Factors affecting diatom dynamics in the alpine lakes of Colbricon (Northern Italy): a 10-year survey
AbstractPlanktonic diatom fluctuations, their diversity and relationships with environmental variables were analyzed for ten consecutive years in Colbricon Superiore and Inferiore, two small high-mountain lakes located in the Paneveggio-Pale di S. Martino Natural Park (Trento, Italy) offering the rare opportunity to study two lakes differing only by area and volume and being in this respect in a ratio of 2:1 and 3:1 respectively. The lakes were monitored and sampled monthly, during ten ice-free periods, from 1998 to 2007, to correlate water chemical and physical characteristics with the recorded diversity and abundance of planktonic diatoms. 55 taxa of Bacillariophyceae were found, among which Cyclotella spp., Tabellaria flocculosa and Fragilaria spp. were dominant. Both chemical data and diatom community composition are consistent with well buffered mesotrophic lakes. We found statistical evidence that the development of diatoms was strongly related to the variation of water temperature. Furthermore, several different signatures of the diatom-enviroment relationships arose between the two lakes as e.g., a negative correlation between diatom development and water transparency was occurring in the larger lake only. As a result, the average diatom density recorded over the 10 years period were 1.17 fold higher than in the lower lake which corresponds to a 1.65 fold higher biomass. A size-dependent tighter response of the phytoplankton to chemical parameters appears to operate in the smaller waterbody compared to the larger one.
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Copyright (c) 2010 Renata TREVISAN, Claudia POGGI, Andrea SQUARTINI
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