AB 16:217-227 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00442

Indirect consequences of hypolimnetic hypoxia on zooplankton growth in a large eutrophic lake

Daisuke Goto1,8,*, Kara Lindelof2,3, David L. Fanslow4, Stuart A. Ludsin4,5, Steven A. Pothoven4, James J. Roberts2,6, Henry A. Vanderploeg4, Alan E. Wilson2,7, Tomas O. Höök1,2

1Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA
2Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108, USA
3Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA
4Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108, USA
5Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43212, USA
6Colorado State University, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA
7Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849, USA
8School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, USA

ABSTRACT: Diel vertical migration (DVM) of some zooplankters in eutrophic lakes is often compressed during peak hypoxia. To better understand the indirect consequences of seasonal hypolimnetic hypoxia, we integrated laboratory-based experimental and field-based observational approaches to quantify how compressed DVM can affect growth of a cladoceran, Daphnia mendotae, in central Lake Erie, North America. To evaluate hypoxia tolerance of D. mendotae, we conducted a survivorship experiment with varying dissolved oxygen concentrations, which demonstrated high sensitivity of D. mendotae to hypoxia (≤2 mg O2 l−1), supporting the field observations of their behavioral avoidance of the hypoxic hypolimnion. To investigate the effect of temporary changes in habitat conditions associated with the compressed DVM, we quantified the growth of D. mendotae, using a 3 (food quantity) × 2 (temperature) factorial design laboratory experiment. Neither food quantity nor temperature affected short-term growth in body length of D. mendotae. However, D. mendotae RNA content (an index of short-term condition) decreased under starvation, indicating an immediate response of short-term feeding on condition. We further evaluated the effect of hypoxia-induced upward shifts in vertical distribution by quantifying the RNA content of D. mendotae from central Lake Erie before and during peak hypoxia. Despite high temperature and food quantity in the upper water column, RNA content in field-collected D. mendotae remained low during peak hypoxia. Furthermore, D. mendotae collected during peak hypoxia consisted of only small-bodied (<~1.25 mm) individuals, suggesting that behavioral avoidance of the hypoxic hypolimnion may also have indirect fitness costs.

KEY WORDS: Anoxia · RNA:DNA ratio · Food web · Great Lakes · Eutrophication · Zooplankton ecology

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Cite this article as: Goto D, Lindelof K, Fanslow DL, Ludsin SA and others (2012) Indirect consequences of hypolimnetic hypoxia on zooplankton growth in a large eutrophic lake. Aquat Biol 16:217-227. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00442

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