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Context-dependent community facilitation in seagrass meadows along a hydrodynamic stress gradient
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Number of Authors: 92019 (English)In: Journal of Sea Research, ISSN 1385-1101, E-ISSN 1873-1414, Vol. 150, p. 8-23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Foundation species host diverse associated communities by ameliorating environmental stress. The strength of this facilitative effect can be highly dependent on the underlying biotic and abiotic context. We investigated community level patterns of macrofauna associated with and adjacent to the marine foundation species eelgrass (Zostera marina) along a hydrodynamic stress gradient. We could demonstrate that the relative importance of this foundation species for its infaunal community increases with environmental variables associated with increasing hydrodynamic stress (depth, sand ripples formation, sediment grain size and organic content). Faunal assemblages in proximity to the Zostera patch edges, however, showed no (infauna) or negative (epifauna) response to hydrodynamic stress. Our study highlights that the facilitative outcome of a foundation species is conditional to the faunal assemblage in question and can be highly variable even between positions within the habitat.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 150, p. 8-23
Keywords [en]
Ecosystem engineer, Zostera marina, Conditional facilitation, Seagrass, Habitat modification, Foundation species
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171990DOI: 10.1016/j.seares.2019.05.001ISI: 000474493800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-171990DiVA, id: diva2:1347208
Available from: 2019-08-30 Created: 2019-08-30 Last updated: 2019-08-30Bibliographically approved

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Norkko, JoannaNorkko, Alf
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Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
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