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Spatial patterns and predictor variables vary among different types of primary producers and consumers in eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds

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Title: Spatial patterns and predictor variables vary among different types of primary producers and consumers in eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds
Authors: Namba, Mizuho Browse this author
Nakaoka, Masahiro Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Issue Date: 7-Aug-2018
Publisher: PLOS
Journal Title: PLoS ONE
Volume: 13
Issue: 8
Start Page: e0201791
Publisher DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201791
Abstract: Eelgrass (Zostera marina) forms extensive beds in coastal and estuarine environments and provides various ecosystem functions. The aboveground part of eelgrass provides habitats for other types of primary producers such as epiphytic microalgae and for epifaunal invertebrate grazers. Because of the different sizes, generation times and resource requirements, these different types of producers and consumers may be affected by different sets of biotic/abiotic factors over multiple spatial scales. We examined the spatial variations in three functional groups of eelgrass beds (eelgrass, epiphytic microalgae and epifaunal invertebrates) and the abiotic/biotic factors responsible for these variations in three lagoons with different environmental properties at the eastern region of Hokkaido Island, Japan. The spatial scale responsible for the variation in the biomasses of the three functional groups varied, where within-lagoon variation was important for eelgrass and epifauna but among-lagoon variation was important for microalgae. The environmental predictors for the observed spatial variations also differed among the different functional groups, with variation in eelgrass biomass related to depth, nutrient and salinity, epiphytes to water temperature, eelgrass biomass and water column chlorophyll and epifauna mainly to eelgrass biomass. These results revealed that the level of importance of among- and within-lagoon environmental gradients vary in the different functional groups of the eelgrass bed community. The large-scale variation in pelagic productivity, which is tightly related to the ocean current regimes, is likely responsible for the great among-lagoon variation in microalgae. The local variations in environmental factors such as salinity and nutrients, which change with alterations in terrestrial river inputs, are likely related to the great variations in eelgrass and epifauna within the ecosystem. The observed relationship of epifauna with eelgrass biomass indicates the importance of non-trophic plant-animal interactions because epifauna utilize eelgrass as habitat. We therefore emphasize the importance of evaluating spatial variations at multiple scales to further understand the functions of coastal and estuarine ecosystems.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:北方生物圏フィールド科学センター (Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 仲岡 雅裕

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