Journal Article

Top–down cascades in lakes and oceans: different perspectives but same story?

Dag O. Hessen and Stein Kaartvedt

in Journal of Plankton Research

Volume 36, issue 4, pages 914-924
Published in print July 2014 | ISSN: 0142-7873
Published online May 2014 | e-ISSN: 1464-3774 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/plankt/fbu040
Top–down cascades in lakes and oceans: different perspectives but same story?

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  • Marine and Estuarine Biology
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While top–down cascades from fish to phytoplankton have been a core topic in limnology for the past four decades, it has attracted far less interest in marine ecology. This is partly for historical reasons, since lake studies have been motivated by the ability to regulate algal blooms induced by cultural eutrophication, while marine studies have been more oriented towards fish yield and thus bottom–up processes. Also freshwaters are closed ecosystems with lower diversity and complexity, making models and predictions on trophic levels and interactions comparatively simpler. Here, we compare some key properties of freshwater and marine top–down cascades and argue that despite some striking differences, the large number of freshwater studies may pose valuable insights also for marine systems. Moreover, we argue that there is an urgent need for more focus on top–down cascades in marine systems that address how top predators or fishing may propagate through the food web and impact autotrophic biomass, production, C-sequestration and thus ultimately the global carbon cycle and climate.

Keywords: carbon sequestration; food web; grazing; pelagic; predation; trophic cascade

Journal Article.  6448 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Marine and Estuarine Biology ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

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