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Fluctuating fortunes: stressor synchronicity and fluctuating intensity influence biological impacts
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  • Andria Ostrowski,
  • Rod Connolly,
  • Chris Brown,
  • Michael Sievers
Andria Ostrowski
Griffith University Griffith Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Rod Connolly
Griffith University
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Chris Brown
Griffith University
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Michael Sievers
Griffith University - GC Campus
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Ecosystems remain under enormous pressure from multiple anthropogenic stressors. Manipulative experiments evaluating stressor interactions and impacts mostly apply stressors under static conditions without considering how variable stressor intensity (i.e., fluctuations) and synchronicity (i.e., timing of fluctuations) affect biological responses. We ask how variable stressor intensity and synchronicity, and interaction type, can influence how multiple stressors affect seagrass. At the highest intensities, fluctuating stressors applied asynchronously reduced seagrass biomass 36% more than for static stressors, yet no such difference occurred for photosynthetic capacity. Testing three separate hypotheses to predict underlying drivers of differences in biological responses highlighted alternative modes of action dependent on how stressors fluctuated over time. Given that environmental conditions are constantly changing, assessing static stressors may lead to inaccurate predictions of cumulative effects. Translating multiple stressor experiments to the real-world, therefore, requires considering variability in stressor intensity and the synchronicity of fluctuations.
10 Jun 2022Submitted to Ecology Letters
13 Jun 2022Submission Checks Completed
13 Jun 2022Assigned to Editor
30 Jun 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 Aug 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Aug 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
22 Aug 20221st Revision Received
22 Aug 2022Submission Checks Completed
22 Aug 2022Assigned to Editor
23 Aug 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
07 Sep 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
08 Sep 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Dec 2022Published in Ecology Letters volume 25 issue 12 on pages 2611-2623. 10.1111/ele.14120