Use of ephippial morphology to assess richness of anomopods: potentials and pitfalls



Zooplankton species richness is typically assessed through analysis of active community samples. These samples ought to be collected at many different locations in the lake and at multiple occasions throughout the year so as to cover the spatial and temporal heterogeneity in active community structure. A number of studies have shown that high numbers of species can be retrieved with a limited effort through hatching of dormant eggs isolated from lake sediments. However, dormant eggs of different species differ in their propensities to hatch, resulting in biased assessments of species composition, abundance and richness. In this paper, we explore the potentials and pitfalls of a third method to assess cladoceran species richness. For twenty European lakes, we identified the number of ephippium morphotypes in sediment samples taken on a single occasion. The morphotype richness was well correlated with species richness as assessed through hatching of dormant forms and through analysis of active community samples covering a six month period. However, not all species had a species-specific ephippial morphotype, consequently resulting in an underestimation of true species richness.



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hatching, resting eggs, species richness, Cladocera, dormancy, ephippia
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How to Cite
VANDEKERKHOVE J, DECLERCK S, VANHOVE M, BRENDONCK L, JEPPESEN E, CONDE PORCUNA JM, DE MEESTER L. Use of ephippial morphology to assess richness of anomopods: potentials and pitfalls. J Limnol [Internet]. 2004 Sep. 1 [cited 2021 Jun. 25];63(s1):75-84. Available from:

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