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Seasonal Dynamics of Daphnia and Algae Explained as a Periodically Forced Predator-Prey System
Marten Scheffer, Sergio Rinaldi, Yuri A. Kuznetsov and Egbert H. van Nes
Vol. 80, No. 3 (Dec., 1997), pp. 519-532
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3546625
Page Count: 14
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The classical seasonal sequence of events in lake plankton is an early spring bloom of algae followed by a peak of zooplankton, typically of the genus Daphnia, grazing down algal biomass resulting in the spring clear-water phase around early June. Subsequently, Daphnia numbers usually remain low and algal biomass increases until autumn when a second small Daphnia peak can cause another drop in algal biomass. In this paper we show that this entire scenario with the right timing of events comes out naturally from a minimal model of the Daphnia-algae interaction if we simply vary the parameters of the model sinusoidally over the year to mimic the effect of seasonal variation in temperature, light and predation pressure from planktivorous fish. The model also reproduces the observation that in lakes where fish biomass is low, Daphnia peaks can continue to occur regularly throughout the summer, while in lakes with very high fish biomass Daphnia can be virtually absent throughout the season.
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