Ito, Maysa, Scotti, Marco, Franz, Markus, Barboza, Francisco R, Buchholz, Björn, Zimmer, Martin ORCID:, Guy-Haim, Tamar and Wahl, Martin (2019) Effects of temperature on carbon circulation in macroalgal food webs are mediated by herbivores.. Marine Biology, 166 (12). pp. 158-168. DOI

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Warming is one of the most dramatic aspects of climate change and threatens future ecosystem functioning. It may alter primary productivity and thus jeopardize carbon sequestration, a crucial ecosystem service provided by coastal environments. Fucus vesiculosus is an important canopy-forming macroalga in the Baltic Sea, and its main consumer is Idotea balthica. The objective of this study is to understand how temperature impacts a simplified food web composed of macroalgae and herbivores to quantify the effect on organic carbon storage. The organisms were exposed to a temperature gradient from 5 to 25 °C. We measured and modeled primary production, respiration, growth and epiphytic load on the surface of Fucus and respiration, growth and egestion of Idotea. The results show that temperature affects physiological responses of Fucus and Idotea separately. However, Idotea proved more sensitive to increasing temperatures than the primary producers. The lag between the collapse of the grazer and the decline of Fucus and epiphytes above 20 °C allows an increase of carbon storage of the primary productivity at higher temperatures. Therefore, along the temperature gradient, the simplified food web stores carbon in a non-monotonic way (reaching minimum at 20 °C). Our work stresses the need of considering the combined metabolic performance of all organisms for sound predictions on carbon circulation in food webs.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology > Mangrove Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 0025-3162
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2020 08:57
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:30

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