Vertical migration mitigates UV effects on zooplankton community composition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Several zooplankton species are susceptible to ultraviolet radiation (UV), suggesting that UV may shape zooplankton community composition. Little is known, however, about the quantitative effects of long-term UV exposure in relation to biological processes. Therefore, we studied effects of UV on behaviour, population dynamics and reproduction of several zooplankton taxa. We identified different strategies regarding daytime vertical distribution: a strong response to UV threat, illustrated by Daphnia; a weak, albeit significant response, such as in copepods; and lastly, a stationary position in a depth refuge, as in Chydorus and Eurycercus. The relative abundances of the different zooplankton species were similar and only Daphnia and copepod nauplii displayed a slight decrease in relative abundance in response to UV treatment. Daphnia also reacted to the UV threat by increasing resting egg production, whereas long-term population dynamics for all studied species were surprisingly similar between treatments, despite considerable differences in UV exposure for several months. We conclude that zooplankton communities at temperate latitudes are able to survive increased UV levels due to efficient defences, suggesting that future potential increases in UV radiation may result in only moderate impacts on zooplankton population dynamics and community composition.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology

Keywords

  • community, zooplankton, UV, vertical migration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-980
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Volume32
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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