Rising soil temperatures significantly affect autumn leaves and consequently the food web, appearance and biochemical makeup of the lakes and ponds those leaves fall into, a Dartmouth College-led study finds.
The study is one of the first to rigorously explore climate warming's impact on "ecological subsidies," or the exchange of nutrients and organisms between ecosystems.
"Our findings could have profound consequences for conceptualizing how climate warming impacts linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems," says the study's lead author Samuel Fey, a visiting scholar at Dartmouth and a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.
The findings appear today online in the journal Oikos. A PDF is available on request.
The researchers collected maple leaves during autumn from experimental forest plots where the soil had been warmed or left untouched. They added the leaves to experimental freshwater enclosures containing plankton food webs consisting of zooplankton, algae and bacteria, thus creating "no leaf," "ambient leaf" and "heated leaf" conditions.
They then monitored the physical, chemical and biological responses in these artificial ponds until the enclosures froze six weeks later.
The results showed that soil warming caused a two-fold decrease in the leaves' phosphorus concentrations, and that the addition of these "warmed" leaves to the ponds decreased the water's phosphorus, dissolved organic carbon and density of bacteria, but improved the water's clarity and caused a three-fold increase in the density of cladoceran zooplankton, commonly called water fleas. Zooplankton provide a crucial source of food to many larger aquatic organisms such as fish.
"Virtually nothing is known about how climate change may alter ecological subsidies," Fey says. "Our results suggest that changes in soil temperature can have unexpected consequences for lake ecology and that predicting the consequences of climate change will require research across ecosystem boundaries."
Samuel Fey is available at firstname.lastname@example.org
Broadcast studios: Dartmouth has TV and radio studios available for interviews. For more information, visit: http://www.
John Cramer | EurekAlert!
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences