Chapter

Life support systems

Warwick F. Vincent

in Lakes: A Very Short Introduction

Published in print January 2018 | ISBN: 9780198766735
Published online January 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191821035 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780198766735.003.0004

Series: Very Short Introductions

Life support systems

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There is an astonishing variety and abundance of microscopic life that underpins the ecology of natural waters. The aquatic microbiome—made up of viruses, bacteria, archaea, and microbial eukaryotes—is central to the healthy functioning of lake ecosystems and their responses to environmental change. ‘Life support systems’ describes the key input of energy from the sun and the precarious balance between oxygen gains and losses. It also outlines the key features of the carbon and nitrogen cycles and the important roles that the microbiomes play; and it describes the two different zones of production: the inshore or littoral zone, and the offshore limnetic or pelagic zone.

Keywords: archaea; bacteria; carbon; lake; littoral zone; pelagic; production

Chapter.  6235 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Physical Geography and Topography

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