Picophytoplankton during the ice-free season in five temperate-zone rivers

dc.contributor.authorContant, Jacinthe
dc.contributor.authorPick, Frances R.
dc.description.abstractAlthough picophytoplankton (PP) (0.2–2 µm) are ubiquitous in lakes and oceans, their importance in rivers has rarely been studied. We examined PP assemblages during the ice-free period in five rivers of a temperate region varying in trophic state (9–107 µg/L total phosphorus) and water discharge (1–87 m3/s). In these rivers, PP abundance reached concentrations as high as those observed in lakes and oceans (∼104–105 cells/mL). The highest density of PP (4.9 × 105 cells/mL) was observed in the most eutrophic river when the water temperature (28°C) and total phosphorus (293 µg/L) were highest. For the most part, PP abundance was dominated by non-phycoerythrin-containing cyanobacteria; phycocyanin-rich cells accounted for ∼75% of PP abundance in all the rivers. In multiple regression analyses, water temperature and nitrate concentrations explained about half of the variation in PP abundance across the rivers. Discharge had no effect on PP abundance or biomass, whereas it had a significant negative effect on total algal biomass among the rivers. The PP contribution to total chlorophyll-a averaged 27% (ranging 16–46%) and did not decline with increasing nutrients as found in lakes and oceans. The PP biomass from microscopic enumerations reached a maximum of 9% of total phytoplankton biomass, comparable with that observed in lakes. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of including picophytoplankton when analysing phytoplankton communities in rivers.
dc.subjectphycocyanin picocyanobacteria
dc.subjectchl-a size distribution
dc.subjecttemperate rivers
dc.titlePicophytoplankton during the ice-free season in five temperate-zone rivers
CollectionBiologie // Biology
Publications en libre accès financées par uOttawa // uOttawa financed open access publications