Could Humans Cause Prairie Lake Food Webs to Collapse?

Show simple item record Starks, Elizabeth Wissel, B. 2011-04-18T20:37:08Z 2011-04-18T20:37:08Z 2011-04-02
dc.description.abstract Disturbed ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to top predator loss. Prediction of these losses remains challenging and controversial due to the importance of both community interactions and the tolerance of individual species. Here, we combined within-species biological indicators of a top predator (growth, physical condition and genetic diversity of walleye) with metrics of overall food-web structure (diversity and web complexity) to evaluate potential human causes of food-web disruption across 22 prairie lakes. In this study, food webs ranged from simple plankton communities to a complex community of fish, plankton, and invertebrates. Human disturbances included climate variability, land-use and fisheries activity. Both food-web structure and top predator health were primarily influenced by salinity, fertilizer runoff and gamefish stocking. Higher predator levels declined above 3 g/L salinity or 90 ug/L phophorus and showed physical stress below these levels. Ongoing attempts to maintain desirable fish communities through stocking were sometimes successful but often costly to the ecosystem. Future declines in community complexity are expected with climate change and new farming practices. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Regina Graduate Students' Association en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Session 4.4 en_US
dc.subject Lake en_US
dc.subject Food web en_US
dc.subject Predator en_US
dc.subject Trophic collapse en_US
dc.subject Anthropogenic disturbance en_US
dc.title Could Humans Cause Prairie Lake Food Webs to Collapse? en_US
dc.type Presentation en_US
dc.description.authorstatus Student en_US
dc.description.peerreview yes en_US

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