Which environmental scales and factors matter for mesozooplankton communities in a shallow brackish water ecosystem?.

Lennuk, Lennart, Kotta, Jonne, Lauringson, Velda, Taits, Kristiina and Jänes, Holger (2016) Which environmental scales and factors matter for mesozooplankton communities in a shallow brackish water ecosystem?. Journal of Plankton Research, 38 (1). pp. 139-153. DOI 10.1093/plankt/fbv111.

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Aquatic invertebrate communities are influenced by interactions between the abiotic and biotic environment at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Studies of mesozooplankton community patterns in relation to spatial and temporal scales are rare. In this study, we examined scale-specific variability of mesozooplankton in the shallow coastal Baltic Sea and related this variability to key environmental proxies. Seasonality defined the majority of variability in taxonomic composition and abundance patterns, as well as in aggregated parameters of zooplankton. However, these properties also varied spatially at a large, 100-km scale. The variability in all properties except taxonomic composition was negligible at the smaller spatial scale. Taxonomic richness increased until moderate levels of total abundance, whereas peak blooms were always characterized by higher dark diversity. Shannon diversity was unrelated to total abundance. Observed spatio-temporal patterns were strongly related to abiotic forcing and uncoupled from phytoplankton standing stock and primary production. Results show the importance of seasonality over spatial variability and abiotic factors over phytoplankton variability for sub-boreal brackish coastal mesozooplankton at the spatial scales studied. Information loss from spatial generalization can be larger for taxonomic occurrences and rare species than for species abundances and aggregated community parameters such as total abundance or taxonomic richness.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: mesozooplankton; spatio-temporal; shallow water; small scale; large scale; spatial scale; temporal variability; abundance; taxonomic composition
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1093/plankt/fbv111
ISSN: 0142-7873
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 12:36
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:07
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/34363

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