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Effects of plant morphology on small-scale distribution of invertebrates
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
2010 (English)In: Marine Biology, ISSN 0025-3162, E-ISSN 1432-1793, Vol. 157, no 10, 2143-2155 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Habitat structure influences organism communities by mediating interactions between individuals and species, affecting abundance and species richness. We examined whether variations in the morphology of soft-bottom plants affect their function as habitat and whether complex structured plants support higher macroinvertebrate abundance and species richness. Three Baltic Sea plant species were studied, together with artificial plants resembling each species. In a field collection, we found higher invertebrate abundance on the morphologically more complex plants Myriophyllum spicatum and Chara baltica than on the structurally simpler plant Potamogeton perfoliatus. In a colonization experiment, we found the highest invertebrate abundance on artificial M. spicatum but found no difference between natural plants. Invertebrate taxon richness displayed no consistent relationship with plant structural complexity. The results imply that plant morphology influences small-scale invertebrate distribution, partly supporting the hypothesis that structurally complex plants harbour higher invertebrate abundance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2010. Vol. 157, no 10, 2143-2155 p.
Keyword [en]
Baltic Sea, macrofauna, structural complexity, artificial plants, algae, Potamogeton perfoliatus, Chara baltica, Myriophyllum spicatum
National Category
Ecology Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44328DOI: 10.1007/s00227-010-1479-4OAI: diva2:361010
Available from: 2010-11-06 Created: 2010-11-06 Last updated: 2010-12-17Bibliographically 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, JoakimSagerman, Josefin
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