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Interactions between pH and nutrients on benthic algae in streams and consequences for ecological status assessment and species richness patterns

Schneider, Susanne C and Kahlert, Maria and Kelly, Martyn (2013). Interactions between pH and nutrients on benthic algae in streams and consequences for ecological status assessment and species richness patterns. Science of the total environment. 444, 73-84
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.11.034

Abstract

Eutrophication and acidification are among the major stressors on freshwater ecosystems in northern Europe and North America, but possible consequences of interactions between pH and nutrients on ecological status assessment and species richness patterns have not previously been assessed. Using data from 52 river sites throughout Norway, we investigated the combined effects of pH and nutrients on benthic algae assemblages, specifically 1) taxa-specific couplings between nutrient and acidity traits, 2) the degree of consistency between different biotic indices, separately for nutrients and acid conditions, 3) the impact of pH on nutrient indices and phosphorus on indices of acid conditions, and 4) the impact of pH and phosphorus supply on diatom and non-diatom taxon richness. We found that 1) acid-tolerant taxa are generally associated with nutrient-poor conditions, with only a few exceptions; this is probably more a consequence of habitat availability than reflecting true ecological niches; 2) correlation coefficients between nutrient indices and TP, as well as acid conditions indices and pH were barely affected when the confounding factor was removed; 3) the association of acid-tolerant taxa with nutrient-poor conditions means that the lowest possible nutrient index at a site, as indicated by benthic algae, is lower at acid than at circumneutral sites. Although this may be an artifact of the datasets from which taxa-specific indicator values were derived, it could lead to a drift in nutrient indices with recovery from acidification; 4) the response of non-diatom taxon richness follows a complex pattern with a synergistic interaction between nutrient supply and pH. In contrast, diatom richness follows a simple additive pattern; this suggests structural differences between diatoms and non-diatom benthic algae in their response to nutrient supply and pH; diatom taxon richness tended to increase with nutrient supply, while non-diatom richness decreased. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Authors/Creators:Schneider, Susanne C and Kahlert, Maria and Kelly, Martyn
Title:Interactions between pH and nutrients on benthic algae in streams and consequences for ecological status assessment and species richness patterns
Series/Journal:Science of the total environment (0048-9697)
Year of publishing :2013
Volume:444
Page range:73-84
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0048-9697
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:M Aquatic sciences and fisheries > M40 Aquatic ecology
P Natural resources > P10 Water resources and management
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Botany
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:Phosphorus, Acidity, Periphyton, Acidification
Keywords:Phosphorus, Acidity, Periphyton, Multiple stressors, Eutrophication, Acidification
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1919
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1919
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000316240200008
DOI10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.11.034
ID Code:11112
Faculty:NL - Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (until 2013)
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:22 May 2014 11:57
Metadata Last Modified:20 May 2015 11:44

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