Selection of phytoplankton associations in Lake Balaton, Hungary, in response to eutrophication and restoration measures, with special reference to the cyanoprokaryotes

J. Padisák, C. S. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Restoration of shallow lakes degraded by eutrophication has often been protracted as a consequence of the accumulation and subsequent releases of phosphorus in their sediments (internal load). Balaton, the largest shallow lake in Central Europe, underwent rapid eutrophication during the 1960s-1970s, during which a west-east gradient of trophic state developed. Measures to reverse the eutrophication and to restore the lake to its historic quality were initiated in the mid-1980s. The external phosphorus load has been decreased considerably but the responses of the phytoplankton have been slight and sometimes counterintuitive. At the level of total biomass, the erstwhile distinctiveness of the down-lake trophic gradient has weakened. The eukaryotic plankton flora has altered little but floristic changes in the dominant cyanoprokaryota are consistent with environmental changes attributable to the eutrophication and subsequent restoration. The dominant species are shown to have been consistently related to variables including sediment-water interactions, physical disturbances and the specific biotic adaptations of the organisms but the phytoplankton development in given years and in given parts of the lake has fluctuated with the stochasticity of the weather. In some years, hypertrophic conditions have continued to develop, marked by the development of prolific cyanoprokaryote blooms; in other years, phytoplankton biomass scarcely exceeded a mesotrophic level, with a species composition resembling that which obtained prior to the recent eutrophication. The species associations represented are believed to be consistent with the responses of groups of species observed elsewhere, suggesting that the patterns of community assembly in the phytoplankton are potentially predictable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume384
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Fingerprint

Hungary
eutrophication
phytoplankton
lakes
lake
phosphorus
sediments
physical disturbance
biomass
stochasticity
Central European region
floristics
sediment
plankton
environmental change
algal bloom
flora
weather
restoration measure
species diversity

Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Cyanoprokaryota
  • Eutrophication
  • Floristic change
  • Restoration
  • Shallow lakes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Restoration of shallow lakes degraded by eutrophication has often been protracted as a consequence of the accumulation and subsequent releases of phosphorus in their sediments (internal load). Balaton, the largest shallow lake in Central Europe, underwent rapid eutrophication during the 1960s-1970s, during which a west-east gradient of trophic state developed. Measures to reverse the eutrophication and to restore the lake to its historic quality were initiated in the mid-1980s. The external phosphorus load has been decreased considerably but the responses of the phytoplankton have been slight and sometimes counterintuitive. At the level of total biomass, the erstwhile distinctiveness of the down-lake trophic gradient has weakened. The eukaryotic plankton flora has altered little but floristic changes in the dominant cyanoprokaryota are consistent with environmental changes attributable to the eutrophication and subsequent restoration. The dominant species are shown to have been consistently related to variables including sediment-water interactions, physical disturbances and the specific biotic adaptations of the organisms but the phytoplankton development in given years and in given parts of the lake has fluctuated with the stochasticity of the weather. In some years, hypertrophic conditions have continued to develop, marked by the development of prolific cyanoprokaryote blooms; in other years, phytoplankton biomass scarcely exceeded a mesotrophic level, with a species composition resembling that which obtained prior to the recent eutrophication. The species associations represented are believed to be consistent with the responses of groups of species observed elsewhere, suggesting that the patterns of community assembly in the phytoplankton are potentially predictable.",
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N2 - Restoration of shallow lakes degraded by eutrophication has often been protracted as a consequence of the accumulation and subsequent releases of phosphorus in their sediments (internal load). Balaton, the largest shallow lake in Central Europe, underwent rapid eutrophication during the 1960s-1970s, during which a west-east gradient of trophic state developed. Measures to reverse the eutrophication and to restore the lake to its historic quality were initiated in the mid-1980s. The external phosphorus load has been decreased considerably but the responses of the phytoplankton have been slight and sometimes counterintuitive. At the level of total biomass, the erstwhile distinctiveness of the down-lake trophic gradient has weakened. The eukaryotic plankton flora has altered little but floristic changes in the dominant cyanoprokaryota are consistent with environmental changes attributable to the eutrophication and subsequent restoration. The dominant species are shown to have been consistently related to variables including sediment-water interactions, physical disturbances and the specific biotic adaptations of the organisms but the phytoplankton development in given years and in given parts of the lake has fluctuated with the stochasticity of the weather. In some years, hypertrophic conditions have continued to develop, marked by the development of prolific cyanoprokaryote blooms; in other years, phytoplankton biomass scarcely exceeded a mesotrophic level, with a species composition resembling that which obtained prior to the recent eutrophication. The species associations represented are believed to be consistent with the responses of groups of species observed elsewhere, suggesting that the patterns of community assembly in the phytoplankton are potentially predictable.

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