Microbial Biomass and Enzymatic Activity of the Surface Microlayer and Subsurface Water in Two Dystrophic Lakes


Share / Export Citation / Email / Print / Text size:

Polish Journal of Microbiology

Polish Society of Microbiologists

Subject: Microbiology


ISSN: 1733-1331
eISSN: 2544-4646





Volume / Issue / page

Related articles

VOLUME 66 , ISSUE 1 (March 2017) > List of articles

Microbial Biomass and Enzymatic Activity of the Surface Microlayer and Subsurface Water in Two Dystrophic Lakes

Iwona Kostrzewska-Szlakowska * / Bartosz Kiersztyn

Keywords : dystrophic lakes, enzymatic activity in lakes, neuston, bacteria in surface microlayer

Citation Information : Polish Journal of Microbiology. Volume 66, Issue 1, Pages 75-84, DOI: https://doi.org/10.5604/17331331.1234995

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Received Date : 24-June-2014 / Accepted: 23-August-2016 / Published Online: 30-March-2017



Nutrient and organic matter concentration, microbial biomass and activities were studied at the surface microlayers (SML) and subsurface waters (SSW) in two small forest lakes of different water colour. The SML in polyhumic lake is more enriched with dissolved inorganic nitro­gen (0.141 mg l–1) than that of oligohumic lake (0.124 mg l–1), the former also contains higher levels of total nitrogen (2.66 mg l–1). Higher activities of lipase (Vmax 2290 nmol l–1 h–1 in oligo- and 6098 in polyhumic) and glucosidase (Vmax 41 nmol l–1 h–1 in oligo- and 49 in polyhumic) were in the SMLs in both lakes. Phosphatase activity was higher in the oligohumic SML than in SSW (Vmax 632 vs. 339 nmol l–1 h–1)while in polyhumic lake was higher in SSW (Vmax 2258 nmol l–1 h–1 vs. 1908 nmol l–1 h–1). Aminopeptidase activity in the SSW in both lakes was higher than in SMLs (Vmax 2117 in oligo- and 1213 nmol l–1 h–1 in polyhumic). It seems that solar radiation does inhibit neuston micro­bial community as a whole because secondary production and the share of active bacteria in total bacteria number were higher in SSW. However, in the oligohumic lake the abundance of bacteria in the SML was always higher than in the SSW (4.07 vs. 2.69 × 106 cells ml–1) while in the polyhumic lake was roughly equal (4.48 vs. 4.33 × 106 cells ml–1) in both layers. Results may also suggest that surface communi­ties are not supplemented by immigration from bulk communities. The SML of humic lakes may act as important sinks for allochthonous nutrient resources and may then generate considerable energy pools for microbial food webs.

Content not available PDF Share



Arvola L., P. Kankaala, T. Tulonen and A. Ojala. 1996. Effects of phosphorus and allochthonous humic matter enrichment on the metabolic processes and community structure of plankton boreal lake (Lake Pääjärvi). Can. J. Fish Aquatic Sci. 53: 1646–1662.


Boavida M.J. and R.G. Wetzel. 1998. Inhibition of phosphatase activity by dissolved humic substances and hydrolytic reactivation by natural ultraviolet light. Freshwater Biolology 40: 285–293.


Chow A.T., K.K. Tanji and S. Gao. 2003. Production of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and trihalomethane (THM) precursor from peat soils. Water Res. 37: 4475–4485.


Chróst R.J., J. Overbeck and R. Wcisło. 1988. Evaluation of the [3H] Thymidyne method for estimating bacterial growth rates and production in lake water: re-examination and methodological comments. Acta Microbiol. Pol. 37: 95–112.


Chróst R.J. 1991. Environmental control of synthesis and activity of aquatic microbial ectoenzymes, pp. 29–59. In: Chróst R.J. (ed). Microbial enzymes in aquatic environments, Springer-Verlag, New York.


Cunliffe M., Upstill-Goddard R.C. and J.C. Murrell. 2011. Microbiology of aquatic surface microlayers. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 35: 233–246.


del Giorgio P.A. and G. Scaraborough. 1995. Increase in proportion of metabolically active bacteria along gradients of enrichment in freshwater and marine plankton: implications for estimates of bacterial growth and production rates. J. Plankton Res. 1: 1905–1924.


Dietz A.S., L.J. Albright and T. Tuominen. 1976. Heterotrophic activities of bacterioneuston and bacterioplankton. Can. J. Microbiol. 22: 1699–1709.


Dowgiałło A. 1984. Simplified photometric methods of determination of ammonia and Kjeldahl nitrogen in biological materials. Polskie Archiwum Hydrobiologii 31: 317–339.


Franklin M.P., I.R. McDonald, D.G. Bourne, N.J.P. Owens, R. Upstill-Goddard and J.C. Murrell. 2005. Bacterial diversity in the bacterioneuston (sea surface microlayer): the bacterioneuston through the looking glass. Env. Microbiol. 7: 723–736.


Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (FAAS). 2007. Analytical Methods, ed. 11th. Agilent Technologies, Australia (M) Pty, Ltd.


Golterman H.L. and R.S. Clymo. 1978. Methods for physical & chemical analysis of fresh waters. IBP Handbook No 8. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, Edinburgh, London, Melbourne.


Hardy J.T. 1997. Biological effects of chemicals in the sea surface microlayer. In: Liss P.S. and R.A. Duce (eds). The Sea Surface and Global Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.


Hermansson M. and B. Dahlbäck. 1983. Bacterial activity at the air/water interface. Microb. Ecol. 9: 317–328.


Hillbricht-Ilkowska A. and I. Kostrzewska-Szlakowska. 2004. Surface microlayer in lakes of different trophic status: nutrient concentration and accumulation. Pol. J. Ecol. 52: 461–478.


Hoppe H.G. 1993. Use of fluorogenic model substrate for extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) measurements of bacteria, pp. 423–431. In: Kemp P.F., B.F. Sherr, E.B. Sherr and I.J. Cole (eds). Handbook of methods in aquatic microbial ecology. Lewis Publishers.


Hunter K.A. 1997. Chemistry of the sea-surface microlayer, pp. 287–320. In: Liss P.S. and R.A. Duce (eds). The sea surface and global change. Cambridge University Press.


Joux F., H. Agogue, I. Obernosterer, C. Dupuy, T. Reinthaler, G.J. Herndl and P. Lebaron. 2006. Microbial community structure in the sea surface microlayer at two contrasting coastal sites in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 42: 91–104.


Kostrzewska-Szlakowska I. 2005. Surface microlayer in lakes of different trophic status: dissolved organic matter and microbial community. Pol. J. Ecol. 53: 341–351.


Kuznetsova M. and C. Lee. 2001. Enhanced extracellular enzymatic peptide hydrolysis in the sea-surface microlayer. Marine Chemistry 73: 319–332.


Kuznetsova M., C. Lee and J. Aller. 2004. Enrichment of amino acids in the sea surface microlayer at coastal and open sea sites in the North Atlantic Ocean. Limnology and Oceanography 49: 1605–1619.


Larsson K., G. Odham and A. Södergren. 1974. On lipid surface films on the sea. I. A simple method for sampling and studies of composition. Marine Chemistry 2: 49–57.


Marker A.F.H., E.A. Nush, H. Rai and B. Riemann. 1980. The measurement of photosynthetic pigments in freshwaters and standardization of methods: conclusions and recommendations of the workshop. In: Proceedings of the workshop on the measurement of photosynthetic pigments in freshwaters and standardization of methods. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie – Beiheft Ergebnisse der Limnologie 14: 91–106.


Mudryk Z. and P. Skórczewski. 2004. Extracellular enzyme activity at the air-water interface of an estuarine lake. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Sciences 59: 59–67.


Münster U., P. Einiö, J. Nurminen and J. Overbeck. 1992. Extracellular enzymes in a polyhumic lake: important regulators in detritus processing. Hydrobiologia 229: 225–238.


Münster U., E. Heillinen and J. Knulst. 1998. Nutrient composition, microbial biomass and activity at the air-water interface of small boreal forest lakes. Hydrobiologia 363: 261–270.


Porter K.G. and Y.S. Feig. 1980. The use of DAPI for indentifying and counting aquatic microflora. Limnology and Oceanography 25: 943–948.


Santos A.L., C. Mendes, N.C.M. Gomes, I. Henriques, A. Correia, A. Almeida and A. Cuhna. 2009. Short-term variability of abundance, diversity and activity of estuarine bacterioneuston and bacterioplankton. J. Plankton Res. 31: 1545–1555.


Schumann R., U. Schiewer, U. Karoten and T. Rieling. 2003. Viability of bacteria from different aquatic habitats. II. Cellular fluorescent markers for membrane integrity and metabolic activity. Aqua. Microb. Ecol. 32: 137–150.


Södergren A. 1993. Role of aquatic surface microlayer in the dynamics of nutrients and organic compounds in lakes, with implications for their ecotones. Hydrobiologia 251: 217–225.


Stolle C., K. Nagel, M. Labrenz and K. Jürgens. 2009. Bacterial activity in the sea-surface microlayer: in situ investigations in the Baltic Sea and the influence of sampling devices. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 58: 67–78.


Tulonen T. 1993. Bacterial production in a mesohumic lakes estimated from [14C]Leucine incorporation ratio. Microb. Ecol. 26: 201–217.


Weiss M., U. Abele, J. Weckesser, W. Welte, E. Schiltz E. and G.E. Schultz. 1991. Molecular architecture and electrostatic properties of bacterial porin. Science 254: 1627–1630.


Williams C.J. and F.J. Jochem. 2006. Ectoenzyme kinetics in Florida Bay: implications for bacterial carbon source and nutrient status. Hydrobiologia 569: 113–127.