Inorganic nitrogen uptake and river inputs in northern Lake Tanganyika
Brion, Natacha × Nzeyimana, Evariste Goeyens, Leo Nahimana, David Tungaraza, Clavery Baeyens, Willy #
Int assoc great lakes res
Journal of great lakes research vol:32 issue:3 pages:553-564
Northern Lake Tanganyika is characterized by an almost permanently stratified water column which causes severe nutrient depletion in surface waters. Any external N source to surface waters, therefore, is of importance in sustaining primary production. This study attempted to quantify riverine input of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) to the extreme northern end of Lake Tanganyika (surface = 900 km(2)) as well as the DIN uptake by surface phytoplankton. Results showed that riverine DIN inputs (1, 930 tons of N/year) were of similar importance to atmospheric deposition (1, 520 to 1, 720 tons of N/year) and were maximal during the dry season. Moreover, seasonal DIN variations in river and lake waters showed maximum concentrations during part of the dry season (May to July 1999) probably due to high atmospheric inputs. Phytoplanktonic nitrate and ammonium uptake rates were measured during nine cruises and varied from 0.01 to 19.3 nM/h. These values suggest that uptake by phytoplankton in the surface waters could represent a DIN sink of about 14,400 tons of N/year, thereby utilizing all available DIN coming in from external sources. External DIN sources represent approximately 25% of the annual phytoplankton N requirements, showing the major importance of unquantified N sources in sustaining primary production in the northern basin of Lake Tanganyika. These sources could include organic N present in the external sources, and internal N supply.