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Water 2017, 9(7), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9070514

Fish but Not Macroinvertebrates Promote Trophic Cascading Effects in High Density Submersed Plant Experimental Lake Food Webs in Two Contrasting Climate Regions

1
Departamento de Ecología y Gestión Ambiental, Centro Universitario Regional del Este, Universidad de la República, Maldonado 20000, Uruguay
2
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, DK-8600 Aarhus, Denmark
3
Department of Bioscience, Arctic Research Centre, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
4
Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research, Beijing 100190, China
5
Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo 11400, Uruguay
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 12 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Responses of Lakes to Climate Change)
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Abstract

Predators play a key role in the functioning of shallow lakes. Differences between the response of temperate and subtropical systems to fish predation have been proposed, but experimental evidence is scarce. To elucidate cascading effects produced by predators in contrasting climatic zones, we conducted a mesocosm experiment in three pairs of lakes in Uruguay and Denmark. We used two typical planktivorous-omnivorous fish species (Jenynsia multidentata + Cnesterodon decemmaculatus and Gasterosteus aculeatus + Perca fluviatilis) and one littoral omnivorous-predatory macroinvertebrate (Palaemonetes argentinus and Gammarus lacustris), alone and combined, in numbers resembling natural densities. Fish predation on zooplankton increased phytoplankton biomass in both climate zones, whereas the effects of predatory macroinvertebrates on zooplankton and phytoplankton were not significant in either climate zone. Macroinvertebrates (that freely colonized the sampling devices) were diminished by fish in both climate areas; however, periphyton biomass did not vary among treatments. Our experiments demonstrated that fish affected the structure of both planktonic and littoral herbivorous communities in both climate regions, with a visible positive cascading effect on phytoplankton biomass, but no effects on periphyton. Altogether, fish impacts appeared to be a strong driver of turbid water conditions in shallow lakes regardless of climatic zone by indirectly contributing to increasing phytoplankton biomass. View Full-Text
Keywords: omnivorous fish; littoral macroinvertebrates; zooplankton size structure; cascading effects; mesocosm omnivorous fish; littoral macroinvertebrates; zooplankton size structure; cascading effects; mesocosm
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Iglesias, C.; Jeppesen, E.; Mazzeo, N.; Pacheco, J.P.; Mello, F.T.-D.; Landkildehus, F.; Fosalba, C.; Clemente, J.M.; Meerhoff, M. Fish but Not Macroinvertebrates Promote Trophic Cascading Effects in High Density Submersed Plant Experimental Lake Food Webs in Two Contrasting Climate Regions. Water 2017, 9, 514.

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