Browsing by Subject "Cladocera"

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  • Luoto, Tomi P.; Kivila, E. Henriikka; Kotrys, Bartosz; Plociennik, Mateusz; Rantala, Marttiina; Nevalainen, Liisa (2020)
    Independent Arctic records of temperature and precipitation from the same proxy archives are rare. Nevertheless, they are important for providing detailed information on long-term climate changes and temperature-precipitation relationships in the context of large-scale atmospheric dynamics. Here, we used chironomid and cladoceran fossil assemblages to reconstruct summer air-temperature and water-level changes, during the past 400 years, in a small lake located in Finnish Lapland. Temperatures remained persistently cold over the Little Ice Age (LIA), but increased in the 20th century. After a cooler phase in the 1970s, the climate rapidly warmed to the record-high temperatures of the most recent decades. The lake-level reconstruction suggested persistently wet conditions for the LIA, followed by a dry period between similar to 1910 and 1970 CE, when the lake apparently became almost dry. Since the 1980s, the lake level has returned to a similar position as during the IAA. The temperature development was consistent with earlier records, but a significant local feature was found in the lake-level reconstruction the LIA appears to have been continuously wet, without the generally depicted dry phase during the 18th and 19th centuries. Therefore, the results suggest local precipitation patterns and enforce the concept of spatially divergent LIA conditions.
  • Korponai, Janos; Köver, Csilla; Lopez-Blanco, Charo; Gyulai, Istvan; Forro, Laszlo; Katalinic, Ana; Ketola, Mirva; Nevalainen, Liisa; Luoto, Tomi P.; Sarmaja-Korjonen, Kaarina Margareta; Magyari, Enikö; Weckström, Jan; Urak, Istvan; Vadkerti, Edit; Buczko, Krisztina (2020)
    The body size of aquatic invertebrates is, to a great extent, dependent on ambient temperature, but size distributions are also determined by other factors like food supply and predation. The effect of temperature on organisms is formulated in the temperature-size hypothesis, which predicts a smaller body size with increasing temperature. In this study, the effect of temperature on the subfossil remains of three littoral Cladocera (Alona affnis, A. quadrangularis, and Chydorus cf. sphaericus) was investigated. Exoskeletal remains of these species can be found in large numbers in lacustrine sediments and over a wide north-south range in Europe. The total length of both headshield and postabdomen for A. affinis and A. quadrangularis and carapace length for C. cf. sphaericus were measured to observe their response to changes in latitude and temperature. A different response to ambient temperature in the growth of body parts was observed. The size of the headshields of both Alona species and of the carapace of Chydorus was significantly larger in colder regions as opposed to warm ones. It turned out that the postabdomen was not a good predictor of ambient temperature. While the sizes of all remains increased with latitude, the sizes of the Alona remains was smaller in the mountain lakes of the Southern Carpathians than in other cold lakes, in this case in Finland, a fact indicative of the importance of other factors on size distribution. This study demonstrates that a morphological response to climate is present in littoral cladocerans, and, therefore, changes in the length of headshield and carapace may be used as a proxy for climate changes in paleolimnological records.
  • Taipale, Sami J.; Kuoppamäki, Kirsi; Strandberg, Ursula; Peltomaa, Elina; Vuorio, Kristiina (SpringerLink, 2020)
    Hydrobiologia 847 21 (2020)
    Food quality is one of the key factors influencing zooplankton population dynamics. Eutrophication drives phytoplankton communities toward the dominance of cyanobacteria, which means a decrease in the availability of sterols and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA and DHA). The effects of different restoration measures on the nutritional quality of the phytoplankton community and subsequent impacts on zooplankton biomass have rarely been considered. We analyzed the nutritional quality of phytoplankton in the eutrophic Lake Vesijärvi in southern Finland over a 37-year period, and studied the impacts of two restoration measures, biomanipulation and hypolimnetic aeration, on the abundance of high-quality phytoplankton. We found that biomanipulation had a positive impact on the abundance of taxa synthesizing sterols, EPA, and DHA and, concurrently, on the biomass of the keystone species Daphnia. In contrast, hypolimnetic aeration did not result in such a beneficial outcome, manifested as a decrease in the abundance of Daphnia and frequent phytoplankton blooms dominated by cyanobacteria suggesting reduction in the nutritional quality of food for Daphnia. Our analysis shows that the determination of the nutritional value of algae and the contribution of essential fatty acids and sterols is an effective method to evaluate the success of various restoration measures.
  • Zawiska, Izabela; Dimante-Deimantovica, Inta; Luoto, Tomi P.; Rzodkiewicz, Monika; Saarni, Saija; Stivrins, Normunds; Tylmann, Wojciech; Lanka, Anna; Robeznieks, Martins; Jilbert, Tom (2020)
    Cultural eutrophication, the process by which pollution due to human activity speeds up natural eutrophication, is a widespread and consequential issue. Here, we present the 85-year history of a small, initially Lobelia-Isoetes dominated lake. The lake's ecological deterioration was intensified by water pumping station activities when it received replenishment water for more than 10 years from a eutrophic lake through a pipe. In this study, we performed a paleolimnological assessment to determine how the lake's ecosystem functioning changed over time. A multi-proxy (pollen, Cladocera, diatoms, and Chironomidae) approach was applied alongside a quantitative reconstruction of total phosphorus using diatom and hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen with chironomid-based transfer functions. The results of the biotic proxy were supplemented with a geochemical analysis. The results demonstrated significant changes in the lake community's structure, its sediment composition, and its redox conditions due to increased eutrophication, water level fluctuations, and erosion. The additional nutrient load, particularly phosphorus, increased the abundance of planktonic eutrophic-hypereutrophic diatoms, the lake water's transparency decreased, and hypolimnetic anoxia occurred. Cladocera, Chironomidae, and diatoms species indicated a community shift towards eutrophy, while the low trophy species were suppressed or disappeared.
  • Leppänen, Jaakko; Weckström, Jan; Korhola, Atte (2018)
    Mining is one of the key industries in the world and mine water pollution is a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems. Historical monitoring data on the pollution history and impacts in aquatic ecosystems, however, are rarely available, so paleolimnological methods are required to explore the consequences of past pollution. We studied the history of cladoceran community dynamics in Lake Kirkkojarvi, southern Finland, including the periods before, during and after mining. We analyzed the geochemical composition and cladoceran subfossil remains in a Pb-210-dated sediment core to evaluate the magnitude, rate, and direction of cladoceran community changes through time. The cladoceran community was altered significantly by mining activity that occurred during the mid-twentieth century. During more recent times, however, eutrophication effects have overridden the impacts of mining. After mining ceased, the cladoceran community underwent an abrupt regime shift towards taxa that reflect more eutrophic conditions. This change was caused by intensive farming activity and fertilizer use over the past few decades. The recent history of Lake Kirkkojarvi is a textbook example of a regime shift triggered by multiple human-caused stressors. Our findings also highlight the utility of cladocerans as bio-indicators in pollution research and illustrate the sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems to anthropogenic modification.
  • Leppanen, Jaakko Johannes; Piilo, Sanna; Li, Yuan; Zhang, Hui; Väliranta, Minna (2019)
    Crustacean community structure and dynamics are very well studied in lakes, rivers and oceanic systems but wetlands, where moisture conditions fluctuate, have not received equal attention in research. For example, cladoceran communities in peatland systems in the subarctic region have not been fully investigated. We used paleolimnological and paleoecological methods to study plant and cladoceran assemblages and the community dynamics in two subarctic peatlands, which differ in their hydrological characteristics. At the first site, Iitto, river floods introduce planktonic species to fen pools and the steep topography of the catchment induces rapid but relatively short flooding periods. Fluctuating environmental conditions result in a high amount of cladoceran resting stages in the samples. At the other site, Kaamanen, the cladoceran assemblage goes through clear directional changes, which could be attributed to changes in fen hydrology and ultimately to climatic changes during the past two millennia.
  • Leppänen, Jaakko Johannes; Weckström, Jan; Korhola, Atte (2017)
    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is acknowledged to have long-lasting impacts on aquatic environments. Hence, mines have also been detected to pose problems years after closure due to the leaching of toxic drainage initiated by sulfide oxidation. To assess the effects of chronic but relatively low volume acid mine drainage derived from the Haveri copper-gold mine operating between 1938 and 1960 on a freshwater bay in southern Finland, we compared cladoceran assemblages from the pre-mining period with contemporary populations using paleolimnological approaches and multiple sediment cores. The cladoceran community of the pre-mining era differed significantly from the contemporary community of the lake (ANOSIM R = 0.91; p = 0.0001), but closely resembled the contemporary community of a nearby non-polluted reference site. Our results suggest that the differences in species compositions between pre-mining and contemporary samples are most likely caused by eutrophication and not by the AMD impact. Because AMD at our study site is most intense during the spring snowmelt period, cladocerans may avoid seasonal pollution peaks through winter dormancy. Possible pollution peaks resulting from heavy rains during the summer may have negative impacts on the cladoceran community, but such short-term impacts are probably rapidly counteracted by immigration from cleaner areas of the lake.
  • Ruuhijärvi, Jukka; Malinen, Tommi; Kuoppamäki, Kirsi; Ala-Opas, Pasi; Vinni, Mika (2020)
    We studied the responses of a food web, especially fish and zooplankton, to summertime aeration, pumping of oxygen-rich epilimnetic water to the hypolimnion in Lake Vesijärvi, southern Finland. The aim of hypolimnetic aeration was to reduce internal loading of phosphorus from sediment. The population of smelt (Osmerus eperlanus L.), the main planktivore of the pelagial area, collapsed during the two 1st years of aeration due to increased temperature and low oxygen concentrations in the hypolimnion. The population recovered after the 4th year of hypolimnetic aeration, when oxygen conditions were improved. Despite elevated hypolimnetic temperature, smelt reached exceptionally high abundance, which led to a significant reduction in cladoceran body size. The density of perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) increased at first, but then decreased when the proportion of smelt and cyprinids increased. Biomasses of Daphnia decreased probably as a result of the disappearance of dark, low-oxygen deep-water refuge against fish predation and low availability of nutritionally high-quality algae. Occasionally filamentous cyanobacteria, such as turbulence tolerant Planktothrix agardhii (Gomont), were abundant, suggesting deteriorated food resources for zooplankton. The responses of food web were controversial with respect to the aim of the management, which was to prevent the occurrence of harmful algal blooms.
  • Leppänen, Jaakko Johannes; Luoto, Tomi P.; Weckström, Jan (2019)
    The salinization of freshwater environments is a global concern, and one of the largest sources of salinated water is the mining industry. An increasing number of modern mines are working with low grade sulfide ores, resulting in increased volumes of potentially harmful saline drainage. We used water monitoring data, together with data on sedimentary fossil remains (cladoceran, diatom and chironomid), to analyze the spatio-temporal (5 sampling locations and 3 sediment depths) impact of salinated mine water originating from the Talvivaara/Terrafame open cast mine on multiple components of the aquatic ecosystem of Lake Jormasjärvi, Finland. Lake Jormasjärvi is the fourth and largest lake in a chain of lakes along the path of the mine water. Despite the location and large water volume, the mine water has changed the chemistry of Lake Jormasjärvi, reflected in increased electrical conductivity values since 2010. The ecological impact is significant around the inflow region of the lake, as all biological indicator groups show a rapid and directional shift towards new species composition. There is a clear trend in improved water quality as one moves further from the point of inflow, and as one looks back in time. Our results show that salinated mine water may induce rapid and large scale changes, even far downstream along a chain of several sinking basins. This is of special importance in cases where large amounts of waste water are processed in the vicinity of protected habitats.
  • Leppanen, Jaakko; Siitonen, Susanna; Weckstrom, Jan (2017)
    It is difficult to plan restoration projects or study the amount of disturbance in aquatic ecosystems if background conditions are not known. Zooplankton, especially cladocerans (water fleas), has proven highly useful as a reliable indicator of environmental change. Cladocerans preserve well in sediments and thus allow for the analysis of historical communities. To assess the stability of cladoceran communities in lakes with low human impact, we compared pre-industrial and modern cladoceran assemblages (top-bottom analysis) in 32 sub-Arctic lakes in NW Finnish Lapland. We used a dataset of measured environmental variables to determine their explanatory power on cladoceran assemblages. While cladoceran assemblages at the community level have remained relatively stable between the pre-industrial and modern samples, a clear change at the genus level was observed with a significant proportional increase in Bosmina (Eubosmina) spp. (Wilcoxon signed-rank test z = 2.75 p = 0.006). The amount of organic matter in the sediment [measured as loss on ignition (LOI)] explained the largest proportion of the variation in the cladoceran community. Since LOI is strongly correlated to climatic factors, the increased abundance of B. (Eubosmina) spp. may ultimately be related to climate warming. As the top-bottom approach is comprised of two temporal snapshots, it cannot provide the exact time of community change. This shortcoming is of special importance for restoration and management planning.
  • Luoto, Tomi P.; Leppänen, Jaakko Johannes; Weckström, Jan (2019)
    The Talvivaara/Terrafame multi-metal mining company is Europe’s largest nickel open cast mine, it is also known for the largest wastewater leakage in the Finnish mining history and a series of other accidents. In this paleolimnological study, influences of a recently constructed treated waste water discharge pipeline into Lake Nuasjärvi were investigated by analyzing past (pre-disturbance) and present community compositions of key aquatic organism groups, including diatoms, Cladocera and Chironomidae, along spatial (distance, water depth) gradients. In addition to defining ecological changes and impacts of saline mine waters in the lake, chironomids were used to quantitatively reconstruct bottom water oxygen conditions before and after the pipe installation (in 2015). The diatom and cladoceran communities, which reflect more the open-water habitat, showed only relatively minor changes throughout the lake, but a general decrease in diversity was observed within both groups. Chironomids, which live on substrates, showed more significant changes, including complete faunal turnovers and deteriorated benthic quality, especially at the sites close to the pipe outlet, where also chironomid diversity was almost completely lost. Furthermore, the reconstructed hypolimnetic oxygen values indicated a major oxygen decline and even anoxia at the sites near the pipe outlet. The limnoecological influence of the pipe decreased at sites located counter-flow or behind underwater barriers suggesting that the waste waters currently have location-specific impacts. Our study clearly demonstrates that whereas the upper water layers appear to have generally maintained their previous state, the deep-water layers close to the pipe outlet have lost their ecological integrity. Furthermore, the current hypolimnetic anoxia close to the pipe indicates enhanced lake stratification caused by the salinated mine waters. This study clearly exhibits the need to investigate different water bodies at several trophic levels in a spatiotemporal context to be able to reliably assess limnoecological impacts of mining.