Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 10–36 | Cite as

Patterns of abundance and dominance of the phytoplankton of Rostherne Mere, England: Evidence from an 18-year data set

  • C. S. Reynolds
  • E. G. Bellinger


Rostherne Mere is a small but relatively deep, turbid and highly eutrophic lake. In recent years, the productivity and dynamics of its phytoplankton have been particularly sensitive to the interaction between light income and thermal stability. Analysis reveals that interannual differences in the size and duration of phytoplankton crops, as well as in the predominating species, are not random but that there is a reproducible coherence with weather-generated external forcing. Severe light-limitation restricts phytoplankton development outside the stratified period, though delayed stratification in spring may promote relatively large diatom crops. In summer,Microcystis will usually dominate provided its recruitment period coincides with high water clarity. OtherwiseCeratium generally dominates. Examples of extremely stable stratification leading toScenedesmus dominance and of persistent episodes of summer mixing favouringOscillatoria dominance are found to agree well with previous matrix models.

Key words

Phytoplankton periodicity physical factors climate weather cyanobacterial dominance 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. S. Reynolds
    • 1
  • E. G. Bellinger
    • 2
  1. 1.Windermere LaboratoryInstitute of Freshwater EcologyAmblesideGreat Britain
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterGreat Britain

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