Planktonic primary production and respiration rates were estimated in a subtropical coastal lake dominated by Cyanobacteria in order to investigate the temporal and vertical variation in this lake and to evaluate its relationships with limnological variables and phytoplankton. Light and dark bottles were incubated at four different depths in the central part of the lake and were performed bimonthly from June/2009 to December/2010. No significant difference was evident among depths in relation to phytoplankton, limnological variables and metabolic rates. However, the highest production rates were recorded at the surface, and decreased towards the bottom, coupled with phytoplanktonic photosynthetic capacity. Wind induced mixing in Peri Lake played an important role in nutrient and phytoplankton redistribution, characterizing this lake as polymictic. According to density and biovolume, the phytoplankton community was dominated by filamentous Cyanobacteria, especially Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (Woloszynska) Seenayya and Subba-Raju. This study has shown that both water temperature and nutrient availability drive phytoplankton growth and consequently the temporal variation in metabolic rates, where respiration is higher than primary production.
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