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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

System-level responses of lake ecosystems to chemical stresses using exergy and structural exergy as ecological indicators.

This paper presents the system-level responses of experimental lake ecosystems to three chemical stresses (acidification, copper and pesticide contamination) using exergy and structural exergy as ecological indicators. The results indicate that the doses or toxicity of the three chemical stressors contributed to changes in both exergy and structural exergy. Remarkable changes in exergy and structural exergy occurred under acidic conditions and in the presence of Dursban, 24D-DMA, permethrin, bifenthrin, Carbaryl, TCP, PCP, trichlorethylene, benzene, and high doses of Cu, oil, and hexazinone. This seemed to indicate that the subject ecosystems were seriously contaminated by these chemical stressors. For low doses of Cu, oil, atrazine, HCBP, and hexazinone, exergy and structural exergy were either unchanged or only slightly changed, suggesting that the lake ecosystems were not significantly impacted by these chemical stressors. Discussion of the relationships between ecosystem-level changes and structural and functional changes in stressed lake ecosystems indicates that the above-mentioned ecosystem-level changes were in accordance with the changes in structure and function. The observed changes in exergy and structural exergy were also consistent with Odum's predictions of shortened food chains, reduced resource use efficiency, poor stability, low information, and high entropy in stressed aquatic ecosystems. The findings lead the authors to conclude that it is feasible for exergy and structural exergy to serve as ecological indicators when characterizing the system-level responses of experimental lake ecosystems to chemical stress. These results for experimental lake ecosystems would be extrapolated to actual lakes.[1]


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