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Heatwave-induced functional shifts in zooplankton communities result in weaker top-down control on phytoplankton
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  • Thu-Huong Huynh-Ngoc,
  • Zsófia Horváth,
  • Károly Pálffy,
  • Vivien Kardos,
  • Beáta Szabó,
  • Péter Dobosy,
  • Csaba Vad
Thu-Huong Huynh-Ngoc
Centre for Ecological Research

Corresponding Author:thuhuong14es@gmail.com

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Zsófia Horváth
Centre for Ecological Research
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Károly Pálffy
Centre for Ecological Research
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Vivien Kardos
Centre for Ecological Research
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Beáta Szabó
Centre for Ecological Research
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Péter Dobosy
Centre for Ecological Research
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Csaba Vad
Centre for Ecological Research
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Abstract

Freshwater ecosystems are increasingly affected by rising annual mean temperatures and extreme heatwaves. While heatwaves are expected to have more immediate effects than mean temperature increases on local communities, comparative experimental studies are largely lacking. We conducted a one-month mesocosm experiment to test the effect of different warming scenarios, constantly raised temperatures (+3°C), and recurring heatwaves (+6°C) on plankton communities. We specifically tested how shifts in zooplankton trait composition and functional groups are reflected in ecosystem functioning (top-down control on primary producers). We found that heatwaves had a stronger and more immediate effect on trait and functional group compositions. Heatwaves were associated with larger body sizes, and the decrease in micrograzers resulted in weaker top-down control, leading to elevated algal biomass. Altogether, our results highlight the importance of the indirect effects of heatwaves via inducing shifts in zooplankton functional groups and trait composition which may foster periodic algal blooms.
10 Aug 2023Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
11 Aug 2023Assigned to Editor
11 Aug 2023Submission Checks Completed
01 Sep 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned