Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s10021-022-00776-3
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Trophic transfer efficiency in lakes
Author Mehner, T.; Attermeyer, K.; Brauns, M.; Brothers, S.; Hilt, S.; Scharnweber, K.; van Dorst, R.M.; Vanni, M.J.; Gaedke, U.
Journal Ecosystems
Year 2022
Department FLOEK
Volume 25
Issue 8
Page From 1628
Page To 1652
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords stoichiometry; production rates; trophic position; fatty acids; land–water coupling; food-web models
Abstract Trophic transfer efficiency (TTE) is usually calculated as the ratio of production rates between two consecutive trophic levels. Although seemingly simple, TTE estimates from lakes are rare. In our review, we explore the processes and structures that must be understood for a proper lake TTE estimate. We briefly discuss measurements of production rates and trophic positions and mention how ecological efficiencies, nutrients (N, P) and other compounds (fatty acids) affect energy transfer between trophic levels and hence TTE. Furthermore, we elucidate how TTE estimates are linked with size-based approaches according to the Metabolic Theory of Ecology, and how food-web models can be applied to study TTE in lakes. Subsequently, we explore temporal and spatial heterogeneity of production and TTE in lakes, with a particular focus on the links between benthic and pelagic habitats and between the lake and the terrestrial environment. We provide an overview of TTE estimates from lakes found in the published literature. Finally, we present two alternative approaches to estimating TTE. First, TTE can be seen as a mechanistic quantity informing about the energy and matter flow between producer and consumer groups. This approach is informative with respect to food-web structure, but requires enormous amounts of data. The greatest uncertainty comes from the proper consideration of basal production to estimate TTE of omnivorous organisms. An alternative approach is estimating food-chain and food-web efficiencies, by comparing the heterotrophic production of single consumer levels or the total sum of all heterotrophic production including that of heterotrophic bacteria to the total sum of primary production. We close the review by pointing to a few research questions that would benefit from more frequent and standardized estimates of TTE in lakes.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Mehner, T., Attermeyer, K., Brauns, M., Brothers, S., Hilt, S., Scharnweber, K., van Dorst, R.M., Vanni, M.J., Gaedke, U. (2022):
Trophic transfer efficiency in lakes
Ecosystems 25 (8), 1628 - 1652