Carnivores participate in forest disturbance recovery by dispersing the seeds that pass through their digestive systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of mammals for Juniperus deppeana seed dispersal with an experimental evaluation of endozoochory and diploendozoochory, through indices of recovery, viability, changes in testas, and retention of seeds in the digestive tract. Juniperus deppeana fruits were collected in the Sierra Fría Natural Protected Area, Aguascalientes, Mexico, and were administered in the diet of gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), coati (Nasua narica) and domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) these three mammals represented the endozoochory. For the diploendozoochory, seeds excreted by rabbits were incorporated into the diets of bobcat (Lynx rufus) and cougar (Puma concolor) in a local zoo. The seeds present in the scats were collected, and recovery rates and retention times were estimated; viability was estimated by X-ray optical densitometry, and testa thicknesses and surfaces were checked by scanning electron microscopy. The results showed a recovery of seeds greater than 70% in all the animals; the retention time was < 24 h in the endozoochory, but the time was longer (24-96 h) in the diploendozoochory (P < 0.05). Seed viability (x ̵̅ ± SD) was decreased in rabbits (74.0 ± 11.5 %) compared to fruits obtained directly from the canopy (89.7 ± 2.0 %), while gray fox, coati, bobcat and puma did not affect viability (P < 0.05). An increase in the thickness of the testas was also observed in seeds excreted from all mammals (P < 0.05). Through evaluation, our results suggest that mammalian endozoochory and diploendozoochory contribute to dispersal of J. deppeana by maintaining viable seeds with adaptive characteristics in the testa to promote resilience and forest restoration. In particular, felines (predators) can provide an ecosystem service through scarification and seed dispersal.
Camera traps have become in-situ sensors for collecting information on animal abundance and occupancy estimates. When deployed over a large landscape, camera traps have become ideal for measuring the health of ecosystems, particularly in unstable habitats where it can be dangerous or even impossible to observe using conventional methods. However, manual processing of imagery is extremely time and labor intensive. Because of the associated expense, many studies have started to employ machine learning tools, such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs). One drawback is that for the majority of networks a large number of images (millions) are needed to devise an effective identification or classification model. This study examines specific factors pertinent to camera trap placement in the field that may influence the accuracy metrics of a deep learning model that has been trained with a small set of images. False negatives and false positives may occur due to a variety of environmental factors that make it difficult for even a human observer to classify, including local weather patterns and daylight. We transfer-trained a CNN to detect 16 different object classes (14 animal species, humans, and fires) across 9,576 images taken from camera traps placed in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. After analyzing wind speed, cloud cover, temperature, and image contrast, there was a significant positive association between CNN success and temperature. Furthermore, we found that the model was more successful when images were taken during the day as well as when precipitation was not present. We show that external variables at camera trap locations have a noticeable effect on CNN accuracy. Qualitative site-specific factors can confuse quantitative classification algorithms such as CNNs. This study suggests that further exploration into the causes of error in classification modeling is necessary given the unique challenges posed by the analysis of camera trap imagery.
Seed dormancy contributes greatly to successful establishment and community stability and shows large variation over a continuous status scale in mountain ecosystems. Although empirical studies have shown that seed dormancy status (SDS) is shaped by elevation and phylogenetic history in mountain ecosystems, few studies have quantified their combined effects on SDS. Here, we collected mature seeds from 51 populations of 11 Impatiens species (Balsaminaceae) along an elevational gradient in the Gaoligong Mountains of southwest China and downloaded 19 bioclimatic variables from WorldClim v.2.1 for each Impatiens population. We used internal transcribed spacer (ITS), atpB-rbcL, and trnL-F molecular sequences from the GenBank nucleotide database to construct a phylogenetic tree of the 11 species of Impatiens. SDS was estimated using mean dormancy percentage of fresh seeds germinated at three constant temperatures (15, 20, and 25 °C). Logistic regression model analysis was performed to quantify the effects of phylogeny and environment on SDS. Results showed that there was a significant phylogenetic signal of SDS in the Impatiens species. Furthermore, elevation and phylogeny accounted for 63.629% of the total variation in SDS among the Impatiens populations. The logistic model indicated that climatic factors accounted for 20.832% of the total variation in SDS among the Impatiens species, and model residuals were significantly correlated with phylogeny, but not with elevation. Our results indicated that seed dormancy is phylogenetically conserved, and climate drives elevational patterns of SDS variation in mountain ecosystems. This study provides new insights into the response of seed plant diversity to climate change.
Quantifying spatiotemporally explicit interactions within animal populations facilitates the understanding of social structure and its relationship with ecological processes. Data from animal tracking technologies (Global Positioning Systems [“GPS”]) can circumvent longstanding challenges in the estimation of spatiotemporally explicit interactions, but the discrete nature and coarse temporal resolution of data mean that ephemeral interactions that occur between consecutive GPS locations go undetected. Here, we developed a method to quantify individual and spatial patterns of interaction using continuous-time movement models (CTMMs) fit to GPS tracking data. We first applied CTMMs to infer the full movement trajectories at an arbitrarily fine temporal scale before estimating interactions, thus allowing inference of interactions occurring between observed GPS locations. Our framework then infers indirect interactions – individuals occurring at the same location, but at different times– while allowing the identification of indirect interactions to vary with ecological context based on CTMM outputs. We assessed the performance of our new method using simulations and illustrated its implementation by deriving disease-relevant interaction networks for two behaviorally differentiated species, wild pigs (Sus scrofa) that can host African Swine Fever and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) that can host Chronic Wasting Disease. Simulations showed that interactions derived from observed GPS data can be substantially underestimated when temporal resolution of movement data exceeds 30-minute intervals. Empirical application suggested that underestimation occurred in both interaction rates and their spatial distributions. CTMM-Interaction method, which can introduce uncertainties, recovered the majority of true interactions. Our method leverages advances in movement ecology to quantify fine-scale spatiotemporal interactions between individuals from lower temporal resolution GPS data. It can be leveraged to infer dynamic social networks, transmission potential in disease systems, consumer-resource interactions, information sharing, and beyond. The method also sets the stage for future predictive models linking observed spatiotemporal interaction patterns to environmental drivers.
1. Researchers generally ascribe demographic drivers in a single or few sub-populations and presume they are representative. With this information, practitioners implement blanket conservation measures across metapopulations to reverse declines. However, such approaches may not be appropriate in circumstances where sub-populations are spatiotemporally segregated and exposed to different environmental variation. 2. The Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostris is an Arctic-nesting migrant that largely comprises two sub-populations (delineated by northerly and southerly breeding areas in west Greenland). The metapopulation has declined since 1999 but this trend is only mirrored in one sub-population and the causes of this disparity are unclear. Here we compare the drivers and trends of productivity in both sub-populations using population- and individual-level analysis. 3. We examined how temperature and precipitation influenced population-level reproductive success and whether there was a change in the relationship when metapopulation decline commenced. In addition we used biologging devices to reconstruct incubation events and modelled how phenology and environmental conditions influenced individual-level nest survival. 4. Correlations between reproductive success and temperature/precipitation on the breeding grounds have weakened for both sub-populations. This has resulted in lower reproductive success for the northerly, but not southerly breeding sub-population, which at the individual-level appears to be driven by lower in nest survival. Earlier breeding ground arrival and less precipitation during incubation increased nest survival in the northerly breeding population, while no factors examined were important for the southerly breeding sub-population. This suggests reproductive success is now driven by different factor(s) in the two sub-populations. 5. Demographic rates and their environmental drivers differ between the sub-populations examined here and consequently we encourage further decomposition of demography within metapopulations. This is important for conservation practitioners to consider as bespoke conservation strategies, targeting different limiting factors, may be required for different sub-population.
Earthworms modulate the carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, their effect may be affected by deposited compounds due to human activity such as industrial emissions. However, studies investigating how deposited compounds affect the role of earthworms in carbon cycling such as litter decomposition are lacking, although they are important for understanding the influence of deposited compounds on ecosystems and the bioremediation by applying earthworms. For this, we performed a 365-day in situ litterbag decomposition experiment in a deciduous (Quercus variabilis) and coniferous (Pinus massoniana) forest in southeast China. We manipulated nitrogen (N), sodium (Na) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) deposited compounds during litter decomposition with and without earthworms (Eisenia fetida). After one year, N, Na and PAH compounds all slowed down litter mass loss, with the effects of Na being the strongest. By contrast, E. fetida generally increased litter mass loss and their positive effects were uniformly maintained irrespective of the type of deposited compounds. Further, the pathways earthworms increasing litter mass loss varied among the types of deposited compounds and forests. As indicated by structural equation modeling, earthworms maintained their positive effects and mitigated the negative effects of deposited compounds by directly increasing litter mass loss and indirectly increasing soil pH and microbial biomass. Overall, the results indicate that the acceleration of earthworms on litter mass loss is not affected by deposited compounds, with the pathways of earthworms increasing litter mass loss varying among the types of deposited compounds and forests. This suggests that the effects of atmospheric deposited compounds and earthworms on terrestrial ecosystem processes need to be taken into account because earthworms may cancel out the detrimental influence of deposited compounds on litter decomposition.
Interactions between invaders and resource availability may explain variation in their success or management efficacy. For widespread invaders, regional variation in plant response to nutrients can reflect phenotypic plasticity of the invader, genetic structure of invading populations, or a combination of the two. The wetland weed Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligatorweed) is established throughout the southeastern USA and California, and has high genetic diversity despite primarily spreading clonally. Despite its history in the USA, the role of genetic variation for invasion and management success is only now being uncovered. To better understand how nutrients and genotype may influence A. philoxeroides invasion, we measured the response of plants from 26 A. philoxeroides populations (three cp haplotypes) to combinations of nitrogen (4 or 200 mg/L N) and phosphorus (0.4 or 40 mg/L P). We measured productivity (biomass accumulation and allocation), plant architecture (stem diameter and thickness, branching intensity) and foliar traits (toughness, dry matter content, percent N, percent P). A short-term developmental assay was also conducted by feeding a subset of plants from the nutrient experiment to the biological control agent Agasicles hygrophila, to determine whether increased availability of N or P to its host influenced agent performance, as has been previously suggested. A. philoxeroides haplotype Ap1 was more plastic than other haplotypes in response to nutrient amendments, producing more than double the biomass from low to high N and 50-68% higher shoot:root ratio than other haplotypes in the high N treatment. A. philoxeroides haplotypes differed in 7 of 10 variables in response to increased N. We found no differences in short-term A. hygrophila development between haplotypes but mass was 23% greater in high than low N treatments. This study is the first to explore the interplay between nutrient availability, genetic variation, and phenotypic plasticity in invasive characteristics of the global invader, A. philoxeroides.
Eurasian otters are apex predators of freshwater ecosystems and a recovering species across much of their European range; investigating the dietary variation of this predator over time and space therefore provides opportunities to identify changes in freshwater trophic interactions and factors influencing the conservation of otter populations. Here we sampled faeces from 300 dead otters across England and Wales between 2007 and 2016, conducting both morphological analysis of prey remains and dietary DNA metabarcoding. Comparison of these methods showed that greater taxonomic resolution and breadth could be achieved using DNA metabarcoding but combining data from both methodologies gave the most comprehensive dietary description. All otter demographics exploited a broad range of taxa and variation primarily reflected changes in prey distributions and availability across the landscape. This study provides novel insights into the trophic generalism and adaptability of otters across Britain, which is likely to have aided their recent population recovery, and may increase their resilience to future environmental changes.
1) Individual variation in life-history traits can have important implications for the ability of populations to respond to environmental variability and change. 2) In migratory animals, flexibility in the timing of life-history events, such as juvenile emigration from natal areas, can influence the effects of population density and environmental conditions on habitat use and population dynamics. 3) We evaluated the functional relationships between population density and environmental covariates and the abundance of juveniles expressing different life-history pathways in a migratory fish, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), in the Wenatchee River basin in Washington State, USA. 4) We found that the abundance of younger emigrants from natal streams was best described by an accelerating or near-linear function of spawners, whereas the abundance of older emigrants was best described by a decelerating function of spawners. This supports the hypothesis that emigration timing varies in response to density in natal areas, with younger-emigrating life-history pathways comprising a larger proportion of emigrants when densities of conspecifics are high. 5) We also observed positive relationships between winter stream discharge and abundance of younger emigrants, supporting the hypothesis that habitat conditions can also influence the prevalence of different life-history pathways. 6) Our results suggest that early emigration, and a resultant increase in the use of downstream rearing habitats, may increase at higher population densities and with greater winter precipitation. Winter precipitation is projected to increase in this system due to climate warming. 7) Characterizing relationships between life-history prevalence and environmental conditions may improve our understanding of species habitat requirements and is a necessary first step in understanding the dynamics of species with diverse life-history strategies. 8) As environmental conditions change – due to climate change, management, or other factors – resultant life-history changes are likely to have important demographic implications that will be challenging to predict if life-history diversity is not accounted for in population models.
Feeding habit determines the digestive tract structure and intestinal microflora. However, the relationship among feeding habit, digestive physiology intestinal, and microbial diversity of omnivorous, herbivorous, filter-feeder and carnivorous fish reared in the same pond has not been compared. This study compared the digestive enzyme activities, intestinal morphology and intestinal microflora of omnivorous (Carassius auratus), herbivorous (Ctenopharyngodon idellus), carnivorous (Siniperca chuatsi) and filter-feeder (Shizothorax grahami) and predicted the potential functions of specific microflora on different nutrients. Twelve intestine samples were collected from each of the four fishes from Dianchi Lake. The composition and diversity of microbial communities were determined by using high throughput sequencing of 16S rDNA. The results showed that the filter-feeder fish had significantly higher protease but lower amylase activities in the intestine than herbivorous. The carnivorous fish intestine had more microvilli branches and complex structures than other fish species in the order carnivorous > herbivorous > filter-feeder > omnivorous. The diversity of intestinal microflora was higher in omnivorous and followed the order omnivorous > herbivorous > filter-feeder > carnivorous. Acinetobacter species and Bacteroides species were the most dominant flora in carnivorous and herbivorous fish, respectively. Acinetobacter johnsonii, Acinetobacter lwoffii and Pseudomonas stutzeri might help the host to digest protein, while Bacteroidetes species may help the host to digest cellulose. Taken together, feeding habit determines the digestive enzyme activities, intestinal tissue morphology and differential colonization of fish intestinal flora. The knowledge obtained is useful in designing appropriate approaches for feed formulation and feeding practices in for fish.
The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) population of Southeast Alaska has been growing at a higher rate than other regions along the Pacific coast. While good for the recovery of this endangered species, rapid population growth of this apex predator can create a human-wildlife conflict, negatively impacting commercial and subsistence fishing. Previous foraging studies throughout the sea otter range have shown they will reduce invertebrate prey biomass when recolonizing an area. The goal of this study was to examine and quantify the energetic content of sea otter diets through direct foraging observations and prey collection. Our study area, Prince of Wales Island in southern Southeast Alaska, exhibits a gradient of sea otter recolonization, thus providing a natural experiment to test diet change in regions with different recolonization histories. Sea otter prey items were collected in three seasons (spring, summer, winter) to measure caloric value and lipid and protein content. We observed 3,523 sea otter dives during the spring and summer. A majority of the sea otter diet consisted of clams. Sea otters in newly recolonized areas had lower diet diversity, higher kcal/gram intake rates, and higher energetic intake rates. Females with pups had the highest diet diversity and the lowest energetic intake rates (calories per gram consumed). Sea otter energetic intake rates were higher in the fall and winter vs. spring and summer. Sea cucumber energy and lipid content appeared to correspond with times when sea otters consumed the highest proportion of sea cucumbers. These caloric variations are an important component of understanding ecosystem level effects sea otters have in the nearshore environment.
1.Overgrazing-induced grassland degradation has become a severe ecological problem worldwide. The diversity and composition of soil microbial communities are responsive to grazing disturbance. Yet, our understanding is limited with respect to the effects of grazing intensity on bacterial and fungal communities, especially in plant rhizosphere. 2.Using a long-term (15 years) grazing experiment, we evaluated the richness and composition of microbial communities in both rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere regions, under light, moderate, and heavy intensities of grazing, in a semiarid grassland. We also examined the relative roles of grazing-induced changes in some abiotic and biotic factors in affecting the richness and composition of microbial communities. 3.Our results showed that the responses of soil bacteria to grazing intensity differed greatly between rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere, and so did soil fungi. Specifically, the bacterial richness decreased markedly under moderate and heavy grazing in rhizosphere soil, whereas little impact on the fungal richness was observed. For microbial composition, with the increase in grazing intensity, an increase in dissimilarity among bacterial communities was observed, and this trend also held true for the fungal communities. Hierarchical partitioning analyses indicated that the bacterial composition in rhizosphere was primarily driven by root nitrogen and soil nitrogen concentrations while that in non-rhizosphere by soil available phosphorus. In addition, soil available phosphorus played an important role in affecting the fungal composition in both rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere regions. 4.Synthesis: This study provides direct experimental evidence that the richness and composition of microbial communities were severely altered by heavy grazing in a semiarid grassland. Thus, to restore the grazing-induced, degraded grasslands, we should pay more attention to the conservation of soil microbe in addition to vegetation recovery.
Temperature is a key abiotic factor controlling population dynamics. In facultatively sexual animals inhabiting the temperate zone, temperature regulates the switch between asexual and sexual modes of reproduction, initiates growth or dormancy and acts together with photoperiod to mediate seasonal physiological transitions. Increasing temperature due to recent global warming is likely to disrupt population dynamics of facultatively sexual animals because of the strong temperature-dependence of multiple fitness components. However, the fitness consequences of warming in these animals are still poorly understood. This is unfortunate, since facultatively sexual animals – through their ability for asexual reproduction resulting in quick population growth and sexual reproduction enabling long-term persistence – are key components of freshwater ecosystems. Here, I studied the fitness effects of warming in Hydra oligactis, a freshwater cnidarian that reproduces asexually throughout most of the year but switches to sexual reproduction under decreasing temperatures. I exposed hydra polyps to simulated short summer heatwaves or long-term elevated winter temperatures. Since sexual development in this species is dependent on low temperature, I predicted reduced sexual investment (gonad production) and elevated asexual fitness (budding) in polyps exposed to higher temperatures. The results show a complex effect of warming on sexual fitness: while gonad number decreased in response to warming, polyps exposed to high winter temperature were capable of multiple rounds of gamete production. Asexual reproduction and survival rate, on the other hand, clearly increased in response to higher temperatures, especially in males. These results predict increased population growth of H. oligactis in temperate freshwater habitats, which will likely affect the population dynamics of its’ main prey (freshwater zooplankton), and through that, the whole food web.
Insect decline is a major threat for ecosystems around the world as they provide many important functions, such as pollination or pest control. Pollution is one of the main reasons for the decline, besides changes in land use, global warming, and invasive species. While negative impacts of pesticides are well studied, there is still a lack of knowledge about the effects of other anthropogenic pollutants, such as airborne particulate matter, on insects. To address this, we exposed workers of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris to sublethal doses of diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) and brake dust, orally or via air. After seven days, we looked at the composition of the gut microbiome and tracked changes in gene expression. While there were no changes in the other treatments, oral DEP exposure significantly altered the structure of the gut microbiome. In particular, the core bacterium Snodgrassella had a decreased abundance in the DEP treatment. Similarly, transcriptome analysis revealed changes in gene expression after oral DEP exposure, but not in the other treatments. The changes are related to metabolism and signal transduction which indicates a general stress response. Taken together, our results suggest potential health effects of DEP exposure on insects, here shown in bumblebees, as gut dysbiosis may increase the susceptibility of bumblebees to pathogens, while a general stress response may lower available energy resources. However, experiments with multiple stressors and on colony level are needed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of DEPs on insects.
Forage fishes are a critical food web link in marine ecosystems, aggregating in a hierarchical patch structure over multiple spatial and temporal scales. Surface-level forage fish aggregations (FFAs) represent a concentrated source of available prey for surface- and shallow-foraging marine predators. Existing survey and analysis methods are often imperfect for studying forage fishes at scales appropriate to foraging predators, making it difficult to quantify predator-prey interactions. In many cases, general distributions of forage fish species are known; however, these may not represent surface-level prey availability to predators. Likewise, we lack an understanding of the oceanographic drivers of spatial patterns of prey aggregation and availability or forage fish community patterns, generally. Specifically, we applied Bayesian joint species distribution models to bottom trawl survey data to assess species- and community-level forage fish distribution patterns across the US Northeast Continental Shelf (NES) ecosystem. Aerial digital surveys gathered data on surface FFAs at two project sites within the NES, which we used in a spatially explicit hierarchical Bayesian model to estimate the abundance and size of surface FFAs. We used these models to examine the oceanographic drivers of forage fish distributions and aggregations. Our results suggest that, in the NES, regions of high community species richness are spatially consistent with regions of high surface FFA abundance. Bathymetric depth drove both patterns, while subsurface features, such as mixed layer depth, primarily influenced aggregation behavior and surface features, such as sea surface temperature, sub-mesoscale eddies, and fronts influenced forage fish diversity. In combination, these models help quantify the availability of forage fishes to marine predators and represent a novel application of spatial models to aerial digital survey data.
Strong theory exists regarding population sex ratio evolution that predicts equal sex ratio (when parental investment is equal). In most animals, sex chromosomes determine the sex of offspring, and this fixed genotype for sex has made theory difficult to test since genotypic variance for the trait (sex) is lacking. It has long been argued that the genotype has become fixed in most animals due to the strong selection for equal sex ratios. The marine copepod Tigriopus californicus has no sex chromosomes, multiple genes affecting female brood sex ratio and a brood sex ratio that responds to selection. The species thus provides an opportune system in which to test established sex ratio theory. In this paper we further our exploration on the possibility that T. californicus has polygenic sex determination using an incomplete diallel crossing design and the “animal model” for analysis of the variance components of sex determination in the species. Our data confirm the presence of extra-binomial variance for sex, further confirming that sex is not determined through simple Mendelian trait inheritance. In addition, our crosses and backcrosses of isofemale lines selected for biased brood sex ratios show intermediate phenotypic means, as expected if sex is a threshold trait determined by an underlying “liability” trait controlled by many genes of small effects. Finally, we estimate heritability of an individual to be male or female on the observed binary scale as 0.09 (95% CI: 0.034-0.14). This work furthers our accumulating evidence for polygenic sex determination in T. californicus.
Trophic networks describe interactions between species at a given location and time. Due to environmental changes, anthropogenic perturbations or sampling effects, trophic networks may vary in space and time. The collection of network time series or networks in different sites thus constitutes a metanetwork. A crucial step toward the understanding of those metanetworks is to build appropriate tools to handle and represent them. We present here the R package metanetwork, which will ease the exploration and the analysis of trophic metanetwork datasets that are increasingly available. Our main methodological advance consists in suitable layout algorithm for trophic networks, which is based on trophic levels and dimension reduction of a graph diffusion kernel. In particular, it highlights relevant features of trophic networks (trophic levels, energetic channels). In addition, we developed graphical tools to handle, compare and aggregate those networks. Static and dynamic visualisation functions have been developed to represent large networks. We apply our package workflow to several trophic network data sets.
Current ecological research and ecosystem management call for improved understanding of the abiotic drivers of community dynamics, including temperature effects on species interactions and biomass accumulation. Allometric trophic network (ATN) models provide an attractive framework to study consumer-resource interactions from organisms to ecosystems, but they rarely consider changes in some key abiotic drivers that affect e.g. consumer metabolism and producer growth. Here we investigate how seasonal changes in carrying capacity and light-dependent growth rate of producers and temperature-dependent mass-specific metabolic rate of consumers affect ATN model dynamics, namely seasonal biomass accumulation, productivity and standing stock biomass of different trophic guilds, including age-structured fish communities. Our simulations of the complex Lake Constance (LC) food web indicated marked effects of seasonal abiotic drivers on seasonal biomass accumulation of different guild groups, particularly among the lowest trophic levels (autotrophs and invertebrates). While the adjustment of irradiance level had minor effect, increasing metabolic rate associated with 1–2˚C temperature increase lead to a marked decline of larval (0-year age) fish biomass, but to a substantial biomass increase of 2- and 3-year-old fish that were not predated by ≥4-year-old perch. A gradual temperature increase of 0.037˚C year–1 observed in LC increased the productivity of highest trophic levels (i.e., juvenile and adult fish) by ca. 40–50% over the 100-year simulation period. However, when looking at biomass distribution and transfer between trophic guilds in the LC food web, inclusion of seasonal abiotic drivers caused only minor changes in average standing stock biomasses and productivity of different trophic guild groups. Our results demonstrate the potential of introducing seasonal variation in abiotic ATN model parameters to simulate within-year fluctuations in community dynamics, as well as to assess potential future community-level responses to ongoing environmental changes.