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Natural recolonization of a productive tropical pond: Day to day variations in the photosynthetic parameters

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Chlorophyll pigments (CHL), primary productivity (PP) and particulate nitrogen (Np) in relation to several environmental factors were monitored during planktonic colonization of an aquaculture pond (Layo, Côte d'Ivoire). How interactions between the organisms are established in an initially azoic environment were investigated. From March, 15 (D1) to March, 31 (D16), the system transformation went through three stages. First, a precolonization by heterotrophic microbial community from D1 to D2 (Np < 1 μm maximum at D2: 243 mg m−2; CHL around 0). Then, a pioneer microalgal community developped from D3 to D7 (maximum CHL on D6: 19 mg m−2; PP: 1.0 g C m−2 d−1) with a significant contribution of picoplankton (CHL and PP < 3 μm: 33 and 23% of the total, respectively). Finally, a second microalgal colonization was noticed from D9 to D12 (maximum CHL: 55 mg m−2, PP: 2.8 g C m−2 d−1), largely dominated by nanoplankton (CHL and PP > 3 μm: 95 and 99% of the total, respectively). Overall, photosynthetic activity appeared to be closely linked to algal biomass. The study of autotrophic biomass and activity in different size classes in relation to the other parameters allowed us to precise the origin of the biomass fluctuations. The first bloom appeared to be controlled by selective grazing on small algae. The second algal development ended when N requirement represented at least 69% of N supply (in the N — NH4 form). This control was enhanced by the appearance of rotifers, leading to a more complex equilibrium.

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Arfi, R., Guiral, D. & Torreton, J. Natural recolonization of a productive tropical pond: Day to day variations in the photosynthetic parameters. Aquatic Science 53, 39–54 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00877074

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Key words

  • Primary production
  • recolonization
  • trophic relationships
  • tropical pond