Can salinity trigger cascade effects on streams? A mesocosm approach

M Canedo-Arguelles, M Sala, G Peixoto, Narcís Prat, M Faria, A Soares, C Barata, Ben KEFFORD

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Human activities have greatly increased the salt concentration of the world's rivers, and this might be amplified by water scarcity in the future. While the lethal effects of salinity have been documented for a wide variety of stream invertebrates, the sub-lethal effects (i.e. changes in biological condition without mortality) are not deeply understood yet. One important sub-lethal effect that has yet to be investigated is changes in predation efficiency, which could trigger cascade effects associated to the abundance of herbivorous invertebrates that control algae biomass. In this study we combined the use of biomarkers with community-level data in a stream mesocosm to evaluate the potential cascade effect of increased salinity on the trophic food web. Both predation and salt treatments had an effect on the aquatic invertebrate abundance, richness and community composition. The presence of predators had a clear cascade effect, it reduced herbivorous invertebrate abundance and richness leading to higher chlorophyll a concentrations. The salt treatment significantly reduced taxa richness, but only in the gravel bed. The predators were significantly stressed by salt addition, as shown by the different analyzed biomarkers. Concordantly, in the presence of predators, Tanytarsini registered higher abundances and chlorophyll a showed a lower concentration when salt was added. However, none of these changes was significant. Therefore, although salt addition significantly stressed Dina lineata, our results suggest that a longer exposure time is needed to fully capture cascading effects (e.g. a decrease in chlorophyll a due to a relaxation of predation on herbivorous invertebrates). We suggest that the potential cascade effects of salinization need to be evaluated when addressing the impacts of water scarcity (as caused by climate change and increasing water demand) on river ecosystems, since flow reductions will lead to higher salt concentrations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-10
    Number of pages8
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Volume540
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    mesocosm
    Salts
    salt
    salinity
    invertebrate
    Chlorophyll
    chlorophyll a
    sublethal effect
    predation
    Biomarkers
    predator
    Algae control
    biomarker
    Water
    Rivers
    salinization
    Gravel
    effect
    water demand
    river

    Cite this

    Canedo-Arguelles, M ; Sala, M ; Peixoto, G ; Prat, Narcís ; Faria, M ; Soares, A ; Barata, C ; KEFFORD, Ben. / Can salinity trigger cascade effects on streams? A mesocosm approach. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2016 ; Vol. 540. pp. 3-10.
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    abstract = "Human activities have greatly increased the salt concentration of the world's rivers, and this might be amplified by water scarcity in the future. While the lethal effects of salinity have been documented for a wide variety of stream invertebrates, the sub-lethal effects (i.e. changes in biological condition without mortality) are not deeply understood yet. One important sub-lethal effect that has yet to be investigated is changes in predation efficiency, which could trigger cascade effects associated to the abundance of herbivorous invertebrates that control algae biomass. In this study we combined the use of biomarkers with community-level data in a stream mesocosm to evaluate the potential cascade effect of increased salinity on the trophic food web. Both predation and salt treatments had an effect on the aquatic invertebrate abundance, richness and community composition. The presence of predators had a clear cascade effect, it reduced herbivorous invertebrate abundance and richness leading to higher chlorophyll a concentrations. The salt treatment significantly reduced taxa richness, but only in the gravel bed. The predators were significantly stressed by salt addition, as shown by the different analyzed biomarkers. Concordantly, in the presence of predators, Tanytarsini registered higher abundances and chlorophyll a showed a lower concentration when salt was added. However, none of these changes was significant. Therefore, although salt addition significantly stressed Dina lineata, our results suggest that a longer exposure time is needed to fully capture cascading effects (e.g. a decrease in chlorophyll a due to a relaxation of predation on herbivorous invertebrates). We suggest that the potential cascade effects of salinization need to be evaluated when addressing the impacts of water scarcity (as caused by climate change and increasing water demand) on river ecosystems, since flow reductions will lead to higher salt concentrations.",
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    author = "M Canedo-Arguelles and M Sala and G Peixoto and Narc{\'i}s Prat and M Faria and A Soares and C Barata and Ben KEFFORD",
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    Canedo-Arguelles, M, Sala, M, Peixoto, G, Prat, N, Faria, M, Soares, A, Barata, C & KEFFORD, B 2016, 'Can salinity trigger cascade effects on streams? A mesocosm approach', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 540, pp. 3-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.039

    Can salinity trigger cascade effects on streams? A mesocosm approach. / Canedo-Arguelles, M; Sala, M; Peixoto, G; Prat, Narcís; Faria, M; Soares, A; Barata, C; KEFFORD, Ben.

    In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 540, 2016, p. 3-10.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Can salinity trigger cascade effects on streams? A mesocosm approach

    AU - Canedo-Arguelles, M

    AU - Sala, M

    AU - Peixoto, G

    AU - Prat, Narcís

    AU - Faria, M

    AU - Soares, A

    AU - Barata, C

    AU - KEFFORD, Ben

    N1 - Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    PY - 2016

    Y1 - 2016

    N2 - Human activities have greatly increased the salt concentration of the world's rivers, and this might be amplified by water scarcity in the future. While the lethal effects of salinity have been documented for a wide variety of stream invertebrates, the sub-lethal effects (i.e. changes in biological condition without mortality) are not deeply understood yet. One important sub-lethal effect that has yet to be investigated is changes in predation efficiency, which could trigger cascade effects associated to the abundance of herbivorous invertebrates that control algae biomass. In this study we combined the use of biomarkers with community-level data in a stream mesocosm to evaluate the potential cascade effect of increased salinity on the trophic food web. Both predation and salt treatments had an effect on the aquatic invertebrate abundance, richness and community composition. The presence of predators had a clear cascade effect, it reduced herbivorous invertebrate abundance and richness leading to higher chlorophyll a concentrations. The salt treatment significantly reduced taxa richness, but only in the gravel bed. The predators were significantly stressed by salt addition, as shown by the different analyzed biomarkers. Concordantly, in the presence of predators, Tanytarsini registered higher abundances and chlorophyll a showed a lower concentration when salt was added. However, none of these changes was significant. Therefore, although salt addition significantly stressed Dina lineata, our results suggest that a longer exposure time is needed to fully capture cascading effects (e.g. a decrease in chlorophyll a due to a relaxation of predation on herbivorous invertebrates). We suggest that the potential cascade effects of salinization need to be evaluated when addressing the impacts of water scarcity (as caused by climate change and increasing water demand) on river ecosystems, since flow reductions will lead to higher salt concentrations.

    AB - Human activities have greatly increased the salt concentration of the world's rivers, and this might be amplified by water scarcity in the future. While the lethal effects of salinity have been documented for a wide variety of stream invertebrates, the sub-lethal effects (i.e. changes in biological condition without mortality) are not deeply understood yet. One important sub-lethal effect that has yet to be investigated is changes in predation efficiency, which could trigger cascade effects associated to the abundance of herbivorous invertebrates that control algae biomass. In this study we combined the use of biomarkers with community-level data in a stream mesocosm to evaluate the potential cascade effect of increased salinity on the trophic food web. Both predation and salt treatments had an effect on the aquatic invertebrate abundance, richness and community composition. The presence of predators had a clear cascade effect, it reduced herbivorous invertebrate abundance and richness leading to higher chlorophyll a concentrations. The salt treatment significantly reduced taxa richness, but only in the gravel bed. The predators were significantly stressed by salt addition, as shown by the different analyzed biomarkers. Concordantly, in the presence of predators, Tanytarsini registered higher abundances and chlorophyll a showed a lower concentration when salt was added. However, none of these changes was significant. Therefore, although salt addition significantly stressed Dina lineata, our results suggest that a longer exposure time is needed to fully capture cascading effects (e.g. a decrease in chlorophyll a due to a relaxation of predation on herbivorous invertebrates). We suggest that the potential cascade effects of salinization need to be evaluated when addressing the impacts of water scarcity (as caused by climate change and increasing water demand) on river ecosystems, since flow reductions will lead to higher salt concentrations.

    KW - Aquatic invertebrates

    KW - Artificial streams

    KW - Biomarkers

    KW - Cascade effects

    KW - Predation

    KW - Salinization

    KW - Sub-lethal effects

    KW - Toxicity

    KW - Rivers/chemistry

    KW - Chlorophyll

    KW - Environmental Monitoring

    KW - Invertebrates/physiology

    KW - Chlorophyll A

    KW - Salinity

    KW - Water Pollution

    KW - Food Chain

    KW - Animals

    KW - Ecosystem

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84945461185&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/salinity-trigger-cascade-effects-streams-mesocosm-approach

    U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.039

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