Contribution of photosynthetic sulphur bacteria to primary production in Lake Vechten

  • C. L. M. Steenbergen
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 11)


The role of photosynthetic sulphur bacteria as primary producers in monomictic Lake Vechten (The Netherlands) is described. Lake Vechten has a surface area of 4.7 ha, a maximum depth of 11.9 m and a mean depth of 6 m.

Bacterial populations, appearing at the boundary layer of the oxidative and reductive zone from early June till late October, were composed of cyanobacteria, Chromatiaceae and green and brown coloured Chlorobiaceae. Predominating genera were Synechococcus, Chloronema, Chromatium and Thiopedia. The photosynthetic sulphur bacteria accounted for a primary production rate of 13.6–106.1 mg C.m-2 day-1, which corresponded to 3.9–17.5% of total daily productivity in the pelagial zone. The percentage of photosynthetic bacterial production of total annual planktonic primary production calculated for the entire pelagial zone, taking into account compensation for decreasing volume of lower strata, was 3.6% (i.e. 127 against a total production of 3 510 kg C.lake-1yr-1).


primary production photosynthetic bacteria carbon cycle secondary production 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers, The Hague 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. L. M. Steenbergen
    • 1
  1. 1.‘Vijverhof’ LaboratoryLimnological InstituteNieuwersluisThe Netherlands

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