In systems of interconnected ponds or lakes, the dispersal of zooplankton may be mediated by the active population component, with rivulets and overflows functioning as dispersal pathways and the dispersal being unidirectional. Such systems offer the possibility to study the impact of dispersal rates on local population dynamics and community structure, and provide opportunities to quantify dispersal in the field in a straightforward manner. In this study, dispersal of active zooplankton populations among interconnected ponds was quantified directly in the field by sampling the small waterways connecting the ponds. The number of dispersing zooplankton sampled in connecting elements was on average high (almost 7000 ind h−1). However, the contribution of dispersing individuals to total population size in the target ponds was very limited (< 1% 24 h−1.). Only a weak diel pattern in dispersal rates was observed.
Hydrobiologia – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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