Phytoplankton community structure and environment in the Kenyan waters of Lake Victoria

Abstract : 1. Phytoplankton species composition, numerical abundance, spatial distribution and total biomass measured as chlorophyll a concentration were studied in relation to environmental factors in September 1994 (dry season) and March 1995 (rainy season), respectively, in the Kenyan waters of Lake Victoria; 103 species were recorded. 2. Blue-green algae (Cyanophyceae) were most diverse, followed by diatoms (Bacillariophyceae), green algae (Chlorophyceae) and dinoflagellates (Dinophyceae). 3. Twinspan separated the phytoplankton communities in the Nyanza Gulf and those in the open lake during both seasons. During the dry season, the Nyanza Gulf was strongly dominated by blue-greens, while diatoms dominated in the open lake. During the rainy season, blue-greens remained dominant in the Nyanza Gulf although the number of species found was lower than during the dry season; in the open lake, blue-greens replaced diatoms as the dominant group and there were more species than in the dry season. 4. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that the phytoplankton species distribution was significantly correlated with turbidity during the dry season and with SiO2 during the rainy season. Chlorophyll a concentrations ranging from 2.0 to 71.5 mg m-3 in the dry season and 2.0-17.2 mg m-3 in the rainy season confirm earlier reports of increasing phytoplankton biomass in Lake Victoria since the 1960s.
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Henry B.O. Lung'Ayia, A. M'Harzi, Micky Tackx, John Gichuki, J.J. Symoens. Phytoplankton community structure and environment in the Kenyan waters of Lake Victoria. Freshwater Biology, Wiley, 2000, vol. 43 (n° 4), pp. 529-543. ⟨10.1046/j.1365-2427.2000.t01-1-00525.x⟩. ⟨hal-01515930⟩

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