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Net heterotrophy in Faroe Islands clear-water lakes: causes and consequences for bacterioplankton and phytoplankton

  • Carina Pålsson
  • Emma Kritzberg
  • K Christoffersen
  • Wilhelm Granéli
Publiceringsår: 2005
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 2011-2020
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Freshwater Biology
Volym: 50
Nummer: 12
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

1. Five oligotrophic clear-water lakes on the Faroe Islands were studied during August 2000. Algal and bacterial production rates, community respiration, and CO2 saturation were determined. In addition, we examined the plankton community composition (phytoplankton and heterotrophic nanoflagellates) and measured the grazing pressure exerted by common mixotrophic species on bacteria.

2. High respiration to primary production (6.6–33.2) and supersaturation of CO2 (830–2140 μatm) implied that the lakes were net heterotrophic and that the pelagic heterotrophic plankton were subsidised by allochthonous organic carbon. However, in spite of the apparent high level of net heterotrophy, primary production exceeded bacterial production and the food base for higher trophic levels appeared to be mainly autotrophic.

3. We suggest that the observed net heterotrophy in these lakes was a result of the oligotrophic conditions and hence low primary production in combination with an input of allochthonous C with a relatively high availability.

4. Mixotrophic phytoplankton (Cryptomonas spp., Dinobryon spp. and flagellates cf. Ochromonas spp.) constituted a large percentage of the plankton community (17–83%), possibly as a result of their capacity to exploit bacteria as a means of acquiring nutrients in these nutrient poor systems.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 0046-5070
Wilhelm Granéli
E-post: wilhelm [dot] graneli [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Enhet akvatisk ekologi

+46 70 279 82 34




Akvatisk ekologi