Pelagic C

N:P stoichiometry in a eutrophied lake: Responses to a whole-lake food-web manipulation

James Elser, Robert W. Sterner, Amy E. Galford, Thomas H. Chrzanowski, David L. Findlay, Kenneth H. Mills, Michael J. Paterson, Michael P. Stainton, David W. Schindler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Changes in the ecological stoichiometry of C, N, and P in the pelagic zone are reported from a whole-lake manipulation of the food web of Lake 227, an experimentally eutrophied lake at the Experimental Lakes Area, Canada. Addition of northern pike eliminated populations of planktivorous minnows by the third year (1995) after pike introduction, and in the fourth year after pike addition (1996), a massive increase in the abundance of the large-bodied cladoceran Daphnia pulicaria occurred. Accompanying this increase in Daphnia abundance, zooplankton community N:P declined, seston concentration and C:P ratio decreased, and dissolved N and P pools increased. During peak abundance, zooplankton biomass comprised a significant proportion of total epilimnetic phosphorus (greater than 30%). During the period of increased Daphnia abundance, concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (TIN) increased more strongly than dissolved phosphorus (TDP), and thus TIN:TDP ratios were elevated. Sedimentation data indicated that increased grazing led to greatly reduced residence times of C, N, and especially P in the water column during 1996. Finally, previously dominant N-fixing cyanobacteria were absent during 1996. Our results show that strong effects of food-web structure can occur in eutrophic lakes and that stoichiometric mechanisms play a potentially important role in generating these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
JournalEcosystems
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2000

Fingerprint

stoichiometry
Stoichiometry
food webs
Lakes
food web
lakes
Daphnia
Phosphorus
lake
pike
phosphorus
zooplankton
Pulicaria
Esox lucius
minnows
dissolved inorganic nitrogen
seston
Sedimentation
Cyanobacteria
cyanobacterium

Keywords

  • Carbon
  • Cascading trophic interactions
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Ecological stoichiometry
  • Ecosystem experimentation
  • Food webs
  • Nitrogen
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Phosphorus
  • Plankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Elser, J., Sterner, R. W., Galford, A. E., Chrzanowski, T. H., Findlay, D. L., Mills, K. H., ... Schindler, D. W. (2000). Pelagic C: N:P stoichiometry in a eutrophied lake: Responses to a whole-lake food-web manipulation. Ecosystems, 3(3), 293-307. https://doi.org/10.1007/s100210000027

Pelagic C : N:P stoichiometry in a eutrophied lake: Responses to a whole-lake food-web manipulation. / Elser, James; Sterner, Robert W.; Galford, Amy E.; Chrzanowski, Thomas H.; Findlay, David L.; Mills, Kenneth H.; Paterson, Michael J.; Stainton, Michael P.; Schindler, David W.

In: Ecosystems, Vol. 3, No. 3, 05.2000, p. 293-307.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Elser, J, Sterner, RW, Galford, AE, Chrzanowski, TH, Findlay, DL, Mills, KH, Paterson, MJ, Stainton, MP & Schindler, DW 2000, 'Pelagic C: N:P stoichiometry in a eutrophied lake: Responses to a whole-lake food-web manipulation', Ecosystems, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 293-307. https://doi.org/10.1007/s100210000027
Elser, James ; Sterner, Robert W. ; Galford, Amy E. ; Chrzanowski, Thomas H. ; Findlay, David L. ; Mills, Kenneth H. ; Paterson, Michael J. ; Stainton, Michael P. ; Schindler, David W. / Pelagic C : N:P stoichiometry in a eutrophied lake: Responses to a whole-lake food-web manipulation. In: Ecosystems. 2000 ; Vol. 3, No. 3. pp. 293-307.
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