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Response of zooplankton to nutrient enrichment and fish in shallow lakes: a pan-European mesocosm experiment

  • K Vakkilainen
  • T Kairesalo
  • J Hietala
  • D M Balayla
  • E Becares
  • W J Van de Bund
  • E Van Donk
  • M Fernandez-Alaez
  • Mikael Gyllström
  • Lars-Anders Hansson
  • MR Miracle
  • B Moss
  • S Romo
  • J Rueda
  • D Stephen
Publishing year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 1619-1632
Publication/Series: Freshwater Biology
Volume: 49
Issue: 12
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

1. Responses of zooplankton to nutrient enrichment and fish predation were studied in 1998 and 1999 by carrying out parallel mesocosm experiments in six lakes across Europe. 2. Zooplankton community structure, biomass and responses to nutrient and fish manipulation showed geographical and year-to-year differences. Fish had a greater influence than nutrients in regulating zooplankton biomass and especially the relative abundances of different functional groups of zooplankton. When fish reduced the biomass of large crustaceans, there was a complementary increase in the biomasses of smaller crustacean species and rotifers. 3. High abundance of submerged macrophytes provided refuge for zooplankton against fish predation but this refuge effect differed notably in magnitude among sites. 4. Large crustacean grazers (Daphnia, Diaphanosoma, Sida and Simocephalus) were crucial in controlling algal biomass, while smaller crustacean grazers and rotifers were of minor importance. Large grazers were able to control phytoplankton biomass even under hypereutrophic conditions (up to 1600 mug TP L-1) when grazer biomass was high (>80-90 mug dry mass L-1) or accounted for >30% of the grazer community. 5. The littoral zooplankton community was less resistant to change following nutrient enrichment in southern Spain, at high temperatures (close to 30degreesC), than at lower temperatures (17-23degreesC) characterising the other sites. This lower resistance was because of a greater importance of nutrients than zooplankton in controlling algal biomass. 6. Apart from the reduced role of large crustacean grazers at the lowest latitude, no consistent geographical patterns were observed in the responses of zooplankton communities to nutrient and fish manipulation.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 0046-5070
Lars-Anders Hansson
E-mail: lars-anders [dot] hansson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Division aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 41 69




Aquatic Ecology