A study of autotrophic communities in two Victoria Land lakes (Continental Antarctica) using photosynthetic pigments
AbstractThe composition of algal pigments and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) was determined in microbial mats from two lakes in Victoria Land (Continental Antarctica) with different lithology and environmental features. The aim was to expand knowledge of benthic autotrophic communities in Antarctic lacustrine ecosystems, providing reference data for future assessment of possible changes in environmental conditions and freshwater communities. The results of chemical analyses were supported by microscopy observations. Pigment profiles showed that filamentous cyanobacteria are dominant in both lakes. Samples from the water body at Edmonson Point had greater biodiversity, fewer pigments and lower EPS ratios than those from the lake at Kar Plateau. Differences in mat composition and in pigment and EPS profile between the two lakes are discussed in terms of local environmental conditions such as lithology, ice-cover and UV radiation. The present study suggests that a chemical approach could be useful in the study of benthic communities in Antarctic lakes and their variations in space and time.
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Copyright (c) 2010 Francesca BORGHINI, Andrea COLACEVICH, Roberto BARGAGLI
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