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Vertically-challenged limnology; Contrasts between deep and shallow lakes

1997-01-17
Moss, B
Beklioğlu, Meryem
Carvalho, L
Kilinc, S
McGowan, S
Stephen, D
Previous work on a set of small lakes, of varying depth, the meres of North West England, has shown that nitrogen availability controls the summer phytoplankton populations in the deeper ones (max depth > 3 m) and zooplankton grazing in shallow ones. The meres have generally high total phosphorus concentrations and this may be a natural phenomenon dependent on the local geochemistry. Some anthropogenic eutrophication has occurred, however, and from a chain of three meres, sewage effluent was diverted in 1991. The upper lake, Mere Mere, lying above the point of discharge, has not changed in any systematic way since effluent diversion. The middle lake, the very shallow Little Mere, has changed markedly in water chemistry but not fundamentally in ecosystem structure. It was and remains a clear-water, macrophyte dominated lake. The third lake, the deep Rostherne Mere, has shown no response in chlorophyll a concentrations in four years since effluent diversion though in the past two years there appears to be a downward trend in total phosphorus. The reasons for this are explored in terms of our understanding of lake eutrophication. Comparisons are made with White Mere, a deep groundwater fed lake with a long retention time and a very high total phosphorus concentration. The deep meres may add a new dimension to our understanding of natural and anthropogenic eutrophication.