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Algal species composition and phosphorus recycling at contrasting grazing pressure: An experimental study in sub-Antarctic lakes with two trophic levels
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1997 (English)In: Freshwater Biology, ISSN 0046-5070, E-ISSN 1365-2427, Vol. 37, no 1, 45-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. To test the response of algal communities to altered grazer abundance in lakes lacking efficient predators on herbivores, we performed field and experimental studies in two sub-Antarctic lakes (South Georgia). 2. The number of algal species in these high latitude lakes is low, and all dominant species have grazer-resistant adaptations, including spines in three dimensions (Staruastrum sp.), large size (Tribonema sp.), a mucus sheet allowing viable passage through the gut (Chlamydocapsa sp., Elakatothrix sp.) or ability to recruit individuals from the sediment surface (Mallomonas sp.). 3. Algal community composition was only slightly changed by experimentally altered grazer abundance, indicating that it was already adapted for a high grazing pressure. Hence, the diets of herbivores were restricted to vulnerable food organisms such as Mallomonas sp. and heterotrophic flagellates in the water column, and to benthic food sources. 4. At high grazer abundance, the concentration of available phosphorus (PO4-P) in the water was lower than at low grazer abundances, due to inefficient nutrient regeneration by the copepod herbivores. Hence, in lakes where copepods are dominant grazers, algae suffer both directly from grazing and indirectly from reduced nutrient availability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 37, no 1, 45-53 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-2202DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2427.1997.d01-531.xISI: A1997WJ19200003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-2202DiVA: diva2:855877
Available from: 2015-09-22 Created: 2015-09-22 Last updated: 2015-09-22

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