High predictability of spring phytoplankton biomass in mesocosms at the species, functional group and community level
Article first published online: 26 MAR 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Special Issue: Plankton Dynamics in a Fast Changing World
Volume 58, Issue 3, pages 588–596, March 2013
How to Cite
BAUER, B., SOMMER, U. and GAEDKE, U. (2013), High predictability of spring phytoplankton biomass in mesocosms at the species, functional group and community level. Freshwater Biology, 58: 588–596. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2012.02780.x
- Issue published online: 6 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 26 MAR 2012
- (Manuscript accepted 28 February 2012)
- hierarchical level;
1. Models aim to predict phytoplankton dynamics based on observed initial conditions and a set of equations and parameters. However, our knowledge about initial conditions in nature is never perfect. Thus, if phytoplankton dynamics are sensitive to small variations in initial conditions, they are difficult to predict.
2. We used time-series data from indoor mesocosm experiments with natural phyto- and zooplankton communities to quantify the extent to which small initial differences in the species, functional group and community biomass in parallel treatments were amplified or buffered over time. We compared the differences in dynamics between replicates and among all mesocosms of 1 year.
3. Temperature-sensitive grazing during the exponential growth phase of phytoplankton caused divergence. In contrast, negative density dependence caused convergence.
4. Mean differences in biomass between replicates were similar for all hierarchical levels. This indicates that differences in their initial conditions were amplified to the same extent. Even though large differences in biomass occasionally occurred between replicates for a short time, dynamics returned to the same path at all hierarchical levels. This suggests that internal feedback mechanisms make the spring development of phytoplankton highly predictable.