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Predators and resources influence phosphorus transfer along an invertebrate food web through changes in prey behaviour.

Calizza E, Rossi L, Costantini ML - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: The presence of predators had negligible effects on the number of detritivores in the leaf bags, but it did reduce the proportion of (32)P-labelled detritivores and their P uptake.The most strongly affected species was A. aquaticus, whose vagility, trophic overlap with L. peregra and P uptake were all reduced.The results confirm the importance of bottom-up and top-down forces acting simultaneously to regulate nutrient transfer along food chains in patchy habitats.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Biology, 'Sapienza' University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Predators play a fundamental role in prey trophic behaviour, with indirect consequences for species coexistence and ecosystem functioning. Resource quality and availability also influence prey trophic behaviour, with potential effects on predator-prey dynamics. Although many studies have addressed these topics, little attention has been paid to the combined effects of predators and resources on prey species coexistence and nutrient transfer along food chains, especially in detritus-based systems. To determine the influence of predators and resource quality on the movement and P uptake of detritivores, we carried out a field experiment on the River Kelvin (Scotland) using (32)P to test the hypothesis of reduced prey vagility among resource patches as a strategy to avoid predation. Thirty leaf sacks containing alder leaves and two detritivore prey populations (Asellus aquaticus and Lymnaea peregra) were placed in cages, half of them with two predator species (Dendrocoelum lacteum and Erpobdella octoculata) and the other half without predators. Five alder leaf bags, each individually inoculated with a different fungus strain to simulate a patchy habitat, were placed inside each leaf sack. One bag in each sack was labelled with (32)P, in order to assess the proportion of detritivores using it as food and thus their movement among the five resource patches. Three replicates for each labelled fungus and each predation treatment (i.e. with and without predators) were left on the riverbed for 7 days. The presence of predators had negligible effects on the number of detritivores in the leaf bags, but it did reduce the proportion of (32)P-labelled detritivores and their P uptake. The most strongly affected species was A. aquaticus, whose vagility, trophic overlap with L. peregra and P uptake were all reduced. The results confirm the importance of bottom-up and top-down forces acting simultaneously to regulate nutrient transfer along food chains in patchy habitats.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Effects of predators on prey movement and P uptake.Percentage of prey labelled with 32P (%L) on each resource patch (above), and 32P uptake from resource patches (AD of prey) (below) for Asellus aquaticus (solid line) and Lymnaea peregra (dashed line). Fungi are ranked by their AD, increasing from A. niger (AD = 0.018 µCi/g) to M. mucedo (AD = 0.176 µCi/g). Grey areas indicate trophic niche (as preference for specific resources) overlap between A. aquaticus and L. peregra.
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pone-0065186-g003: Effects of predators on prey movement and P uptake.Percentage of prey labelled with 32P (%L) on each resource patch (above), and 32P uptake from resource patches (AD of prey) (below) for Asellus aquaticus (solid line) and Lymnaea peregra (dashed line). Fungi are ranked by their AD, increasing from A. niger (AD = 0.018 µCi/g) to M. mucedo (AD = 0.176 µCi/g). Grey areas indicate trophic niche (as preference for specific resources) overlap between A. aquaticus and L. peregra.

Mentions: There were considerable differences between the five labelled fungi in terms of the %L of detritivores exposed to them (Fig. 3). The percentages of labelled A. aquaticus and L. peregra were negatively correlated with each other, both in the absence (R = −0.88, p value <0.05) and presence of predators (R = −0.99, p value <0.001). Specifically, labelled specimens accounted for higher percentages at intermediate fungal AD for A. aquaticus and at low and high fungal AD for L. peregra. The %L of both species was not related to the number of specimens found in the leaf bags at the end of the experiment (Nc), in either the absence or presence of predators (p value always >0.05).


Predators and resources influence phosphorus transfer along an invertebrate food web through changes in prey behaviour.

Calizza E, Rossi L, Costantini ML - PLoS ONE (2013)

Effects of predators on prey movement and P uptake.Percentage of prey labelled with 32P (%L) on each resource patch (above), and 32P uptake from resource patches (AD of prey) (below) for Asellus aquaticus (solid line) and Lymnaea peregra (dashed line). Fungi are ranked by their AD, increasing from A. niger (AD = 0.018 µCi/g) to M. mucedo (AD = 0.176 µCi/g). Grey areas indicate trophic niche (as preference for specific resources) overlap between A. aquaticus and L. peregra.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672138&req=5

pone-0065186-g003: Effects of predators on prey movement and P uptake.Percentage of prey labelled with 32P (%L) on each resource patch (above), and 32P uptake from resource patches (AD of prey) (below) for Asellus aquaticus (solid line) and Lymnaea peregra (dashed line). Fungi are ranked by their AD, increasing from A. niger (AD = 0.018 µCi/g) to M. mucedo (AD = 0.176 µCi/g). Grey areas indicate trophic niche (as preference for specific resources) overlap between A. aquaticus and L. peregra.
Mentions: There were considerable differences between the five labelled fungi in terms of the %L of detritivores exposed to them (Fig. 3). The percentages of labelled A. aquaticus and L. peregra were negatively correlated with each other, both in the absence (R = −0.88, p value <0.05) and presence of predators (R = −0.99, p value <0.001). Specifically, labelled specimens accounted for higher percentages at intermediate fungal AD for A. aquaticus and at low and high fungal AD for L. peregra. The %L of both species was not related to the number of specimens found in the leaf bags at the end of the experiment (Nc), in either the absence or presence of predators (p value always >0.05).

Bottom Line: The presence of predators had negligible effects on the number of detritivores in the leaf bags, but it did reduce the proportion of (32)P-labelled detritivores and their P uptake.The most strongly affected species was A. aquaticus, whose vagility, trophic overlap with L. peregra and P uptake were all reduced.The results confirm the importance of bottom-up and top-down forces acting simultaneously to regulate nutrient transfer along food chains in patchy habitats.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Biology, 'Sapienza' University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Predators play a fundamental role in prey trophic behaviour, with indirect consequences for species coexistence and ecosystem functioning. Resource quality and availability also influence prey trophic behaviour, with potential effects on predator-prey dynamics. Although many studies have addressed these topics, little attention has been paid to the combined effects of predators and resources on prey species coexistence and nutrient transfer along food chains, especially in detritus-based systems. To determine the influence of predators and resource quality on the movement and P uptake of detritivores, we carried out a field experiment on the River Kelvin (Scotland) using (32)P to test the hypothesis of reduced prey vagility among resource patches as a strategy to avoid predation. Thirty leaf sacks containing alder leaves and two detritivore prey populations (Asellus aquaticus and Lymnaea peregra) were placed in cages, half of them with two predator species (Dendrocoelum lacteum and Erpobdella octoculata) and the other half without predators. Five alder leaf bags, each individually inoculated with a different fungus strain to simulate a patchy habitat, were placed inside each leaf sack. One bag in each sack was labelled with (32)P, in order to assess the proportion of detritivores using it as food and thus their movement among the five resource patches. Three replicates for each labelled fungus and each predation treatment (i.e. with and without predators) were left on the riverbed for 7 days. The presence of predators had negligible effects on the number of detritivores in the leaf bags, but it did reduce the proportion of (32)P-labelled detritivores and their P uptake. The most strongly affected species was A. aquaticus, whose vagility, trophic overlap with L. peregra and P uptake were all reduced. The results confirm the importance of bottom-up and top-down forces acting simultaneously to regulate nutrient transfer along food chains in patchy habitats.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus