Paleolimnological studies from the Antarctic and subantarctic islands
To compile reference data for palaeolimnological studies using fossil pigment, we examined the extent to which environmental variables, gross morphology and species composition influence the modern pigment content of in situ microbial communities in 62 east Antarctic lakes. Pigment contents, measured using HPLC, were compared with 32 environmental variables, gross microbial mat morphology and cyanobacterial species composition in each lake. Results showed low concentrations or an absence of pigments in the water columns of most lakes. For benthic microbial communities, multivariate statistical analyses identified lake depth as the most important factor explaining pigment composition. In deeper lakes the pigment composition was dominated by chlorophylls, in intermediate depth lakes by chlorophylls and carotenoids, and in shallow lakes by scytonemins, ultraviolet-screening pigments found in cyanobacteria. In addition to lake depth, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, sulphate and geographical location were all significant (p<0.05) in explaining variance in the pigment content. Significant differences in microbial mat gross morphologies ocurred at different lake depths (p<0.01), and were characterised by significant differences in their pigment content(p<0.004). Despite the high abundance of scytonemin in shallow lakes, there were only limited changes in the absolute concentrations of chlorophylls and carotenoids. We conclude that lake depth is the most significant factor influencing both gross mat morphology and pigment content presumably as a result of its influence on the light climate. In general, the ability of the cyanobacteria to regulate their pigment content, morphology, community composition and motility to best exploit thelight environment at different lake depths may explain their dominance in these systems.
Authors: Hodgson, D.A. ORCID record for D.A. Hodgson, Doran, P.T., Roberts, D., McMinn, A.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.