Original paper

Distribution of the meiofaunal community in a eutrophic shallow lake of China

Wu, Jihua; Fu, Cuizhang; Liang, Yanling; Chen, Jiakuan

Abstract

In a Chinese eutrophic shallow lake, the spatial, temporal and vertical distributions of meiofauna in different lake zones along a eutrophic gradient were analyzed. The spatial distribution of meiofauna among sampling stations changed with nutrient levels. Nematoda were most abundant at the majority of sampling stations comprising 70.6–93.2% meiofaunal abundance except for a hypereutrophic station. The seasonal patterns in abundance of nematodes, oligochaetes, rotifers, chironomids and different nematode feeding groups differed among stations, which revealed that the temporal variations of these meiofaunal groups and the nematode feeding groups may vary with different nutrient loadings. The vertical distributions of meiofaunal groups, nematode species, and nematode trophic groups in the upper and lower sediment layers were similar, suggesting a consistent vertical distribution pattern across different trophic conditions. Nematode species richness, Shannon-Wiener species diversity index, trophic diversity and Maturity Index were significantly correlated with nutrient levels (total phosphorus and nitrogen in lake water and total phosphorus in sediment). Our results suggest the importance of nematode community analyses in the assessment of freshwater eutrophication.

Keywords

spatial distributiontemporal distributionvertical distributionnutrient levelstrophic diversityfreshwater eutrophicationnematoda.