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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Contrasting impacts of warming and browning on periphyton

Puts, Isolde Callisto; Ask, Jenny; Myrstener, Maria; Bergstrom, Ann-Kristin


We tested interactive effects of warming (+2 degrees C) and browning on periphyton accrual and pigment composition when grown on a synthetic substrate (plastic strips) in the euphotic zone of 16 experimental ponds. We found that increased colored dissolved organic matter (cDOM) and associated nutrients alone, or in combination with warming, resulted in a substantially enhanced biomass accrual of periphyton, and a comparatively smaller increase in phytoplankton. This illustrates that periphyton is capable of using nutrients associated with cDOM, and by this may affect nutrient availability for phytoplankton. However, warming weakened the positive impact of browning on periphyton accrual, possibly by thermal compensation inferred from altered pigment composition, and/or changes in community composition. Our results illustrate multiple impacts of climate change on algal growth, which could have implications for productivity and consumer resource use, especially in shallow areas in northern lakes.

Published in

Limnology and Oceanography Letters
2023, Volume: 8, number: 4, pages: 628-638
Publisher: WILEY

    SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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