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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center


Crustacean zooplankton dynamics in a natural riverine lake, Upper Mississippi River

Burdis, Robert M. & Jodene K. Hirsch. 2017.  Crustacean zooplankton dynamics in a natural riverine lake, Upper Mississippi River, Journal of Freshwater Ecology, 32:1, 240-258, DOI: 10.1080/02705060.2017.1279080


Zooplankton communities in riverine systems are typically thought to be driven by abiotic forces. However, recent studies have shown that biological controls are capable of structuring these communities in large rivers and may become more influential as a river system becomes more lentic during low discharge. This study uses a long-term data set to examine several environmental variables as potential drivers of zooplankton community structure in a natural riverine lake. We hypothesized that water residence time would be the most important variable influencing zooplankton community structure. To test this, we used non-metric multidimensional scaling and correlation analysis to examine spatial and temporal patterns in zooplankton community structure. Analysis revealed that water residence time was the single most important environmental variable driving zooplankton abundance and community structure. The relationship between water residence time and taxa groups varied indicating that other taxa specific drivers had some influence on zooplankton community structure as well. Continued insight into the mechanisms driving zooplankton community structure will provide a basis for understanding zooplankton dynamics in large river ecosystems.


Mississippi River; riverine lake; zooplankton; NMDS; water residence time

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