Variable nutrient stoichiometry (carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus) across trophic levels determines community and ecosystem properties in an oligotrophic mangrove system

Scharler, U. M., Ulanowicz, R. E., Fogel, M. L., Wooller, M. J., Jacobson-Meyers, M. E., Lovelock, C. E., Feller, I. C., Frischer, M., Lee, R., McKee, K., Romero, I. C., Schmit, J. P. and Shearer, C. (2015) Variable nutrient stoichiometry (carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus) across trophic levels determines community and ecosystem properties in an oligotrophic mangrove system. Oecologia, 179 3: 863-876. doi:10.1007/s00442-015-3379-2


Author Scharler, U. M.
Ulanowicz, R. E.
Fogel, M. L.
Wooller, M. J.
Jacobson-Meyers, M. E.
Lovelock, C. E.
Feller, I. C.
Frischer, M.
Lee, R.
McKee, K.
Romero, I. C.
Schmit, J. P.
Shearer, C.
Title Variable nutrient stoichiometry (carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus) across trophic levels determines community and ecosystem properties in an oligotrophic mangrove system
Journal name Oecologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0029-8549
1432-1939
Publication date 2015-07-18
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00442-015-3379-2
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 179
Issue 3
Start page 863
End page 876
Total pages 14
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Abstract Our study investigated the carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus (C:N:P) stoichiometry of mangrove island of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (Twin Cays, Belize). The C:N:P of abiotic and biotic components of this oligotrophic ecosystem was measured and served to build networks of nutrient flows for three distinct mangrove forest zones (tall seaward fringing forest, inland dwarf forests and a transitional zone). Between forest zones, the stoichiometry of primary producers, heterotrophs and abiotic components did not change significantly, but there was a significant difference in C:N:P, and C, N, and P biomass, between the functional groups mangrove trees, other primary producers, heterotrophs, and abiotic components. C:N:P decreased with increasing trophic level. Nutrient recycling in the food webs was highest for P, and high transfer efficiencies between trophic levels of P and N also indicated an overall shortage of these nutrients when compared to C. Heterotrophs were sometimes, but not always, limited by the same nutrient as the primary producers. Mangrove trees and the primary tree consumers were P limited, whereas the invertebrates consuming leaf litter and detritus were N limited. Most compartments were limited by P or N (not by C), and the relative depletion rate of food sources was fastest for P. P transfers thus constituted a bottleneck of nutrient transfer on Twin Cays. This is the first comprehensive ecosystem study of nutrient transfers in a mangrove ecosystem, illustrating some mechanisms (e.g. recycling rates, transfer efficiencies) which oligotrophic systems use in order to build up biomass and food webs spanning various trophic levels.
Keyword Mangrove food web
Nutrient limitation
Oligotrophic environment
Recycling
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DEB-998 1483
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 28 Jul 2015, 10:19:21 EST by System User on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service