, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 51-58
Date: 01 Sep 2012

Phosphorus and nitrogen limitation of phytoplankton growth in eutrophic Lake Inba, Japan

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Abstract

Lake Inba is one of the most eutrophic lakes in Japan. In this study, field sampling and nutrient enrichment bioassays were conducted to determine the seasonal patterns of nutrient limitation for phytoplankton growth in this lake. Phytoplankton biomass increased significantly with the additions of phosphorus (P) on almost all sampling dates, indicating P limitation of phytoplankton growth from spring to autumn. However, nitrogen (N) limitation was also observed during summer (i.e., 19 August). On 10 August, a typhoon struck Lake Inba. After this event, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and phosphorus concentrations increased, probably because of increased river discharge. At the same time, phytoplankton growth in the control treatment became relatively high, with the addition of neither P nor N stimulating the growth. However, 10 days after the typhoon, the phytoplankton growth rate in the control treatment decreased, with only the addition of N having a significant positive effect on phytoplankton growth. N limitation during summer is caused by the low concentrations of DIN, as well as changes in the N:P ratio due to allochthonous nutrient loads. These results indicate that a reduction of both P and N input is necessary to control phytoplankton blooms in Lake Inba.

Handling Editor: Dietmar Straile.