Effects of zooplankton on nutrient availability and seston C:N:P stoichiometry in inshore waters of Lake Biwa, Japan

James J. Elser, Linda Gudex, Marcia Kyle, Toshiyuki Ishikawa, Jotaro Urabe

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19 Scopus citations


Forty-eight-hour experimental manipulations of zooplankton biomass were performed to examine the potential effects of zooplankton on nutrient availability and phytoplankton biomass (as measured by seston concentration) and C:N:P stoichiometry in eutrophic nearshore waters of Lake Biwa, Japan. Increasing zooplankton, both mixed-species communities and Daphnia alone, consistently reduced seston concentration, indicating that nearshore phytoplankton were generally edible. The zooplankton clearance rates of inshore phytoplankton were similar to rates measured previously for offshore phytoplankton. Increased zooplankton biomass led to increased concentrations of nutrients (NH4-N, soluble reactive phosphorus [SRP]). Net release rates were higher than those found in previous measurements made offshore, reflecting the nutrient-rich nature of inshore seston. Zooplankton nutrient recycling consistently decreased TIN:SRP ratios (TIN = NH4 + NO3 + NO2). This effect probably resulted from the low N:P ratios of nearshore seston, which were lower than those commonly found in crustacean zooplankton and thus resulted in low retention efficiency of P (relative to N) by the zooplankton. Thus, zooplankton grazing inshore may ameliorate algal blooms due to direct consumption but tends to create nutrient supply conditions with low N:P, potentially favoring cyanobacteria. In comparison with previous findings for offshore, it appears that potential zooplankton effects on phytoplankton and nutrient dynamics differ qualitatively in inshore and offshore regions of Lake Biwa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Grazing
  • Lake Biwa
  • Nutrient recycling
  • Nutrients
  • Zooplankton


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