- 1) Department of Biology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, M3J IP3, Toronto, Ont., Canada
Four limnocorrals (8 m dia. by 15 m deep) located at Lake St. George, Ontario, Canada; were used to examine the interactions between planktivorous fish, crustacean zooplankton (notably Daphnia galeata mendotae), and phytoplankton. During the spring, in all of the limnocorrals, high Daphnia biomasses were correlated with increased water transparency and a spring ‘clear-water’ phase. However, as the summer progressed, the relationship between Daphnia biomass and phytoplankton abundance became more complex and less predictable. Investigation of these interactions suggested four conclusions. (1) During late July and throughout August and September, water transparency decreased and algal cell counts increased. In 3 of 4 limnocorrals, deterioration in water quality occurred 3–5 weeks before zooplankton (and Daphnia populations) declined. In all cases decreased transparency was associated with increased concentrations of algal cells (Gloeococcus) that were poor food sources for Daphnia. These results suggested that decreased water transparency was not ‘caused by’ decreases in Daphnia biomass. (2) Taken together, data from all of the limnocorrals showed no correlation between the magnitude of July Daphnia biomasses and the percentage of ‘poor food source’ algae that were observed in August. This suggested that grazer effects were not necessary for the onset of summer ‘poor food source’ algal blooms. (3) In two limnocorrals, there was a positive correlation between increased Daphnia mortality and the onset of ‘poor food source’ blooms. In the other two limnocorrals there was no correlation. In all limnocorrals there was no correlation between decreased Daphnia reproductive capacity and ‘poor food source’ blooms. These data suggested that blooms of ‘poor food source’ algae were not necessary for the collapse of Daphnia populations. (4) In all 4 limnocorrals there was a strong correlation between the time that 0+ yellow perch planktivores reached biomasses of 30–50 kg ha?1 and the collapse of Daphnia populations Species and size selection was also observed. These results suggested that for this set of limnocorral experiments, fish biomasses in the 30–50 kg ha?1 were responsible for the collapse of Daphnia populations in the summer.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie