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The role of meiobenthos in lake ecosystems
Kurashov, E.A. (2002). The role of meiobenthos in lake ecosystems. Aquat. Ecol. 36(3): 447-463
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Eutrophication; Lakes; Meiobenthos; Zoobenthos; Fresh water

Author  Top 
  • Kurashov, E.A.

Abstract
    It is shown that meiobenthos plays an important role in the secondary production by zoobenthos in lakes, as well as in the degradation of organic matter. In large lakes (Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega, Lake Päijänne, Lake Constance), the ratio of meiobenthic production to the production of macrobenthos is on average 50-61%. In the small Latgalian lakes (Latvia), this proportion is different: in the profundal of these lakes it varies from 92.5% in a naturally clean mesotrophic lake to 0.0004% in the most eutrophic lake, and in the littoral of lakes - from 578-1476% in mesotrophic lakes to 148-306% in eutrophic ones. The level of production of littoral meiobenthos does not depend on the trophic status of the lake, and can be equally high both in undisturbed mesotrophic lakes and in strongly eutrophicated lakes. The intensity of production of the littoral meiobenthos in oligotrophic and mesotrophic lakes, on the one hand, and in eutrophic lakes on the other, are not reliably distinguished. There is a clear tendency for a decrease of the role of profundal meiobenthos with regard to the transformation of energy flows in lake ecosystems, both with an increase in eutrophication and with an increase in the amount of organic matter in the benthal available from phytoplankton.

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