An in situ mesocosm experiment was performed to investigate the role of aluminum in controlling phytoplankton community succession during lake acidification. Large (2000 liter) mesocosms were suspended in mesotrophic East Twin Lake, Ohio, USA. Duplicates were either untreated controls (pH 8·8), acidified to pH 4·5 over 23 days, or acidified and spiked with 200 μg/liter Al in incremental additions. Filamentous blue greens, diatoms and other chrysophytes became extinct in both acid treatments, but declined most rapidly where Al levels were also increased. The large desmid Closterium and the filamentous chlorophyte Mougoetia became dominant in the Acid treatment. In the Acid + Al treatment, these algae also became dominant, but the species with greatest biomass was the dinoflagellate Peridinium inconspicuum. Acidification (with or without added Al) also resulted in a significant shift in the algal size spectrum to larger (> 20 μm) cells. © 1990.
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