Re-oligotrophication and warming stabilize phytoplankton networks

Fu, Hui
Cai, Guojun
Özkan, Korhan
Johansson, Liselotte Sander
Søndergaard, Martin
Lauridsen, Torben L.
Yuan, Guixiang
Jeppesen, Erik
Phytoplankton taxa are strongly interconnected as a network, which could show temporal dynamics and non-linear responses to changes in drivers at both seasonal and long-term scale. Using a high quality dataset of 20 Danish lakes (1989–2008), we applied extended Local Similarity Analysis to construct temporal network of phytoplankton communities for each lake, obtained sub-network for each sampling month, and then measured indices of network complexity and stability for each sub-network. We assessed how lake re-oligotrophication, climate warming and grazers influenced the temporal dynamics on network complexity and stability of phytoplankton community covering three aspects: seasonal trends, long-term trends and detrended variability. We found strong seasonality for the complexity and stability of phytoplankton network, an increasing trend for the average degree, modularity, nestedness, persistence and robustness, and a decreasing trend for connectance, negative:positive interactions and vulnerability. Our study revealed a cascading effect of lake re-oligotrophication, climate warming and zooplankton grazers on phytoplankton network stability through changes in network complexity characterizing diversity, interactions and topography. Network stability of phytoplankton increased with average degree, modularity, nestedness and decreased with connectance and negative:positive interactions. Oligotrophication and warming stabilized the phytoplankton network (enhanced robustness, persistence and decreased vulnerability) by enhancing its average degree, modularity, nestedness and by reducing its connectance, while zooplankton richness promoted stability of phytoplankton network through increases in average degree and decreases in negative interactions. Our results further indicate that the stabilization effects might lead to more closed, compartmentalized and nested interconnections especially in the deeper lakes, in the warmer seasons and during bloom periods. From a temporal dynamic network view, our findings highlight stabilization of the phytoplankton community as an adaptive response to lake re-oligotrophication, climate warming and grazers.
Citation Formats
H. Fu et al., “Re-oligotrophication and warming stabilize phytoplankton networks,” WATER RESEARCH, vol. 253, pp. 1–1, 2024, Accessed: 00, 2024. [Online]. Available: