The response of Cladocerans to recent environmental forcing in an Alpine Lake on the SE Tibetan Plateau
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Global environmental change has affected aquatic ecosystems of the southeast Tibetan Plateau during the past 200 years, altering the composition and biomass of primary producers (e.g. algae). However, the response of primary consumers (e.g. cladocerans) to this recent environmental forcing is not well documented. Samples of cladoceran remains from sediment traps (1-year deployment), surface sediments covering a range of water depths and a short 22.5-cm sediment core were analysed in a small, remote alpine lake (Moon Lake) in Sichuan Province (SW China). Littoral forms, notably Chydorus sphaericus and Acroperus harpae, together with Daphnia pulex dominated the cladoceran community. Remains of these cladocerans were well represented in the sediment core assemblages as indicated by their relative abundance in the surface sample. There was a marked increase in the abundance of D. pulex and total cladoceran fluxes in the sediment core from ca. 1880 AD, coinciding with the changes in diatom assemblages and pigments. Analysis of the multi-proxy data (cladocerans, diatom, pigment, total organic carbon, C/N ratio, air temperature and atmospheric NO3 − records) suggests that both direct and indirect climatic forcing, coupled with enhanced nutrient supply (e.g. NO3 − deposition) effects on primary producers have changed cladoceran community dynamics in Moon Lake over the last ~200 years.
KeywordsCladoceran zooplankton Nutrient loading Climatic forcing Alpine lake Trophic dynamics Southwest China
We are grateful to Yuxin Zhu, Weilan Xia, Shen Min, Dr. Suzanne McGowan and Dr. Qian Wang for providing the chemical, chronological, reconstructed temperature, and pigment data as well as field assistance. GK acknowledges the assistance of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for the CAS-PIFI Visiting Fellowship programme at NIGLAS; NJA acknowledges the support of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Senior Visiting Professorship) and the Royal Society. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41272379, 41502170), the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2012CB956100), Nanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology, CAS (Grant No. NIGLAS2012135004) and the Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change. Finally, we would like to thank editors of Hydrobiologia, two anonymous reviewers, and B Alrcic (France), for their constructive reviews.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.
Research involved in animal and human participant
This research does not involve human participants and/or animals. All the co-authors agree with the submission of this paper to Hydrobiologia.
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