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Title: Quality and quantity of leaf-litter: both are important for feeding preferences and growth of an aquatic shredder
Author: Arias-Real, R.
Menéndez López, Margarita
Abril, Meritxell
Oliva Cuyàs, Francesc
Muñoz Gràcia, Isabel
Keywords: Compostos orgànics
Fertilitat del sòl
Organic compounds
Soil fertility
Issue Date: 12-Dec-2018
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: The study of leaf litter as a resource for shredders has emerged as a key topic in trophic links in ecology. However, thus far, most studies have emphasized the leaf quality as one of the main determinants of shredder behaviour and growth without simultaneously considering the leaf quantity availability. Nevertheless, the combined effects of leaf quantity and quality on shredder behaviour and growth is particularly crucial to further understand how ecosystem functioning may respond to the increasing flow intermittency due to climate change. In this study, we explore how changes in the leaf litter quality and quantity influence the feeding preferences and growth of an invertebrate shredder (Potamophylax latipennis). To do so, we used black poplar leaves conditioned in two streams with different flow regimens as a food resource. Afterwards, using a microcosm approach, we offered leaf discs that varied in terms of leaf quantity and quality to P. latipennis. Our results showed that flow intermittency had a negative effect on the quality of the food resource, and a lower quality had a negative effect on the consumption and growth rates of P. latipennis. Furthermore, we found that P. latipennis fed selectively on higher quality leaves even though the availability (quantity) of this resource was lower. In the context of climate change, with higher aridity/drier conditions/scenarios, our findings suggest that a decrease in the availability (quantity) of high-quality resources could potentially threaten links in global fluvial food webs and thus threaten ecosystem functioning.
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It is part of: PLoS One, 2018, vol. 13, num. 12, p. e0208272
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ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)
Articles publicats en revistes (Institut de Recerca de l'Aigua (IdRA))

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