Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Role of zooplanktonic functional groups in a shallow mesotrophic reservoir

Papel dos grupos funcionais zooplanctônicos em um reservatório mesotrófico raso

Maria Carolina de Almeida Castilho; Thiago Rodrigues dos Santos; Carla Ferragut; Raoul Henry

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Abstract:: Aim: Zooplankton functional groups play an important role in lake functioning and can readily respond to environmental changes and may be associated with phytoplankton changes. In warmer regions, zooplankton species have a smaller body size, which decreases their grazing capacity, attenuating top-down control throughout phytoplankton. We evaluated changes in density and biomass of zooplankton functional groups and their relationship with algal groups in horizontal reservoir zonation (pelagic, sublittoral, and eulittoral zones) of the shallow reservoir. We hypothesize that the density and biomass of zooplankton functional groups are associated with fluctuations in the phytoplankton groups in horizontal reservoir zonation.

Methods: Changes in the structure of the zooplankton functional group and the controlling limnological variables were verified at three sampling stations: pelagic, sublittoral, and eulittoral zones in a mesotrophic reservoir.

Results: Zooplankton species were distributed in seven functional groups. The density and biomass of zooplankton functional groups were not clearly associated with biomass variations of phytoplankton groups. However, the zooplankton functional groups were associated with horizontal reservoir zonation, where specific groups were found in the pelagic, sublittoral, and eulittoral zones.

Conclusions: The zooplankton functional groups were related to the horizontal zonation of the reservoir but were not associated with changes in the phytoplankton groups due to the dominance of small organisms.


potential grazing pressure, body size, omnivores, functional traits


Resumo:: Objetivo: Os grupos funcionais do zooplâncton desempenham um papel importante no funcionamento dos lagos, são capazes de responder prontamente às mudanças ambientais e podem estar associados às mudanças no fitoplâncton. Em regiões mais quentes, as espécies de zooplâncton apresentam pequeno tamanho corporal, o que diminui sua capacidade de pastejo e atenua o controle de cima para baixo sobre o fitoplâncton. Avaliamos as mudanças na densidade e biomassa de grupos funcionais do zooplâncton e sua relação com grupos de algas na zonação horizontal de um reservatório raso (zona pelágica, sublitoral e eulitoral). Nossa hipótese é que a densidade e biomassa dos grupos funcionais do zooplâncton estão associadas a flutuações nos grupos do fitoplâncton no zoneamento horizontal do reservatório.

Métodos: Em um reservatório mesotrófico, as alterações na estrutura do grupo funcional do zooplâncton e nas variáveis limnológicas foram avaliadas em três zonas de amostragem: pelágica, sublitoral e eulitoral.

Resultados: As espécies de zooplâncton foram distribuídas em sete grupos funcionais. Evidenciou-se que a densidade e a biomassa dos grupos funcionais do zooplâncton não foram claramente associadas às variações da biomassa dos grupos do fitoplâncton. No entanto, os grupos funcionais do zooplâncton foram associados à zonação horizontal do reservatório, onde grupos específicos foram encontrados na zona pelágica, sublitoral e eulitoral.

Conclusões: Os grupos funcionais do zooplâncton foram relacionados com a zonação horizontal do reservatório, mas não foram associados às mudanças nos grupos do fitoplâncton devido à dominância de organismos de pequeno porte.


pressão potencial de pastejo, tamanho do corpo, onívoros, traços funcionais


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