Direct and indirect effects of temperature on the population dynamics and ecosystem functioning of aquatic microbial ecosystems

Beveridge, Oliver S. and Petchey, Owen L. and Humphries, Stuart (2010) Direct and indirect effects of temperature on the population dynamics and ecosystem functioning of aquatic microbial ecosystems. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79 (6). pp. 1324-1331. ISSN 0021-8790

Full content URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-...

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Direct and indirect effects of temperature on the population dynamics and ecosystem functioning of aquatic microbial ecosystems

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Abstract

While much is known about the direct effect that temperature can have on aquatic communities, less is known about its indirect effect via the temperature dependence of viscosity and temperature-dependent trophic interactions. We manipulated the temperature (5-20 °C) and the viscosity (equivalent to 5-20 °C) of water in laboratory-based bacteria-protist communities. Communities contained food chains with one, two or three trophic levels. Responses measured were population dynamics (consumer carrying capacity and growth rate, average species population density, and the coefficient of variation of population density through time) and ecosystem function (decomposition). Temperature, viscosity and food chain length produced significant responses in population dynamics. Temperature-dependent viscosity had a significant effect on the carrying capacity and growth rates of consumers, as well as the average density of the top predator. Overall, indirect effects of temperature via changes in viscosity were subtle in comparison to the indirect effect of temperature via trophic interactions. Our results highlight the importance of direct and indirect effects of temperature, mediated through trophic interactions and physical changes in the environment, both for population dynamics and ecosystem processes. Future mechanistic modelling of effects of environmental change on species will benefit from distinguishing the different mechanisms of the overall effect of temperature. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

Keywords:water, aquatic ecosystem, bacterium, ciliate, ecosystem function, environmental change, food chain, growth rate, microbial community, population density, population dynamics, predator, temperature effect, trophic interaction, trophic level, animal, article, chemistry, ecosystem, metabolism, microbiology, physiology, predation, temperature, Animals, Bacteria, Ciliophora, Predatory Behavior, Temperature, Water, Water Microbiology, Bacteria (microorganisms), Colpidium striatum, Didinium nasutum, Protista
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:15258
Deposited On:09 Oct 2014 09:05

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