Large fluvial lakes are understudied with respect to their underwaterlight climates. Fluvial lakes pose unique challenges for photobiologistsinterested in the interactions amongst light climate, nutrients and microbialcommunity structure and biodiversity. This is because fluvial lakes are typifiedby highly dynamic flow regimes often incorporating different inflows anddischarges each characterized by their own unique physico-chemical composition.These compositional characteristics include the concentrations of chromophoricdissolved organic matter (CDOM), suspended solids, and pigments such aschlorophyll. Together these factors contribute to the distribution andcomposition of the water masses that make up fluvial lakes. These water masses,in turn, flow over lakebeds that are typically complex in their morphometry andfeature extensive macrophyte beds, further enhancing the habitat heterogeneityof these ecosystems. We here report on the spectral attenuation of ultravioletradiation (UVR = 280–400 nm) and photosyntheticallyactive radiation (PAR = 400–700 nm) in the three mainwater masses of Lake Saint-Pierre and evaluate the relative contribution ofCDOM, and particulate organic material to UVR attenuation. We demonstrate thatUVR penetrates 18 to 30% of the water column (1% penetration depth) in the LakeSaint-Pierre ecosystem, and show how the underwater spectral UVR varies withinthe three water masses.
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