Polymixis and Algal Production in a Tropical Lake: Latitudinal Effects on the Seasonality of Photosynthesis

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Freshwater Biology







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polymixis, algal production, tropical lake, latitudinal effects, seasonality, photosynthesis

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1. Phytoplankton production was measured during 1981–82 in Bahia de Puno. a large polymictic system that is part of LakeTiticaca in the tropical Andes (Peru-Bolivia), Photosynthesis followed aweak seasonal pattern through each 12-month cycle but the largestvariations occurrud between years. 2. The large temporal variations in productivity appeared to becontrolled by biological events rather than by the direct effeets ofseasonal or aseasonal physical processes. Major shifts in production overthe 2-year period were attributable to the proportional abundance andactivity of N2-fixing blue-green algae. Production was uncorrelated withthe seasonal radiation cycle. 3. In vivo fluorescence and photosynthetic assays revealed largechanges in phytoplankton community structure over time and depth.The shifts in vertical structure were associated with changes in transparency and water column stabilily.Physiological as well as floristiceffects dictated the variations in fluorescence per unit chlorophyll a. 4. An analysis of twenty-seven primary productivity data sets fromdifferent latitudes shtiwed that Bahia dc Puno resembled other tropicallakes in its relatively weak coupling between algal photosynthesis andseasonal variations in light. Productivity in the temperate zone correlated with the annual cycle of incoming radiation while the tropicalproduction data did not. For many of the tropical lakes, but fewtemperate lakes, the between-month variance in primary production wassignificantly higher than the between-month variance for incomingradiation. There was a significant positive relationship between maximum production variance explained hy light (maximum r2 for each dataset) and latitude. 5. As in many tropical lakes. Bahia de Puno experiences moderatelylarge variations in algal photosynthesis.The muted seasonal cycle of light explains only a small portion of the total variation In productivity, and other factors such as weuther-related events are disproportionately important.


Originally published by Wiley-Blackwell. Publisher's PDF available through remote link.