Microbial Ecology

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 358–364 | Cite as

Bacterioplankton Growth and Nutrient Use Efficiencies Under Variable Organic Carbon and Inorganic Phosphorus Ratios

  • Mats Jansson
  • Ann-Kristin Bergström
  • David Lymer
  • Katarina Vrede
  • Jan Karlsson


We carried out enclosure experiments in an unproductive lake in northern Sweden and studied the effects of enrichment with different dissolved organic carbon (glucose)/inorganic phosphorous (DOC/Pi) ratios on bacterioplankton production (BP), growth efficiency (BGE), nutrient use efficiency (BNUE), growth rate, and specific respiration. We found considerable variation in BP, BGE, and BNUE along the tested DOC/Pi gradient. BGE varied between 0.87 and 0.24, with the highest values at low DOC/Pi ratios. BNUE varied between 40 and 9 g C g P−1, with high values at high DOC/Pi ratios. More DOC was thus allocated to growth when bacteria tended to be C-limited, and to respiration when bacteria were P-limited. Specific respiration was positively correlated with bacterial growth rate throughout the gradient. It is therefore possible that respiration was used to support growth in P-limited bacteria. The results indicated that BP can be limited by Pi when BNUE is at its maximum, by organic C when BGE is at its maximum, and by dual organic C and Pi limitation when BNUE and BGE have suboptimal values.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mats Jansson
    • 1
  • Ann-Kristin Bergström
    • 1
  • David Lymer
    • 2
  • Katarina Vrede
    • 2
  • Jan Karlsson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Limnology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Evolutionary Biology CentreUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC), Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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