Browsing All Posts filed under »plankton«

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 […]

Top predator boosts species richness – but not in alien ecosystems

December 13, 2016

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The spiny water flea Bythotrephes longimanus is a large cladoceran, a specialised carnivore and a top predator. Invasions of North American lakes by Bythotrephes have been linked to dramatic changes in food web structure and reductions in species diversity, which seems to contradict the expectation that top predators increase the evenness and diversity of aquatic […]

Remote surveillance: assessing water quality

June 1, 2016

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Remote sensing technology gives natural resource managers and landowners the ability to monitor environmental conditions in new and powerful ways. However, the remote assessment of water quality in lakes and ponds is complicated by wide variations in the inorganic and organic composition of suspended particles, which affect the optical environment, and the moderate- and medium-resolution […]

Surrogates for species

March 23, 2016

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Ecological communities are commonly defined and compared by reference to their species composition. However, in the case of many types of organisms, such as freshwater plankton, species-level identification is a slow, error-prone process, and for this reason there’s growing interest in characterising communities by carrying out identification at a higher taxonomic level (genus or family). […]

Cold water plankton are bigger

March 23, 2016

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Because large-bodied zooplankton species have higher grazing rates, take a wider size-range of food items, and evade predators more easily than small species, variations in zooplankton body size can have a strong effect on aquatic food webs. An international group of biologists looked at the influence of temperature on the size of planktonic crustaceans by […]