In Lake Baikal, picocyanobacteria are the most important primary producers during the summer. Freshwater picocyanobacteria are discriminated into either the phycoerythrin (PE)-rich or the phycocyanin (PC)-rich types according to their pigment composition. The distributions of these two types of picocyanobacteria were investigated in Barguzin Bay. The PC-rich type accounted for >98% of the total picocyanobacteria at the station near the shore of the bay where river water flows directly in. In the offshore area of the lake, all of the picocyanobacteria cells were of the PE-rich type. In addition, the occurrence of the PC-rich type was restricted to the station, where the attenuation coefficient exceeded 0.25 m-1. Near the shore, where the turbidity was high (>1 NTU), the cell densities of both the PE- and PC-rich types increased away from the river mouth. This indicates that the PC-rich type cells grow near the shore of the bay where turbidity is high. Since the PC-rich type could not grow well when cells were incubated in offshore lake water, restricted distribution of the PC-rich type could also be explained by their growth capability. The present study clearly demonstrated the shift in the pigment type composition of picocyanobacteria from the coastal to the pelagic zone of Lake Baikal. The co-existence of the two pigment types probably enables the abundance of the picocyanobacterial community to be stable over a broader range of environmental conditions than would be possible for a single pigment type.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Water Science and Technology