Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1038/srep02036
Title (Primary) Chemical and natural stressors combined: from cryptic effects to population extinction
Author Gergs, A.; Zenker, A.; Grimm, V.; Preuss, T.G.
Source Titel Scientific Reports
Year 2013
Department OESA
Volume 3
Page From art. 2036
Language englisch
Keywords Population dynamics; Freshwater ecology; Ecological modelling; Environmental sciences
UFZ wide themes RU5;
Abstract In addition to natural stressors, populations are increasingly exposed to chemical pollutants released into the environment. We experimentally demonstrate the loss of resilience for Daphnia magna populations that are exposed to a combination of natural and chemical stressors even though effects on population size of a single stressor were cryptic, i.e. hard to detect statistically. Data on Daphnia population demography and along with model-based exploration of our predator-prey system revealed that direct trophic interactions changed the population size-structure and thereby increased population vulnerability to the toxicant which acts in a size selective manner. Moreover, population vulnerability to the toxicant increases with predator size and predation intensity whereas indirect trait-mediated interactions via predator kairomones may buffer chemical effects to a certain extent. Our study demonstrates that population size can be a poor endpoint for risk assessments of chemicals and that ignoring disturbance interactions can lead to severe underestimation of extinction risk.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Gergs, A., Zenker, A., Grimm, V., Preuss, T.G. (2013):
Chemical and natural stressors combined: from cryptic effects to population extinction
Sci. Rep. 3 , art. 2036 10.1038/srep02036