, Volume 593, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Spatial dynamics of rotifers in a large lowland river, the Elbe, Germany: How important are retentive shoreline habitats for the plankton community?

  • Heike Zimmermann-Timm
  • Henry Holst
  • Hartmut Kausch


The longitudinal dynamics of Rotifers in the Potamal region of the River Elbe between Dresden, km 46, and Geesthacht, km 583, was investigated on a Lagrangian survey in 2000 which included transversal sampling (left bank, main channel, right bank) and sampling of five major tributaries and backwaters to evaluate lateral impacts on the zooplankton community. A simple model of longitudinal development for the dominant species Trichocerca pusilla was calculated, based on the results of an in situ incubation in Dresden and on literature data and compared with the dynamics observed on the Lagrangian survey. To characterize the influence of groyne fields on the main channel zooplankton community, an additional lateral sampling was conducted in August 2000 at Havelberg, km 423. Zooplankton community was clearly dominated by rotifers. A distinct downstream-directed increase of rotifers was observed. Longitudinal development of rotifers could be explained predominantly by reproduction during downstream transport.


Potamoplankton Large river Retentive shoreline habitat Transport Growth rates 



We wish to thank U. Wörner, M. Steenbuck, S. Cummerow, A. Kakuschke (Hamburg) and S. Bühring (Bremen) for assistance in the field and laboratory, as well as J. Weiss (Jena) for analyzing phytoplankton samples. The authors greatly acknowledge the help of T. Hildebrandt (Hamburg) and M. Scholten (Berlin) for statistical assistance. We are also indebted to R. Eidner (BfG Berlin) for calculation of water transport time (QSIM, BfG Koblenz) and the ARGE Elbe for discharge and water temperature data. Thanks are due to A. Schlums (Potsdam) for linguistic improvements and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on the manuscript. The present study was supported by the federal BMBF-project TP0339606 “Stoffdynamik”of the research project “Elbe Ökologie”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heike Zimmermann-Timm
    • 1
    • 2
  • Henry Holst
    • 2
  • Hartmut Kausch
    • 2
  1. 1.Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Hydrobiology and Fishery ScienceUniversity HamburgHamburgGermany

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