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Title (Primary) Disturbance alters the response of consumer communities towards warming: a mesocosm study with biofilm-dwelling ciliates
Author Marcus, H.; Wey, J.K.; Norf, H.; Weitere, M.;
Journal Ecosphere
Year 2014
Department ASAM; FLOEK;
Volume 5
Issue 1
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T32;
Keywords biofilm; ciliates; community effects; disturbance; functional diversity; global warming; microbial communities; protists; Rhine; river; traits
UFZ wide themes RU2;
Abstract Environmental warming can have negative effects on the carrying capacity of communities
because metabolic rates increase at the expense of biomass. Here, we tested the hypothesis that such
warming effects are reversed in communities experiencing disturbance, as temperature-driven growth
processes gain relevance and can compensate for negative disturbance effects. Model communities of seminatural, biofilm-dwelling ciliates were cultivated in mesocosms (river bypass systems) under two
temperature regimes (ambient temperature and increased by 48C). The interactive effects between these
different temperatures and seven disturbance intensities were tested in a nested design. Disturbance
generally reduced total ciliate abundances, whereas only small effects on the prevalence of functional
diversity were detected. Temperature effects differed between different disturbance intensities and seasons:
Whereas warming reduced the carrying capacity of undisturbed communities irrespective of the season,
pronounced positive warming effects were detected under disturbance in winter and, to a lesser extent, in
spring. Neither significant temperature nor disturbance effects were recorded in summer, probably because
ciliate growth rates were not temperature limited due to high summer background temperatures. Our
results show that disturbance can markedly alter warming effects on temperature limited communities.
Since natural communities commonly face disturbance, it should therefore be considered in models of
future environmental warming responses.
ID 14402
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=14402
Marcus, H., Wey, J.K., Norf, H., Weitere, M. (2014):
Disturbance alters the response of consumer communities towards warming: a mesocosm study with biofilm-dwelling ciliates
Ecosphere 5 (1), art. 10