Rapid direct and indirect effects of a single nutrient pulse in a seaweed-epiphyte-grazer system.

Worm, Boris and Sommer, Ulrich (2000) Rapid direct and indirect effects of a single nutrient pulse in a seaweed-epiphyte-grazer system. Open Access Marine Ecology Progress Series, 202 . pp. 283-288. DOI 10.3354/meps202283.

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Abstract

In the Baltic Sea, rye tested how short nutrient pulses of different lengths and frequencies affect macroalgae, epiphytes, grazers and their interactions. We hypothesized that even small-scale variations in nutrient supply may have significant impacts by favoring fast-growing epiphytes which can cause large-scale declines of canopy-forming macroalgae. In a factorial field experiment single plants of the canopy-forming macroalga Fucus vesiculosus with and without epiphytes were exposed to pulses of elevated nutrients (N and P) over 25 d. Five 1 h pulses given every 5 d had no significant effects. A single 5 h pulse increased the epiphyte load but not F. vesiculosus growth rate. In contrast, increasing epiphyte load caused F. vesiculosus growth rate to decline and attracted higher densities of gastropod grazers. These results indicate that a single nutrient pulse can have rapid direct and indirect effects on macroalgae and their associated epiphytes and grazers. Temporal variability of nutrient supply (five 1 h vs one 5 h pulse) plays a significant role in determining the response of primary producers and consumers to elevated nutrients.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Food Webs; Competition; Grazing; Eutrophication; Nutrient supply; Bottom-up control; Macroalgae; Fucus vesiculosus
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps202283
ISSN: 0171-8630
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2012 07:40
Last Modified: 08 May 2018 13:31
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/14108

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