, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 191–201 | Cite as

Long-term effects of nutrient changes on rotifer communities in a subtropical lake

  • Yun Li
  • Le Liu
  • Suzhen Cui
  • Feizhou ChenEmail author
Research paper


External nutrient loading has a major influence on the abundance, composition and diversity of zooplankton communities. To clarify how the reduction of nutrient loading during lake restoration interacts with other abiotic and biotic factors and how the interactive factors affect long-term changes in rotifer communities, we analyzed the relationships between the rotifer communities and environmental factors using a 17-year dataset. After the reduction of nutrients, both the abundance and biomass of rotifers declined, and the dominant rotifers changed from eutrophic-tolerant species to less tolerant ones. The lower TN:TP ratio that was caused by the imbalanced decrease in TN and TP after restoration promoted cyanobacteria, which negatively related to the resource-use efficiency of rotifers. Moreover, seasonal differences in the Shannon–Wiener index–TN relationships and the decrease in the Pielou index with the increase in water temperature implied there were interactive effects of water temperature and nutrients on species diversity. The study concluded that changes in rotifer abundance and community composition were mainly related to TN, but the changes in species diversity were mainly related to the interactive effects of the TN:TP ratio, water temperature and food quality. Our findings highlighted the effects caused by imbalanced nutrient changes on species diversity.


Nutrient loading Rotifer plankton Eutrophication Cyanobacteria Species diversity Temperature 



We thank the Taihu Laboratory for Lake Ecosystem Research for supplying data on the abiotic parameters and phytoplankton. We are grateful to Tingting Shu for collecting data. This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant numbers XDB310403), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31670463, 31870448 and 31872208), the Project of 135 program of NIGLAS (NIGLAS2018GH03) and the start-up funds from the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGLAS2017QD09). Y. Li and F.Z. Chen designed the study; Y. Li wrote the report; Y. Li, L. Liu, S.Z. Cui and F.Z. Chen collected and analyzed the data.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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