Micropollutants affect the ability of phytoplankton communities to track environmental changes

Benazzi, Giulia (2015) Micropollutants affect the ability of phytoplankton communities to track environmental changes. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna, Documento ad accesso riservato.
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Human activities strongly influence environmental processes, and while human domination increases, biodiversity progressively declines in ecosystems worldwide. High genetic and phenotypic variability ensures functionality and stability of ecosystem processes through time and increases the resilience and the adaptive capacity of populations and communities, while a reduction in functional diversity leads to a decrease in the ability to respond in a changing environment. Pollution is becoming one of the major threats in aquatic ecosystem, and pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in particular are a relatively new group of environmental contaminants suspected to have adverse effects on aquatic organisms. There is still a lake of knowledge on the responses of communities to complex chemical mixtures in the environment. We used an individual-trait-based approach to assess the response of a phytoplankton community in a scenario of combined pollution and environmental change (steady increasing in temperature). We manipulated individual-level trait diversity directly (by filtering out size classes) and indirectly (through exposure to PPCPs mixture), and studied how reduction in trait-diversity affected community structure, production of biomass and the ability of the community to track a changing environment. We found that exposure to PPCPs slows down the ability of the community to respond to an increasing temperature. Our study also highlights how physiological responses (induced by PPCPs exposure) are important for ecosystem processes: although from an ecological point of view experimental communities converged to a similar structure, they were functionally different.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Benazzi, Giulia
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Phytoplankton, Community ecology, Phenotypic traits, Ecosystem functions, Micropollutants
Data di discussione della Tesi
18 Giugno 2015

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