Biodiversity effects on processing of phytodetritus from plankton blooms by deposit-feeding invertebrates

Project leader

Funding source

Formas - The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2006
End date: 31/12/2008
Funding: 740000


This experimental study concerns the importance of biodiversity for one of the most fundamental ecological processes on earth, the break-down of phytodetritus throgh deposit-feeding animals at the bottom of the sea, which remineralizes nutrient elements, while producing fish food. We will test four main hypotheses: 1. The rate of mineralization increases with increasing species or functional group diversity. 2. A more diverse community has the potential to transfer more carbon up the food chain. 3. A more diverse community buries more organic matter deeper in the sediment. 4. Nodularin and BMAA in cyanobacterial blooms can accumulate in and reduce diversity, growth and survival of deposit-feeding invertebrates, and be transferred to their fish predators. The results can be used to evaluate the likely effects of changes in infaunal biodiversity and of increased cyanobacterial blooms on nutrient biogeochemistry in the Baltic Sea. The potential for toxic effects on bottom fauna and toxin transfer up the food-chain from increased cyanobacterial blooms can also be evaluated.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:58