Effects of macroconsumers on benthic communities: rapid increases in dry-season accrual of calcium in a tropical karst stream

Corrêa, Elaine Christina, de Oliveira Roque, Fabio, Utz, Ryan Michael, de Sousa Correa, Jonas, de Souza, Franco Leandro, and Covich, Alan Paul (2018) Effects of macroconsumers on benthic communities: rapid increases in dry-season accrual of calcium in a tropical karst stream. PLoS ONE, 13 (12). e0209102.

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Abstract

Species loss from upper trophic levels can result in some major changes in community structure and ecosystem functions. Here, we experimentally excluded macroconsumers (e.g., fish and shrimp) in a Brazilian karst tropical stream during the dry season to investigate if their loss affected the accrual of calcium, dry mass (DM) and ash-free dry mass (AFDM) of sediment, benthic invertebrates, and chlorophyll-a. We found that the exclusion of macroconsumers decreased accrual of calcium. The absence of fish and shrimp may have promoted increased grazing by mayflies and snails in the electrified treatment as expressed by the depressed calcium accrual and shift in periphyton community composition. However, the exclusion of macroconsumers had no effect on DM and AFDM, chlorophyll-a, or total abundance of invertebrates. Our findings shed new light on the impact of macroconsumer loss and consequences for calcium accrual in karstic streams.

Item ID: 58582
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2018 Corrêa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: CNPq, Brazil
Projects and Grants: CPNq 23/200.668/2013
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 00:40
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 100%
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