Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of zooplankton communities in freshwater systems: the importance of high resolution data

Conor Helene Mines

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    212 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] Heterogeneity within aquatic ecosystems influences many vital ecosystem processes, and as such its investigation is fundamental to understanding ecological interactions within planktonic systems. Teasing apart the layers of heterogeneity within any environment is, however, hindered by the problem of pattern and scale, and the absence of a single natural scale (spatial or temporal) that may be applied to the study of environmental phenomena. This is particularly true within the study of freshwater zooplankton communities, having been historically restricted by the available sampling technology which has allowed only for a traditional 'snapshot' approach to data collection. Attempts to quantitatively measure zooplankton heterogeneity and the associated driving forces have therefore been limited by a lack of simultaneous high-resolution observations of zooplankton in combination with abiotic and biotic driver metrics. The research presented here relates to the application of new technologies to address this old problem. Specifically, a Laser Optical Plankton Counter (LOPC) is used to measure zooplankton in situ and at high resolution, allowing a rapid and extensive assessment of the distribution, abundance and community structure of planktonic organisms and the processes underlying their distribution.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2013

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