Assessing the zooplankton community and environmental factors in a Mediterranean wetland
Mediterranean wetlands represent unique repositories of biodiversity, but these ecosystems are increasingly threatened by human-induced habitat loss. Seventy percent of Greek wetlands (ponds, mires, marshes, etc.) have been lost in the past 80 years due to human intervention. In Greece habitat types of mires, listed in Directive 92/43/EEC, have been recorded in a few locations, one of the most important is Kalodiki wetland. Eutrophication key elements were determined at four sampling stations throughout 1 year in order to monitor the trophic conditions. Moreover, the zooplankton community was described as biological element relevant in the assessment of the ecological status of Kalodiki wetland. Kalodiki wetland exhibits nutrient concentrations corresponding to eutrophic conditions while according to chlorophyll-a values it is classified between mesotrophic and eutrophic status depending mostly on the sampling period. As concerning zooplankton community, it appears poor in species and dominated by small-sized organisms, which is generally typical of eutrophic, disturbed systems. Differences among zooplankton assemblages over seasons as well as among sampling sites highlight the role of both abiotic and biotic factors.