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Plankton community structure in small aquatic systems.
Puth, Linda1, Allen, Timothy1, Post, David2, 1 2
ABSTRACT- Species diversity and species composition are important variables in shaping community structure and ecosystem function. Despite this, we know little about the rate of species turnover in many systems. Using plankton communities in small rock pools on cliffs above the St. Croix River in Wisconsin and Minnesota, we examined species turnover rates and changes in zooplankton and phytoplankton community structure. We were particularly interested in the effects of disturbance and the presence or absence of permanent sediment on community patterns. Preliminary results suggest that species turnover rates were greater for phytoplankton than for zooplankton. In addition, the presence of permanent sediment significantly increased the number of species present and decreased species turnover rates, while disturbance, in the form of desiccation, decreased the number of species present and increased species turnover rates.
KEY WORDS: species turnover, species composition, plankton, rock pools