Multi-group biodiversity in shallow lakes along gradients of phosphorus and water plant cover

S.A.J. Declerck, J. Vandekerkhove, L. Johansson, K. Muylaert, J-M. Conde-Porcuna, K. van der Gucht, C. Pérez-Martínez, T. Lauridsen, K. Schwenk, G. Zwart, W. Rommens, J. López-Ramos, E. Jeppesen, W. Vyverman, L. Brendonck, L. De Meester

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Abstract

This study aimed at unraveling the structure underlying the taxon-richness matrix of shallow lakes. We assessed taxon richness of a large variety of food-web components at different trophic levels (bacteria, ciliates, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish, macro-invertebrates, and water plants) in 98 shallow lakes from three European geographic regions: Denmark (DK), Belgium/The Netherlands (BNL), and southern Spain (SP). Lakes were selected along four mutually independent gradients of total phosphorus (TP), vegetation cover (SUBMCOV), lake area (AREA), and connectedness (CONN). Principal-components analysis (PCA) indicated that taxon diversity at the ecosystem level is a multidimensional phenomenon. Different PCA axes showed associations with richness in different subsets of organism groups, and differences between eigenvalues were low. Redundancy analysis showed a unique significant contribution to total richness variation of SUBMCOV in all three regions, of TP in DK and SP, and of AREA in DK and BNL. In DK, several organism groups tended to show curvilinear responses to TP, but only one was significantly hump shaped. We postulate that the unimodal richness responses to TP that are frequently reported in the literature for many organism groups may be partly mediated by the unimodal response of macrophyte vegetation to lake productivity. [KEYWORDS: biodiversity ; conservation management for species richness ; phosphorus ; productivity ; richness ; richness–productivity relationships ; shallow lake ; shallow-lake species richness structure ; water plants]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1905-1915
JournalEcology
Volume86
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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    Declerck, S. A. J., Vandekerkhove, J., Johansson, L., Muylaert, K., Conde-Porcuna, J-M., van der Gucht, K., Pérez-Martínez, C., Lauridsen, T., Schwenk, K., Zwart, G., Rommens, W., López-Ramos, J., Jeppesen, E., Vyverman, W., Brendonck, L., & De Meester, L. (2005). Multi-group biodiversity in shallow lakes along gradients of phosphorus and water plant cover. Ecology, 86(7), 1905-1915. https://doi.org/10.1890/04-0373