CARBON AVAILABILITY AND THE PATTERN OF CYANOBACTERIAL DOMINANCE IN ENRICHED LOW‐CARBON LAKES

Andrew R. Klemer, Len L. Hendzel, David L. Findlay, Randy A. Hedin, Michael T Mageau, Allan Konopka

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

We hypothesize that the pattern of cyanobacterial dominance in experimentally enriched, low‐carbon lakes is related not only to the resultant N:P ratio but also to the availability of carbon for gas‐vesicle synthesis. We tested this hypothesis by determining the buoyancy responses of a highly gas‐vacuolate, N2‐fixing cyanobacterium to P enrichment with and without induced C limitation. Enrichment of samples of Aphanizomenon schindleri (Kling et al. 1994) from blooms in Lake 227 with combinations of C, N, and P produced rapid buoyancy reductions in P treatments, reductions that were reversed within a generation time in treatments that included C or C and N as well as P. These responses are the first of their kind to be observed in experiments with lake populations of cyano‐bacteria. The rapid buoyancy reductions were associated with polyphosphate accumulations in P‐treated A. schindleri. Differences in buoyancy status after one generation time were linked to differences in relative gas vacuolation between samples treated with P only and samples treated with C and N as well as P. These results may explain the relative success of different types of cyanobacteria in newly enriched, low‐carbon lakes. The availability of C for gasvesicle synthesis may determine whether a low N:P ratio induces N2 fixation by benthic or by planktonic cyanobacteria and whether a high NP ratio leads to dominance by non‐gas‐vacuolate or by highly gas‐vacuolate, non‐N2‐fixers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-744
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Phycology
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1995

Keywords

  • Aphanizomenon schindleri
  • buoyancy regulation
  • carbon availability
  • cyanobacteria
  • eutrophication
  • gas vacuoles

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