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Effects of temporal abiotic drivers on the dynamics of an allometric trophic network model


Perälä, Tommi; Eloranta, Antti (2023), Effects of temporal abiotic drivers on the dynamics of an allometric trophic network model, Dryad, Dataset,


Current ecological research and ecosystem management call for improved understanding of the abiotic drivers of community dynamics, including temperature effects on species interactions and biomass accumulation. Allometric trophic network (ATN) models, which simulate material (carbon) transfer in trophic networks from producers to consumers based on mass-specific metabolic rates, provide an attractive framework to study consumer-resource interactions from organisms to ecosystems. However, the developed ATN models rarely consider temporal changes in some key abiotic drivers that affect e.g. consumer metabolism and producer growth. Here, we evaluate how temporal changes in carrying capacity and light-dependent growth rate of producers and in temperature-dependent mass-specific metabolic rate of consumers affect ATN model dynamics, namely seasonal biomass accumulation, productivity and standing stock biomass of different trophic guilds, including age-structured fish communities. Our simulations of the pelagic Lake Constance (LC) food web indicated marked effects of temporally changing abiotic parameters on seasonal biomass accumulation of different guild groups, particularly among the lowest trophic levels (primary producers and invertebrates). While the adjustment of average irradiance had a minor effect, increasing metabolic rate associated with 1–2˚C temperature increase led to a marked decline of larval (0-year age) fish biomass, but to a substantial biomass increase of 2- and 3-year-old fish that were not predated by ≥4-year-old top predator fish, European perch. However, when averaged across the 100 simulation years, the inclusion of seasonality in abiotic drivers caused only minor changes in standing stock biomasses and productivity of different trophic guilds. Our results demonstrate the potential of introducing seasonality in and adjusting the average values of abiotic ATN model parameters to simulate temporal fluctuations in food-web dynamics, which is an important step in ATN model development aiming to e.g. assess potential future community-level responses to ongoing environmental changes.


Jyväskylän Yliopisto

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

European Research Council, Award: 770884

Academy of Finland, Award: 340901

Academy of Finland, Award: 317495