Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Seasonal variation of phosphorus limitation of bacterial growth in a small lake

  • Per Carlsson
  • D Caron
Publishing year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 108-120
Publication/Series: Limnology and Oceanography
Volume: 46
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: ASLO

Abstract english

A series of bioassay experiments were performed from spring to autumn in a small dimictic lake (Deep Pond,

Massachusetts) to examine the potential for bacterial growth limitation by organic carbon (glucose), inorganic

nutrients (ammonium or phosphate), or both. The experiments demonstrated that phosphorus was the primary

element limiting bacterial growth in Deep Pond during a large part of the summer. Significant increases (relative

to controls) in bacterial cell volumes, protein production rates, and abundances were observed during 24-h incubations

for samples amended with phosphate alone. Organic carbon was near colimitation for most of the samples,

however, and dramatic increases in bacterial abundance and rates of protein production were obtained only when

both substances (phosphate and glucose) were added together. There was no evidence for nitrogen limitation of

bacterial growth during the study. Temperature was not an important determinant for bacterial production rates

above 128C, but below 128C temperature acted to mute the effect of nutrient and organic carbon additions on

production rates. Bacterial growth was not significantly increased by the addition of any combination of glucose,

ammonium, or phosphate below 128C. A significant, albeit complex, effect of the microbial community on the

bacterial response to nutrient/carbon enrichment was apparent in the samples. Substrate/nutrient supply and biomass

removal by bacterivores both appeared to play a role in the outcome of the experiments.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 1939-5590
Per Carlsson
E-mail: per [dot] carlsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Division aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 84 35



Senior lecturer

Aquatic Ecology


Research group

Aquatic Ecology


Marine Pelagic Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD student, main supervisor

Johanna Stedt