Main content area

Sedimentary and egg-bank DNA from 3 European lakes reveal concurrent changes in the composition and diversity of cyanobacterial and Daphnia communities

Monchamp, Marie-Eve, Enache, Ioana, Turko, Patrick, Pomati, Francesco, Rîşnoveanu, Geta, Spaak, Piet
Hydrobiologia 2017 v.800 no.1 pp. 155-172
Chlorophyta, Cyanobacteria, DNA, Daphnia, anthropogenic activities, community structure, diet, ecosystems, eggs, eutrophication, food webs, freshwater lakes, genetic analysis, genetic variation, phytoplankton, population structure, retrospective studies, sediments
Eutrophication generally favours the growth of cyanobacteria over eukaryotic green algae in freshwater lakes. Cyanobacteria constitute a poor food source for the waterflea Daphnia, an important primary consumer of phytoplankton in lakes. While it is known that some Daphnia species are adapted to eutrophic conditions and can cope with cyanobacteria in their diet, it is less known whether cyanobacterial community composition can influence Daphnia population structure in lakes. We studied the variation in genetic diversity of Daphnia resting eggs and cyanobacterial DNA preserved in sediment cores from three European lakes impacted by eutrophication. Our retrospective analysis confirms that D. galeata invaded the two pre-alpine lakes around the middle of the twentieth century, hybridized with and became dominant over D. longispina. This coincides with the presence in all lakes and the increase in the proportion of colonial and filamentous cyanobacteria in the pre-alpine lakes. The recent re-oligotrophication of the lakes did not reverse the cyanobacterial and Daphnia assemblages to their pre-eutrophication composition and genetic structure, suggesting that both changed irreversibly due to anthropogenic influence on the ecosystems. Genetic analyses applied to lake sedimentary archives have the potential to unveil how different compartments of the food web covary in a changing environment.