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Linking degradation status with ecosystem vulnerability to environmental change

Angeler, David and Ludovic Baho, Didier and Allen, Craig R. and Johnson, Richard (2015). Linking degradation status with ecosystem vulnerability to environmental change. Oecologia. 178 :3 , 899-913
[Research article]

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-015-3281-y


Environmental change can cause regime shifts in ecosystems, potentially threatening ecosystem services. It is unclear if the degradation status of ecosystems correlates with their vulnerability to environmental change, and thus the risk of future regime shifts. We assessed resilience in acidified (degraded) and circumneutral (undegraded) lakes with long-term data (1988-2012), using time series modeling. We identified temporal frequencies in invertebrate assemblages, which identifies groups of species whose population dynamics vary at particular temporal scales. We also assessed species with stochastic dynamics, those whose population dynamics vary irregularly and unpredictably over time. We determined the distribution of functional feeding groups of invertebrates within and across the temporal scales identified, and in those species with stochastic dynamics, and assessed attributes hypothesized to contribute to resilience. Three patterns of temporal dynamics, consistent across study lakes, were identified in the invertebrates. The first pattern was one of monotonic change associated with changing abiotic lake conditions. The second and third patterns appeared unrelated to the environmental changes we monitored. Acidified and the circumneutral lakes shared similar levels and patterns of functional richness, evenness, diversity, and redundancy for species within and across the observed temporal scales and for stochastic species groups. These similar resilience characteristics suggest that both lake types did not differ in vulnerability to the environmental changes observed here. Although both lake types appeared equally vulnerable in this study, our approach demonstrates how assessing systemic vulnerability by quantifying ecological resilience can help address uncertainty in predicting ecosystem responses to environmental change across ecosystems.

Authors/Creators:Angeler, David and Ludovic Baho, Didier and Allen, Craig R. and Johnson, Richard
Title:Linking degradation status with ecosystem vulnerability to environmental change
Series Name/Journal:Oecologia
Year of publishing :2015
Page range:899-913
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:M Aquatic sciences and fisheries > M40 Aquatic ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:ecosystem services, lakes, invertebrates, ecology
Keywords:Environmental change, Benthic invertebrates, Functional redundancy, Scales, Vulnerability, Time series modeling, Resilience, Functional traits
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000356534400024
ID Code:12748
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:28 Oct 2015 13:52
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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