, Volume 796, Issue 1, pp 201–222 | Cite as

Dormancy and dispersal as mediators of zooplankton population and community dynamics along a hydrological disturbance gradient in inland temporary pools

  • Luc Brendonck
  • Tom Pinceel
  • Raquel Ortells


At some stage in their life cycle, most zooplankton in temporary waters produce dormant eggs that assemble in a persistent egg bank to cope with unfavourable conditions. As part of a risk-spreading strategy, only a fraction of the egg bank hatches during a single inundation. Besides this dispersal in time, resistant dormant eggs also disperse in space via vectors including wind, water and animals. The structure and functioning of the dormant egg bank has important consequences for (meta) population and (meta) community structure and dynamics. Here, we merge empirical and theoretical data into a conceptual framework for the study of population and community responses in temporary ponds along a gradient in hydrological disturbance. Overall, we conclude that changes in hydrological disturbance may compromise both the abiotic (i.e. water quality) and biotic (i.e. population and community processes) integrity of temporary pools which is especially relevant in light of ongoing anthropogenic alterations in the hydrology of inland waters.


Egg banks Diapause Dispersal Temporary pools Zooplankton 



This study was partially supported by the Project CGL2012-30779 (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity, co-financed by UE-FEDER). L. B. was an invited researcher by the University of Valencia (“Atracció de talent” by VLC_CAMPUS). T.P. is currently supported by a postdoctoral fellowship of the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO, 12F0716N). This study was also supported by the project “Evolutionary Ecology of bet hedging” (FWO Flanders, G055512N) and from a KU Leuven Programme financing project “Eco—and socio—evolutionary dynamics” (KUL DEFIS).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Evolution and ConservationKU LeuvenLouvainBelgium
  2. 2.Research Unit for Environmental Sciences and ManagementNorth-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental ManagementUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  4. 4.Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia EvolutivaUniversitat de ValènciaValenciaSpain

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