Original paper

Diurnal and seasonal variations in grazing by bacterivorous mixotrophs in an oligotrophic clearwater lake

Pålsson, Carina; Granéli, Wilhelm

Abstract

The biomass and bacterial ingestion rates of mixotrophic phytoflagellates were examined on diurnal and seasonal scales in oligotrophic Lake SkÄrlen (S. Sweden). Ingestion rates were measured using fluorescent microspheres in situ on three depths every 6th hour during 24 hours in summer in order to quantify diurnal variations and once at midday during autumn, winter and spring. Mixotrophic phytoflagellates composed a large part of the phytoplankton biomass (18-31%) throughout the year. Nonetheless, calculations suggest that the mixotrophs only consumed between 0.5 and 4.4% of the bacterial carbon production, with the highest consumption percentage in winter under ice. Two groups of algae, Cryptomonas spp. and Dinobryon spp., were commonly found with ingested prey and both exhibited significant diurnal differences in bacterial ingestion rates with the highest mean rates measured in late afternoon (0.50 and 0.27 bacteria cell-1 hour-1, respectively) and very low rates during night (0.09 and 0.06 bacteria cell-1 hour-1). In Cryptomonas spp., ingestion rates also varied somewhat over the year and bacterial ingestion was highest during winter (0.57 bacteria cell-1 hour-1), possibly as a result of the lengthy impaired light climate.

Keywords

oligotrophic lakemixotrophydiurnalseasonalcryptomonas .