The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Physical stress and biological regulation control pattern and process in benthic biofilms

Record type: Article

Epilithic biofilms play a key role in marine ecosystems. They also provide a tractable system to investigate the relative roles of environmental stressors, bottom-up physicochemical factors and top-down biological control in regulating communities. Patterns of photosynthetic microbial biomass were recorded over a four-year period at several tidal levels on shores in the Isle of Man. Photosynthetic biomass and the abundance of diatoms were consistently greater during winter than summer. Biomass was negatively correlated with insolation stress and air temperature, but was not correlated with grazing intensity, dissolved nutrients, sea temperature, or planktonic chlorophyll. Field experiments confirmed that reducing insolation stress led to substantial increases in photosynthetic biomass, predominantly of diatoms and macroalgal germlings. Reducing grazing intensity also led to considerable increases in photosynthetic biomass, but reducing desiccation stress or increasing nutrient availability had no effect. Although grazing can regulate microalgal biomass, seasonal patterns of grazing activity were driven by temperature and were decoupled from photosynthetic biomass. Our study demonstrates the importance of physiological stresses for the direct and indirect regulation of the balance between primary producers and consumers. Based on these findings, we present a model that combines the roles of stressors together with bottom-up forcing and top-down regulation in controlling communities on wave-exposed shores.

Full text not available from this repository.

Citation

Thompson, R.C., Norton, T.A. and Hawkins, S.J. (2004) Physical stress and biological regulation control pattern and process in benthic biofilms Ecology, 85, (5), pp. 1372-1382. (doi:10.1890/03-0279).

More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: biofilm, biological interactions, bottom-up effects, Fucus, grazer, lateral modifiers, microalgae, microphytobenthos, stressors, top-down effects

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 188305
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/188305
ISSN: 0012-9658
PURE UUID: 1687bffc-ff36-4d7e-8ff3-bb2b33618d07

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 May 2011 15:46
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:42

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: R.C. Thompson
Author: T.A. Norton
Author: S.J. Hawkins

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×