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Relationships between picophytoplankton and environmental variables in lakes along a gradient of water colour and nutrient content
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2003 (English)In: Freshwater Biology, ISSN 0046-5070, E-ISSN 1365-2427, Vol. 48, no 4, 729-740 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. Biomass and production of picophytoplankton, phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacterioplankton were measured in seven lakes, exhibiting a broad range in water colour because of humic substances. The aim of the study was to identify environmental variables explaining the absolute and relative importance of picophytoplankton. In addition, two dystrophic lakes were fertilised with inorganic phosphorus and nitrogen, to test eventual nutrient limitation of picophytoplankton in these systems. 2. Picophytoplankton biomass and production were highest in lakes with low concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and DOC proved the factor explaining most variation in picophytoplankton biomass and production. The relationship between picophytoplankton and lake trophy was negative, most likely because much P was bound in humic complexes. Picophytoplankton biomass decreased after the additions of P and N. 3. Compared with heterotrophic bacterioplankton, picophytoplankton were most successful at the clearwater end of the lake water colour gradient. Phytoplankton dominated over heterotrophic bacteria in the clearwater systems possibly because heterotrophic bacteria in such lakes are dependent on organic carbon produced by phytoplankton. 4. Compared with other phytoplankton, picophytoplankton did best at intermediate DOC concentrations; flagellates dominated in the humic lakes and large autotrophic phytoplankton in the clearwater lakes. 5. Picophytoplankton were not better competitors than large phytoplankton in situations when heterotrophic bacteria had access to a non-algal carbon source. Neither did their small size lead to picophytoplankton dominance over large phytoplankton in the clearwater lakes. Possible reasons include the ability of larger phytoplankton to float or swim to reduce sedimentation losses and to acquire nutrients by phagotrophy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 48, no 4, 729-740 p.
Keyword [en]
bacterioplankton, DOC, humic lakes, nutrient gradient, picophytoplankton
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37607DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2427.2003.01049.xISI: 000181632400014OAI: diva2:369389
Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2010-11-10

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Bergström, Ann-KristinJansson, Mats
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