Reduced light increases herbivore production due to stoichiometric effects of light/nutrient balance

J. Urabe, M. Kyle, W. Makino, T. Yoshida, T. Andersen, James Elser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

127 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecological common sense says that decreased solar energy should reduce herbivore production because of reduced energy flow through primary producers. However, a field experiment in a Phosphorus-limited lake showed that production of zooplankton herbivores was increased by shading. This paradoxical outcome was caused by a decoupling of producer carbon fixation and nutrient uptake under high light that reduced food quality for herbivores. At low nutrient supplies, shading increased nutrient contents relative to carbon within algal food, outweighing effects of decreased primary production. Thus, light/nutrient balance affects the degree of mismatch between primary producers and herbivores in nature, which in turn influences mass-transfer efficiencies along food chains. To predict how energy transfer efficiency and biological interactions will respond to perturbations, it is essential to take into account changes in light/nutrient balance and its effects on the stoichiometry of autotroph-herbivore interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-627
Number of pages9
JournalEcology
Volume83
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002

Fingerprint

nutrient balance
herbivore
herbivores
shading
shade
carbon fixation
solar energy
Calvin cycle
energy flow
food quality
stoichiometry
autotrophs
nutrient uptake
energy transfer
mass transfer
food chain
primary production
primary productivity
zooplankton
nutrient content

Keywords

  • C:P ratio
  • Daphnia
  • Energy transfer efficiency
  • Food quality
  • Herbivores
  • Light and nutrient balance
  • Stoichiometry
  • Zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Urabe, J., Kyle, M., Makino, W., Yoshida, T., Andersen, T., & Elser, J. (2002). Reduced light increases herbivore production due to stoichiometric effects of light/nutrient balance. Ecology, 83(3), 619-627.

Reduced light increases herbivore production due to stoichiometric effects of light/nutrient balance. / Urabe, J.; Kyle, M.; Makino, W.; Yoshida, T.; Andersen, T.; Elser, James.

In: Ecology, Vol. 83, No. 3, 01.03.2002, p. 619-627.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Urabe, J, Kyle, M, Makino, W, Yoshida, T, Andersen, T & Elser, J 2002, 'Reduced light increases herbivore production due to stoichiometric effects of light/nutrient balance', Ecology, vol. 83, no. 3, pp. 619-627.
Urabe J, Kyle M, Makino W, Yoshida T, Andersen T, Elser J. Reduced light increases herbivore production due to stoichiometric effects of light/nutrient balance. Ecology. 2002 Mar 1;83(3):619-627.
Urabe, J. ; Kyle, M. ; Makino, W. ; Yoshida, T. ; Andersen, T. ; Elser, James. / Reduced light increases herbivore production due to stoichiometric effects of light/nutrient balance. In: Ecology. 2002 ; Vol. 83, No. 3. pp. 619-627.
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