Predators Accelerate Nutrient Cycling in a Bromeliad Ecosystem

  title={Predators Accelerate Nutrient Cycling in a Bromeliad Ecosystem},
  author={Jacqueline T. Ngai and Diane S. Srivastava},
  pages={963 - 963}
Conventional ecological theory predicts that predators affect nutrient cycling by decreasing the abundance or activity of prey. By using a predator-detritivore-detritus food chain in bromeliads, we show that predators can increase nutrient cycling by a previously undescribed, but broadly applicable, mechanism: reducing nutrient export by prey emigration. Contrary to expectations, predation on detritivores increases detrital nitrogen uptake by bromeliads. Predation reduces detritivore emergence… 


  • Environmental Science
  • 2008
The top-down effects of consumers and bottom-up effects of resource availability are important in determining community structure and ecological processes. I experimentally examined the roles of

Predation Threat Alters Composition and Functioning of Bromeliad Ecosystems

Abstract Predators can have dramatic effects on food web structure and ecosystem processes. However, the total effect of predators will be a combination of prey removal due to consumption and

Predator effects on a detritus-based food web are primarily mediated by non-trophic interactions.

The findings suggest that predators have the potential to affect substantially carbon flow and nutrient cycling in detritus-based ecosystems and that this impact cannot be fully appreciated without considering non-trophic effects.

Predators override rainfall effects on tropical food webs

Predators alter ecological communities by inducing changes in prey abundance and phenotypes, including elemental and isotopic composition. Climatic factors are known to often moderate predator

Detrital nutrient content determines growth rate and elemental composition of bromeliad‐dwelling insects

This study provides some of the first direct evidence for the growth rate hypothesis in detrital systems and highlights the importance of N and P additions as well as their interaction in constraining the growth of different consumers.

Effects of predatory ants within and across ecosystems in bromeliad food webs

Ants changed the composition and reduced the overall density of aquatic and terrestrial metazoans in bromeliad ecosystems, and effects of ants on species diversity were contingent on site, which demonstrates that the same predator can simultaneously initiate cascades in multiple ecosystems.

Terrestrial vertebrate predators drive the structure and functioning of aquatic food webs.

The results highlight that the effects of terrestrial vertebrate predators can propagate across aquatic ecosystems, altering species composition, body size structure, food web organization, and ecosystem function.

Understorey environments influence functional diversity in tank‐bromeliad ecosystems

The results provide evidence that tank-bromeliads, which grow in a broad range of ecological conditions, promote aquatic food web diversity in neotropical forests and show that algal production can support a non-detrital food web in these systems.

Species-Specific Effects of Ant Inhabitants on Bromeliad Nutrition

It is shown, for the first time, that predatory ants can translocate nutrients from one habitat to another within forests, accumulating nutrients in their feeding sites that become available to bromeliads.

Dominant predators mediate the impact of habitat size on trophic structure in bromeliad invertebrate communities.

It is found that trophic structure in the communities changed dramatically with changes in habitat (bromeliad) size, and taking into account the response and multitrophic effects of dominant, mobile species may be critical when predicting changes in community structure along a habitat-size gradient.



Effects of Fish in River Food Webs

  • M. Power
  • Environmental Science
  • 1990
Experimental manipulations of fish in a Northern California river during summer base flow reveal that they have large effects on predators, herbivores, and plants in river food webs, providing evidence that the Hairston, Smith, Slobodkin–Fretwell theory of trophic control has application to river communitics.

Biodiversity loss, trophic skew and ecosystem functioning

The dominant impacts of biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning appear to be trophically mediated, with important implications for conservation.


Elevated densities of urchins enable a persistent suppression of autochthonous benthic-macrophyte production through grazing and the consumption of newly recruited competitors and predators in Caribbean seagrass communities.


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  • Environmental Science
    The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
  • 1964
The availability of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) for the vegetation has increased in many ecosystems on earth since beginning of the industrial revolution. The change in availability of

Top-down control in a detritus-based food web: fish, shredders, and leaf breakdown

Abstract. We tested the hypothesis that fish decrease shredder abundance in leaf packs, thereby reducing leaf breakdown rates. Our goal was to test for the occurrence of a trophic cascade in a

Predators Accelerate Nutrient Cycling in a

    Venter, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts. Funding was provided by the

      Ecol. Lett

      • Ecol. Lett
      • 2003

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