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The microbial plankton of freshwater lakes in the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • J. E. M. Laybourn-Parry
  • H. J. Marchant
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/1992
<mark>Journal</mark>Polar Biology
Issue number3-4
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)405-410
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The plankton of twelve freshwater and slightly saline lakes in the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica was sampled in February 1991. All of the lakes are oligotrophic. The chlorophyll a concentrations in the lakes ranged from 0.10–2.69 g · 1–1. The majority of the phytoplankton were flagellates or picoplanktonic cyanobacteria with the species composition varying between the lakes. Cyanobacteria were found in five of the lakes. Five to 6 species of ciliated protozoa occurred, among them oligotrichs, including the mixotrophic species Strombidium viride. The concentrations of protists and bacteria were an order to several orders of magnitude lower than reported from lower latitude oligotrophic lakes. Low species diversity and low numbers in the plankton characterise these eastern Antarctica lakes which reflects their low nutrient status and isolation.