Important Limnology Concepts


Limnology is the study of inland waters, such as lakes and rivers. Click on a link to learn about an important aspect water scientists, politicians, and limnologists use to make decisions and advise management practices and use of water resources.

Algae Community Dynamics– Algae does not follow the normal community dynamics that other plant and animal species have. Usually, one species dominates an environment or area. Algae has such a short life span, that in most cases a single species dominates for such a short time, that it can be over in a matter of minutes. There are some instances that a species or groups such as Blue-Green Algae or Diatoms have a competitive advantage in niche situations and can be dominant for a longer period of time.

Redfield Ratio – The Redfield Ratio is a ratio of Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus and their availability in a body of water to be used by plants and algae. It is used to define at what concentrations each nutrient limits plants and algae from growing in the water.

Water Temperature Stratification in Lakes– Water is a dynamic molecule that changes density when it is at different temperatures. Unlike what you would think, water is the most dense at 4 degrees Celsius and gets lighter as it gets colder towards freezing and as it gets warmer in temperature. Because water changes its density with temperature, lakes can become stratified with very little mixing of the water.