Changes in the fish and zooplankton communities of Ringsjön, a Swedish lake undergoing man-made eutrophication
During the 20th century Lake Ringsjön has developed from a mesotrophic to a eutrophic lake, and the phytoplankton community has changed from a rather diverse community to a monoculture of blue-green algae. The eutrophication process has accelerated during the last decade. The most important external nutrient loading of today comes from agriculture. Although phosphorus has been shown to be the primary nutrient leading to excessive algal growth in fresh water, several biotic factors — such as interactions between nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton and planktivorous fish — may play a decisive role in the occurrence and maintenance of large algal blooms. The aim of this investigation was to study the changes in the fish community of Lake Ringsjön, especially the most dominant planktivores, and the state of the zooplankton community during the seventies. The fish fauna is dominated by cyprinids, especially roach, and there are relatively few predatory fish. During the seventies the mean size of roach decreased, and measurements of the zooplankton community indicated that the predation pressure on zooplankton had increased. The mean sizes of cladocerans such as Daphnia and Bosmina, which were selected for by the planktivorous fish, decreased; the size of the calanoid Diaptomus, which was not preyed upon by the dominating fish species, did not change. The growth of zooplankton-feeding stages of several fish species was retarded, which meant that the growth of young perch decreased, while older roach were mainly affected. In the prevailing situation, planktivorous roach can maintain a numerous population of small individuals, whereas the predatory perch is at a disadvantage, and predation on zooplankton is intense.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie