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Testing the Stress Gradient Hypothesis in herbivore communities: facilitation peaks at intermediate nutrient levels. / Bakker, E.S.; Dobrescu, I.; Straile, D.; Holmgren, M.

In: Ecology, Vol. 94, No. 8, 2013, p. 1776-1784.

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Bakker, E.S. ; Dobrescu, I. ; Straile, D. ; Holmgren, M. / Testing the Stress Gradient Hypothesis in herbivore communities: facilitation peaks at intermediate nutrient levels. In: Ecology. 2013 ; Vol. 94, No. 8. pp. 1776-1784.

BibTeX

@article{c2dab4801ccc476e9d816de6d87e5b02,
title = "Testing the Stress Gradient Hypothesis in herbivore communities: facilitation peaks at intermediate nutrient levels",
abstract = "The role of positive interactions in structuring plant and animal communities is increasingly recognized but the generality of current theoretical models has remained practically unexplored in animal communities. The Stress Gradient Hypothesis predicts a linear increase in the intensity of facilitation as environmental conditions become increasingly stressful, whereas other theoretical models predict a maximum at intermediate environmental stress. We tested how competition and facilitation between herbivores change over a manipulated gradient of nutrient availability. We studied the effect of grazing by pond snails (Lymnaea stagnalis L.) as bulk grazers on aquatic caterpillars (Acentria ephemerella Denis & Schifferm{\"u}ller) as small specialist grazers along an experimental gradient of environmental nutrient concentration. Higher nutrient levels increased overall total plant biomass but induced a shift towards dominance of filamentous algae at the expense of macrophytes. Facilitation of caterpillars by snail presence peaked at intermediate nutrient levels. Both caterpillar biomass and caterpillar grazing on macrophytes were highest at intermediate nutrient levels. Snails facilitated caterpillars possibly by removing filamentous algae and increasing access to the macrophyte resource, whereas they did not affect macrophyte biomass or C:nutrient ratios, a measure of food quality. We conclude that competition and facilitation in herbivore communities change along nutrient availability gradients that affect plant biomass and community composition. Understanding how interspecific interactions may change in strength and direction along environmental gradients is important to predict how the diversity and structure of communities may respond to the introduction or removal of herbivore species in ecosystems. Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/12-1175.1",
keywords = "international",
author = "E.S. Bakker and I. Dobrescu and D. Straile and M. Holmgren",
note = "Reporting year: 2013 Metis note: 5418;AqE; Data archiving: data archived at MDA",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1890/12-1175.1",
language = "English",
volume = "94",
pages = "1776--1784",
journal = "Ecology",
issn = "0012-9658",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "8",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Testing the Stress Gradient Hypothesis in herbivore communities: facilitation peaks at intermediate nutrient levels

AU - Bakker, E.S.

AU - Dobrescu, I.

AU - Straile, D.

AU - Holmgren, M.

N1 - Reporting year: 2013 Metis note: 5418;AqE; Data archiving: data archived at MDA

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The role of positive interactions in structuring plant and animal communities is increasingly recognized but the generality of current theoretical models has remained practically unexplored in animal communities. The Stress Gradient Hypothesis predicts a linear increase in the intensity of facilitation as environmental conditions become increasingly stressful, whereas other theoretical models predict a maximum at intermediate environmental stress. We tested how competition and facilitation between herbivores change over a manipulated gradient of nutrient availability. We studied the effect of grazing by pond snails (Lymnaea stagnalis L.) as bulk grazers on aquatic caterpillars (Acentria ephemerella Denis & Schiffermüller) as small specialist grazers along an experimental gradient of environmental nutrient concentration. Higher nutrient levels increased overall total plant biomass but induced a shift towards dominance of filamentous algae at the expense of macrophytes. Facilitation of caterpillars by snail presence peaked at intermediate nutrient levels. Both caterpillar biomass and caterpillar grazing on macrophytes were highest at intermediate nutrient levels. Snails facilitated caterpillars possibly by removing filamentous algae and increasing access to the macrophyte resource, whereas they did not affect macrophyte biomass or C:nutrient ratios, a measure of food quality. We conclude that competition and facilitation in herbivore communities change along nutrient availability gradients that affect plant biomass and community composition. Understanding how interspecific interactions may change in strength and direction along environmental gradients is important to predict how the diversity and structure of communities may respond to the introduction or removal of herbivore species in ecosystems. Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/12-1175.1

AB - The role of positive interactions in structuring plant and animal communities is increasingly recognized but the generality of current theoretical models has remained practically unexplored in animal communities. The Stress Gradient Hypothesis predicts a linear increase in the intensity of facilitation as environmental conditions become increasingly stressful, whereas other theoretical models predict a maximum at intermediate environmental stress. We tested how competition and facilitation between herbivores change over a manipulated gradient of nutrient availability. We studied the effect of grazing by pond snails (Lymnaea stagnalis L.) as bulk grazers on aquatic caterpillars (Acentria ephemerella Denis & Schiffermüller) as small specialist grazers along an experimental gradient of environmental nutrient concentration. Higher nutrient levels increased overall total plant biomass but induced a shift towards dominance of filamentous algae at the expense of macrophytes. Facilitation of caterpillars by snail presence peaked at intermediate nutrient levels. Both caterpillar biomass and caterpillar grazing on macrophytes were highest at intermediate nutrient levels. Snails facilitated caterpillars possibly by removing filamentous algae and increasing access to the macrophyte resource, whereas they did not affect macrophyte biomass or C:nutrient ratios, a measure of food quality. We conclude that competition and facilitation in herbivore communities change along nutrient availability gradients that affect plant biomass and community composition. Understanding how interspecific interactions may change in strength and direction along environmental gradients is important to predict how the diversity and structure of communities may respond to the introduction or removal of herbivore species in ecosystems. Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/12-1175.1

KW - international

U2 - 10.1890/12-1175.1

DO - 10.1890/12-1175.1

M3 - Article

VL - 94

SP - 1776

EP - 1784

JO - Ecology

JF - Ecology

SN - 0012-9658

IS - 8

ER -

ID: 315723