Critical Step 1.2.3: Quantifying biodiversity and food web responses to lake resilience

Project team: 

Lead: Kevin Collier

Susie Wood, David Kelly, Alton Perrie

Project description:

Understanding food-web structure and function is vital for predicting interrelationships between community dynamics, stability and ecosystem function, and how these are influenced by management actions or disturbance. Work in this critical step involves (i) measuring basal resources and resolving food web structure in Ashburton lakes, Wairarapa lakes and Waikato shallow lakes variably affected by invasive fish, (ii) investigating food-web metrics as measures of lake resilience in enriched and reference lakes, (iii) understanding historical food web structure through the use of DNA analyses on lake-bed cores.

Links to other critical steps:

Data from these studies will assist in guiding proposed biomanipulation studies (CS1.3.2).

Action partnerships:

  • Waikato Regional Council

  • Greater Wellington Regional Council

  • Department of Conservation

Current work:

  • We are currently analysing data and writing up results in preparation for the end of this critical step in September 2018.

Key sites:

Ashburton lakes, 

Wairarapa lakes  

Waikato shallow lakes


Journal Articles

  • Ballot A, Scherer P, Wood SA. 2018. Variability in the anatoxin gene clusters of Cuspidothrix issatschenkoi from Germany, New Zealand, China and Japan.  PLoS ONE 13(7), e0200774.

  • Collier KJ, Pingram MA, Francis L, Garrett-Walker J, Melchior M. 2018. Trophic overlap between non-native brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) and native shortfin eel (Anguilla australis) in shallow lakes. Ecology of Freshwater Fish.

  • Eivers RS, Duggan IC, Hamilton DP, Quinn JM. 2018. Constructed treatment wetlands provide habitat for zooplankton communities in agricultural peat lake catchments. Wetlands 38: 95-108.

  • Steiner K, Wood SA, Puddick J, Hawes I, Dietrich DR, Hamilton DP. 2017. A comparison of bacterial community structure, activity and microcystins associated with formation and breakdown of a cyanobacterial scum. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 80: 243-256.

  • Stewart SD, Hamilton DP, Baisden WT, Verburg P. 2017. Variable littoral?pelagic coupling as a food?web response to seasonal changes in pelagic primary production. Freshwater Biology 62, 2008-2025.

Conference Presentations

  • Wood SA, Picard M, Gunning K, Laroche O, Puddick J, Pochon X, Rees A, Howarth J, Schallenberg M, Moy C, Vandergoes M. 2017. Sediment core analysis using metagenetics and pigments: new insights into historical cyanobacterial communities and cyanotoxins in six shallow temperate lakes. Oral presentation. ASLO summer meeting. Victoria, BC, Canada. June 10-15 2018.

  • Wood SA, Laroche O, Puddick J, Pochon X, Biessy L, Adamson J, Rees A, Howarth J, Vandergoes M. 2018. New insights into past lake communities: incorporating molecular-based approaches into paleolimnology. Oral presentation. International workshop on morpho-molecular methods for the study of dinoflagellate cysts. Nelson New Zealand. 12-14 February 2018.

  • Wood SA, Laroche O, Puddick J, Pochon X, Rees A, Howarth J, Vandergoes M. 2018. Analysis of historic microbial communities using metagenetics and pigments provides evidence for the timing, causes and effects of cyanobacterial blooms in two shallow temperate lakes. Oral Presentation. 3rd New Zealand Symposium on the Biology and Biotechnological Applications of Microalgae and Photosynthetic Prokaryotes. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. 20-21 February 2018.

  • Gregersen R, Wood S, Vandergoes M, Puddick J, Pochon X, Moy C, Schallenberg M, Perry G, Simon K. 2018.  Investigating the response of sedimentary diatom community composition to agricultural land-use change using morphology, metabarcoding and pigments. Joint meeting of the International Paleolimnology Association and the International Association of Limnogeology. Stockholm University, Sweden, 18-21 June 2018.

  • Wood S, Kelly D, Waters S, Schallenberg L, Rees A, Howarth J, Vandergoes M. 2017. Using environmental DNA to characterise contemporary and historic lake communities. Oral presentation, 5th Biennial Symposium of the International Society for River Science: Integrating Multiple Aquatic Values. Hamilton, New Zealand. 19-24 November 2017.

  • Collier KJ, Francis L, Garrett-Walker J, Melchoir M, Ozkundacki D, Pingram MA. 2016. Trophic overlap between brown bullhead catfish and eels in Waikato lakes. Oral Paper presented at the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society Annual Meeting, Invercargill, 5-8 December 2016.

  • Kelly DJ, Wangenhoff A. 2016. Teasing apart the effects of nutrient enrichment and macrophyte destabilisation on lake food-web structure and resilience. Oral Paper presented at the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society Annual Meeting, Invercargill, 5-8 December 2016.