Currently accepted paradigms in ecology dictate that disturbances at all temporal scales exert a significant influence on community structure and ecosystem stability. Microbial community resistance and resilience to perturbations are largely dependent on the physiological flexibility and taxonomic richness of the pre-perturbation community. Can a microbial community dominated by late-successional endemic taxa exhibit resistance and/or functional redundancy? In this study, intact littoral epilithic diatom communities from an ancient, tropical lake were exposed to oxygenated, filtered hypolimnetic water to simulate a lake upwelling event. Filtered lake surface water was used as a control. Discriminant function models based on changes in density and relative abundance of taxa after both treatments assigned samples to their correct treatment groups 100% of the time. A change in relative abundance of taxa between the two treatments indicated that competitive outcomes varied with a shift in the water chemistry, with different taxa exhibiting positive, negative, or neutral numerical responses. These results suggest that highly endemic diatom communities can maintain community function through shifts in competitive dynamics. We conclude that condition-specific competition models can be invoked to explain diatom community dynamics despite the inability of diatoms to use behavior to respond to changes in the abiotic environment.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2014|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2013, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
- Ancient lakes
- Community ecology
- Lake Matano