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Regime shift in a coastal marine ecosystem

Petersen, Jens Kjerulf; Hansen, Jens Wuergler; Laursen, Martha Brogaard; Clausen, Preben; Carstensen, Jacob and Conley, Daniel LU (2008) In Ecological Applications 18(2). p.497-510
Abstract
We demonstrate changes in ecosystem stable states in a coastal lagoon that are consistent with what a regime shift would hypothesize. In the nutrient-stressed Ringkobing Fjord, Denmark, a small change in one variable (salinity) facilitated by a change in sluice management, caused a sudden regime shift from a bottom-up controlled turbid state, into a top-down controlled clear-water state. The change in dominating pathway of organic matter production from pelagic turnover to benthic-pelagic coupling was facilitated by new recruitment and growth of existing suspension-feeding clams, Mya arenaria. With the invasion of clams, benthic grazing became the key feature of the biological structure. Phytoplankton composition and zooplankton abundance... (More)
We demonstrate changes in ecosystem stable states in a coastal lagoon that are consistent with what a regime shift would hypothesize. In the nutrient-stressed Ringkobing Fjord, Denmark, a small change in one variable (salinity) facilitated by a change in sluice management, caused a sudden regime shift from a bottom-up controlled turbid state, into a top-down controlled clear-water state. The change in dominating pathway of organic matter production from pelagic turnover to benthic-pelagic coupling was facilitated by new recruitment and growth of existing suspension-feeding clams, Mya arenaria. With the invasion of clams, benthic grazing became the key feature of the biological structure. Phytoplankton composition and zooplankton abundance were also affected by the change in biological structure. The small, but sudden, increase in salinity caused by the change in sluice management led to a dramatic reduction in biomass and coverage of benthic vegetation and thus affected herbivorous waterbird populations. In recent years, plant coverage has been increasing, as can be expected with increased water transparency. The regime shift has some major implications for coastal water management and revealed some conflicts between different types of nature and environmental protection legislation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
marine, waterbirds, herbivorous, coastal lagoon, benthic vegetation, biological structure, regime shift, suspension feeding
in
Ecological Applications
volume
18
issue
2
pages
497 - 510
publisher
Ecological Society of America
external identifiers
  • wos:000255437400016
  • scopus:54549105392
ISSN
1051-0761
DOI
10.1890/07-0752.1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
41d1d993-b359-41a0-a02b-bb88443e5afd (old id 1205314)
date added to LUP
2008-09-18 14:14:16
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:59:25
@article{41d1d993-b359-41a0-a02b-bb88443e5afd,
  abstract     = {We demonstrate changes in ecosystem stable states in a coastal lagoon that are consistent with what a regime shift would hypothesize. In the nutrient-stressed Ringkobing Fjord, Denmark, a small change in one variable (salinity) facilitated by a change in sluice management, caused a sudden regime shift from a bottom-up controlled turbid state, into a top-down controlled clear-water state. The change in dominating pathway of organic matter production from pelagic turnover to benthic-pelagic coupling was facilitated by new recruitment and growth of existing suspension-feeding clams, Mya arenaria. With the invasion of clams, benthic grazing became the key feature of the biological structure. Phytoplankton composition and zooplankton abundance were also affected by the change in biological structure. The small, but sudden, increase in salinity caused by the change in sluice management led to a dramatic reduction in biomass and coverage of benthic vegetation and thus affected herbivorous waterbird populations. In recent years, plant coverage has been increasing, as can be expected with increased water transparency. The regime shift has some major implications for coastal water management and revealed some conflicts between different types of nature and environmental protection legislation.},
  author       = {Petersen, Jens Kjerulf and Hansen, Jens Wuergler and Laursen, Martha Brogaard and Clausen, Preben and Carstensen, Jacob and Conley, Daniel},
  issn         = {1051-0761},
  keyword      = {marine,waterbirds,herbivorous,coastal lagoon,benthic vegetation,biological structure,regime shift,suspension feeding},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {497--510},
  publisher    = {Ecological Society of America},
  series       = {Ecological Applications},
  title        = {Regime shift in a coastal marine ecosystem},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/07-0752.1},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2008},
}