Temperature, productivity, and habitat characteristics collectively drive lake food web structure - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Global Change Biology Year : 2023

Temperature, productivity, and habitat characteristics collectively drive lake food web structure

Abstract

While many efforts have been devoted to understand variations in food web structure among terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the environmental factors influencing food web structure at large spatial scales remain hardly explored. Here, we compiled biodiversity inventories to infer food web structure of 67 French lakes using an allometric niche-based model and tested how environmental variables (temperature, productivity, and habitat) influence them. By applying a multivariate analysis on 20 metrics of food web topology, we found that food web structural variations are represented by two distinct complementary and independent structural descriptors. The first is related to the overall trophic diversity, whereas the second is related to the vertical structure. Interestingly, the trophic diversity descriptor was mostly explained by habitat size (26.7% of total deviance explained) and habitat complexity (20.1%) followed by productivity (dissolved organic carbon: 16.4%; nitrate: 9.1%) and thermal variations (10.7%). Regarding the vertical structure descriptor, it was mostly explained by water thermal seasonality (39.0% of total deviance explained) and habitat depth (31.9%) followed by habitat complexity (8.5%) and size (5.5%) as well as annual mean temperature (5.6%). Overall, we found that temperature, productivity, and habitat characteristics collectively shape lake food web structure. We also found that intermediate levels of productivity, high levels of temperature (mean and seasonality), as well as large habitats are associated with the largest and most complex food webs. Our findings, therefore, highlight the importance of focusing on these three components especially in the context of global change, as significant structural changes in aquatic food webs could be expected under increased temperature, pollution, and habitat alterations.
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hal-04049952 , version 1 (29-03-2023)

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Camille Leclerc, Nathalie Reynaud, Pierre‐alain Danis, Florentina Moatar, Martin Daufresne, et al.. Temperature, productivity, and habitat characteristics collectively drive lake food web structure. Global Change Biology, 2023, pp.1-16. ⟨10.1111/gcb.16642⟩. ⟨hal-04049952⟩
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