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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 537, Issue 1–3, pp 35–46 | Cite as

The influence of particle size distribution and composition on seasonal sedimentation rates in a temperate lake

  • David Poister
  • Corey DeGuelle
Article

Abstract

To evaluate the effect of particle size and composition on seasonal changes in the sedimentation rate, suspended and sedimenting particles were collected from Trout Lake, Wisconsin, USA during the 2002 ice-free season. Particles were characterized with regard to particulate biogenic silicon (PBSi) concentration and distribution between four size classes. The concentration of particulate chlorophyll and chlorophyll degradation products was also measured in water column particles and sediment trap material collected during the first half of the sampling period. The highest rates of mass sedimentation during the stratified period were measured in spring and early summer. Seasonal increases in sedimentation are related to the presence of large colonial diatoms in the water column as indicated by elevated PBSi concentrations. The majority of particulate matter in the water column was found in the smallest (<20 μm) size fraction while most of the mass of sediment trap material was in larger size fractions (>20 μm). Smaller cells appear to carry out most of the photosynthesis in Trout Lake but larger cells are responsible for seasonal trends in sedimentation. These results may explain how pelagic photosynthesis and sedimentation rates can be quantitatively decoupled across a range of trophic conditions but appear correlated when based on mid-summer measurements.

Keywords

sedimentation size distribution diatoms seasonality 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Natural SciencesSaint Norbert CollegeDe PereUSA

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