Across ponds, phytoplankton biomass decreased while evenness and richness increased between the samplings in 2003 and 2013. By contrast, the zooplankton assemblage was characterised by lower biomass, richness and evenness in 2013. Ponds experiencing larger environmental change showed stronger changes in phytoplankton richness and evenness.
Resource use efficiency (RUE) of zooplankton increased with greater environmental change and zooplankton evenness, which points to a switch towards species with higher RUE or greater variety in food sources in higher trophic levels.
As ponds are important habitats for freshwater biodiversity and ecosystems services, the strong but predictable species turnover and the opposing effects of environmental change on different trophic levels need to be embedded in conservation and management plans.