Biology Faculty Research

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-4-2004

Abstract

[ 1] Ammonium and amino acid fluxes were examined as indicators of N and microbial food web dynamics in southern Lake Michigan during spring. Either (NH4+)-N-15 or a mixture of N-15-labelled amino acids (both at 4 muM N final concentration) was added to Lake Michigan water. Net fluxes were measured over 24 h under natural light and dark conditions using deck-top incubators and compared to microbial food web characteristics. Isotope dilution experiments showed similar light and dark NH4+ regeneration rates at lake ( 6 versus 5 nM N h(-1)) and river-influenced ( 20 versus 24 nM N h(-1)) sites. Ammonium uptake rates were similar to regeneration rates in dark bottles. Dark uptake ( attributed mainly to bacteria) accounted for -70% of total uptake ( bacteria plus phytoplankton) in the light at most lake sites but only -30% of total uptake at river-influenced sites in or near the St. Joseph River mouth (SJRM). Cluster analysis grouped stations having zero, average, or higher than average N-cycling rates. Discriminant analysis indicated that chlorophyll concentration, oligotrich ciliate biomass, and total P concentration could explain 66% of N-cycling rate variation on average. Heterotrophic bacterial N demand was about one third of the NH4+ regeneration rate. Results suggest that, with the exception of SJRM stations, bacterial uptake and protist grazing mediated much of the N dynamics during spring transition. Since NH4+ is more available to bacteria than NO3-, regenerated NH4+ may have a strong influence on spring, lake biochemical energetics by enhancing N-poor organic matter degradation in this NO3--replete ecosystem.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research

Volume

109

Issue

C3

Required Publisher's Statement

An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2004 American Geophysical Union.

Included in

Biology Commons

Share

COinS