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Effects of light on sediment nutrient flux and water column nutrient stoichiometry in a shallow lake

Spears, Bryan M., Carvalho, Laurence, Perkins, Rupert Gordon ORCID: and Paterson, David M. 2008. Effects of light on sediment nutrient flux and water column nutrient stoichiometry in a shallow lake. Water Research 42 (4-5) , pp. 977-986. 10.1016/j.watres.2007.09.012

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The effects of light and temperature on nutrient cycling (silica (Si), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)) between sediments and water in a shallow eutrophic lake (Loch Leven, Scotland), and consequent effects on water column nutrient stoichiometry, were assessed using a series of intact sediment core incubation experiments. Estimates of actual seasonal dark and light P-fluxes were assessed using 24-h incubations. Sediment-P uptake was observed in spring (7 °C) and release in autumn (12 °C) and summer (17 °C), with the highest release rates (∼17 mg PO4-P m−2 sediment surface area d−1) occurring in summer. In a longer (21-day) experiment in which the effects of light (light (n=6) and dark (n=6)) and temperature (five 4-day cycles to represent: 7 °C⇒13 °C⇒23 °C⇒13 °C⇒7 °C) on water column nutrient concentrations were assessed, PO4--P, total P (TP), SiO2 and total silica (TSi) concentrations in the water column were all significantly higher under dark conditions (ANOVA, α=0.05). NH4-N (ammonium N) water column concentrations were observed to be higher under dark conditions at low temperatures and higher under light conditions following a high-temperature (23 °C) treatment. No significant light effects were observed for water column total N (TN) concentration. Flux estimates for all nutrients measured are given. In terms of water column nutrient stoichiometry, TN:TP ratio was significantly higher under light conditions, TSi:TN was significantly lower under light conditions, and TSi:TP did not vary significantly between the dark and light treatments. The main processes acting to regulate diffusive nutrient release appeared to be photosynthetic elevation of bottom water pH and dissolved oxygen concentration (both significantly higher under light conditions) and direct microalgal sequestration. Thus, a feedback mechanism exists in recovering shallow lakes where benthic microalgae can affect the stoichiometry (to favour P/Si limitation) of the plankton, and also of the main source of nutrients back to the sediments via the disproportionate regulation of sediment P, Si and N release

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sediment ; Phosphorus ; Nitrogen Silica ; Flux ; Lake Light ; Water column
Publisher: IWA Publishing
ISSN: 0043-1354
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:01

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