Environmental changes affecting light climate in oligotrophic mountain lakes: the deep chlorophyll maxima as a sensitive variable
Modenutti, Beatriz Estela; Balseiro, Esteban Gabriel; Bastidas Navarro, Marcela Alejandra; Laspoumaderes, Cecilia; Souza, María Sol; et al.; Environmental changes affecting light climate in oligotrophic mountain lakes: the deep chlorophyll maxima as a sensitive variable; Springer; Aquatic Sciences; 75; 3; 11-2012; 361-371
Modenutti, Beatriz Estela
Balseiro, Esteban Gabriel
Bastidas Navarro, Marcela Alejandra
Souza, María Sol
The North-Patagonian Andean lakes of Argentina are high light, low nutrient environments that exhibit development of deep chlorophyll maxima (DCM) at the metalimnetic layer during summer stratification, at approximately 1 % of surface PAR irradiance. We examined whether the position of DCM changes as a consequence of long-time (global warming: glacial clay input) and short-time (eruption: volcanic ashes) events. We performed different field studies: (1) an interlacustrine analysis of six lakes from different basins, including data of the 2011 volcanic eruption, which caused an unexpected variation in water transparency; and (2) an intralacustrine analysis in which we compared different stations along a transparency gradient in Lake Mascardi caused by glacial clay input at one end of the gradient. In these analyses, we documented changes in DCM depth and its relationship with different parameters. DCM development was not related with thermocline depth or nutrient distribution. In all cases, the only significant variables were Kd 320 nm and Kd PAR. Our study showed that suspended particles (glacial clay and volcanic ashes) can play a crucial role in transparent lakes, affecting lake features such as the phototrophic biomass distribution along the water column. Suspended solid inputs from either glacial clay or volcanic ashes produce a comparable effect, provoking a decrease in light and, consequently, an upper location of the DCM. Thus, the DCM position is highly sensitive to global changes, such as increased temperatures causing glacier recession or to regional changes caused by volcanic eruptions.