An in situ mesocosm experiment was performed to evaluate the role of aluminum toxicity in determining zooplankton community responses to take acidification. Large plastic enclosures were suspended in East Twin Lake, Ohio, USA, and duplicates were either untreated controls (pH 8·8), acidified to pH 4·5 over a 23 day period, or acidified and also spiked with incremental additions of Al, to produce a final inorganic monomeric Al level of 180 μg/liter at pH 4·5. Zooplankton abundance and species richness declined in both acid treatments, relative to the control, as numerous acid-sensitive species were eliminated. All of the acid-sensitive species were also Al-sensitive, declining in abundance more rapidly in the acid plus Al treatment than in the acid-alone treatment. Only two small cladocerans (Bosmina longirostris and Chydorus sphaericus) were acid tolerant. Both were also tolerant of elevated Al levels. © 1989.
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