Beatrix Beisner

Beatrix Beisner
Université du Québec à Montréal | UQAM · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

174
Publications
68,823
Reads
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5,735
Citations
Introduction
In my lab we focus on many aspects of the community ecology of plankton, both phytoplankton and zooplankton. We use functional traits to better assess community assembly, but also focusing on traits critical to food web functioning, such as mixotrophy. Spatial community ecology of lake plankton is also a focus, be it within-lake structure in the water column or between-lake structure in lake landscape metacommunities.
Additional affiliations
August 2003 - present
Université du Québec à Montréal
Description
  • Professor
June 2002 - July 2003
University of Guelph
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2000 - July 2002
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
August 2000 - July 2002
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Field of study
  • Ecology/Limnology
September 1995 - May 2000
September 1992 - December 1994
The University of Calgary
Field of study
  • Ecology

Publications

Publications (174)
Article
Full-text available
The salinization of freshwaters is a global threat to aquatic biodiversity. We quantified variation in chloride (Cl−) tolerance of 19 freshwater zooplankton species in four countries to answer three questions: (1) How much variation in Cl− tolerance is present among populations? (2) What factors predict intraspecific variation in Cl− tolerance? (3)...
Article
Full-text available
While it is now well accepted that human activities are having pronounced effects on natural ecosystems, regional variation in the rate and magnitude of various human impacts is unclear. Moreover, the effects of land use change on natural aquatic communities have only relatively recently begun to be explored. Our goal was to understand how and wher...
Article
Lakes are undergoing striking physicochemical changes globally, including co‐occurring increases in dissolved organic carbon and nutrient concentrations, water color, and surface temperature. Although several experimental studies of lake browning and warming have been conducted over the last decade, knowledge remains limited as to the structural an...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular genetic approaches applied to environmental DNA have great potential for biodiversity research and ecosystem monitoring. A metagenome is produced via shotgun sequencing of DNA collected directly from the environment and represents a sample of genetic information from all organisms captured in an environmental sample. Metagenomes have been...
Article
Full-text available
Significance The salinity of freshwater ecosystems is increasing worldwide. Given that most freshwater organisms have no recent evolutionary history with high salinity, we expect them to have a low tolerance to elevated salinity caused by road deicing salts, agricultural practices, mining operations, and climate change. Leveraging the results from...
Article
Full-text available
Canada is home to more lakes than any other nation, but there is a fragmented and limited understanding of the ecological status of these water bodies. Zooplankton are excellent bioindicators of lake health, given their central food web position. To date, many studies have investigated the effect of individual stressors on zooplankton communities,...
Article
Full-text available
Human-induced salinization increasingly threatens inland waters; yet we know little about the multifaceted response of lake communities to salt contamination. By conducting a coordinated mesocosm experiment of lake salinization across 16 sites in North America and Europe, we quantified the response of zooplankton abundance and (taxonomic and functi...
Article
Accurately identifying the species present in an ecosystem is vital to lake managers and successful bioassessment programs. This is particularly important when monitoring cyanobacteria, as numerous taxa produce toxins and can have major negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Increasingly, DNA-based techniques such as meta- barcoding are being used...
Article
Full-text available
The biodiversity–ecosystem functioning concept asserts that processes in ecosystems are markedly influenced by species richness and other facets of biodiversity. However, biodiversity–ecosystem functioning studies have been largely restricted to single ecosystems, ignoring the importance of functional links – such as the exchange of matter, energy,...
Article
Full-text available
Strong trophic interactions link primary producers (phytoplankton) and consumers (zooplankton) in lakes. However, the influence of such interactions on the biogeographical distribution of the taxa and functional traits of planktonic organisms in lakes has never been explicitly tested. To better understand the spatial distribution of these two major...
Article
Significance Freshwater ice is being lost at an accelerating rate with global warming. Yet the ecological implications of shortening ice-covered seasons remain largely unexplored due to a historical lack of freshwater research in winter. We provide an innovative experimental study that realistically reproduces warming effects on the timing of ice o...
Article
Full-text available
In phytoplankton communities, competitive exclusion might occur when functionally similar species are impeded from regulating their positions along light and nutrient gradients to reduce niche overlap. Greater spatial overlap (SO) between species due to water column mixing could thus promote competitive exclusion, reducing community taxonomic diver...
Preprint
Full-text available
Molecular genetic approaches applied to environmental DNA have great potential for biodiversity research and ecosystem monitoring. A metagenome contains genetic information from all organisms captured in an environmental sample. It has been primarily used to study bacteria and archaea, but promising reports focusing on metazoan diversity are emergi...
Article
Multiple stressors affect water quality and biodiversity in lakes worldwide. However, our understanding of which combinations of stressors are of greatest impact and how lakes have shifted from their pre-industrial baselines is fragmented. Questions remain regarding how multiple trophic groups are affected by global change stressors and whether reg...
Article
Anthropogenic environmental change is causing habitat deterioration at unprecedented rates in freshwater ecosystems. Despite increasing more rapidly than other agents of global change, synthetic chemical pollution -including agrochemicals such as pesticides- has received relatively little attention in freshwater community and ecosystem ecology. Det...
Article
Agricultural pollution with fertilizers and pesticides is a common disturbance to freshwater biodiversity. Bacterioplankton communities are at the base of aquatic food webs, but their responses to these potentially interacting stressors are rarely explored. To test the extent of resistance and resilience in bacterioplankton communities faced with a...
Article
Aim We examined variation in crustacean zooplankton composition and diversity across Canada, the most lake-rich country in the world. In addition to α-diversity patterns, we explore mechanisms behind β-diversity spatial variation, using taxonomic and functional metrics. Our goal was to explore geographical gradients and related mechanisms shaping z...
Article
The implementation of environmental monitoring programs in areas under anthropogenic pressure is essential to investigate the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity in ecosystems and to establish the most appropriate conservation strategies according to the area. We investigated whether environmental variables or temporal scale influence...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic ecologists face challenges in identifying the general rules of the functioning of ecosystems. A common framework, including freshwater, marine, benthic, and pelagic ecologists, is needed to bridge communication gaps and foster knowledge sharing. This framework should transcend local specificities and taxonomy in order to provide a common gr...
Article
Theory predicts that population genetic structure and metacommunity structure are linked by the common processes of drift and migration, but how population genetic structure and metacommunity structure are related in nature is still unknown. Deeper understanding of the processes influencing both genetic and community diversity is vital for better p...
Article
This 6-month study characterized the contribution of deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) to lake phytoplankton diversity and primary production, in relation to stratification during the ice-free season. Phytoplankton and zooplankton dynamics were examined with environmental drivers in a small stratified lake that presents vertical gradients of light and...
Preprint
Anthropogenic environmental change is causing habitat deterioration at unprecedented rates in freshwater ecosystems. Despite increasing more rapidly than other agents of global change, synthetic chemical pollution –including agrochemicals such as pesticides– has received relatively little attention in freshwater biotic assessments. Determining the...
Chapter
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Article
Full-text available
The relative importance of top‐down vs. bottom‐up control of phytoplankton biomass in aquatic ecosystems has been long debated and studied. However, few studies have considered the relative importance of top‐down vs. bottom‐up control on phytoplankton vertical distributions and characteristics of deep chlorophyll maxima (DCMs), and fewer still have...
Preprint
Full-text available
Freshwater biodiversity is threatened by fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural sources. Microbial communities can be resistant (i.e., community composition stays largely the same) or resilient (i.e., composition changes but then returns to its initial state) to these contaminants. Even after changes in composition, communities may continue t...
Article
Full-text available
Community rescue occurs when ecological or evolutionary processes restore positive growth in a highly stressful environment that was lethal to the community in its ancestral form, thus averting biomass collapse in a deteriorating environment. Laboratory evidence suggests that community rescue is most likely in high-biomass communities that have pre...
Article
For biomonitoring of aquatic ecosystems, the use of coarse group classifications, either taxonomic or functional, has been proposed as an alternative to more highly resolved taxonomic identification. We tested this proposition for phytoplankton and zooplankton using a pan-United States dataset, which also allows us to investigate biogeographic rela...
Article
Full-text available
Macrophytes are important structural attributes of freshwater ponds and wetlands, affecting zooplankton community composition. One of the best-known macrophytes in the world is Eichhornia crassipes, which, due to its high reproductive rate, can quickly occupy large areas of aquatic environments. However, there have been few assessments of the direc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Functional diversity holds the promise of understanding ecosystems in ways unattainable by taxonomic diversity studies. Underlying this promise is the intuition that investigating the diversity of what organisms actually do-i.e. their functional traits-within ecosystems will generate more reliable insights into the ways these ecosystems behave, com...
Article
Functional diversity holds the promise of understanding ecosystems in ways unattainable by taxonomic diversity studies. Underlying this promise is the intuition that investigating the diversity of what organisms actually do—i.e. their functional traits—within ecosystems will generate more reliable insights into the ways these ecosystems behave, com...
Article
Full-text available
The distribution and quality of water resources vary dramatically across Canada, and human impacts such as land-use and climate changes are exacerbating uncertainties in water supply and security. At the national level, Canada has no enforceable standards for safe drinking water and no comprehensive water-monitoring program to provide detailed, tim...
Article
Community rescue occurs when a community that experiences lethal stress persists only through the spread of rare types, either genotypes or species, resistant to the stress. Rescue interacts with trophic structure because physical stress experienced by a focal assemblage within the community may also be experienced by its predators and prey. In gen...
Article
• Ponds and shallow lakes are sensitive to eutrophication, which often increases turbidity and produces toxic algal blooms. Previous research has found that the presence of macrophytes in shallow water bodies can mitigate the effects of nutrient loading by promoting water clarity and inhibiting phytoplankton growth. However, there is still little k...
Article
Full-text available
• Flow modification of lotic ecosystems is one of the main threats to global freshwater biodiversity. Commonly, and in the river studied here, modification results from hydroelectric dam installation. • We evaluated the impacts of damming on zooplankton communities in the Amazonian floodplain of the Madeira River (Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil) fol...
Article
Full-text available
Growing attention to phytoplankton mixotrophy as a trophic strategy has led to significant revisions of traditional pelagic food web models and ecosystem functioning. Although some empirical estimates of mixotrophy do exist, a much broader set of in situ measurements are required to (i) identify which organisms are acting as mixotrophs in real time...
Article
Full-text available
Cladocerans feed on a variety of phytoplankton food sources, which are variable across space and time. Different phytoplankton groups represent different nutritional quality to Daphnia magna (Straus) due to differences in their Redfield stoichiometry or digestibility. We used chlorophyll fluorescence to directly measure phytoplankton group quantity...
Article
Full-text available
Trait-based approaches to investigate (short- and long-term) phytoplankton dynamics and community assembly have become increasingly popular in freshwater and marine science. Although the nature of the pelagic habitat and the main phytoplankton taxa and ecology are relatively similar in both marine and freshwater systems, the lines of research have...
Poster
Full-text available
Aquatic ecologists face a common challenge: identifying the general rules of the functioning of aquatic ecosystems and developing a more predictive ecological understanding. However, freshwater and marine ecologists traditionally form two distinct scientific communities that barely communicate with each other. A common language is needed to foster...
Article
Full-text available
Resource distribution heterogeneity offers niche opportunities for species with different functional traits to develop and potentially coexist. Available light (photosynthetically active radiation or PAR) for suspended algae (phytoplankton) may fluctuate greatly over time and space. Species‐specific light acquisition traits capture important aspect...
Article
Cladoceran zooplankton subfossils have been widely applied as indicators of lake health and used to infer past environmental change. However, our understanding of how the environment controls the abundance and distribution of Cladocera, as recorded in lake sediments, is still developing; only a few large landscape studies have been conducted in tem...
Preprint
Full-text available
A bstract Strong trophic interactions link primary producers (phytoplankton) and consumers (zooplankton) in lakes. However, the influence of such interactions on the biogeographical distribution of the taxa and functional traits of planktonic organisms in lakes has never been explicitly tested. To better understand the spatial distribution of these...
Article
Full-text available
Waterbodies in urban environments are usually built or maintained to serve socioeconomic functions. However, they also represent ecosystems that can contribute notably to urban biodiversity. To better understand contribution to biodiversity of urban ecosystems, the variation in zooplankton community composition in 19 waterbodies across the Island o...
Article
Freshwater bacterioplankton communities are influenced by the inputs of material and bacteria from the surrounding landscape, yet few studies have investigated how different terrestrial inputs affect bacterioplankton. We examined whether the addition of soils collected under various tree species combinations differentially influences lake bacterial...
Article
Northern lakes are ice‐covered for a large part of the year, yet our understanding of microbial diversity and activity during winter lags behind that of the ice‐free period. In this study, we investigated under‐ice diversity and metabolism of Verrucomicrobia in seasonally ice‐covered lakes in temperate and boreal regions of Quebec, Canada using 16S...
Preprint
Northern lakes are ice-covered for a large part of the year, yet our understanding of microbial diversity and activity during winter lags behind that of the ice-free period. In this study, we investigated under-ice diversity and metabolism of Verrucomicrobia in seasonally ice-covered lakes in temperate and boreal regions of Quebec, Canada using 16S...
Article
Full-text available
Excess nutrient loading into ponds and shallow lakes can lead to undesirable algal growth and a shift to a turbid state. Previous work has suggested that such an ecosystem transition may be mediated by the biotic constituents of the habitat and food web; however, earlier experiments have been conducted at coarse temporal resolution and have typical...
Article
Studies examining the consequences of increased partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in freshwater ecosystems associated with climate change have focused on direct effects for phytoplankton, showing increases in primary productivity, biomass or altered composition. However, in lakes, phytoplankton dynamics are also regulated by zooplankton pre...
Article
Recent experimental evidence suggests that changes in the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), in concert with nutrient fertilisation, may result in increased primary production and shifted phytoplankton community composition that favours species lacking adaptations to low CO2 environments. It is not clear whether these results apply in ambient freshwat...
Article
Understanding the magnitude and drivers of freshwater diversity over the last 150 years provides essential insights for developing scenarios of future change. Here, we quantify and identify drivers of spatial and temporal beta diversity in diatom assemblages between historical and modern times.
Article
Full-text available
A major outstanding question in plankton ecology is whether the regulation of zooplankton production at the community level follows the same patterns that have been observed for individual populations. We used a novel biochemical approach to estimate in situ rates of crustacean zooplankton community production in 83 boreal lakes, with the objective...
Article
Full-text available
The vertical distribution of chlorophyll in stratified lakes and reservoirs frequently exhibits a maximum peak deep in the water column, referred to as the deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM). DCMs are ecologically important hot spots of primary production and nutrient cycling, and their location can determine vertical habitat gradients for primary cons...
Article
Full-text available
Introduced predators have caused some of the largest documented impacts of non-native species. Interactions among predators can have complex effects, leading to both synergistic and antagonistic outcomes. Complex interactions with native predators could play an important role in mediating the impact of non-native predators. We explore the role of t...
Article
Full-text available
There is a very limited understanding of the impact of diamond mining on the aquatic communities of lakes that receive mine activity residue. For aquatic communities, assessing the response to mining, which can affect multiple variables concurrently, is not trivial, especially when a species-by-species approach is used. Thus, we assessed diamond mi...
Article
The lakes surrounding the iron-ore mining region of Schefferville, Québec, Canada sit within a landscape of historical disturbances, two of which have been relatively well documented over time: metal contamination and nutrient loading. Based on the analysis of sediment cores, we used cladoceran zooplankton subfossil assemblages from two lakes locat...
Article
Full-text available
The renewed interest in trait-based approaches has offered a stimulating, conceptual framework for predicting species distributions, assessing community composition and determining biodiversity–ecosystem linkages. However, despite previous attempts to clarify trait terminology and its application, selecting ecologically meaningful traits that mecha...
Article
Les proliferations (aussi appelees pullulations ou « blooms ») de la meduse d’eau douce Craspedacusta sowerbii semblent de plus en plus frequentes dans les lacs d’Amerique du Nord. Cependant, puisqu’elles apparaissent sporadiquement, de facon discontinue dans le temps et l’espace, on connait mal leur repartition, leur ecologie et les facteurs envir...
Article
Full-text available
Au cours des dernieres decennies, les signalements de Craspedacusta sowerbii, une espece de meduse d’eau douce, ont augmente dans les lacs temperes d’Amerique du Nord. Cette espece exotique envahissante, originaire de Chine, est une de celles qui envahissent les lacs du Quebec. Dans cet article, nous examinerons et resumerons des informations tiree...