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Special Issue "Zooplankton Diversity and Pelagic Food Webs: Investigating Present and Past by Different Techniques "

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Ecosystems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Marina Manca

CNR IRSA, Verbania, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: :+39 (0)323518300
Interests: water ecology and ecotoxicology
Guest Editor
Dr. Roberta Piscia

CNR ISE, Rome, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 (0)323518300
Interests: ecology of freshwater zooplankton and analysis of zooplankton resting stages in lacustrine sediments
Guest Editor
Dr. Barbara Leoni

UNIMIB-DISAT, Milan, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: ecology of lakes; planktonic food webs; freshwater chemistry; long-term limnological studies; anthropogenic and climate impacts on pelagic communities
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Roberta Bettinetti

Insubria University, Varese, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: ecology and ecotoxicology.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Zooplankton are of key importance in the structure and functioning of aquatic food webs. They contribute to a large part of the functional and structural biodiversity of predator and prey plankton communities. Promptly responding to long-term and seasonal changes in the physical and chemical environment, they are sensitive indicators of patterns and mechanisms of impact drivers, both natural and human-induced. In this volume, we aim at presenting evidence for both long-term and seasonal changes in zooplankton community structure and dynamics, investigating different approaches, from population dynamics to advanced molecular techniques and reconstructing past communities from subfossil remains in lake sediments.

Dr. Marina Manca
Dr. Roberta Piscia
Dr. Barbara Leoni
Prof. Dr. Roberta Bettinetti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • zooplankton
  • ecosystem functioning
  • aquatic food webs
  • population dynamics
  • functional biodiversity
  • C &N stable isotope analyses
  • persistent pollutants

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Stable Isotope Analysis and Persistent Organic Pollutants in Crustacean Zooplankton: The Role of Size and Seasonality
Water 2019, 11(7), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071490
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Zooplankton is crucial for the transfer of matter, energy, and pollutants through aquatic food webs. Primary and secondary consumers contribute to the abundance and standing stock biomass, which both vary seasonally. By means of taxa- and size-specific carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis, [...] Read more.
Zooplankton is crucial for the transfer of matter, energy, and pollutants through aquatic food webs. Primary and secondary consumers contribute to the abundance and standing stock biomass, which both vary seasonally. By means of taxa- and size-specific carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis, the path of pollutants through zooplankton is traced and seasonal changes are addressed, in an effort to understand pollutant dynamics in the pelagic food web. We analyzed zooplankton plurennial changes in concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its relatives (DDTs) and in taxa-specific δ15N signatures in two size fractions, ≥450 µm and ≥850 µm, representative of the major part of zooplankton standing stock biomass and of the fraction to which fish predation is mainly directed, respectively. Our work is aimed at verifying: (1) A link between nitrogen isotopic signatures and pollutant concentrations; (2) the predominance of size versus seasonality for concentration of pollutants; and (3) the contribution of secondary versus primary consumers to carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures. We found a prevalence of seasonality versus size in pollutant concentrations and isotopic signatures. The taxa-specific δ15N results correlated to pollutant concentrations, by means of taxa contribution to standing stock biomass and δ15N isotopic signatures. This is a step forward to understanding the taxa-specific role in pollutant transfer to planktivores and of zooplankton enrichment in PCBs and DDTs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamics of Calanus Copepodite Structure during Little Auks’ Breeding Seasons in Two Different Svalbard Locations
Water 2019, 11(7), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071405
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
Populations dynamics of key zooplankton species in the European Arctic, Calanus finmarchicus and Calanus glacialis (hereafter defined as Calanus) may be sensitive to climate changes, which in turn is of great importance for higher trophic levels. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Populations dynamics of key zooplankton species in the European Arctic, Calanus finmarchicus and Calanus glacialis (hereafter defined as Calanus) may be sensitive to climate changes, which in turn is of great importance for higher trophic levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the complete copepodite structure and dynamics of Calanus populations in terms of body size, phenology and their relative role in the zooplankton community over time in different hydrographic conditions (two fjords on the West Spitsbergen Shelf, cold Hornsund vs. warm Kongsfjorden), from the perspective of their planktivorous predator, the little auk. High-resolution zooplankton measurements (taken by nets and a laser optical plankton counter) were adapted to the timing of bird’s breeding in the 2015 and 2016 summer seasons, and to their maximal diving depth (≤50 m). In Hornsund, the share of the Calanus in zooplankton community was greater and the copepodite structure was progressively older over time, matching the little auks timing. The importance of Calanus was much lower in Kongsfjorden, as represented mainly by younger copepodites, presumably due to the Atlantic water advections, thus making this area a less favourable feeding ground. Our results highlight the need for further studies on the match/mismatch between Calanus and little auks, because the observed trend of altered age structure towards a domination of young copepodites and the body size reduction of Calanus associated with higher seawater temperatures may result in insufficient food availability for these seabirds in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Zooplankton Size as a Factor Determining the Food Selectivity of Roach (Rutilus Rutilus) in Water Basin Outlets
Water 2019, 11(6), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061281
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
Fish occurring in the outlets of water basins reduce the abundance of zooplankton. The study was performed at the outlet sections of the lake and waste stabilization pond of a sewage treatment plant. The aim of the study was to determine which zooplankton [...] Read more.
Fish occurring in the outlets of water basins reduce the abundance of zooplankton. The study was performed at the outlet sections of the lake and waste stabilization pond of a sewage treatment plant. The aim of the study was to determine which zooplankton is chosen more often by the roach (Rutilus rutilus), those drifting from the waste stabilization pond or from the lake. The zooplankton from the pond was dominated by Daphnia pulex while zooplankton from the lake was dominated by small planktonic rotifers. We observed that the larger the plankter-victim’s size, the faster the reduction of its number. The fish were more likely to feed on zooplankton drifting from the waste stabilization pond than from the lake. It was influenced by D. pulex individuals, attractive for fish due to their largest body size among the analyzed zooplankton. The significance of riverine zooplankton in the downstream food web may render this data even more important. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Copepod Acartia tonsa Dana in a Microtidal Mediterranean Lagoon: History of a Successful Invasion
Water 2019, 11(6), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061200
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
The Lagoon of Venice has been recognized as a hot spot for the introduction of nonindigenous species. Several anthropogenic factors as well as environmental stressors concurred to make this ecosystem ideal for invasion. Given the zooplankton ecological relevance related to the role in [...] Read more.
The Lagoon of Venice has been recognized as a hot spot for the introduction of nonindigenous species. Several anthropogenic factors as well as environmental stressors concurred to make this ecosystem ideal for invasion. Given the zooplankton ecological relevance related to the role in the marine trophic network, changes in the community have implications for environmental management and ecosystem services. This work aims to depict the relevant steps of the history of invasion of the copepod Acartia tonsa in the Venice lagoon, providing a recent picture of its distribution, mainly compared to congeneric residents. In this work, four datasets of mesozooplankton were examined. The four datasets covered a period from 1975 to 2017 and were used to investigate temporal trends as well as the changes in coexistence patterns among the Acartia species before and after A. tonsa settlement. Spatial distribution of A. tonsa was found to be significantly associated with temperature, phytoplankton, particulate organic carbon (POC), chlorophyll a, and counter gradient of salinity, confirming that A. tonsa is an opportunistic tolerant species. As for previously dominant species, Paracartia latisetosa almost disappeared, and Acartia margalefi was not completely excluded. In 2014–2017, A. tonsa was found to be the dominant Acartia species in the lagoon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Asian Dust and Phosphorus Input on Abundance and Trophic Structure of Protists in the Southern Yellow Sea
Water 2019, 11(6), 1188; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061188
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
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Abstract
To reveal the effects of Asian dust and phosphorus (P) input on the structure and function of micro-food web in the Yellow Sea, an experiment was conducted onboard the southern Yellow Sea where P was deficient. The response of the abundance and trophic [...] Read more.
To reveal the effects of Asian dust and phosphorus (P) input on the structure and function of micro-food web in the Yellow Sea, an experiment was conducted onboard the southern Yellow Sea where P was deficient. The response of the abundance and trophic structure of planktonic protists to different concentrations of dust and P were studied. The results showed that the sand-dust deposition presented variable effects on different sizes of protists during incubation periods. At the initial stage of incubation with dust, the amount of all sizes of autotrophic protists, especially 10–20 µm, were improved; on the contrary, the heterotrophic and mixotrophic protists were inhibited. At the late period, the increase of autotrophic protists was restricted, while the 2–5 µm heterotrophic and mixotrophic protists obviously increased. Similarly, adding P demonstrated the obviously positive effect on the 10–20 µm autotrophic protists at the initial period, and then the growth was restricted at the late period. These results were consistent with that of sand-dust deposition. Hence, it could be presumed that the positive effect of sand-dust deposition on autotrophic protists in the southern Yellow Sea was achieved by the release of P from dust. P in the early stage of sand-dust deposition promotes the growth of large-size autotrophic protists, which may accelerate red tides in eutrophic ocean. The stimulation of small-size heterotrophic protists at the late period of sand-dust deposition contributed to the material cycle and food transmission in the ocean. Therefore, the effects of sand-dust deposition on the abundance and trophic structure of different sizes of planktonic protists could change the structure of micro-food web in the southern Yellow Sea and further affected the ecological function of planktonic protists. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Changes in the Zooplankton Community of Lake Maggiore in Response to Multiple Stressors: A Functional Principal Components Analysis
Water 2019, 11(5), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050962
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
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Abstract
We describe the long-term (1981–2008) dynamics of several physico-chemical and biological variables and how their changes may have influenced zooplankton structure in Lake Maggiore (Italy). Data was available for the 1981–1992 and 1995–2008 periods. Standardized time-series for temperature and total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll-a, [...] Read more.
We describe the long-term (1981–2008) dynamics of several physico-chemical and biological variables and how their changes may have influenced zooplankton structure in Lake Maggiore (Italy). Data was available for the 1981–1992 and 1995–2008 periods. Standardized time-series for temperature and total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll-a, phytoplankton density (cel m−3), and cell size (µm3), as well as zooplankton structure (Copepoda, Cladocera, and Rotifera density, ind m−3) were smoothed using penalized B-splines and analyzed using Functional Principal Components (FPCs) to assess their dominant modes of variation. The first four FPCs explained 55% of 1981–1992 and 65% of 1995–2008 overall variation. Results showed that temperature fluctuated during the study period, particularly during 1988–1992 with a general tendency to increase. TP showed a declining trend with some reversions in the pattern observed in the years 1992, 1999, and 2000. Phytoplankton estimators and chlorophyll-a concentration showed a variable trend along the study period. Zooplankton groups also had a variable trend along the study period with a general increase in density of large carnivorous (mainly Bythotrephes longimanus) and a decrease of large herbivorous (mainly Daphnia), and a similar increase in the ratio of raptorial to microphagous rotifers. Our results suggest that the lake experienced a strong trophic change associated with oligotrophication, followed by pronounced climate-induced changes during the latter period. TP concentration was strongly associated with changes in abundance of some zooplankton taxa. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Response of Cladocera Fauna to Heavy Metal Pollution, Based on Sediments from Subsidence Ponds Downstream of a Mine Discharge (S. Poland)
Water 2019, 11(4), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040810
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
Mining is recognized to deeply influence invertebrate assemblages in aquatic systems, but different invertebrates respond in different ways to mining cessation. Here, we document the response of the cladoceran assemblage of the Chechło river, S. Poland (southern Poland) to the cessation of Pb-Zn [...] Read more.
Mining is recognized to deeply influence invertebrate assemblages in aquatic systems, but different invertebrates respond in different ways to mining cessation. Here, we document the response of the cladoceran assemblage of the Chechło river, S. Poland (southern Poland) to the cessation of Pb-Zn ore mining. The aquatic system includes the river and associated subsidence ponds in the valley. Some ponds were contaminated during the period of mining, which ceased in 2009, while one of the ponds only appeared after mining had stopped. We used Cladocera to reveal how the cessation of mine water discharge reflected on the structure and density of organisms. A total of 20 Cladocera taxa were identified in the sediment of subsidence ponds. Their density ranged from 0 to 109 ind./1 cm3. The concentrations of Zn, Cd, Cu and Pb were much higher in sediments of the ponds formed during peak mining than in the ponds formed after the closure of the mine. Statistical analysis (CCA) showed that Alonella nana, Alona affinis, Alona sp. and Pleuroxus sp. strongly correlated with pond age and did not tolerate high concentrations of heavy metals (Cu and Cd). This analysis indicated that the rate of water exchange by the river flow and the presence of aquatic plants, affect species composition more than pond age itself. Full article
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