Impact of biodiversity-climate futures on primary production and metabolism in a model benthic estuarine system

Natalie Hicks, Mark Bulling, Martin Solan, David Raffaelli, Piran White, David Maxwell Paterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Understanding the effects of anthropogenically-driven changes in global temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide and biodiversity on the functionality of marine ecosystems is crucial for predicting and managing the associated impacts. Coastal ecosystems are important sources of carbon (primary production) to shelf waters and play a vital role in global nutrient cycling. These systems are especially vulnerable to the effects of human activities and will be the first areas impacted by rising sea levels. Within these coastal ecosystems, microalgal assemblages (microphytobenthos: MPB) are vital for autochthonous carbon fixation. The level of in situ production by MPB mediates the net carbon cycling of transitional ecosystems between net heterotrophic or autotrophic metabolism. In this study, we examine the interactive effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (370, 600, and 1000 ppmv), temperature
(6°C, 12°C, and 18°C) and invertebrate biodiversity on MPB biomass in experimental systems. We assembled communities of three common grazing invertebrates (Hydrobia ulvae, Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor) in monoculture and in all possible multispecies combinations. This experimental design specifically addresses interactions between the selected climate change variables and any ecological consequences caused by changes in species composition or richness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalBMC Ecology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2011

Keywords

  • Climate
  • Biodiversity
  • Benthic metabolism
  • Estuaries
  • Primary production

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