Browsing All Posts filed under »lakes«

Collapsing waterweeds:  shading and herbivory work together

December 21, 2017

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In lakes and ponds, aquatic plants help to maintain clear-water conditions and their decline can cause a shift to a turbid state with lower biodiversity.  But what triggers the collapse of waterweed populations?  Grazing by aquatic herbivores would seem to be an obvious cause, but supporting evidence for this idea has proved surprisingly elusive, leading […]

More clarity on climate change

December 21, 2017

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Although climate change is warming many lakes around the world, there are big variations in their rate of temperature increase.  This variability is thought to be partly due to the fact that lakes differ widely in terms of water clarity, which is affected by factors such as land management, rainfall and changes in dissolved organic […]

Predatory fish control prey populations – but not when the prey are other fish

September 25, 2017

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Many lake studies have shown that predatory fish feeding on plankton or bottom-living invertebrates have a strong influence on the density, species composition and size structure of prey populations. Typically, there’s an inverse relationship between predator and prey populations, both in terms of  density and in mean body size.  However, there have been few reports […]

Coarse, shallow and wooden… but useful nonetheless

June 19, 2017

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Coarse woody debris (CWD) derived from shoreline trees provides an important, spatially complex habitat and a food source for lake-dwelling organisms. Here are some interesting facts about lake CWD, taken from a recent review paper: In the absence of the physical action of flowing water, CWD breaks down more slowly in lakes than in streams. […]

Plankton migration is system-dependent

June 19, 2017

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Lake zooplankton commonly switch microhabitats on a regular day-night basis by migrating horizontally between stands of vegetation and open waters, or by migrating vertically between deep and surface waters. These movements have been explained in terms of the need to avoid predators (especially fish) and excessive ultraviolet radiation.  However, although zooplankton are known to seek […]

How the terrestrial landscape affects aquatic dispersal

June 19, 2017

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How does the surrounding terrestrial landscape affect the dispersal of pond-dwelling organisms? Although some studies suggest that small aquatic crustaceans can disperse efficiently across a range of intervening environments, other work has pointed to dispersal limitation, especially over large distances.  Czech researchers examined the passive dispersal of microcrustaceans (cladocerans, copepods, and ostracods) by comparing communities […]

Predators concentrate on current-concentrated prey

December 13, 2016

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In marine environments, recirculating eddies, upwellings and downwellings play an important role in concentrating plankton in small areas, a process that attracts predators such as fish, mammals and birds and boosts ecological productivity significantly above background levels. However, much less is known about the ways in which physical processes may concentrate organisms and intensify food-web […]