Jochimsen, Marc C.
Compensatory dynamics and the stability of phytoplankton biomass during four decades of eutrophication and oligotrophication
2013-01, Jochimsen, Marc C., Kümmerlin, Reiner, Straile, Dietmar
The link between compensatory dynamics and regime shifts is not well understood. We analyse a regime shift in phytoplankton in a large lake with respect to: (1) environmental forcing and (2) the type of dynamics
(compensatory or synchronous) between phytoplankton groups. The regime shift in phytoplankton was related to gradual changes in nutrient levels, but unrelated to an almost concurrent shift in climatic conditions. The relationship between total phytoplankton biomass and phosphorus concentrations was sigmoid. Trajectories of phytoplankton biomass and community dynamics suggest that eutrophication effects can successfully be reversed when management efforts decrease nutrient loading to a level sufficiently low to overcome community resilience. The regime shift was associated with a loss of biomass compensation and compensatory dynamics among the phytoplankton groups. This suggests that the type of interactions is important for a better understanding of the existence and shape of nonlinear responses of phytoplankton
biomass to environmental change.
Stable isotope ratios in winter-grown feathers of Great Reed Warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Clamorous Reed Warblers A. stentoreus and their hybrids in a sympatric breeding population in Kazakhstan
2011, Yohannes, Elizabeth, Lee, Raymond W., Jochimsen, Marc C., Hansson, Bengt
Analyses of the stable isotope composition of feathers can provide significant insight into the spatial structure of bird migration. We collected feathers from Great Reed Warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Clamorous Reed Warblers A. stentoreus and a small sample of their hybrids in a sympatric breeding population in Kazakhstan to assess natural variation in stable isotope signatures and delineate wintering sites. The Great Reed Warbler is a long-distance migrant that overwinters in sub-Saharan Africa, whereas the Clamorous Reed Warbler performs a short-distance migration to the Indian sub-continent. Carbon (δ13C), nitrogen (δ15N) and deuterium (δD) isotope signatures were obtained from winter-grown feathers of adult birds. There were highly significant differences in δD and less significant differences in δ13C between Great and Clamorous Reed Warblers. Thus, our results show that the stable isotope technique, and in particular the deuterium (δD) signal, resolves continental variation in winter distribution between these closely related Acrocephalus species with sympatric natal origin. The isotope signatures of hybrid Great × Clamorous Reed Warblers clustered with those of the Great Reed Warblers. Hence, a parsimonious suggestion is that the hybrids undergo moult in Afrotropical wintering grounds, as do the Great Reed Warblers. The observed δD values fell within the range of expected values based on available precipitation data collected at precipitation stations across the wintering continents of each species. However, the power to predict the winter origin of birds in our study system using these data was weak as the expected values ranged widely at this broad continental scale.
Assessing resilience in long-term ecological data sets
2016, Müller, Felix, Bergmann, Melanie, Dannowski, Ralf, Dippner, Joachim W., Gnauck, Albrecht, Haase, Peter, Jochimsen, Marc C., Kasprzak, Peter, Kröncke, Ingrid, Straile, Dietmar
In this paper the concept of resilience is discussed on the base of 13 case studies from the German branch of the International Long-Term Ecological Research Program. In the introduction the resilience approach is presented as one possibility to describe ecosystem dynamics. The relations with the concepts of adaptability and ecological integrity are discussed and the research questions are formulated. The focal research objectives are related to the conditions of resilient behaviour of ecosystems, the role of spatio-temporal scales, the differences between short- or long-term dynamics, the basic methodological requirements to exactly define resilience, the role of the reference state and indicators and the suitability of resilience as a management concept. The main part of the paper consists of 13 small case study descriptions, which demonstrate phase transitions and resilient dynamics of several terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems at different time scales. In the discussion, some problems arising from the interpretation of the time series are highlighted and discussed. The topics of discussion are the conceptual challenges of the resilience approach, methodological problems, the role of indicator selection, the complex interactions between different disturbances, the significance of time scales and a comparison of the case studies. The article ends with a conclusion which focuses on the demand to link resilience with adaptability, in order to support the long-term dynamics of ecosystem development.
The use of long-term monitoring data for studies of planktonic diversity : a cautionary tale from two Swiss lakes
2013, Straile, Dietmar, Jochimsen, Marc C., Kümmerlin, Reiner
Long-term data have been suggested as resources for investigating environmental influences on biodiversity and, in turn, the role of biodiversity for ecosystem dynamics. However, scientists analysing biodiversity patterns in long-term data need to recognise that multidecadal time series are likely to suffer from inconsistencies in methodology, which might strongly complicate the interpretation of diversity patterns. Unfortunately, such inconsistencies are usually difficult to detect, and consequently, it is not known how strongly they affect the conclusions drawn.
Here, we highlight two long-term data sets sampled by one laboratory to analyse patterns in phytoplankton richness in two Swiss lakes, Lake Zurich and Lake Walen. Apparent patterns in the long-term species richness in the two lakes arise from: (i) inconsistencies in species identification (changes in taxonomic literature and/or taxonomic expertise of the counting personnel) and (ii) changes in the detection limits of taxa. Hence, bias in these two case studies was strong enough to obscure any possible effects on species richness of environmental change (oligotrophication).
We show that in the case of these two data sets, inconsistency confounds estimates of phytoplankton richness not only at the species level but even at the generic and familial levels. This suggests that a solution often proposed for inconsistency, that is, reanalysis of the data after aggregation to genus or family, may be insufficient.
We suggest the use of two diagnostic plots, which may be used in other studies examining richness patterns in either long-term time series or comparative studies in which several scientists/laboratories contributed to data acquisition. These plots illustrate temporal or spatial patterns in (i) the percentage of taxa identified only to genus and (ii) in the 5% percentile of the concentrations of individual algal taxa. They will help to identify inconsistency problems due to changes or differences in (i) taxonomic expertise and (ii) detection limits.
Effects of a half a millennium winter on a deep lake : a shape of things to come?
2010, Straile, Dietmar, Kerimoglu, Onur, Peeters, Frank, Jochimsen, Marc C., Kümmerlin, Reiner, Rinke, Karsten, Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto
Analyses of the effects of extreme climate periods have been used as a tool to predict ecosystem functioning and processes in a warmer world. The winter half-year 2006/2007 (w06/07) has been extremely warm and was estimated to be a half-a-millennium event in central Europe. Here we analyse the consequences of w06/07 for the temperatures, mixing dynamics, phenologies and population developments of algae and daphnids (thereafter w06/07 limnology) in a deep central European lake and investigate to what extent analysis of w06/07 limnology can really be used as a predictive tool regarding future warming. Different approaches were used to put the observations during w06/07 into context: (1) a comparison of w06/07 limnology with long-term data, (2) a comparison of w06/07 limnology with that of the preceding year, and (3) modelling of temperature and mixing dynamics using numerical experiments. These analyses revealed that w06/07 limnology in Lake Constance was indeed very special as the lake did not mix below 60m depth throughout winter. Because of this, anomalies of variables associated strongly with mixing behaviour, e.g., Schmidt stability and a measure for phosphorus upward mixing during winter exceeded several standard deviations the long-term mean of these variables. However, our modelling results suggest that this extreme hydrodynamical behaviour was only partially due to w06/07 meteorology per se, but depended also strongly on the large difference in air temperature to the previous cold winter which resulted in complete mixing and considerable cooling of the water column. Furthermore, modelling results demonstrated that with respect to absolute water temperatures, the model w06/07' most likely underestimates the increase in water temperature in a warmer world as one warm winter is not sufficient to rise water temperatures in a deep lake up to those expected under a future climate.
Taxonomic aggregation does not alleviate the lack of consistency in analysing diversity in long-term phytoplankton monitoring data : a rejoinder to Pomati et al. (2015)
2015, Straile, Dietmar, Jochimsen, Marc C., Kümmerlin, Reiner
1. Long-term phytoplankton monitoring provides an important resource for studying the effects of environmental change on communities and testing ecological hypotheses. However, because of identification difficulties, maintaining consistency in the data over long periods is extremely difficult. It is usually assumed that consistency is improved when only one taxonomist is responsible throughout, and/or when data are aggregated to a coarser taxonomic level. Neither assumption has been critically tested. We address the comment of Pomati et al. (2015) on our earlier Opinion paper (Straile et al , 2013) and test these assumptions with the long-term data from Lake Zurich.
2. We show that aggregation to coarser taxonomic levels does not improve data set consistency because: (i) the proportional effect of misclassification is unlikely to be reduced by lumping taxa since the fewer misclassifications affect the dynamics of an overall lower number of taxa, that is the proportional effect is constant, and (ii) because changes in detection limits will affect all taxonomic levels proportionally.
3. We also show that, although a single taxonomist supervised phytoplankton recordings, data consistency is undermined by: (i) learning via exchange with other taxonomists and participation in taxonomic workshops, and (ii) a reduction in detection limits of species, presumably due to an increase in the number of taxonomists (allowing an increased processing time per sample).
4. As a consequence of (i) a reduction in detection limits, (ii) the confirmed taxonomic learning and (iii) the failure of taxonomic aggregation to improve consistency, our new evidence strengthens the view that there are consistency problems in the Lake Zurich data set, and the need for a critical review of the conclusions of Pomati et al. (2012) and Matthews & Pomati (2012).
Changes in blood stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N), plasma corticosterone and body mass in exercising birds using a wind tunnel
2012, Yohannes, Elizabeth, Jochimsen, Marc C., Räß, Michael
Blood stable isotope compositions in birds reflect the dietary isotopic signature at the time of the cellular blood synthesis. Several studies suggest that stable isotope ratios of some elements such as nitrogen (δ15N) can change in response to individual metabolic and physiological conditions. Using a wind tunnel experiment we tested if endurance flight in birds alters the metabolic state and thereby induces changes in blood δ13C and δ15N values. We trained European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), that were held under similar diet conditions, to fly in a wind tunnel for up to six hours. While there was a substantial post-flight increase in plasma corticosterone concentrations and a decrease in body weight, we found no significant difference in blood δ13C and δ15N values before and after flight. These findings suggest that blood δ13C and δ15N values from birds caught in the wild most likely reflect the dietary isotopic sources at