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    Multiple stressors associated with global change are influencing the phytoplankton taxonomic composition and biomass in plateau lakes, such as higher levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 280-400 nm) and the risk of eutrophication. Although the restrictive effects of high UVR on phytoplankton are generally recognized, the effects will be impacted by the UVR levels of seasonal changes and the nutrient status. In this study, in situ phytoplankton productivity was measured seasonally under full solar radiation and only visible light (photosynthetically active radiation, PAR) conditions in the plateau oligotrophic Lake Fuxian, Southwest China. To determine the single effects of UVR and nutrient enrichment and their combined impact on phytoplankton communities, a mesocosm experiment (1 month) was conducted outdoors during late summer (rainy season). The interactive experiment was designed with two radiation treatments (UVR + PAR and PAR) and four nutrient treatments (raw water, nitrogen addition, phosphorus addition, nitrogen and phosphorus addition). Our results suggested that the response of phytoplankton to UVR depended largely on nutrient availability, which was embodied in the no significant responses of phytoplankton productivity and total biomass to UVR in the oligotrophic raw water from Lake Fuxian, but the positive responses of total biomass to UVR in the nutrient enrichment treatment. Furthermore, the response of phytoplankton to UVR was also taxa dependent. Chlorophytes and dinoflagellates showed positive response to UVR, whereas chrysophytes were quite sensitive to UVR; diatoms had no significant response to UVR under all nutrient conditions, while the response of cyanobacteria to UVR was highly dependent on nutrient status. This study highlights that the increase in nutrient concentrations in oligotrophic lake not only directly promotes the growth of phytoplankton but also combines with low UVR during summer to benefit the growth of eutrophic taxa based on the non-negative effect of UVR on total phytoplankton biomass and the positive effect on eutrophic taxa.


    Yun Zhang, Kaidi Li, Qichao Zhou, Le Chen, Xuan Yang, Hucai Zhang. Phytoplankton responses to solar UVR and its combination with nutrient enrichment in a plateau oligotrophic Lake Fuxian: a mesocosm experiment. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2021 Feb 12

    PMID: 33576963

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