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ISRN Botany
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 123607, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/123607
Research Article

Disturbance of Opportunistic Small-Celled Phytoplankton in Lake Kinneret

The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel

Received 23 August 2012; Accepted 13 December 2012

Academic Editors: R. Dolferus, K. Pawlowski, and A. Singh

Copyright © 2012 Yury Kamenir and Zvy Dubinsky. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In spite of the chaotic dynamics of specific populations, similarity of annual species-abundance distributions was proven for phytoplankton assemblage during a “stable” period (1985–1994) of Lake Kinneret (Israel). This similarity declined during the “extreme” years (1995–1999) that followed, characterized by explicit changes in the phytoplankton annual-succession pattern. The rank-abundance distributions of species exhibit a pronounced difference between the taxonomically rich central region, producing the reliable assemblage backbone and highly variable tails of a few species. Therefore, the distribution pattern comparison enhances the importance of ubiquitous small disturbances valuable for diagnostics. Some phyla (in this case, Cyanophyta) were especially vulnerable to structural changes. A simple disturbance index was constructed, based on opportunistic small-celled species. The fine-structure disturbances, which can provide early-warning information, are discussed.