An exclosure experiment was carried out in the reed-dominated littoral zone of a volcanic lake (Lake Vico, central Italy) to test whether the impact of predatory fish on benthic invertebrates cascades on fungal colonisation and breakdown of leaf detritus. The abundance, biomass, and Shannon diversity index of the invertebrate assemblage colonising Phragmites australis leaf packs placed inside: (1) full-exclosure cages, (2) cages allowing access only to small-sized fish predators, and (3) cageless controls, were monitored over a 45-day period together with the mass loss and associated fungal biomass of leaf packs. The species composition of the fungal assemblage was further assessed at the end of the manipulation. In general, invertebrate predators did not show any significant response to fish exclusion., either on atrophic guild or on a single taxon level. In contrast, the exclusion of large predatory fish induced a diverse spectrum of changes in the abundance and population size-structure of dominant detritivore taxa, ultimately increasing the biomass and Shannon diversity index of the whole detritivorous guild. These changes corresponded with significant variations in leaf detritus decay rates as well as in the biomass and assemblage structure of associated fungal colonisers. Our experimental findings provide evidence that in Lake Vico effects of fish predators on invertebrate detritivores influence the fungal conditioning and breakdown of the detrital substrate. We conclude that in lacustrine littoral zones predator-driven constraints may structure lower trophic levels of detritus-based food webs and affect the decomposition of leaf detritus originated from the riparian vegetation

Cascading effects of predatory fish exclusion on the detritus-based food web of a lake littoral zone (Lake Vico, central Italy)

MANCINELLI, GIORGIO
Primo
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2002

Abstract

An exclosure experiment was carried out in the reed-dominated littoral zone of a volcanic lake (Lake Vico, central Italy) to test whether the impact of predatory fish on benthic invertebrates cascades on fungal colonisation and breakdown of leaf detritus. The abundance, biomass, and Shannon diversity index of the invertebrate assemblage colonising Phragmites australis leaf packs placed inside: (1) full-exclosure cages, (2) cages allowing access only to small-sized fish predators, and (3) cageless controls, were monitored over a 45-day period together with the mass loss and associated fungal biomass of leaf packs. The species composition of the fungal assemblage was further assessed at the end of the manipulation. In general, invertebrate predators did not show any significant response to fish exclusion., either on atrophic guild or on a single taxon level. In contrast, the exclusion of large predatory fish induced a diverse spectrum of changes in the abundance and population size-structure of dominant detritivore taxa, ultimately increasing the biomass and Shannon diversity index of the whole detritivorous guild. These changes corresponded with significant variations in leaf detritus decay rates as well as in the biomass and assemblage structure of associated fungal colonisers. Our experimental findings provide evidence that in Lake Vico effects of fish predators on invertebrate detritivores influence the fungal conditioning and breakdown of the detrital substrate. We conclude that in lacustrine littoral zones predator-driven constraints may structure lower trophic levels of detritus-based food webs and affect the decomposition of leaf detritus originated from the riparian vegetation
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/106422
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 41
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 41
social impact