To examine if changes in species composition of a plankton community in the past due to anthropogenic activities can be clarified in lakes without any monitoring data, we analyzed genetically ephippial carapaces of Daphnia with plankton remains stored in the bottom sediments of Lake Hataya Ohunma in Japan. In the lake, abundance of most plankton remains in the sediments was limited and TP flux was at low levels (2-4mg/m2/y) before 1970. However TP flux increased two-fold during the period from 1980s to 1990s. In parallel with this increase, abundance of most plankton remains increased although abundance of benthic testate amoebae's remains decreased, indicating that the lake trophic condition had changed from oligo- to mesotrophic for the past 60 years. According to cluster analysis, the stratigraphic sediments were divided into two periods with different features of the phytoplankton composition. Chronological comparison with events in the watershed suggested that eutrophication occurred because of an increase in visitors to the watershed and deposition of atmospheric dust. In this lake more than 50%of resting eggs produced by Daphnia over the past 60 years hatched. However, genetic analysis of the ephippial carapaces (remains) showed that the Daphnia population was originally composed of D. dentifera but that D. galeata, or its hybrid with D. dentifera, invaded and increased the population density when the lake was eutrophied. Subsequently, large D. pulex established populations in the 1980s when largemouth bass were anonymously introduced. These results indicated that the Lake Hataya Ohunma plankton community underwent significant changes despite the fact that there were no notable changes in land cover or land use in the watershed. Since increases in atmospheric deposition and release of fish have occurred inmany Japanese lakes, the changes in the plankton community described here may be widespread in these lakes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)