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Nitrate-depleted conditions on the increase in shallow northern European lakes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Limnology.
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2007 (English)In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, Vol. 52, no 4, 1346-1353 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We determined relative nitrate-nitrogen (NO3- N) loss rates in 100 north-mid-European lakes from late spring to summer by using the exponential function N-2 5 N-1e(-k)( (t)(2) - (t)(2)), where N-1 and N-2 are NO3- N concentrations at the beginning (t(1)) and the end (t(2)) of the time interval, respectively, and k is the specific NO3- N loss rate. We found that k decreased with increasing lake depth. Adjusting k to the lake depth (k(adj)), we observed that k(adj) was positively related to spring NO3-N concentrations, but this relationship became insignificant at mean lake depths exceeding 12.5 m. A relationship between k(adj) and spring NO3- N concentrations in lakes shallower than 12.5 m implies that changes in spring NO3-N concentrations influence the NO3- N loss rate and thereby summer NO3- N concentrations. Time series from one Estonian, one German, and 14 Swedish lakes shallower than 12.5 m since 1988 revealed that May to August NO3-N concentrations have decreased over time everywhere, and the number of time periods exhibiting a NO3-N depleted condition, i.e., NO3-N levels below 10 mu g L-1, in these lakes has tripled since 1988. We explained the decreasing NO3-N concentrations by a reduction in external nitrogen loading including atmospheric deposition, and by changes in climate. The observed prolongation of NO3- N depleted conditions might be one possible explanation for the increasing occurrence of nitrogen- fixing cyanobacteria in a variety of lake ecosystems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 52, no 4, 1346-1353 p.
Keyword [en]
nitrate-depleted, northern lakes, relative nitrate-nitogen, mean lake depth, denitrification
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-14022ISI: 000248215800006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-14022DiVA: diva2:41792
Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2013-04-23Bibliographically approved

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Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.
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