, Volume 526, Issue 1, pp 33-42

Low Genotypic Diversity in a Daphnia Pulex Population in a Biomanipulated Lake: The Lack of Vertical and Seasonal Variability

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Abstract

Allozyme diversity of a population of D. pulex was studied over two seasons in a small lake (Gräfenhain, Saxony, Germany). In this eutrophic lake, accumulation of hydrogen sulfide during winter ice covers leads to an annual killing-off of cladocerans. Hence, the population must be re-established every year by hatchlings from sexual eggs. The absence of planktivorous fish due to strong biomanipulation ensures high abundances of Daphnia from June until September. Besides the investigation of seasonal changes of genotype diversity, vertical differences between individuals from the epilimnion and from a deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) were studied. Specimens were classified by allozyme electrophoresis using six allozyme loci. Except for aldehyde oxidase (AO) all tested allozyme loci were monomorphic. Two alleles were found at the AO-locus in the overall study, allowing the population to be subdivided into three clonegroups (ss, fs, ff). The proportion of each clonegroup both in the epilimnion and in the DCM did not vary over the two seasons and no differences were found in the year-to-year comparison. Although two completely different habitats (epilimnion, DCM) were found to be used by D. pulex, clonal structure in both depth strata was similar at all times indicating no intraspecific segregation of the population. In spite of a non-permanent population with periodical sexual reproduction, a constant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg-equilibrium was detected in the overall study. This remarkable genetic structure is interpreted to be the result of both founder effects and a strong and long-lasting selection pressure caused by 15 years of stationary conditions due to intense biomanipulation.