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dc.contributor.authorKlemmer, Amanda J.
dc.contributor.authorWissinger, Scott A.
dc.contributor.authorGreig, Hamish S.
dc.contributor.authorOstrofsky, Milton L.
dc.identifier.citationKlemmer, A.J., S.A. Wissinger, H.S. Greig, and M.L. Ostrofsky. (2012). Nonlinear effects of consumer density on multiple ecosystem processes. Journal of Animal Ecology, 81:770-780. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.01966.xen_US
dc.description.abstract1. In the face of human-induced declines in the abundance of common species, ecologists have become interested in quantifying how changes in density affect rates of biophysical processes, hence ecosystem function. We manipulated the density of a dominant detritivore (the cased caddisfly, Limnephilus externus) in subalpine ponds to measure effects on the release of detritus-bound nutrients and energy. 2. Detritus decay rates (k, mass loss) increased threefold, and the loss of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from detrital substrates doubled across a range of historically observed caddisfly densities. Ammonium and total soluble phosphorus concentrations in the water column also increased with caddisfly density on some dates. Decay rates, nutrient release and the change in total detritivore biomass all exhibited threshold or declining responses at the highest densities. 3. We attributed these threshold responses in biophysical processes to intraspecific competition for limiting resources manifested at the population level, as density-dependent per-capita consumption, growth, development and case : body size in caddisflies was observed. Moreover, caddisflies increasingly grazed on algae at high densities, presumably in response to limiting detrital resources. 4. These results provide evidence that changes in population size of a common species will have nonlinear, threshold effects on the rates of biophysical processes at the ecosystem level. Given the ubiquity of negative density dependence in nature, nonlinear consumer density–ecosystem function relationships should be common across species and ecosystems.en_US
dc.publisherBritish Ecological Societyen_US
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Animal Ecologyen_US
dc.rightsThis article was selected and published in the Journal of Animal Ecology © 2012 Klemmer, Wissinger, Greig, and Ostrofsky. All rights reserved.en_US
dc.subjectbottom-up processesen_US
dc.subjectdensity dependenceen_US
dc.subjectdetritus breakdownen_US
dc.subjectecosystem functionen_US
dc.subjectintraspecific competitionen_US
dc.subjectlimiting resourceen_US
dc.subjectlitter processingen_US
dc.subjectnutrient cyclingen_US
dc.titleNonlinear effects of consumer density on multiple ecosystem processesen_US
dc.description.versionPublished articleen_US
dc.contributor.departmentEnvironmental Science / Studiesen_US
dc.contributor.avlauthorWissinger, Scott A.
dc.contributor.avlauthorOstrofsky, Milton L.

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