Response of Zooplankton Size Structure to Multiple Stressors in Urban Lakes

Reliana Lumban Toruan, Liah X. Coggins, Anas Ghadouani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Urban lakes are important environmental assets that contribute significant ecosystem services in urbanised areas around the world. Consequently, urban lakes are more exposed to anthropogenic pressures. Zooplankton communities play a central role in lake processes and, as such, are very sensitive to the impacts of human activities both through in-lake and catchment processes. Understanding their ecological function in urban lakes and how they respond to urbanisation is essential for environmental sustainability. In this study, we investigated the reliability of zooplankton size structure as indicators of anthropogenic stressors in urban lakes. We examined the relationship between environmental variables and zooplankton community size spectra derived as mean body size, density, and biomass. Our study showed that the overall mean body size was within the small size group ranged from 416 to 735 µm equivalent spherical diameter (ESD). Despite no significant difference in total zooplankton density between lakes, there was variability in the total density of the five different size classes. Total biomass was characterised by a significant proportion of size >750 µm. As the specific parameter of normalised biomass size spectra (NBSS), the slopes of the NBSS varied from moderate (−0.83 to −1.04) for a community with higher biomass of the larger size zooplankton to steeper slopes (from −1.15 to −1.49) for a community with higher biomass of smaller size. The environmental variables, represented by total phosphorus (TP) and chlorophyll a (chl-a), had a strong effect on zooplankton biomass and NBSS, where TP and chl-a were significantly correlated with the increase of total biomass and corresponded well with a less negative slope. Our results indicated that the community metric was sensitive to nutrient input and that size-based metrics have the potential to serve as key indicators for the management of urban lakes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2305
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2021


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