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Effects of morphometric isolation and vegetation on the macroinvertebrate community in shallow Baltic Sea land-uplift bays
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
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.
Keyword [en]
lagoons, macrofauna, macrophytes, hydrophytes, charophytes, ecological succession, structural complexity, habitat complexity, habitat selection, species composition, biodiversity, stable isotopes, food web
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44331ISBN: 978-91-7447-169-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-44331DiVA: diva2:361260
Public defence
2010-12-10, föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
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
List of papers
1. Effects of water exchange and vegetation on the macroinvertebrate fauna composition of shallow land-uplift bays in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of water exchange and vegetation on the macroinvertebrate fauna composition of shallow land-uplift bays in the Baltic Sea
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.

Keyword
macrophytes, biodiversity, species composition, ecological succession, lagoons, soft bottom, Baltic Sea, Baltic Proper, Bothnian Sea
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15260 (URN)10.1016/j.ecss.2007.10.013 (DOI)000255604100023 ()
Available from: 2008-11-26 Created: 2008-11-26 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. Taxon composition and food-web structure in a morphometric gradient of Baltic Sea land-uplift bays
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Taxon composition and food-web structure in a morphometric gradient of Baltic Sea land-uplift bays
2012 (English)In: Boreal environment research, ISSN 1239-6095, E-ISSN 1797-2469, Vol. 17, no 1, 1-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Shallow Baltic Sea bays undergo a process of morphometric isolation from the sea due to post-glacial land uplift. Recent studies have documented that both flora and fauna communities change along this gradient. Changes in taxon composition may in turn alter feeding ecology and trophic relationships. In addition, the relative importance of carbon from terrestrial sources may increase with bay isolation. In accordance with previous studies, we found a change in the community composition of both flora and fauna with bay isolation. Results of stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N) suggested that epiphytes and periphyton are the major carbon sources for most benthic primary consumers, but that their importance in relation to angiosperms and charophytes decreased with bay isolation. The results also indicated that filter feeders utilize terrestrially derived carbon, but its importance could not be critically related to bay isolation. Trophic positions of the consumers were similar across the bay isolation gradient.

National Category
Ecology Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44330 (URN)000301010200001 ()
Available from: 2010-11-06 Created: 2010-11-06 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. Effects of plant morphology on small-scale distribution of invertebrates
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of plant morphology on small-scale distribution of invertebrates
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
Keyword
Baltic Sea, macrofauna, structural complexity, artificial plants, algae, Potamogeton perfoliatus, Chara baltica, Myriophyllum spicatum
National Category
Ecology Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44328 (URN)10.1007/s00227-010-1479-4 (DOI)
Available from: 2010-11-06 Created: 2010-11-06 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Distribution differences and active habitat choices of invertebrates between macrophytes of different morphological complexity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distribution differences and active habitat choices of invertebrates between macrophytes of different morphological complexity
2011 (English)In: Aquatic Ecology, ISSN 1386-2588, E-ISSN 1573-5125, Vol. 45, no 1, 11-22 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores: (1) whether the abundance of macroinvertebrates differs between macrophytes differing in both morphological complexity and tolerance to nutrient enrichment; (2) whether the distribution of invertebrates between macrophytes is due to active habitat choice; and (3) whether invertebrates prefer structurally complex to simple macrophytes. Macroinvertebrate abundance was compared between two common soft-bottom plants in the Baltic Sea that are tolerant to eutrophication, Myriophyllum spicatum and Potamogeton pectinatus, and one common plant that is sensitive to eutrophication, Chara baltica. Both field sampling and habitat choice experiments were conducted. We recorded higher total macroinvertebrate abundance on the structurally complex M. spicatum than on the more simply structured P. pectinatus and C. baltica, but found no difference in macroinvertebrate abundance between P. pectinatus and C. baltica. In accordance with the field results, our experiment indicated that the crustacean Gammarus oceanicus actively chose M. spicatum over the other macrophytes. Besides, we found that G. oceanicus actively preferred complex to simply structured artificial plants, indicating that the animal distribution was at least partly driven by differences in morphological complexity between plant species. In contrast, the gastropod Theodoxus fluviatilis did not make an active habitat choice between the plants. Our findings suggest that human-induced changes in vegetation composition can affect the faunal community. Increased abundance of structurally complex macrophytes, for example, M. spicatum, can result in increased abundance of macroinvertebrates, particularly mobile arthropods that may actively choose a more structurally complex macrophyte.

Keyword
Baltic Sea, Habitat selection, Macrofauna, Structural complexity
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44329 (URN)10.1007/s10452-010-9319-7 (DOI)000287095400002 ()
Available from: 2010-11-06 Created: 2010-11-06 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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