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Estimating lacustrine zooplankton species richness and complementarity

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Literature and original information reveals that lakes at any latitude may be expected to lodge + 50 spp. of cladocerans, against + 150 spp. of rotifers in the temperate, and + 210 spp. in the tropical zone. Collector's curves can be used to estimate the number of species present at any point in time in a lake. Hyperbolic regression and Chao's non-parametric estimator were used to extrapolate from species numbers observed to true numbers present. Estimates for rotifers were better (had lower variances) than for cladocerans, and both were better in the temperate than in the tropical zone, where more species co-exist than in the temperate zone but where many more species are rare. Approximate numbers of samples required to approach true instantaneous species richness were calculated. However, a test in a (sub)tropical lake in Brasil where such an ‘asymptotic’ number of samples was collected and examined failed to reduce the variance, while recording a number of species higher than predicted. We conclude that seasonal succession was still significant here, and that more research is needed to determine the minimum number of sampling repeats needed for a full census.

Lakes with an ATBI (All Taxa Biological Inventory) for rotifers and cladocerans were compared by a complementarity index. This revealed geographic gradients between lakes, strong for cladocerans, but less so for rotifers. It is argued that this mainly reflects a difference in the state of taxonomic advancement between these two groups, and that the theory of cosmopolitanism must be abandoned for both.

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Dumont, H.J., Segers, H. Estimating lacustrine zooplankton species richness and complementarity. Hydrobiologia 341, 125–132 (1996).

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