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Data from: Aquatic ecosystem responds differently to press and pulse nutrient disturbances as revealed by a microcosm experiment

Citation

Zhao, Yu (2022), Data from: Aquatic ecosystem responds differently to press and pulse nutrient disturbances as revealed by a microcosm experiment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pzgmsbcqn

Abstract

Due to climate change and increasing anthropogenic activities, lakes are disturbed frequently, usually by press (e.g., diffused pollution, rising temperatures) or pulse (e.g., storms, rainfall, pollution events) disturbances. Both press and pulse disturbances can affect abiotic and biotic environments, changing the structure of ecosystems and affecting ecosystem services. To confront with the effects of climate change and increasing anthropogenic activities, understanding the different effects of press and pulse disturbances on lake ecosystems is essential. This study assessed the effect of press and pulse disturbances of phosphorus on a microcosmic aquatic ecosystem by measuring the total phosphorus (TP), algae density, and physiological indicators of submerged macrophytes. We found that the microcosmic aquatic ecosystem responded differently to press and pulse disturbances. Our results suggested that it had a lower resistance to pulse phosphorus disturbances than to press phosphorus disturbances. There were significantly higher nutrient concentrations and algal densities in the pulse treatment than in the press treatment. Positive feedback was found between the biomass of submerged macrophytes and the water quality. There was a higher submerged macrophytes biomass at low TP concentration and algal density. In the context of climate change, press and pulse disturbances could have severe impacts on lake ecosystems. Our findings will provide some insight for further research and lake management.

Methods

Water samples 20 cm below the water surface were collected once a day in all treatments. TP concentrations in the water column were measured using combined persulfate digestion. The optical density 680 (OD680) value, which represents the algal density, was measured at a wavelength of 680 nm using an ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometer.

After 30 days, intact plants were collected and washed for laboratory determination of indicators. Each individual plant was carefully collected, and the epiphyton was separated from the macrophyte using a small brush in the laboratory. Filamentous algae were collected with a scraper from the walls of the aquariums and dried naturally on foil. Weight and root/shoot were expressed in fresh weight.

Peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were extracted from fresh V. natans tissues. The enzymatic content of M. spicatum was not analyzed, due to insufficient fresh weight for grinding. POD activity was determined by an increase in absorbance at a wavelength of 470 nm due to guaiacol oxidation. The unit of CAT activity was defined as the amount of enzyme that decomposed 1 μmol H2O2 per minute . SOD activity was measured using the method described by Ewing and Janero.

 

We obtained 3 mL water samples (20 cm below the water surface) from the experimental aquariums each day. The samples were dark-acclimated for 15 minutes. The minimum fluorescence (F0) value and the maximum fluorescence (Fm) value were measured by a Phyto-PAM (Walz, Germany). The difference between the Fm and F0 values is the variable fluorescence (Fv). Then the maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) was measured. 

Funding

University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Award: XDB310403

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 42025707

Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Award: Y2021086

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 42171163