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Investigating epifauna community assembly in shallow bays using traits
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Ecological studies are often performed to investigate ecosystems from a taxonomic point of view (e.g. species richness or species composition). However, investigating variations in organism traits, rather than variations based on taxonomy, can yield higher mechaninistic understanding of the ecosystem. Invertebrate communities in shallow bays have not been subject for extensive investigations of traits. Thus, this study aimed to assess impacts on trait composition of invertebrates in shallow bays by five factors: (i) topographic openness, (ii) nitrogen load, (iii) filamentous algae, (iv) submerged plants, and (v) predatory fish. In order to investigate these connections, a large-scale field sampling of shallow bay ecosystems in the Swedish part of the Baltic Sea was conducted. Statistical analysis was performed using permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) based on distance matrices, and the results were visualized with nonmetric multidimensional scaling (nMDS). The results show that topographic openness and submerged plants in shallow bays structure invertebrate trait composition. Topographic openness was shown to impact the traits of invertebrate communities slightly more (19 %) than submerged plants (14 %). Several traits are shown to be the drivers behind these results. However, not all effects on traits by the factors seem to be direct effects; some effects are likely seen due to indirect effects. The lack of effect of predatory fish is discussed and may be due to artifacts. Furthermore, different elements of trait-based studies are briefly discussed and recommendations for future trait studies are given. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keywords [en]
Ecology, Traits, Baltic Sea, Aquatic ecology, Shallow bays
Keywords [sv]
Ekologi, Akvatisk ekologi, Östersjön, Egenskaper, Grunda vikar
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140170OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-140170DiVA, id: diva2:1078338
Presentation
(English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Projects
PlantFishAvailable from: 2017-06-19 Created: 2017-03-03 Last updated: 2017-08-13Bibliographically approved

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Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Ecology

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Output format
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