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NO3 uptake in shallow, oligotrophic, mountain lakes: The influence of elevated NO3 concentrations

Journal of the North American Benthological Society

By:
, , and ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.1899/0887-3593(2004)023<0397:NUISOM>2.0.CO;2

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Abstract

Nutrient enrichment experiments were conducted in 1.2-m deep enclosures in 2 shallow, oligotrophic, mountain lakes. 15N-NO3 isotope tracer was used to compare the importance of phytoplankton and benthic compartments (epilithon, surface sediment [epipelon], and subsurface sediment) for NO3 uptake under high and low NO3 conditions. NO3 uptake approached saturation in the high-N lake, but not in the low-N lake. The capacity of phytoplankton and benthic compartments to take up NO3 differed among treatments and between lakes, and depended on water-column nutrient conditions and the history of NO3 availability. Phytoplankton productivity responded strongly to addition of limiting nutrients, and NO3 uptake was related to phytoplankton biomass and photosynthesis. However, more NO3 usually was taken up by benthic compartments (57–92% combined) than by phytoplankton, even though the response of benthic algal biomass to nutrient additions was less pronounced than that of phytoplankton and benthic NO3 uptake was unrelated to benthic algal biomass. In the low-N lake where NO3 uptake was unsaturated, C content or % was related to NO3 uptake in benthic substrates, suggesting that heterotrophic bacterial processes could be important in benthic NO3 uptake. These results suggest that phytoplankton are most sensitive to nutrient additions, but benthic processes are important for NO3 uptake in shallow, oligotrophic lakes.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
NO3 uptake in shallow, oligotrophic, mountain lakes: The influence of elevated NO3 concentrations
Series title:
Journal of the North American Benthological Society
DOI:
10.1899/0887-3593(2004)023<0397:NUISOM>2.0.CO;2
Volume:
23
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Publisher:
North American Benthological Society
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
19 p.
First page:
397
Last page:
415