Seasonal dynamics of nutrient limitation in a tropical high altitude lake lake titicaca peru bolivia application of physiological bioassays

Vincent, W.F.; Wurtsbaugh, W.; Vincent, C.L.; Richerson, P.J.

Limnology and Oceanography 29(3): 540-552

1984


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-3590
Accession: 006372741

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Abstract
Five types of physiological assay were applied to samples from 3 sites in Lake Titicaca, Peru-Bolivia (16.degree. S) to assess the magnitude and seasonality of N or P limitation of algal growth. P appeared to be in abundant supply relative to growth requirements throughout 1982. Alkaline phosphatase levels were low (< 3 nmol substrate converted .cntdot. .mu.g-1 Chl a methylammonium, and selective accumulation of N from N plus P enrichments provided supportive evidence of cellular N deficiency. Winter mixing brought large quantities of NO3- and SRP into the surface euphotic zone of the main basin, and throughout this period neither N nor P appeared to be limiting. Polymixis in the shallow bay resulted in large variations in N supply and deficiency, and these effects were modulated in part by changes in depth of the euphotic zone. N was always in low abundance relative to P in Lake Titicaca, but the extent of nutrient control on algal growth varied considerably with site and time of year.