Oecologia

, Volume 157, Issue 4, pp 653–659 | Cite as

Marine resource flows to terrestrial arthropod predators on a temperate island: the role of subsidies between systems of similar productivity

Community Ecology - Original Paper

Abstract

Marine-terrestrial resource flows can subsidies recipient consumers at various trophic levels. Theory suggests that the importance of such spatial subsidies depends on the productivity gradient between adjacent systems; however, the empirical data required to test this assumption are scarce. Most studies of marine-terrestrial subsidies have been performed in arid coastal habitats of low productivity surrounded by productive ocean waters. We examined the importance of marine resource inputs for terrestrial consumers on a temperate, productive forest island surrounded by a marine system of similar productivity. The importance of marine resources for the dominant arthropod consumers was estimated using stable isotopes and linear mixing models. We compared isotopic signatures of spiders and ants captured along a gradient from shore to inland to estimate how far marine-derived energy penetrates the island. We evaluated the distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods using pitfall-trap transects extending from the supratidal-forest boundary to the middle of the island. The contribution of marine-derived energy assimilated by arthropod consumers differed both among taxa and location. Marine-derived resources contributed >80% to the assimilated C of intertidal spiders and 5–10% for spiders at the forest edge and further inland. Ants assimilated 20% of their C from marine-derived resources and this proportion was not affected by distance from shore. Spiders, ants, and all arthropods combined exhibited no spatial aggregation towards the shore. Our results indicate that on temperate islands marine-terrestrial subsidies might be predominantly an edge effect, confined to intertidal consumers. Mobile consumers that opportunistically forage in intertidal habitats play an important role in transferring marine-derived energy further inland. This suggests that the importance of the productivity gradient for spatial subsidies can be modified by the mobility traits of the recipient consumers and their degree of specialization on the interface habitat.

Keywords

Allochthonous inputs Connectivity Functional traits Resource flux Stable isotopes 

References

  1. Aber JD, Federer CA (1992) A generalized, lumped-parameter model of photosynthesis, evapotranspiration and net primary production in temperate and boreal forest ecosystems. Oecologia 92:463–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson WB, Polis GA (1998) Marine subsidies of island communities in the Gulf of California: evidence from stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes. Oikos 81:75–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baxter CV, Fausch KD, Saunders WC (2005) Tangled webs: reciprocal flows of invertebrate prey link streams and riparian zones. Freshwater Biol 50:201–220Google Scholar
  4. Catenazzi A, Donnelly MA (2007) The Ulva connection: marine algae subsidize terrestrial predators in coastal Peru. Oikos 116:75–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Foote BA (1995) Biology of shore flies. Annu Rev Entomol 14:417–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Goebel NL, Kremer JN, Edwards CA (2006) Primary production in Long Island sound. Estuar Coasts 29:232–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Goldstein EL (1975) Island Biogeography of ants. Evolution 29:750–762CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Marczak LB, Richardson JS (2007) Spiders and subsidies: results from the riparian zone of a coastal temperate rainforest. J Anim Ecol 76:687–694PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Marczak LB, Thompson RM, Richardson JS (2007) Meta-analysis: trophic level, habitat, and productivity shape the food web effects of resource subsidies. Ecology 88:140–148PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Morse DH (1997) Distribution, movement, and activity patterns of an intertidal wolf spider Pardosa lapidicina population (Araneae, Lycosidae). J Arachnol 25:1–10Google Scholar
  11. Nakano S, Murakami M (2001) Reciprocal subsidies: dynamic interdependence between terrestrial and aquatic food webs. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:166–170PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Niering WA, Warren RC (1980) Vegetation patterns and processes in New England salt marshes. Bioscience 30:301–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ollinger SV, Aber JD, Federer CA (1998) Estimating regional forest productivity and water yield using an ecosystem model linked to a GIS. Landsc Ecol 13:323–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Paetzold A, Tockner K (2005) Effects of riparian arthropod predation on the biomass and abundance of aquatic insect emergence. J North Am Benthol Soc 24:395–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Paetzold A, Schubert CJ, Tockner K (2005) Aquatic-terrestrial linkages along a braided river: riparian arthropods feeding on aquatic insects. Ecosystems 8:748–759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Paetzold A, Bernet JF, Tockner K (2006) Consumer-specific responses to riverine subsidy pulses in a riparian arthropod assemblage. Freshwater Biol 51:1103–1115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Phillips DL (2001) Mixing models in analysis of diet using multiple stable isotopes: a critique. Oecologia 127:166–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Polis GA, McCormick SJ (1987) Intraguild predation and competition among desert scorpions. Ecology 68:332–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Polis GA, Hurd SD (1995) Extraordinarily high spider densities on islands: flow of energy from marine to terrestrial food webs and the absence of predation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 92:4382–4386PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Polis GA, Hurd SD (1996) Linking marine and terrestrial food webs: allochthonous input from the ocean supports high secondary productivity on small islands and coastal land communities. Am Nat 147:396–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Polis GA, Anderson WB, Holt RD (1997) Towards an integration of landscape and food web ecology: the dynamics of spatially subsidized food webs. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 28:289–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Post DM (2002) Using stable isotopes to estimate trophic position: models, methods, and assumptions. Ecology 83:703–718CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Post DM, Layman CA, Arrington DA, Takimoto G, Quattrochi J, Montana CG (2007a) Getting to the fat of the matter: models, methods and assumptions for dealing with lipids in stable isotope analyses. Oecologia 152:179–189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Post DM, Doyle MW, Sabo JL, Finlay JC (2007b) The problem of boundaries in defining ecosystems: a potential landmine for uniting geomorphology and ecology. Geomorphology 89:111–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Riley G (1956) Oceanography of long island sound, 1952–1954: IX. Production and utilization of organic matter. Bull Bingham Oceanogr Collect 15:324–344Google Scholar
  26. Sabo JL, Power ME (2002a) Numerical responses of lizards to aquatic insects and short-term consequences for terrestrial prey. Ecology 83:3023–3036Google Scholar
  27. Sabo JL, Power ME (2002b) River-watershed exchange: effects of riverine subsidies on riparian lizards and their terrestrial prey. Ecology 83:1860–1869Google Scholar
  28. Stapp P, Polis GA (2003a) Marine resources subsidize insular rodent populations in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Oecologia 134:496–504PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Stapp P, Polis GA (2003b) Influence of pulsed resources and marine subsidies on insular rodent populations. Oikos 102:111–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Takimoto G, Iwata T, Murakami M (2002) Seasonal subsidy stabilizes food web dynamics: balance in a heterogenous landscape. Ecol Res 17:433–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Turner DP et al (2005) Site-level evaluation of satellite-based global terrestrial gross primary production and net primary production monitoring. Glob Change Biol 11:666–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wernberg T, Vanderklift MA, How J, Lavery PS (2006) Export of detached macroalgae from reefs to adjacent seagrass beds. Oecologia 147:692–701PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wise DH (1993) Spiders in ecological webs. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  34. Witman JD, Ellis JC, Anderson WB (2004) The influence of physical processes, organisms, and permeability on cross-ecosystem fluxes. In: Polis GA, Power ME, Huxel GR (eds) Food webs at the landscape level. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 335–358Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Catchment Science CentreUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations