Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, Peoples R China; Fudan Univ, Inst Biodivers Sci, Shanghai 200433, Peoples R China
Ecological studies on benthic nematodes were conducted in two small, shallow lakes in the middle Yangtze basin, China; Lake Houhu, where the main source of primary production is phytoplankton and Lake Biandantang where it is predominantly macrophytic in origin. Monthly sampling was carried out from April 1996 to March 1997. A total of 36 species of nematodes was found in Lake Houhu and 51 species in Lake Biandantang. The dominant trophic groups of nematodes were algophages in Lake Houhu and bacteriophages associated with omniphages and phytophages in Lake Biandantang. Community analyses based on K-dominance curves, Shannon-Wiener and Simpson diversity indices, demonstrate that the benthic nematodes are more diverse in Lake Biandantang than in Lake Houhu. The results suggest that the abundance of submerged vegetation is essential for maintenance of habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity of nematodes in shallow lakes.