Zooplankton contribution to particulate phosphorus and nitrogen in lakes

Dag Hessen*, Tom Andersen, Bjørn Faafeng

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Based on the recognition of rather constant species-specific element to dry weight ratios in freshwater zooplankton, pools of metazoan zooplankton P and N were calculated for 45 Norwegian lakes of varying trophy. On the average zooplankton constituted 20.4±12.3% and 4.6±4.3% of particulate P and N respectively. The fraction was considerably higher in many oligotrophic lakes, at most >50 and 20% respectively, but declined to ∼15% (P) and ∼5% (N) in meso- to eutrophic lakes. In general, phytoplankton contribution to particulate P was <50%, leaving a large share of particulate P to bacteria and microzooplankton. The zooplankton proportion of particulate P was only weakly influenced by the predation pressure in terms of fish community structure. Zooplankton P is important in the overall lake metabolism, and knowledge of this pool may be used to estimate zooplankton-mediated loss and regeneration of P and improve total nutrient element budgets in lakes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)937-947
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Plankton Research
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1992


    Dive into the research topics of 'Zooplankton contribution to particulate phosphorus and nitrogen in lakes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this