Impacts on freshwater macrophytes produced by small invertebrate herbivores: Afrotropical and Neotropical wetlands compared

  title={Impacts on freshwater macrophytes produced by small invertebrate herbivores: Afrotropical and Neotropical wetlands compared},
  author={M. Celeste Franceschini and Kevin Murphy and Isabel Eleanor Moore and Michael P. Kennedy and Fedra Solange Mart{\'i}nez and Frank Willems and Mar{\'i}a Laura de Wysiecki and Henry Mweempwa Sichingabula},
  pages={1 - 20}
We compare invertebrate herbivory upon 13 macrophyte species in freshwater wetland systems located in two global ecozones, the Afrotropics and Neotropics, in the context of biotic and environmental factors influencing these wetlands. The two ecozones are climatically similar regions, with similar water chemistry, but experience contrasting grazing and disturbance pressures from large mammalian herbivores. Our results for macrophytes show that small invertebrates removed significantly more… 
3 Citations
Ecosystem services provided by freshwater macrophytes
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  • 2021
Seeökosysteme V: Synökologie (Teil 1)
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  • Handbuch Angewandte Limnologie: Grundlagen ‐ Gewässerbelastung ‐ Restaurierung ‐ Aquatische Ökotoxikologie ‐ Bewertung ‐ Gewässerschutz
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Although the mean defoliation percentages were low during the period of maximum macrophyte biomass, they were not systematically lower than encountered for terrestrial plants.
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Invertebrate herbivory, once thought to be insignificant to aquatic macrophytes, was shown to cause substantial biomass reductions in two of the three plant species studied.
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More mechanistic studies are needed of aquatic herbivores, herbivore damage to plants, and the secondary chemistry of aquatic plants to more clearly ascertain the importance of aquatic macrophytes as food and their interrelations with aquatic invertebrates.
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Large aquatic herbivores have strong impacts on associated species and can be critical ecosystem engineers of aquatic systems, with the ability to modify direct and indirect functional pathways in ecosystems.
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This analysis of the numbers and distribution of vascular macrophytes showed that whilst many species have broad ranges, species diversity is highest in the Neotropics, intermediate in the Oriental, Nearctic and Afrotropics, lower in the Palearctic and Australasia, lower again in the Pacific Oceanic Islands, and lowest in the Antarctic region.
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