Responses of Zooplankton to Long-Term Environmental Changes in the Egyptian Coastal Lakes

  • G. M. El-Shabrawy
  • M. A. BekEmail author
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 72)


The Egyptian Mediterranean coast has four brackish lakes (Northern delta lakes) and a hypersaline one. These lakes are, from east to west, Bardawil, Manzala, Burullus, Edku, and Mariout. All except Lake Mariout are directly connected to the sea. These lakes represent highly dynamic aquatic systems that have been undergoing continuous and pronounced changes through the late Holocene to the present time. Changing natural conditions are influencing the diversity of biological community and its function. Zooplankton is considered as a sensitive tool to any changes in water environment. Therefore, the impacts of any natural changes can be identified through changes in species composition, quantity, and size. Nowadays, despite their physical separation, the delta lagoons appear to have similar zooplankton populations. Rotifers comprise at least 80% and often higher than 90% of the total population in the lakes. In comparison with deltaic lakes, the non-deltaic one (Bardawil Lake) shows a different zooplankton assemblage which composed of marine species copepod seems the leading group followed by protista and pteropoda. The zooplankton assemblage shows no much change until the 1950s. By the 1970s, Daphnia had become a rarity and was actually not recorded from the lakes. The 1960s–1970s were marked by three new arrivals in the zooplankton, all of the Mediterranean origin: Arctodiaptomus salinus, Acanthocyclops trajani, and Diaphanosoma mongolianum. To accelerate the restoration of the delta lakes to better conditions for saving them as grounds for fisheries and places for recreations, the quality of the sewage and industrial wastes dumping directly into them or indirectly via agricultural drains must be treated.


Bardawil Burullus Edku Manzala Mariout Northern coastal lakes Zooplankton 


  1. 1.
    Herman PMJ, Middelburg JJ, Van de Koppel J, Heip CHR (1999) Ecology of estuarine macrobenthos. Adv Ecol Res 29:195–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sousa R, Costa Dias S, Guilhermino L, Antunes C (2008) Minho River tidal freshwater wetlands: threats to faunal biodiversity. Aquat Biol 3:237–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Oczkowski AJ, Nixon SW (2010) Lagoons of the Nile Delta. In: Kennish MJ, Pearl HW (eds) Coastal lagoons, critical habitats of environmental change. CRC Press, Taylor and Frances Group, Boca Raton, FL, 558 ppCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    El-Shinnawy I (2005) Al-Burullus Hydrological Study, Natural Protectorates Department, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, Cairo, EgyptGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Abayazid H, Al-Shinnawy I (2012) Coastal lake sustainability: threats and opportunities with climate change. IOSR J Mechanical Civil 1:33–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ruhl HA, Smith Jr KL (2004) Shifts in deep-sea community structure linked to climate and food supply. Science 305:513–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pinel-Alloul B, Guay C, Angeli N, Legendre P, Dutilleul P, Balvay G, Gerdeaux D, Guillard J (1999) Large-scale spatial heterogeneity of macrozooplankton in Lake of Geneva. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 56:1437–1451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Faouzi H (1937) Lacs en rapport du Nil. Rapports et Proc. Verb. Des Reunions (Comm. Intern. Pour L. Explor. Sci. Mer. Medit. Tom. 10:133–146Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Aboul-Ezz SM, Soliman AM (2000) Zooplankton community in Lake Edku. Bull Natl Inst Oceanogr Fish (Egypt) 26:71–99Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    El-Shabrawy GM, Germoush MOA (2014) Seasonal changes and abundance of rotifers in a shallow ManzalaManzalah Lake (Egypt). Ecohydrol Hydrobiol 14:243–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gharib SM, Soliman AM (1998) Some water characteristics and phyto-zooplankton relationship in Lake Edku (Egypt) and adjacent sea. Bull Fac Sci, Alex Univ 38(l–2):25–44Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mageed AA (2007) Distribution and long-term historical changes of zooplankton assemblages in Lake Manzalah (south Mediterranean Sea, Egypt). Egypt J Aquat Res 33(1):183–192Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dumont HJ, El Shabrawy GM (2008) Seven Decades of Change in the Zooplankton (s.l.) of the Nile Delta Lakes (Egypt), with Particular Reference to Lake Borullus. International Review of Hydrobiology, 93: 44–61. doi:10.1002/iroh.200710960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Abdel Aziz NE, Aboul Ezz SM (2004) The structure of zooplankton community in Lake Maryout, Alexandria, Egypt. Egypt J Aquat Res 30:160–170Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bianchi F, Acri F, Alberighi L, Bastianini M, Boldrin A, Cavalloni BCF, Comaschi A, Rabitti S, Socal G, Turchetto MM (2000) Biological variability in the Venice lagoon. In: Lasserre P, Marzollo A (eds) The Venice lagoon ecosystem inputs and interactions between land and sea. Man and the biosphere series vol 25. UNESCO Paris and The Parthenon Publishing Group, Paris, pp 97–126Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Soliman AM (2005) Zooplankton structure in Lake Edku and adjacent waters (Egypt). Egypt J Aquat Res 31:239–252Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    El-Maghraby AM, Wahby SD, Shaheen AH (1963) The ecology of zooplankton in Lake Manzalah. Notes and Memoirs, No. 70Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    MacLaren Engineers, Planners and Scientific Inc (1982) Lake Manzalah study. EGY/76/001-07, Final Report to Arab Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Development and New Communities and UNDP Office for Projects Execution. Toronto, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Khalifa N, Mageed AA (2002) Some ecological aspects on the zooplankton in Lake Manzalah, Egypt. Egypt J Zool 38:293–307Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Guerguess SK (1979) Ecological study of zooplankton and distribution of macrofauna in Lake Manzalah. Ph.D. Thesis. Fac. Sci., Alexandria University, EgyptGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mola HRA (2011) Seasonal and spatial distribution of Brachionus (Pallas, 1966; Eurotatoria: Monogonanta: Brachionidae), a bioindicator of eutrophication in lake El-ManzalaManzalah. Egypt Biol Med 3(2):60–69Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Guisande C, Joja J (1988) The dynamics of various species of the genus Brachionus (Rotatoria) in Guadalquiver River. Arch Hydrobiol 112(4):579–595Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Esparcia A, Miracle MR, Serra M (1989) Brachionus plicatilis tolerance to low oxygen concentrations. Hydrobiologia 186:331–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Angeli N (1976) Influence de la pollution des eaux sur les dldments du plancton. In: Pesson P (ed) La pollution des eaux continentales. Gauthier-Villars, Paris, pp 97–133Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Radwan S, Popiolek B (1989) Percentage of rotifers in spring zooplankton in lakes of different trophy. Hydrobiologia 186/187:235–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mageed AA (2006) Spatio-temporal variations of zooplankton community in the hypersaline lagoon of Bardawil, North Sinai – Egypt. Egypt J Aquat Res 32(1):168–183Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mageed AA (2006) Biomass, production, and turnover of zooplankton in Lake Manzalah (South Mediterranean Sea, Egypt). Egypt J Aquat Res 32(1):158–167Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Aboul Ezz SM (1984) Limnological investigations on zooplankton and benthos in Lake Burullus Ph.D. Thesis, Mansoura University, 340 ppGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    El-Sherif Z, Aboul Ezz SM (1988) Preliminary study on phytoplankton zooplankton relationship in Lake Burullus. Egypt Bull Nat Inst Oceanog Fish ARE 14:23–30Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Aboul Ezz SM (1995) Zooplankton of Lake Burullus (Egypt). Bull Natn Inst Oceanogr Fish A R E 21:233–261Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ramdani M, ElKhiati N, Flower RJ (2001) Open water zooplankton communitites in North African wetland lakes: the CASSARINA project. Aquat Ecol 35:319–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Dumont HJ, Segers H (1996) Estimating lacustrine zooplankton species richness and complementarity. Hydrobiologia 341:125–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Khalifa N, Bendary RE (2016) Composition and biodiversity of zooplankton and macrobenthic populations in El-Rayah El-Menoufy, Egypt. Int J Appl Environ Sci 11(2):683–700Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Dumont HJ, El Shabrawy GM (2007) Lake Burullus of the Nile Delta: a short history and an uncertain future. Ambio 36:677–682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Steuer A (1942) Ricerche Idrobiologiche alle Foci del Nilo. Memorie dell’Instituto Italiano di Idrobiologia 1:85–106Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Birks HH, Peglar SM, Boomer I, Flower RJ, Ramdani M (2001) Palaeolimnological responses of nine north African lakes in the CASSARINA project to recent environmental changes and human impact detected by plant macrofossil, pollen, and faunal analyses. Aquat Ecol 35:405–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Khairy HM, Kamal HS, Mostafa ME, Dorea IE (2015) Algal Diversity of the Mediterranean Lakes in Egypt. In: International conference on advances in agricultural, biological & environmental sciences (AABES-2015) July 22–23, 2015 London, UKGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    El-Shabrawy GM (2006) Ecological study on zooplankton community in Bardawil lagoon, Egypt. Thalassia Salentina 29:3–17Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    El-Hawary MA (1960) The zooplankton of the Egyptian lakes. Notes amd memories. Ministry of Agriculture, Hydrological Department, Alexandria Institute of Hydrobiology 52:1–20Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Samaan AA (1976) Distribution of zooplankton in Lake Edku. Bull Nat Inst Oceanoge Fish A R E 6:159–196Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Abdel-Aziz N, Dorgham MM (2005) Short-term variations of zooplankton community in the West Nubaria Canal, Alexandria, Egypt. Egypt J Aquat Res 31:119–131Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Gharib SM (1983) Hydrobiological studies at Boughaz El-Maadiya region near Alexandria M.Sc. Thesis, Fac. Sci., Alexandria Univ., 282 ppGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Soliman AH (1983) Quantitative and qualitative studies of the plankton of Lake Edku in relation to the local environmental conditions and to fish food. M.Sc. Thesis. Fac. Sci. Alex. Univ., 220 ppGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Ahmed MM (2008) Ecological studies on zooplankton and macrobenthos of Lake Edku, Egypt Ph.D. Thesis. Fac. Sci. Ain Shams. Univ., 220 ppGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Steuer A (1935) The fishery grounds near Alexandria: 1-preliminary report. Notes and memoires no. 8 Alex. Inst Hydrob FishGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Kimor B (1975) Euryhaline elements in the plankton of the Bardawil lagoon (Northern Sinai). Rapp Comm Int Mer Medit 23(3):119–120Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Fouda MM, Wanes MK, Saleh MA (1985) Ecology of Bardawil lagoon. A report to the oil pollution res. Unit, Pemboke, UK. For BP Petroleum LTD. Egypt. 94 ppGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Ibrahim EA, Hussien MM, Aboul Ezz SM, Siliem, TA (1987) Fisheries and management of the hyper-saline Bardawil lagoon and Sinai Coasts. The second report. Nat Inst Oceangr FishGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Williamson CE, Vincent WF, Smol JP (2009) Lakes and reservoirs as sentinels, integrators, and regulators of climate change. Limnol Oceanogr 54:2273–2282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Schindler DW (2006) Recent advances in the understanding and management of eutrophication. Limnol Oceanogr 51:356–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Dokulil MT, Teubner K (2005) Do phytoplankton assemblages correctly track trophic changes? An assessment using directly measured and palaeolimnological data. Freshwater Biol 50:1594–1605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Kumagai M (2008) Lake Biwa in the context of world lake problem. Verh Internat Verein Limnol 30:1–15Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Anneville O, Molinero JC, Souissi S, Balvay G, Gerdeaux D (2007) Long-term changes in the copepod community of Lake Geneva. J Plankton Res 29:149–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Pereira R, Soares AM, Ribeiro R, Gonçalves F (2002) Assessing the trophic state of Linhos lake: a first step towards ecological rehabilitation. J Environ Manage 64(3):285–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Huber VH, Adrian R, Gerten D (2008) Phytoplankton response to climate warming modified by trophic state. Limnol Oceanogr 53:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Wilhelm S, Adrian R (2008) Impact of summer warming on the thermal characteristics of a polymictic lake and consequences for oxygen, nutrients and phytoplankton. Freshwater Biol 53:226–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Butzer KW (1976) Early hydraulic civilization in Egypt. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    El-Rayis O (2005) Impact of man’s activities on a closed fishing-lake, Lake Maryout in Egypt, as a case study. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Chang 10:145–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Okbah MA, Hussein NR (2006) Impact of environmental conditions on the phytoplankton structure in Mediterranean Sea Lagoon, Lake Burullus, Egypt. Water Air Soil Pollut 172:129–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Shakweer LM (2006) Impacts of drainage water discharge on the water chemistry of Lake Edku. Egypt J Aquat Res 32:264–282Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Ejsmont-Karabin J (2012) The usefulness of zooplankton as lake ecosystem indicators: rotifer trophic state index. Pol J Ecol 60(2):339–350Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Sládecek V (1983) Rotifers as indicators of water quality. Hydrobiologia 100:169–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Pejler B, Berzins V (1994) On the ecology of Lecane (Rotifera). Hydrobiologia 273:77–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Nassar MZ, Gharib SM (2014) Spatial and temporal patterns of phytoplankton composition in Burullus Lagoon, Southern Mediterranean Coast, Egypt. Egypt J Aquat Res 40:133–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Kassas M, Shaltout K, Khalil MT, El-Shenawy I Tharwat ME (2002) Management for Borullus Protected Area. MedWestCoast, Global Environment Facility and Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency, Cairo, 122 ppGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    GAFRD (2015) Fisheries statistics yearbook. General Authority for Fish Resources Development, Cairo, 120 ppGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Al Sayes A, Radwan A, Shakweer L (2007) Impact of drainage water inflow on the environmental conditions and fishery resources of Lake Borollus. Egypt J Aquat Res 33(1):312–351Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Mehanna SF (2006) Lake Bardawil fisheries: current status and future sight. J Egyp Ger Soc Zool 51(d):91Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Oceanography and FisheriesCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Physics and Engineering Mathematics Department, Faculty of EngineeringTanta UniversityTantaEgypt

Personalised recommendations