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Seasonal variations in phytoplankton biomass and primary production in the Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes Ziway, Awassa and Chamo - The basis for fish production
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
2010 (English)In: Limnologica, ISSN 0075-9511, Vol. 40, no 4, 330-342 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seasonal variations in the biomass (Chl a) and primary production (C-14-method) of phytoplankton were studied during 12 months of 2005 in the three Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes (ERVL) Ziway, Awassa and Chamo. Chl a showed an average value of 40, 20, and 30 mg m(-3) for the three lakes, respectively. Integrated areal primary production for the total phytoplankton (g C m(2) d(-1)) varied 2-fold in the three lakes but on different levels, from 0.67-1.8 in L Ziway, 1.8-4.6 in L. Awassa, and 1.0-2.6 in L Chamo. The overall photosynthetic efficiency of utilizing photosynthetically active radiation by the phytoplankton on molar basis (mmol C mol of photons(-1)) resulted in an average value of 1.4 for L. Ziway, 3.5 for L. Awassa and 1.6 for L. Chamo. Among the different factors regulating phytoplankton primary productivity, light penetration and nutrients were the most important in the three lakes. The seasonal variations of incident radiation (most values between 5 and 7 E m(2) h(-1)) and water temperature (most values between 22 and 24 degrees C) were small and unlikely to result in the marked differences in phytoplankton primary production. Although relative increase in nutrient concentrations occurred following the rainy periods, the major algal nutrients were either consistently low (nitrate and/or silicate) or high (phosphate and/or ammonium) and remained within a narrow range for most of the study period in all the three lakes. Consequently, phytoplankton biomass and primary production seem to be maintained more by nutrient regeneration or turnover (facilitated by high temperature) than by allochthonous nutrient input. This would be coupled with wind-induced mixing that would play an important role in determining hydrographic characteristics (water column structure) and the associated redistribution of nutrients and phytoplankton, the availability of light and subsequently the spatial (vertical) and temporal patterns of phytoplankton production in these three ERVL. Phytoplankton production (PP) is regarded as a good predictor of fish yield in lakes and seasonal measurements of PP is a prerequisite for good such estimates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 40, no 4, 330-342 p.
Keyword [en]
Tropical lakes, Primary production, Chlorophyll, Physical data, Chemical data, Fish production
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-153236DOI: 10.1016/j.limno.2009.10.005ISI: 000289870200007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-153236DiVA: diva2:415701
Available from: 2011-05-09 Created: 2011-05-09 Last updated: 2011-05-09Bibliographically approved

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