Morpho-functional classifications of phytoplankton are increasingly used in ecological studies of different aquatic ecosystems. The aim was to compare three different classifications: (a) functional groups (FG); (b) morpho-functional groups (MFG); and (c) morphologically based functional groups (MBFG), and to detect how well can the biomass of phytoplankton groups based on different classifications be explained by environmental conditions of two different karstic lakes in the National Park Plitvice Lakes. Phytoplankton biomass in Lake Kozjak was lower than in Lake Prošće (total avg. 1.13 and 2.59 mg l−1, respectively). Several diatoms (Cyclotella spp., Discostellastelligera, Synedra sp., Ulnariaulna var. acus) with Dinobryondivergens were dominant in Kozjak, while Prošće was characterized by Dinobryonsociale, D. divergens, Cryptomonas sp., Stephanodiscus sp. and Fragilariacrotonensis. The best results in describing the phytoplankton succession were obtained using MBFG approach although it is less sensitive in describing variability of individual descriptive algal groups in this environment than FG and MFG. Nonetheless, because of distinct differences among dominant phytoplankton groups in these systems, MBFG classification was shown to be applicable, as supported by statistical analyses. FG and MFG classifications showed a high level of similarity, thus proving to be applicable to deep karstic lakes.
- Deep karstic lakes
- Morpho-functional classifications
- Phytoplankton assemblages
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science