Enhanced phosphorus accumulation efficiency by the pelagic community at reduced phosphorus supply: A lake experiment from bacteria to metazoan zooplankton

  • Teubner K
  • Crosbie N
  • Donabaum K
 et al. 
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The effects of experimentally reduced total phosphorus concentrations (TP) from 2.4 to 0.6 mumol L-1 on plankton community in a shallow lake were evaluated from the proportion between dissolved reactive P (DRP), dissolved nonreactive P (DOP) and particulate organic P (POP), and the stoichiometry among particulate organic carbon (POC), nitrogen (PON), and POP In both triple ratios, DRP: DOP: POP and POC: PON: POP, we used POP as a key component to indicate shifts between P fractions and between nutrients in particulate organic matter. The enhanced P accumulation by the planktonic assemblage by 14% at reduced P supply was achieved by two steps, in the first year mainly at the expense of DOP and in the second year by DRP. The evidence that this increase of %POP of TP reflects the adaptive P utilization of the organisms under low P supply was substantiated by significant relationships between P fractions and changes in the community. A higher %POP of TP was associated with higher specific alkaline phosphatase activity and with tighter coupling between producers and consumers respectively-that is, driven from both the nutrient-producer and the producer-consumer interface. A lowered %DOP of TP was significantly related to smaller overall loss rates for the carbon pool of bacteria and algae, whereas %DRP of TP was correlated to the decrease of the biomass of most organism groups. Stoichiometric shifts toward a P-rich assemblage under low TP have been justified by compositional shifts from N-rich cyanobacteria to P-rich eukaryotic algae and bacteria. The shifts toward POP in both triple ratios strongly indicated that the plankton community acted as a sink for phosphorus under reduced total pool size.

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