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Short-term apparent mutualism drives responses of aquatic prey at increasing productivity
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2858-5947
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3509-8266
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8981-1453
2020 (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

According to apparent competition theory, sharing a predator should cause indirect interactions among prey that can substantially influence food-web responses to environmental drivers. However, empirical evidence of apparent competition under ongoing environmental change is still scarce. In an 8-week mesocosm experiment, we found that short-term responses of aquatic food webs to increasing productivity were strongly regulated by apparent mutualism between benthic and pelagic prey in the presence of a generalist fish. Following trends in natural systems, increasing productivity in our mesocosms favored the relative abundance of benthic prey. This elicited a shift in fish selectivity from pelagic to benthic prey driven by fish switching behavior which resulted in lower and delayed top-down control on pelagic prey. Our results highlight that apparent competition theory may explain food-web responses across environmental gradients, whereby resulting prey dynamics and stability may highly depend on the foraging behavior exhibited by generalist predators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
Apparent competition, top-down control, trophic cascade, food web, resource coupling, eutrophication, indirect interactions, crucian carp, mesocosm
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Limnology; Biology with specialization in Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-404054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-404054DiVA, id: diva2:1392613
Funder
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, KAW 2013.0091Available from: 2020-02-08 Created: 2020-02-08 Last updated: 2020-02-17
In thesis
1.
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