Studies on the ecotoxicology of soil organisms have led to the revision of views on the trophic structure of ecosystems. It was found that the microbial link is obligatory and controls the migration of toxicants and their effects in the food chain. Differences in effects are accounted for by both the physiological stability of organisms and their affliation with relatively independent and biogeochemically closed ecosystems differing in their spatiotemporal scales. The latter form a hierarchical three-level structure: ecosystems of unicellular organisms—ecosystems of small multicellular organisms—the ecosystem of large multicellular organisms, or of biogeocenosis. Trophic networks within the structure are united by ecosystemophagy as the type of feeding of large multicellular organisms, and this accounts for the importance of the latter as indicators of long-term changes in a biogeocenosis.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 21, 2007
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