Seasonal variations of phytoplankton species in Lake Victoria and the influence of iron and zinc ions on the dominant species identified during 2006–2007 studies
Wandiga, Shem O
Bbosa, Naziriwo B
MetadataShow full item record
The current study was conducted for 2 years (2006 and 2007) during January, April and September to investigate seasonal variations in biological parameters and planktonic biodiversity observed at four sampling sites (MRM, M500, SRM and S500) in Lake Victoria. Blue-green algae (Cyanophyta) dominated the lakeshore waters of Lake Victoria, comprising 54.1% of the total algal content, compared to 24.4% for diatoms and 14.7% for green algae (Chlorophyta). Euglenophytes and dinoflagellates both constitute <10% of the algal biomass. The algal distribution at the Sango Bay sampling sites, however, is different in that it is dominated by diatoms, in contrast to Murchison Bay, which was dominated by blue-green algae. This study also investigated the influence of iron (Fe2+and Fe3+) and zinc (Zn2+) ions on four strains of microcystis (CYN 464, CYN 465, CYN 478 and CYN 522) isolated from Murchison Bay in Lake Victoria. The suggestion that iron species and zinc ions might limit phytoplankton growth in Lake Victoria was tested by enriching algal culture media with different metal concentrations. Based on measurements of the algal biomass of four species of Lake Victoria, the algal biomass of the four microcystis strains generally decreased with increased zinc and Fe2+ concentrations. The algal biomass of the four strains, however, increased with increased Fe3+ concentrations. This response to different metal concentrations provides evidence that high Zn2+ and Fe2+ ion concentrations limit phytoplankton growth and species distribution. The availability of Fe3+ ions is an important selective force on Lake Victoria phytoplankton communities.