The Relationship Between Mixing and Stratification Regime on the Phytoplankton of Lake Bosomtwe (Ghana), West Africa
The seasonal changes in the phytoplankton community in terms of biomass composition and associated physicochemical parameters of the Lake Bosomtwe (Ghana) located in West Africa were studied between 2004 and 2006 to assess the mixing and stratification regime of the lake on the phytoplankton dynamics. From water samples obtained from a central index station, biomass composition was assessed by converting phytoplankton counts to wet weights-based approximation into cell volume values; whiles mixed layer and euphotic depths were analyzed using temperature and light profiles of the lake respectively. Total phosphorus was estimated using the Ascorbic Acid Method. Results from the dataset showed that the phytoplankton biomass was dominated by the Cyanophyceae throughout the study period despite the seasonal changes associated with the mixing and stratification regimes. There were significant inter-annual differences in the mean values of the euphotic depth and the wet weight biomass (P < 0.05). However differences in the mean values of the mixed layer depth, the ratio of the mixed layer depth:euphotic depth, and total phosphorus concentration (P > 0.05) were insignificant. High variations in the mixed layer depth (CV > 34 %) and the euphotic depth (CV > 32) drive similarly high variations in the wet weight biomass (CV > 28) as is the case for many stratifying tropical lakes. However, both were poor predictors of the phytoplankton wet weight biomass behaviour (mixed layer depth, r2 = 0.1034; euphotic depth, r2
= 0.0632) though they were more important drivers of the biomass than nutrient concentrations (total phosphorus concentration, r2 = 0.0113).