Interaction effects of fish, nutrients, mixing and sediments on autotrophic picoplankton and algal composition

  • Rhew K
  • Baca R
  • Ochs C
 et al. 
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1. We examined the effects of nutrients, turbulent mixing, mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis Baird and Girard and sediments on algal composition, algal biomass and autotrophic picoplankton (APP) abundance in a 6-week experiment of factorial design in twenty-four 5-m super(3) outdoor mesocosms during late autumn 1995. 2. Turbulent mixing decreased surface temperature and increased turbidity, which also was increased by the addition of sediments. Total algal biomass was significantly enhanced by nutrients and mixing, and decreased by the sediment treatment. In the mixing x nutrient treatment, algal biomass increased more than expected from the individual effects, while the fish x mixing and mixing x sediment treatments increased algal biomass less than expected. 3. Cryptomonas (cryptomonad) blooms were observed in the unmixed, high nutrient treatment; Synedra (diatom) blooms were observed in the high nutrient, high sediment treatment; Ulothrix (green algae) blooms were observed in the mixed, high nutrient, low sediment treatment. 4. Eukaryotic APP abundances were increased by sediment addition and by turbulent mixing, and increased synergistically by mixing x sediment and mixing x nutrient interactions. Prokaryotic APP abundances were decreased by nutrient enhancement and by a mixing x nutrient interaction. There were no main effects of fish on APP abundance, but fish were involved in some of the two-way interactions. 5. The large number of significant interaction effects indicates that APP and other phytoplankton are regulated by a complex set of interdependent factors which should be considered simultaneously in studies of phytoplankton population dynamics and community composition.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Autotrophic picoplankton
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Factorial design
  • Phytoplankton

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  • Kyeongsik Rhew

  • Robert M. Baca

  • Clifford A. Ochs

  • Stephen T. Threlkeld

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