, Volume 574, Issue 1, pp 205–216 | Cite as

Nutrient limitation in Crater Lake, Oregon

  • Alan W. Groeger
Crater Lake, Oregon


Experiments were carried out to determine what nutrient (or nutrients) was primarily responsible for limiting phytoplankton productivity in ultraoligotrophic Crater Lake. The experiments included in situ and laboratory nutrient addition bioassays utilizing the natural phytoplankton community, Selenastrum capricornutum bottle assays, photosynthetic responses, photosynthetic carbon metabolism, and response of dark uptake of 14CO2 with the addition of NH 4 + . The results suggested that a trace metal(s) or its availability was the primary factor limiting the epilimnetic phytoplankton productivity. Nitrogen was extremely low, and quickly became limiting with the addition of trace metals and a chelator. Iron is the most likely candidate as the limiting nutrient. Trace metals and nitrogen are also both important in limiting phytoplankton at 100 m, a depth where biologically mediated turnover of nutrients seems to be more important.


Crater Lake Phytoplankton Nutrient limitation Trace metals Nitrogen 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aquatic Station, Department of BiologyTexas State University—San MarcosSan MarcosUSA

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