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Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Species-specific response of phytoplankton to zooplankton grazing in tropical eutrophic reservoirs

Resposta espécie-específica do fitoplâncton ao pastejo do zooplâncton em reservatórios eutróficos tropicais

Juliana dos Santos Severiano; Camila Bezerra Amaral; Anamaria Silva Diniz; Ariadne do Nascimento Moura

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Abstract:: Aim: To test the hypothesis that zooplankton changes the structure of phytoplankton in tropical reservoirs by reducing the biomass of algal species susceptible to herbivory.

Methods: We experimentally evaluated the species-specific responses of phytoplankton to zooplankton within eutrophic reservoirs with different phytoplankton community structure in northeastern of Brazil. Water samples were collected from the subsurface in coastal regions of the Apipucos and Mundaú reservoirs in January/2012 and November/2014, respectively, and transported to the laboratory. The experiments were performed in Erlenmeyer flasks (1 liter) filled with water from the sample sites and were maintained for five days in the laboratory conditions. Two treatments were maintained (1) with phytoplankton and the presence of the native zooplankton and (2) without native zooplankton.

Results: Zooplankton proved to be an important factor, modifying the structure of the phytoplankton community, especially in the Apipucos reservoir. In this reservoir, we observed a significant reduction of biomass in diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana, and the chlorophyte Chlamydomonas sp., and an increase in the biomass of Raphidiopsis raciborskii. In the Mundaú reservoir, we observed a significant reduction of C. meneghiniana and R. raciborskii, while cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa increased their biomasses in the presence of zooplankton.

Conclusions: These results show the importance of the microalgae community structure in phytoplankton-zooplankton interactions for food webs in tropical environments, as well as support the role of zooplankton in fostering cyanobacterial growth and maintain algal blooms.


cyanobacterial blooms, Thermocyclops, top-down control, food webs


Resumo:: Objetivo: Testar a hipótese de que o zooplâncton altera a estrutura do fitoplâncton em reservatórios tropicais, reduzindo a biomassa de espécies de algas susceptíveis a herbivoria.

Métodos: Avaliamos experimentalmente as respostas espécie-específicas do fitoplâncton ao zooplâncton em reservatórios eutróficos com diferentes estruturas da comunidade fitoplanctônica no nordeste do Brasil. Amostras de água foram coletadas da subsuperfície nas regiões costeiras dos reservatórios Apipucos e Mundaú em janeiro/2012 e novembro/2014, respectivamente, e transportadas para o laboratório. Os experimentos foram realizados em frascos Erlenmeyer (1 litro) cheios de água dos locais das amostras e mantidos por cinco dias nas condições laboratoriais. Dois tratamentos foram mantidos (1) com fitoplâncton e presença do zooplâncton nativo e (2) sem zooplâncton nativo.

Resultados: O zooplâncton provou ser um fator importante, modificando a estrutura da comunidade fitoplanctônica, principalmente no reservatório de Apipucos. Neste reservatório, observamos uma redução significativa na biomassa de Cyclotella meneghiniana e Chlamydomonas sp., e um incremento na biomassa de Raphidiopsis raciborskii. No reservatório Mundaú, observamos uma redução significativa de C. meneghiniana e R. raciborskii, enquanto a cianobactéria Microcystis aeruginosa aumentou sua biomassa na presença de zooplâncton.

Conclusões: Estes resultados mostram a importância da estrutura da comunidade de microalgas nas interações fitoplancton-zooplâncton para as cadeias alimentares em ambientes tropicais, bem como, apoiam o papel do zooplâncton na promoção do crescimento de cianobactérias e na manutenção da proliferação de algas.


florações de cianobactérias, Thermocyclops, controle top-down, teia alimentar


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