Vertical mixing as a determinant of trophic status in deep lakes: a case study from two lakes south of the Alps (Lake Garda and Lake Iseo)
AbstractThe identification of the factors and mechanisms determining a particular lake’s typology is crucial for the correct interpretation of trophic evolution. Nutrient concentrations are not the only properties which determine the trophic characteristics of lakes; others, such as morphometry, hydrology and climatic conditions, also have a major influence on the development of algal biomass and species composition. Large, deep lakes belong to a well defined typology. Their trophic status depends not only on algal nutrient loads, but also on the extent of the spring vertical mixing and renewal time. These factors are closely interrelated, for the actual renewal time approaches the theoretical renewal time only during the complete overturn. This paper compares the influence of different circulation patterns on the trophic status of two deep subalpine lakes with contrasting mixing characteristics. Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy (S=368 km2, V=49 km3, Zmax=350 m). It is characterised by irregular circulation events (oligomixis); during the 1990s, complete homogenisation of the water column occurred in 1991 and 1999-2000. The years between these episodes showed an increase of hypolimnetic temperatures and a progressive vertical stratification of nutrients. Full overturn episodes were characterised by a sudden decrease of temperature and complete homogenisation of the chemical and physical variables along the water column, with a corresponding increase of nutrients and algal biomasses at the surface. In contrast, the last mixing involving the deepest waters in Lake Iseo (S= 60,9 km2, V=7,6 km3, Zmax=251 m) occurred at the beginning of the 1980s, after which the reduced water renewal and the high trophic level resulted in a marked decrease in oxygen concentrations and in the establishment of conditions of anoxia during the 1990s. At present the lake is meromictic. In 1999 and 2000, when a complete overturn was observed in lakes Maggiore and Como as well as in Lake Garda, Lake Iseo experienced a spring mixing which was still limited, but able to determine an increase in the algal biomass.
- Abstract views: 2390
- PDF: 684
PAGEPress has chosen to apply the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) to all manuscripts to be published.
An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions:
- the author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.
- a complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.