Zooplankton taxonomic and size diversity in Mediterranean coastal lagoons (NE Iberian Peninsula): Influence of hydrology, nutrient composition, food resource availability and predation

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The influence of hydrology, nutrient composition, food resource availability and predation on zooplankton taxonomic and size diversity was analyzed in several shallow lagoons of a Mediterranean salt marsh (Baix Ter Wetlands, NE Iberian Peninsula). Taxonomic diversity correlated better with variables related to the trophic state, such as nutrient concentrations, whereas size diversity was more sensitive to fish predation. However, the fish predation influence on the size diversity was only significant when fishes reached high densities. Under low fish densities no predation effects were observed and the food resource availability (FRa) appeared to be more important in structuring the zooplankton community. Nevertheless, the two diversity indexes showed opposite responses to this factor. With increasing FRa the taxonomic diversity increased and the size diversity decreased. Neither taxonomic nor size diversity of the zooplankton community correlated with other physical or biotic factors such as hydrological variability or macroinvertebrate predation. The relationships found suggest that the size diversity is mainly related to biotic interactions, such as fish predation or inter/intraspecific competition, while the taxonomic diversity appears to be more sensitive to abiotic factors such as the nutrient composition. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved ​
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