Weather conditions influencing phosphorus concentration in the growing period in the large shallow Lake Peipsi (Estonia/Russia)

  • Olga Tammeorg | Centre for Limnology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia.
  • Tõnu Möls Estonian University of Life Sciences, University of Tartu, Estonia.
  • Külli Kangur Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia.


The impact of water temperature (T), water level (L), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and wind speed (V) on the total phosphorus concentration (TP) in shallow eutrophic lake Peipsi, the fourth largest lake in Europe, was studied. We used a long-term dataset (1985-2010) of TP concentrations and weather factors. A Thin Plate Spline (TPS) model was used to predict TP by year, by day of the year, and by geographical coordinates. Deviations between observed and predicted TP values (residuals, or TP anomalies) were related to the weather variables to clarify how the weather anomalies in a year might correlate with the observed fluctuations in TP dynamics. Notable seasonal variations in TP, typical for many shallow lake systems, were found: TP was two to three times higher during late summer-early autumn than during winter. Patterns of TP variability were well predicted by using geographical coordinates, year and day of the year (R2=0.69; P<0.0001). However, TP anomalies were ascribed to the effects of T, L, PAR, and V, which were proved to play a significant additional role in TP dynamics. Moreover, L had consistently negative effects over the year, whereas the effects of T and PAR on TP change were seen to be dependent on the season. TP anomalies in lake Peipsi were most sensitive to wind anomalies. V was associated with frequent switches between increasing and decreasing TP values, though it appeared mainly as a negative driver of TP anomalies in the season prior to the 180th day, and as a positive driver in the subsequent season.


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Supporting Agencies
The study was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (target-financed projects SF0170006s08, SF0180026s09 and the ESF grants No. 7643 and 7392)
large shallow lake, total phosphorus dynamics, water level, water temperature, photosynthetically active radiation, wind speed.
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How to Cite
Tammeorg O, Möls T, Kangur K. Weather conditions influencing phosphorus concentration in the growing period in the large shallow Lake Peipsi (Estonia/Russia). jlimnol [Internet]. 21Jan.2014 [cited 29Mar.2020];73(1). Available from: