Metazooplankton dynamics and secondary production of Daphnia magna (Crustacea) in an aerated waste stabilization pond
AbstractThe seasonal dynamics of metazooplankton biomass was monitored in an aerated waste stabilization pond during three consecutive years (1994–1996). The pond showed a low diversity of planktonic metazoans because of elevated pH, relatively high concentration of free dissolved ammonia and low oxygen concentration. The planktonic community was composed of the anomopod branchiopod Daphnia magna , and the cyclopoid copepods Cyclops vicinus and Cyclops strenuus . Both predation by cyclopoids and competition with D.magna excluded rotifers from the pond, except during a short period in spring 1996. Daphnia magna was the dominant organism from a biomass point of view. In parallel with biomass, demographic parameters, secondary production and the spatial distribution of D.magna were studied. A significant seasonal and interannual variation in the density, biomass and production of D.magna was observed. The maximum density of daphnids varied from 264 × 10 3 to 686 × 10 3 individuals m –2 and the maximum biomass from 4 to 30 g dry weight (DW) m –2 . The annual net production was high compared with the production of Daphnia in natural environments, ranging from 288 to 593 g DW m –2 year –1 . The annual net production of exuviae accounted for ~25% of the total annual net production. Harvesting of daphnids for commercial applications that took place during the productive period did not have any discernible effect on the population dynamics of D.magna . Sexual reproduction was not observed during the three studied years. Negative mortality rates, occurring during early spring, however, indicated that recruitment from ephippia was effective in the pond of Differdange and that sexual reproduction took place before 1994. Swarming was regularly observed in relation to high densities.