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Temporal patterns of primary production in a large ultra-oligotrophic Antarctic freshwater lake


Bayliss, P and Ellis-Evans, JC and Laybourn-Parry, J, Temporal patterns of primary production in a large ultra-oligotrophic Antarctic freshwater lake, Polar Biology, 18, (6) pp. 363-370. ISSN 0722-4060 (1997) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s003000050201


A large ultra-oligotrophic Antarctic freshwater lake, Crooked Lake, was investigated between January 1993 and November 1993. The water column supported a small phytoplankton community limited by temperature, nutrient availability and, seasonally, by low photosynthetically active radiation. Chlorophyll a concentrations were consistently low (< 1 μg l-1) and showed no obvious seasonal patterns. Production rates were low, ranging from non-detectable to 0.56 μg C l-1 h-1, with highest rates generally occurring towards the end of the austral winter and in spring. The pattern of carbon fixation indicated that the phytoplankton was adapted to low light levels. Chlorophyll a specific photosynthetic rates (assimilation numbers) ranged from non-detectable to 1.27 μgC (μg chlorophyll a)-1 h-1. Partitioning of photosynthetic products revealed carbon incorporation principally into storage products such as lipids at high light fluxes with increasing protein synthesis at depth. With little allochthonous input the data suggest that lake dynamics in this Antarctic system are driven by phytoplankton activity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Laybourn-Parry, J (Professor Johanna Laybourn-Parry)
ID Code:49004
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:35
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2007-11-10
Last Modified:2011-08-15

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