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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Where the Little Ones Play the Main Role-Picophytoplankton Predominance in the Soda and Hypersaline Lakes of the Carpathian Basin

Somogyi, Boglarka; Felfoldi, Tamas; Boros, Emil; Szabo, Attila; Voros, Lajos;


The extreme environmental conditions of the diverse saline inland waters (soda lakes and pans, hypersaline lakes and ponds) of the Carpathian Basin are an advantage for picophytoplankton. The abundance of picophytoplankton in these waters can be up to several orders of magnitude higher than that in freshwater shallow lakes, but differences are also found within different saline water types: higher picophytoplankton abundances were observed in hypersaline lakes compared to humic soda lakes, and their highest numbers were detected in turbid soda lakes. Moreover, their contribution to phytoplankton biomass is higher than that in shallow freshwater lakes with similar trophic states. Based on long-term data, their ratio within the phytoplankton increased with turbidity in the case of turbid soda lakes, while, in hypersaline lakes, their proportion increased with salinity. Picocyanobacteria were only detected with high abundance (>10(6)-10(7) cells/mL) in turbid soda lakes, while picoeukaryotes occurred in high numbers in both turbid and hypersaline lakes. Despite the extreme conditions of the lakes, the diversity of picophytoplankton is remarkable, with the dominance of non-marine Synechococcus/Cyanobium, Choricystis, Chloroparva and uncultured trebouxiophycean green algae in the soda lakes, and marine Synechococcus and Picochlorum in the hypersaline lakes.


autotrophic picophytoplankton; abundance; seasonal dynamics; diversity; extreme environments

Published in


2022, volume: 10, number: 4, article number: 818
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Somogyi, Boglarka
Balaton Limnological Research Institute
Felföldi, Tamás
Centre for Ecological Research
Boros, Emil
Centre for Ecological Research
Centre for Ecological Research
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Vörös, Lajos
Balaton Limnological Research Institute

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