Polar Biology

, Volume 32, Issue 11, pp 1617–1627 | Cite as

In situ photochemical activity of the phytobenthic communities in two Antarctic lakes

  • Sakae KudohEmail author
  • Yukiko Tanabe
  • Masahiro Matsuzaki
  • Satoshi Imura
Original Paper


Photochemical activity of phytobenthic communities in two freshwater lakes in East Antarctica was estimated using a submersible pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM) chlorophyll fluorometer, to answer the following questions: (1) Are the communities under bright summer photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) photosynthetically active? (2) If active, which community shows the most active signals? (3) Where is the most productive part (or depth) in the lake? Our limnological measurements indicated the two lakes were ultra-oligotrophic. Diving observations revealed that the phytobenthos of the lakes was moss-dominated which had different life-forms (moss shoots in shallow depths of both lakes, moss-pillars in the shallow lake, pinnacle moss-microbial complex community in the deeper lake). In addition, various mat-forming microbial communities inhabited the lake beds. In situ measurements of photochemical parameters indicated that shoots of mosses living just below the littoral slope, and the apical part of the moss pillars, had the highest photosynthetic activity in open water summer conditions, but mat-forming microbial communities and the other moss-microbial complex communities, showed rather lower activity. Most of the mat-forming phytobenthos surface also showed positive photosynthetic activity, but there were some cases of negligible signals in the shallow depth. This suggests that the photosynthetic activities of mat-forming communities in the shallow water were suppressed by strong ambient light in summer.


Antarctica Photosynthesis Ecophysiology Diving observation Phytobenthos 



We gratefully acknowledge the members of the 45th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), especially its leader Dr. H. Kanda and our colleagues of biological field researchers, Dr. K. Sakamoto and Ms. M. Iida for their support in the field and other ways. We also thank to Dr. Yasuhiro Kashino and Dr. Patricia Laura Rodrigues for appropriate advices in revision of our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sakae Kudoh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yukiko Tanabe
    • 2
  • Masahiro Matsuzaki
    • 3
  • Satoshi Imura
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of Polar ResearchTachikawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Polar ScienceThe Graduate University for Advanced StudiesTachikawaJapan
  3. 3.The Graduate School of ScienceHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan

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