a High Arctic site) and Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland (a Low Arctic site). Both sites have experienced considerable warming and our analyses indicate that rates of change in plant phenological responses may differ between sites, related to different proximal drivers at the two sites. We also present parallel data on interacting organisms (pollinators and mammalian herbivores) to evaluate the risks and effects of trophic mismatch at these two sites.

  18. Role of chemical and ecological factors in trophic transfer of organic chemicals in aquatic food webs

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, R.W.; Gobas, F.A.P.C. . School of Resource and Environmental Management); Haffner, G.D. )

    1999-06-01

    Trophic transfer of chlorinated organic contaminants was investigated in an aquatic community composed of zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, and fish. Biomagnification, measured as the increase in lipid-based chemical concentrations in predator over that in prey, was observed for high-K[sub OW] chemicals (log K[sub OW] > 6.3). Low-K[sub OW] chemicals (log K[sub OW] < 5.5) did not biomagnify in the food web, and chemicals with log K[sub OW] between 5.5 and 6.3 showed some evidence of biomagnification. Trophic level differences in chemical accumulation in the food web could not be attributed to bioconcentration into increasing trophic levels with increasing lipid levels, as no relationship was observed between trophic position and lipid content of organisms. Plots of contaminant-ordinated principal component scores in component space predicted the detailed diets of the species examined. It is concluded that (1) trophic interactions play a crucial role in the distribution of high-K[sub OW] chemicals but not for low-K[sub OW] chemicals and that (2) contaminant distributions provide a means to determine structure in aquatic communities.

  19. First direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level trophic chain in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Kriwet, Jürgen; Witzmann, Florian; Klug, Stefanie; Heidtke, Ulrich H J

    2008-01-22

    We describe the first known occurrence of a Permian shark specimen preserving two temnospondyl amphibians in its digestive tract as well as the remains of an acanthodian fish, which was ingested by one of the temnospondyls. This exceptional find provides for the first time direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level food chain in the fossil record with the simultaneous preservation of three trophic levels. Our analysis shows that small-sized Lower Permian xenacanthid sharks of the genus Triodus preyed on larval piscivorous amphibians. The recorded trophic interaction can be explained by the adaptation of certain xenacanthids to fully freshwater environments and the fact that in these same environments, large temnospondyls occupied the niche of modern crocodiles. This unique faunal association has not been documented after the Permian and Triassic. Therefore, this Palaeozoic three-level food chain provides strong and independent support for changes in aquatic trophic chain structures through time. PMID:17971323

  20. Cascaded Poisson processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuo, Kuniaki; Saleh, Bahaa E. A.; Teich, Malvin Carl

    1982-12-01

    We investigate the counting statistics for stationary and nonstationary cascaded Poisson processes. A simple equation is obtained for the variance-to-mean ratio in the limit of long counting times. Explicit expressions for the forward-recurrence and inter-event-time probability density functions are also obtained. The results are expected to be of use in a number of areas of physics.

  1. 'Cascade Gold' raspberry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cascade Gold’ is a new gold fruited, floricane fruiting raspberry cultivar (Rubus idaeus L.) jointly released by Washington State University (WSU), Oregon State University (OSU) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It has been evaluated at Puyallup, Wash. in plantings from 1988 to 2008. ...

  2. Cascaded thermoacoustic devices

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, Gregory W.; Backhaus, Scott N.; Gardner, David L.

    2003-12-09

    A thermoacoustic device is formed with a resonator system defining at least one region of high specific acoustic impedance in an acoustic wave within the resonator system. A plurality of thermoacoustic units are cascaded together within the region of high specific acoustic impedance, where at least one of the thermoacoustic units is a regenerator unit.

  3. Trophic status evaluation of TVA reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Placke, J.F.

    1983-10-01

    TVA tributary and mainstem reservoirs show generalized differences in morphometry, hydraulics, nutrient loads, and response to nutrient concentrations. Neither type of reservoir is strictly comparable to the natural lakes on which classical eutrophication studies have been based. The majority of published trophic state indices and standards (e.g., hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen depletion, Secchi depth, areas nutrient loading rates, in-reservoir phosphorus concentrations) are inappropriate for evaluation of some or all TVA reservoirs. No single trophic potential or trophic response variable summarizes the mechanisms and manifestations of eutrophication sufficiently to be used as a sole criterion for judging or regulating TVA reservoir water quality. Relative multivariate trophic state indices were developed for mainstem and tributary reservoirs. Ranking of the mainstem reservoirs is based on chlorophyll, macrophyte coverage, hydraulic retention time, reservoir area less than five feet deep, annual pool elevation drawdown, and Secchi depth. Based on available data, the rank from least eutrophic to most eutrophic is: Pickwick, Kentucky, Chickamauga, Nickajack, Wilson, Fort Loudoun, Watts Bar, Wheeler, and Guntersville Reservoirs. Ranking of the tributary reservoirs is based on chlorophyll, total phosphorus and total nitrogen weighted by the N:P ratio, and bio-available inorganic carbon levels. The rank from least eutrophic to most eutrophic is: Hiwassee, Blue Ridge, Chatuge, Norris and Fontana, Watauga, South Holston, Tims Ford, Cherokee, Douglas, and Boone Reservoirs. 130 references, 18 figures, 30 tables.

  4. Integrated Broadband Quantum Cascade Laser

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mansour, Kamjou (Inventor); Soibel, Alexander (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    A broadband, integrated quantum cascade laser is disclosed, comprising ridge waveguide quantum cascade lasers formed by applying standard semiconductor process techniques to a monolithic structure of alternating layers of claddings and active region layers. The resulting ridge waveguide quantum cascade lasers may be individually controlled by independent voltage potentials, resulting in control of the overall spectrum of the integrated quantum cascade laser source. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

  5. Cascade decays of hollow ions

    SciTech Connect

    Omar, G. ); Hahn, Y. )

    1991-05-01

    A multiple-electron-emission process for atoms with one or more inner-shell vacancies is treated using the radiative- and Auger-electron-emission cascade model, in which inner-shell holes are assumed to decay by sequentially emitting radiations and/or Auger electrons. Such hollow ions are produced by synchrotron irradiation of atomic targets and in ion-surface interactions with multiple-electron transfers. The final charge-state distribution is determined by the Auger and radiative branching ratios at each stage of the decay sequence. At intermediate stages of cascade, hollow ions with more than one hole in different ionization stages are created. The Ne, Mg, and Fe{sup 14+} ions with the initial 1{ital s}, 2{ital s}, and 2{ital p} vacancies are considered in detail, and the core charge dependence of the maximum charge state is studied. The hollow Mg ion with double initial 1{ital s} holes is analyzed, and the result compared with that for the case of one 1{ital s} hole. The peak is shifted more than two units to a higher degree of ionization. The correlated shake-off and shake-up multiple-electron processes are not considered, but they are expected to cause further shifts.

  6. Modeling lake trophic state: a random forest approach

    EPA Science Inventory

    Productivity of lentic ecosystems has been well studied and it is widely accepted that as nutrient inputs increase, productivity increases and lakes transition from low trophic state (e.g. oligotrophic) to higher trophic states (e.g. eutrophic). These broad trophic state classi...

  7. Population divergence in fish elemental phenotypes associated with trophic phenotypes and lake trophic state.

    PubMed

    Tuckett, Quenton M; Kinnison, Michael T; Saros, Jasmine E; Simon, Kevin S

    2016-11-01

    Studies of ecological stoichiometry typically emphasize the role of interspecific variation in body elemental content and the effects of species or family identity. Recent work suggests substantial variation in body stoichiometry can also exist within species. The importance of this variation will depend on insights into its origins and consequences at various ecological scales, including the distribution of elemental phenotypes across landscapes and their role in nutrient recycling. We investigated whether trophic divergence can produce predictable patterns of elemental phenotypes among populations of an invasive fish, the white perch (Morone americana), and whether elemental phenotypes predict nutrient excretion. White perch populations exhibited a gradient of trophic phenotypes associated with landscape-scale variation in lake trophic state. Perch body chemistry varied considerably among lakes (from 0.09 for % C to 0.31-fold for % P) casting doubt on the assumption of homogenous elemental phenotypes. This variation was correlated with divergence in fish body shape and other trophic traits. Elemental phenotypes covaried (r (2) up to 0.84) with lake trophic state. This covariation likely arose in contemporary time since many of these perch populations were introduced in the last century and the trophic state in many of the lakes has changed in the past few decades. Nutrient excretion varied extensively among populations, but was not readily related to fish body chemistry or lake trophic state. This suggests that predictable patterns of fish body composition can arise quickly through trophic specialization to lake conditions, but such elemental phenotypes may not translate to altered nutrient recycling by fish.

  8. Tree phylogenetic diversity promotes host-parasitoid interactions.

    PubMed

    Staab, Michael; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Michalski, Stefan; Purschke, Oliver; Zhu, Chao-Dong; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2016-07-13

    Evidence from grassland experiments suggests that a plant community's phylogenetic diversity (PD) is a strong predictor of ecosystem processes, even stronger than species richness per se This has, however, never been extended to species-rich forests and host-parasitoid interactions. We used cavity-nesting Hymenoptera and their parasitoids collected in a subtropical forest as a model system to test whether hosts, parasitoids, and their interactions are influenced by tree PD and a comprehensive set of environmental variables, including tree species richness. Parasitism rate and parasitoid abundance were positively correlated with tree PD. All variables describing parasitoids decreased with elevation, and were, except parasitism rate, dependent on host abundance. Quantitative descriptors of host-parasitoid networks were independent of the environment. Our study indicates that host-parasitoid interactions in species-rich forests are related to the PD of the tree community, which influences parasitism rates through parasitoid abundance. We show that effects of tree community PD are much stronger than effects of tree species richness, can cascade to high trophic levels, and promote trophic interactions. As during habitat modification phylogenetic information is usually lost non-randomly, even species-rich habitats may not be able to continuously provide the ecosystem process parasitism if the evolutionarily most distinct plant lineages vanish. PMID:27383815

  9. Tree phylogenetic diversity promotes host-parasitoid interactions.

    PubMed

    Staab, Michael; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Michalski, Stefan; Purschke, Oliver; Zhu, Chao-Dong; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2016-07-13

    Evidence from grassland experiments suggests that a plant community's phylogenetic diversity (PD) is a strong predictor of ecosystem processes, even stronger than species richness per se This has, however, never been extended to species-rich forests and host-parasitoid interactions. We used cavity-nesting Hymenoptera and their parasitoids collected in a subtropical forest as a model system to test whether hosts, parasitoids, and their interactions are influenced by tree PD and a comprehensive set of environmental variables, including tree species richness. Parasitism rate and parasitoid abundance were positively correlated with tree PD. All variables describing parasitoids decreased with elevation, and were, except parasitism rate, dependent on host abundance. Quantitative descriptors of host-parasitoid networks were independent of the environment. Our study indicates that host-parasitoid interactions in species-rich forests are related to the PD of the tree community, which influences parasitism rates through parasitoid abundance. We show that effects of tree community PD are much stronger than effects of tree species richness, can cascade to high trophic levels, and promote trophic interactions. As during habitat modification phylogenetic information is usually lost non-randomly, even species-rich habitats may not be able to continuously provide the ecosystem process parasitism if the evolutionarily most distinct plant lineages vanish.

  10. A Temporal Network Version of Watts's Cascade Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, Fariba; Holme, Petter

    Threshold models of cascades in the social and economical sciences explain the spread of opinion and innovation as an effect of social influence. In threshold cascade models, fads or innovation spread between agents as determined by their interactions to other agents and their personal threshold of resistance. Typically, these models do not account for structure in the timing of interaction between the units. In this work, we extend a model of social cascades by Duncan Watts to temporal interaction networks. In our model, we assume agents are influenced by their friends and acquaintances at certain time into the past. That is, the influence of the past ages and becomes unimportant. Thus, our modified cascade model has an effective time window of influence. We explore two types of thresholds—thresholds to fractions of the neighbors, or absolute numbers. We try our model on six empirical datasets and compare them with null models.

  11. Indirect plant-parasitoid interactions mediated by changes in herbivore physiology.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ian; Carrillo, Juli; Garvey, Michael; Ode, Paul J

    2016-04-01

    In occupying an intermediate trophic position, herbivorous insects serve a vital link between plants at the base of the food chain and parasitoids at the top. Although these herbivore-mediated indirect plant-parasitoid interactions are well-documented, new studies have uncovered previously undescribed mechanisms that are fundamentally changing how we view tri-trophic relationships. In this review we highlight recent advances in this field focusing on both plant-driven and parasitoid-driven outcomes that flow up and down the trophic web, respectively. From the bottom-up, plant metabolites can impact parasitoid success by altering host immune function; however, few have considered the potential effects of other plant defense strategies such as tolerance on parasitoid ecology and behavior. From the top-down, parasitoids have long been considered plant bodyguards, but in reality the consequences of parasitism for herbivory rates and induction of plant defensive chemistry are far more complicated with cascading effects on community-level interactions. PMID:27436656

  12. Trophic state of benthic deep-sea ecosystems from two different continental margins off Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Anno, A.; Pusceddu, A.; Corinaldesi, C.; Canals, M.; Heussner, S.; Thomsen, L.; Danovaro, R.

    2013-05-01

    The bioavailability of organic matter in benthic deep-sea ecosystems, commonly used to define their trophic state, can greatly influence key ecological processes such as biomass production and nutrient cycling. Here, we assess the trophic state of deep-sea sediments from open slopes and canyons of the Catalan (NW Mediterranean) and Portuguese (NE Atlantic) continental margins, offshore east and west Iberia, respectively, by using a biomimetic approach based on enzymatic digestion of protein and carbohydrate pools. Patterns of sediment trophic state were analyzed in relation to increasing water depth, including repeated samplings over a 3 yr period in the Catalan margin. Two out of the three sampling periods occurred a few months after dense shelf water cascading events. The benthic deep-sea ecosystems investigated in this study were characterized by high amounts of bioavailable organic matter when compared to other deep-sea sediments. Bioavailable organic matter and its nutritional value were significantly higher in the Portuguese margin than in the Catalan margin, thus reflecting differences in primary productivity of surface waters reported for the two regions. Similarly, sediments of the Catalan margin were characterized by significantly higher food quantity and quality in spring, when the phytoplankton bloom occurs in surface waters, than in summer and autumn. Differences in the benthic trophic state of canyons against open slopes were more evident in the Portuguese than in the Catalan margin. In both continental margins, bioavailable organic C concentrations did not vary or increase with increasing water depth. Overall, our findings suggest that the intensity of primary production processes along with the lateral transfer of organic particles, even amplified by episodic events, can have a role in controlling the quantity and distribution of bioavailable organic detritus and its nutritional value along these continental margin ecosystems.

  13. An integrated dc SQUID cascade

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, A.

    1983-05-01

    An integrated tunnel junction dc SQUID cascade has been built and some of its operating characteristics measured. It is shown for the first time that good modulation can be achieved with a remote termination for the tunnel junction shunts. Response time of one of the SQUID's in the cascade was measured to be better than 5 nanoseconds. Maintenance of this high speed is an advantage of the cascade arrangement over other schemes for matching and reading-out dc tunnel junction SQUID's. True cascade operation was not obtained, due to coupling of Josephson oscillations from the first stage of the cascade to the second.

  14. The Geant4 Bertini Cascade

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, D. H.; Kelsey, M. H.

    2015-12-01

    One of the medium energy hadron–nucleus interaction models in the Geant4 simulation toolkit is based partly on the Bertini intranuclear cascade model. Since its initial appearance in the toolkit, this model has been largely re-written in order to extend its physics capabilities and to reduce its memory footprint. Physics improvements include extensions in applicable energy range and incident particle types, and improved hadron–nucleon cross-sections and angular distributions. Interfaces have also been developed which allow the model to be coupled with other Geant4 models at lower and higher energies. The inevitable speed reductions due to enhanced physics have been mitigated by memory and CPU efficiency improvements. Details of these improvements, along with selected comparisons of the model to data, are discussed.

  15. The Geant4 Bertini Cascade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, D. H.; Kelsey, M. H.

    2015-12-01

    One of the medium energy hadron-nucleus interaction models in the GEANT4 simulation toolkit is based partly on the Bertini intranuclear cascade model. Since its initial appearance in the toolkit, this model has been largely re-written in order to extend its physics capabilities and to reduce its memory footprint. Physics improvements include extensions in applicable energy range and incident particle types, and improved hadron-nucleon cross-sections and angular distributions. Interfaces have also been developed which allow the model to be coupled with other GEANT4 models at lower and higher energies. The inevitable speed reductions due to enhanced physics have been mitigated by memory and CPU efficiency improvements. Details of these improvements, along with selected comparisons of the model to data, are discussed.

  16. Cascade reactions in nanoreactors.

    PubMed

    van Oers, M C M; Rutjes, F P J T; van Hest, J C M

    2014-08-01

    In an attempt to mimic the biosynthetic efficiencies of nature and in a search for greener, more sustainable alternatives to nowadays ways of producing chemicals, one-pot cascade reactions have attracted a lot of attention in the past decade. Since most catalysts are not compatible with each other, compartmentalization techniques have often been applied to prevent catalyst inactivation. A various array of nanoreactors have been developed to meet the demand of having a site-isolated catalyst system, while maintaining the catalyst activity. Both multienzyme nanoreactors as well as enzyme/metal catalyst or organocatalyst systems have shown great potential in one-pot cascade reactions and hold promise for future developments in this field.

  17. Information cascade on networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hisakado, Masato; Mori, Shintaro

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we discuss a voting model by considering three different kinds of networks: a random graph, the Barabási-Albert (BA) model, and a fitness model. A voting model represents the way in which public perceptions are conveyed to voters. Our voting model is constructed by using two types of voters-herders and independents-and two candidates. Independents conduct voting based on their fundamental values; on the other hand, herders base their voting on the number of previous votes. Hence, herders vote for the majority candidates and obtain information relating to previous votes from their networks. We discuss the difference between the phases on which the networks depend. Two kinds of phase transitions, an information cascade transition and a super-normal transition, were identified. The first of these is a transition between a state in which most voters make the correct choices and a state in which most of them are wrong. The second is a transition of convergence speed. The information cascade transition prevails when herder effects are stronger than the super-normal transition. In the BA and fitness models, the critical point of the information cascade transition is the same as that of the random network model. However, the critical point of the super-normal transition disappears when these two models are used. In conclusion, the influence of networks is shown to only affect the convergence speed and not the information cascade transition. We are therefore able to conclude that the influence of hubs on voters' perceptions is limited.

  18. A simple model of global cascades on random networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watts, Duncan J.

    2002-04-01

    The origin of large but rare cascades that are triggered by small initial shocks is a phenomenon that manifests itself as diversely as cultural fads, collective action, the diffusion of norms and innovations, and cascading failures in infrastructure and organizational networks. This paper presents a possible explanation of this phenomenon in terms of a sparse, random network of interacting agents whose decisions are determined by the actions of their neighbors according to a simple threshold rule. Two regimes are identified in which the network is susceptible to very large cascadesherein called global cascadesthat occur very rarely. When cascade propagation is limited by the connectivity of the network, a power law distribution of cascade sizes is observed, analogous to the cluster size distribution in standard percolation theory and avalanches in self-organized criticality. But when the network is highly connected, cascade propagation is limited instead by the local stability of the nodes themselves, and the size distribution of cascades is bimodal, implying a more extreme kind of instability that is correspondingly harder to anticipate. In the first regime, where the distribution of network neighbors is highly skewed, it is found that the most connected nodes are far more likely than average nodes to trigger cascades, but not in the second regime. Finally, it is shown that heterogeneity plays an ambiguous role in determining a system's stability: increasingly heterogeneous thresholds make the system more vulnerable to global cascades; but an increasingly heterogeneous degree distribution makes it less vulnerable.

  19. Coupled 2-dimensional cascade theory for noise an d unsteady aerodynamics of blade row interaction in turbofans. Volume 2: Documentation for computer code CUP2D

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, Donald B.

    1994-01-01

    A two dimensional linear aeroacoustic theory for rotor/stator interaction with unsteady coupling was derived and explored in Volume 1 of this report. Computer program CUP2D has been written in FORTRAN embodying the theoretical equations. This volume (Volume 2) describes the structure of the code, installation and running, preparation of the input file, and interpretation of the output. A sample case is provided with printouts of the input and output. The source code is included with comments linking it closely to the theoretical equations in Volume 1.

  20. Trophic links between functional groups of arable plants and beetles are stable at a national scale.

    PubMed

    Brooks, David R; Storkey, Jonathan; Clark, Suzanne J; Firbank, Les G; Petit, Sandrine; Woiwod, Ian P

    2012-01-01

    1. There is an urgent need to accurately model how environmental change affects the wide-scale functioning of ecosystems, but advances are hindered by a lack of knowledge of how trophic levels are linked across space. It is unclear which theoretical approach to take to improve modelling of such interactions, but evidence is gathering that linking species responses to their functional traits can increase understanding of ecosystem dynamics. Currently, there are no quantitative studies testing how this approach might improve models of multiple, trophically interacting species, at wide spatial scales. 2. Arable weeds play a foundational role in linking food webs, providing resources for many taxa, including carabid beetles that feed on their seeds and weed-associated invertebrate prey. Here, we model associations between weeds and carabids across farmland in Great Britain (GB), to test the hypothesis that wide-scale trophic links between these groups are structured by their species functional traits. 3. A network of c. 250 arable fields, covering four crops and most lowland areas of GB, was sampled for weed, carabid and invertebrate taxa over 3 years. Data sets of these groups were closely matched in time and space, and each contained numerous species with a range of eco-physiological traits. The consistency of trophic linkages between multiple taxa sharing functional traits was tested within multivariate and log-linear models. 4. Robust links were established between the functional traits of taxa and their trophic interactions. Autumn-germinating, small-seeded weeds were associated with smaller, spring-breeding carabids, more specialised in seed feeding, whereas spring-germinating, large-seeded weeds were associated with a range of larger, autumn-breeding omnivorous carabids. These relationships were strong and dynamic, being independent of changes in invertebrate food resources and consistent across sample dates, crops and regions of GB. 5. We conclude that, in at

  1. The Ontogenetically Variable Trophic Niche of a Praying Mantid Revealed by Stable Isotope Analysis.

    PubMed

    Hurd, Lawrence E; Dehart, Pieter A P; Taylor, Joseph M; Campbell, Meredith C; Shearer, Megan M

    2015-04-01

    Praying mantids have been shown to exert strong influences on arthropod community composition. However, they may not occupy the same trophic level throughout their lives. Trophic shifting over a life cycle could explain the documented variation in results from field studies, but specific interactions of predators within food webs have been difficult to determine simply by comparing control and treatment assemblages in field experiments. We examined the trophic position of the Chinese praying mantid, Tenodera aridifolia sinensis (Saussure), using stable isotope analysis (SIA). We measured the δ(13)C and δ(15)N of field-collected arthropods, and of laboratory groups of mantids fed known diets of these arthropods chosen from the most abundant trophic guilds: herbivores (sap feeders and plant chewers), and carnivores. We also collected mantids from the field over a growing season and compared their SIA values to those of the laboratory groups. Both δ(13)C and δ(15)N of mantids fed carnivorous prey (spiders or other mantids) were higher than those fed herbivores (grasshoppers). SIA values from field-collected mantids were highly variable, and indicated that they did not take prey from trophic guilds in proportion to their abundances, i.e., were not frequency-dependent predators. Further, δ(15)N decreased from a high at egg hatch to a low at the third instar as early nymphs fed mainly on lower trophic levels, and increased steadily thereafter as they shifted to feeding on higher levels. We suggest that the community impact of generalist predators can be strongly influenced by ontogenetic shifts in diet. PMID:26313177

  2. Can salinity trigger cascade effects on streams? A mesocosm approach.

    PubMed

    Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Sala, Miquel; Peixoto, Gabriela; Prat, Narcís; Faria, Melissa; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Barata, Carlos; Kefford, Ben

    2016-01-01

    Human activities have greatly increased the salt concentration of the world's rivers, and this might be amplified by water scarcity in the future. While the lethal effects of salinity have been documented for a wide variety of stream invertebrates, the sub-lethal effects (i.e. changes in biological condition without mortality) are not deeply understood yet. One important sub-lethal effect that has yet to be investigated is changes in predation efficiency, which could trigger cascade effects associated to the abundance of herbivorous invertebrates that control algae biomass. In this study we combined the use of biomarkers with community-level data in a stream mesocosm to evaluate the potential cascade effect of increased salinity on the trophic food web. Both predation and salt treatments had an effect on the aquatic invertebrate abundance, richness and community composition. The presence of predators had a clear cascade effect, it reduced herbivorous invertebrate abundance and richness leading to higher chlorophyll a concentrations. The salt treatment significantly reduced taxa richness, but only in the gravel bed. The predators were significantly stressed by salt addition, as shown by the different analyzed biomarkers. Concordantly, in the presence of predators, Tanytarsini registered higher abundances and chlorophyll a showed a lower concentration when salt was added. However, none of these changes was significant. Therefore, although salt addition significantly stressed Dina lineata, our results suggest that a longer exposure time is needed to fully capture cascading effects (e.g. a decrease in chlorophyll a due to a relaxation of predation on herbivorous invertebrates). We suggest that the potential cascade effects of salinization need to be evaluated when addressing the impacts of water scarcity (as caused by climate change and increasing water demand) on river ecosystems, since flow reductions will lead to higher salt concentrations.

  3. Microbes are trophic analogs of animals.

    PubMed

    Steffan, Shawn A; Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Currie, Cameron R; Horn, Heidi; Gaines-Day, Hannah R; Pauli, Jonathan N; Zalapa, Juan E; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2015-12-01

    In most ecosystems, microbes are the dominant consumers, commandeering much of the heterotrophic biomass circulating through food webs. Characterizing functional diversity within the microbiome, therefore, is critical to understanding ecosystem functioning, particularly in an era of global biodiversity loss. Using isotopic fingerprinting, we investigated the trophic positions of a broad diversity of heterotrophic organisms. Specifically, we examined the naturally occurring stable isotopes of nitrogen ((15)N:(14)N) within amino acids extracted from proteobacteria, actinomycetes, ascomycetes, and basidiomycetes, as well as from vertebrate and invertebrate macrofauna (crustaceans, fish, insects, and mammals). Here, we report that patterns of intertrophic (15)N-discrimination were remarkably similar among bacteria, fungi, and animals, which permitted unambiguous measurement of consumer trophic position, independent of phylogeny or ecosystem type. The observed similarities among bacterial, fungal, and animal consumers suggest that within a trophic hierarchy, microbiota are equivalent to, and can be interdigitated with, macrobiota. To further test the universality of this finding, we examined Neotropical fungus gardens, communities in which bacteria, fungi, and animals are entwined in an ancient, quadripartite symbiosis. We reveal that this symbiosis is a discrete four-level food chain, wherein bacteria function as the apex carnivores, animals and fungi are meso-consumers, and the sole herbivores are fungi. Together, our findings demonstrate that bacteria, fungi, and animals can be integrated within a food chain, effectively uniting the macro- and microbiome in food web ecology and facilitating greater inclusion of the microbiome in studies of functional diversity. PMID:26598691

  4. Microbes are trophic analogs of animals

    PubMed Central

    Steffan, Shawn A.; Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Currie, Cameron R.; Horn, Heidi; Gaines-Day, Hannah R.; Pauli, Jonathan N.; Zalapa, Juan E.; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2015-01-01

    In most ecosystems, microbes are the dominant consumers, commandeering much of the heterotrophic biomass circulating through food webs. Characterizing functional diversity within the microbiome, therefore, is critical to understanding ecosystem functioning, particularly in an era of global biodiversity loss. Using isotopic fingerprinting, we investigated the trophic positions of a broad diversity of heterotrophic organisms. Specifically, we examined the naturally occurring stable isotopes of nitrogen (15N:14N) within amino acids extracted from proteobacteria, actinomycetes, ascomycetes, and basidiomycetes, as well as from vertebrate and invertebrate macrofauna (crustaceans, fish, insects, and mammals). Here, we report that patterns of intertrophic 15N-discrimination were remarkably similar among bacteria, fungi, and animals, which permitted unambiguous measurement of consumer trophic position, independent of phylogeny or ecosystem type. The observed similarities among bacterial, fungal, and animal consumers suggest that within a trophic hierarchy, microbiota are equivalent to, and can be interdigitated with, macrobiota. To further test the universality of this finding, we examined Neotropical fungus gardens, communities in which bacteria, fungi, and animals are entwined in an ancient, quadripartite symbiosis. We reveal that this symbiosis is a discrete four-level food chain, wherein bacteria function as the apex carnivores, animals and fungi are meso-consumers, and the sole herbivores are fungi. Together, our findings demonstrate that bacteria, fungi, and animals can be integrated within a food chain, effectively uniting the macro- and microbiome in food web ecology and facilitating greater inclusion of the microbiome in studies of functional diversity. PMID:26598691

  5. Microbes are trophic analogs of animals.

    PubMed

    Steffan, Shawn A; Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Currie, Cameron R; Horn, Heidi; Gaines-Day, Hannah R; Pauli, Jonathan N; Zalapa, Juan E; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2015-12-01

    In most ecosystems, microbes are the dominant consumers, commandeering much of the heterotrophic biomass circulating through food webs. Characterizing functional diversity within the microbiome, therefore, is critical to understanding ecosystem functioning, particularly in an era of global biodiversity loss. Using isotopic fingerprinting, we investigated the trophic positions of a broad diversity of heterotrophic organisms. Specifically, we examined the naturally occurring stable isotopes of nitrogen ((15)N:(14)N) within amino acids extracted from proteobacteria, actinomycetes, ascomycetes, and basidiomycetes, as well as from vertebrate and invertebrate macrofauna (crustaceans, fish, insects, and mammals). Here, we report that patterns of intertrophic (15)N-discrimination were remarkably similar among bacteria, fungi, and animals, which permitted unambiguous measurement of consumer trophic position, independent of phylogeny or ecosystem type. The observed similarities among bacterial, fungal, and animal consumers suggest that within a trophic hierarchy, microbiota are equivalent to, and can be interdigitated with, macrobiota. To further test the universality of this finding, we examined Neotropical fungus gardens, communities in which bacteria, fungi, and animals are entwined in an ancient, quadripartite symbiosis. We reveal that this symbiosis is a discrete four-level food chain, wherein bacteria function as the apex carnivores, animals and fungi are meso-consumers, and the sole herbivores are fungi. Together, our findings demonstrate that bacteria, fungi, and animals can be integrated within a food chain, effectively uniting the macro- and microbiome in food web ecology and facilitating greater inclusion of the microbiome in studies of functional diversity.

  6. Improving estimates of trophic shift (Δδ(trophic)) for diet reconstruction studies using enzyme activities.

    PubMed

    Gaye-Siessegger, Julia; Mamun, Shamsuddin M; Brinker, Alexander; Focken, Ulfert

    2013-04-01

    For diet reconstruction studies using stable isotopes, accurate estimates of trophic shift (Δδtrophic) are necessary to get reliable results. Several factors have been identified which affect the trophic shift. The goal of the present experiment was to test whether measurements of the activities of enzymes could improve the accuracy of estimation of trophic shift in fish. Forty-eight Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) were fed under controlled conditions with two diets differing in their protein content (21 and 41%) each at four different levels (4, 8, 12 and 16gkg(-0.8)d(-1)). At the end of the feeding experiment, proximate composition, whole body δ(13)C and δ(15)N as well as the activities of enzymes involved in anabolism and catabolism were measured. Step-wise regression specified contributing variables for Δδ(15)N (malic enzyme, aspartate aminotransferase and protein content) and Δδ(13)Clipid-free material (aspartate aminotransferase and protein content). Explained variation by using the significant main effects was about 70% for Δδ(15)N and Δδ(13)Clipid-free material, respectively. The results of the present study indicate that enzyme activities are suitable indicators to improve estimates of trophic shift.

  7. The trophic vacuum and the evolution of complex life cycles in trophically transmitted helminths.

    PubMed

    Benesh, Daniel P; Chubb, James C; Parker, Geoff A

    2014-10-22

    Parasitic worms (helminths) frequently have complex life cycles in which they are transmitted trophically between two or more successive hosts. Sexual reproduction often takes place in high trophic-level (TL) vertebrates, where parasites can grow to large sizes with high fecundity. Direct infection of high TL hosts, while advantageous, may be unachievable for parasites constrained to transmit trophically, because helminth propagules are unlikely to be ingested by large predators. Lack of niche overlap between propagule and definitive host (the trophic transmission vacuum) may explain the origin and/or maintenance of intermediate hosts, which overcome this transmission barrier. We show that nematodes infecting high TL definitive hosts tend to have more successive hosts in their life cycles. This relationship was modest, though, driven mainly by the minimum TL of hosts, suggesting that the shortest trophic chains leading to a host define the boundaries of the transmission vacuum. We also show that alternative modes of transmission, like host penetration, allow nematodes to reach high TLs without intermediate hosts. We suggest that widespread omnivory as well as parasite adaptations to increase transmission probably reduce, but do not eliminate, the barriers to the transmission of helminths through the food web.

  8. Trophic cascades in a cranberry marsh: Can detritus-removal improve biological control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological pest control is predicated on the concept that plants are protected when carnivores suppress herbivore populations. However, many factors, including detritus-based food-chains, may re-shape the effectiveness of predators in a given agro ecosystem. The addition of detrital subsidies, such ...

  9. Fishing, trophic cascades, and the process of grazing on coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Mumby, Peter J; Dahlgren, Craig P; Harborne, Alastair R; Kappel, Carrie V; Micheli, Fiorenza; Brumbaugh, Daniel R; Holmes, Katherine E; Mendes, Judith M; Broad, Kenneth; Sanchirico, James N; Buch, Kevin; Box, Steve; Stoffle, Richard W; Gill, Andrew B

    2006-01-01

    Since the mass mortality of the urchin Diadema antillarum in 1983, parrotfishes have become the dominant grazer on Caribbean reefs. The grazing capacity of these fishes could be impaired if marine reserves achieve their long-term goal of restoring large consumers, several of which prey on parrotfishes. Here we compare the negative impacts of enhanced predation with the positive impacts of reduced fishing mortality on parrotfishes inside reserves. Because large-bodied parrotfishes escape the risk of predation from a large piscivore (the Nassau grouper), the predation effect reduced grazing by only 4 to 8%. This impact was overwhelmed by the increase in density of large parrotfishes, resulting in a net doubling of grazing. Increased grazing caused a fourfold reduction in the cover of macroalgae, which, because they are the principal competitors of corals, highlights the potential importance of reserves for coral reef resilience.

  10. TESTING THE GENERALITY OF A TROPHIC CASCADE MODEL FOR PLAGUE. (R829091)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  11. Severe Droughts Reduce Estuarine Primary Productivity with Cascading Effects on Higher Trophic Levels

    EPA Science Inventory

    Using a 10 year time-series dataset, we analyzed the effects of two severe droughts on water quality and ecosystem processes in a temperate, eutrophic estuary (Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina). During the droughts, dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentrations were on average 4...

  12. Trophic position of soil nematodes in boreal forests as indicated by stable isotope analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudrin, Alexey; Tsurikov, Sergey

    2016-04-01

    Despite the well-developed trophic classification of soil nematodes, their position in soil food webs is still little understood. Observed deviations from the typical feeding strategy indicate that a simplified trophic classification probably does not fully reflect actual trophic interactions. Furthermore, the extent and functional significance of nematodes as prey for other soil animals remains unknown. Stable isotope analysis (SIA) is powerful tool for investigating the structure of soil food webs, but its application to the study of soil nematodes has been limited to only a few studies. We used stable isotope analysis to gain a better understanding of trophic links of several groups of soil nematodes in two boreal forests on albeluvisol. We investigated four taxonomic groups of nematodes: Mononchida, Dorylaimida, Plectidae and Tylenchidae (mostly from the genus Filenchus), that according to the conventional trophic classification represent predators, omnivores, bacterivores and root-fungal feeders, respectively. To assess the trophic position of nematodes, we used a comparison against a set of reference species including herbivorous, saprophagous and predatory macro-invertebrates, oribatid and mesostigmatid mites, and collembolans. Our results suggest that trophic position of the investigated groups of soil nematodes generally corresponds to the conventional classification. All nematodes were enriched in 13C relative to Picea abies roots and litter, and mycorrhizal fungal mycelium. Root-fungal feeders Tylenchidae had δ15N values similar to those of earthworms, enchytraeids and Entomobrya collembolans, but slightly lower δ13C values. Bacterivorous Plectidae were either equal or enriched in 15N compared with saprophagous macroinvertebrates and most mesofauna species. Omnivorous Dorylaimida and predatory Mononchida were further enriched in 15N and their isotopic signature was similar to that of predatory arthropods. These data confirm a clear separation of

  13. Ecological community integration increases with added trophic complexity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wright, C.K.

    2008-01-01

    The existence of functional biological organization at the level of multi-species communities has long been contested in ecology and evolutionary biology. I found that adding a trophic level to simulated ecological communities enhanced their ability to compete at the community level, increasing the likelihood of one community forcing all or most species in a second community to extinction. Community-level identity emerged within systems of interacting ecological networks, while competitive ability at the community level was enhanced by intense within-community selection pressure. These results suggest a reassessment of the nature of biological organization above the level of species, indicating that the drive toward biological integration, so prominent throughout the history of life, might extend to multi-species communities. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Gain competition in dual wavelength quantum cascade lasers.

    PubMed

    Geiser, Markus; Pflügl, Christian; Belyanin, Alexey; Wang, Qi Jie; Yu, Nanfang; Edamura, Tadanaka; Yamanishi, Masamichi; Kan, Hirofumi; Fischer, Milan; Wittmann, Andreas; Faist, Jérôme; Capasso, Federico

    2010-05-10

    We investigated dual wavelength mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers based on heterogeneous cascades. We found that due to gain competition laser action tends to start in higher order lateral modes. The mid-infrared mode with the lower threshold current reduces population inversion for the second laser with the higher threshold current due to stimulated emission. We developed a rate equation model to quantitatively describe mode interactions due to mutual gain depletion.

  15. Stochastic Flow Cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eliazar, Iddo I.; Shlesinger, Michael F.

    2012-01-01

    We introduce and explore a Stochastic Flow Cascade (SFC) model: A general statistical model for the unidirectional flow through a tandem array of heterogeneous filters. Examples include the flow of: (i) liquid through heterogeneous porous layers; (ii) shocks through tandem shot noise systems; (iii) signals through tandem communication filters. The SFC model combines together the Langevin equation, convolution filters and moving averages, and Poissonian randomizations. A comprehensive analysis of the SFC model is carried out, yielding closed-form results. Lévy laws are shown to universally emerge from the SFC model, and characterize both heavy tailed retention times (Noah effect) and long-ranged correlations (Joseph effect).

  16. COMPACT CASCADE IMPACTS

    DOEpatents

    Lippmann, M.

    1964-04-01

    A cascade particle impactor capable of collecting particles and distributing them according to size is described. In addition the device is capable of collecting on a pair of slides a series of different samples so that less time is required for the changing of slides. Other features of the device are its compactness and its ruggedness making it useful under field conditions. Essentially the unit consists of a main body with a series of transverse jets discharging on a pair of parallel, spaced glass plates. The plates are capable of being moved incremental in steps to obtain the multiple samples. (AEC)

  17. Zambian Macrophyte Trophic Ranking scheme (ZMTR): assessing the trophic status of tropical southern African rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Michael; Lang, Pauline; Tapia Grimaldo, Julissa; Varandas Martins, Sara; Bruce, Alannah; Lowe, Steven; Sichingabula, Henry; Briggs, John; Murphy, Kevin

    2015-04-01

    A new river bioassessment scheme to indicate the trophic status of tropical southern African river systems was developed using newly collected data from macrophyte and water chemistry surveys, conducted during 2006 - 2012. 271 samples were collected from 228 sites in Zambian rivers and associated floodplain waterbodies, mainly located in the five freshwater ecoregions of the world which are primarily represented in Zambia. A typology based on these ecoregions, and three categories of stream order (standing waters; small streams; larger streams and rivers) was set up to structure the data and determine reference conditions for PO4-P. The biomonitoring protocols for the Zambian Macrophyte Trophic Ranking system (ZMTR) were based on schemes used in non-tropical parts of the world, particularly the UK and South Africa, but recalibrated and adapted to reflect tropical conditions and include tropical macrophyte species. Zambian Trophic Ranking Scores (ZTRS-sp) were calculated for each of 225 macrophyte species recorded in the survey, using a quantitative procedure based on relative occurrence of each species in six end sample-groups, of differing mean orthophosphate status, produced by TWINSPAN classification of the dataset. ZMTR-sample values were then calculated based on the occurrence of macrophyte species in each sample. The outcome suggests that the scheme predicts the (mainly mid-range) trophic status of Zambian river systems quite well but tends to underestimate high enrichment, and overestimate the trophic status of some low nutrient rivers. Case studies are presented of application of the methodology, and the potential of the method for hindcasting river trophic status in the wider geographic region is outlined.

  18. The virus's tooth: cyanophages affect an African flamingo population in a bottom-up cascade.

    PubMed

    Peduzzi, Peter; Gruber, Martin; Gruber, Michael; Schagerl, Michael

    2014-06-01

    Trophic cascade effects occur when a food web is disrupted by loss or significant reduction of one or more of its members. In East African Rift Valley lakes, the Lesser Flamingo is on top of a short food chain. At irregular intervals, the dominance of their most important food source, the cyanobacterium Arthrospira fusiformis, is interrupted. Bacteriophages are known as potentially controlling photoautotrophic bacterioplankton. In Lake Nakuru (Kenya), we found the highest abundance of suspended viruses ever recorded in a natural aquatic system. We document that cyanophage infection and the related breakdown of A. fusiformis biomass led to a dramatic reduction in flamingo abundance. This documents that virus infection at the very base of a food chain can affect, in a bottom-up cascade, the distribution of end consumers. We anticipate this as an important example for virus-mediated cascading effects, potentially occurring also in various other aquatic food webs.

  19. The virus's tooth: cyanophages affect an African flamingo population in a bottom-up cascade

    PubMed Central

    Peduzzi, Peter; Gruber, Martin; Gruber, Michael; Schagerl, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Trophic cascade effects occur when a food web is disrupted by loss or significant reduction of one or more of its members. In East African Rift Valley lakes, the Lesser Flamingo is on top of a short food chain. At irregular intervals, the dominance of their most important food source, the cyanobacterium Arthrospira fusiformis, is interrupted. Bacteriophages are known as potentially controlling photoautotrophic bacterioplankton. In Lake Nakuru (Kenya), we found the highest abundance of suspended viruses ever recorded in a natural aquatic system. We document that cyanophage infection and the related breakdown of A. fusiformis biomass led to a dramatic reduction in flamingo abundance. This documents that virus infection at the very base of a food chain can affect, in a bottom-up cascade, the distribution of end consumers. We anticipate this as an important example for virus-mediated cascading effects, potentially occurring also in various other aquatic food webs. PMID:24430484

  20. Towards a mechanistic understanding of temperature and enrichment effects on species interaction strength, omnivory and food-web structure.

    PubMed

    Sentis, Arnaud; Hemptinne, Jean-Louis; Brodeur, Jacques

    2014-07-01

    Revealing the links between species functional traits, interaction strength and food-web structure is of paramount importance for understanding and predicting the relationships between food-web diversity and stability in a rapidly changing world. However, little is known about the interactive effects of environmental perturbations on individual species, trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. Here, we combined modelling and laboratory experiments to investigate the effects of warming and enrichment on a terrestrial tritrophic system. We found that the food-web structure is highly variable and switches between exploitative competition and omnivory depending on the effects of temperature and enrichment on foraging behaviour and species interaction strength. Our model contributes to identifying the mechanisms that explain how environmental effects cascade through the food web and influence its topology. We conclude that considering environmental factors and flexible food-web structure is crucial to improve our ability to predict the impacts of global changes on ecosystem diversity and stability.

  1. Quantum dot cascade laser

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrated an unambiguous quantum dot cascade laser based on InGaAs/GaAs/InAs/InAlAs heterostructure by making use of self-assembled quantum dots in the Stranski-Krastanow growth mode and two-step strain compensation active region design. The prototype generates stimulated emission at λ ~ 6.15 μm and a broad electroluminescence band with full width at half maximum over 3 μm. The characteristic temperature for the threshold current density within the temperature range of 82 to 162 K is up to 400 K. Moreover, our materials show the strong perpendicular mid-infrared response at about 1,900 cm-1. These results are very promising for extending the present laser concept to terahertz quantum cascade laser, which would lead to room temperature operation. PACS 42.55.Px; 78.55.Cr; 78.67.Hc PMID:24666965

  2. Energy Cascades in MHD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexakis, A.

    2009-04-01

    Most astrophysical and planetary systems e.g., solar convection and stellar winds, are in a turbulent state and coupled to magnetic fields. Understanding and quantifying the statistical properties of magneto-hydro-dynamic (MHD) turbulence is crucial to explain the involved physical processes. Although the phenomenological theory of hydro-dynamic (HD) turbulence has been verified up to small corrections, a similar statement cannot be made for MHD turbulence. Since the phenomenological description of Hydrodynamic turbulence by Kolmogorov in 1941 there have been many attempts to derive a similar description for turbulence in conducting fluids (i.e Magneto-Hydrodynamic turbulence). However such a description is going to be based inevitably on strong assumptions (typically borrowed from hydrodynamics) that do not however necessarily apply to the MHD case. In this talk I will discuss some of the properties and differences of the energy and helicity cascades in turbulent MHD and HD flows. The investigation is going to be based on the analysis of direct numerical simulations. The cascades in MHD turbulence appear to be a more non-local process (in scale space) than in Hydrodynamics. Some implications of these results to turbulent modeling will be discussed

  3. Trophic structure in a seabird host-parasite food web: insights from stable isotope analyses.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Díaz, Elena; González-Solís, Jacob

    2010-01-01

    Ecological studies on food webs rarely include parasites, partly due to the complexity and dimensionality of host-parasite interaction networks. Multiple co-occurring parasites can show different feeding strategies and thus lead to complex and cryptic trophic relationships, which are often difficult to disentangle by traditional methods. We analyzed stable isotope ratios of C ((13)C/(12)C, delta(13)C) and N ((15)N/(14)N, delta(15)N) of host and ectoparasite tissues to investigate trophic structure in 4 co-occurring ectoparasites: three lice and one flea species, on two closely related and spatially segregated seabird hosts (Calonectris shearwaters). delta(13)C isotopic signatures confirmed feathers as the main food resource for the three lice species and blood for the flea species. All ectoparasite species showed a significant enrichment in delta(15)N relatively to the host tissue consumed (discrimination factors ranged from 2 to 5 per thousand depending on the species). Isotopic differences were consistent across multiple host-ectoparasite locations, despite of some geographic variability in baseline isotopic levels. Our findings illustrate the influence of both ectoparasite and host trophic ecology in the isotopic structuring of the Calonectris ectoparasite community. This study highlights the potential of stable isotope analyses in disentangling the nature and complexity of trophic relationships in symbiotic systems.

  4. Trophic transfer of silver nanoparticles from earthworms disrupts the locomotion of springtails (Collembola).

    PubMed

    Kwak, Jin Il; An, Youn-Joo

    2016-09-01

    Understanding how nanomaterials are transferred through food chains and evaluating their resulting toxicity is important. However, limited research has been conducted on the toxic consequences of trophically transferred nanomaterials in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we documented the adverse effects of trophically transferred silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in a soil-earthworm (Eisenia andrei)-Collembola (Lobella sokamensis) food chain. We exposed E. andrei to soil with AgNPs at concentrations of 50, 200, and 500μg AgNPs/g soil dry weight and assessed their survival after 7days. Trophic-transfer containers were then prepared and E. andrei that survived the 7days test period were washed, killed in boiling water, and added to the containers with L. sokamensis. We noted negligible effects and low bioaccumulation at the lowest AgNP concentration (50μg AgNPs/g soil dry weight) in earthworms and the L. sokamensis that fed on them. The highest concentration of AgNPs (500μg AgNPs/g soil dry weight) resulted in juvenile earthworm mortality and increased transfer of AgNPs to Collembola, which subsequently inhibited their locomotion. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document the trophic transfer and adverse effects of AgNPs in a soil-earthworm-Collembola food chain, a common prey-decomposer interaction in soil ecosystems. PMID:27187058

  5. Trophic Structure in a Seabird Host-Parasite Food Web: Insights from Stable Isotope Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Díaz, Elena; González-Solís, Jacob

    2010-01-01

    Ecological studies on food webs rarely include parasites, partly due to the complexity and dimensionality of host-parasite interaction networks. Multiple co-occurring parasites can show different feeding strategies and thus lead to complex and cryptic trophic relationships, which are often difficult to disentangle by traditional methods. We analyzed stable isotope ratios of C (13C/12C, δ13C) and N (15N/14N, δ15N) of host and ectoparasite tissues to investigate trophic structure in 4 co-occurring ectoparasites: three lice and one flea species, on two closely related and spatially segregated seabird hosts (Calonectris shearwaters). δ13C isotopic signatures confirmed feathers as the main food resource for the three lice species and blood for the flea species. All ectoparasite species showed a significant enrichment in δ15N relatively to the host tissue consumed (discrimination factors ranged from 2 to 5‰ depending on the species). Isotopic differences were consistent across multiple host-ectoparasite locations, despite of some geographic variability in baseline isotopic levels. Our findings illustrate the influence of both ectoparasite and host trophic ecology in the isotopic structuring of the Calonectris ectoparasite community. This study highlights the potential of stable isotope analyses in disentangling the nature and complexity of trophic relationships in symbiotic systems. PMID:20454612

  6. Trophic state determination for shallow coastal lakes from Landsat imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welby, C. W.; Witherspoon, A. M.; Holman, R. E., III

    1981-01-01

    A study has been carried out to develop a photo-optical technique by which Landsat imagery can be used to monitor trophic states of lakes. The proposed technique uses a single number to characterize the trophic state, and a feature within the satellite scene is used as an internal standard for comparison of the lakes in time. By use of the technique it is possible to assess in retrospect the trophic state of each individual lake.

  7. Emergence of structural patterns in neutral trophic networks.

    PubMed

    Canard, Elsa; Mouquet, Nicolas; Marescot, Lucile; Gaston, Kevin J; Gravel, Dominique; Mouillot, David

    2012-01-01

    Interaction networks are central elements of ecological systems and have very complex structures. Historically, much effort has focused on niche-mediated processes to explain these structures, while an emerging consensus posits that both niche and neutral mechanisms simultaneously shape many features of ecological communities. However, the study of interaction networks still lacks a comprehensive neutral theory. Here we present a neutral model of predator-prey interactions and analyze the structural characteristics of the simulated networks. We find that connectance values (complexity) and complexity-diversity relationships of neutral networks are close to those observed in empirical bipartite networks. High nestedness and low modularity values observed in neutral networks fall in the range of those from empirical antagonist bipartite networks. Our results suggest that, as an alternative to niche-mediated processes that induce incompatibility between species ("niche forbidden links"), neutral processes create "neutral forbidden links" due to uneven species abundance distributions and the low probability of interaction between rare species. Neutral trophic networks must be seen as the missing endpoint of a continuum from niche to purely stochastic approaches of community organization. PMID:22899987

  8. Trophic radiation through polymorphism in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sage, Richard D.; Selander, Robert K.

    1975-01-01

    Several morphologically defined species of cichlid fishes (Cichlasoma) endemic to the Cuatro Cienegas basin of Mexico and differing in tooth structure, body shape, and diet are allelically identical at 27 gene loci. The presence of only one Mendelian population in each of three drainage systems studied and the occurrence of two of the morphotypes in the same broods indicate that the supposed species are morphs. That trophic radiation in the Cuatro Cienegas cichlids has been achieved through ecological polymorphism rather than speciation raises questions regarding the genetic basis for the extensive intralacustrine radiation of cichlids in Africa and elsewhere. Images PMID:16592286

  9. Trophic level responses differ as climate warms in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donnelly, Alison; Yu, Rong; Liu, Lingling

    2015-08-01

    Effective ecosystem functioning relies on successful species interaction. However, this delicate balance may be disrupted if species do not respond to environmental change at a similar rate. Here we examine trends in the timing of spring phenophases of groups of species occupying three trophic levels as a potential indicator of ecosystem response to climate warming in Ireland. The data sets were of varying length (1976-2009) and from varying locations: (1) timing of leaf unfolding and May Shoot of a range of broadleaf and conifer tree species, (2) first appearance dates of a range of moth species, and (3) first arrival dates of a range of spring migrant birds. All three groups revealed a statistically significant ( P<0.01 and P<0.001) advance in spring phenology that was driven by rising spring temperature ( P<0.05; 0.45 °C /decade). However, the rate of advance was greater for moths (1.8 days/year), followed by birds (0.37 days/year) and trees (0.29 days/year). In addition, the length of time between (1) moth emergence and leaf unfolding and (2) moth emergence and bird arrival decreased significantly ( P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively), indicating a decrease in the timing between food supply and demand. These differing trophic level response rates demonstrate the potential for a mismatch in the timing of interdependent phenophases as temperatures rise. Even though these data were not specifically collected to examine climate warming impacts, we conclude that such data may be used as an early warning indicator and as a means to monitor the potential for future ecosystem disruption to occur as climate warms.

  10. Cascade Distillation System Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callahan, Michael R.; Sargushingh, Miriam; Shull, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Life Support System (LSS) Project is chartered with de-veloping advanced life support systems that will ena-ble NASA human exploration beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). The goal of AES is to increase the affordabil-ity of long-duration life support missions, and to re-duce the risk associated with integrating and infusing new enabling technologies required to ensure mission success. Because of the robust nature of distillation systems, the AES LSS Project is pursuing develop-ment of the Cascade Distillation Subsystem (CDS) as part of its technology portfolio. Currently, the system is being developed into a flight forward Generation 2.0 design.

  11. Cascaded radiation pressure acceleration

    SciTech Connect

    Pei, Zhikun; Shen, Baifei E-mail: zhxm@siom.ac.cn; Zhang, Xiaomei E-mail: zhxm@siom.ac.cn; Wang, Wenpeng; Zhang, Lingang; Yi, Longqing; Shi, Yin; Xu, Zhizhan

    2015-07-15

    A cascaded radiation-pressure acceleration scheme is proposed. When an energetic proton beam is injected into an electrostatic field moving at light speed in a foil accelerated by light pressure, protons can be re-accelerated to much higher energy. An initial 3-GeV proton beam can be re-accelerated to 7 GeV while its energy spread is narrowed significantly, indicating a 4-GeV energy gain for one acceleration stage, as shown in one-dimensional simulations and analytical results. The validity of the method is further confirmed by two-dimensional simulations. This scheme provides a way to scale proton energy at the GeV level linearly with laser energy and is promising to obtain proton bunches at tens of gigaelectron-volts.

  12. Interband cascade lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vurgaftman, I.; Weih, R.; Kamp, M.; Meyer, J. R.; Canedy, C. L.; Kim, C. S.; Kim, M.; Bewley, W. W.; Merritt, C. D.; Abell, J.; Höfling, S.

    2015-04-01

    We review the current status of interband cascade lasers (ICLs) emitting in the midwave infrared (IR). The ICL may be considered the hybrid of a conventional diode laser that generates photons via electron-hole recombination, and an intersubband-based quantum cascade laser (QCL) that stacks multiple stages for enhanced current efficiency. Following a brief historical overview, we discuss theoretical aspects of the active region and core designs, growth by molecular beam epitaxy, and the processing of broad-area, narrow-ridge, and distributed feedback (DFB) devices. We then review the experimental performance of pulsed broad area ICLs, as well as the continuous-wave (cw) characteristics of narrow ridges having good beam quality and DFBs producing output in a single spectral mode. Because the threshold drive powers are far lower than those of QCLs throughout the λ = 3-6 µm spectral band, ICLs are increasingly viewed as the laser of choice for mid-IR laser spectroscopy applications that do not require high output power but need to be hand-portable and/or battery operated. Demonstrated ICL performance characteristics to date include threshold current densities as low as 106 A cm-2 at room temperature (RT), cw threshold drive powers as low as 29 mW at RT, maximum cw operating temperatures as high as 118 °C, maximum cw output powers exceeding 400 mW at RT, maximum cw wallplug efficiencies as high as 18% at RT, maximum cw single-mode output powers as high as 55 mW at RT, and single-mode output at λ = 5.2 µm with a cw drive power of only 138 mW at RT.

  13. Tri-trophic insecticidal effects of African plants against cabbage pests.

    PubMed

    Amoabeng, Blankson W; Gurr, Geoff M; Gitau, Catherine W; Nicol, Helen I; Munyakazi, Louis; Stevenson, Phil C

    2013-01-01

    Botanical insecticides are increasingly attracting research attention as they offer novel modes of action that may provide effective control of pests that have already developed resistance to conventional insecticides. They potentially offer cost-effective pest control to smallholder farmers in developing countries if highly active extracts can be prepared simply from readily available plants. Field cage and open field experiments were conducted to evaluate the insecticidal potential of nine common Ghanaian plants: goat weed, Ageratum conyzoides (Asteraceae), Siam weed, Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae), Cinderella weed, Synedrella nodiflora (Asteraceae), chili pepper, Capsicum frutescens (Solanaceae), tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum (Solanaceae) cassia, Cassia sophera (Leguminosae), physic nut, Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae), castor oil plant, Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) and basil, Ocimum gratissimum (Lamiaceae). In field cage experiments, simple detergent and water extracts of all botanical treatments gave control of cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae and diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, equivalent to the synthetic insecticide Attack® (emamectin benzoate) and superior to water or detergent solution. In open field experiments in the major and minor rainy seasons using a sub-set of plant extracts (A. conyzoides, C. odorata, S. nodiflora, N. tabacum and R. communis), all controlled B. brassicae and P. xylostella more effectively than water control and comparably with or better than Attack®. Botanical and water control treatments were more benign to third trophic level predators than Attack®. Effects cascaded to the first trophic level with all botanical treatments giving cabbage head weights, comparable to Attack® in the minor season. In the major season, R. communis and A conyzoides treatment gave lower head yields than Attack® but the remaining botanicals were equivalent or superior to this synthetic insecticide. Simply-prepared extracts from readily

  14. Reassessing the trophic role of reef sharks as apex predators on coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Ashley J.; Ireland, Matthew; Rizzari, Justin R.; Lönnstedt, Oona M.; Magnenat, Katalin A.; Mirbach, Christopher E.; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A.

    2016-06-01

    Apex predators often have strong top-down effects on ecosystem components and are therefore a priority for conservation and management. Due to their large size and conspicuous predatory behaviour, reef sharks are typically assumed to be apex predators, but their functional role is yet to be confirmed. In this study, we used stomach contents and stable isotopes to estimate diet, trophic position and carbon sources for three common species of reef shark ( Triaenodon obesus, Carcharhinus melanopterus and C. amblyrhynchos) from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and evaluated their assumed functional role as apex predators by qualitative and quantitative comparisons with other sharks and large predatory fishes. We found that reef sharks do not occupy the apex of coral reef food chains, but instead have functional roles similar to those of large predatory fishes such as snappers, emperors and groupers, which are typically regarded as high-level mesopredators. We hypothesise that a degree of functional redundancy exists within this guild of predators, potentially explaining why shark-induced trophic cascades are rare or subtle in coral reef ecosystems. We also found that reef sharks participate in multiple food webs (pelagic and benthic) and are sustained by multiple sources of primary production. We conclude that large conspicuous predators, be they elasmobranchs or any other taxon, should not axiomatically be regarded as apex predators without thorough analysis of their diet. In the case of reef sharks, our dietary analyses suggest they should be reassigned to an alternative trophic group such as high-level mesopredators. This change will facilitate improved understanding of how reef communities function and how removal of predators (e.g., via fishing) might affect ecosystem properties.

  15. Tri-trophic insecticidal effects of African plants against cabbage pests.

    PubMed

    Amoabeng, Blankson W; Gurr, Geoff M; Gitau, Catherine W; Nicol, Helen I; Munyakazi, Louis; Stevenson, Phil C

    2013-01-01

    Botanical insecticides are increasingly attracting research attention as they offer novel modes of action that may provide effective control of pests that have already developed resistance to conventional insecticides. They potentially offer cost-effective pest control to smallholder farmers in developing countries if highly active extracts can be prepared simply from readily available plants. Field cage and open field experiments were conducted to evaluate the insecticidal potential of nine common Ghanaian plants: goat weed, Ageratum conyzoides (Asteraceae), Siam weed, Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae), Cinderella weed, Synedrella nodiflora (Asteraceae), chili pepper, Capsicum frutescens (Solanaceae), tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum (Solanaceae) cassia, Cassia sophera (Leguminosae), physic nut, Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae), castor oil plant, Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) and basil, Ocimum gratissimum (Lamiaceae). In field cage experiments, simple detergent and water extracts of all botanical treatments gave control of cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae and diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, equivalent to the synthetic insecticide Attack® (emamectin benzoate) and superior to water or detergent solution. In open field experiments in the major and minor rainy seasons using a sub-set of plant extracts (A. conyzoides, C. odorata, S. nodiflora, N. tabacum and R. communis), all controlled B. brassicae and P. xylostella more effectively than water control and comparably with or better than Attack®. Botanical and water control treatments were more benign to third trophic level predators than Attack®. Effects cascaded to the first trophic level with all botanical treatments giving cabbage head weights, comparable to Attack® in the minor season. In the major season, R. communis and A conyzoides treatment gave lower head yields than Attack® but the remaining botanicals were equivalent or superior to this synthetic insecticide. Simply-prepared extracts from readily

  16. Tri-Trophic Insecticidal Effects of African Plants against Cabbage Pests

    PubMed Central

    Amoabeng, Blankson W.; Gurr, Geoff M.; Gitau, Catherine W.; Nicol, Helen I.; Stevenson, Phil C.

    2013-01-01

    Botanical insecticides are increasingly attracting research attention as they offer novel modes of action that may provide effective control of pests that have already developed resistance to conventional insecticides. They potentially offer cost-effective pest control to smallholder farmers in developing countries if highly active extracts can be prepared simply from readily available plants. Field cage and open field experiments were conducted to evaluate the insecticidal potential of nine common Ghanaian plants: goat weed, Ageratum conyzoides (Asteraceae), Siam weed, Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae), Cinderella weed, Synedrella nodiflora (Asteraceae), chili pepper, Capsicum frutescens (Solanaceae), tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum (Solanaceae) cassia, Cassia sophera (Leguminosae), physic nut, Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae), castor oil plant, Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) and basil, Ocimum gratissimum (Lamiaceae). In field cage experiments, simple detergent and water extracts of all botanical treatments gave control of cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae and diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, equivalent to the synthetic insecticide Attack® (emamectin benzoate) and superior to water or detergent solution. In open field experiments in the major and minor rainy seasons using a sub-set of plant extracts (A. conyzoides, C. odorata, S. nodiflora, N. tabacum and R. communis), all controlled B. brassicae and P. xylostella more effectively than water control and comparably with or better than Attack®. Botanical and water control treatments were more benign to third trophic level predators than Attack®. Effects cascaded to the first trophic level with all botanical treatments giving cabbage head weights, comparable to Attack® in the minor season. In the major season, R. communis and A conyzoides treatment gave lower head yields than Attack® but the remaining botanicals were equivalent or superior to this synthetic insecticide. Simply-prepared extracts from readily

  17. Trophic State Evolution and Nutrient Trapping Capacity in a Transboundary Subtropical Reservoir: A 25-Year Study.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Davi Gasparini Fernandes; Benassi, Simone Frederigi; de Falco, Patrícia Bortoletto; Calijuri, Maria do Carmo

    2016-03-01

    Artificial reservoirs have been used for drinking water supply, other human activities, flood control and pollution abatement worldwide, providing overall benefits to downstream water quality. Most reservoirs in Brazil were built during the 1970s, but their long-term patterns of trophic status, water chemistry, and nutrient removal are still not very well characterized. We aimed to evaluate water quality time series (1985-2010) data from the riverine and lacustrine zones of the transboundary Itaipu Reservoir (Brazil/Paraguay). We examined total phosphorus and nitrogen, chlorophyll a concentrations, water transparency, and phytoplankton density to look for spatial and temporal trends and correlations with trophic state evolution and nutrient retention. There was significant temporal and spatial water quality variation (P < 0.01, ANCOVA). The results indicated that the water quality and structure of the reservoir were mainly affected by one internal force (hydrodynamics) and one external force (upstream cascading reservoirs). Nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations tended to be lower in the lacustrine zone and decreased over the 25-year timeframe. Reservoir operational features seemed to be limiting primary production and phytoplankton development, which exhibited a maximum density of 6050  org/mL. The relatively small nutrient concentrations in the riverine zone were probably related to the effect of the cascade reservoirs upstream of Itaipu and led to relatively low removal percentages. Our study suggested that water quality problems may be more pronounced immediately after the filling phase of the artificial reservoirs, associated with the initial decomposition of drowned vegetation at the very beginning of reservoir operation.

  18. Trophic State Evolution and Nutrient Trapping Capacity in a Transboundary Subtropical Reservoir: A 25-Year Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunha, Davi Gasparini Fernandes; Benassi, Simone Frederigi; de Falco, Patrícia Bortoletto; do Carmo Calijuri, Maria

    2016-03-01

    Artificial reservoirs have been used for drinking water supply, other human activities, flood control and pollution abatement worldwide, providing overall benefits to downstream water quality. Most reservoirs in Brazil were built during the 1970s, but their long-term patterns of trophic status, water chemistry, and nutrient removal are still not very well characterized. We aimed to evaluate water quality time series (1985-2010) data from the riverine and lacustrine zones of the transboundary Itaipu Reservoir (Brazil/Paraguay). We examined total phosphorus and nitrogen, chlorophyll a concentrations, water transparency, and phytoplankton density to look for spatial and temporal trends and correlations with trophic state evolution and nutrient retention. There was significant temporal and spatial water quality variation ( P < 0.01, ANCOVA). The results indicated that the water quality and structure of the reservoir were mainly affected by one internal force (hydrodynamics) and one external force (upstream cascading reservoirs). Nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations tended to be lower in the lacustrine zone and decreased over the 25-year timeframe. Reservoir operational features seemed to be limiting primary production and phytoplankton development, which exhibited a maximum density of 6050 org/mL. The relatively small nutrient concentrations in the riverine zone were probably related to the effect of the cascade reservoirs upstream of Itaipu and led to relatively low removal percentages. Our study suggested that water quality problems may be more pronounced immediately after the filling phase of the artificial reservoirs, associated with the initial decomposition of drowned vegetation at the very beginning of reservoir operation.

  19. Trophic State Evolution and Nutrient Trapping Capacity in a Transboundary Subtropical Reservoir: A 25-Year Study.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Davi Gasparini Fernandes; Benassi, Simone Frederigi; de Falco, Patrícia Bortoletto; Calijuri, Maria do Carmo

    2016-03-01

    Artificial reservoirs have been used for drinking water supply, other human activities, flood control and pollution abatement worldwide, providing overall benefits to downstream water quality. Most reservoirs in Brazil were built during the 1970s, but their long-term patterns of trophic status, water chemistry, and nutrient removal are still not very well characterized. We aimed to evaluate water quality time series (1985-2010) data from the riverine and lacustrine zones of the transboundary Itaipu Reservoir (Brazil/Paraguay). We examined total phosphorus and nitrogen, chlorophyll a concentrations, water transparency, and phytoplankton density to look for spatial and temporal trends and correlations with trophic state evolution and nutrient retention. There was significant temporal and spatial water quality variation (P < 0.01, ANCOVA). The results indicated that the water quality and structure of the reservoir were mainly affected by one internal force (hydrodynamics) and one external force (upstream cascading reservoirs). Nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations tended to be lower in the lacustrine zone and decreased over the 25-year timeframe. Reservoir operational features seemed to be limiting primary production and phytoplankton development, which exhibited a maximum density of 6050  org/mL. The relatively small nutrient concentrations in the riverine zone were probably related to the effect of the cascade reservoirs upstream of Itaipu and led to relatively low removal percentages. Our study suggested that water quality problems may be more pronounced immediately after the filling phase of the artificial reservoirs, associated with the initial decomposition of drowned vegetation at the very beginning of reservoir operation. PMID:26604008

  20. Drivers of trophic amplification of ocean productivity trends in a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stock, C. A.; Dunne, J. P.; John, J. G.

    2014-12-01

    physical and biological interactions governing ZGE, MESOTL and ZPC is needed to further refine estimates of climate-driven productivity changes across trophic levels.

  1. Trophic dynamics influence climate at high latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oksanen, L.; Tuomi, M.; Hoset, K.; Oksanen, T.; Olofsson, J.; Dahlgren, J.; Nordic Center of Excellence-Tundra

    2011-12-01

    Abundance relationships between tall woody plants and low herbaceous plants influence ground albedo. Increasing abundance of erect woody plants on the tundra increase the amount of solar energy converted to heat, thus speeding up global warming. By transplanting vegetation blocks from an island with predatory mammals and gray-sided voles (Myodes rufocanus) to similar habitats on islands with gray-sided voles but no resident predators and to islands with neither voles nor predators, we show that changing trophic dynamics radically change the abundance relationships between woody and herbaceous plants. Impacts of food limited gray-sided voles result to devastation of all erect woody plants, regardless of their palatability, thus differing both quantitatively and qualitatively from the selective impacts of the same species in the presence of predators. The shift from vegetation dominated by erect woody plants to vegetation dominated by herbs or trailing dwarf shrubs also increases ground albedo. The relationship between climate and trophic dynamics is thus no one way street. Rather than responding passively to changes in climate, food webs can also influence climate via their impacts on ground albedo.

  2. Chytrid parasitism facilitates trophic transfer between bloom-forming cyanobacteria and zooplankton (Daphnia)

    PubMed Central

    Agha, Ramsy; Saebelfeld, Manja; Manthey, Christin; Rohrlack, Thomas; Wolinska, Justyna

    2016-01-01

    Parasites are rarely included in food web studies, although they can strongly alter trophic interactions. In aquatic ecosystems, poorly grazed cyanobacteria often dominate phytoplankton communities, leading to the decoupling of primary and secondary production. Here, we addressed the interface between predator-prey and host-parasite interactions by conducting a life-table experiment, in which four Daphnia galeata genotypes were maintained on quantitatively comparable diets consisting of healthy cyanobacteria or cyanobacteria infected by a fungal (chytrid) parasite. In four out of five fitness parameters, at least one Daphnia genotype performed better on parasitised cyanobacteria than in the absence of infection. Further treatments consisting of purified chytrid zoospores and heterotrophic bacteria suspensions established the causes of improved fitness. First, Daphnia feed on chytrid zoospores which trophically upgrade cyanobacterial carbon. Second, an increase in heterotrophic bacterial biomass, promoted by cyanobacterial decay, provides an additional food source for Daphnia. In addition, chytrid infection induces fragmentation of cyanobacterial filaments, which could render cyanobacteria more edible. Our results demonstrate that chytrid parasitism can sustain zooplankton under cyanobacterial bloom conditions, and exemplify the potential of parasites to alter interactions between trophic levels. PMID:27733762

  3. Chytrid parasitism facilitates trophic transfer between bloom-forming cyanobacteria and zooplankton (Daphnia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agha, Ramsy; Saebelfeld, Manja; Manthey, Christin; Rohrlack, Thomas; Wolinska, Justyna

    2016-10-01

    Parasites are rarely included in food web studies, although they can strongly alter trophic interactions. In aquatic ecosystems, poorly grazed cyanobacteria often dominate phytoplankton communities, leading to the decoupling of primary and secondary production. Here, we addressed the interface between predator-prey and host-parasite interactions by conducting a life-table experiment, in which four Daphnia galeata genotypes were maintained on quantitatively comparable diets consisting of healthy cyanobacteria or cyanobacteria infected by a fungal (chytrid) parasite. In four out of five fitness parameters, at least one Daphnia genotype performed better on parasitised cyanobacteria than in the absence of infection. Further treatments consisting of purified chytrid zoospores and heterotrophic bacteria suspensions established the causes of improved fitness. First, Daphnia feed on chytrid zoospores which trophically upgrade cyanobacterial carbon. Second, an increase in heterotrophic bacterial biomass, promoted by cyanobacterial decay, provides an additional food source for Daphnia. In addition, chytrid infection induces fragmentation of cyanobacterial filaments, which could render cyanobacteria more edible. Our results demonstrate that chytrid parasitism can sustain zooplankton under cyanobacterial bloom conditions, and exemplify the potential of parasites to alter interactions between trophic levels.