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|Title:||Community Structure and Diel Migration of Zooplankton in Shallow Brackish Lakes: Role of Salinity and Predators|
|Authors:||JENSEN Elisabeth; BRUCET SANDRA; MEERHOFF Mariana; NATHANSEN Louise; JEPPESEN Erik|
|Citation:||HYDROBIOLOGIA vol. 646 no. 1 p. 215-229|
|Type:||Articles in Journals|
|Abstract:||Diel horizontal migration (DHM), where zooplankton moves towards macrophytes during daytime to avoid planktivorous fish, has been reported as a common migration pattern of zooplankton in shallow temperate freshwater lakes. However, in shallow eutrophic brackish lakes, macrophytes seem not to have the same refuge effect, as these lakes may remain turbid even at relatively high macrophyte abundances. To investigate the extent to which macrophytes serve as a refuge for zooplankton at different salinities, we introduced artificial plants mimicking submerged macrophytes in the littoral zone of four shallow lakes, with salinities ranging from almost freshwater (0.3) to oligohaline waters (3.8). Furthermore, we examined the effects of different salinities on the community structure. Diel samples of zooplankton were taken from artificial plants, from areas where macrophytes had been removed (intermediate areas) and, in two of the lakes, also in open water. Fish and macroinvertebrates were sampled amongst the artificial plants and in intermediate areas to investigate their influence on zooplankton migration. Our results indicated that diel vertical migration (DVM) was the most frequent migration pattern of zooplankton groups, suggesting that submerged macrophytes were a poor refuge against predation at all salinities under study. Presumably, this pattern was the result of the relatively high densities of small planktivorous fish and macroinvertebrate predators within the submerged plants. In addition, we found major differences in the composition of zooplankton, fish and macroinvertebrate communities at the different salinities and species richness and diversity of zooplankton decreased with increasing salinity. At low salinities both planktonic/free-swimming and benthic/plant-associated cladocerans occurred, whilst only benthic ones occurred at the highest salinity. The low zooplankton biomass and overall smallerbodied zooplankton specimens may result in a lower grazing capacity on phytoplankton, and enhance the turbid state in nutrient rich shallow brackish lakes.|
|JRC Institute:||Institute for Environment and Sustainability|
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