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Species contributions to ecosystem process and function can be population dependent and modified by biotic and abiotic setting

Species contributions to ecosystem process and function can be population dependent and modified by biotic and abiotic setting
Species contributions to ecosystem process and function can be population dependent and modified by biotic and abiotic setting
There is unequivocal evidence that altered biodiversity, through changes in the expression and distribution of functional traits, can have large impacts on ecosystem properties. However, trait-based summaries of how organisms affect ecosystem properties often assume that traits show constancy within and between populations and that species contributions to ecosystem functioning are not overly affected by the presence of other species or variations in abiotic conditions. Here, we evaluate the validity of these assumptions using an experiment in which three geographically distinct populations of intertidal sediment-dwelling invertebrates are reciprocally substituted. We find that the mediation of macronutrient generation by these species can vary between different populations and show that changes in biotic and/or abiotic conditions can further modify functionally important aspects of the behaviour of individuals within a population. Our results demonstrate the importance of knowing how, when, and why traits are expressed and suggest that these dimensions of species functionality are not sufficiently well-constrained to facilitate the accurate projection of the functional consequences of change. Information regarding the ecological role of key species and assumptions about the form of species–environment interactions needs urgent refinement.
0962-8452
1-9
Wohlgemuth, Daniel
ec239ea9-8600-4930-af70-7feb22b78004
Solan, Martin
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf
Godbold, Jasmin A.
df6da569-e7ea-43ca-8a95-a563829fb88a
Wohlgemuth, Daniel
ec239ea9-8600-4930-af70-7feb22b78004
Solan, Martin
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf
Godbold, Jasmin A.
df6da569-e7ea-43ca-8a95-a563829fb88a

Wohlgemuth, Daniel, Solan, Martin and Godbold, Jasmin A. (2017) Species contributions to ecosystem process and function can be population dependent and modified by biotic and abiotic setting. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284 (1855), 1-9, [20162805]. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2016.2805).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is unequivocal evidence that altered biodiversity, through changes in the expression and distribution of functional traits, can have large impacts on ecosystem properties. However, trait-based summaries of how organisms affect ecosystem properties often assume that traits show constancy within and between populations and that species contributions to ecosystem functioning are not overly affected by the presence of other species or variations in abiotic conditions. Here, we evaluate the validity of these assumptions using an experiment in which three geographically distinct populations of intertidal sediment-dwelling invertebrates are reciprocally substituted. We find that the mediation of macronutrient generation by these species can vary between different populations and show that changes in biotic and/or abiotic conditions can further modify functionally important aspects of the behaviour of individuals within a population. Our results demonstrate the importance of knowing how, when, and why traits are expressed and suggest that these dimensions of species functionality are not sufficiently well-constrained to facilitate the accurate projection of the functional consequences of change. Information regarding the ecological role of key species and assumptions about the form of species–environment interactions needs urgent refinement.

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 May 2017
Published date: 2017
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute, Marine Biology & Ecology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410415
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410415
ISSN: 0962-8452
PURE UUID: 2e5f703d-feb4-4b35-846d-475025995ac6
ORCID for Martin Solan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9924-5574
ORCID for Jasmin A. Godbold: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5558-8188

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Jun 2017 16:31
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:00

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