The relation of primary production to respiration and dependence of both processes on various environmental factors were investigated in the surface waters of lakes of The Great Mazurian Lake System (GMLS) during summer seasons 2009–2011. Primary production and extracellular release was determined by 14C method, respiration (dark oxygen consumption) - by Winkler's method. Collected results allow to conclude that: (i) in all studied lakes primary production was primarily cyanobacterial, although in mesotrophic ones participation of eukaryotic phytoplankton in light CO2 fixation was more pronounced; (ii) in mesotrophic part of GMLS primary production was limited alternately by N and P availability and less dependent on N and P regeneration processes, whereas in southern, eutrophic lakes it was primarily fueled by regeneration of biogenic substances from organic compounds and strongly limited by N resources; (iii) although in photic zone of whole GMLS respiration was dominated by heterotrophic bacteria, in its mesotrophic part also participation of other plankton components in respiration processes was significant and, (iv) that in eutrophic lakes planktonic respiration was more dependent on low molecular weight products liberated enzymatically from organic substrates than on organic compounds released by primary producers. The mean production to respiration ratio, which varied from 2.11 to 2.60 in northern, and from 2.05 to 3.67 in southern lakes suggested that during period of investigations photic zones of lakes of both parts of GMLS were net autotrophic systems.
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Vol. 65 • No. 3