Hydrobiologia

, 676:299 | Cite as

The role of cladocerans in tracking long-term change in shallow lake trophic status

  • Thomas A. Davidson
  • Helen Bennion
  • Erik Jeppesen
  • Gina H. Clarke
  • Carl D. Sayer
  • David Morley
  • Bent V. Odgaard
  • Peter Rasmussen
  • Ruth Rawcliffe
  • Jorge Salgado
  • Gavin L. Simpson
  • Susanne L. Amsinck
CLADOCERA AS INDICATORS

Abstract

Shallow lakes have been affected by a variety of human activities profoundly altering their ecological structure and function. Cladocerans have been used to track change resulting from a variety of drivers at a number of time scales. Aquatic macrophytes are well recognised as reflecting the ecological condition of a lake. Here, we compare the plant macrofossils with the sub-fossil cladoceran assemblages from 20 dated sediment cores. Co-correspondence analysis was used to determine the degree of commonality of change in community composition of the two biological groups through time. This analysis revealed very high levels of agreement in the nature and timing of change at all the sites examined with very high correlation coefficients between the axis 1 scores for macrofossils and cladocerans. Furthermore, at all sites a high proportion of the variance (min 20%, max 54%) in the macrofossil data was explained by the change in the cladoceran assemblage. Sub-fossil macrofossil and cladoceran assemblages, from at least from 1700 AD onwards, were examined in more detail at three sites: Ormesby Great Broad, Felbrigg Lake and Lake Søbygaard. There was very good accord in the main shifts of the cladoceran and macrofossil assemblages at all three sites. This may reflect the long-term shift in the principal focus of primary production from the benthic to the pelagic habitat. We suggest that the combination of their central position in the food-web and the presence of both pelagic and benthic taxa make cladocerans a strong candidate as the single best indicator of (palaeo) ecological condition related to changing trophic status and alteration in food-web structure in shallow lakes.

Keywords

Zooplankton Cladocerans Macrophytes Macrofossils Eutrophication Indicator Lakes Ecological state 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Davidson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Helen Bennion
    • 2
  • Erik Jeppesen
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gina H. Clarke
    • 2
  • Carl D. Sayer
    • 2
  • David Morley
    • 2
  • Bent V. Odgaard
    • 1
  • Peter Rasmussen
    • 5
  • Ruth Rawcliffe
    • 2
  • Jorge Salgado
    • 2
  • Gavin L. Simpson
    • 2
  • Susanne L. Amsinck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversitySilkeborgDenmark
  2. 2.Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of GeographyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Greenland Climate Research Centre (GCRC)Greenland Institute of Natural ResourcesNuukGreenland
  4. 4.Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research (SDC)BeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of Marine Geology and GlaciologyGeological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)Copenhagen KDenmark

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