Ecological stoichiometry in benthic food webs: Effect of light and nutrients on periphyton food quantity and quality in lakes

Peibing Qin, Christine M. Mayer, Kimberly L. Schulz, Xinli Ji, Mark E. Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

To quantify the effect of light and nutrients on periphyton food quantity and quality, a series of experiments, consisting of full light and shade treatments, was conducted in 2003 in 11 lakes differing in nutrient status and turbidity. Periphyton chlorophyll a, C:P, and benthic macroinvertebrate biomass were measured on rocks or artificial substrates (glass slides) or both. Periphyton biomass increased and periphyton C:P decreased as total phosphorus increased. Periphyton biomass and C:P were higher in light than in shade. Benthic macroinvertebrate biomass was higher with high periphyton biomass and low periphyton C:P. Both turbidity and nutrient concentrations in natural water bodies are altered by human-driven and natural processes; therefore we expect periphyton biomass and C:P to increase in lakes as clarity increases and nutrient content decreases, resulting in high-quantity but low-quality benthic food.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1728-1734
Number of pages7
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

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