Projekt

Zurück zur Übersicht

Food-web and ecosystem responses to global change: testing ecological theory in aquatic mesocosms

Titel Englisch Food-web and ecosystem responses to global change: testing ecological theory in aquatic mesocosms
Gesuchsteller/in Matthews Blake
Nummer 130273
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Aquatische Umweltanalytik EAWAG
Hochschule Eidg. Anstalt für Wasserversorgung, Abwasserreinigung und Gewässerschutz - EAWAG
Hauptdisziplin Oekologie
Beginn/Ende 01.01.2011 - 31.07.2014
Bewilligter Betrag 331'000.00
Alle Daten anzeigen

Alle Disziplinen (2)

Disziplin
Oekologie
Umweltforschung

Keywords (14)

ecosystem function; food webs; ecology; evolution; environmental change; metacommunities; biodiversity; dissolved organic carbon; microbial communities; ecosystem; food web; zooplankton; microbial; biogeography

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lead
Lay summary
How will the current rate and spatial extent of environmental change affect the functioning of future ecosystems? Food webs are structurally diverse and are remarkably persistent despite multifaceted and spatially variable environmental change. Ecological theory posits that the structural complexity of food webs will help ecosystems weather environmental change, but few experiments have tested this idea. To truly understand how ecosystems and their constituent food webs will respond, we must explore, experimentally, how environmental change affects the structure of food webs, for example the number of species and the interactions among them, and, consequently, the the functioning of ecosystems, for example, the rates of biomass production, decomposition, and sequestration.Our proposed research focuses on the environmental changes associated with rising levels of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in freshwater ecosystems, but also considers climate warming, eutrophication, and changes in biodiversity. As microbial communities closely regulate the decomposition of DOC, we propose to examine the effect of changes in the environment and in the architecture of food webs on the composition of microbial communities, including viruses and prokaryotes. In doing so, we can link the ecological structure and evolutionary dynamics of food webs to the biogeochemistry of ecosystems.We propose a series of experiments to test how environmental change affects the complex interactions between food web assemblages and ecosystem functioning. The experiments test predictions from three bodies of ecological theory, namely the theory of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, the theory of evolving metacommunities, and the landscape theory of food-web structure. These theories provide a strong foundation for understanding interactions between environmental change, food-web architecture, and ecosystem functioning, but they fail to fully address the feedbacks between structural changes of food-webs at upper trophic levels (e.g. plankton and fish) and the biogeochemistry of ecosystems that is regulated by microbial communities. Our experiments bridge this gap, and will improve our ability to predict how entire ecosystems respond to environmental change.
Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.02.2013

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Publikationen

Publikation
Under niche construction: An operational bridge between ecology, evolution, and ecosystem science
(2014), Under niche construction: An operational bridge between ecology, evolution, and ecosystem science, in Ecological Monographs, 84(2), 245-263.
Effects of environmental variation and spatial distance on Bacteria, Archaea and viruses in sub-polar and arctic waters
(2013), Effects of environmental variation and spatial distance on Bacteria, Archaea and viruses in sub-polar and arctic waters, in ISME Journal, 7(8), 1507-1518.
Effects of re-oligotrophication and climate warming on plankton richness and community stability in a deep mesotrophic lake.
(2012), Effects of re-oligotrophication and climate warming on plankton richness and community stability in a deep mesotrophic lake., in Oikos, 121(8), 1317-1327.
Reversal in the relationship between species richness and turnover in a phytoplankton community
(2012), Reversal in the relationship between species richness and turnover in a phytoplankton community, in Ecology, 93(11), 2435-2447.
Effects of patch connectivity and heterogeneity on metacommunity structure of planktonic bacteria and viruses
, Effects of patch connectivity and heterogeneity on metacommunity structure of planktonic bacteria and viruses, in The ISME Journal, 7(8), 1507-1518.
Toward an integration of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science
, Toward an integration of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science, in Ecology Letters, 14, 690-701.

Wissenschaftliche Veranstaltungen

Aktiver Beitrag

Titel Art des Beitrags Titel des Artikels oder Beitrages Datum Ort Beteiligte Personen
Ecosystem engineering and niche construction workshop Einzelvortrag Under niche construction: An operational bridge between ecology, evolution, and ecosystem science 09.05.2011 NIOO, Yerseke, Holland, Niederlande Matthews Blake;


Verbundene Projekte

Nummer Titel Start Förderungsinstrument
153464 The eco-evolutionary dynamics of community assembly in aquatic ecosystems 01.11.2014 Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
153464 The eco-evolutionary dynamics of community assembly in aquatic ecosystems 01.11.2014 Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)

Abstract

How will the current rate and spatial extent of environmental change affect the functioning of future ecosystems? Food webs are structurally diverse (Dunne et al., 2002; Vermaat et al., 2009; Olff et al., 2009) and are remarkably persistent despite multifaceted and spatially variable environmental change (Parmesan, 2006; Raymond et al., 2008). Ecological theory posits that the structural complexity of food webs will help ecosystems weather environmental change (McCann et al., 2005), but few experiments have tested this idea. To truly understand how ecosystems and their constituent food webs will respond, we must explore, experimentally, how environmental change affects (i) the structure of food webs, for example the number of species and the interactions among them, and, consequently, the (ii) the functioning of ecosystems, for example, the rates of biomass production, decomposition, and sequestration. Our proposed research focuses on the environmental changes associated with rising levels of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in freshwater ecosystems (Worrall et al., 2004), but also considers climate warming, eutrophication, and changes in biodiversity. As microbial communities closely regulate the decomposition of DOC, we propose to examine the effect of changes in the environment and in the architecture of food webs on the composition of microbial communities, including viruses and prokaryotes (Archaea and Bacteria). In doing so, we can link the ecological structure and evolutionary dynamics of food webs to the biogeochemistry of ecosystems (Battin et al., 2008).We propose a series of experiments to test how environmental change affects the complex interactions between food web assemblages and ecosystem functioning (Reiss et al., 2009). The experiments test predictions from three bodies of ecological theory, namely the theory of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) (Loreau et al., 2001; Reiss et al., 2009), the theory of evolving metacommunities (Urban et al., 2008), and the landscape theory of food-web structure (Rooney et al., 2008). These theories provide a strong foundation for understanding interactions between environmental change, food-web architecture, and ecosystem functioning, but they fail to fully address the feedbacks between structural changes of food-webs at upper trophic levels (e.g. plankton and fish) and the biogeochemistry of ecosystems that is regulated by microbial communities. Our experiments bridge this gap, and will improve our ability to predict how entire ecosystems respond to environmental change. Our overall goal is to examine, as broadly as practicable, the consequences of environmental change for aquatic ecosystems. We propose to use both comparative and experimental approaches to study the following three questions. 1.How does microbial diversity, at the landscape scale, influence ecosystem functioning? (Sections: 2.3.1 - 2.3.3)2.How does the structure of multi-trophic level food webs affect the composition and functioning of prokaryote communities? (Sections: 2.3.2 - 2.3.4)3.How does environmental change affect interactions between food-web structure and ecosystem functioning? (Sections: 2.3.3 - 2.3.4) To answer these questions, we will focus specifically on two ecosystem functions that are highly relevant for human societies, namely rates of DOC decomposition and diel changes in dissolved oxygen concentration. To understand the complexities of the relationships between environmental change and food webs, we will do experiments that manipulate the diversity of species at multiple trophic levels (Sections 2.3.2, 2.3.3), the connectivity among and within ecosystems (Sections 2.3.3, refsec:complex), and the nature of environmental change (Sections 2.3.3, 2.3.4). Throughout our proposed work, we will take a multivariate view of ecosystem change that includes both the biotic (e.g. food-web compartments) and abiotic (e.g. physical and chemical conditions) components. Ultimately, this research will illustrate the fundamental links between the ecology and evolution of food webs and the physical environment and biogeochemistry of ecosystems.
-