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  • 1. Angeler, David G.
    et al.
    Allen, Craig R.
    Twidwell, Dirac
    Winder, Monika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Discontinuity Analysis Reveals Alternative Community Regimes During Phytoplankton Succession2019In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, E-ISSN 2296-701X, Vol. 7, article id 139Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is well-recognized in plankton ecology that phytoplankton development can lead to distinct peaks (i.e., blooms) during spring and summer. We used a 5-year (2007-2011) phytoplankton data set and utilized discontinuity analysis to assess resilience attributes of spring and summer blooms based on the cross-scale resilience model. Using the size structure (i.e., cross-scale structure as an indicator of resilience) in the sampled plankton data, we assessed whether spring and summer blooms differ substantially between but not within blooms; that is, whether they comprise alternative community regimes. Our exploratory study supported this expectation and more broadly resilience theory, which posits that ecological systems can manifest in and change between alternative regimes. The dynamics of regimes receives increased attention because rapid environmental change potentially irreversibly alters ecosystems. Model organisms are needed that allow revealing patterns and processes of various aspects of regime dynamics at tractable time scales. Our preliminary findings suggest that phytoplankton can be suitable models for assessing the intricacies of regimes and regime changes.

  • 2.
    Chizzola, Maddalena
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Belton, Lydia
    Ganswindt, Andre
    Greco, Ilaria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Hall, Grant
    Swanepoel, Lourens
    Dalerum, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University of Pretoria, South Africa; University of Oviedo, Spai.
    Landscape Level Effects of Lion Presence (Panthera leo) on Two Contrasting Prey Species2018In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, E-ISSN 2296-701X, Vol. 6, article id 191Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Due to the strong individual cost of being predated, potential prey species alter their behavior and physiology in response to predation risk. Such alterations may cause major indirect consequences on prey populations that are additive to the direct demographic effects caused by prey being killed. However, although earlier studies showed strong general effects of the presence of apex predators, recent data suggest that indirect effects may be highly context dependent and not consistently present. We combined behavioral data with data on endocrine stress and stable isotopes to assess landscape level effects of lion (Panthera leo) presence on two prey species in South Africa, impala (Aepyceros melampus) and blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus). We also evaluated if there was any seasonal variation in such effects. In addition, we provide results from a physiological validation for an enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA) that can be used for non-invasive monitoring of glucocorticoid stress metabolite concentrations in impala from fecal pellets. We did not find any significant differences in vigilance behavior, fecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations, delta C-13 values or isotope niche breadth between animals living with and without lions for either species. However, wildebeest living in a reserve with lions spent more time foraging compared to wildebeest in a lion-free environment, but only during the wet season. Values of fecal delta N-15 suggest a shift in habitat use, with impala and wildebeest living with lions potentially feeding in less productive areas compared to animals living without lions. For both species, characteristics of the social groups appeared to be more important than individual characteristics for both foraging and vigilance behavior. Our results highlight that antipredator responses may be highly dynamic and scale-dependent. We urge for further studies that quantify at what temporal and spatial scales predation risk is causing indirect effects on prey populations.

  • 3. Parducci, Laura
    et al.
    Greve Alsos, Inger
    Unneberg, Per
    Pedersen, Mikkel W.
    Han, Lu
    Lammers, Youri
    Salonen, J. Sakari
    Väliranta, Minna M.
    Slotte, Tanja
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Wohlfarth, Barbara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
    Shotgun Environmental DNA, Pollen, and Macrofossil Analysis of Lateglacial Lake Sediments From Southern Sweden2019In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, E-ISSN 2296-701X, Vol. 7, article id 189Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The lake sediments of Hasseldala Port in south-east Sweden provide an archive of local and regional environmental conditions similar to 14.5-9.5 ka BP (thousand years before present) and allow testing DNA sequencing techniques to reconstruct past vegetation changes. We combined shotgun sequencing with plant micro- and macrofossil analyses to investigate sediments dating to the Allerod (14.1-12.7 ka BP), Younger Dryas (12.7-11.7 ka BP), and Preboreal (<11.7 ka BP). Number of reads and taxa were not associated with sample age or organic content. This suggests that, beyond the initial rapid degradation, DNA is still present. The proportion of recovered plant DNA was low, but allowed identifying an important number of plant taxa, thus adding valid information on the composition of the local vegetation. Importantly, DNA provides a stronger signal of plant community changes than plant micro- and plant macrofossil analyses alone, since a larger number of new taxa were recorded in Younger Dryas samples. A comparison between the three proxies highlights differences and similarities and supports earlier findings that plants growing close to or within a lake are recorded by DNA. Plant macrofossil remains moreover show that tree birch was present close to the ancient lake since the Allerod; together with the DNA results, this indicates that boreal to subarctic climatic conditions also prevailed during the cold Younger Dryas interval. Increasing DNA reference libraries and enrichment strategies prior to sequencing are necessary to improve the potential and accuracy of plant identification using the shotgun metagenomic approach.

  • 4. Unsworth, Richard K. F.
    et al.
    Bertelli, Chiara M.
    Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C.
    Esteban, Nicole
    Jones, Benjamin L.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Project Seagrass, United Kingdom.
    Lilley, Richard
    Lowe, Christopher
    Nuuttila, Hanna K.
    Rees, Samuel C.
    Sowing the Seeds of Seagrass Recovery Using Hessian Bags2019In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, E-ISSN 2296-701X, Vol. 7, article id 311Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seagrass meadows are an important wetland habitat that have been degraded globally but have an important carbon storage role. In order to expand the restoration of these productive and biodiverse habitats methods are required that can be used for large scale habitat creation across a range of environmental conditions. The spreading of seagrass seeds has been proven to be a successful method for restoring seagrass around the world, however in places where tidal range is large such methods become limited by resultant water movements. Here we describe and test a method for deploying seagrass seeds of the species Zostera marina over large scales using a new, simple method Bags of Seagrass Seeds Line (BoSSLine). This method involved planting seeds and sediment using natural fiber hessian bags deployed along strings anchored onto the seabed. When deployed in a suitable environment 94% of bags developed mature seagrass shoots, unfortunately one site subjected to a large storm event resulted in sediment burial of the bags and no seed germination. Bags were filled with 100 seeds with each leading to the development of 2.37 +/- 2.41 mature shoots (206 +/- 87 mm in length) 10 months after planting. The method was proven successful however the experiments illustrated the need to ensure habitat suitability prior to their use. Low seed success rate was comparable to other restoration studies, however further trials are recommended to ensure ways to improve this rate. In conclusion, this study provides evidence for an effective, simple method Bags of Seagrass Seeds Line (BoSSLine) for deploying seeds of the seagrass Zostera marina over large scales.

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