Matching Items (5)

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Stable Isotope Turnover and Half-Life in Animal Tissues: A Literature Synthesis

Description

Stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur are used as ecological tracers for a variety of applications, such as studies of animal migrations, energy sources, and food web pathways. Yet

Stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur are used as ecological tracers for a variety of applications, such as studies of animal migrations, energy sources, and food web pathways. Yet uncertainty relating to the time period integrated by isotopic measurement of animal tissues can confound the interpretation of isotopic data. There have been a large number of experimental isotopic diet shift studies aimed at quantifying animal tissue isotopic turnover rate λ (%·day[superscript -1], often expressed as isotopic half-life, ln(2)/λ, days). Yet no studies have evaluated or summarized the many individual half-life estimates in an effort to both seek broad-scale patterns and characterize the degree of variability. Here, we collect previously published half-life estimates, examine how half-life is related to body size, and test for tissue- and taxa-varying allometric relationships. Half-life generally increases with animal body mass, and is longer in muscle and blood compared to plasma and internal organs. Half-life was longest in ecotherms, followed by mammals, and finally birds. For ectotherms, different taxa-tissue combinations had similar allometric slopes that generally matched predictions of metabolic theory. Half-life for ectotherms can be approximated as: ln (half-life) = 0.22*ln (body mass) + group-specific intercept; n = 261, p<0.0001, r[superscript 2] = 0.63. For endothermic groups, relationships with body mass were weak and model slopes and intercepts were heterogeneous. While isotopic half-life can be approximated using simple allometric relationships for some taxa and tissue types, there is also a high degree of unexplained variation in our models. Our study highlights several strong and general patterns, though accurate prediction of isotopic half-life from readily available variables such as animal body mass remains elusive.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-01-30

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Does the Growth Rate Hypothesis Apply across Temperatures? Variation in the Growth Rate and Body Phosphorus of Neotropical Benthic Grazers

Description

The growth rate hypothesis predicts that organisms with higher maximum growth rates will also have higher body percent phosphorus (P) due to the increased demand for ribosomal RNA production needed

The growth rate hypothesis predicts that organisms with higher maximum growth rates will also have higher body percent phosphorus (P) due to the increased demand for ribosomal RNA production needed to sustain rapid growth. However, this hypothesis was formulated for invertebrates growing at the same temperature. Within a biologically relevant temperature range, increased temperatures can lead to more rapid growth, suggesting that organisms in warmer environments might also contain more P per gram of dry mass. However, since higher growth rates at higher temperature can be supported by more rapid protein synthesis per ribosome rather than increased ribosome investment, increasing temperature might not lead to a positive relationship between growth and percent P. We tested the growth rate hypothesis by examining two genera of Neotropical stream grazers, the leptophlebiid mayfly Thraulodes and the bufonid toad tadpole Rhinella. We measured the body percent P of field-collected Thraulodes as well as the stoichiometry of periphyton resources in six Panamanian streams over an elevational gradient spanning approximately 1,100 m and 7°C in mean annual temperature. We also measured Thraulodes growth rates using in situ growth chambers in two of these streams. Finally, we conducted temperature manipulation experiments with both Thraulodes and Rhinella at the highest and lowest elevation sites and measured differences in percent P and growth rates. Thraulodes body percent P increased with temperature across the six streams, and average specific growth rate was higher in the warmer lowland stream. In the temperature manipulation experiments, both taxa exhibited higher growth rate and body percent P in the lowland experiments regardless of experimental temperature, but growth rate and body percent P of individuals were not correlated. Although we found that Thraulodes from warmer streams grew more rapidly and had higher body percent P, our experimental results suggest that the growth rate hypothesis does not apply across temperatures. Instead, our results indicate that factors other than temperature drive variation in organismal percent P among sites.

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Date Created
  • 2017-04-18

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Crayfish Impact Desert River Ecosystem Function and Litter-Dwelling Invertebrate Communities through Association with Novel Detrital Resources

Description

Shifts in plant species distributions due to global change are increasing the availability of novel resources in a variety of ecosystems worldwide. In semiarid riparian areas, hydric pioneer tree species

Shifts in plant species distributions due to global change are increasing the availability of novel resources in a variety of ecosystems worldwide. In semiarid riparian areas, hydric pioneer tree species are being replaced by drought-tolerant plant species as water availability decreases. Additionally, introduced omnivorous crayfish, which feed upon primary producers, allochthonous detritus, and benthic invertebrates, can impact communities at multiple levels through both direct and indirect effects mediated by drought-tolerant plants. We tested the impact of both virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis) and litter type on benthic invertebrates and the effect of crayfish on detrital resources across a gradient of riparian vegetation drought-tolerance using field cages with leaf litter bags in the San Pedro River in Southeastern Arizona. Virile crayfish increased breakdown rate of novel drought-tolerant saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima), but did not impact breakdown of drought-tolerant seepwillow (Baccharis salicifolia) or hydric Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) and Gooding's willow (Salix goodingii). Effects on invertebrate diversity were observed at the litter bag scale, but no effects were found at the cage scale. Crayfish decreased alpha diversity of colonizing macroinvertebrates, but did not affect beta diversity. In contrast, the drought-tolerant litter treatment decreased beta diversity relative to hydric litter. As drought-tolerant species become more abundant in riparian zones, their litter will become a larger component of the organic matter budget of desert streams which may serve to homogenize the litter-dwelling community and support elevated populations of virile crayfish. Through impacts at multiple trophic levels, crayfish have a significant effect on desert stream ecosystems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05-07

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Climate impacts on landlocked sea lamprey: Implications for host-parasite interactions and invasive species management

Description

Altered thermal regimes under climate change may influence host-parasite interactions and invasive species, both potentially impacting valuable ecosystem services. There is considerable interest in how parasite life cycle rates, growth,

Altered thermal regimes under climate change may influence host-parasite interactions and invasive species, both potentially impacting valuable ecosystem services. There is considerable interest in how parasite life cycle rates, growth, and impacts on hosts will change under altered environmental temperatures. Likewise, transformed thermal regimes may reduce natural resistance and barriers preventing establishment of invasive species or alter the range and impacts of established exotic species. The Laurentian Great Lakes are some of the most invaded ecosystems and have been profoundly shaped by exotic species. Invasion by the parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) contributed to major declines in many Great Lakes fish populations. In Lake Superior, substantial progress has been made towards controlling invasive sea lamprey and rehabilitating native fish populations. Surface water temperatures in Lake Superior have been increasing rapidly since 1980 presenting a new challenge for management. Here we test how thermal changes in Lake Superior have impacted the feeding and growth of the parasitic sea lamprey. Sea lamprey have increased in size corresponding with longer durations of thermal habitat (i.e., longer growing seasons) for their preferred hosts. To compare regional differences in sea lamprey feeding and growth rates, we used a bioenergetics model with temperature estimates from a lake-wide hydrodynamic model hindcast from 1979–2006. Spatial differences in patterns of warming across the lake result in regionally different predictions for increases in sea lamprey feeding rates and size. These predictions were matched by data from adult sea lamprey spawning in streams draining into these different thermal regions. Larger sea lampreys will be more fecund and have increased feeding rates, thus increasing mortality among host fishes. Resource management should consider these climate driven regional impacts when allocating resources to sea lamprey control efforts. Under new and evolving thermal regimes, successful management systems may need to be restructured for changing phenology, growth, and shifts in host-parasite systems towards greater impacts on host populations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-06-01

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Diet Composition Affects the Rate and N:P Ratio of Fish Excretion

Description

Nutrient recycling by fish can be an important part of nutrient cycles in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. As a result, understanding the mechanisms that influence excretion elemental ratios of

Nutrient recycling by fish can be an important part of nutrient cycles in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. As a result, understanding the mechanisms that influence excretion elemental ratios of fish is of great importance to a complete understanding of aquatic nutrient cycles. As fish consume a wide range of diets that differ in elemental composition, stoichiometric theory can inform predictions about dietary effects on excretion ratios.
We conducted a meta-analysis to test the effects of diet elemental composition on consumption and nutrient excretion by fish. We examined the relationship between consumption rate and diet N : P across all laboratory studies and calculated effect sizes for each excretion metric to test for significant effects.
Consumption rate of N, but not P, was significantly negatively affected by diet N : P. Effect sizes of diet elemental composition on consumption-specific excretion N, P and N : P in laboratory studies were all significantly different from 0, but effect size for raw excretion N : P was not significantly different from zero in laboratory or field surveys.
Our results highlight the importance of having a mechanistic understanding of the drivers of consumer excretion rates and ratios. We suggest that more research is needed on how consumption and assimilation efficiency vary with N : P and in natural ecosystems in order to further understand mechanistic processes in consumer-driven nutrient recycling.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-03-01