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Characteristics of dissolved organic phosphorus inputs to freshwater lakes: A case study of Lake Erhai, southwest China

Ji, Ningning, Wang, Shengrui, Zhang, Li
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.601-602 pp. 1544-1555
algae, algal blooms, bioavailability, biomass, case studies, correlation, eutrophication, freshwater lakes, phosphorus, pollution, pollution control, rivers, sediments, water quality, wet season, China
In this study, we made the first estimate of the annual dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) load to Lake Erhai, a typical mesotrophic–eutrophic lake in China.We also evaluated what proportion of DOP was bioavailable using enzymatically hydrolyzable phosphorus (EHP), and further assessed the potential impacts of DOP on lake water quality. We estimated that the annual DOP load into Lake Erhai accounted for nearly 50% of total dissolved phosphorus, while EHP accounted for about 30% of the bioavailable phosphorus (BAP) pool. The DOP load increased and accounted for a greater proportion of total dissolved phosphorus and BAP loads during the wet season, and helped maintain algal blooms. Inflowing rivers were the main source of DOP with high bioavailability to Lake Erhai, especially in the wet season. The EHP concentrations of the inflowing rivers were positively correlated with algal biomass. The observation suggests that, as a significant source of BAP, the contribution of the DOP load to eutrophication of the lake should not be ignored, especially given the low soluble reactive phosphorus concentrations in the lake water during the algal biomass period. Information on the contributions from different pollution sources is needed to support the development of effective P pollution control strategies. Short-term strategies to protect Lake Erhai include better management of the inflowing rivers, especially in the northern part during the wet season, while, over the long-term, strategies to decrease P release from lake sediments should be considered.