Lake Tanganyika Productivity And Nutrient Uptake Research With The ProODOSource: YSI, a Xylem brand
Lake Tanganyika in East Africa is the second deepest lake in the world reaching a maximum depth of 1,470 m (4, 820 feet) and is also the second largest lake by volume. The lake is divided among the countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Zambia. Most of the lake’s massive volume of water sits in its dark depths, where a lack of oxygen makes it impossible for fish and other animals to live. But swimming near the well-lit shoreline is one of the most diverse freshwater fish communities in the world. The lake supports nearly 275 fish species, many of which are endemic and are popular aquarium pets. In fact, nearly 98% of the Tanganyika cichlid species are found nowhere else.
The littoral (nearshore) ecosystem of Lake Tanganyika is the freshwater analog of a coral reef. The clear, shallow waters at the lake’s edge are low in nutrients, but the attached algae (periphyton or microphytobenthos) are highly productive and support the diverse fish community.