Time trends in abundance, body size, species richness, and species composition indicate that crustacean zooplankton communities of southern Canadian Shield lakes changed between 1980 and 2003. Total abundance did not decline despite reductions in total phosphorus, but all other metrics changed. Species richness declined in Harp Lake (Ontario, Canada) following its Bythotrephes invasion, but richness increased in three other lakes. Average cladoceran body length increased from 0.6 to 1.0 mm in seven of the lakes, as larger-bodied taxa replaced smaller ones. Correlations with water quality and fish metrics suggest that cladoceran size increases were attributable to many factors: a decline in food availability following declining phosphorus levels increasing the competitive advantage of larger herbivores, a decline in acidity favouring the larger, acid-sensitive daphniids, and reduced risk of planktivory linked to a rise in dissolved organic carbon levels and changes in predation regimes. Zooplankton communities on the Canadian Shield are changing, and these changes are best viewed in a multiple-stressor context. Key anthropogenic stressors have also changed and may do so again if Ca concentrations continue to decline. © 2008 NRC.