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Predation and competition effects on the size diversity of aquatic communities

Body size has been widely recognised as a key factor determining community structure in ecosystems. We analysed size diversity patterns of phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish assemblages in 13 data sets from freshwater and marine sites with the aim to assess whether there is a general trend in the effect of predation and resource competition on body size distribution across a wide range of aquatic ecosystems. We used size diversity as a measure of the shape of size distribution. Size diversity was computed based on the Shannon-Wiener diversity expression, adapted to a continuous variable, i.e. as body size. Our results show that greater predation pressure was associated with reduced size diversity of prey at all trophic levels. In contrast, competition effects depended on the trophic level considered. At upper trophic levels (zooplankton and fish), size distributions were more diverse when potential resource availability was low, suggesting that competitive interactions for resources promote diversification of aquatic communities by size. This pattern was not found for phytoplankton size distributions where size diversity mostly increased with low zooplankton grazing and increasing nutrient availability. Relationships we found were weak, indicating that predation and competition are not the only determinants of size distribution. Our results suggest that predation pressure leads to accumulation of organisms in the less predated sizes, while resource competition tends to favour a wider size distribution

his work was supported by grants from the Comision de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnica (CICYT), Programa de Investigacion Fundamental (CGL2008-05778/BOS and CGL2011-23907). We thank Dr. Dietmar Straile, who provided zooplankton data on Lake Constance. S. Brucet’s contribution was supported by the Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship No. 330249 (CLIMBING)

© Aquatic Sciences, 2014, vol. 77, núm.1, p. 45-57

Springer Verlag

Author: Quintana Pou, Xavier
Arim, Matías
Badosa i Salvador, Anna
Blanco, José María
Boix Masafret, Dani
Brucet Balmaña, Sandra
Compte Ciurana, Jordi
Egozcue, Juan José
Eyto, Elvira de
Gaedke, Ursula
Gascón Garcia, Stéphanie
Gil de Sola Simarro, Luís
Irvine, Kenneth
Jeppesen, Erik
Lauridsen, Torben L.
López i Flores, Rocío
Mehner, Thomas
Romo, Susana
Søndergaard, Martin
Date: 2014 January 1
Abstract: Body size has been widely recognised as a key factor determining community structure in ecosystems. We analysed size diversity patterns of phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish assemblages in 13 data sets from freshwater and marine sites with the aim to assess whether there is a general trend in the effect of predation and resource competition on body size distribution across a wide range of aquatic ecosystems. We used size diversity as a measure of the shape of size distribution. Size diversity was computed based on the Shannon-Wiener diversity expression, adapted to a continuous variable, i.e. as body size. Our results show that greater predation pressure was associated with reduced size diversity of prey at all trophic levels. In contrast, competition effects depended on the trophic level considered. At upper trophic levels (zooplankton and fish), size distributions were more diverse when potential resource availability was low, suggesting that competitive interactions for resources promote diversification of aquatic communities by size. This pattern was not found for phytoplankton size distributions where size diversity mostly increased with low zooplankton grazing and increasing nutrient availability. Relationships we found were weak, indicating that predation and competition are not the only determinants of size distribution. Our results suggest that predation pressure leads to accumulation of organisms in the less predated sizes, while resource competition tends to favour a wider size distribution
his work was supported by grants from the Comision de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnica (CICYT), Programa de Investigacion Fundamental (CGL2008-05778/BOS and CGL2011-23907). We thank Dr. Dietmar Straile, who provided zooplankton data on Lake Constance. S. Brucet’s contribution was supported by the Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship No. 330249 (CLIMBING)
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 1015-1621
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/11297
Language: eng
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Collection: MICINN/PN 2012-2015/CGL2011-23907
MICINN/PN 2009-2011/CGL2008-05778/BOS
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00027-014-0368-1
Articles publicats (D-CCAA)
Is part of: © Aquatic Sciences, 2014, vol. 77, núm.1, p. 45-57
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Ecologia aquàtica
Aquatic ecology
Title: Predation and competition effects on the size diversity of aquatic communities
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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