Phosphatase activity as an early warning indicator of wetland eutrophication: problems and prospects
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A phosphorus (P) loading experiment conducted in the oligotrophic P-limited Everglades was used to assess the utility of phosphatase activity (PA) of periphyton as an early warning (EW) indicator of wetland eutrophication. Phosphorus loads of 0, 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, 3.2, 6.4 and 12.8 g P m−2 yr−1 were applied to mesocosms placed in a slough community consisting of Cladium jamaicense Crantz, Eleocharis spp. and calcareous periphyton mats. Phosphatase activity, expressed on a biomass-specific basis, was not a sensitive indicator of P enrichment for epiphytic periphyton growing on acrylic dowels or floating mat periphyton. However, surface-area-specific PA was a sensitive indicator of P enrichment, responding within 2–3 weeks of the initiation of dosing. Surface-area-specific PA of unenriched periphyton ranged from 0.42 to 0.7 nmol cm−2 min−1, while PA of periphyton growing in the highest load (12.8 g P m−2 yr−1), ranged from 0.11 to 0.29 nmol cm−2 min−1. Conclusions drawn from PA analyses were consistent with those obtained from periphyton primary productivity and P content. Phosphatase activity is a potentially valuable EW indicator when used in conjunction with other complementary indicators.
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- Phosphatase activity as an early warning indicator of wetland eutrophication: problems and prospects
Journal of Applied Phycology
Volume 15, Issue 1 , pp 45-59
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- 1. Everglades Division, South Florida Water Management District, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, 33406, USA
- 2. Everglades Program Team, c/o, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, 10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach, 33437-9741, USA