Numerical Exploration of the Planktonic to Benthic Primary Production Ratios in Lakes of the Baltic Sea Catchment
Autotrophic structure refers to the partitioning of whole-ecosystem primary production between benthic and planktonic primary producers. Autotrophic structure remains poorly understood especially because of the paucity of estimates regarding benthic primary production. We used a conceptual model for numerically exploring the autotrophic structure of 13 hemiboreal lakes situated in the Baltic Sea catchment. We also used diel variations in primary production profiles to graphically evaluate levels of light and/or nutrient limitation in lakes. The input morphometric data, light extinction coefficients and dissolved carbon parameters were mostly obtained from in situ measurements. Results revealed that cross- and within-lake autotrophic structure varied greatly: one lake was clearly dominated by benthic production, and three lakes by phytoplankton production. In the rest, phytoplankton production was generally dominant but switch to benthic dominance was possible. The modelled primary production profiles varied according to lake water clarity and bathymetry. Our results clearly indicate that the relative contribution of benthic primary production to whole-lake primary production should be taken into account in studies about hemiboreal and boreal lakes.
Keywordsprimary production lake bathymetry chlorophyll a dissolved organic carbon light extinction coefficient
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