Mismatch revisited: what is trophic mismatching from the perspective of the plankton?

Thackeray, Stephen J.. 2012 Mismatch revisited: what is trophic mismatching from the perspective of the plankton? Journal of Plankton Research, 34 (12). 1001-1010.

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Long-term changes in the seasonal timing of phytoplankton and zooplankton population development (i.e. phenological changes) have been widely reported in freshwater and marine ecosystems, and have been interpreted as a biological response to ongoing climate change. Observed among-species variations in the rates and patterns of these changes have led to concerns that seasonal trophic interactions may become de-synchronised in plankton communities, following the logic of the Match-Mismatch Hypothesis. Herein, the current evidence for long-term mismatching within plankton communities is evaluated and the meaning of this concept for the plankton is explored. Despite the large number of studies documenting phenological change in plankton communities, very few explicitly quantify mismatching among trophic levels within the same study system, and quantify its ecological impacts. There is a clear need to build the evidence base for the mismatching phenomenon. In this endeavour, we must carefully define the seasonality of resource availability based on prior ecological knowledge, and embrace the challenges posed by organisms with more complex life-cycles and the ecological network context within which plankton interact. In addition, we must acknowledge that mismatching in the plankton is conceptually different from that in non-planktonic systems. For planktonic systems, mismatching is best visualised as an alteration of the rates and lags of the interaction between dynamically linked consumers and resources, rather than simple and independent phase shifts of seasonal abundance peaks at each trophic level.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.4 - Quantify the importance of food web structure and trophic interactions ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 0142-7873
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This paper is open access - click on the Official URL link to access full text.
Additional Keywords: cladocera, climate, copepoda, phenology, phytoplankton, resource threshold
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 25 Sep 2012 14:21 +0 (UTC)

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