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Seasonal and inter-annual community structure characteristics of zooplankton driven by water environment factors in a sub-lake of Lake Poyang, China

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DOI

  • Beijuan Hu, Nanchang Univ, Nanchang University, Ctr Watershed Ecol, Inst Life Sci
  • ,
  • Xuren Hu, Nanchang Univ, Nanchang University, Ctr Watershed Ecol, Inst Life Sci
  • ,
  • Xue Nie, Nanchang Univ, Nanchang University, Ctr Watershed Ecol, Inst Life Sci
  • ,
  • Xiaoke Zhang, Anqing Normal Univ, Anqing Normal University, Res Ctr Aquat Organism Conservat & Water Ecosyst
  • ,
  • Naicheng Wu
  • ,
  • Yijiang Hong, Nanchang Univ, Nanchang University, Ctr Watershed Ecol, Inst Life Sci
  • ,
  • Hai Ming Qin, Qufu Normal Univ, Qufu Normal University, Nanchang Univ, Nanchang University, Ctr Watershed Ecol, Inst Life Sci

Background. Sub-lakes are important for the maintenance of the ecosystem integrity of Lake Poyang, and zooplankton play an important role in its substance and energy flow.

Methods. A seasonal investigation of zooplankton was conducted in spring (April), summer (July), autumn (October) and winter (January of the following year) from 2012 to 2016 in a sub-lake of Lake Poyang. The aim of the present study was to understand the seasonal dynamics and interannual variation of zooplankton communities and their relationship to environmental factors.

Results. A total of 115 species were identified in all samples in the four years, which comprised of 87 Rotifera, 13 Cladocera and 15 Copepoda. Rotifera was the dominant group in terms of quantity, and its species richness and abundance were significantly higher when compared to Cladocera and Copepoda (P <0.05), while Cladocera dominated in terms of biomass. The species richness of Rotifera exhibited a significant seasonal difference (P <0.05). Both the density and biomass of zooplankton revealed significant seasonal differences (P <0.05). In general, the density and biomass of zooplankton were higher in summer and autumn, when compared to winter and spring. Biodiversity indices were dramatically lower in spring than in the other seasons. The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis su rested that these zooplankton communities can be divided into three groups: spring community, summer-autumn community, and winter community. The seasonal succession of zooplankton communities did not have interannual reproducibility. In high water level years, the dominant species of zooplankton (Cladocerans and Copepods) in the wet season had a lower density, and the result in low water level years was exactly the opposite. The redundancy analysis revealed that water temperature (WT), conductivity, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) had significant effects on the zooplankton community.

Conclusions. The community structure of zooplankton has a significant seasonal pattern, but has no interannual repeatability. In high water level years, the dominant species of zooplankton (Cladocerans and Copepods) in the wet season had a lower density, and the result in low water level years was exactly the opposite. The density, biomass and diversity indices of zooplankton were significantly different in different seasons. The present study was helpful in the further understanding of the ecosystem stability of lakes connected with rivers, providing scientific guidance for the protection of lake wetlands.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere7590
JournalPeerJ
Volume7
Number of pages29
ISSN2167-8359
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • Community structure, Zooplankton, Seasonal dynamics, Interannual variation, Shallow lakes, Poyang lake, CRUSTACEAN ZOOPLANKTON, LIFE-HISTORY, DYNAMICS, DAPHNIA, PHYTOPLANKTON, FLOODPLAIN, PATTERNS, ALGAE, PONDS

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