International Journal of Salt Lake Research

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 111–132 | Cite as

Zooplankton distribution and abundance in saline lakes of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada

  • U. Theodore Hammer


Zooplankton collections were made during 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1989 from 17 lakes in Saskatchewan and 3 in Alberta. Salinity ranged from 2.8 to 269 g L−1 (total filtrable residue). A total of 35 species was present in four taxa: Anostraca (3 species), Cladocera (11), Copepoda (7) and Rotifera (14). Species richness was greatest at salinities <7 g L−1 (15–16 species). Lakes with salinities between 7 and 100 g L−1 generally had 6–8 zooplankton species, while the most saline lakes (>100 g L−1) had 2–5 species. The largest concentrations of zooplankton occurred at <30 g L−1, but some species (Brachionus plicatilis, Hexarthra polyodonta, Artemia franciscana, Diaptomus connexus) were abundant at salinities >50 g L−1. Eurysaline species included the rotifersAsplanchna girodi (3–111 g L−1),Brachionus plicatilis (13–146) andKeratella quadrata (2.8–103).Artemia franciscana (33–269—but absent from Big Quill Lake, 49–82),Daphnia similis (3–104).D. connexus (9–82),Diacyclops thomasi (3–72), andCletocamptus albuquerquensis (17 to 126—but never abundant in the plankton). About half the species were restricted to hyposaline waters (3–20 g L−1), but some (Hexarthra fennica, Moina hutchinsoni, Hexarthra polyodonta) occurred only at intermediate salinities. The latter two species were also only present at high pH values (>9.2). There was a trend of decreasing species richness with increasing salinity.

TWINSPAN classification of 94 lake samples (six parameters) based on zooplankton species abundances yielded a dendrogram with 14 ‘indicator’ species characteristic of seven lake groups related partly to a salinity gradient, but with other environmental factors such as water column depth, pH, Secchi disk transparency, water temperature and month sampled also influenced lake separation. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** A02GG004 00002

Key Words

zooplankton saline lakes distribution abundance ecology 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Theodore Hammer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoon SaskatchewanCanada

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