An evaluation of the role of daphnids in controlling phytoplankton biomass in clear water versus turbid shallow lakes

K. Muylaert, S. Declerck, J. Van Wichelen, Luc De Meester, W. Vyverman

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Phytoplankton and zooplankton were monitored during 2 years in four eutrophic shallow lakes (two turbid and two clear water) from two wetland reserves in Belgium. In each wetland, phytoplankton biomass was significantly higher in the turbid lake than in the clear water lake. Although total macrozooplankton biomass and the contribution of daphnids to total zooplankton biomass was comparable in the clear water and the turbid lakes, the grazing pressure of macrozooplankton on phytoplankton as estimated from zooplankton to phytoplankton biomass ratios was higher in the clear water lakes. Estimated grazing by daphnids in the clear water lakes was always high in spring. In summer, however, daphnid biomass was low or daphnids were even absent during prolonged periods. During those periods phytoplankton was probably controlled by smaller macrozooplankton or by submerged macrophytes through nutrient competition, allelopathic effects or increased sedimentation rates in the macrophyte vegetation. (c) 2006 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • shallow lakes phytoplankton macrozooplankton Daphnia macrophytes zooplankton community structure submerged macrophytes interconnected ponds fish plankton impact phase recruitment populations hypothesis Marine & Freshwater Biology

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