Backswimmer, Notonecta. Wikimedia Commons

Diversity-stability cascade in pond plankton experiments

Abstract

This collection of files consists of freshwater plankton biomass data from a laboratory microcosm experiment and an accompanying field mesocosm experiment in which we manipulated the presence of two heteropteran predators. In the laboratory experiment, we incubated 20 large microcosms with phytoplankton and zooplankton, fully crossing a 1x vs. 2x zooplankton density treatment with presence or absence of a single Notonecta undulata adult. Two of these microcosms were lost, resulting in data for 18 of these large microcosms. Concurrently, we incubated 20 small microcosms with a smaller amount of the same plankton mix, which similarly were fully crossed with the 1x vs. 2x zooplankton density treatment and presence or absence of a single Neoplea striola adult. After five days we collected the zooplankton remaining in each microcosm for identification and biomass estimation. For the field experiment, we established 20 mesocosms (cattle tanks) with phytoplankton and zooplankton collected from the same sources, and added six Notonecta adults to five mesocosms, 90 Neoplea adults to another five, and three Notonecta and 45 Neoplea to another five, with the remaining five mesocosms acting as no-predator controls. We sampled both the phytoplankton and zooplankton once per week for six weeks for identification and biomass estimation.

Publication
Dryad