English   español  
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10261/93078
Share/Impact:
Statistics
logo share SHARE logo core CORE   Add this article to your Mendeley library MendeleyBASE

Visualizar otros formatos: MARC | Dublin Core | RDF | ORE | MODS | METS | DIDL
Exportar a otros formatos:

Title

Combined effects of fragmentation and herbivory on Posidonia oceanica seagrass ecosystems

AuthorsGera, Alessandro; Pagès, Jordi F.; Romero, Javier; Alcoverro, Teresa
KeywordsSarpa salpa
Seagrass
Mediterranean
Paracentrotus lividus
Patch selection
Patch size
Plant responses
Plant–herbivore interactions
Posidonia oceanica
Issue Date2013
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
CitationJournal of Ecology 101 : 1053-1061 (2013)
Abstract1. Fragmentation is a major agent for seagrass meadow decline, yet little is known about how it interacts with processes like herbivory, an important functional driver of seagrass meadows. The interaction with external stressors like fragmentation could exacerbate the effects of internal ecosystem drivers like herbivory, with distinct implications for ecosystem management. 2. We used manipulative field experiments to assess these interactive effects in two Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows. We monitored replicated plots in small and large patches in two meadows suffering fragmentation with and without herbivores (using exclusion cages) to test whether fragment size and herbivory could act together to alter ecosystem functioning. We measured changes in defoliation rates, primary production, canopy height and nutrient content in all plots after 4 months of herbivore exclusion. 3. Our results show that herbivores increased defoliation rates resulting in reduced primary production, nutrient content and canopy structure (canopy height). Patch size (fragment) on its own also reduced primary production, nutrient content and canopy structure. We also observed significant additive interactions between herbivores and fragmentation on canopy structure and production responses. In addition, small patches showed nutrient limitation but were able to accumulate more carbohydrate reserves, probably due to a higher light availability. This may explain why small patches can persist under significant herbivore pressure. 4. Synthesis. While fragmentation has already been identified as an important external agent of seagrass decline, the combination of fragmentation and herbivory can seriously exacerbate structural losses and affect primary production, profoundly compromising the role of seagrasses as habitatforming ecosystems. These interactions between external stressors and internal drivers may result in large unexpected consequences that may flow on to the rest of the ecosystem.
Description9 páginas,3 figuras, 1 tabla.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12109
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/93078
DOI10.1111/1365-2745.12109
ISSN0022-0477
E-ISSN1365-2745
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
combined.pdf1 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
View/Open
Show full item record
Review this work
 

Related articles:


WARNING: Items in Digital.CSIC are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.