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Ecology. 2012 May;93(5):1173-82.

Reciprocal subsidies between freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems structure consumer resource dynamics.

Author information

1
Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. pia.bartels@ebc.uu.se

Abstract

Cross-ecosystem movements of material and energy, particularly reciprocal resource fluxes across the freshwater-land interface, have received major attention. Freshwater ecosystems may receive higher amounts of subsidies (i.e., resources produced outside the focal ecosystem) than terrestrial ecosystems, potentially leading to increased secondary production in freshwaters. Here we used a meta-analytic approach to quantify the magnitude and direction of subsidy inputs across the freshwater-land interface and to determine subsequent responses in recipient animals. Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems differed in the magnitude of subsidies they received, with aquatic ecosystems generally receiving higher subsidies than terrestrial ecosystems. Surprisingly, and despite the large discrepancy in magnitude, the contribution of these subsidies to animal carbon inferred from stable isotope composition did not differ between freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, likely due to the differences in subsidy quality. The contribution of allochthonous subsidies was highest to primary consumers and predators, suggesting that bottom-up and top-down effects may be affected considerably by the input of allochthonous resources. Future work on subsidies will profit from a food web dynamic approach including indirect trophic interactions and propagating effects.

PMID:
22764503
DOI:
10.1890/11-1210.1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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