Acquired phototrophy stabilizes coexistence and shapes intrinsic dynamics of an intraguild predator and its prey
Johnson, Matthew D.
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KeywordAcquired metabolic potential; Community ecology; Intraguild predation; Kleptoplastidy; Mesodinium rubrum; Mixotrophy
In marine ecosystems, acquired phototrophs|organisms that obtain their photo- synthetic ability by hosting endosymbionts or stealing plastids from their prey|are omnipresent. Such taxa function as intraguild predators yet depend on their prey to periodically obtain chloroplasts. We present new theory for the effects of acquired phototrophy on community dynamics by analyzing a mathematical model of this predator-prey interaction and experimentally verifying its predictions with a lab- oratory model system. We show that acquired phototrophy stabilizes coexistence, but that the nature of this coexistence exhibits a `paradox of enrichment:' as light increases, the coexistence between the acquired phototroph and its prey transitions from a stable equilibrium to boom-bust cycles whose amplitude increases with light availability. In contrast, heterotrophs and mixotrophic acquired phototrophs (that obtain <30% of their carbon from photosynthesis) do not exhibit such cycles. This prediction matches eld observations, in which only strict (>95% of carbon from photosynthesis) acquired phototrophs form blooms.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2015. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of John Wiley & Sons for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Ecology Letters 19 (2016): 393-402, doi:10.1111/ele.12572.
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