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Studies on the Degradation of Chlorophyll a and Carotenoids in Freshwaters

Brian Moss
The New Phytologist
Vol. 67, No. 1 (Jan., 1968), pp. 49-59
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2430006
Page Count: 11
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Studies on the Degradation of Chlorophyll a and Carotenoids in Freshwaters
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Abstract

Relationships between chlorophyll a, its coloured degradation products and carotenoids have been examined in extracts of freshwater algal populations and sediments. Carotenoids are differentially preserved over chlorophyll a and its coloured derivatives in both aerobic and anaerobic situations, at both high and low light intensities, although preservation of carotenoids increases with decreasing oxygen availability. Light appears to exert a major effect on destruction of chlorophyll a and its derivatives. Processes of pigment degradation and persistent sediment formation are discussed, and the use of sedimentary chlorophyll degradation product/carotenoid ratios as indices of lake fertility is examined.

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