Seasonal variation of phosphorus release from the sediments of Shallow Lake Balaton (Hungary)

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Phosphorus release was low from intact sediment cores of the mesotrophic area of the lake throughout the year, and amounted to 0.3 mg P m-2 day-1 during autumn in short-term incubations. In the hypertrophic area maximum release (2.8 mg Pm-2 day-1) was measured during summer. Phosphorus release showed a rapid increase from long-term incubated intact sediment cores with the increasing pH of the overlying water. At the ecologically real maximum pH the release may amount to 0.8 and 4.0 mg P m-2 day-1 in the mesotrophic and hypertrophic areas, respectively. A release of 2.0-3.9 mg P m-2 day-1 was estimated from sediment suspensions of the hypertrophic area within a pH range of 8-9. These values are similar to the external phosphorus loadings of the respective areas. The most important phosphorus mobilizing factors are pH and the decomposition of the organic matter in the sediments. Redox conditions may play a significant indirect role in the regulation of the internal loading. A positive feedback is hypothesized between the internal phosphorus loading and primary production both processes being affected by the external loading in different ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1481
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1988



  • calcareous lake
  • fractional composition of phosphorus
  • internal loading
  • mesotrophic and hypertrophic sediments
  • pH
  • primary production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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