BibTex format

author = {Layer, K and Hildrew, AG and Woodward, G},
doi = {10.1007/s00442-012-2421-x},
journal = {Oecologia},
pages = {459--471},
title = {Grazing and detritivory in 20 stream food webs across a broad pH gradient.},
url = {},
volume = {171},
year = {2013}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Acidity is a major driving variable in the ecology of fresh waters, and we sought to quantify macroecological patterns in stream food webs across a wide pH gradient. We postulated that a few generalist herbivore-detritivores would dominate the invertebrate assemblage at low pH, with more specialists grazers at high pH. We also expected a switch towards algae in the diet of all primary consumers as the pH increased. For 20 stream food webs across the British Isles, spanning pH 5.0-8.4 (the acid sites being at least partially culturally acidified), we characterised basal resources and primary consumers, using both gut contents analysis and stable isotopes to study resource use by the latter. We found considerable species turnover across the pH gradient, with generalist herbivore-detritivores dominating the primary consumer assemblage at low pH and maintaining grazing. These were joined or replaced at higher pH by a suite of specialist grazers, while many taxa that persisted across the pH gradient broadened the range of algae consumed as acidity declined and increased their ingestion of biofilm, whose nutritional quality was higher than that of coarse detritus. There was thus an increased overall reliance on algae at higher pH, both by generalist herbivore-detritivores and due to the presence of specialist grazers, although detritus was important even in non-acidic streams. Both the ability of acid-tolerant, herbivore-detritivores to exploit both autochthonous and allochthonous food and the low nutritional value of basal resources might render chemically recovering systems resistant to invasion by the specialist grazers and help explain the sluggish ecological recovery of fresh waters whose water chemistry has ameliorated.
AU - Layer,K
AU - Hildrew,AG
AU - Woodward,G
DO - 10.1007/s00442-012-2421-x
EP - 471
PY - 2013///
SP - 459
TI - Grazing and detritivory in 20 stream food webs across a broad pH gradient.
T2 - Oecologia
UR -
UR -
VL - 171
ER -