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A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Angelini, C; Griffin, JN; van de Koppel, J; Lamers, LPM; Smolders, AJP; Derksen-Hooijberg, M; van der Heide, T; Silliman, BR
Published in: Nature communications
August 2016

Droughts are increasing in severity and frequency, yet the mechanisms that strengthen ecosystem resilience to this stress remain poorly understood. Here, we test whether positive interactions in the form of a mutualism between mussels and dominant cordgrass in salt marshes enhance ecosystem resistance to and recovery from drought. Surveys spanning 250 km of southeastern US coastline reveal spatially dispersed mussel mounds increased cordgrass survival during severe drought by 5- to 25-times. Surveys and mussel addition experiments indicate this positive effect of mussels on cordgrass was due to mounds enhancing water storage and reducing soil salinity stress. Observations and models then demonstrate that surviving cordgrass patches associated with mussels function as nuclei for vegetative re-growth and, despite covering only 0.1-12% of die-offs, markedly shorten marsh recovery periods. These results indicate that mutualisms, in supporting stress-resistant patches, can play a disproportionately large, keystone role in enhancing ecosystem resilience to climatic extremes.

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Published In

Nature communications

DOI

EISSN

2041-1723

ISSN

2041-1723

Publication Date

August 2016

Volume

7

Start / End Page

12473

Related Subject Headings

  • Symbiosis
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Salinity
  • Poaceae
  • Ecosystem
  • Droughts
  • Bivalvia
  • Biomass
  • Animals
 

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Angelini, C., Griffin, J. N., van de Koppel, J., Lamers, L. P. M., Smolders, A. J. P., Derksen-Hooijberg, M., … Silliman, B. R. (2016). A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought. Nature Communications, 7, 12473. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12473
Angelini, Christine, John N. Griffin, Johan van de Koppel, Leon P. M. Lamers, Alfons J. P. Smolders, Marlous Derksen-Hooijberg, Tjisse van der Heide, and Brian R. Silliman. “A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought.Nature Communications 7 (August 2016): 12473. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12473.
Angelini C, Griffin JN, van de Koppel J, Lamers LPM, Smolders AJP, Derksen-Hooijberg M, et al. A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought. Nature communications. 2016 Aug;7:12473.
Angelini, Christine, et al. “A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought.Nature Communications, vol. 7, Aug. 2016, p. 12473. Epmc, doi:10.1038/ncomms12473.
Angelini C, Griffin JN, van de Koppel J, Lamers LPM, Smolders AJP, Derksen-Hooijberg M, van der Heide T, Silliman BR. A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought. Nature communications. 2016 Aug;7:12473.

Published In

Nature communications

DOI

EISSN

2041-1723

ISSN

2041-1723

Publication Date

August 2016

Volume

7

Start / End Page

12473

Related Subject Headings

  • Symbiosis
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Salinity
  • Poaceae
  • Ecosystem
  • Droughts
  • Bivalvia
  • Biomass
  • Animals