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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2000

Allochthonous organic carbon and phytoplankton/bacterioplankton production relationships in lakes

Jansson, Mats; Bergström, Ann-Kristin; Blomqvist, Peter; Drakare, Stina


Humic lakes with high inputs of allochthonous dissolved organic carbon have a pelagic food chain that, to a large extent, is based on bacterioplankton energy mobilization from allochthonous organic carbon compounds. This is in contrast to clear lakes in which total pelagic production is based mainly on phytoplankton photosynthesis. The energy economy in humic lakes may be less efficient than in clear lakes, because it is Likely that one more link is included in the food chain. Lake data from Scandinavia and North America demonstrate that shifts between food chains based on heterotrophic production and food chains based on primary production can take place at moderate increases or decreases in the concentration of dissolved organic carbon from allochthonous sources. Large variations in the loading of allochthonous organic carbon (e.g., due to climatic variations) may have considerable effects on the biostructure and productivity of lakes.


allochthonous organic carbon; bacterioplankton production; clearwater and humic lakes; phytoplankton production

Published in

2000, volume: 81, number: 11, pages: 3250-3255

Authors' information

Jansson, Mats
Umeå University
Bergström, Ann-Kristin
Umeå University
Blomqvist, Peter
Uppsala University
Uppsala University

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