Vertical distribution of zooplankton in a strongly stratified hypertrophic lake

  • Kaidi Kübar
  • Helen Agasild
  • Taavi Virro
  • Ingmar Ott
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 182)


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.

Key words

zooplankton vertical distribution seasonal dynamics stratification 


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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 BotanyEstonian Agricultural UniversityRannu, Tartu CountyEstonia
  2. 2.Institute of Zoology and HydrobiologyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

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