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Type: Artigo
Title: Food Web Structure Shaped By Habitat Size And Climate Across A Latitudinal Gradient
Author: Romero
Gustavo Q.; Piccoli
Gustavo C. O.; de Omena
Paula M.; Goncalves-Souza
Abstract: Habitat size and climate are known to affect the trophic structure and dynamics of communities, but their interactive effects are poorly understood. Organisms from different trophic levels vary in terms of metabolic requirements and heat dissipation. Indeed, larger species such as keystone predators require more stable climatic conditions than their prey. Likewise, habitat size disproportionally affects large-sized predators, which require larger home ranges and are thus restricted to larger habitats. Therefore, food web structure in patchy ecosystems is expected to be shaped by habitat size and climate variations. Here we investigate this prediction using natural aquatic microcosm (bromeliad phytotelmata) food webs composed of litter resources (mainly detritus), detritivores, mesopredators, and top predators (damselflies). We surveyed 240 bromeliads of varying sizes (water retention capacity) across 12 open restingas in SE Brazil spread across a wide range of tropical latitudes (-12.6 degrees to -27.6 degrees, ca. 2,000km) and climates ( mean annual temperature=5.3 degrees C). We found a strong increase in predator-to-detritivore mass ratio with habitat size, which was representative of a typical inverted trophic pyramid in larger ecosystems. However, this relationship was contingent among the restingas; slopes of linear models were steeper in more stable and favorable climates, leading to inverted trophic pyramids (and top-down control) being more pronounced in environments with more favorable climatic conditions. By contrast, detritivore-resource and mesopredator-detritivore mass ratios were not affected by habitat size or climate variations across latitudes. Our results highlight that the combined effects of habitat size, climate and predator composition are pivotal to understanding the impacts of multiple environmental factors on food web structure and dynamics.
Subject: Brazilian Restingas
Bromeliad Food Webs
Climatic Stability
Freshwater Ecology
Global Changes
Habitat Size
Inverted Trophic Pyramids
Keystone Predators
Latitudinal Gradient
Editor: Wiley-Blackwell
Rights: aberto
Identifier DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1496
Date Issue: 2016
Appears in Collections:Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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