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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Lake salinization drives consistent losses of zooplankton abundance and diversity across coordinated mesocosm experiments

Hebert, Marie-Pier; Symons, Celia C.; Canedo-Arguelles, Miguel; Arnott, Shelley E.; Derry, Alison M.; Fugere, Vincent; Hintz, William D.; Melles, Stephanie J.; Astorg, Louis; Baker, Henry K.; Brentrup, Jennifer A.; Downing, Amy L.; Ersoy, Zeynep; Espinosa, Carmen; Franceschini, Jaclyn M.; Giorgio, Angelina T.; Gobeler, Norman; Gray, Derek K.; Greco, Danielle; Hassal, Emily;
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Human-induced salinization increasingly threatens inland waters; yet we know little about the multifaceted response of lake communities to salt contamination. By conducting a coordinated mesocosm experiment of lake salinization across 16 sites in North America and Europe, we quantified the response of zooplankton abundance and (taxonomic and functional) community structure to a broad gradient of environmentally relevant chloride concentrations, ranging from 4 to ca. 1400 mg Cl- L-1. We found that crustaceans were distinctly more sensitive to elevated chloride than rotifers; yet, rotifers did not show compensatory abundance increases in response to crustacean declines. For crustaceans, our among-site comparisons indicate: (1) highly consistent decreases in abundance and taxon richness with salinity; (2) widespread chloride sensitivity across major taxonomic groups (Cladocera, Cyclopoida, and Calanoida); and (3) weaker loss of functional than taxonomic diversity. Overall, our study demonstrates that aggregate properties of zooplankton communities can be adversely affected at chloride concentrations relevant to anthropogenic salinization in lakes.

Published in

Limnology and Oceanography Letters
2023, volume: 8, number: 1, pages: 19-29
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Hebert, Marie-Pier
McGill University
Hebert, Marie-Pier
University of Quebec
Symons, Celia C.
University of California Irvine
Canedo-Arguelles, Miguel
University of Barcelona
Arnott, Shelley E.
Queens University - Canada
Derry, Alison M.
University of Quebec
Fugere, Vincent
University of Quebec Trois Rivieres
Hintz, William D.
University of Toledo
Melles, Stephanie J.
Ryerson University
Astorg, Louis
University of Quebec
Baker, Henry K.
University of California San Diego
Brentrup, Jennifer A.
Dartmouth College
Downing, Amy L.
Ohio Wesleyan University
Ersoy, Zeynep
University of Evora
Espinosa, Carmen
Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC)
Franceschini, Jaclyn M.
Wilfrid Laurier University
Giorgio, Angelina T.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Gobeler, Norman
University of Helsinki
Gray, Derek K.
Wilfrid Laurier University
Greco, Danielle
Queens University - Canada
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UKÄ Subject classification

Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

Publication Identifiers


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