Next Article in Journal
Significance of the China Meteorological Assimilation Driving Datasets for the SWAT Model (CMADS) of East Asia
Previous Article in Journal
An Economic Assessment of the Global Potential for Seawater Desalination to 2050
Previous Article in Special Issue
Effects of Climate, Limnological Features and Watershed Clearcut Logging on Long-Term Variation in Zooplankton Communities of Boreal Shield Lakes
Article Menu
Issue 10 (October) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Water 2017, 9(10), 764; doi:10.3390/w9100764

Response of Zooplankton to Climate Variability: Droughts Create a Perfect Storm for Cladocerans in Shallow Eutrophic Lakes

National Demonstration Center for Experimental Fisheries Science Education, CREEFN of the Ministry Agriculture and Shanghai Universities Key Laboratory of Marine Animal Taxonomy and Evolution, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, 201306, China
Florida Sea Grant College Program and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
BSA Environmental Services, Beachwood, OH 44122, USA
St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, FL 32177, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 October 2017 / Published: 6 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Responses of Lakes to Climate Change)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2640 KB, uploaded 12 October 2017]   |  


A major attribute of the Earth’s climate that may be affected by global warming is the amplitude of variability in teleconnections. These global-scale processes involve links between oceanic conditions in one locale and weather in another, often distant, locale. An example is the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which can affect rainfall and then the properties of lakes in Europe, Africa, North and South America. It affects rainfall, droughts and the depth of lakes in Florida, USA. It is predicted that the amplitude of variation in the ENSO will increase with global warming and, therefore, droughts will become more severe and periods of rain more intense. We investigated possible effects of climate on the zooplankton in shallow subtropical lakes by studying 16 years of monthly data from six shallow eutrophic lakes located north of Orlando, Florida. Results indicate that water depth and lake volume are tightly coupled with rainfall, as expected. During droughts, when lake depth and volume were greatly reduced, there were intensified cyanobacterial blooms, and the zooplankton shifted towards greater relative biomass of copepods compared to cladocerans. The change of zooplankton was likely due to the intensified selective fish predation in the reduced water volume, and/or selective adverse effects of cyanobacteria on cladocerans. The greatly reduced volume might lead to a ‘perfect storm’ of top-down and bottom-up factors that favor copepods over cladocerans. The mechanism needs further study. Regardless, this study documents a direct link between climate variability and zooplankton composition, and suggests how future changes in climate might affect plankton communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate variability; rainfall; shallow lakes; zooplankton; cladocerans; copepods; cyanobacteria climate variability; rainfall; shallow lakes; zooplankton; cladocerans; copepods; cyanobacteria

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ji, G.; Havens, K.E.; Beaver, J.R.; Fulton, R.S., III. Response of Zooplankton to Climate Variability: Droughts Create a Perfect Storm for Cladocerans in Shallow Eutrophic Lakes. Water 2017, 9, 764.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top