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      Shift in seagrass food web structure over decades is linked to overfishing

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      Marine Ecology Progress Series
      Inter-Research Science Center

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          Exploitation Ecosystems in Gradients of Primary Productivity

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            Multi-level trophic cascades in a heavily exploited open marine ecosystem.

            Anthropogenic disturbances intertwined with climatic changes can have a large impact on the upper trophic levels of marine ecosystems, which may cascade down the food web. So far it has been difficult to demonstrate multi-level trophic cascades in pelagic marine environments. Using field data collected during a 33-year period, we show for the first time a four-level community-wide trophic cascade in the open Baltic Sea. The dramatic reduction of the cod (Gadus morhua) population directly affected its main prey, the zooplanktivorous sprat (Sprattus sprattus), and indirectly the summer biomass of zooplankton and phytoplankton (top-down processes). Bottom-up processes and climate-hydrological forces had a weaker influence on sprat and zooplankton, whereas phytoplankton variation was explained solely by top-down mechanisms. Our results suggest that in order to dampen the occasionally harmful algal blooms of the Baltic, effort should be addressed not only to control anthropogenic nutrient inputs but also to preserve structure and functioning of higher trophic levels.
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              STRONG IMPACTS OF GRAZING AMPHIPODS ON THE ORGANIZATION OF A BENTHIC COMMUNITY

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Marine Ecology Progress Series
                Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.
                Inter-Research Science Center
                0171-8630
                1616-1599
                April 11 2012
                April 11 2012
                : 451
                :
                : 61-73
                Article
                10.3354/meps09585
                f7d8cd41-e62f-436a-8b46-f00a7b6464dd
                © 2012
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v451/p61-73/

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