Are phytoplankton dynamics in rivers so different from those in shallow lakes?

C. S. Reynolds, J. P. Descy, J. Padisák

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Citations (Scopus)


This paper introduces a series of contributions to the ninth meeting of the International Association of Phytoplankton Taxonomy and Ecology, held in Belgium during July, 1993. It draws from the original papers a synthesis which supports the view that the successful species in rivers and turbid shallow lakes are selected primarily on their ability to survive high-frequency irradiance fluctuations as they are circulated through steep light gradients. The selective distinction is less than that which discriminates between plankton of deep lakes and shallow lakes or even between clear and turbid shallow ones. River plankton is, however, dependent on fast growth rates but its survival in rivers is aided by a suite of water-retentive mechanisms. The ecology of turbid systems is dominated by physical interactions, those biotic interactions traditionally believed to regulate limnetic communities being suppressed and rarely well-expressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 1994


  • phytoplankton
  • rivers
  • shallow lakes
  • turbidity
  • turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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