Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Redundancy and Resilience in Freshwater Bacterial Communities
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Bacteria are immensely diverse and hold key-positions in essentially all biogeochemical cycles. In freshwater ecosystems, bacteria degrade and mineralize organic compounds, linking the pool of dissolved organic matter to higher trophic levels. Aware of the global biodiversity loss, ecologists have started identifying the relationship of diversity and ecosystem functioning. Central to this is the question if species can functionally replace other species, hence being functionally redundant. Functional redundancy might allow communities to maintain functioning when diversity is lost. Due to their large numbers and great diversity, bacterial communities have been suspected to harbor large amounts of redundancy. The central aim of this thesis is to investigate the coupling of diversity and ecosystem functioning of bacterial communities and to understand how environmental perturbation affects this relationship. I manipulated the diversity of complex communities by a dilution technique, and measured the performance of bacterioplankton and biofilm-forming communities at different diversities. Reduction of bacterial diversity differently affected different functions, and that the presence or absence of certain species might be causing this pattern. However, for ecosystems to function, the interplay of multiple functions, i.e. multifunctionality, has to be sustained over long periods of time. In bacterial biofilm communities reduced diversity affected multifunctionality, as reflected by extracellular enzyme activities. A continuous cultivation system was used to address the importance of diversity for resistance and resilience upon environmental perturbation. The analysis of co-occurrence of bacterial taxa showed that the communities form a dense network before the perturbation and that these patterns are disturbed by the environmental perturbation. The final chapter of the thesis presents experimental evidence for the positive effects of temporal and spatial refuges for bacterial communities and the functions they provide. Overall, I found several indications for a lower amount of functional redundancy as previously assumed and it becomes apparent from this thesis that a multifunctional perspective and the consideration of environmental heterogeneity is pivotal.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011. , 48 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 882
biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, bacteria, fresh water, biofilms, multifunctionality, ecological networks, perturbation, fragility
Research subject Biology with specialization in Limnology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-160780ISBN: 978-91-554-8223-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-160780DiVA: diva2:453381
2011-12-16, Friessalen, Evolutionary Biology Centre (EBC), Norbyvägen 18, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Hairston, Nelson G.
Tranvik, Lars J.Lindström, Eva S.Langenheder, Silke
List of papers