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Effects of increased temperature and nutrient enrichment on the stoichiometry of primary producers and consumers in temperate shallow lakes.

AuthorsVentura, Marc ; Liboriussen, L.; Lauridsen, T.; Sondergaard, Martin; Sondergaard, Morten; Jeppesen, Erik
KeywordsShallow lakes
Carbon stable isotopes
Primary producers
Issue DateJul-2008
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationFreshwater Biology 53 (7) : 1434-1452 (2012)
Abstract1. We studied the effects of increased water temperatures (0–4.5 °C) and nutrient enrichment on the stoichiometric composition of different primary producers (macrophytes, epiphytes, seston and sediment biofilm) and invertebrate consumers in 24 mesocosm ecosystems created to mimic shallow pond environments. The nutrient ratios of primary producers were used as indicative of relative nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) limitation. We further used carbon stable isotopic composition (δ13C) of the different primary producers to elucidate differences in the degree of CO2 limitation. 2. Epiphytes were the only primary producer with significantly higher δ13C in the enriched mesocosms. No temperature effects were observed in δ13C composition of any primary producer. Independently of the treatment effects, the four primary producers had different δ13C signatures indicative of differences in CO2 limitation. Seston had signatures indicating negligible or low CO2 limitation, followed by epiphytes and sediment biofilm, with moderate CO2 limitation, while macrophytes showed the strongest CO2 limitation. CO2 together with biomass of epiphytes were the key variables explaining between 50 and 70% of the variability in δ13C of the different primary producers, suggesting that epiphytes play an important role in carbon flow of temperate shallow lakes. 3. The ratio of carbon to chlorophyll a decreased with increasing temperature and enrichment in both epiphytes and seston. The effects of temperature were mainly attributed to changes in algal Chl a content, while the decrease with enrichment was probably a result of a higher proportion of algae in the seston and epiphytes. 4. Macrophytes, epiphytes and seston decreased their C : N with enrichment, probably as an adaptation to the different N availability levels. The C : N of epiphytes and Elodea canadensis decreased with increasing temperature in the control mesocosms. Sediment biofilm was the only primary producer with lower C : P and N : P with enrichment, probably as a result of higher P accumulation in the sediment. 5. Independently of nutrient level and increased temperature effects the four primary producers had significantly different stoichiometric compositions. Macrophytes had higher C : N and C : P and, together with epiphytes, also the highest N : P. Seston had no N or P limitation, while macrophytes and epiphytes may have been P limited in a few mesocosms. Sediment biofilm indicated strong N deficiency. 6. Consumers had strongly homeostatic stoichiometric compositions in comparison to primary producers, with weak or no significant treatment effects in any of the groups (insects, leeches, molluscs and crustaceans). Among consumers, predators had significantly higher N content and lower C : N than grazers.
Description19 páginas, 7 figuras, 6 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2008.01975.x
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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