Historical Interpretation of Pigment Stratigraphy in Lake Mendota Sediments
Algal pigments are important biomakers of lake productivity and trophic interactions. Our understanding of organic matter production, sedimentation, and decomposition, phytoplankton-zooplankton interactions, and historical changes in lakes has benefited from pigment-derived information. However, several pitfalls may be encountered in interpreting pigment data. Algal pigments must be distinguished from those produced by higher plants and photosynthetic bacteria. Influences of production on pigment types and concentrations in the water column must be resolved from effects of photodegradation and chemical or biological alteration. Biases in historical sedimentary records toward pigments preferentially preserved during diagnesis must be quantified. With these complications in view, algal pigments provide important insights into lake biogeo- chemistry and paleolimnology.
KeywordsChlorophyll Sludge Sedimentation Calcite Shale
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