Influence of catchment quality and altitude on the water and sediment composition of 68 small lakes in Central Europe

Müller, Beat; Lotter, André F.; Sturm, Michael; Ammann, Adrian (1998). Influence of catchment quality and altitude on the water and sediment composition of 68 small lakes in Central Europe. Aquatic Sciences, 60(4), pp. 316-337. Springer 10.1007/s000270050044

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68 lakes (63 Swiss, 2 French and 3 Italian) located in an altitudinal range between 334 and 2339m spanning a wide range of land-use have been investigated. The aim of the study was to discuss influences of geographic location, vegetation and land-use in the catchment area on the water and sediment chemistry of small lakes. Detailed quantitative description of land-use, vegetation, and climate in the watershed of all lakes was established. Surface and bottom water samples collected from each lake were analyzed for major ions and nutrients. Correlations were interpreted using linear regression analysis. Chemical parameters of water and sediment reflect the characteristics of the catchment areas. All lakes were alkaline since they were situated on calcareous bedrock. Concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus strongly increase with increasing agricultural land-use. Na and K, however, are positively correlated with the amount of urbanization within the catchment area. These elements as well as dissolved organic carbon (DOC), Mg, Ca, and alkalinity, increase when the catchment is urbanized or used for agriculture. Total nitrogen and organic carbon in the sediments decrease distinctly if large parts of the catchment consist of bare land. No correlations between sediment composition and maximum water depth or altitude of the lakes were found.¶Striking differences in the water compositions of lakes above and below approximately 700 m of altitude were observed. Concentrations of total nitrogen and nitrate, total phosphorus, DOC, Na, K, Mg, Ca, and alkalinity are distinctly higher in most lakes below 700 m than above, and the pH of the bottom waters of these lakes is generally lower. Estimates of total nitrogen concentrations, even in remote areas, indicate that precipitation is responsible for increased background concentrations. At lower altitudes nitrogen concentrations in lakes is explained by the nitrogen loaded rain from urban areas deposited on the catchment, and with high percentages of agricultural land-use in the watershed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Lotter, André F.

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1015-1621

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

02 Jun 2016 09:54

Last Modified:

02 Jun 2016 09:54

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s000270050044

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Lakes, catchment, land use, climate, nitrogen, phosphate

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.82221

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/82221

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