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dc.contributor.authorFlores, Lorea
dc.contributor.authorBailey, R. A.
dc.contributor.authorElosegi, Arturo
dc.contributor.authorLarrañaga, Aitor
dc.contributor.authorReiss, Julia
dc.identifier.citationFlores , L , Bailey , R A , Elosegi , A , Larrañaga , A & Reiss , J 2016 , ' Habitat complexity in aquatic microcosms affects processes driven by detritivores ' , PLoS One , vol. 11 , no. 11 , e0165065 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 247064267
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 4b5dfad0-0f8b-433a-bdf4-9b98d61277e1
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84993995134
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-8990-2099/work/39600105
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000386714200017
dc.descriptionLF was supported in part by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the project SCARCE Consolider-Ingenio CSD2009-00065.en
dc.description.abstractHabitat complexity can influence predation rates (e.g. by providing refuge) but other ecosystem processes and species interactions might also be modulated by the properties of habitat structure. Here, we focussed on how complexity of artificial habitat (plastic plants), in microcosms, influenced short-term processes driven by three aquatic detritivores. The effects of habitat complexity on leaf decomposition, production of fine organic matter and pH levels were explored by measuring complexity in three ways: 1. as the presence vs. absence of habitat structure; 2. as the amount of structure (3 or 4.5 g of plastic plants); and 3. as the spatial configuration of structures (measured as fractal dimension). The experiment also addressed potential interactions among the consumers by running all possible species combinations. In the experimental microcosms, habitat complexity influenced how species performed, especially when comparing structure present vs. structure absent. Treatments with structure showed higher fine particulate matter production and lower pH compared to treatments without structures and this was probably due to higher digestion and respiration when structures were present. When we explored the effects of the different complexity levels, we found that the amount of structure added explained more than the fractal dimension of the structures. We give a detailed overview of the experimental design, statistical models and R codes, because our statistical analysis can be applied to other study systems (and disciplines such as restoration ecology). We further make suggestions of how to optimise statistical power when artificially assembling, and analysing, ‘habitat complexity’ by not confounding complexity with the amount of structure added. In summary, this study highlights the importance of habitat complexity for energy flow and the maintenance of ecosystem processes in aquatic ecosystems.
dc.relation.ispartofPLoS Oneen
dc.rights© 2016 Flores et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.en
dc.subjectEcosystem functioningen
dc.subjectFunctional responseen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleHabitat complexity in aquatic microcosms affects processes driven by detritivoresen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Statisticsen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Computational Algebraen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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