Temporal and spatial variations in zooplankton communities in relation to environmental factors in four floodplain lakes located in the middle reach of the Yangtze River, China.


Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Research Group, School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei, 230601, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]


A comparative limnological study of the zooplankton communities and their relationship with environmental factors was conducted to test the temporal and spatial changes among lake groups. In our study of four lakes, the lowest gamma (γ) diversity was recorded in January 2017, with a total of 25 zooplankton taxa. The highest γ diversity was recorded in May 2016, with a total of 55 zooplankton taxa. Species turnover in space (β) were from 14.98 to 25.81. Markedly temporal and spatial variations were observed in the zooplankton community. The higher mean cladocera density (57.70 ind. L-1 and 39.85 ind. L-1) was observed in May and August, then decreased gradually with the lowest in January. The mean copepoda density ranged from 8.71 ind. L-1 in January 2017 to 32.04 ind. L-1 in August 2016. The mean rotifera density was significantly higher than that of the other two crustacean zooplankton (p < 0.01), within the range of 89.36-1139.2 ind. L-1. We also observed that zooplankton density exhibited significant seasonal changes from NMDS (Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis). Redundancy analysis revealed that environmental factors, such as water temperature and transparency, have significantly influenced the zooplankton community structure.


Community structure,Floodplain lakes,Species diversity,Yangtze river,Zooplankton,