Effects of climate on size structure and functioning of aquatic food webs

G. Lacerot

Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


In aquatic food webs, the role of body size is notoriously strong. It is also well known that temperature has an effect on body size. For instance, Bergmann’s rule states that body size increases from warm to cold climates. This thesis addresses the question how climate shapes the size structure of fish and zooplankton communities, and how this affects the strength of the trophic cascade from fish to plankton. I combine three different approaches: a space-for-time substitution study of data from the 83 shallow lakes distributed along a latitudinal gradient in South America, simple mathematical models to explore climate effects on the dynamics of trophic interactions, and an experimental analysis of trophic interactions using outdoor mesocosms.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Scheffer, Marten, Promotor
  • Lürling, Miquel, Co-promotor
Award date6 Apr 2010
Place of Publication[S.l.
Print ISBNs9789085856160
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • aquatic environment
  • food webs
  • climatic factors
  • fishes
  • zooplankton
  • body measurements
  • models
  • lakes
  • south america
  • aquatic ecology

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