Differential response of invasive malacostracan species to lake level fluctuations.
The water level of Lake Balaton (a large, shallow lake) was extremely low in 2003, after a dry period of several years. Due to the intensive precipitation in 2004, a regeneration period commenced. Stones of the littoral zone were sampled near the water surface and from the lake bottom four times in both years at four sampling stations. Malacostraca in the encrustation of the stones were represented by Ponto-Caspian immigrants: the invasive amphipods Chelicorophium curvispinum and Dikerogammarus spp. (D. haemobaphes and D. villosus), the mysid Limnomysis benedeni and the isopod Jaera istri. The amphipods dominated in both years. Species of the amphipod genus Dikerogammarus were relatively less abundant than the amphipod C. curvispinum in the regeneration period as compared to the drought period of 2003. Maximal density of Malacostraca (ind. m-2 stone surface) was 69 953 in 2003 and 82 465 in 2004. Vertical stratification of animal numbers and specific taxa occurred in May 2003 and throughout the year in 2004, with some exceptions. Many more Malacostraca individuals were recorded at the lake bottom than near the water surface.