Work, K. A. South Florida Water Management District, kwork@sfwmd.gov
Havens, K. A. South Florida Water Management District, khavens@sfwmd.gov
East, T. South Florida Water Management District, teast@sfwmd.gov
Sharfstein, B. South Florida Water Management District, bsharfs@sfwmd.gov

 
CARBON FLUX THROUGH THE PLANKTONIC FOOD WEB OF LAKE OKEECHOBEE, FL, USA.
 
Lake Okeechobee is a large subtropical lake with hydrologically distinct pelagic and littoral zones. Emergent macrophytes reduce water flow through the littoral zone, creating a habitat that differs physically and chemically from the pelagia. The large fetch, shallow depth, and predominance of mud sediments of the pelagic zone results in a high suspended sediment load and low light transmission, whereas the littoral zone is much clearer. Large cyanobacteria often dominate the pelagic phytoplankton assemblage and create a high size overlap with the small zooplankton that usually are dominant. We are testing the hypothesis that bacterial carbon constitutes a higher proportion of total carbon flux to zooplankton in Lake Okeechobee than in many temperate lakes and that this pattern is most pronounced in the eutrophic pelagic region. We are measuring in situ uptake of radiolabeled and fluorescently labeled bacteria and phytoplankton by zooplankton and protozoa both in the pelagic and near-littoral zones. Preliminary data indicate that bacterial carbon flux to protozoa and zooplankton is significantly higher than algal carbon flux and that carbon uptake is more skewed toward bacterial carbon in the pelagic zone of the lake.
 
Day: Wednesday, Feb. 3
Time: 11:30 - 11:45am
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: CS60WE1130H