Unexpected increases in rotifer resting egg abundances during the period of contamination of Lake Orta
Despite their ecological importance and rapid response to environmental changes, rotifers are rarely included in palaeolimnological studies. Here, we describe changes in abundance (ABD) and morphotype (MTs) diversity of rotifer resting eggs in the sediments of deep subalpine Lake Orta, Italy, covering a period prior to (pre-) 1926, during long-term ammonia and metal pollution from a rayon factory, and subsequent recovery of water quality. Following the pollution and bacterial oxidation of the ammonia, Lake Orta became the largest and deepest acid lake in Europe. Recovery of water quality followed both a ban on the discharge of industrial wastes, and a liming intervention in 1989 and 1990. We sectioned a sediment core collected from the deepest part of the lake (ORTA 07/2A) to provide a high time resolution, given the ca. 3-4 y cm-1 of sediment accumulation. Rotifer resting egg (RRE) abundance and morphotypes were examined from the sediments and compared to limnological variables indicating the pollution. Rotifer resting egg abundance significantly increased with lake contamination (r=0.609 and -0.624 for copper and pH, respectively; P<0.001; n=27). A lake-water copper concentration threshold of ca. 40 µg L-1discriminated among pre-, during-, and post- pollution compositions of the rotifer morphotype assemblages. Diversity and morphotype richness increased during the recovery from copper pollution and with complete restoration from acidity, while abundance increased during pollution. The persistence of presumably viable Brachionus resting eggs and of hatched egg cases during the heavy pollution phase suggests that, unlike most other organisms, which were extirpated by the pollution of the lake, rotifers survived producing resting eggs, which secured future generations.
- Abstract views: 2502
- PDF: 696
- HTML: 1634
PAGEPress has chosen to apply the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) to all manuscripts to be published.
An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions:
- the author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.
- a complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.