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Erik Jeppesen

Salinity shapes zooplankton communities and functional diversity and has complex effects on size structure in lakes

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  • Maria Florencia Gutierrez, CONICET UNL, National University of the Littoral, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Inst Nacl Limnol
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  • Ulku Nihan Tavsanoglu, Middle East Tech Univ, Middle East Technical University, Dept Biol, Limnol Lab
  • ,
  • Nicolas Vidal
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  • Jinlei Yu, Chinese Acad Sci, Nanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology, CAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Lab Lake Sci & Environm, Nanjing Inst Geog & Limnol
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  • Franco Teixeira-de Mello, Univ Republica, University of the Republic - Uruguay, Dept Ecol & Gest Ambiental, CURE
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  • Ayse Idil Cakiroglu, Koc Univ, Koc University, Dept Mech Engn, Biofluids & Cardiovasc Engn Lab
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  • Hu He, Chinese Acad Sci, Nanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology, CAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Lab Lake Sci & Environm, Nanjing Inst Geog & Limnol
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  • Zhengwen Liu, Jinan Univ, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jinan University, Inst Hydrobiol
  • ,
  • Erik Jeppesen

Changes in zooplankton community structure and function were analyzed in 24 lakes covering a wide salinity gradient (from 0.5 to 115 g l(-1)) in a semiarid region in northwest China. We hypothesized that species richness (S), species diversity (H), functional diversity (FD), biomass, and size of zooplankton would decrease with increasing salinity. We found that S, H, and FD did decrease with increasing salinity, whereas zooplankton sizes, size range, and biomasses did not. In fact, the sizes of microcrustaceans were mainly regulated by the abundance of small fish. Besides the impoverishment of FD, the zooplankton functional groups also varied along the salinity gradient. A shift occurred from selective raptorial to more generalist microphagous rotifers, from selective to more generalist filter feeder cladocerans, and from dominance of microphagous herbivorous copepods to microphagous carnivores. Our study indicates that the ongoing salinization of lakes with climate warming will result in important changes in the zooplankton, affecting not only the structure but also the functioning of this community. A weakened top-down control by zooplankton on phytoplankton at moderate high salinities may be an indirect consequence, leading to a worsening of eutrophication symptoms. Loss of fish at high salinities may, however, counteract this effect.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume813
Issue1
Pages (from-to)237-255
Number of pages19
ISSN0018-8158
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

    Research areas

  • Functional classification, Salinity gradient, Taxon diversity, Taxon richness, Zooplankton size, CLIMATE-CHANGE, CRUSTACEAN ZOOPLANKTON, ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION, SPECIES-DIVERSITY, TROPHIC STRUCTURE, BRACKISH LAGOONS, SHALLOW LAKES, SALT LAKES, BODY-SIZE, LONG-TERM

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