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Temporal niches of shredders in lake littorals with possible implications on ecosystem functioning
Bjelke, U.; Bohman, I.M.; Hermann, J. (2005). Temporal niches of shredders in lake littorals with possible implications on ecosystem functioning. Aquat. Ecol. 39(1): 41-53
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Biodiversity; Phenology; Asellus aquaticus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Limnephilidae Kolenati, 1848 [WoRMS]

Authors  Top 
  • Bjelke, U.
  • Bohman, I.M.
  • Hermann, J.

Abstract
    Temporal growth separation of shredders is known in streams but has not been reported from lakes. In the present study, temporal niche/trait differentiations among shredders in lakes were investigated. We sampled quantitatively three lakes in SE Sweden over a period of 18 months. Dry weight and number of individuals of the collected shredders were measured monthly. Standing stock of detritus types was also monitored. The same 10 species of lentic shredders were found in each lake, one isopod and larvae of nine trichopterans. Functionally, the shredders could be categorized into two main groups; winter and summer growing species. However, also within these groups, temporal differences in growth pattern existed. The main input of detritus occurred during the autumnal leaf fall and a majority of winter shredders had the start of their lives tied to this period. A succession in loss of detritus types was evident with easily degraded matter disappearing first followed by more resistant matter. Shredder species richness, shredder biomass per m2 and the ratio coarse/fine detritus all reached its annual low in late summer. We propose a temporal link between the shredder groups and the organic matter subject to decomposition; the successive palatability of coarse detritus is likely to make a temporally separated community of shredders efficient in terms of decomposition. We believe that a temporal differentiation per se is sufficient to conclude that different impact on ecosystem function exists among shredders. Additionally we discuss impacts of differences in abundance and shredding capacity among the species.

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