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Ecosystem CO2 exchange and plant biomass in the littoral zone of a boreal eutrophic lake

Ecosystem CO2 exchange and plant biomass in the littoral zone of a boreal eutrophic lake

Freshwater Biology 48(8): 1295-1310

ISSN/ISBN: 0046-5070

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2427.2003.01079.x

1. In order to study the dynamics of primary production and decomposition in the lake littoral, an interface zone between the pelagial, the catchment and the atmosphere, we measured ecosystem/atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange in the littoral zone of an eutrophic boreal lake in Finland during two open water periods (1998-1999). We reconstructed the seasonal net CO2 exchange and identified the key factors controlling CO2 dynamics. The seasonal net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was related to the amount of carbon accumulated in plant biomass. 2. In the continuously inundated zones, spatial and temporal variation in the density of aerial shoots controlled CO2 fluxes, but seasonal net exchange was in most cases close to zero. The lower flooded zone had a net CO2 uptake of 1.8-6.2 mol m-2 per open water period, but the upper flooded zone with the highest photosynthetic capacity and above-ground plant biomass, had a net CO2 loss of 1.1-7.1 mol m-2 per open water period as a result of the high respiration rate. The excess of respiration can be explained by decomposition of organic matter produced on site in previous years or leached from the catchment. 3. Our results from the two study years suggest that changes in phenology and water level were the prime cause of the large interannual difference in NEE in the littoral zone. Thus, the littoral is a dynamic buffer and source for the load of allochthonous and autochthonous carbon to small lakes. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

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Accession: 003722787

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