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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1992

Modelling the importance of sediment bacterial carbon for profundal macroinvertebrates along a lake nutrient gradient

Goedkoop, Willem; Johnson, Richard


In dimictic, temperate lakes little is known about the quantitative importance of trophic coupling between pelagic and profundal communities. Although it is a generally accepted paradigm that profundal secondary production is dependent on autochthonous pelagic production (primarily diatoms), the importance of interactions between phytodetrital inputs, sediment bacteria, and macroinvertebrates are still not well understood. In this study, we used theoretical models to estimate macroinvertebrate carbon requirement (production + respiration) and bacterial production for lakes of different trophic categories. Comparisons of estimates show that the importance of bacterial production as a carbon source for benthic macroinvertebrates is inversely related to lake trophic state. Assuming that infauna assimilates 50% of ingested bacterial carbon, this food source could account for between 47% (oligotrophic lakes) and 2% (hypertrophic lakes) of their carbon demand. These calculations indicate that bacterial carbon should not be an important C-resource for profundal macroinvertebrates of eutrophic and hypertrophic lakes.

Published in

Netherlands journal of aquatic ecology
1992, Volume: 26, number: 2, pages: 477-483