Uncoupling of chlorophyll and nutrients in lakes – possible reasons, expected consequences
- Lech Kufel
Data for comparison are from 17 dimictic and four polymictic lakes interconnected to form a system of the Great Masurian Lakes. Both summer epilimnetic total phosphorus and chlorophyll were higher in dimictic than in polymictic lakes. Chlorophyll was probably not limited either by phosphorus or by nitrogen in shallow lakes. Utilization of phosphorus in terms of chlorophyll:particulate phosphorus and chlorophyll:particulate nitrogen ratios was similar in the two groups of lakes. Significant differences were found, however, in the chlorophyll:seston ratio, higher in dimictic lakes. These observations together suggest that seston in shallow lakes contains a significant, though unpredictable contribution of detritus/mineral particles much poorer in phosphorus than those in dimictic lakes. Secchi disc depth was better explained in shallow lakes by seston variability than by chlorophyll. Thus, algal production in shallow masurian lakes seems to be limited by light conditions resulting from resuspension of non-living particles while the production in deep lakes is nutrient (both nitrogen and phosphorus) limited.