Bottom-up regulation of a pelagic community through spatial aggregations - not biomass Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/defaults/ns064752z

This is the author's peer-reviewed final manuscript, as accepted by the publisher. The published article is copyrighted by The Royal Society and can be found at:  http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/.

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  • Bottom-up regulation of a pelagic community through spatial aggregations
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  • The importance of spatial pattern in ecosystems has long been recognized. However, incorporating patchiness into our understanding of forces regulating ecosystems has proven challenging. We used a combination of continuously sampling moored sensors complemented by shipboard sampling to measure the temporal variation, abundance, and vertical distribution of four trophic levels in Hawaii's nearshore pelagic ecosystem. Using an analysis approach from trophic dynamics, we found that the frequency and intensity of spatial aggregations, rather than total biomass, in each step of a food chain involving phytoplankton, copepods, mesopelagic micronekton, and spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) were the most significant predictors of variation in adjacent trophic levels. Patches of organisms had impacts disproportionate to the biomass of organisms within them, masking resource limitation in this ecosystem. Our results are in accordance with resource limitation - mediated by patchiness - regulating structure at each trophic step in this ecosystem, as well as the foraging behaviour of the top predator. Because of their high degree of heterogeneity, ecosystem-level effects of patchiness like this may be common in pelagic marine systems.
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  • Benoit-Bird, K., & McManus, M. (2012). Bottom-up regulation of a pelagic community through spatial aggregations. Biology Letters, 8(5), 813-816. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0232
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2013-02-15T00:09:21Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Benoit-BirdKellyCEOASBottomUpRegulation.pdf: 139067 bytes, checksum: fbfaaf79f36c5788bb45c429b3978dbe (MD5) Previous issue date: 2012-10-23
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