Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 191–203 | Cite as

Zooplankton functional-approach studies in continental aquatic environments: a systematic review

  • Leonardo Fernandes GomesEmail author
  • Hasley Rodrigo Pereira
  • Ana Caroline Alcântara Missias Gomes
  • Maisa Carvalho Vieira
  • Pedro Ribeiro Martins
  • Iris Roitman
  • Ludgero Cardoso Galli Vieira


Functional-approach studies are currently increasing in ecology. However, for zooplankton communities, studies are mostly concentrated in marine environments. This study provides a systematic review to reveal the trends and gaps in scientific literature regarding zooplankton functional-approach in continental aquatic environments, including its main groups (testate amoebas, cladocerans, copepods, and rotifers). We focused on determining which functional traits were evaluated for these groups and whether they were based on direct measurements or on literature. We found that despite the recent increase in publications, most studies were limited to Canada, USA, Brazil, and Italy. Publications have been increasing over the last 3 years, representing an advance toward the understanding of the dynamics of these organisms in relation to environmental variations. Most studies used size-related functional traits. Nonetheless, other studies that deal with dietary and feeding strategies have improved the understanding of the dynamics of these organisms. Therefore, we highlight that the use of functional approach is an important tool to understand ecosystem processes and thus to contribute to the knowledge of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem dynamics.


Functional facet Functional attributes Cladocerans Copepods Rotifers Testate amoebae 



This study was partly financed by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Fernandes Gomes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hasley Rodrigo Pereira
    • 1
  • Ana Caroline Alcântara Missias Gomes
    • 1
  • Maisa Carvalho Vieira
    • 2
  • Pedro Ribeiro Martins
    • 1
  • Iris Roitman
    • 3
  • Ludgero Cardoso Galli Vieira
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais e Limnológicas - NEPAL, Faculdade UnB de PlanaltinaUniversidade de Brasília (UnB)PlanaltinaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de EcologiaUniversidade Federal de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil
  3. 3.Projeto RadisUniversidade de Brasília (UnB)PlanaltinaBrazil

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