|Appears in Collections:||Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles|
|Peer Review Status:||Refereed|
|Title:||Invertebrate grazing during the regenerative phase affects the ultimate structure of macrophyte communities|
|Citation:||Elger A, Willby N & Cabello-Martinez M (2009) Invertebrate grazing during the regenerative phase affects the ultimate structure of macrophyte communities, Freshwater Biology, 54 (6), pp. 1246-1255.|
|Abstract:||1. Although the biomass of freshwater macrophytes consumed by invertebrate herbivores (excluding crayfish) is usually low, there is growing evidence that invertebrates do exert a structuring effect on macrophyte communities. To explain this, we postulated that the effect of invertebrates may be concentrated on macrophytes during their regenerative phase.2. We tested this hypothesis by means of a mesocosm-based experiment, in which we investigated the effects of different densities of pond snails [Lymnaea stagnalis (L.)] on macrophytes regenerating from the natural sediment propagule bank.3. After 2 months, a diverse macrophyte community had established in the absence of snails, mainly from sexual propagules. Under moderate snail grazing (4 individuals m-2), the ultimate biomass of macrophytes was similar, but its species composition differed dramatically. Only a few unpalatable taxa, such as Ceratophyllum demersum and Nymphaeaceae, persisted. Moreover, the relative success of macrophytes regenerating from vegetative rather than sexual propagules improved. Under higher snail grazing (20 m-2), all macrophytes disappeared before the end of the experiment.4. These results confirm that snails at natural densities can have a strong effect on the ultimate structure of macrophyte communities by selectively consuming some species at a juvenile stage. Therefore, the regenerative phase can be seen as a window of opportunity for invertebrate grazers, which can have a qualitative effect on communities that is disproportionate to the biomass consumed.|
|Rights:||The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.|
|ELGER_et_al-2009-Freshwater_Biology.pdf||169.85 kB||Adobe PDF||Under Embargo until 31/12/2999 Request a copy|
Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.
This item is protected by original copyright
Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.