Ecological stoichiometry in benthic food webs: Effect of light and nutrients on periphyton food quantity and quality in lakes
Limnol. Oceanogr., 52(4), 2007, 1728-1734 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2007.52.4.1728
ABSTRACT: To quantify the effect of light and nutrients on periphyton food quantity and quality, a series of experiments, consisting of full light and shade treatments, was conducted in 2003 in 11 lakes differing in nutrient status and turbidity. Periphyton chlorophyll a, C : P, and benthic macroinvertebrate biomass were measured on rocks or artificial substrates (glass slides) or both. Periphyton biomass increased and periphyton C: P decreased as total phosphorus increased. Periphyton biomass and C: P were higher in light than in shade. Benthic macroinvertebrate biomass was higher with high periphyton biomass and low periphyton C : P. Both turbidity and nutrient concentrations in natural water bodies are altered by human-driven and natural processes; therefore we expect periphyton biomass and C: P to increase in lakes as clarity increases and nutrient content decreases, resulting in high-quantity but low-quality benthic food.