Climate change and freshwater zooplankton: what does it boil down to?
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Recently, major advances in the climate–zooplankton interface have been made some of which appeared to receive much attention in a broader audience of ecologists as well. In contrast to the marine realm, however, we still lack a more holistic summary of recent knowledge in freshwater. We discuss climate change-related variation in physical and biological attributes of lakes and running waters, high-order ecological functions, and subsequent alteration in zooplankton abundance, phenology, distribution, body size, community structure, life history parameters, and behavior by focusing on community level responses. The adequacy of large-scale climatic indices in ecology has received considerable support and provided a framework for the interpretation of community and species level responses in freshwater zooplankton. Modeling perspectives deserve particular consideration, since this promising stream of ecology is of particular applicability in climate change research owing to the inherently predictive nature of this field. In the future, ecologists should expand their research on species beyond daphnids, should address questions as to how different intrinsic and extrinsic drivers interact, should move beyond correlative approaches toward more mechanistic explanations, and last but not least, should facilitate transfer of biological data both across space and time.
KeywordsGlobal warming Daphnia Phenology Community dynamics Ecological models
This work was supported by the Bolyai János Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, “ALÖKI” Applied Ecological Research and Forensic Institute Ltd., and the TÁMOP 4.2.1/B-09/1/KMR-2010-0005 project.
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