Charles Darwin University

CDU eSpace
Institutional Repository

 
CDU Staff and Student only
 

Productivity, Disturbance and Ecosystem Size Have No Influence on Food Chain Length in Seasonally Connected Rivers

Warfe, Danielle M., Jardine, Timothy D., Pettit, Neil E., Hamilton, Stephen K., Pusey, Bradley J., Bunn, Stuart E., Davies, Peter M. and Douglas, Michael M. (2013). Productivity, Disturbance and Ecosystem Size Have No Influence on Food Chain Length in Seasonally Connected Rivers. PLoS One,8(6):1-11.

Document type: Journal Article
Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your CDU eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Download this reading Warfe_40341.pdf Published version application/pdf 554.49KB 49
Reading the attached file works best in Firefox, Chrome and IE 9 or later.

IRMA ID 82057923xPUB469
Title Productivity, Disturbance and Ecosystem Size Have No Influence on Food Chain Length in Seasonally Connected Rivers
Author Warfe, Danielle M.
Jardine, Timothy D.
Pettit, Neil E.
Hamilton, Stephen K.
Pusey, Bradley J.
Bunn, Stuart E.
Davies, Peter M.
Douglas, Michael M.
Journal Name PLoS One
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 8
Issue Number 6
ISSN 1932-6203   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84878944178
Start Page 1
End Page 11
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher Public Library of Science
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract The food web is one of the oldest and most central organising concepts in ecology and for decades, food chain length has been hypothesised to be controlled by productivity, disturbance, and/or ecosystem size; each of which may be mediated by the functional trophic role of the top predator. We characterised aquatic food webs using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes from 66 river and floodplain sites across the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia to determine the relative importance of productivity (indicated by nutrient concentrations), disturbance (indicated by hydrological isolation) and ecosystem size, and how they may be affected by food web architecture. We show that variation in food chain length was unrelated to these classic environmental determinants, and unrelated to the trophic role of the top predator. This finding is a striking exception to the literature and is the first published example of food chain length being unaffected by any of these determinants. We suggest the distinctive seasonal hydrology of northern Australia allows the movement of fish predators, linking isolated food webs and potentially creating a regional food web that overrides local effects of productivity, disturbance and ecosystem size. This finding supports ecological theory suggesting that mobile consumers promote more stable food webs. It also illustrates how food webs, and energy transfer, may function in the absence of the human modifications to landscape hydrological connectivity that are ubiquitous in more populated regions.

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066240   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Open access True
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 4.0 License
URL https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/au/legalcode


© copyright

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in CDU eSpace. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact digitisation@cdu.edu.au.

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 63 Abstract Views, 49 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Thu, 07 Aug 2014, 17:01:19 CST