, Volume 547, Issue 1, pp 151–162 | Cite as

Vertical Distribution of Zooplankton in a Strongly Stratified Hypertrophic Lake

  • Kaidi Kübar
  • Helen Agasild
  • Taavi Virro
  • Ingmar Ott


The vertical and temporal distribution of metazooplankton in the small hypertrophic, strongly stratified, temperate Lake Verevi (Estonia) was studied during 1998–2001. The zooplankton of Lake Verevi is characteristic of hypertrophic lakes, with a small number of dominant species, rotifers being the main ones, and juveniles prevailing among copepods. In 1999–2001, the average abundance of metazooplankton in the lake was 1570 × 103 ind m−3; in the epilimnion 2320 × 103 ind m−3, in the metalimnion 2178 × 103 ind m−3, and in the hypolimnion 237 × 103 ind m−3. The average biomass of metazooplankton was 1.75 g m−3; in the epi-, meta- and hypolimnion, accordingly, 2.16, 2.85 and 0.26 g m−3. The highest abundances – 19,136 × 103 ind m−3 and 12,008 × 103 ind m−3 – were registered in the lower half of the metalimnion in 24 May and 5 June 2001, respectively. Rotifer Keratella cochlearis f. typica (Gosse, 1851) was the dominating species in abundance. In biomass, Asplanchna priodonta Gosse, 1850, among the rotifers, and Eudiaptomus graciloides (Lilljeborg, 1888), among the copepods, dominated. According to the data from 2000–2001, the abundance and biomass of both copepods and rotifers were highest in spring. Zooplankton was scarce in the hypolimnion, and no peaks were observed there. During the summers of 1998 and 1999, when thermal stratification was particularly strong, zooplankton was the most abundant in the upper half of the metalimnion, and a distinct peak of biomass occurred in the second fourth of the metalimnion. Probably, the main factors affecting the vertical distribution of zooplankton in L. Verevi are fish, Chaoborus larvae, and chemocline, while food, like phytoplankton, composition and abundance may affect more the seasonal development of zooplankton.


zooplankton vertical distribution seasonal dynamics stratification 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andronikova, I. N., 1989. Strukturno-funktsionalnaya organizatsiya zooplanktona ozernykh ekosistem raznykh troficheskikh tipov. Theses doc. Leningrad, 39 pp. [Structural and Functional Arrangement of Zooplankton in Lake Ecosystems of Various Trophic Types. In Russian]Google Scholar
  2. Armengol, X., Esparcia, A., Miracle, M. R. 1998Rotifer vertical distribution in a strongly stratified lake: a multivariate analysisHydrobiologia387/388161170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Armengol-Diaz, J., Esparcia, A., Vicente, E., Miracle, M. R. 1993Vertical distribution of planktonic rotifers in a karstic meromictic lakeHydrobiologia255/256381388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arvola, L., Salonen, K., Jones, R. I., Heinänen, A., Bergström, I. 1987A three day study of the diel behaviour of plankton in a highly humic and steeply stratified lakeArchiv für Hydrobiologie10989106Google Scholar
  5. Balushkina, E. V. & G. G. Winberg, 1979. Zavisimost mezhdu massoi I dlinoi tela u planktonnykh zivotnykh Obshchiye osnovy izucheniya vodnykh ekosistem. In Winberg, G. G. (ed.), Obshchie osnovy izucheniya vodnykh ekosistem. Nauka. Leningrad: 169–172 [Relation Between Body Mass and Length in Planktonic Animals. In Russian]Google Scholar
  6. Berzins, B., Pejler, B. 1989Rotifer occurrence in relation to temperatureHydrobiologia175223231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bosselmann, S. 1979Population dynamics of Keratella cochlearis in Lake EsromArchiv für Hydrobiologie87152165Google Scholar
  8. Bottrell, H. H., Duncan, A., Gliwicz, Z. M., Grygierek, E., Herzig, A., Hillbricht-Ilkowska, A., Kurasawa, H., Larsson, P., Weglenska, T. 1976A review of some problems in zooplankton production studiesNorwegian Journal of Zoology24419456Google Scholar
  9. Bulgakov, N. G., Levich, A. P. 1999The nitrogen:phosphorus ratio as a factor regulating phytoplankton community structureArchiv für Hydrobiologie146322Google Scholar
  10. Bürgi, H. R., Heller, C., Gaebel, S., Mookerji, N., Ward, J. V. 1999Strength coupling between phyto and zooplankton in Lake Lucerne (Switzerland) during phosphorus abatement subsequent to a weak eutrophicationJournal of Plankton Research21485507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carpenter, S. R.Kitchell, J. F. eds. 1993The Trophic Cascade in LakesUniversity PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
  12. Cordova, S. E., Giffin, J., Kirk, K. L. 2001Food limitation of planktonic rotifers: field experiments in two mountain pondsFreshwater Biology4615191527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fradkin, S. C. 1995Effects on interference and exploitative competition from large-bodied cladocerans on rotifer community structureHydrobiologia313/314387393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Godeanu, S. P. 1978Specificity of the zooplankton in several lakes from northern Germany with different degree of eutrophicationVerhandlungen. Internationale Vereinigung für Theoretische und Angewandte Limnologie20963968Google Scholar
  15. Haberman, J. 1998Zooplankton of Lake VõrtsjärvLimnologica284965Google Scholar
  16. Herzig, A. 1994Predator–prey relationships within the pelagic community of Neusiedler SeeHydrobiologia275/2768196Google Scholar
  17. Hofmann, W. 1977The influence of abiotic environmental factors of population dynamics in planktonic rotifersArchiv für Hydrobiologie. Beiheft Ergebnisse der Limnologie 87783Google Scholar
  18. Järvalt, A., Krause, T., Palm, A. 2005Diel migration and spatial distribution of fish in a small stratified lakeHydrobiologia547197203Google Scholar
  19. Jeppesen, E., Madsen, E. A., Jensen, J. P., Anderson, N. J. 1996Reconstructing the past density of planktivorous fish and trophic structure from sedimentary zooplankton fossils: a surface sediment calibration data set from shallow lakesFreshwater Biology36115127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kangro, K., Laugaste, R., Nõges, P., Ott, I. 2002Long-term changes and seasonal development of phytoplankton in a strongly stratified, hypertrophic lakeHydrobiologia54791103Google Scholar
  21. Kira, T., 1993. Major environmental problems in world lakes. In De Bernardi R., R. Pagnotta & A. Pugnetti (eds), Strategies for Lake Ecosystems Beyond 2000. Memorie dellȁ9Istituto Italiano di Idrobiologia 52: 1–7Google Scholar
  22. Kirk, K. L. 2002Competition in variable environments: experiments with planktonic rotifersFreshwater Biology4710891096CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kizito, Y. S., Nauwerck, A. 1995Temporal and vertical distribution of planktonic rotifers in a meromictic crater lake, Lake Nyahirya (Western Uganda)Hydrobiologia313/314303312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kübar, K., 1994. Arbi ja Verevi järve zooplankton. Diploma paper. Manuscript at the Institute of Zoology and Hydrobiology of the University of Tartu, 81 pp. [Zooplankton of Lake Arbi and Lake Verevi. In Estonian, English summary]Google Scholar
  25. Lammens, E. H. R. R. 1990The relation of biotic and abiotic interactions to eutrophication in Tjeukemeer, The NetherlandsHydrobiologia1912937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lampert, W. 1992Zooplankton vertical migrations: implications for phytoplankton–zooplankton interactions. Archiv für HydrobiologieBeiheft Ergebnisse der Limnologie356978Google Scholar
  27. Lampert, W. 1997Zooplankton research: the contribution of limnology to general ecological paradigmsAquatic Ecology311927CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Leibold, M. A. 1990Resources and predators can affect the vertical distributions of zooplanktonLimnology and Oceanography35938944Google Scholar
  29. Liljendahl-Nurminen, A., Horppila, J., Eloranta, P., Malinen, T., Uusitalo, L. 2002The seasonal dynamics and distribution of Chaoborus flavicans larvae in adjacent lake basins of different morphometry and degree of eutrophicationFreshwater Biology4712831295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Miracle, M. R. 1977Migration, patchiness, and distribution in time and space of planktonic rotifersArchiv für Hydrobiologie Beiheft Ergebnisse der Limnologie81937Google Scholar
  31. Miracle, M. R., Armengol-Diaz, X. 1995Population dynamics of oxiclinal species in lake Arcas-2 (Spain)Hydrobiologia313/314291301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nicholls, K. H., Tudorancea, C. 2001Species-level and community-level data analyses reveal spatial differences and temporal change in the crustacean zooplankton of a large Canadian lake (Lake Simcoe, Ontario)Journal of Limnology60155170Google Scholar
  33. Nõges, T., Kangro, K. 2005Primary production of phytoplankton in a strongly stratified temperate lakeHydrobiologia547105122Google Scholar
  34. Nõges, P., Nõges, T. 1998Stratification of Estonian lakes studied during hydrooptical expeditions in 1995–97. Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. BiologyEcology47268281Google Scholar
  35. Olt, K., 2001. Zooplanktoni vertikaalne jaotus Verevi järves ja Nohipalu Valgjärves suvise stratifikatsiooni tingimustes. Diploma paper. Manuscript at the Institute of Zoology and Hydrobiology of the University of Tartu, 59 pp. [Vertical Distribution of Zooplankton in Lake Verevi and Lake Nohipalu Valgjärv in Conditions of Summer Stratification. In Estonian, English summary]Google Scholar
  36. Ott, I., 1996. Relationship between organic matter and summer phytoplankton species composition. Eutrophication in planktonic food web dynamics and elemental cycling. International PELAG symposium, p. 54Google Scholar
  37. Ott, I., Kõiv, T., Nõges, P., Kisand, A., Järvalt, A., Kirt, E. 2005aGeneral description of partly meromictic hypertrophic Lake Verevi, its ecological status, changes during the past eight decades and restoration problemsHydrobiologia547120Google Scholar
  38. Ott, I., Laugaste, R., Lokk, S., Mäemets, A. 1997Plankton changes in Estonian small lakes in 1951–1993Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Biology. Ecology 46:465879Google Scholar
  39. Ott, I., Rakko, D., Sarik, D., Nõges, P., Ott, K. 2005bSedimentation rate of seston during the formation of temperature stratification after ice break-up in the partly meromictic Lake VereviHydrobiologia5475161Google Scholar
  40. Ponyi, J. E., Zankai, N. P. 1982Population dynamics, biomass and biomass production of Eudiaptomus gracilis (G. O. SARS) in two water areas of different trophic state of L.␣Balaton (Hungary)Acta Hydrochimica et Hydrobiologica10597610Google Scholar
  41. Rothhaupt, K. O. 1990Population growth rates of two closely related rotifer species: effects of food quality, particle size, and nutritional qualityFreshwater Biology23561570Google Scholar
  42. Ruttner-Kolisko, A. 1977aComparison of various sampling techniques, and results of repeated sampling of planktonic rotifersArchiv für Hydrobiologie. Beiheft Ergebnisse der Limnologie81318Google Scholar
  43. Ruttner-Kolisko, A. 1977bSuggestions for biomass calculation of planktonic rotifers. Archiv für HydrobiologieBeiheft Ergebnisse der Limnologie87176Google Scholar
  44. Sommer, U. 1989Toward a Darwinian ecology of planktonSommer, U. eds. Plankton Ecology Succession in Plankton CommunitiesSpringer VerlagNew York, Berlin, Heidelberg18Google Scholar
  45. Stransfield, J. H., Perrow, M. R., Tench, L. D., Jowitt, A. J. D., Taylor, A. A. L. 1997Submerged macrophytes as refuges for grazing Cladocera against fish predation: observations on seasonal changes in relation to macrophyte cover and predation pressureHydrobiologia342/343229240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Studenikina, E. I. & M. M. Cherepakhina, 1969. Srednii ves osnovnykh form zooplanktona Azovskogo morya. Gidrobiologicheskii Zhurnal 5: 89–91 [Mean Weight of Basic Zooplankton Forms of the Azov Sea. In Russian]Google Scholar
  47. Tilman, D. 1977Resource competition between planktonic algae: an experimental and theoretical approachEcology58338348Google Scholar
  48. Tilman, D. 1982Resource Competition and Community StructurePrinceton Univ. PressPrinceton, N.JGoogle Scholar
  49. Timm, M. & A. Mäemets, 1991. Zooplankton. In Timm, H. (ed.), Verevi järve seisund. [State of Lake Verevi]. Estonian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Zooloogy and Botany, Tartu: 91–94 [Zooplankton. In Estonian]Google Scholar
  50. Donk, E., Grimm, M. P., Gulati, R. D., Heuts, P. G. M., de Kloet, W. A., Liere, L. 1990First attempt to apply whole-lake food-web manipulation on a large scale in The NetherlandsHydrobiologia200/201291301Google Scholar
  51. Vanni, M. J., Temte, J. 1990Seasonal patterns of grazing and nutrient limitation of phytoplankton in a eutrophic lakeLimnology and Oceanography35697709Google Scholar
  52. Viitasalo, M. 1994Seasonal succession and long-term changes of mesozooplankton in the Northern Baltic SeaFinnish Marine Research263339Google Scholar
  53. Virro, T., 1989. Sravnenie metodov sbora planktonnykh kolovratok (Rotatoria) na primere Chudskogo ozera. Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the Estonian SSR. Biology 38: 119–122 [The Comparison of Sampling Methods of Planktonic Rotifers (Rotatoria) on the Example of Lake Peipsi. In Russian]Google Scholar
  54. Virro, T. 1996Taxonomic composition of rotifers in Lake PeipsiHydrobiologia338125132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wetzel, R. G. 1983Limnology 2Saunders College PublishingPhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  56. Williamson, C. E., Sanders, R. W., Moeller, R. E., Stutzman, P. L. 1996Utilization of subsurface food resources for zooplankton reproduction: Implications for diel vertical migration theoryLimnology and Oceanography41224233Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaidi Kübar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Helen Agasild
    • 1
  • Taavi Virro
    • 2
  • Ingmar Ott
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Zoology and Botany, Võrtsjärv Limnological Station Estonian Agricultural UniversityRannuEstonia
  2. 2.Institute of Zoology and HydrobiologyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

Personalised recommendations