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Light Increases Energy Transfer Efficiency in a Boreal Stream
Klaipeda Univ, Marine Sci & Technol Ctr, Klaipeda, Lithuania.;Karlstad Univ, Dept Biol, Karlstad, Sweden..
Stockholm Univ, Dept Appl Environm Sci, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4192-6956
Nat Res Ctr, Inst Ecol, Vilnius, Lithuania..
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences. (Naturresurs rinnande vatten)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2220-1615
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2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 11, article id e113675Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

Periphyton communities of a boreal stream were exposed to different light and nutrient levels to estimate energy transfer efficiency from primary to secondary producers using labeling with inorganic C-13. In a one-day field experiment, periphyton grown in fast-flow conditions and dominated by opportunistic green algae were exposed to light levels corresponding to sub-saturating (forest shade) and saturating (open stream section) irradiances, and to N and P nutrient additions. In a two-week laboratory experiment, periphyton grown in low-flow conditions and dominated by slowly growing diatoms were incubated under two sub-saturating light and nutrient enrichment levels as well as grazed and non-grazed conditions. Light had significant positive effect on C-13 uptake by periphyton. In the field experiment, P addition had a positive effect on C-13 uptake but only at sub-saturating light levels, whereas in the laboratory experiment nutrient additions had no effect on the periphyton biomass, C-13 uptake, biovolume and community composition. In the laboratory experiment, the grazer (caddisfly) effect on periphyton biomass specific C-13 uptake and nutrient content was much stronger than the effects of light and nutrients. In particular, grazers significantly reduced periphyton biomass and increased biomass specific C-13 uptake and C: nutrient ratios. The energy transfer efficiency, estimated as a ratio between C-13 uptake by caddisfly and periphyton, was positively affected by light conditions, whereas the nutrient effect was not significant. We suggest that the observed effects on energy transfer were related to the increased diet contribution of highly palatable green algae, stimulated by higher light levels. Also, high heterotrophic microbial activity under low light levels would facilitate energy loss through respiration and decrease overall trophic transfer efficiency. These findings suggest that even a small increase in light intensity could result in community-wide effects on periphyton in boreal streams, with a subsequent increase in energy transfer and system productivity.

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Public library of science , 2014. Vol. 9, no 11, article id e113675
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Biological Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41486DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113675ISI: 000345253000070PubMedID: 25412343OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-41486DiVA, id: diva2:923174
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Gorokhova, ElenaBergman, EvaGreenberg, Larry A.

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