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N-limited consumer growth and low nutrient regeneration N:P ratios in lakes with low N deposition
2015 (English)In: Ecosphere, ISSN 2150-8925, E-ISSN 2150-8925, Vol. 6, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nutrient limitation of primary producers and their consumers can have a large influence on ecosystem productivity. The nature and strength of nutrient limitation is driven both by external factors (e.g., nutrient loading) and internal processes (e.g., consumer-driven nutrient regeneration). Here we present results from a field study in 10 low productive headwater lakes in northern subarctic Sweden, where nitrogen (N) deposition is low and phytoplankton is primarily N-limited. We assessed the carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus (C:N:P) stoichiometry of seston and zooplankton and estimated the N:P ratio of consumer-driven nutrient regeneration. Based on stoichiometric models, the estimated elemental imbalances between seston and zooplankton suggest that zooplankton were mainly N-limited and regenerated nutrients with low N:P ratios (median 11.9, atomic ratio). The predicted N:P regeneration ratios were consistent with results from phytoplankton nutrient limitation bioassays in mid-summer, i.e., the N:P regeneration was predicted to be low when phytoplankton were N-limited, and high when phytoplankton were P-limited. During other seasons, when water discharge was high, nutrient loading from the surrounding catchments apparently had the strongest effect on phytoplankton nutrient limitation. We propose that lakes with higher N:P ratios than the open ocean is an effect of N deposition, that N-limitation of consumers and phytoplankton is further enhanced by low nutrient regeneration N:P ratios, and that in the absence of N deposition, lake and ocean N:P stoichiometry are similar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd , 2015. Vol. 6, no 1
Keywords [en]
consumer driven nutrient cycling, ecological stoichiometry, nitrogen, nutrient limitation, phosphorus, phytoplankton, zooplankton
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-7799DOI: 10.1890/ES14-00333.1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-7799DiVA, id: diva2:1281591
Available from: 2019-01-22 Created: 2019-01-22 Last updated: 2019-01-22Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
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