, Volume 488, Issue 1-3, pp 99-105

Nutrient control of phytoplankton production in Lake Naivasha, Kenya

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Abstract

Lake Naivasha, a shallow tropical lake in Kenya's Rift Valley, has an unstable water column and is moderately eutrophic. Nutrient (bottom-up) control of primary production is more important than grazing (top-down) control. Experimental nutrient enrichment was used to investigate bottom-up control in more detail. Minor nutrients were not found to be limiting, whilst nitrogen was more limiting than phosphorus with an algal preference for ammonium over nitrate. Sediments form a phosphorus sink but there is hypolimnetic release from the one area showing regular temporary stratification. This indicates that the rate of primary production in the water column could double if conditions change to allow lake-wide nutrient release from sediments. Both external and recycled nutrient regeneration are important.