North Temperate Lakes LTER: Zooplankton - Madison Lakes Area 1997 - current
Zooplankton samples for the 4 southern Wisconsin LTER lakes (Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Fish) have been collected for analysis by LTER since 1995 (1996 Wingra, Fish) when the southern Wisconsin lakes were added to the North Temperate Lakes LTER project. Samples are collected as a vertical tow using an 80-micron mesh conical net with a 30-cm diameter opening (net mouth: net length ratio = 1:3) consistent with sampling conducted by the Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources in prior years. Zooplankton tows are taken in the deep hole region of each lake at the same time and location as other limnological sampling; zooplankton samples are preserved in 70% ethanol for later processing. Samples are usually collected with standard tow depths on most dates (e.g., 20 meters for Lake Mendota) but not always, so tow depth is recorded as a variate in the database. Crustacean species are identified and counted for Mendota and Monona and body lengths are recorded for a portion of each species identified (see data protocol for counting procedure); samples for Wingra and Fish lakes are archived but not routinely counted. Numerical densities for Mendota and Monona zooplankton samples are reported in the database as number or organisms per square meter without correcting for net efficiency. [Net efficiency varies from a maximum of about 70% under clear water conditions; net efficiency declines when algal blooms are dense (Lathrop, R.C. 1998. Water clarity responses to phosphorus and Daphnia in Lake Mendota. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison.)] Organism densities in number per cubic meter can be obtained by dividing the reported square-meter density by the tow depth, although adjustments for the oxygenated depth zone during the summer and early fall stratified season is required to obtain realistic zooplankton volumetric densities in the lake's surface waters. Biomass densities can be calculated using literature formulas for converting organism body lengths reported in the database to body masses. Sampling Frequency: bi-weekly during ice-free season from late March or early April through early September, then every 4 weeks through late November; sampling is conducted usually once during the winter (depending on ice conditions). Number of sites: 4 Note: for a period between approximately 2011 and 2015, a calculation error caused density values to be significantly greater than they should have been for the entire dataset. That issue has been corrected.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #DEB-2025982, NTL LTER. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.