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The use of TN:TP and DIN:TP ratios as indicators for phytoplankton nutrient limitation in oligotrophic lakes affected by N deposition
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
2010 (English)In: Aquatic Sciences, ISSN 1015-1621, E-ISSN 1420-9055, Vol. 72, no 3, 277-281 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The stoichiometric composition of lake water chemistry affects nutrient limitation among phytoplankton. I show how TN:TP and DIN:TP ratios vary in oligotrophic lakes of Europe and the USA affected by different amounts of N deposition, and evaluate whether the DIN:TP ratio is a better indicator than the TN:TP ratio for discriminating between N and P limitation of phytoplankton. Data were compiled from boreal and low to high alpine lakes, and comprise epilimnetic lake water chemistry data (106 lakes) and results from short-term nutrient bioassay experiments (28 lakes). A large share (54%) of the oligotrophic lakes in the study had low TN:TP mass ratios (<25). DIN:TP ratios showed higher variability than TN:TP ratios. Variability in DIN:TP ratios was related to N deposition, but also to catchment characteristics. Data from short-term bioassay experiments with separate addition of N and P showed that the DIN:TP ratio was a better indicator than the TN:TP ratio for N and P limitation of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton shift from N to P limitation when DIN:TP mass ratios increase from 1.5 to 3.4. High DIN:TP ratios, indicating P limitation of phytoplankton, were generally found in alpine lakes with low to moderate N deposition and in boreal lakes with high to very high amounts of N deposition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 72, no 3, 277-281 p.
Keyword [en]
nutrient limitation, DIN:TP - TN:TP, boreal, alpine/high mountain, phytoplankton
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35575DOI: 10.1007/s00027-010-0132-0ISI: 000278110400003OAI: diva2:345194
Available from: 2010-08-24 Created: 2010-08-24 Last updated: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Bergström, Ann-Kristin
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