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Significant differences in phytoplankton abundance developed in identical untreated 2.3 m3 enclosures maintained in a shallow fertile lake in Northern Italy. In the winter, cadmium, copper and mercury additions up to 100 µg/l caused marked reductions in phytoplankton biomass within 2 days. In summer zooplankton was found to be very sensitive to heavy metals whereas phytoplankton was not. This led to reduced grazing by zooplankton causing algae to proliferate. In winter, decreases in plankton biomass allowed accumulation of inorganic nutrients, again supporting larger algal populations. Of the three metals, mercury persisted for the shortest period in the water, accumulating in periphyton. Copper remained longest and was associated with suspended particulate material. Cadmium remained largely in solution. Heavy metal accumulation in sediment was not evident but may have been masked by high background concentrations.

Additional information

Authors: KERRISON P H, University of East Anglia, Norwich (GB);ANNONI D, University of East Anglia, Norwich (GB);ZARINI S, University of East Anglia, Norwich (GB);RAVERA O, University of East Anglia, Norwich (GB);MOSS B, JRC Ispra Estab. (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal Plankton Research, Vol. 10 (1988) No. 4, pp. 779-812
Record Number: 198910666 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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