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Data for: Interactive effects of foundation species on ecosystem functioning and stability in response to disturbance

Citation

Narwani, Anita (2019), Data for: Interactive effects of foundation species on ecosystem functioning and stability in response to disturbance, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qv9s4mw99

Abstract

A major challenge in ecology is to understand determinants of ecosystem functioning and stability in the face of disturbance. Some important species can strongly shape community structure and ecosystem functioning, but their impacts and interactions on ecosystem-level responses to disturbance are less well known. Shallow ponds provide a model system in which to study the effects of such species because some taxa mitigate transitions between alternate ecosystem states caused by eutrophication. We performed pond experiments to test how two foundation species (a macrophyte and a mussel) affected the biomass of planktonic primary producers and its stability in response to nutrient additions. Individually, each species reduced phytoplankton biomass and tended to increase rates of recovery from disturbance, but together the species reversed these effects, particularly with larger nutrient additions. This reversal was mediated by high cyanobacterial dominance of the community and a resulting loss of trait evenness. Effects of the foundation species on primary producer biomass were associated with effects on other ecosystem properties, including turbidity and dissolved oxygen. Our work highlights the important role of foundation species and their interactive effects in determining responses of ecosystem functioning to disturbance.

Usage Notes

This file contains all data and metadata for the experiments described in "Interactive effects of foundation species on ecosystem functioning and stability in response to disturbance", published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 

Affiliated scripts will also be made available on the Narwani Lab github site under a repository named "NUDREM"