Betydelsen av klimatförändringar och trofiska kaskadeffekter för mekanismer som styr beta-diversitet och ekosystemfunktionalitet i planktonsamhällen

Tidsperiod: 2020-01-01 till 2023-12-31

Projektledare: Silke Langenheder

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 4 119 000 SEK

The composition of communities differs across space due to a combination of different ecological processes, which include species sorting, dispersal and drift. Moreover, priority effects caused by differences in the arrival order of species during initial colonization of a habitat can also be important. To-date we lack information about how changes in abiotic conditions resulting from climate change, such as increasing mean temperatures, productivity and stronger environmental fluctuations, interactively affect the strength of priority effects and if this decreases the predictability of ecosystem functions. Another open question is how the assembly history of higher trophic levels affects lower trophic levels. Here we will implement laboratory and field experiments with microbial plankton communities to address the following main hypotheses: (1) Multiple environmental factors that change as a result of ongoing climate change have additive or synergistic effects on the strength of priority effects and thereby decrease the predictability of ecosystem functions; (2) The assembly history of higher trophic levels affects the composition and functioning of lower trophic level. This study will be the first that specifically quantifies interactive effects of extrinsic factors on the strength of different assembly processes and will provide the first proof-of-concept study if priority effects cascade through food-webs or not.