Document Detail

Inedible producers in food webs: controls on stoichiometric food quality and composition of grazers.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16671008     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Ecological stoichiometry and food web theories focus on distinct mechanisms that shape communities. These mechanisms, however, likely interact in ways that neither theory alone addresses. To illustrate, we show how a model that tracks flow of energy and nutrients through two producers and two grazers reveals two indirect, interrelated roles for "neutrally inedible" producers. First, inedible producers can exert controls over the nutrient content of edible producers and indirectly influence whether grazers are nutrient or energy limited. Second, through these controls, inedible producers can shape community assembly by excluding grazers that are weak competitors for nutrients contained in edible producers. A mesocosm experiment revealed patterns consistent with both predictions: high abundances of inedible algae were accompanied by low phosphorus contents of edible algae and low abundances of the grazer Daphnia. Both lines of inference suggest that interactions between stoichiometry and plant heterogeneity may shape plankton communities.
Spencer R Hall; Mathew A Leibold; David A Lytle; Val H Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2006-03-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American naturalist     Volume:  167     ISSN:  1537-5323     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. Nat.     Publication Date:  2006 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-05-03     Completed Date:  2007-02-21     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2984688R     Medline TA:  Am Nat     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  628-37     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
Competitive Behavior*
Daphnia / physiology
Feeding Behavior / physiology*
Food Chain*
Models, Biological*

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