Statistical quantification of the effect of thermal stratification on patterns of dispersion in a freshwater zooplankton community

Thackeray, Stephen J; George, D. Glen; Jones, Roger I.; Winfield, Ian J.. 2006 Statistical quantification of the effect of thermal stratification on patterns of dispersion in a freshwater zooplankton community. Aquatic Ecology, 40. 23-32. 10.1007/s10452-005-9021-3

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The vertical distribution of crustacean zooplankton species was examined during 2000 in Windermere, Cumbria. Patterns of dispersion were evaluated quantitatively using two different approaches. Firstly, Morisita’s index was used to test whether patterns of dispersion differed significantly from a state of randomness and, secondly, the relative distribution of zooplankton individuals between the epilimnion and hypolimnion was investigated, for a series of standardised vertical profiles of organism density. All six of the dominant species of planktonic crustaceans showed aggregated patterns of dispersion throughout the year. For most species, patterns of dispersion were affected by the onset and breakdown of thermal stratification in the lake. The degree of aggregation in the vertical plane, measured using Morisita’s index, increased when the lake became thermally stratified. Furthermore, for most species, there was a positive association between the degree of vertical differentiation in abundance across the thermocline, and the degree of temperature differentiation in the stratified water column. The results of the present analysis provide quantitative evidence for the phenomenon known as ‘zooplankton stratification’ and for temporal variation in patterns of zooplankton dispersion.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10452-005-9021-3
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water
CEH Sections: _ Ecosystem Assessment & Forecasting
ISSN: 1386-2588
Format Availability: Electronic, Print
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The original publication is available at
Additional Keywords: Morisita’s index, plankton, spatial heterogeneity, zooplankton stratification
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 27 Jun 2007 09:26 +0 (UTC)

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