Microbial Ecology

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 123–135 | Cite as

Chlorophylla and adenosine triphosphate levels in Antarctic and temperate lake sediments

  • G. M. SimmonsJr.
  • R. A. WhartonJr.
  • B. C. Parker
  • D. Andersen


Analysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from surficial sediment layers in two antarctic lakes and two temperate lakes showed a high degree of similarity in spite of differences between trophic state, mictic state, or geographic location. Adenosine triphosphate was found at all levels sampled in temperate lake sediment cores but occasionally was present only in surficial layers of antarctic cores. Surficial sediment layers from antarctic lakes contained high chlorophylla (Chla) levels due to the extensive benthic algal mats which occur there. In some antarctic cores, Chla was detectable in deep, old mat layers, whereas Chla was not found in any of the temperate lake cores. Antarctic lake sediments appear to be unique environments where Chla molecules can remain intact for long periods of time due to low light, temperature, and microbial activity. As such, these lakes are important natural laboratories where a long history of microbial interactions can be studied without metazoan perturbation effects. Although there was much variability in concentration of Chla and ATP between samples, there appears to be no relationship between Chla or ATP levels to mictic or trophic states of the lakes. These data suggest that sediment microbial communities may be independent of environmental and biological properties of the overlying water masses.


Chlorophylla Trophic State Overlie Water Adenosine Triphosphate Temperate Lake 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. M. SimmonsJr.
    • 1
  • R. A. WhartonJr.
    • 1
  • B. C. Parker
    • 1
  • D. Andersen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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