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Taking the trophic bypass : aquatic-terrestrial linkage reduces methylmercury in a terrestrial food web
Bartrons Vilamala, Mireia (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Gratton, Claudio (University of Wisconsin. Department of Entomology)
Spiesman, Brian J. (University of Wisconsin. Department of Entomology)
Vander Zanden, M. Jake (University of Wisconsin. Department of Limnology)

Data: 2015
Resum: Ecosystems can be linked by the movement of matter and nutrients across habitat boundaries via aquatic insect emergence. Aquatic organisms tend to have higher concentrations of certain toxic contaminants such as methylmercury (MeHg) compared to their terrestrial counterparts. If aquatic organisms come to land, terrestrial organisms that consume them are expected to have elevated MeHg concentrations. But emergent aquatic insects could have other impacts as well, such as altering consumer trophic position or increasing ecosystem productivity as a result of nutrient inputs from insect carcasses. We measure MeHg in terrestrial arthropods at two lakes in northeastern Iceland and use carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes to quantify aquatic reliance and trophic position. Across all terrestrial focal arthropod taxa (Lycosidae, Linyphiidae, Acari, Opiliones), aquatic reliance had significant direct and indirect (via changes in trophic position) effects on terrestrial consumer MeHg. However, contrary to our expectations, terrestrial consumers that consumed aquatic prey had lower MeHg concentrations than consumers that ate mostly terrestrial prey. We hypothesize that this is due to the lower trophic position of consumers feeding directly on midges relative to those that fed mostly on terrestrial prey and that had, on average, higher trophic positions. Thus, direct consumption of aquatic inputs results in a trophic bypass that creates a shorter terrestrial food web and reduced biomagnification of MeHg across the food web. Our finding that MeHg was lower at terrestrial sites with aquatic inputs runs counter to the conventional wisdom that aquatic systems are a source of MeHg contamination to surrounding terrestrial ecosystems.
Drets: Tots els drets reservats
Llengua: Anglès
Document: article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Matèria: Methylmercury ; Food web ; Aquatic-terrestrial linkages ; Stable isotopes ; Spider ; Ecological tracer
Publicat a: Ecological Applications, Vol. 25, issue 1 (Jan. 2015) , p. 151–159, ISSN 1051-0761

DOI: 10.1890/14-0038.1

9 p, 407.6 KB

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