Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size

P Legagneux, Gilles Gauthier, N Lecomte, N Schmidt, D Reid, M-C Cadieux, D Berteaux, Joel Bety, Charles Krebs, Rolf Ims, N Yoccoz, R. Morrison, S. Leroux, M Loreau, D. Gravel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    50 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Significant progress has been made in our understanding of species-level responses to climate change, but upscaling to entire ecosystems remains a challenge1, 2. This task is particularly urgent in the Arctic, where global warming is most pronounced3. Here we report the results of an international collaboration on the direct and indirect effects of climate on the functioning of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Our data from seven terrestrial food webs spread along a wide range of latitudes (~1,500 km) and climates (? mean July temperature = 8.5 °C) across the circumpolar world show the effects of climate on tundra primary production, food-web structure and species interaction strength. The intensity of predation on lower trophic levels increased significantly with temperature, at approximately 4.5% per °C. Temperature also affected trophic interactions through an indirect effect on food-web structure (that is, diversity and number of interactions). Herbivore body size was a major determinant of predator–prey interactions, as interaction strength was positively related to the predator–prey size ratio, with large herbivores mostly escaping predation. There is potential for climate warming to cause a switch from bottom-up to top-down regulation of herbivores. These results are critical to resolving the debate on the regulation of tundra and other terrestrial ecosystems exposed to global change.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)379-383
    Number of pages5
    JournalNature Climate Change
    Volume4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    ecosystem structure
    Arctic
    herbivore
    body size
    climate
    food web
    interaction
    tundra
    terrestrial ecosystem
    food
    predation
    trophic interaction
    upscaling
    temperature
    regulation
    global change
    trophic level
    primary production
    global warming
    warming

    Cite this

    Legagneux, P., Gauthier, G., Lecomte, N., Schmidt, N., Reid, D., Cadieux, M-C., ... Gravel, D. (2014). Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size. Nature Climate Change, 4, 379-383. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2168
    Legagneux, P ; Gauthier, Gilles ; Lecomte, N ; Schmidt, N ; Reid, D ; Cadieux, M-C ; Berteaux, D ; Bety, Joel ; Krebs, Charles ; Ims, Rolf ; Yoccoz, N ; Morrison, R. ; Leroux, S. ; Loreau, M ; Gravel, D. / Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size. In: Nature Climate Change. 2014 ; Vol. 4. pp. 379-383.
    @article{88777dc7335f493fa450840be8789a2a,
    title = "Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size",
    abstract = "Significant progress has been made in our understanding of species-level responses to climate change, but upscaling to entire ecosystems remains a challenge1, 2. This task is particularly urgent in the Arctic, where global warming is most pronounced3. Here we report the results of an international collaboration on the direct and indirect effects of climate on the functioning of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Our data from seven terrestrial food webs spread along a wide range of latitudes (~1,500 km) and climates (? mean July temperature = 8.5 °C) across the circumpolar world show the effects of climate on tundra primary production, food-web structure and species interaction strength. The intensity of predation on lower trophic levels increased significantly with temperature, at approximately 4.5{\%} per °C. Temperature also affected trophic interactions through an indirect effect on food-web structure (that is, diversity and number of interactions). Herbivore body size was a major determinant of predator–prey interactions, as interaction strength was positively related to the predator–prey size ratio, with large herbivores mostly escaping predation. There is potential for climate warming to cause a switch from bottom-up to top-down regulation of herbivores. These results are critical to resolving the debate on the regulation of tundra and other terrestrial ecosystems exposed to global change.",
    keywords = "arctic environment, body size, ecosystem function, ecosystem structure, herbivore, predator-prey interaction, primary production, terrestrial ecosystem, tundra",
    author = "P Legagneux and Gilles Gauthier and N Lecomte and N Schmidt and D Reid and M-C Cadieux and D Berteaux and Joel Bety and Charles Krebs and Rolf Ims and N Yoccoz and R. Morrison and S. Leroux and M Loreau and D. Gravel",
    year = "2014",
    doi = "10.1038/nclimate2168",
    language = "English",
    volume = "4",
    pages = "379--383",
    journal = "Nature Climate Change",
    issn = "1758-678X",
    publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",

    }

    Legagneux, P, Gauthier, G, Lecomte, N, Schmidt, N, Reid, D, Cadieux, M-C, Berteaux, D, Bety, J, Krebs, C, Ims, R, Yoccoz, N, Morrison, R, Leroux, S, Loreau, M & Gravel, D 2014, 'Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size', Nature Climate Change, vol. 4, pp. 379-383. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2168

    Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size. / Legagneux, P; Gauthier, Gilles; Lecomte, N; Schmidt, N; Reid, D; Cadieux, M-C; Berteaux, D; Bety, Joel; Krebs, Charles; Ims, Rolf; Yoccoz, N; Morrison, R.; Leroux, S.; Loreau, M; Gravel, D.

    In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 4, 2014, p. 379-383.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size

    AU - Legagneux, P

    AU - Gauthier, Gilles

    AU - Lecomte, N

    AU - Schmidt, N

    AU - Reid, D

    AU - Cadieux, M-C

    AU - Berteaux, D

    AU - Bety, Joel

    AU - Krebs, Charles

    AU - Ims, Rolf

    AU - Yoccoz, N

    AU - Morrison, R.

    AU - Leroux, S.

    AU - Loreau, M

    AU - Gravel, D.

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - Significant progress has been made in our understanding of species-level responses to climate change, but upscaling to entire ecosystems remains a challenge1, 2. This task is particularly urgent in the Arctic, where global warming is most pronounced3. Here we report the results of an international collaboration on the direct and indirect effects of climate on the functioning of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Our data from seven terrestrial food webs spread along a wide range of latitudes (~1,500 km) and climates (? mean July temperature = 8.5 °C) across the circumpolar world show the effects of climate on tundra primary production, food-web structure and species interaction strength. The intensity of predation on lower trophic levels increased significantly with temperature, at approximately 4.5% per °C. Temperature also affected trophic interactions through an indirect effect on food-web structure (that is, diversity and number of interactions). Herbivore body size was a major determinant of predator–prey interactions, as interaction strength was positively related to the predator–prey size ratio, with large herbivores mostly escaping predation. There is potential for climate warming to cause a switch from bottom-up to top-down regulation of herbivores. These results are critical to resolving the debate on the regulation of tundra and other terrestrial ecosystems exposed to global change.

    AB - Significant progress has been made in our understanding of species-level responses to climate change, but upscaling to entire ecosystems remains a challenge1, 2. This task is particularly urgent in the Arctic, where global warming is most pronounced3. Here we report the results of an international collaboration on the direct and indirect effects of climate on the functioning of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Our data from seven terrestrial food webs spread along a wide range of latitudes (~1,500 km) and climates (? mean July temperature = 8.5 °C) across the circumpolar world show the effects of climate on tundra primary production, food-web structure and species interaction strength. The intensity of predation on lower trophic levels increased significantly with temperature, at approximately 4.5% per °C. Temperature also affected trophic interactions through an indirect effect on food-web structure (that is, diversity and number of interactions). Herbivore body size was a major determinant of predator–prey interactions, as interaction strength was positively related to the predator–prey size ratio, with large herbivores mostly escaping predation. There is potential for climate warming to cause a switch from bottom-up to top-down regulation of herbivores. These results are critical to resolving the debate on the regulation of tundra and other terrestrial ecosystems exposed to global change.

    KW - arctic environment

    KW - body size

    KW - ecosystem function

    KW - ecosystem structure

    KW - herbivore

    KW - predator-prey interaction

    KW - primary production

    KW - terrestrial ecosystem

    KW - tundra

    U2 - 10.1038/nclimate2168

    DO - 10.1038/nclimate2168

    M3 - Article

    VL - 4

    SP - 379

    EP - 383

    JO - Nature Climate Change

    JF - Nature Climate Change

    SN - 1758-678X

    ER -

    Legagneux P, Gauthier G, Lecomte N, Schmidt N, Reid D, Cadieux M-C et al. Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size. Nature Climate Change. 2014;4:379-383. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2168