trophic levels
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2022 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Author(s):  
Iain Perry ◽  
Ifan B. Jâms ◽  
Roser Casas-Mulet ◽  
Josefina Hamutoko ◽  
Angela Marchbank ◽  
...  

By identifying fragments of DNA in the environment, eDNA approaches present a promising tool for monitoring biodiversity in a cost-effective way. This is particularly pertinent for countries where traditional morphological monitoring has been sparse. The first step to realising the potential of eDNA is to develop methodologies that are adapted to local conditions. Here, we test field and laboratory eDNA protocols (aqueous and sediment samples) in a range of semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia. We successfully gathered eDNA data on a broad suite of organisms at multiple trophic levels (including algae, invertebrates and bacteria) but identified two key challenges to the implementation of eDNA methods in the region: 1) high turbidity requires a tailored sampling technique and 2) identification of taxa by eDNA methods is currently constrained by a lack of reference data. We hope this work will guide the deployment of eDNA biomonitoring in the arid ecosystems of Namibia and neighbouring countries.


2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Author(s):  
Miika Laihonen ◽  
Kari Saikkonen ◽  
Marjo Helander ◽  
Beatriz R. Vázquez de Aldana ◽  
Iñigo Zabalgogeazcoa ◽  
...  

Plants host taxonomically and functionally complex communities of microbes. However, ecological studies on plant–microbe interactions rarely address the role of multiple co-occurring plant-associated microbes. Here, we contend that plant-associated microbes interact with each other and can have joint consequences for higher trophic levels. In this study we recorded the occurrence of the plant seed pathogenic fungus Claviceps purpurea and aphids (Sitobion sp.) on an established field experiment with red fescue (Festuca rubra) plants symbiotic to a seed transmitted endophytic fungus Epichloë festucae (E+) or non-symbiotic (E–). Both fungi are known to produce animal-toxic alkaloids. The study was conducted in a semi-natural setting, where E+ and E– plants from different origins (Spain and Northern Finland) were planted in a randomized design in a fenced common garden at Kevo Subarctic Research Station in Northern Finland. The results reveal that 45% of E+ plants were infected with Claviceps compared to 31% of E– plants. Uninfected plants had 4.5 times more aphids than Claviceps infected plants. By contrast, aphid infestation was unaffected by Epichloë symbiosis. Claviceps alkaloid concentrations correlated with a decrease in aphid numbers, which indicates their insect deterring features. These results show that plant mutualistic fungi can increase the infection probability of a pathogenic fungus, which then becomes beneficial to the plant by controlling herbivorous insects. Our study highlights the complexity and context dependency of species–species and multi-trophic interactions, thus challenging the labeling of species as plant mutualists or pathogens.


2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Author(s):  
Haihong Zhang ◽  
Haodong Cheng ◽  
Yudi Wang ◽  
Zhenghua Duan ◽  
Wenjie Cui ◽  
...  

Nanoplastics (NPs) are ubiquitous in harvested organisms at various trophic levels, and more concerns on their diverse responses and wide species-dependent sensitivity are continuously increasing. However, systematic study on the toxic effects of NPs with different functional group modifications is still limited. In this review, we gathered and analyzed the toxic effects of NPs with different functional groups on microorganisms, plants, animals, and mammalian/human cells in vitro. The corresponding toxic mechanisms were also described. In general, most up-to-date relevant studies focus on amino (−NH2) or carboxyl (−COOH)-modified polystyrene (PS) NPs, while research on other materials and functional groups is lacking. Positively charged PS-NH2 NPs induced stronger toxicity than negatively charged PS-COOH. Plausible toxicity mechanisms mainly include membrane interaction and disruption, reactive oxygen species generation, and protein corona and eco-corona formations, and they were influenced by surface charges of NPs. The effects of NPs in the long-term exposure and in the real environment world also warrant further study.


2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Author(s):  
Sophie Clayton ◽  
Harriet Alexander ◽  
Jason R. Graff ◽  
Nicole J. Poulton ◽  
Luke R. Thompson ◽  
...  

In this article, we present Bio-GO-SHIP, a new ocean observing program that will incorporate sustained and consistent global biological ocean observations into the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP). The goal of Bio-GO-SHIP is to produce systematic and consistent biological observations during global ocean repeat hydrographic surveys, with a particular focus on the planktonic ecosystem. Ocean plankton are an essential component of the earth climate system, form the base of the oceanic food web and thereby play an important role in influencing food security and contributing to the Blue Economy. Despite its importance, ocean biology is largely under-sampled in time and space compared to physical and chemical properties. This lack of information hampers our ability to understand the role of plankton in regulating biogeochemical processes and fueling higher trophic levels, now and in future ocean conditions. Traditionally, many of the methods used to quantify biological and ecosystem essential ocean variables (EOVs), measures that provide valuable information on the ecosystem, have been expensive and labor- and time-intensive, limiting their large-scale deployment. In the last two decades, new technologies have been developed and matured, making it possible to greatly expand our biological ocean observing capacity. These technologies, including cell imaging, bio-optical sensors and 'omic tools, can be combined to provide overlapping measurements of key biological and ecosystem EOVs. New developments in data management and open sharing can facilitate meaningful synthesis and integration with concurrent physical and chemical data. Here we outline how Bio-GO-SHIP leverages these technological advances to greatly expand our knowledge and understanding of the constituents and function of the global ocean plankton ecosystem.


Water ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 109
Author(s):  
Maria Papale ◽  
Angelina Lo Giudice ◽  
Alessandro Ciro Rappazzo ◽  
Maurizio Azzaro ◽  
Carmen Rizzo

Antarctic freshwater ecosystems are especially vulnerable to human impacts. Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants that have a long lifetime in the environment. Despite their use having either been phased out or restricted, they are still found in nature, also in remote areas. Once in the environment, the fate of PCBs is strictly linked to bacteria which represent the first step in the transfer of toxic compounds to higher trophic levels. Data on PCB-oxidizing bacteria from polar areas are still scarce and fragmented. In this study, the occurrence of PCB-oxidizing cold-adapted bacteria was evaluated in water and sediment of four coastal lakes at Edmonson Point (Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica). After enrichment with biphenyl, 192 isolates were obtained with 57 of them that were able to grow in the presence of the PCB mixture Aroclor 1242, as the sole carbon source. The catabolic gene bphA, as a proxy for PCB degradation potential, was harbored by 37 isolates (out of 57), mainly affiliated to the genera Salinibacterium, Arthrobacter (among Actinobacteria) and Pusillimonas (among Betaproteobacteria). Obtained results enlarge our current knowledge on cold-adapted PCB-oxidizing bacteria and pose the basis for their potential application as a valuable eco-friendly tool for the recovery of PCB-contaminated cold sites.


2022 ◽  
Author(s):  
Jukka Rintala ◽  
M. Hario ◽  
K. Laursen ◽  
A. P. Møller

Abstract Migratory animals experience very different environmental conditions at different times of the year, i.e., at the breeding grounds, during migration, and in winter. The long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis breeds in the Arctic regions of the northern hemisphere and migrates to temperate climate zones, where it winters in marine environments. The breeding success of the long-tailed duck is affected by the abundances of predators (mainly Arctic fox Alopex lagopus) and their main prey species, lemmings Lemmus sibiricus and Dicrostonyx torquatus, whose population fluctuation is subject to climate change. In the winter quarters, long-tailed ducks mainly eat the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. We examined how North-west Siberian lemming dynamics affect long-tailed duck breeding success via predation pressure and how nutrient availability in the Baltic Sea influences long-tailed duck population size via mussel biomass and quality. The long-tailed duck population dynamics was predator-driven on the breeding grounds and resource-driven on the wintering grounds. Nutrients from fertilizer runoff from farmland stimulate mussel stocks and quality, supporting high long-tailed duck population sizes. The applied hierarchical analysis combining several trophic levels can be used for evaluating large-scale environmental factors that affect the population dynamics and abundance of migrants from one environment to another.


Author(s):  
Walter Leal Filho ◽  
Gustavo J. Nagy ◽  
Filipe Martinho ◽  
Mustafa Saroar ◽  
Mónica Gómez Erache ◽  
...  

It is well-known that climate change significantly impacts ecosystems (at the macro-level) and individual species (at the micro-level). Among the former, estuaries are the most vulnerable and affected ecosystems. However, despite the strong relations between climate change and estuaries, there is a gap in the literature regarding international studies across different regions investigating the impacts of climate change and variability on estuaries in different geographical zones. This paper addresses this need and reviews the impacts of climate change, variability and extreme weather on estuaries. It emphasises the following: (i) a set of climate parameters governing estuarine hydrology and processes; and (ii) a sample of countries in Asia (Bangladesh), Europe (Portugal) and South America (Uruguay). We reviewed the influences of the climatic drivers of the estuarine hydrology, ecological processes and specific species in estuarine communities across the selected geographical regions, along with an analysis of their long-term implications. The key results from the three estuaries are as following: (i) Hilsa fish, of which the catches contribute to 10% of the total earnings of the fishery sector (1% of GDP), are affected by climate-forced hydrological and productivity changes in the Meghna; (ii) extreme droughts and short-term severe precipitation have driven the long-term abundance and spatial distribution of both fish larvae and juveniles/adults in the Mondego; and (iii) the river inflow and fluctuations increases since the early 1970s have contributed to variations in the salinity, the stratification, the oxygen, nutrient and trophic levels and the spatial pattern for the life stages of planktonic species, fish biomass and captures in the Rio de la Plata. The results suggested that immediate action is needed to reduce the vulnerability of estuaries to climate stressors, mainly the changing river flows, storms and sea-level rise. As a contribution to addressing current problems, we described a set of adaptation strategies to foster climate resilience and adaptive capacity (e.g., early-warning systems, dam management to prevent overflows and adaptive fisheries management). The implications of this paper are two-fold. Firstly, it showcases a variety of problems that estuaries face from changing climate conditions. Secondly, the paper outlines the need for suitable adaptive management strategies to safeguard the integrity of such vital ecosystems.


Water ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 105
Author(s):  
Caterina M. Antognazza ◽  
Tommaso Costantini ◽  
Monica Campagnolo ◽  
Serena Zaccara

The European catfish (Silurus glanis) was introduced in Italy during the last century for aquaculture purposes, and now it is well-established. S. glanis is an invasive species and a top predator that can deplete prey supply in the surrounding habitat, leading to changes in the aquatic food web. Consequently, its presence is considered a threat to native fish populations. Its presence in the Lake Maggiore (Northern Italy) is recent and there is a lack of knowledge about its ability to completely exploit this new ecosystem throughout the year. This study corroborated the ability of European catfish to exploit both pelagic and littoral habitats, promoting trophic interactions in both habitats. Over 2019, multiple sampling approaches have been applied by collecting S. glanis and analysing its stomach contents with the aim of inferring interactions with the freshwater community. Its diet was mainly based on crayfish (Orconectes limosus), followed by six prey fish and the genus Corbicula; two fish species (Padogobius bonelli and Salaria fluviatilis) were added to the list of known prey fish. Notably and alarmingly for the early potential top-down pressure towards all trophic levels, young individuals were proved to also feed on fish and crayfish. S. glanis showed the ability to hunt at deep depths (>60 m) and a high growth rate, despite Lake Maggiore being oligotrophic.


Water ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 85
Author(s):  
Rong Wang ◽  
John A. Dearing ◽  
Peter G. Langdon

Critical transitions between ecosystem states can be triggered by relatively small external forces or internal perturbations and may show time-lagged or hysteretic recovery. Understanding the precise mechanisms of a transition is important for ecosystem management, but it is hampered by a lack of information about the preceding interactions and associated feedback between different components in an ecosystem. This paper employs a range of data, including paleolimnological, environmental monitoring and documentary sources from lake Erhai and its catchment, to investigate the ecosystem structure and dynamics across multiple trophic levels through the process of eutrophication. A long-term perspective shows the growth and decline of two distinct, but coupled, positive feedback loops: a macrophyte-loop and a phosphorus-recycling-loop. The macrophyte-loop became weaker, and the phosphorus-recycling-loop became stronger during the process of lake eutrophication, indicating that the critical transition was propelled by the interaction of two positive feedback loops with different strengths. For lake restoration, future weakening of the phosphorus-recycling loop or a reduction in external pressures is expected to trigger macrophyte growth and eventually produce clear water conditions, but the speed of recovery will probably depend on the rates of feedback loops and the strength of their coupling.


2022 ◽  
pp. 126126
Author(s):  
Juan Carlos Huaranca ◽  
Andrés J. Novaro ◽  
Carlos E. Valdivia

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