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Daily variations in the optical properties of a small lake

AuthorsÁlvarez Cobelas, Miguel ; Baltanás, Ángel; Velasco, José Luis
KeywordsLight climate
Plant decomposition
Time scales
Trophic status
Issue Date2002
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationFreshwater Biology 47: 1051.1063 (2002)
Abstract1. The major components of the underwater light field (ULF: vertical attenuation, absorption, scattering and suspensoids including plankton fractions) of Las Madres Lake, a small wind-sheltered, oligohumic lake in Central Spain, were investigated daily over a period of 3 months at the onset of vernal circulation. 2. Gilvin, arising mostly from the decomposition of reeds in the littoral in autumn, was the main component of vertical attenuation, and its variability explained the highest fraction of absorption variability. Tripton appeared to be the main factor responsible for scattering, and might have resulted from dust deposition from the surrounding mining land. The plankton community played a minor role in attenuation, absorption or scattering throughout the investigation period. 3. Vertical and horizontal mixing dynamics may control the ULF to a certain extent, as most optical properties changed within different mixing periods and poor advective exchanges may have resulted in uneven distribution of water colour in this small lake. 4. Time series analysis showed that most autocorrelations were shorter than a week, inherent properties (absorption, scattering) being delayed longer than apparent properties (attenuation, transparency) as a result of their lower dependence on solar irradiance. A 2-day lag was observed in cross-correlations between either gilvin and absorption or tripton and scattering. When different mixing periods at early circulation were considered, however, ULF components changed their relationships and delays with suspensoids and dissolved substances over such periods, probably tracking the dynamics of their controlling factors. 5. Our study, and others at daily, weekly, seasonal, interannual and long-term scales, demonstrates that ULF is a system upon which different processes are operating at different time scales. Contrary to expectations, however, the variability in the ULF does not increase with time scale and depends partly upon the trophic status of lakes.
Description13 pages, and figures, and tables statistics
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