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Resistance of benthic intertidal communities to multiple disturbances and stresses

Joseph Laetitia et Cusson Mathieu. (2015). Resistance of benthic intertidal communities to multiple disturbances and stresses. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 534, p. 49-64.

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URL officielle: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.3354/meps11359

Résumé

Many ecosystems are facing biodiversity loss and environmental change due to anthropogenic activities, with these impacts occurring within the context of natural disturbance. Understanding ecosystem functioning and the response of communities to these impacts is necessary in order to evaluate the effects of future environmental change. The aim of this study was to determine the consequences of the loss of key species on the structure and function of intertidal communities in a context of nutrient enrichment, so as to ascertain the resistance of these communities when disturbance and stresses are compounded. Subarctic rocky intertidal communities in Quebec were subjected to an orthogonal factorial field experiment with 3 stress factors (macroalgae canopy loss, grazer exclusion, and nutrient enrichment), each with 2 disturbance levels. Simple and interactive effects of these factors were followed for 4 mo, and responses in structure (% cover and biomass) and productivity were evaluated. The communities that were not subjected to canopy loss showed greater resistance and very limited effects from enrichment and grazer reduction. The loss of canopy altered the community structure (e.g. reduction in richness and biomass) and functioning (reduced productivity), probably due to increased temperatures and desiccation. This lack of resistance was amplified through the addition of a stress. The application of multiple stresses within field experiments allows for a better understanding of the mechanisms affecting community structure and ecosystem functioning under situations of increased natural and anthropogenic stress.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Volume:534
Pages:p. 49-64
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Date:2015
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées > Océanographie
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Mots-clés:community structure, functional response, multiple stressors, resistance, canopy disturbance, grazers, nutrient addition, rocky intertidal
Déposé le:17 mars 2016 20:58
Dernière modification:05 déc. 2016 20:30
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