Empirical models of phytoplankton groups and their recurrence in water bodies have traditionally made use of taxonomic classifications, implicitly or explicitly assuming that species classified together could share similar ecological properties. Nevertheless, the use of taxonomy in ecology has many drawbacks. From one side, many broader groups include species with very different ecological properties. From the other side, convergent evolution, the independent evolution of similar characters in different lineages, can explain why distantly phylogenetically related species can be linked together by close analogous ecological affinities. With the aim to obtain a better understanding of the functioning of the freshwater ecosystems, complementary approaches based on ecological criteria have been therefore proposed. The aim of this contribution is to critically review the rationale of the different classifications that have been proposed during the last three decades, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches. Besides the first classifications, which considered broad functional categories based on reproductive (r-K selection) and life strategies (C-S-R), successive formulations included the functional groups (FG), firstly established by C.S. Reynolds, the Morpho-Functional Groups (MFG- Salmaso & Padisák, 2007), and the Morphology-Based Functional Groups (MBFG - Kruk et al., 2010). In the original formulation of FG, species were put together if they showed similar dynamics and ecological requirements, implicitly assuming a similar response to a set of environmental and seasonal changing conditions. With successive refinements, morphological properties have been used to fit hitherto functionally unclassified taxa into existing FG. This classification has been widely used in many aquatic ecosystems, with applications in ecological status assessment. At the opposite, MBFG (totalling 7 groups) are exclusively based on morphological characters, irrespective of the temporal dynamics of the species. The MFG concept use a hybrid approach, integrating morphological, functional and, when ecologically relevant, taxonomic characters in the definition of groups. The comparative evaluation of the above classifications was attempted only very recently, and will be critically examined in this review. Finally, this work will provide an updating of the original MFG classification based on the application of the concept to real case phytoplankton studies.
|Citation:||Salmaso, N.; Naselli Flores, L.; Padisák, J. (2013). Functional classifications in phytoplankton ecology: a comparative review of approaches and experiences. In: SEFS 8 - Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences, July 1-5, 2013, Münster, Germany: 335. url: http://www.sefs2013.de/_medien/_content/files/Abstract_Book_SEFS8_2013.pdf handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/22273|
|Organization unit:||Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems and Bioresources Department # CRI_2011-JAN2016|
|Authors:||Salmaso, N.; Naselli Flores, L.; Padisák, J.|
|Title:||Functional classifications in phytoplankton ecology: a comparative review of approaches and experiences|
|Scientific Disciplinary Area:||Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia|
|Appears in Collections:||03 - Conference object|