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Type: Journal article
Title: Stability of strong species interactions resist the synergistic effects of local and global pollution in kelp forests
Author: Falkenberg, L.
Russell, B.
Connell, S.
Citation: PLoS One, 2012; 7(3):1-7
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1932-6203
Statement of
Laura J. Falkenberg, Bayden D. Russell, Sean D. Connell
Abstract: Foundation species, such as kelp, exert disproportionately strong community effects and persist, in part, by dominating taxa that inhibit their regeneration. Human activities which benefit their competitors, however, may reduce stability of communities, increasing the probability of phase-shifts. We tested whether a foundation species (kelp) would continue to inhibit a key competitor (turf-forming algae) under moderately increased local (nutrient) and near-future forecasted global pollution (CO2). Our results reveal that in the absence of kelp, local and global pollutants combined to cause the greatest cover and mass of turfs, a synergistic response whereby turfs increased more than would be predicted by adding the independent effects of treatments (kelp absence, elevated nutrients, forecasted CO2). The positive effects of nutrient and CO2 enrichment on turfs were, however, inhibited by the presence of kelp, indicating the competitive effect of kelp was stronger than synergistic effects of moderate enrichment of local and global pollutants. Quantification of physicochemical parameters within experimental mesocosms suggests turf inhibition was likely due to an effect of kelp on physical (i.e. shading) rather than chemical conditions. Such results indicate that while forecasted climates may increase the probability of phase-shifts, maintenance of intact populations of foundation species could enable the continued strength of interactions and persistence of communities.
Keywords: Humans
Carbon Dioxide
Environmental Pollution
Species Specificity
Climate Change
Rights: © 2012 Falkenberg et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033841
Grant ID: ARC
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications
Environment Institute publications

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