An annual investigation on phytoplankton communities was conducted to reveal the effects of nutrients on phytoplankton assemblages in Lake Taihu, East China. A total of 78 phytoplankton taxa were identified. Phytoplankton biomass was higher in the northern part of the lake than in the southern part. Cyanobacteria and Bacillariophyta alternated dominance in the northern area, where algal blooms often appear, and co-dominated in the southern area. In the northern part, the proportions of cyanobacteria and Bacillariophyta varied significantly in total biovolume, both along the phosphorus (P) gradient, and between total nitrogen levels (a parts per thousand currency sign3 mg/L and > 3 mg/L TN). The proportions of cyanobacteria and Bacillariophyta had no significant variations in total biovolume along P and N (nitrogen) gradients in the southern part. Correlation analysis and CCA results revealed that P was the key factor regulating phytoplankton community structure. Nitrogen was also important for the phytoplankton distribution pattern. It was concluded that nutrient structure was heterogeneous in space and shaped the distribution pattern of phytoplankton in the lake. Both exogenous P and internally sourced P release needs to be considered. N reduction should be considered simultaneously with P control to efficiently reduce eutrophication and algal blooms.
LARGE SHALLOW LAKE