SS3.02 Turbulence and Plankton Dynamics
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
MenzaCW, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada, cmenza@utm.utoronto.ca
Sprules, W, G, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada, gsprules@cyclpos.erin.utoronto.ca
 
EFFECTS OF WIND ON THE HORIZONTAL SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF ZOOPLANKTON IN LAKE OPEONGO
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Zooplankton spatial heterogeneity is important in the understanding and modelling of zooplankton population dynamics, species interactions and community function. Unfortunately, measuring spatial heterogeneity is costly and time consuming, especially when simultaneously assessing a range of spatial scales. In most lakes the horizontal heterogeneity of zooplankton is principally controlled by wind induced water movements. The objective of this study was to determine if wind history could accurately predict the horizontal spatial structure and transport of zooplankton biomass in a medium-sized lake (Lake Opeongo, Ontario). An optical plankton counter (OPC) was used to estimate the distribution of zooplankton biomass along fixed-depth transects, while a nearby weather station gathered wind data. An accumulated wind effect index, used to describe wind direction, duration and magnitude at a particular lake position, affected spatial structuring at several scales, ranging from meters to kilometres. Time scales and wind parameters important to the resistance and resilience of horizontal zooplankton distributions are discussed. Our results suggest aquatic researchers might be able to use a lake’s wind history to easily and inexpensively estimate the horizontal distribution of zooplankton in lakes.