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Polar Lakes and RiversLimnology of Arctic and Antarctic Aquatic Ecosystems$
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Warwick F. Vincent and Johanna Laybourn-Parry

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199213887

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213887.001.0001

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Food-web relationships and community structures in high-latitude lakes

Food-web relationships and community structures in high-latitude lakes

(p.269) CHAPTER 15 Food-web relationships and community structures in high-latitude lakes
Polar Lakes and Rivers

Kirsten S. Christoffersen

Erik Jeppesen

Daryl L. Moorhead

Lars J. Tranvik

Oxford University Press

Lakes at high latitudes represent a range of biotic complexity imposed by strong abiotic limitations that are differentially ameliorated by biogeographic factors between the northern and southern latitudes. However, the communities in these lakes are simpler than those typically found in more temperate environments and represent a range of declining biocomplexity as conditions approach the limits to life in these extreme environments. This includes the relative importance of keystone predators and higher trophic levels (e.g., fish and birds) as well as the benthic-pelagic coupling in structuring the food webs. This chapter uses examples and case studies to explore food web interactions between microbial and classic food webs, the importance of autochthonous versus allochthonous carbon, and the implications of a changing climate.

Keywords:   biocomplexity, trophic levels, benthic-pelagic coupling, allochthonous carbon, autochthonous carbon, predation, production

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