Relations between zooplankton richness and area in Brazilian lakes are not always true: comparing natural and artificial lakes and trends

Gilmar Perbiche-Neves, Luisa Orbetelli Longato, Iuri Ferreira


Aim: We analyzed the relationship between the richness of zooplankton species and the area of 83 natural and artificial (reservoirs) lakes in Brazil, ranging in size from 0.01 to 630 square kilometers. Methods: A total of 38 articles were found in the specialized bibliography, containing data from zooplankton sampled in the limnetic areas, here analyzed through descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and non-linear regression. Main results: The most influential factor in the relationship between richness vs. area is the type of environment, whether it is natural (ponds) or artificial (dams, reservoirs). In natural lakes, there is no influence of the area on the richness of the species, whereas in dams, the influence of the area is significant, up to 30 square kilometers. In small environments (up to six square kilometers), there is no significant influence of the area on the richness of the species studied. In this extension, the natural lakes present greater richness and habitat variation, possibly due to a more diverse composition of niches. In Brazil, large natural lakes are scarce, above, for example, 200 square kilometers. With dams, areas are positively correlated with species richness on a scale ranging from six to 30 square kilometers, a size from which species’ richness stabilizes. Conclusions: The richness of microcrustaceans does not always increase with the size of the area of the environments, especially in natural environments.


Cladocera; Copepoda; increase; relation; ecology; diversity

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