Effects of human disturbance on the variability of biotic communities in lakes

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Resource or Project Abstract

The aim of this project was to examine the effects of human disturbance on the variability of the biotic communities of lakes and to explore whether measures of biotic variability in space and/or time may provide a means to assess the extent of human pressures on lake ecosystems. Eight indices that have potential for detecting the impact of amplified water level fluctuations in lakes were developed and field tested. Results of the project demonstrate clearly that human disturbance can alter the variability of biotic communities of lakes in a variety of ways and across a range of scales.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Ian Donohue
Trinity College Dublin
Environmental Scientist
School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Zoology Building, Trinity College Dublin Dublin 2., Ireland
Telephone: +353 1 8961356
e-mail: ian.donohue@tcd.ie

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att 1    2008-FS-W-7-S5_datasets.xlsx   (0.96 Mb)
Att 2    Donohue_Summary_of_Findings_2008-FS-W-7-S5_Final.pdf   (0.39 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Donohue, I.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationEffects of human disturbance on the variability of biotic communities in lakes
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=55227bc9-e1ad-11e3-b233-005056ae0019
Unique Identifier55227bc9-e1ad-11e3-b233-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-12-11

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Donohue, I.   "Effects of human disturbance on the variability of biotic communities in lakes". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=55227bc9-e1ad-11e3-b233-005056ae0019 (Last Accessed: 2017-12-11)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=3052
Resource Keywordsspatiotemporal variability lake benthic macroinvertebrates
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2008-FS-W-7-S5
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWater Quality
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe reliability, quality and completeness of data gained through SAFER-Data is intended to be used in an education or research context. These data are not guaranteed for use in operational or decision-making settings. The EPA and SAFER-Data requests an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc) from those who use data/information received with SAFER-Data. This acknowledgement should state the original creators of the data/information. An automated citation is provided below. It is not ethical to publish data/information without proper attribution or co-authorship. The data/information are the intellectual property of the collecting investigator(s). The data/information may be freely downloaded and used by all who respect the restrictions and requirements in the previous paragraphs.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Thursday 1st May 2008 (01-05-2008)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Thursday 1st May 2008 (01-05-2008)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Tuesday 1st May 2012 (01-05-2012)
Published on SAFERThursday 22nd May 2014 (22-05-2014)
Date of Last EditThursday 22nd May 2014 at 13:20:54 (22-05-2014)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 22nd May 2014 at 13:20:54 (22-05-2014)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The spatiotemporal variability of lake benthic macroinvertebrates was studied. Geographic details of the lake sources are provided in the data file attached to this resource.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
Human transformation of the biosphere is causing an extinction crisis of unprecedented magnitude, driving an urgent need to understand the effects of human disturbance on fundamental characteristics of ecosystems. The spatiotemporal variability of biological communities comprises one such fundamental property that has hugely important, yet understudied, implications for both ecological theory and the management of natural resources. Biotic communities that are more variable have greater risk of species extinctions, are more susceptible to disturbance, and provide less reliable, and thus less economically valuable, ecosystem services.


The project developed twelve measures for detecting amplified water level fluctuations in lakes. Independent field tests supported the further development of eight of these. These measures have strong potential for inclusion in formal ecological assessment procedures for lakes.
Supplementary Information
Publications connected to this work
-Evtimova, V.V. & Donohue, I. (2014) Quantifying ecological responses to amplified water level
fluctuations in standing waters: an experimental approach. Journal of Applied Ecology.
-Donohue, I., Leira, M., Hobbs, W., León-Vintró, L., O?Reilly, J. & Irvine, K. (2010) Rapid ecosystem
recovery from diffuse pollution after the Great Irish Famine. Ecological Applications 20: 1733-1743.
-Donohue, I., Jackson, A.L., Pusch, M.T. & Irvine, K. (2009) Nutrient enrichment homogenizes lake
benthic assemblages at local and regional scales. Ecology 90: 3470-3477.
Links To Other Related Resources
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