Faculty Publications


Algal community responses to shallow lake dystrophication.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Joseph M. Smoak

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2012

Date Available

November 2013




This research details changes in lake algal community structure that occurred during dystrophication. We conducted a paleolimnological investigation of Pungo Lake, a shallow, dystrophic system near the coast of North Carolina, USA. Multiple chemical and biological proxies were measured on a sediment core, including sedimentary photosynthetic pigments, lignin-phenols, nutrients, and delta C-13. Data analysis identified three zones of algal community structure corresponding to three regimes of organic matter inputs. Predystrophic conditions represented a period of low organic inputs but substantial algal abundance (diatoms and other algal types). The period of dystrophication preceded European settlement (1850) and showed an increase in organic matter deposition, lignin, and a change in lignin type. Lignin-phenols and delta C-13 signatures of organic matter indicated that terrestrial organic matter inputs increased during this period, possibly as a result of wetland expansion. Dystrophication also corresponded to an increase in algal groups that favor low light environments (cyanobacteria and cryptophytes).


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 69(8), 1433-1443. DOI: 10.1139/F2012-021 Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.




NRC Research Press

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.