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Long-term dynamics of algal and invertebrate communities in a small, fluctuating tropical soda lake

Dirk Verschuren UGent, Christine Cocquyt UGent, John Tibby, C Neil Roberts and Peter R Leavitt (1999) LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY. 44(5). p.1216-1231
abstract
Lake Sonachi, Kenya, is a small alkaline-saline crater lake that over the past 175 years has experienced considerable fluctuations in lake depth (Z(max) - 3-18 m) and an alternation of meromictic and holomictic episodes lasting from. a few years to several decades. Paleolimnological methods were used to reconstruct the long-term dynamics of algal and invertebrate communities in Lake Sonachi in relation to the historic evolution of their physical and chemical environment. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed only weak correlation between the stratigraphic distributions of fossil algal pigments, diatoms, and chironomid larvae in Pb-210-dated sediment cores and the documented or reconstructed variation in lake depth, mixing regime, and surface-water conductivity. The eventful biological history of Lake Sonachi exemplifies the complexity of long-term community dynamics in tropical African soda lakes and reveals how phytoplankton community structure can exert direct control on benthic and planktonic invertebrate communities. The modest phytoplankton abundance and photosynthetic activity of Lake Sonachi when compared with other tropical African soda lakes represent recent lake conditions, resulting from a dramatic decline of filamentous cyanobacteria (e.g., Spirulina platensis) between the 1930s and 1970s and incomplete replacement by the small coccoid cyanobacteria (e.g., Synechococcus bacillaris), which are dominant today. This reduction in algal biomass favored benthic and plank-tonic invertebrates by reducing the prevalence of complete water-column anoxia associated with intense nighttime respiration of cyanobacterial blooms. Anoxia-intolerant halobiont chironomids expanded during an episode of low lake level (Z(max) < 4 m), holomixis, and high conductivity (>9,000 mu S cm(-1)) in the late 1940s and 1950s, whereas they had failed to do so under similar conditions in the late 19th century when algal abundance was high. Planktonic cladocerans developed high population densities only during two short meromictic phases in the 1970s when conductivity was modest (3,000-6,000 mu S cm(-1)) and algal abundance was low. The decline of filamentous cyanobacteria also increased water-column transparency but apparently did not increase benthic diatom abundance.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
CLIMATE-CHANGE, FOSSIL PIGMENTS, AFRICAN LAKES, PHYTOPLANKTON, ZOOPLANKTON, SALINITY, ECOLOGY, SEDIMENTS, WETLANDS, REMAINS
journal title
LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY
Limnol. Oceanogr.
volume
44
issue
5
pages
1216 - 1231
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000081639000004
ISSN
0024-3590
DOI
10.4319/lo.1999.44.5.1216
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
113328
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-113328
date created
2004-01-14 13:35:00
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:36:51
@article{113328,
  abstract     = {Lake Sonachi, Kenya, is a small alkaline-saline crater lake that over the past 175 years has experienced considerable fluctuations in lake depth (Z(max) - 3-18 m) and an alternation of meromictic and holomictic episodes lasting from. a few years to several decades. Paleolimnological methods were used to reconstruct the long-term dynamics of algal and invertebrate communities in Lake Sonachi in relation to the historic evolution of their physical and chemical environment. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed only weak correlation between the stratigraphic distributions of fossil algal pigments, diatoms, and chironomid larvae in Pb-210-dated sediment cores and the documented or reconstructed variation in lake depth, mixing regime, and surface-water conductivity. The eventful biological history of Lake Sonachi exemplifies the complexity of long-term community dynamics in tropical African soda lakes and reveals how phytoplankton community structure can exert direct control on benthic and planktonic invertebrate communities. The modest phytoplankton abundance and photosynthetic activity of Lake Sonachi when compared with other tropical African soda lakes represent recent lake conditions, resulting from a dramatic decline of filamentous cyanobacteria (e.g., Spirulina platensis) between the 1930s and 1970s and incomplete replacement by the small coccoid cyanobacteria (e.g., Synechococcus bacillaris), which are dominant today. This reduction in algal biomass favored benthic and plank-tonic invertebrates by reducing the prevalence of complete water-column anoxia associated with intense nighttime respiration of cyanobacterial blooms. Anoxia-intolerant halobiont chironomids expanded during an episode of low lake level (Z(max) {\textlangle} 4 m), holomixis, and high conductivity ({\textrangle}9,000 mu S cm(-1)) in the late 1940s and 1950s, whereas they had failed to do so under similar conditions in the late 19th century when algal abundance was high. Planktonic cladocerans developed high population densities only during two short meromictic phases in the 1970s when conductivity was modest (3,000-6,000 mu S cm(-1)) and algal abundance was low. The decline of filamentous cyanobacteria also increased water-column transparency but apparently did not increase benthic diatom abundance.},
  author       = {Verschuren, Dirk and Cocquyt, Christine and Tibby, John and Roberts, C Neil and Leavitt, Peter R},
  issn         = {0024-3590},
  journal      = {LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY},
  keyword      = {CLIMATE-CHANGE,FOSSIL PIGMENTS,AFRICAN LAKES,PHYTOPLANKTON,ZOOPLANKTON,SALINITY,ECOLOGY,SEDIMENTS,WETLANDS,REMAINS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1216--1231},
  title        = {Long-term dynamics of algal and invertebrate communities in a small, fluctuating tropical soda lake},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4319/lo.1999.44.5.1216},
  volume       = {44},
  year         = {1999},
}

Chicago
Verschuren, Dirk, Christine Cocquyt, John Tibby, C Neil Roberts, and Peter R Leavitt. 1999. “Long-term Dynamics of Algal and Invertebrate Communities in a Small, Fluctuating Tropical Soda Lake.” Limnology and Oceanography 44 (5): 1216–1231.
APA
Verschuren, D., Cocquyt, C., Tibby, J., Roberts, C. N., & Leavitt, P. R. (1999). Long-term dynamics of algal and invertebrate communities in a small, fluctuating tropical soda lake. LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY, 44(5), 1216–1231.
Vancouver
1.
Verschuren D, Cocquyt C, Tibby J, Roberts CN, Leavitt PR. Long-term dynamics of algal and invertebrate communities in a small, fluctuating tropical soda lake. LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY. 1999;44(5):1216–31.
MLA
Verschuren, Dirk, Christine Cocquyt, John Tibby, et al. “Long-term Dynamics of Algal and Invertebrate Communities in a Small, Fluctuating Tropical Soda Lake.” LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY 44.5 (1999): 1216–1231. Print.