The effects of decapod crustacean macroconsumers on leaf detritus processing and colonization by invertebrates in stream habitats: A meta-analysis

Authors


  • Handling Editor: Norbert Walz
  • Additional supporting information may be found in the online version of this article at the publisher's web-site.

Correspondence: Dr. Giorgio Mancinelli, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Salento, Centro Ecotekne, sp Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy

E-mail: giorgio.mancinelli@unisalento.it

Fax: +39 0832 298722

Abstract

We conducted a meta-analysis of the available literature to assess the effect of decapod crustacean macroconsumers on the processing and invertebrate colonization of leaf detritus in streams. Supplementary methodological (experimental set-up), geographical (i.e. latitude, climate) and biological (i.e. macroconsumers body size, detritus quality expressed as initial C:N ratio) data were collected, with the aim of assessing their influence on effect sizes variability. Overall, our results indicated some important effects of decapod crustacean macroconsumers on both detritus processing and colonization by invertebrates. Among the different factors examined, detritus quality and macroconsumer body size were important for predicting detritus processing and invertebrate colonization effects, respectively. This indicates that the pivotal role played by decapod crustacean macroconsumers on leaf decomposition, food webs, and wider stream ecosystem functioning, may be regulated by the interplay of both detritus chemistry and consumer's body size. The limitations and inadequacies of the analyzed literature are discussed.

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