, Volume 241, Issue 3, pp 141–154 | Cite as

Environmental factors influencing zooplankton species composition of lakes in north-central Ontario, Canada

  • Margo A. Shaw
  • John R. M. Kelso


To assess the relative importance of lake chemistry, morphometry and zoogeography on limnetic zooplankton, we collected zooplankton, water, and morphometric data from 132 headwater Canadian Shield lakes in 6 regions across north-central Ontario. A subset of these lakes (n = 52) were fished with gill nets. We clustered lakes based on their zooplankton species composition (presence/absence). Discriminant analysis was employed to determine how well lake characteristics could predict zooplankton community types. Correct classification of zooplankton communities for three models ranged from 72 to 91%. Lake size, lake location, and buffering capacity were ranked as the most important factors separating lake groups. Fish abundance (CPUE) was not significant in distinguishing between zooplankton communities. Though the range of lake sizes was limited (1–110 ha), larger lakes tended to support more species. Lake location (zoogeography) also influenced species composition patterns. Although Algoma lakes tended to be larger (\-x = 18.0 ha, other lakes \-x = 2.5 ha), they supported relatively depauperate zooplankton communities. Buffering capacity was ranked third in the discriminant analysis models, but pH and alkalinity were not significantly different between lake groups.

Key words

zooplankton lake size water chemistry zoogeography 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margo A. Shaw
    • 1
  • John R. M. Kelso
    • 1
  1. 1.Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic SciencesDepartment of Fisheries and OceansOntarioCanada

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