Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 504155
Title The impact of bird herbivory on macrophytes and the resilience of the clear-water state in shallow lakes : a model study
Author(s) Altena, Cassandra van; Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Kuiper, Jan J.; Mooij, Wolf M.
Source Hydrobiologia 777 (2016)1. - ISSN 0018-8158 - p. 197 - 207.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10750-016-2779-6
Department(s) Biometris (WU MAT)
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
WIMEK
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Alternative stable states - Ecosystem model - Eutrophication - Grazing - Top-down versus bottom-up control - Water quality management
Abstract

Shallow lakes have the potential to switch between two alternative stable states: a clear macrophyte-dominated and a turbid phytoplankton-dominated state. Observational and experimental studies show that in some lakes herbivory by birds may severely decrease macrophyte biomass, while in other lakes, the removed biomass by herbivory is compensated by regrowth. These contradictory outcomes might arise because of interplay between top-down control by bird herbivory and bottom-up effects by nutrient loading on macrophytes. Here, we use the ecosystem model PCLake to study top-down and bottom-up control of macrophytes by coots and nutrient loading. Our model predicted that (1) herbivory by birds lowers the critical nutrient loading at which the regime shift occurs; (2) bird impact on macrophyte biomass through herbivory increases with nutrient loading; and (3) improved food quality enhances the impact of birds on macrophytes, thus decreasing the resilience of the clear-water state even further. The fact that bird herbivory can have a large impact on macrophyte biomass and can facilitate a regime shift implies that the presence of waterfowl should be taken into account in the estimation of critical nutrient loadings to be used in water quality management.

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