After in situ
incubation at the site for a year, phytoplanktons in surface water were exposed to natural light in temperate lakes (every month); thereafter, the net production rate of photoprotective compounds (mycosporine-like amino acids, MAAs) was calculated using 13
C labeled tracer. This is the first report describing seasonal variation in the net production rate of individual MAAs in temperate lakes using a compound-specific stable isotope method. In the mid-latitude region of the Korean Peninsula, UV radiation (UVR) usually peaks from July to August. In Lake Paldang and Lake Cheongpyeong, diatoms dominated among the phytoplankton throughout the year. The relative abundance of Cyanophyceae
) reached over 80% during July in Lake Cheongpyeong. Changes in phytoplankton abundance indicate that the phytoplankton community structure is influenced by seasonal changes in the net production rate and concentration of MAAs. Notably, particulate organic matter (POM) showed a remarkable change based on the UV intensity occurring during that period; this was because of the fact that cyanobacteria that are highly sensitive to UV irradiance dominated the community. POM cultured in Lake Paldang had the greatest shinorine (SH) production rate during October, i.e.
, 83.83 ± 10.47 fgC·L−1
. The dominance of diatoms indicated that they had a long-term response to UVR. Evaluation of POM cultured in Lake Cheongpyeong revealed that there was an increase in the net MAA production in July (when UVR reached the maximum); a substantial amount of SH, i.e.
, 17.62 ± 18.34 fgC·L−1
, was recorded during this period. Our results demonstrate that both the net production rate as well as the concentration of MAAs related to photoinduction depended on the phytoplankton community structure. In addition, seasonal changes in UVR also influenced the quantity and production of MAAs in phytoplanktons (especially Cyanophyceae
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