Discordant spatiotemporal dynamics of functional and phylogenetic diversity of rotiferan communities exposed to aquaculture effluent

Flórián Tóth, K Zsuga, E Kerepeczki, B Kovacs, T Magura, L Körmöczi, Gabor L Lövei

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The growth of the human population brought about the global intensification of aquacultural production, and aquaculture became the fastest growing animal husbandry sector. Effluent from aquaculture is an anthropogenic environmental burden, containing organic matter, nutrients and suspended solids that affect water quality especially in the water bodies of high biodiversity and conservation value. Water quality assessment often relies on bioindicators, analysing changes in taxonomic diversity of various freshwater organismal groups. Stepping beyond taxon diversity, we used functional and phylogenetic diversities of rotifers to identify factors affecting their community organization in response to an aquaculture effluent gradient in the largest oxbow lake in the Carpathian Basin, Hungary. Sampling was carried out three times per season at five points along a 3.5 km section of the oxbow lake, including the point of effluent inflow. We used eight traits to evaluate functional diversity: body size, trophi type, feeding mode, protection type, body wall type, corona type, habitat preference and tolerance level. Functional and phylogenetic distances among the 24 species identified indicated trait conservatism. Rotiferan diversity increased with increasing distance from the point of influx in spring and summer. Among the factors affecting community organization in spring and summer, we find examples of environmental filtering, while in autumn the role of biotic interaction is more frequent. Under nutrient-rich conditions in spring and summer, organisms belonging to the same functional group were dominant, whereas under oligotrophic conditions, more diverse but less abundant groups were present. Considering functional and phylogenetic traits allowed us to identify organising forces of rotifer communities in the largest oxbow lake of the Hungarian Lowland.

TidsskriftEcology and Evolution
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2023


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