Exponential decay of between-month spatial dissimilarity congruence of phytoplankton communities in relation to phosphorus in a highland eutrophic lake

  • Huan Wang
  • Weizhen Zhang
  • Ping XieEmail author
  • Hong ShenEmail author


Phytoplankton species composition has long been recognized to be structured by environmental filtering, but our knowledge of patterns of spatial dissimilarity congruence between the phytoplankton community and environmental divers is rather limited. Specifically, a study on whether there are specific temporal properties that could be more related to spatial dissimilarity remains to be seen. We examined the extent to how spatial dissimilarity changed with seasonal succession by measuring β-diversity in phytoplankton communities in Lake Erhai (from January 2012 to December 2014 at 15 sampling sites) as a function of different period conditions (high-density period and low-density period). We found that congruences of spatial dissimilarity in algal communities over time were neither stable in time nor showed a seasonal pattern. The spatial dissimilarity congruence between the phytoplankton community and dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) concentration followed exponential decay patterns, and this congruence was led by algal cell density. This result implies that species and functions of phytoplankton are specialized, and DIP concentration drastically increases in high-density periods than in low-density periods. This means that DIP enrichment is related to the loss of algal diversity and functions and the increase of algal biomass in eutrophic lakes.


β-Diversity Spatial dissimilarity Exponential decay Phytoplankton density Dissolved inorganic phosphorus 



We thank Rong Zhu for her help on sample collection.

Funding information

This study was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31400407), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFA0605201), the State Key of Laboratory of Plateau Ecology and Agriculture, Qinghai University (2017ZZ13) and the State Key Laboratory of freshwater ecology and biotechnology (2019FBZ03).

Supplementary material

10661_2019_7835_MOESM1_ESM.docx (114 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 113 kb)


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Donghu Experimental Station of Lake Ecosystems, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology of China, Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Plateau Ecology and AgricultureQinghai UniversityXiningChina

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