, Volume 829, Issue 1, pp 95–111 | Cite as

Differences in food webs and trophic states of Brazilian tropical humid and semi-arid shallow lakes: implications of climate change

  • Rosemberg Fernandes MenezesEmail author
  • José Luiz Attayde
  • Sarian Kosten
  • Gissell Lacerot
  • Leonardo Coimbra e Souza
  • Luciana S. Costa
  • Leonel da S. L. Sternberg
  • Anna Claudia dos Santos
  • Michele de Medeiros Rodrigues
  • Erik Jeppesen


Global warming may intensify eutrophication of shallow lakes by affecting nutrient loading, evaporation rates, and water level and thus produce major changes in food webs. We investigated to what degree food webs in tropical humid lakes differed from those in more eutrophic semi-arid lakes of the same latitude. Our results indicate that the catchment area-to-lake area ratio, nutrients, chlorophyll a, suspended solids, abundances of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and omnivorous fish as well as total fish catch per unit effort were all higher in the semi-arid lakes, whereas inlet water-to-evaporation ratio (proxy for water balance), water transparency, percentage macrophytes cover, and the piscivores:omnivores ratio were higher in the humid lakes. Our results suggest that reduced inlet water-to-evaporation ratio will increase lake eutrophication, which, in turn, as in temperate regions, will alter trophic structure of the freshwater community.


Omnivorous fish Zooplankton Phytoplankton Evaporation Precipitation Drylands 



We would like to thank Anne Mette Poulsen for manuscript assistance and Leonardo Henrique Teixeira Pinto for valuable artwork assistance. We thank Zeca Rodrigues for his hospitality during the field campaign in the coastal lakes and Andy Lotter, Egbert van Nes, Fabrício Camacho, Elinez Rocha, Jandeson Brasil, Nils Okun, Vanessa Mosca, Wanessa Sousa, and Caroline Gabriela for field assistance. We thank Nestor Mazzeo and David da Motta Marques for the work coordination and supply of fieldwork equipment, and Vera Huszar and Carla Kruk for coordinating and supervising phytoplankton identification. We also acknowledge the three anonymous reviewers for providing valuable comments and suggestions to improve our manuscript.


Funding was provided by NWO/WOTRO, The National Geographic Society, The Schure-Beijerinck-Popping fund, Kosten Watersport bv., The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), and Banco de Seguros del Estado through the SALGA project and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Educational Personnel (CAPES/PNPD—Project No.: 2304/2011). EJ was supported by the MARS project (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress) funded under the 7th EU Framework Programme, Theme 6 (Environment including Climate Change), Contract No.: 603378 (, and AU Centre for Water Technology ( SK was supported by NWO-VENI grant 86312012.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemberg Fernandes Menezes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • José Luiz Attayde
    • 2
  • Sarian Kosten
    • 3
    • 10
  • Gissell Lacerot
    • 4
  • Leonardo Coimbra e Souza
    • 5
  • Luciana S. Costa
    • 6
  • Leonel da S. L. Sternberg
    • 7
  • Anna Claudia dos Santos
    • 11
  • Michele de Medeiros Rodrigues
    • 2
  • Erik Jeppesen
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Departamento de Fitotecnia e Ciência Ambientais, Centro de Ciências AgráriasUniversidade Federal da ParaíbaAreiaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Ecologia, Centro de BiociênciasUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology, Institute for Water and Wetland ResearchRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Ecología Funcional de Sistemas Acuáticos, Centro Universitario Regional del EsteUniversidad de la RepúblicaRochaUruguay
  5. 5.Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biologia (IB), Núcleo de Estudos Limnológicos (NEL)Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO)Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  6. 6.Departamento de Botânica, Museu NacionalUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  7. 7.Department of BiologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  8. 8.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversitySilkeborgDenmark
  9. 9.Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research (SDC)University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  10. 10.Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  11. 11.Laboratório de Processamento de Imagens e GeoprocessamentoUniversidade Federal de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil

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