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The Relationship between Phytoplankton Evenness and Copepod Abundance in Lake Nansihu, China

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ABSTRACT

The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is a central issue in ecology. Previous studies have shown that producer diversity can impact the consumer community via predator-prey interactions. However, direct observations of this relationship remain rare, in particular for aquatic ecosystems. In this research, the relationship between phytoplankton diversity (species richness and evenness) and the abundance of copepods was analyzed in Lake Nansihu, a meso-eutrophic lake in China. The results showed that copepods abundance was significantly decreased with increasing phytoplankton evenness throughout the year. However, both species richness and phytoplankton biomass showed no significant relationship with the abundance of copepods. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that phytoplankton evenness was negatively correlated with Thermocyclops kawamurai, Cyclops vicinus, Eucyclops serrulatus, Mesocyclops leuckarti, Sinocalanus tenellus, Sinocalanus dorrii, Copepods nauplius, but positively correlated with many Cyanophyta species (Chroococcus minutus, Dactylococcopsis acicularis, Microcystis incerta, Merismopedia tenuissima, Merismopedia sinica and Lyngbya limnetica). Based on our results, phytoplankton evenness was a better predictor of copepods abundance in meso-eutrophic lakes. These results provide new insights into the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning in aquatic ecosystems.

No MeSH data available.


The community compositions of (a) phytoplankton and (b) copepods at different sites.
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ijerph-13-00855-f003: The community compositions of (a) phytoplankton and (b) copepods at different sites.

Mentions: Mean phytoplankton biomass across the study was 2.19 mg/L; however, there were significant seasonal variations (Figure 2c), with mean phytoplankton biomass varying between 0.44 mg/L (winter 2013) and 5.46 mg/L (summer 2011). Chlorophyta was the dominant community in the lake with a mean biomass of 0.94 mg/L, which accounted for 43.0% of the total phytoplankton biomass. The mean biomasses of Bacillariophyta and Euglenophyta were almost equal (0.45 mg/L and 0.43 mg/L respectively). Cyanophyta had a relatively lower mean biomass (0.20 mg/L) and its proportion was 8.92%. Phytoplankton biomasses were notably lower at Sites 6 and 10 than they were at other sites (Figure 3a). Site 8 had the highest proportion of Cyanophyta biomass, and its value reached 12.7%. The biomasses of Chlorophyta at Sites 8 and 9 were higher than that at other sites (Figure 3a). Site 4 had the highest value of Euglenophyta biomass.


The Relationship between Phytoplankton Evenness and Copepod Abundance in Lake Nansihu, China
The community compositions of (a) phytoplankton and (b) copepods at different sites.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5036688&req=5

ijerph-13-00855-f003: The community compositions of (a) phytoplankton and (b) copepods at different sites.
Mentions: Mean phytoplankton biomass across the study was 2.19 mg/L; however, there were significant seasonal variations (Figure 2c), with mean phytoplankton biomass varying between 0.44 mg/L (winter 2013) and 5.46 mg/L (summer 2011). Chlorophyta was the dominant community in the lake with a mean biomass of 0.94 mg/L, which accounted for 43.0% of the total phytoplankton biomass. The mean biomasses of Bacillariophyta and Euglenophyta were almost equal (0.45 mg/L and 0.43 mg/L respectively). Cyanophyta had a relatively lower mean biomass (0.20 mg/L) and its proportion was 8.92%. Phytoplankton biomasses were notably lower at Sites 6 and 10 than they were at other sites (Figure 3a). Site 8 had the highest proportion of Cyanophyta biomass, and its value reached 12.7%. The biomasses of Chlorophyta at Sites 8 and 9 were higher than that at other sites (Figure 3a). Site 4 had the highest value of Euglenophyta biomass.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is a central issue in ecology. Previous studies have shown that producer diversity can impact the consumer community via predator-prey interactions. However, direct observations of this relationship remain rare, in particular for aquatic ecosystems. In this research, the relationship between phytoplankton diversity (species richness and evenness) and the abundance of copepods was analyzed in Lake Nansihu, a meso-eutrophic lake in China. The results showed that copepods abundance was significantly decreased with increasing phytoplankton evenness throughout the year. However, both species richness and phytoplankton biomass showed no significant relationship with the abundance of copepods. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that phytoplankton evenness was negatively correlated with Thermocyclops kawamurai, Cyclops vicinus, Eucyclops serrulatus, Mesocyclops leuckarti, Sinocalanus tenellus, Sinocalanus dorrii, Copepods nauplius, but positively correlated with many Cyanophyta species (Chroococcus minutus, Dactylococcopsis acicularis, Microcystis incerta, Merismopedia tenuissima, Merismopedia sinica and Lyngbya limnetica). Based on our results, phytoplankton evenness was a better predictor of copepods abundance in meso-eutrophic lakes. These results provide new insights into the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning in aquatic ecosystems.

No MeSH data available.