Size-based diel migration of zooplankton in Mediterranean shallow lakes assessed from in situ experiments with artificial plants

Abstract

In warm lakes, fish aggregate within macrophytes, thereby weakening the role of these as a daytime refuge for zooplankton and altering the zooplankton size structure, predation pressure, and water clarity. To elucidate the role of macrophytes as a refuge for zooplankton and their effect on zooplankton size distribution, we established three sets of strandardized artificial plant beds in 11 lakes in Turkey with contrasting fish predation risk and turbidity. Zooplankton were sampled within and outside of each plant beds during day and night. Fish, collected overnight in multimesh-sized gillnets, were abundant both inside and outside the artificial plant beds, impoverishing the usefulness of plants as a daytime refuge for particularly large-bodied zooplankton. Zooplankton size diversity was negatively related to fish abundance. Diel vertical migration was the frequent anti-predator avoidance behavior, but reverse migration was also observed when Chaoborus was present. In contrast to the small-bodied taxa, large- and medium-sized taxa showed intraspecific size-based migration (i.e., individuals of different sizes had different migration patterns). Predators influenced the size structure and diel movement of zooplankton, but the response changed with the size of zooplankton and water clarity.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Ayşe İdil Çakıroğlu, Şeyda Erdoğan, Çağatay Tavşanoğlu, Ozan Bekmezci, and Damla Beton for field assistance, A.M. Poulsen for editorial assistance, and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments that improved this paper. This study was supported by Middle East Technical University (BAP-07-02-2010-00-01), the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)-ÇAYDAG (Project No.: 105Y332 and 110Y125), and during the writing phase by the European Union Framework 7 Project/ENV-2009-1 under Grant Agreement 244121 (REFRESH project) and 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 (http://www.mars-project.eu). ÜNT, EEL, and GB were supported by TÜBİTAK-ÇAYDAG (Project No.: 110Y125), AÖ was supported by a BAP research grant and the METU-DPT ÖYP programme of Turkey (BAP-08-11-DPT-2002-K120510), TB was supported by the TÜBİTAK-BIDEB 2211 Scholarship Programme, and SB’s contribution was supported by the TÜBİTAK 2221—Visiting Scientist Fellowship Programme and by Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship No. 330249 (CLIMBING). EJ and LSJ were further supported by CRES (Danish Strategic Research Council), CLEAR (a Villum Kann Rasmussen Centre of Excellence project), and CIRCE—Aarhus University Ideas Centre.

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Tavşanoğlu, Ü.N., Brucet, S., Levi, E.E. et al. Size-based diel migration of zooplankton in Mediterranean shallow lakes assessed from in situ experiments with artificial plants. Hydrobiologia 753, 47–59 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-015-2192-6

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Keywords

  • Zooplankton community structure
  • Migration
  • Predation size diversity
  • Water clarity