Anthropogenic metal contamination can cause increased stress in exposed organisms, but it can be difficult to disentangle the anthropogenic influence from natural variation in environmental conditions. In the proximity of a closed lead (Pb)/zinc (Zn) mine in northern Sweden, the health effects of Pb exposure, essential element (calcium [Ca] and Zn) uptake, and prey availability and composition were estimated on pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) nestlings, using hemoglobin (Hb) level as a proxy for health. Pb concentration in nestling blood range between 0.00034 and 2.21?µg/g (ww) and nestlings close to the mine had higher Pb concentrations and lower Hb, but contrary to our hypothesis, Hb was not directly related to Pb accumulation. Proportions of flying terrestrial and aquatic insects in available prey and availability of flying terrestrial insects were positively associated with nestling Hb, whereas the proportion of terrestrial ground living prey, the most common prey type, showed a negative association. This suggests that positive influence of certain prey, which does not have to be the most common in the surroundings, can counteract the negative effects from Pb contamination on bird health. Nestlings inhabiting sites adjacent to lakes had an advantage in terms of prey composition and availability of preferred prey, which resulted in higher Hb. As such, our results show that during moderate exposure to metals, variation in natural conditions, such as prey availability, can have great impact on organism health compared to Pb exposure.
Forests are of major importance to human society, contributing several crucial ecosystem services. Biodiversity is suggested to positively influence multiple services but evidence from natural systems at scales relevant to management is scarce. Here, across a scale of 400,000?km(2), we report that tree species richness in production forests shows positive to positively hump-shaped relationships with multiple ecosystem services. These include production of tree biomass, soil carbon storage, berry production and game production potential. For example, biomass production was approximately 50% greater with five than with one tree species. In addition, we show positive relationships between tree species richness and proxies for other biodiversity components. Importantly, no single tree species was able to promote all services, and some services were negatively correlated to each other. Management of production forests will therefore benefit from considering multiple tree species to sustain the full range of benefits that the society obtains from forests.
Cites: Tree Physiol. 2002 Feb;22(2-3):77-8911830405
Cites: Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010 Jul 12;365(1549):2107-1620513718
Cites: Science. 2006 Nov 3;314(5800):787-9017082450
Land use is known to alter the nature of land-water interactions, but the potential effects of widespread forest management on headwaters in boreal regions remain poorly understood. We evaluated the importance of catchment land use, land cover, and local stream variables for macroinvertebrate community and functional trait diversity in 18 boreal headwater streams. Variation in macroinvertebrate metrics was often best explained by in-stream variables, primarily water chemistry (e.g. pH). However, variation in stream variables was, in turn, significantly associated with catchment-scale forestry land use. More specifically, streams running through catchments that were dominated by young (11-50 years) forests had higher pH, greater organic matter standing stock, higher abundance of aquatic moss, and the highest macroinvertebrate diversity, compared to streams running through recently clear-cut and old forests. This indicates that catchment-scale forest management can modify in-stream habitat conditions with effects on stream macroinvertebrate communities and that characteristics of younger forests may promote conditions that benefit headwater biodiversity.
Cites: Ecology. 2009 May;90(5):1227-4119537544
Cites: Environ Manage. 2011 Jan;47(1):28-3921132293
Global and local ecosystem change resulting in diversity loss has motivated efforts to understand relationships between species diversity and ecosystem services. However, it is unclear how such a general understanding can inform policies for the management of ecosystem services in production systems, because these systems are primarily used for food or fibre, and are rarely managed for the conservation of species diversity. Here, using data from a nationwide forest inventory covering an area of 230,000?km2, we show that relative abundances of commercial tree species in mixed stands strongly influence the potential to provide ecosystem services. The mixes provided higher levels of ecosystem services compared to respective plant monocultures (overyielding or transgressive overyielding) in 35% of the investigated cases, and lower (underyielding) in 9% of the cases. We further show that relative abundances, not just species richness per se, of specific tree-species mixtures affect the potential of forests to provide multiple ecosystem services, which is crucial information for policy and sustainable forest management.
Effective societal responses to rapid climate change in the Arctic rely on an accurate representation of region-specific ecosystem properties and processes. However, this is limited by the scarcity and patchy distribution of field measurements. Here, we use a comprehensive, geo-referenced database of primary field measurements in 1,840 published studies across the Arctic to identify statistically significant spatial biases in field sampling and study citation across this globally important region. We find that 31% of all study citations are derived from sites located within 50?km of just two research sites: Toolik Lake in the USA and Abisko in Sweden. Furthermore, relatively colder, more rapidly warming and sparsely vegetated sites are under-sampled and under-recognized in terms of citations, particularly among microbiology-related studies. The poorly sampled and cited areas, mainly in the Canadian high-Arctic archipelago and the Arctic coastline of Russia, constitute a large fraction of the Arctic ice-free land area. Our results suggest that the current pattern of sampling and citation may bias the scientific consensuses that underpin attempts to accurately predict and effectively mitigate climate change in the region. Further work is required to increase both the quality and quantity of sampling, and incorporate existing literature from poorly cited areas to generate a more representative picture of Arctic climate change and its environmental impacts.
The occurrence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in aquatic ecosystems is a global concern because of their persistence, potential bioaccumulation, and toxicity. In this study, we investigated a PFAS-contaminated pond in Sweden to assess the cross-boundary transfer of PFASs from the aquatic environment to the riparian zone via emergent aquatic insects. Aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, surface water, sediments, soils, and plants were analyzed for 24 PFASs including branched isomers. Stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen was performed to elucidate the importance of diet and trophic position for PFAS uptake. We present the first evidence that PFASs can propagate to the riparian food web via aquatic emergent insects. Elevated S24PFAS concentrations were found in aquatic insect larvae, such as dragon- and damselflies, ranging from 1100 to 4600 ng g-1 dry weight (dw), and remained high in emerged adults (120-3500 ng g-1 dw), indicating exposure risks for top predators that prey in riparian zones. In terrestrial invertebrate consumers, PFAS concentrations increased with the degree of aquatic-based diet and at higher trophic levels. Furthermore, stable isotope data together with calculated bioaccumulation factors indicated that bioconcentration of PFASs was the major pathway of exposure in the aquatic food web and bioaccumulation in the riparian food web.
Major point sources of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) cause ubiquitous spread of PFASs in the environment. In this study, surface water and aquatic invertebrates at three Swedish sites impacted by PFAS point sources were characterized, using homologue, isomer and extractable organofluorine (EOF) profiling as well as estimation of bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) and mass discharge. Two sites were impacted by fire training (sites A and R) and the third by industrial runoff (site K). Mean S25PFASs concentration in water was 1920 ng L-1 at site R (n = 3), which was more than 20- and 10-fold higher than those from sites A and K, respectively. PFOS was the most predominant PFAS in all waters samples, constituting 29-79% of S25PFAS concentrations. Several branched isomers were detected and they substantially contributed to concentrations in surface water (e.g. 49-78% of SPFOS) and aquatic invertebrates (e.g. 15-28% of SPFOS). BAFs in the aquatic invertebrates indicated higher bioaccumulation for long chain PFASs and lower bioaccumulation for branched PFOS isomers compared to linear PFOS. EOF mass balance showed that S25target PFASs in water could explain up to 55% of EOF at site R. However, larger proportions of EOF (>92%) remained unknown in water from sites A and K. Mass discharges were for the first time estimated for EOF and revealed that high amounts of EOF (e.g. 8.2 g F day-1 at site A) could be transported by water to recipient water bodies relative to S25PFASs (e.g. 0.15 g day-1 at site A). Overall, we showed that composition profiling, BAFs and EOF mass balance can improve the characterization of PFASs around point sources.