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Experimental ecology of lake ecosystems
Nutrient cycles in freshwater lakes
Food web interactions: phytoplankton - zooplankton - fish
Influence of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in phosphorus limited lake ecosystems on trophic interactions in the pelagic zone.
Anthropogenic induced alterations of global nitrogen (N) cycle lead to increased N depositions in freshwater lakes. In lakes where phytoplankton growth is phosphorus (P) limited, N loading is known to enhance P limitation. The aim of my study is to reveal potential consequences of increased atmospheric N deposition on zooplankton and fish in P limited lakes. Therefore I conduct mesocosm experiments where phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish are exposed to different N gradients with different nitrate (NO3) / ammonium (NH4) ratios. Effects along the N gradient are investigated with the focus on zooplankton and fish. Examined parameters are water chemistry, seston stoichiometry, zooplankton community compositions, - species abundances and - species growth rates. Furthermore nutritional conditions of zooplankton and fish are examined by analysis of RNA / DNA ratios.