Ecological Research

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 921–930 | Cite as

Composition of cladoceran dormant stages in intermittent ponds with different hydroperiod lengths

  • Cristina Stenert
  • Regiane Wüsth
  • Mateus Marques Pires
  • Raquel Fontoura Freiry
  • Daryl Nielsen
  • Leonardo Maltchik
Original Article


Dormancy is an adaptive mechanism found in cladoceran species to tolerate hydrologic fluctuations in temporary habitats. However, the effects of hydroperiod length on invertebrate community structure remain not fully understood. In this study, we conducted an experiment to assess changes in community structure of dormant stages of cladoceran species among ponds with different hydroperiods. Dry sediment samples were collected from intermittent ponds in southern Brazil, posteriorly assigned to three hydroperiod categories (long, medium and short). We tested for differences in the richness and composition of emerging cladoceran species along this hydroperiod gradient. Nine species emerged over the experiment, and cladoceran community structure changed among hydroperiods. Cladoceran richness was higher in medium- than in short- and long-hydroperiod ponds. In addition, the composition of cladoceran species changed significantly between short- and long-hydroperiod ponds. Our results indicated that changes in hydroperiod of intermittent ponds influenced the dormant stages of Cladocera, an important result regarding future predicted changes in hydric regime of freshwater ecosystems due to human-induced climate change. We propose that desiccation-resistant cladoceran species are likely to predominate and that richness of egg banks tends to be higher in ponds that hold water for periods shorter than 1 year.


Wetlands Zooplankton Hydric regime Egg banks Resting stages 



We thank Dr. Francisco Diogo Rocha Sousa for collaboration in the identification of cladoceran specimens. Leonardo Maltchik and Cristina Stenert hold CNPq (Brazilian Research Council) research productivity grants. CAPES (Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education) granted PhD scholarships to Mateus Marques Pires and Raquel Fontoura Freiry.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that data collection complied with Brazilian current laws (SISBIO n. 36365-2) and that the authors have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11284_2017_1498_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (130 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 129 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Stenert
    • 1
  • Regiane Wüsth
    • 1
  • Mateus Marques Pires
    • 1
  • Raquel Fontoura Freiry
    • 1
  • Daryl Nielsen
    • 2
  • Leonardo Maltchik
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation of Aquatic EcosystemsUNISINOSSão LeopoldoBrazil
  2. 2.The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research CentreCSIRO Land and Water Flagship and La Trobe UniversityWodongaAustralia

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