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Sci Total Environ. 2018 Dec 15;645:876-886. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.220. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

Long-term dynamics and drivers of phytoplankton biomass in eutrophic Lake Taihu.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China. Electronic address: xlshi@niglas.ac.cn.

Abstract

Understanding the relative effect sizes of climate-related environmental variables and nutrients on the high annual variation in the phytoplankton biomass in eutrophic lakes is important for lake management efforts. In this study, we used a data set of phytoplankton dynamics in eutrophic Lake Taihu that cover more than two decades (1993-2015) to show the variation in and the drivers of phytoplankton biomass under complex, fluctuating environmental conditions. Our results showed that the phytoplankton biomass increased slowly over the studied period despite the recent decrease in nutrient levels. The distribution of the phytoplankton biomass expanded spatially towards the central lake region, and seasonally towards the autumn and winter. Nutrients were still the primary predictors of the long-term phytoplankton biomass trend. The effect size of climate-related variables was also high and close to the effect size of nutrients. Among the climate-related variables, wind speed and underwater available light were more important predictors than temperature. The biomass of the phytoplankton taxonomic groups showed different responses to the environmental variables based on their niches. However, the compensatory dynamics affecting biomass were weak at phylum level, and synchronous dynamics drove the variation in total biomass. Our findings highlight the effect of climate-related variables on the phytoplankton biomass in Lake Taihu, which has experienced high nutrient loadings and concentrations for more than two decades. Therefore, changes in climate-related variables, such as wind speed and underwater available light, should be considered when evaluating the amount that nutrients should be reduced in Lake Taihu for future lake management.

KEYWORDS:

Lake Taihu; Nutrients; Photothermal processes; Phytoplankton biomass; Wind speed

PMID:
30032083
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.220
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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