The Fate of Terrestrial Carbon in a Complex Lake System: Lough Erne

Evelyn Keaveney, Paula Reimer, Christopher Barry, Robert Foy

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Lake food webs were in the past viewed as being fuelled solely by primary production – i.e. by photosynthetic plants and algae. However this has changed as the exports of terrestrial areas into lakes have been taken into account. Previously, terrestrial carbon in lakes was thought to have been buried in sediments or exported to the atmosphere, however recent studies have indicated that terrestrial carbon can supplement primary production in some lakes, or in others be the dominant source of production for the lake food web. In this study radiocarbon has been used in conjunction with stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes to show the utilisation of terrestrial carbon in the food web. The fate of terrestrial carbon in the lake will be discussed as well as the possible mechanisms for the transfer of terrestrial carbon for utilisation in the lake.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

21st International Radiocarbon Conference in Paris

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