Radiation effects along a UV-B gradient on species composition and diversity of a shallow-water macrobenthic community in the western Baltic.

Molis, Markus, Lenz, Mark and Wahl, Martin (2003) Radiation effects along a UV-B gradient on species composition and diversity of a shallow-water macrobenthic community in the western Baltic. Open Access Marine Ecology Progress Series, 263 . pp. 113-125. DOI 10.3354/meps263113.

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Abstract

Although the 'intermediate disturbance hypothesis' (IDH) was originally postulated for marine hard-bottom communities, it has rarely been tested for this community type. We experimentally examined the effects of ambient plus artificially enhanced UV-B radiation (eUV-BR) along an intensity gradient on the abundance of individual species, species composition, and diversity of a macrobenthic community in the western Baltic, Germany. Plots were either exposed each day for 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 h to the maximum expected future UV-BR or were left untreated (= ambient irradiance). Species recruitment and succession on artificial substrata were followed for 5 mo. Transient unimodal patterns for species richness and diversity H' were produced along the UV-BR gradient early in succession. The density of the competitively superior mussel Mytilus edulis and the abundance of the foliose green alga Ulvopsis grevillei were positively related to UV-BR exposure; suggesting conditions different from those predicted by the IDH-generated unimodal patterns. Protective shading of substratum by U. grevillei and the resultant mitigation of the UV-BR impact for succeeding colonizers may be important in this context. Species composition differed persistently among eUV-BR treatments. In contrast to mussels and U. grevillei, the abundance of red algae was adversely affected by eUV-BR along the disturbance gradient. Our results suggest that expected future UV-BR levels will have limited influence on the diversity of shallow-water macrobenthic fouling assemblages in the western Baltic, whereas their species composition may be affected over longer periods.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: UV-B radiation · Diversity · Intermediate disturbance hypothesis · Disturbance · Protective shading · Ulvopsis grevillei · Mytilus edulis
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps263113
ISSN: 0171-8630
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2014 10:44
Last Modified: 30 May 2018 10:40
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/23212

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