1. Detecting the impacts of invading Bythotrephes cederstrœmi (Crustacea, Onychopoda, Cercopagididae) on zooplankton in North American lakes has been hampered by the brevity of pre-invasion data, and by the difficulty of distinguishing the effects of the invader from other stresses. The data from Harp Lake in Ontario, Canada, circumvent these difficulties. Bythotrephes appeared in the lake in 1993. There is a 15-year pre-invasion data set, and no significant complicating concurrent stresses.

2. The species composition and the size structure of the crustacean zooplankton community of Harp Lake changed after the invasion. Several small species either declined dramatically in abundance (e.g. Bosmina longirostris, Tropocyclops extensus) or disappeared (Chydorus sphaericus, Diaphanosoma birgei, Bosmina (Neobosmina) tubicen). In contrast the abundance of the larger cladocerans Holopedium gibberum and Daphnia galeata mendotae and the hypolimnetic copepod Leptodiaptomus sicilis increased. Several univariate and all multivariate summarizations of zooplankton abundance, biomass and size structure highlighted the uniqueness of the post-invasion community.

3. The alterations in the zooplankton community could not be attributed to changes in lake acidity, thermal regimes, penetration by ultraviolet light, nutrient status, fish stocking or the abundances of native invertebrate predators, but they were correlated with Bythotrephes abundance, both within and among years. Hence, we hypothesize that the invasion by Bythotrephes has significantly altered the crustacean zooplankton community of Harp Lake.