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Factors influencing the variability of pigments in the surface sediments of mountain lakes

AuthorsBuchaca, Teresa ; Catalán, Jordi
KeywordsPyrenees palaeolimnology
High mountain lakes
Marker pigments
Issue Date2007
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationFreshwater Biology 52 : 1365-1379 (2007)
Abstract1. Surface sediment biofilm samples from 82 Pyrenean lakes were analysed for marker pigment composition using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). 2. Variability in the pigment composition among lakes was investigated by multivariate statistical analyses using a large data set of factors describing lake chemical, physical, morphological and catchment characteristics. 3. Due to the widely varying light penetration in the lakes, the most significant gradient of pigment composition extended from a benthic to a planktonic signal. The most important pigments in the gradient were alloxanthin (cryptophytes marker pigment, planktonic signal) and diatoxanthin (diatoms marker pigment, benthic signal). The molar ratio between these two marker pigments was positively correlated with lake depth. 4. Chlorophyll-a preservation was found to be positively related to light penetration and the development of an autothrophic biofilm on the surface sediment and negatively related to decreasing pH and the percentage of alpine meadows in the lake catchments. 5. Zooplankton marker pigments in the surface sediment, including grazing by-products (e.g. phaeophorbides) and carotenoids (astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, echinenone) incorporated into their tissues, were correlated with the areal abundance of zooplankton. 6. Marker pigments for photosynthetic bacteria, BChl-e and okenone, were found mainly in relatively shallow lakes with large catchments that are forested, probably because of their higher loading of allochthonous organic matter. 7. The evaluation of a preservation index (Chl-a expressed as a percentage of a-phorbins) and the alloxanthin/diatoxanthin ratios throughout the sediment record of mountain lakes can provide evidence of historical changes in the relative importance of planktonic versus benthic primary production and might ultimately be interpreted in terms of climatic or environmental changes.
Description15 páginas, 5 figuras, 4 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2007.01774.x
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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