Factors influencing taxonomic composition and abundance of macrozoobenthos in extralittoral zone of shallow eutrophic lakes
- Cite this article as:
- Żbikowski, J. & Kobak, J. Hydrobiologia (2007) 584: 145. doi:10.1007/s10750-007-0613-x
Zoobenthos is an essential part of shallow lake ecosystems, exerting a considerable impact upon their functioning. We studied 13 eutrophic, shallow, polymictic lakes from Northern Poland to find out which environmental factors influence taxonomic composition, abundance and biodiversity of their zoobenthos. The Canonical Correspondence Analysis allowed to distinguish three lake types: (1) macrophyte-dominated lakes, with high plant cover and well illuminated bottom, inhabited by abundant, diverse benthic taxa; (2) deeper phytoplankton-dominated lakes, with shaded bottom, high sediment oxygen demand (SOD) and rather sparse zobenthos community, dominated by Chironomus and Chaoborus larvae; (3) shallower phytoplankton-dominated lakes, with intermediate amount of light at the bottom and lower SOD values and comparatively diverse zoobenthos, but with lower number of taxa than in the first group. Apart from plant presence, distinguishing between macrophyte-dominated lakes and the other types, the most important variable in the CCA was amount of light reaching the bottom. Probably the impact of light on the bottom fauna was indirect: light stimulated development of macrophytes or phytobenthos (depending on its intensity) and thus improved food and oxygen conditions. Zoobenthos was also affected by oxygen conditions (mainly SOD), presumably by short-time oxygen depletions occurring in the deep phytoplankton-dominated lakes and preventing survival of some benthic taxa.