SITES_bård 160701-4

Research at Bolmen station using the infrastructure SITES AquaNet

Marcus Lee is a PhD student in Aquatic Ecology at Lund University. Since the beginning of April, he is conducting research at the SITES associated station Bolmen on how the energetic state of individual zooplankton effects their migratory behaviour in response to threats. 

Bolmen is part of SITES AquaNet, a standardized infrastructure for national and international researches to run mesocosm experiments in lakes at Asa, Erken, Skogaryd, Svartberget and Bolmen field stations.

Future predictions of climate change indicate a higher propensity for lakes to become eutrophic, meaning the lake becomes rich in nutrients and so supporting a dense algae population, the decomposition of which kills animal life by depriving it of oxygen. Marcus hypothesises that with this increasing phytoplankton, animals will have abundant food and over a season this will lead to a stronger diel vertical migration behaviour. With his research at Bolmen he will demonstrate this by rearing zooplankton, Daphnia magna, under natural and increased phytoplankton conditions in a mesocosm design for two months.

Photo: Marcus at the platform situated in lake Bolmen. photographer: Franca Stábile

The mesocosm make it possible to generate different climates. Various lake states, such as a clear lake or a lake with a lot of algae, can thereby be simulated in order to analyse the zooplankton diel vertical migration behaviour in different prerequisites.

The results of this research can be expected to prove that diel vertical migration is far from a constant, as it strongly depends upon the energetic state of individuals in a semi-natural environment.

Over the course of the experiment Marcus will sample the populations at differing depths repeatedly, to determine the spatial structure of the mesocosms. He will also collect random individuals to assay the diel vertical migration behaviour. This will be achieved by utilising a 3D computer-tracking platform at Lund University.
Marcus foresees that the results of the research will make it possible to understand how the behaviour of individuals effect whole ecosystems and which can have a great impact on how to keep the water clean.

The project is scheduled for two months, ending in the beginning of July.

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