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Cell death in lake phytoplankton communities

AuthorsAgustí, Susana ; Alou-Font, Eva; Hoyerl, Mark V.; Frazer, Thomas K.; Canfield, Daniel E.
Issue Date2006
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationFreshwater Biology 51(8): 1496-1506 (2006)
Abstract1. The fraction of living and dead phytoplankton cells in seven Florida lakes was assessed by using the cell digestion assay, a non-staining membrane permeability test. The cell digestion assay is an effective method to analyse cell viability in complex natural phytoplankton communities. 2. The lakes examined ranged widely in phytoplankton abundance and community composition. The variability in the percentage of living cells (% LC) was high among the taxonomic groups forming the different phytoplankton communities, ranging from 19.7% to 98% LC. 3. All cells within single cyanobacteria filaments were determined to be either dead or alive, suggesting physiological integration of the cells within colonies. 4. Within each lake, the dominant taxa generally exhibited the highest proportion of living cells. A high proportion of living cells was found to be a characteristic of the different taxa forming the communities of eutrophic lakes. The average value for the % LC for all groups comprising the phytoplankton communities in each of the lakes ranged from 29.9 ± 7.2 to 80.4 ± 4.0 (mean ± SE) and varied strongly and positively with chlorophyll a concentration. 5. These results suggest phytoplankton cell death to be an important process structuring phytoplankton communities in lakes, particularly in oligotrophic ones. © 2006 The Authors.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2006.01584.x
issn: 0046-5070
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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