Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effects of zooplankton and nutrients on phytoplankton: an experimental analysis in a eutrophic tropical reservoir

Juliana dos Santos Severiano A , Viviane Lúcia dos Santos Almeida-Melo B , Enaide Marinho de Melo-Magalhães C , Maria do Carmo Bittencourt-Oliveira D and Ariadne do Nascimento Moura A E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Área de Botânica, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco – UFRPE, Rua D. Manoel de Medeiros, s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-030, Recife, PE, Brazil.

B Universidade de Pernambuco – UPE, Campus Mata Norte, Rua Amaro Maltez, 201, Centro, Nazaré da Mata, 55800-000, Recife, PE, Brazil.

C Laboratórios Integrados de Ciências do Mar e Naturais, Universidade Federal de Alagoas – UFAL, Rua Aristeu de Andrade, 452, Farol, 57021-090, Maceió, AL, Brazil.

D Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, Universidade de São Paulo – USP, Avenida Pádua Dias 11, 13418-900, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.

E Corresponding author. Email: ariadne_moura@hotmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research 68(6) 1061-1069 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF15393
Submitted: 18 October 2015  Accepted: 4 July 2016   Published: 22 August 2016

Abstract

Experiments were conducted to evaluate the N : P ratio, as well as the effects of the interaction between this ratio and zooplankton, on phytoplankton in a tropical reservoir. Three experiments were performed in the presence (+Z) or absence (–Z) of zooplankton and the addition of N and P in different ratios (N : P molar ratio of 5, 16 and 60). In Experiment I, the total phytoplankton biomass and biomass by taxonomic class and species of the N : P 16–Z treatment did not differ significantly from that of the control, whereas for N : P 16+Z, there was a reduction in total phytoplankton. In Experiment II, there was a significant increase in Bacillariophyceae and the biomass of two species in the N : P 60–Z treatment. For the N : P 60+Z treatment, a significant reduction was observed in the total phytoplankton biomass and the biomass of three phytoplankton classes and three species. In Experiment III, there was an increase in the biomass of Dinophyceae with the N : P 5–Z treatment. In the N : P 5+Z treatment, there was a significant reduction in total phytoplankton biomass and the biomass of the phytoplankton class and five species. The findings of the present study reveal that zooplankton species native to a tropical reservoir can change the structure of the phytoplankton community and the response of these organisms to variations in nutrients.

Additional keywords: herbivory, nitrogen, N : P ratio, phosphorus.


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