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Article Reference Complementarity effects drive positive diversity effects on biomass production in experimental benthic diatom biofilms
P1. Positive effects of species diversity on ecosystem functioning have often been demonstrated in 'macrobial' communities. This relation and the responsible mechanisms are far less clear for microbial communities. Most experimental studies on microorganisms have used randomly assembled communities that do not resemble natural communities. It is therefore difficult to predict the consequences of realistic, non-random diversity loss. 2. In this study, we used naturally co-occurring diatom species from intertidal mudflats to assemble communities with realistically decreasing diversity and analysed the effect of non-random species loss on biomass production. 3. Our results demonstrate a highly positive biodiversity effect on production, with mixtures outperforming the most productive component species in more than half of the combinations. These strong positive diversity effects could largely be attributed to positive complementarity effects (including both niche complementarity and facilitation), despite the occurrence of negative selection effects which partly counteracted the positive complementarity effects at higher diversities. 4. Facilitative interactions were, at least in part, responsible for the higher biomass production. For one of the species, Cylindrotheca closterium, we show its ability to significantly increase its biomass production in response to substances leaked into the culture medium by other diatom species. In these conditions, the species drastically reduced its pigment concentration, which is typical for mixotrophic growth. 5. Synthesis. We show that both species richness and identity have strong effects on the biomass production of benthic diatom biofilms and that transgressive overyielding is common in these communities. In addition, we show mechanistic evidence for facilitation which is partly responsible for enhanced production. Understanding the mechanisms by which diversity enhances the performance of ecosystems is crucial for predicting the consequences of species loss for ecosystem functioning.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference A land snail's view of a fragmented landscape
Habitat fragmentation may influence the genetic structure of populations, especially of species with low mobility. So far, these effects have been mainly studied by surveying neutral markers, and much less by looking at ecologically relevant characters. Therefore, we aimed to explore eventual patterns of covariation between population structuring in neutral markers and variation in shell morphometrics in the forest-associated snail Discus rotundatus in relation to habitat fragment characteristics. To this end, we screened shell morphometric variability and sequence variation in a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rDNA gene in D. rotundatus from the fragmented landscape of the Lower Rhine Embayment, Germany. The 16S rDNA of D. rotundatus was highly variable, with a total of 118 haplotypes (384 individuals) forming four clades and one unresolved group. There was a geographic pattern in the distribution of the clades with the river Rhine apparently separating two groups. Yet, at the geographic scale considered, there was no obvious effect of fragmentation on shell morphometrics and 16S rDNA variation because G(ST) often was as high within, as between forests. Instead, the age of the habitat and (re-)afforestation events appeared to affect shell shape and 16S rDNA in terms of the number of clades per site. The ecologically relevant characters thus supported the presumably neutral mitochondrial DNA markers by indicating that populations of not strictly stenecious species may be (relatively) stable in fragments. However, afforestation after large clearcuts and habitat gain after the amendment of deforestation are accompanied by several, seemingly persistent peculiarities, such as altered genetic composition and shell characters (e.g. aperture size). (C) 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 98, 839-850.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference High-resolution carbon isotope stratigraphy and mammalian faunal change at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary in the Honeycombs area of the Southern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Temporal constraints and depositional palaeoenvironments of the Vastan Lignite Sequence, Gujarat: Analogy for the Cambay shale hydrocarbon source rock
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Paleocene-Eocene land mammals from three new latest Clarkforkian and earliest Wasatchian wash sites at Polecat Bench in the Northern Basin, Wyoming
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference The acme of the micromammal Paschatherium across the Paleocene-Eocene boundary in continental Europe
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Article Reference Les mammifères de l'Ypresien moyen du Bassin de Paris (niveau-repère MP8-9) sont-ils présents dès la limite Paléocène/Eocène de Dormaal (niveau-repère MP7, Belgique)?
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Paleocene-Eocene carbon isoltope excursion in organic carbon and pedogenic carbonate: direct comparision in a continental stratigraphic section
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Article Reference Mesozoic mammals and early mammalian brain diversity
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Article Reference The in situ Glyptostroboxylon forest of Hoegaarden (Belgium) at the Initial Eocene Thermal Maximum (55 Ma)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications