, Volume 752, Issue 1, pp 203–221 | Cite as

Microbial pelagic metabolism and CDOM characterization in a phytoplankton-dominated versus a macrophyte-dominated shallow lake

  • A. Torremorell
  • G. Pérez
  • L. Lagomarsino
  • P. Huber
  • C. Queimaliños
  • J. Bustingorry
  • P. Fermani
  • M. E. Llames
  • F. UnreinEmail author


Dominant primary producer in macrophyte- or phytoplankton-dominated shallow lakes might imply differences in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) composition. We compared chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), plankton respiration (R), and bacterial (BP) and primary production (PP), in two contrasting shallow lakes. We hypothesized that DOC from the macrophyte-dominated lake would be qualitatively inferior, so that it can support a lower yield than DOC from the phytoplankton-dominated one. Macrophyte-dominated lake had more humic and aromatic CDOM, though molecular weight was similar in both lakes. A clear synchronism between lakes was observed in mean depth and several CDOM absorption coefficients, suggesting an external driver of the variation in DOC concentration and CDOM quality. The positive BP-PP and BP-Chl-a correlations in the macrophyte-dominated lake point out to a dependence of bacteria on phytoplankton for a supply of labile DOC. In turn, BP in the phytoplankton-dominated lake was balanced with grazing by HF (heterotrophic flagellates). The significantly higher HB:DOC and HF:DOC carbon ratios in the phytoplankton-dominated lake also suggest that better DOC quality would mean relatively more efficient C transfer to higher trophic levels. According to PP:BP and PP:R ratios both lakes should be considered autotrophic, although the macrophyte-dominated lake would be comparatively more heterotrophic.


Alternative states Macrophytes Bacterial production 



This study was supported by the Argentine network for the assessment and monitoring of Pampean shallow lakes (PAMPA2—CONICET), ANPCyT (PICT-2011-1029), CONICET (PIP-01301), and UNSAM (SC08/043). We thank Roberto Escaray for field assistance and nitrogen estimations, Carla Passerini for the measurement of primary and bacterial productions, and Patricia Rodriguez for help with the scintillation counter.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 66 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Torremorell
    • 1
  • G. Pérez
    • 2
  • L. Lagomarsino
    • 3
  • P. Huber
    • 3
  • C. Queimaliños
    • 2
  • J. Bustingorry
    • 3
  • P. Fermani
    • 3
  • M. E. Llames
    • 3
  • F. Unrein
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias BásicasUniversidad Nacional de Luján (UNLu) - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)(B6700ZBA) LujánArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Medio Ambiente (INIBIOMA)Universidad Nacional del Comahue (UNComa) - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)(R8400FRF) BarilocheArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas-Instituto Tecnológico de Chascomus (IIB-INTECH)Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM) - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)(B7130IWA) ChascomúsArgentina

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