Michels, E. K.U.Leuven, erik.michels@bio.kuleuven.ac.be
Cottenie, K. K.U.Leuven, carl.cottenie@bio.kuleuven.ac.be
De Meester, L. K.U.Leuven, 00 32 16 32 45 75
Coppin, P. K.U.Leuven, 00 32 16 32 45 75

 
MODELLING "EFFECTIVE GEOGRAPHIC DISTANCE" BETWEEN A SET OF INTERCONNECTED PONDS: FIRST VALIDATION USING FIELD DATA ON DISPERSAL RATES
 
The nature reserve "De Maten" Belgium consists of 34 shallow ponds in an area of 200 ha, interconnected via a system of overflows and rivulets. A unidirectional flow of water connects in a non-linear setting. Local population processes in different ponds are connected to each other by landscape processes with dispersal as the main acting force. The community and genetic structure of zooplankton species (Cladocera, with a full aquatic lifecycle and only passive dispersal), can be highly influenced by the geographical position in the pond complex. The "effective geographic distance", defined as the actual distance between the different ponds a dispersing zooplankton animal has to travel is modelled with GIS, and validated with the results of a field survey on dispersal rates of cyclical parthenogenetic zooplankton between some of the ponds. The implications of connectivity and ecological differences in a set of interconnected ponds on the structuring of local zooplankton communities Karl Cottenie, Erik Michels, Luc De Meester * Laboratory for Aquatic Ecology, K.U.Leuven, Naamsestraat 59, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium The relative importance of connectivity between the different populations, modelled in a GIS environment, versus ecological differences among ponds (invertebrate and vertebrate predation pressure, the development of the littoral zone, water transparency, habitat heterogeneity and egg bank capacity) has been quantified. The study site consists of 34 neighbouring shallow ponds that are interconnected via a system of overflows and rivulets. Nevertheless the ponds differ widely in ecological characteristics. Our results indicate that both the effective geographic distance and ecological differences between ponds are important in structuring the local zooplankton communities.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: Poster
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS44TU0894S