, Volume 4, Issue 2-3, pp 683-699

Finnish Lake Survey: The Role of Catchment Attributes in Determining Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Organic Carbon Concentrations

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Abstract

This study is based on a Finnish lake survey conducted in 1995, a dataset of 874 statistically selected lakes from the national lake register. The dataset was divided into subgroups to evaluate lake water-catchment relationships in different geographical regions and in lakes of different size. In the three southernmost regions, the coefficients of determination in multiple regression equations varied between 0.40 and 0.53 for total nitrogen (TN) and between 0.37 and 0.53 for total phosphorus (TP); the best interpreters were agricultural land and water area in the catchment. In the two northernmost regions, TN concentrations in lake water were best predicted by the proportion of peatlands in the catchment, the catchment slope, and TP concentrations by lake elevation and latitude. Coefficients of determination in multiple regression equations in these northern regions varied between 0.39 and 0.67 for TN and between 0.41 and 0.52 for TP. For all the subsets formed, the best coefficients of determination explaining TN, TP, and total organic carbon (TOC) were obtained for a subset of large lakes (>10 km2), in which 72–83% of the variation was explained. This was probably due to large heterogeneous catchments of these lakes.