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Effects of water exchange and vegetation on the macroinvertebrate fauna composition of shallow land-uplift bays in the Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
2008 (English)In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714, E-ISSN 1096-0015, Vol. 77, no 3, 535-547 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Shallow bays with soft sediment bottoms are common habitats along the Swedish and Finnish Baltic Sea coastline. These bays undergo a process of geomorphometric evolution with the natural isostatic land-uplift process, whereby open bays and sounds decrease in depth and are gradually isolated from the sea, forming bays with narrow openings. This study tested the relationship between the morphometric isolation of the bays from the sea and the macroinvertebrate fauna community of these bays. Additionally, we tested the specific role of the submerged vegetation as an indicator of the macroinvertebrate fauna community. We chose two environmental factors for the analyses, water exchange of the bays and the taxon richness of the macroflora in the bays. We found a hierarchical relationship between water exchange, flora taxon richness, and fauna biomass and taxon richness using structural equation modelling: decreased biomass and taxon richness of fauna were related to decreased flora taxon richness, which in turn was related to decreased water exchange. Using multivariate redundancy analysis, the two environmental factors included in the model were found to explain 47.7% of the variation in the fauna taxon composition and 57.5% of the variation in the functional feeding groups of the fauna. Along the morphometric isolation gradient of the bays, the fauna assemblages changed from a community dominated by gastropods, bivalves, and crustaceans, to a community mainly consisting of a few insect taxa. Moreover, the proportion of predators, gathering collectors, and shredders increased while that of filtering collectors and scrapers decreased. Our results indicate that the density and taxon richness of macroinvertebrate fauna are higher in less morphometrically isolated bays than in more isolated bays in the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, we suggest that the taxon richness of macroflora can serve as an indicator of the fauna community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 77, no 3, 535-547 p.
Keyword [en]
macrophytes, biodiversity, species composition, ecological succession, lagoons, soft bottom, Baltic Sea, Baltic Proper, Bothnian Sea
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15260DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2007.10.013ISI: 000255604100023OAI: diva2:181780
Available from: 2008-11-26 Created: 2008-11-26 Last updated: 2010-11-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Effects of morphometric isolation and vegetation on the macroinvertebrate community in shallow Baltic Sea land-uplift bays
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of morphometric isolation and vegetation on the macroinvertebrate community in shallow Baltic Sea land-uplift bays
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Shallow sheltered Baltic Sea bays are ecologically important habitats that harbour a unique vegetation community and constitute vital reproduction areas for many coastal fish species. Knowledge about the invertebrate community in these bays is, however, limited. This thesis examines the macroinvertebrate community in shallow sheltered Baltic Sea bays and how it is affected by: (1) the natural morphometric isolation of bays from the sea due to post-glacial land uplift; and (2) differences in vegetation types. The invertebrate biomass and number of taxa was found to decrease with increased bay isolation. The taxon composition changed from dominance by bivalves and gastropods in open bays to a community composed of a larger proportion of insects in isolated bays. Stable isotope analysis indicated epiphytes and periphyton as the major energy resources for most of the examined consumers, but the relative importance of these in relation to larger plants decreased for some consumers with increased bay isolation. A comparison of invertebrate abundance between plants revealed a close relationship with morphological complexity of the plants. More complexly structured plants had higher invertebrate abundance than plants with simpler morphology. The results suggest that management of these coastal habitats should be dynamic and take into consideration the natural change in invertebrate community resulting from the slow bay isolation process. In addition, the results imply that changes in the aquatic vegetation due to anthropogenic influences could induce changes in the invertebrate community as the plant habitat structure is altered. A changed invertebrate community may in turn affect higher trophic levels since invertebrates are important food for many fish and waterfowl species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Botany, Stockholm university, 2010. 53 p.
lagoons, macrofauna, macrophytes, hydrophytes, charophytes, ecological succession, structural complexity, habitat complexity, habitat selection, species composition, biodiversity, stable isotopes, food web
National Category
Research subject
Plant Ecology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44331 (URN)978-91-7447-169-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-10, föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 4: In press.Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-06 Last updated: 2010-11-12Bibliographically approved

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Hansen, JoakimWikström, SofiaKautsky, Lena
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