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Dispersal-mediated trophic interactions can generate apparent patterns of dispersal limitation in aquatic metacommunities

Verreydt, D. and De Meester, L. and Decaestecker, E. and Villena, M. J. and Van der Gucht, K. and Vannormelingen, P. and Vyverman, W. and Declerck, S.A.J. (2012) Dispersal-mediated trophic interactions can generate apparent patterns of dispersal limitation in aquatic metacommunities. Ecology Letters, 15, 218-226. ISSN 1461-023X.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01728.x

Abstract

Dispersal is a major organising force in metacommunities, which may facilitate compositional responses of local communities to environmental change and affect ecosystem function. Organism groups differ widely in their dispersal abilities and their communities are therefore expected to have different adaptive abilities. In mesocosms, we studied the simultaneous compositional response of three plankton communities (zoo-, phyto- and bacterioplankton) to a primary productivity gradient and evaluated how this response was mediated by dispersal intensity. Dispersal enhanced responses in all three planktonic groups, which also affected ecosystem functioning. Yet, variation partitioning analyses indicated that responses in phytoplankton and bacterial communities were not only controlled by dispersal directly but also indirectly through complex trophic interactions. Our results indicate that metacommunity patterns emerging from dispersal can cascade through the food web and generate patterns of apparent dispersal limitation in organisms at other trophic levels.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:9931
Deposited On:06 Dec 2011 01:00
Last Modified:22 Aug 2013 11:54

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