Location: Water Quality and Ecology ResearchTitle: A global database of nitrogen and phosphorus excretion rates of aquatic animals Author
|Nilssen, Jens Petter|
Submitted to: Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A Interpretive Summary: The importance of animals in influencing nutrient cycling in ecosystems is well established but varies among species and ecosystems. Over the last two decades, scientific studies investigating the influence of animals on nutrient cycling in ecosystems have increased dramatically. An ARS scientist's data was included in a global compilation of aquatic animal nutrient excretion rates that includes data from 66 scientists from around the world. The dataset includes 10,534 observations of nitrogen and phosphorus excretion rates from 491 different freshwater and marine animals. This dataset will be publicly available and will be a valuable resource for testing predictions of important scientific frameworks related to how animals utilize nutrients and, in turn, influence nutrient availability in aquatic ecosystems.
Technical Abstract: Animals can be important in modulating ecosystem-level nutrient cycling, although their importance varies greatly among species and ecosystems. Nutrient cycling rates of individual animals represent valuable data for testing the predictions of important frameworks such as the Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) and ecological stoichiometry (ES). They also represent an important set of functional traits that may reflect both environmental and phylogenetic influences. Over the past two decades, studies of animal-mediated nutrient cycling have increased dramatically, especially in aquatic ecosystems. Here we present a global compilation of aquatic animal nutrient excretion rates. The dataset includes 10,534 observations from freshwater and marine animals of N and/or P excretion rates. These observations represent 491 species, including most aquatic phyla. Coverage varies greatly among phyla and other taxonomic levels. The dataset includes information on animal body size, ambient temperature, taxonomic affiliations, and animal body N:P. This data set was used to test predictions of MTE and ES, as described in Vanni and McIntyre (2016; Ecology).