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Trends Ecol Evol. 1993 May;8(5):178-83. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(93)90144-E.

Zooplankton body size and community structure: Effects of thermal and toxicant stress.

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Marianne Moore is at the Dept of Biological Sciences, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02181-8283, USA.


Episodic heat waves and an increase in pesticide use are widely cited as consequences of climatic warming. Recent studies show that these stressors often cause declines in the mean body size of zooplankton. Results from laboratory and field studies, as well as observations from both thermal- or toxicant-stressed natural systems, show (1) reductions in mean body size within stressed populations, or (2) changes in community composition that favor small-bodied over large-bodied species. During the past decade, it has become widely accepted that a shift in zooplankton body size can dramatically affect water clarity, rates of nutrient regeneration and fish abundances. Thus, climatic warming and associated change in pesticide use has the potential to cause striking change in the structure and functioning of temperate-zone lakes.

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