, Volume 578, Issue 1, pp 7–16 | Cite as

Green algae in Lake Tanganyika: is morphological variation a response to seasonal changes?

  • Maya P. Stoyneva
  • Jean-Pierre Descy
  • Wim Vyverman
Phytoplankton Workshop


In the framework of a planktological and ecological study in Lake Tanganyika, East Africa (CLIMLAKE, 2001–2005), variations of cell abundance and size were observed in a green alga, Eremosphaera tanganyikae, at two study sites, one in the north basin of the lake (off Kigoma, Tanzania) and the other in the south basin (off Mpulungu, Zambia). Whereas most green algae developed better in the rainy season and in the northern part of the lake, Eremosphaera developed better in the southern basin, in the dry season. It also exhibited large variations in cell abundance and cell size, with maxima in the middle of the dry season, which may be related to increased phosphorus availability. Moreover, increase in cell size (up to 80 μm in length), without notable change in S/V ratio, may provide the alga with resistance to grazing by copepods, which reach maximal abundance during the dry season.


Lake Tanganyika Morphological variation Eremosphaera tanganyikae Life strategy Surface area/Volume ratio 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maya P. Stoyneva
    • 1
  • Jean-Pierre Descy
    • 2
  • Wim Vyverman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of SofiaSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology, URBO, Department of BiologyUniversity of NamurNamurBelgium
  3. 3.Protistology and Aquatic Ecology, Department of BiologyUniversity of GhentGhentBelgium

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