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Light quality determines primary production in nutrient-poor small lakes.


ABSTRACT: The availability of nutrients for primary producers has long been thought to be the main limiting factor for primary productivity in nutrient-poor lake ecosystems. However, recent studies have indicated that the availability of light energy is also important. On the other hand, the amount of phototroph was reported to decrease in summer in Antarctic lakes, furthermore, the light environment underwater was shown containing high amount of ultraviolet energy in small Antarctic lakes. Here, we hypothesized that primary productivity is limited by not only nutrients and simple light quantity but also light quality in nutrient-poor lakes. Then, we investigate factors influencing primary production by benthic phototrophic communities in shallow nutrient-poor lakes. We examine the relationships between primary production in 17 Antarctic freshwater lakes and nutrient concentrations in lake and benthic water, temperature and light energy. Primary production is decreased by ultraviolet energy reaching the lake bed, showing that production is determined by light quality. We also correlate ultraviolet energy in lake water with the catchment area of each lake. Our results show that the underwater light environment has an important influence on primary production as a key limitation factor and is sensitive to materials in runoff from the surrounding environment for pristine lakes.

SUBMITTER: Tanabe Y 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6420600 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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