Food and Furniture: Disentangling trophic and non-trophic interactions within foundation species communities
[S.l.] : [S.n.]
Number of pages
Radboud University, 12 maart 2019
Promotores : Lamers, L.P.M., Heide, T. van der
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Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology
Biodiversity is declining worldwide. However, the generic driving mechanisms that underlie biodiversity remain poorly understood. Although food webs are a classic way to study interactions between organisms, studies increasingly show that habitat-forming organisms, so-called foundation species, stimulate biodiversity positive interactions that occur outside of the food web, such as mutualisms and stress mitigation. In this thesis I show that interactions outside the food web play an important role in the formation of species communities and food webs facilitated by foundation species. Furthermore, I found that foundation species are also important as a food source, but indirectly as dead organic material, and I discovered that foundation species often vitally depend on the organisms they themselves facilitate. This knowledge advances our understanding of the complexity of these ecosystems and the emergence of biodiversity, so that now and in the future we can better protect and restore threatened ecosystems and their biodiversity.
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