Flow modifies the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: an in situ study of estuarine sediments
Biles, C.L.; Solan, M.; Isaksson, I.; Paterson, D.M.; Emes, C.; Raffaelli, D.G. (2003). Flow modifies the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: an in situ study of estuarine sediments. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 285-286: 165-177
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981; e-ISSN 1879-1697
The effect of flow and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning was investigated in an estuarinesystem using in situ benthic chambers. Macrofaunal communities were artificially assembled tomanipulate both species richness and functional trait richness. In addition, naturally occurringcommunities were sampled in order to determine the effect of macrofaunal and sediment disruption.Ecosystem functioning was assessed by measurement of nutrient release NH4 -N) from thesediment, a process essential for primary production. Natural and assembled communities werefound to differ significantly, demonstrating the effect of experimental manipulation on the system.Flow was found to have a highly significant effect on ecosystem functioning in both natural andassembled communities in treatments containing macrofauna. No significant difference betweenstatic and flow treatments was found in macrofaunal-free controls, indicating that flow generates aneffect through promoting changes in bioturbatory activity of the infaunacausing greater disruption tothe sediment. In assembled. communities, functional richness significantly increased ecosystemfunctioning. Species richness had no influence in assembled communities.