The chytrid insurance hypothesis: integrating parasitic chytrids into a biodiversity–ecosystem functioning framework for phytoplankton–zooplankton population dynamics - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Oecologia Year : 2024

The chytrid insurance hypothesis: integrating parasitic chytrids into a biodiversity–ecosystem functioning framework for phytoplankton–zooplankton population dynamics

Abstract

Abstract In temperate lakes, eutrophication and warm temperatures can promote cyanobacteria blooms that reduce water quality and impair food-chain support. Although parasitic chytrids of phytoplankton might compete with zooplankton, they also indirectly support zooplankton populations through the “mycoloop”, which helps move energy and essential dietary molecules from inedible phytoplankton to zooplankton. Here, we consider how the mycoloop might fit into the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) framework. BEF considers how more diverse communities can benefit ecosystem functions like zooplankton production. Chytrids are themselves part of pelagic food webs and they directly contribute to zooplankton diets through spore production and by increasing host edibility. The additional way that chytrids might support BEF is if they engage in “kill-the-winner” dynamics. In contrast to grazers, which result in “eat-the-edible” dynamics, kill-the-winner dynamics can occur for host-specific infectious diseases that control the abundance of dominant (in this case inedible) hosts and thus limit the competitive exclusion of poorer (in this case edible) competitors. Thus, if phytoplankton diversity provides functions, and chytrids support algal diversity, chytrids could indirectly favour edible phytoplankton. All three mechanisms are linked to diversity and therefore provide some “insurance” for zooplankton production against the impacts of eutrophication and warming. In our perspective piece, we explore evidence for the chytrid insurance hypothesis , identify exceptions and knowledge gaps, and outline future research directions.
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Dates and versions

hal-04523457 , version 1 (27-03-2024)

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András Abonyi, Johanna Fornberg, Serena Rasconi, Robert Ptacnik, Martin Kainz, et al.. The chytrid insurance hypothesis: integrating parasitic chytrids into a biodiversity–ecosystem functioning framework for phytoplankton–zooplankton population dynamics. Oecologia, 2024, 204 (2), pp.279-288. ⟨10.1007/s00442-024-05519-w⟩. ⟨hal-04523457⟩
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