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dc.contributor.authorHall, Spencer R.
dc.contributor.authorLeibold, Mathew A.
dc.contributor.authorLytle, David A.
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Val H.
dc.identifier.citationHall, S. R., Leibold, M. A., Lytle, D. A., & Smith, V. H. (2004). Stoichiometry and planktonic grazer composition over gradients of light, nutrients, and predation risk. Ecology, 85(8), 2291–2301.
dc.description.abstractMechanisms that explain shifts in species composition over environmental gradients continue to intrigue ecologists. Ecological stoichiometry has recently provided a new potential mechanism linking resource (light and nutrient) supply gradients to grazer performance via elemental food-quality mechanisms. More specifically, it predicts that light and nutrient gradients should determine the relative dominance of P-rich taxa, such as Daphnia, in grazer assemblages. We tested this hypothesis in pond mesocosms (cattle tanks) by creating gradients of resource supply and predation risk, to which we added diverse assemblages of algal producer and zooplankton grazer species. We then characterized the end-point composition of grazer assemblages and quantity and elemental food quality of edible algae. We found that somatically P-rich Daphnia only dominated grazer assemblages in high-nutrient, no-predator treatments. In these ecosystems, P sequestered in producers exceeded a critical concentration. However, other grazers having even higher body P content did not respond similarly. These grazers were often abundant in low-nutrient environments with poorer food quality. At face value, this result is problematic for ecological stoichiometry because body composition did not correctly predict response of these other species. However, two potential explanations could maintain consistency with stoichiometric principles: species could differentially use a high-P resource (bacteria), or body composition might not always directly correlate with nutrient demands of grazers. Although our data cannot differentiate between these explanations, both suggest potential avenues for future empirical and theoretical study.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank T. Darcy, A. Downing, P. Geddes, and N. Howe for help with sampling, and G. Dwyer, T. Wootton, J. Bergelson, D. Spiller, W. DeMott, and an anonymous reviewer for their comments on the manuscript. We analyzed the C:N 2300 SPENCER R. HALL ET AL. Ecology, Vol. 85, No. 8 samples in the Robertson laboratory at Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) with the help of A. Corbin and T. Darcy. Thanks also go to G. Mittelbach, N. Consolatti, A. Tessier, and P. Woodruff at KBS for technical support. M. Bishop of the Michigan DNR permitted us to sample ponds in Barry and Middleville SGAs. Primary funding came from NSF DEB 98-15799 to M. A. Leibold and V. H. Smith. S. R. Hall was also supported by an NSF Graduate Fellowship, a University of Chicago Harper Fellowship and Hinds Fund Award, a Department of Education GAANN training grant, and a NSF DDIG (DEB 01-05014, PI Mathew Leibold). This is KBS contribution number 1128.en_US
dc.publisherthe Ecological Society of Americaen_US
dc.subjectpredation-risk gradientsen_US
dc.subjectresource-supply gradientsen_US
dc.subjectspecies compositionen_US
dc.subjectexplaining shifts inen_US
dc.titleStoichiometry and planktonic grazer composition over gradients of light, nutrients, and predation risken_US
kusw.kuauthorSmith, Val H.
kusw.kudepartmentDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biologyen_US
kusw.oaversionScholarly/refereed, publisher version
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.

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