Seasonal patterns of phytoplankton taxon richness in lakes: effects of temperature, turnover and abundance

Maberly, Stephen C.; Chao, Anne; Finlay, Bland J.. 2022 Seasonal patterns of phytoplankton taxon richness in lakes: effects of temperature, turnover and abundance. Protist, 173 (6), 125925. 15, pp.

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Species richness is a key ecological characteristic that influences numerous ecosystem functions. Here we analyse the patterns and possible causes of phytoplankton taxon richness in seasonal datasets from twenty contrasting lakes in the English Lake District over six years and near-weekly datasets over 33 years from Windermere. Taxon richness was lowest in winter and highest in summer or autumn in all of the lakes. Observed richness was very similar to richness estimated from coverage and sampling effort, implying that it closely reflected true seasonal patterns. Summer populations were dominated by Chlorophyta and functional groups X1, F, N and P (sensu Reynolds). In Windermere, weekly taxon richness was strongly positively correlated with surface water temperature, as was the number of functional groups and the number of taxa per functional group. Turnover in richness of taxa and functional groups were positively correlated and both were related to surface temperature. This suggests that high taxon richness in summer is linked to higher water temperature, promoting a turnover in richness of taxa and functional groups in these lakes. However, since the number of taxa per unit concentration of chlorophyll a decreased with increasing concentration of chlorophyll a, competition might occur when abundance is high.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 1434-4610
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: English Lake District, phytoplankton, seasonal change, species richness, turnover of richness, Windermere
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 31 Dec 2022 09:43 +0 (UTC)

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