Desiccation of rock pool habitats and its influence onpopulation persistence in a Daphnia metacommunity

Altermatt, F. and Pajunen, I. and Ebert, D.. (2009) Desiccation of rock pool habitats and its influence onpopulation persistence in a Daphnia metacommunity. PLoS ONE, Vol. 4, H. 3 , e4703.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5250280

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Habitat instability has an important influence on species' occurrence and community composition. For freshwater arthropods that occur in ephemeral rock pools, the most drastic habitat instabilities are droughts and the intermittent availability of water. However, although the desiccation of a rock pool is detrimental for planktonic populations, it may also bring certain benefits: the exclusion of predators or parasites, for example, or the coexistence of otherwise competitively exclusive species. The commonness of drought resistant resting stages in many aquatic organisms shows the ecological significance of droughts. We measured daily evaporation in 50 rock pools inhabited by three Daphnia species D. magna, D. longispina and D. pulex over one summer. Daily evaporation and ultimately desiccation showed significantly seasonally influenced correlation with pool surface area, presence of vegetation, ambient temperature, wind and standardized evaporation measures. We used the estimates from this analysis to develop a simulation model to predict changes in the water level in 530 individual pools on a daily basis over a 25-year period. Eventually, hydroperiod lengths and desiccation events could be predicted for all of these rock pools. We independently confirmed the validity of this simulation by surveying desiccation events in the 530 rock pools over a whole season in 2006. In the same 530 rock pools, Daphnia communities had been recorded over the 25 years the simulation model considered. We correlated pool-specific occupation lengths of the three species with pool-specific measures of desiccation risk. Occupation lengths of all three Daphnia species were positively correlated with maximum hydroperiod length and negatively correlated with the number of desiccation events. Surprisingly, these effects were not species-specific.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Ebert)
UniBasel Contributors:Ebert, Dieter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:31 Aug 2018 06:40
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:38

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