Leading indicators of trophic cascades

Leading indicators of trophic cascades Regime shifts are large, long‐lasting changes in ecosystems. They are often hard to predict but may have leading indicators which are detectable in advance. Potential leading indicators include wider swings in dynamics of key ecosystem variables, slower return rates after perturbation and shift of variance towards lower frequencies. We evaluated these indicators using a food web model calibrated to long‐term whole‐lake experiments. We investigated whether impending regime shifts driven by gradual increase in exploitation of the top predator can create signals that cascade through food webs and be discerned in phytoplankton. Substantial changes in standard deviations, return rates and spectra occurred near the switch point, even two trophic levels removed from the regime shift in fishes. Signals of regime shift can be detected well in advance, if the driver of the regime shift changes much more slowly than the dynamics of key ecosystem variables which can be sampled frequently enough to measure the indicators. However, the regime shift may occur long after the driver has passed the critical point, because of very slow transient dynamics near the critical point. Thus, the ecosystem can be poised for regime shift by the time the signal is discernible. Field tests are needed to evaluate these indicators. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Letters Wiley

Leading indicators of trophic cascades

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/leading-indicators-of-trophic-cascades-X6BPG5wasA
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Regime shifts are large, long‐lasting changes in ecosystems. They are often hard to predict but may have leading indicators which are detectable in advance. Potential leading indicators include wider swings in dynamics of key ecosystem variables, slower return rates after perturbation and shift of variance towards lower frequencies. We evaluated these indicators using a food web model calibrated to long‐term whole‐lake experiments. We investigated whether impending regime shifts driven by gradual increase in exploitation of the top predator can create signals that cascade through food webs and be discerned in phytoplankton. Substantial changes in standard deviations, return rates and spectra occurred near the switch point, even two trophic levels removed from the regime shift in fishes. Signals of regime shift can be detected well in advance, if the driver of the regime shift changes much more slowly than the dynamics of key ecosystem variables which can be sampled frequently enough to measure the indicators. However, the regime shift may occur long after the driver has passed the critical point, because of very slow transient dynamics near the critical point. Thus, the ecosystem can be poised for regime shift by the time the signal is discernible. Field tests are needed to evaluate these indicators.

Journal

Ecology LettersWiley

Published: Feb 1, 2008

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off