Affordable Access

Seaweed diversity enhances nitrogen uptake via complementary use of nitrate and ammonium

Authors
Publication Date
Source
eScholarship - University of California
Keywords
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

The consequences of declining biodiversity remain controversial, in part because many studies focus on a single metric of ecosystem functioning and fail to consider diversity's integrated effects on multiple ecosystem functions. We used tide pool microcosms as a model system to show that different conclusions about the potential effects of producer diversity on ecosystem functioning may result when ecosystem functions are measured separately vs. together. Specifically, we found that in diverse seaweed assemblages, uptake of either nitrate or ammonium alone was equal to the average of the component monocultures. However, when nitrate and ammonium were available simultaneously, uptake by diverse assemblages was 22% greater than the monoculture average because different species were complementary in their use of different nitrogen forms. Our results suggest that when individual species have dominant effects on particular ecosystem processes (i.e., the sampling effect), multivariate complementarity can arise if different species dominate different processes. Further, these results suggest that similar mechanisms ( complementary nutrient uptake) may underlie diversity - functioning relationships in both algal and vascular-plant-based systems.

Statistics

Seen <100 times