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Journal Articles Oikos Year : 2021

Interplay between the paradox of enrichment and nutrient cycling in food webs

Abstract

Nutrient cycling is fundamental to ecosystem functioning. Despite recent major advances in the understanding of complex food web dynamics, food web models have so far generally ignored nutrient cycling. However, nutrient cycling is expected to strongly impact food web stability and functioning. To make up for this gap, we built an allometric and size structured food web model including nutrient cycling. By releasing mineral nutrients, recycling increases the availability of limiting resources for primary producers and links each trophic level to the bottom of food webs. We found that nutrient cycling can provide a significant part of the total nutrient supply of the food web, leading to a strong enrichment effect that promotes species persistence in nutrient poor ecosystems but leads to a paradox of enrichment at high nutrient inputs. The presence of recycling loops linking each trophic level to the basal resources weakly affects species biomass temporal variability in the food web. Recycling loops tend to slightly dampen the destabilising effect of nutrient enrichment on consumer temporal variability while they have opposite effects for primary producers. By considering nutrient cycling, this new model improves our understanding of the response of food webs to nutrient availability and opens perspectives to better link studies on food web dynamics and ecosystem functioning.
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Dates and versions

hal-02570657 , version 1 (10-03-2021)

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P. Quévreux, Sébastien Barot, E. Thébault. Interplay between the paradox of enrichment and nutrient cycling in food webs. Oikos, 2021, Oikos, 130 (1), pp.95-109. ⟨10.1111/oik.07937⟩. ⟨hal-02570657⟩
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