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Baltic shore-lands facing climate change
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. (Växtekologi)
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis provides new insight concerning drivers behind differences in arthropod diversity and abundance in Baltic shore ecosystems and how the arthropod communities might be affected when the conditions in the Baltic Sea are altered due to climate change.  The focus has been on climate related changes that are unique for coastal ecosystems, especially sea level rise and changes in the inflow of marine nutrients.

As sea levels rise, features in coastal landscapes will be altered, islands and habitats will be flooded and diminished, and structural connectivity within the island landscape will therefore change. This thesis shows that arthropod diversity within the two arthropod groups, spiders and beetles, increases with island size but also that diversity is positively influenced by a high number of islands in the surroundings.

A changed distribution and occurrence of marine species, due to climate change or eutrophication, can also affect terrestrial organisms on the shore.  In the Baltic Sea the new conditions following climate change will decrease the prevalence of bladder-wrack and benefit filamentous algae. Algal deposits on shores reflect the marine species composition and a decreased prevalence of bladder-wrack in the Baltic Sea will also be visible on the shores.  This thesis shows that a lower proportion of bladder-wrack in the algal deposits will decrease the diversity and abundance of arthropods in these deposits.

Changes in the marine environment may also affect the inflow of insects with aquatic life stages and terrestrial adult stages.  On Baltic shores, prey species with aquatic life stages, especially chironomids, constitute a large proportion of the diet of the terrestrial predatory group, wolf spiders. In freshwater system, the inflow of chironomids is known to decrease with elevated water temperatures if this is true in the Baltic Sea prey availability of wolf spiders would decrease.  This thesis supports the importance of chironomids as a prey for coastal wolf spiders, but also shows that the diet varies over season with dominance of terrestrial prey in early summer shifting to a dominance of marine prey in late summer and autumn. This seasonal variation is primarily due to a gradual increase in the consumption of chironomids over season.

Climate change has the potential to alter the biogeographical conditions in coastal landscapes as well as the density and quality of marine nutrient inflow. Sea level rise will diminish and flood islands and this thesis shows that a moderate sea level rise of 0.5 meters would make the total number of islands in the outer part of Stockholm archipelago decrease with about 25 %. Sea level rise could thus have consequences for arthropod diversity in Baltic shore meadows in the near future. The combined effects of sea level rise and changed prevalence of marine species in the Baltic Sea will affect the abundance and diversity of arthropods substantially. The abundance and diversity of spiders and beetles will decrease on shores that today have a high occurrence of bladder-wrack and prey availability for coastal predators might decrease due to a decreased inflow of chironomids. Changes in the arthropod communities could have consequences also further up in the food chain, such as for shore birds feeding on these arthropods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University , 2017. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
Arthropod diversity, Baltic shores, Beetles, Climate change, Energy flows, Marine inflow, Sea level rise, Shore ecosystems, Species distribution, Spiders
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141794ISBN: 978-91-7649-782-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7649-783-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141794DiVA: diva2:1089061
Public defence
2017-06-09, Sal P216, NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-05-17 Created: 2017-04-18 Last updated: 2017-05-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Climate change effects on the Baltic Sea borderland between land and sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate change effects on the Baltic Sea borderland between land and sea
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2015 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 44, s28-S38 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Coastal habitats are situated on the border between land and sea, and ecosystem structure and functioning is influenced by both marine and terrestrial processes. Despite this, most scientific studies and monitoring are conducted either with a terrestrial or an aquatic focus. To address issues concerning climate change impacts in coastal areas, a cross-ecosystem approach is necessary. Since habitats along the Baltic coastlines vary in hydrology, natural geography, and ecology, climate change projections for Baltic shore ecosystems are bound to be highly speculative. Societal responses to climate change in the Baltic coastal ecosystems should have an ecosystem approach and match the biophysical realities of the Baltic Sea area. Knowledge about ecosystem processes and their responses to a changing climate should be integrated within the decision process, both locally and nationally, in order to increase the awareness of, and to prepare for climate change impacts in coastal areas of the Baltic Sea.

Keyword
Baltic Sea, Climate change, Coastal ecosystems, Sea shores, Sea level, Coastal management
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114256 (URN)10.1007/s13280-014-0586-8 (DOI)000347680100004 ()25576278 (PubMedID)
Note

AuthorCount:8;

Available from: 2015-03-26 Created: 2015-02-25 Last updated: 2017-05-05Bibliographically approved
2. Drivers behind local and regional arhropod diversity in naturally fragmented landscapes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers behind local and regional arhropod diversity in naturally fragmented landscapes
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Archipelagoes, Arthropods, α- diversity, Baltic Sea, β-diversity, γ-diversity, Island biogeography, Shore habitats
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141968 (URN)
Available from: 2017-04-21 Created: 2017-04-21 Last updated: 2017-05-05Bibliographically approved
3. The structure of marine deposits affectes arthropod communities in southern Baltic shore ecosystems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The structure of marine deposits affectes arthropod communities in southern Baltic shore ecosystems
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Algal deposits, Arthropod diversity, Climate change, Ecotones, Functional diversity, Marine deposits, Shore ecosystems, Species composition
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141967 (URN)
Available from: 2017-04-21 Created: 2017-04-21 Last updated: 2017-05-05Bibliographically approved
4. Seasonally varying marine influences on the coastal ecosystem detected through molecular gut content analysis but not through stable isotope analyis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seasonally varying marine influences on the coastal ecosystem detected through molecular gut content analysis but not through stable isotope analyis
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Pardosa, molecular gut content analysis, stable isotopes, marine inflow
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141970 (URN)
Available from: 2017-04-21 Created: 2017-04-21 Last updated: 2017-05-05Bibliographically approved

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