Oneida Lake: Long-term Dynamics of a Managed Ecosystem and Its Fishery

Chapter 12: Oligotrophication, Water Clarity, and Ecological Stoichiometry-Evaluating Food Quantity and Quality for Zooplankton in Oneida Lake

Kimberly L. Schulz, Lars G. Rudstam, Xinli Ji, and Kristen T. Holeck


In freshwater lakes, seston (the suspended particulate matter, mainly composed of algae) forms the resource base of the pelagic food web, and zooplankton are the primary consumers transferring energy from the resource base to higher consumers (Lindeman 1942). In Oneida Lake, daphniids and copepods are major components of the zooplankton community and very important diet items for fish (Prout et al. 1990; Roseman et al. 1996). Zooplankton dynamics in the lake, especially those of Daphnia, have been carefully examined over the last 45 years (Cáceres et al. Chapter 11). Three major Daphnia species replace each other over time and population crashes occur, mainly due to fish predation (Mills et al. 1987; Shepherd and Mills 1996). Seston (food) quantity, identified as a very important factor controlling zooplankton dynamics (Lampert 1977a and b, 1987; Sommer et al. 2012), also likely contributes to population declines of Daphnia in Oneida Lake (Mills et al. 1987; Cáceres 1998).