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Omnivory and grazer functional composition moderate cascading trophic effects in experimental Fucus vesiculosus habitats
Eriksson, B.K.; van Sluis, C.; Sieben, K.; Kautsky, L.; Raberg, S. (2011). Omnivory and grazer functional composition moderate cascading trophic effects in experimental Fucus vesiculosus habitats. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(4): 747-756. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-010-1602-6
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Eriksson, B.K.
  • van Sluis, C., more
  • Sieben, K.
  • Kautsky, L.
  • Raberg, S.

Abstract
    We tested the relative strength of direct versus indirect effects of an aquatic omnivore depending on the functional composition of grazers by manipulating the presence of gastropod and amphipod grazers and omnivorous shrimp in outdoor mesocosms. By selectively preying upon amphipods and reducing their abundance by 70–80%, omnivorous shrimp favoured the dominance of gastropods. While gastropods were the main microalgal grazers, amphipods controlled macroalgal biomass in the experiment. However, strong predation on the amphipod by the shrimp had no significant indirect effects on macroalgal biomass, indicating that when amphipod abundances declined, complementary feeding by the omnivore on macroalgae may have suppressed a trophic cascade. Accordingly, in the absence of amphipods, the shrimp grazed significantly on green algae and thereby suppressed the diversity of the macroalgal community. Our experiment demonstrates direct consumer effects by an omnivore on both the grazer and producer trophic levels in an aquatic food web, regulated by prey availability.

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