Profundal Zone

Profundal Zone

Profundal waters lie below the depth of effective light and beneath the thermocline.

Diversity and abundance of life in profundal waters are influenced by oxygen and temperature.

The organisms depend upon the rain of organic material from the layers above as their energy source. In highly productive waters, decomposing organisms effectively deplete the profundal waters of oxygen so that little aerobic life can exist there.

The profundal zone of a deep lake is a relatively larger portion of the lake volume.

The highly productive water of the epilimnion is small in comparison to the volume of profundal water that decomposition does not deplete the oxygen.

Here the profundal zone supports some life, particularly fish, some plankton and such organisms as certain cladocerans which live in the bottom ooze. Other zooplankton may occupy this zone during some part of the day, but migrate upward to the surface to feed.

Only during the spring and autumn overturns when organisms from the upper layers enter this zone is life abundant in the profundal waters.

Next Topics on Still Water…
Littoral Zone
Benthic Zone

Next Topics…
Bacteria
Algae
Fungi
Liverworts and Mosses
Vascular Plants

Go Back to:
Physical Water Quality
Chemical Water Quality
Biological Water Quality
Water Basics 101

Focus On Our Best Renewable Natural Resource.