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Omnivory and grazer functional composition moderate cascading trophic effects in experimental Fucus vesiculosus habitats
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
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2011 (English)In: Marine Biology, ISSN 0025-3162, E-ISSN 1432-1793, Vol. 158, no 4, 747-756 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 158, no 4, 747-756 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68831DOI: 10.1007/s00227-010-1602-6ISI: 000289539100004OAI: diva2:474075
authorCount :5Available from: 2012-01-09 Created: 2012-01-07 Last updated: 2012-01-09Bibliographically approved

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Kautsky, Lena
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