The chydorids are the most diverse cladoceran taxa in lakes and lake sediments. Certain members of the Chydorus group become very abundant under eutrophic conditions (e.g. Chydorus sphaericus). The large Eurycerus are heavily preyed upon by fish. Some chydorid species have strong associations with particular substrate types which are related to their feeding strategies. Anchistropus emarginatus, the ectoparasite on hydra and Pseudochydorus globosus, a scavenger on dead animals, are noteworthy exceptions. In turn, littoral substrate types can be loosely related to lake trophic status.
The empirical relationship between chydorid diversity and lake ecosystems is usually straightforward - disturbance causes a drop in diversity.
Remains of Bosmina are often the most abundant subfossils in lake sediments. Their remains have been used to (1) infer changes in major lake habitat i.e. water transparency or water level changes that cause the relative importance of littoral vs limnetic areas to change, (2) assess the relative importance of invertebrate or vertebrate predators through morphological changes, and (3) estimate trophic status by distinction between species and trophic status.
See Jeppesen et al. (2001) for a review of the use of cladoceran remains to reconstruct anthropogenic impact.