The influence of nutrient loading, climate and water depth on nitrogen and phosphorus loss in shallow lakes: a pan-European mesocosm experiment

Coppens, Jan
Hejzlar, Josef
Sorf, Michal
Jeppesen, Erik
Erdogan, Aeyda
Scharfenberger, Ulrike
Mahdy, Aldoushy
Noges, Peeter
Tuvikene, Arvo
Baho, Didier L.
Trigal, Cristina
Papastergiadou, Eva
Stefanidis, Kostas
Olsen, Saara
Beklioğlu, Meryem
Losses of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) have important influences on in-lake concentrations and nutrient loading to downstream ecosystems. We performed a series of mesocosm experiments along a latitudinal gradient from Sweden to Greece to investigate the factors influencing N and P loss under different climatic conditions. In six countries, a standardised mesocosm experiment with two water depths and two nutrient levels was conducted concurrently between May and November 2011. Our results showed external nutrient loading to be of key importance for N and P loss in all countries. Almost all dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) were lost or taken up in biomass in all mesocosms. We found no consistent effect of temperature on DIN and SRP loss but a significant, though weak, negative effect of temperature on total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) loss in the deeper mesocosms, probably related to higher organic N and P accumulation in the water in the warmer countries. In shallow mesocosms, a positive trend in TN and TP loss with increasing temperature was observed, most likely related to macrophyte growth.


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Özkan, Korhan; Johansson, Liselotte S.; Beklioğlu, Meryem (2010-02-01)
1. Recent experimental and field studies on temperate shallow lakes indicate that nitrogen may play a greater role in their functioning than previously thought. Several studies document that abundance and richness of submerged macrophytes, both central in shallow lake ecology, may decrease with increasing nitrogen loading, especially at high phosphorus levels. However, the role of nitrogen in warm lakes with fluctuating water regimes remains to be described in detail.
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Bacteria, nanoflagellates and ciliates constitute the microbial loop and it is a model of the pathways of carbon and nutrient cycling through microbial components of pelagic aquatic communities. The current study comprised of a comparative study of the microbial food web community along north to south latitudinal gradient using space for time susbtitute, monitoring and mesocosms experiments with contrasting nutrient and predation states. We investigated effect of fish predation through different zooplankton...
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Citation Formats
J. Coppens et al., “The influence of nutrient loading, climate and water depth on nitrogen and phosphorus loss in shallow lakes: a pan-European mesocosm experiment,” HYDROBIOLOGIA, pp. 13–32, 2016, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: