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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 338, Issue 1–3, pp 1–9 | Cite as

General description of Lake Peipsi-Pihkva

  • T. Nõges
  • J. Haberman
  • A. Jaani
  • R. Laugaste
  • S. Lokk
  • A. Mäemets
  • P. Nõges
  • E. Pihul
  • H. Starast
  • T. Timm
  • T. Virro
Article

Abstract

Lake Peipsi-Pihkva (3555 km2, mean depth 8.3 m), consisting of three parts, (L. Peipsi, L. Pihkva, L. Lämmijärv) is located on the border of Estonia and Russia. L. Peipsi belongs to unstratified eutrophic lakes with mesotrophic features, L. Lämmijärv has some dyseutrophic features, while L. Pihkva is strongly eutrophic. The total annual nutrient load is 15.57 tons N km−2 and 327 kgP km−2 with 74% of N and 39% of P originating from agriculture. The mean concentrations of total N and P in the lake are 876 mg m−3 and 46 mg m−3, respectively, both being the highest in L. Pihkva and the lowest in the northern part of L. Peipsi. Average pH is 8.14 and Secchi disk transparency 1.63 m. Diatoms and blue-green algae prevail in phytoplankton biomass. The blue-greens Gloeotrichia echinulata and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae dominate in summer causing the water-blooms. The concentration of Chla was the lowest in the northern part of L. Peipsi (mean 14.7 mg m−3) and the highest in the southern part of L. Pihkva (mean 47.9 mg m−3, median 16.3 mg m−3). An increase of Chla and decrease of Secchi depth could be noticed in 1983–1988, while in 1988–1994 the tendency was opposite. The long-term average primary production is 0.8 g C m−2 d−1. Zooplankton is remarkably rich in species, the average biomass in the vegetative period being 2–3 g m−3 and production 22 g C m−2. The role of rotifers in production is 53% followed by that of cladocerans (30%), copepods (16%) and Dreissena polymorpha larvae (1%). The total count of bacteria is 1–9 million cells per ml. Chironomus plumosus and Potamothrix hammoniensis are dominating in the profundal. The average abundance of macrozoobenthos (without big molluscs) 2617 ind. m−2, and their biomass 12.34 g m−2 are considered to be the highest among the large lakes of North Europe. Macroflora occupies a small percentage of the total lake area but is rich in species. Taxa forming communities are Potamogeton perfoliatus, Phragmites australis, Schoenoplectus laccustris, Potamogeton lucens, Eleocharis palustris, and Polygonum amphibium. Submerged vegetation occupies the first place amongst different growth forms, followed by emergent plants. The main commercial fishes are lake smelt, perch, ruff, roach, bream, pike, vendace and pikeperch. The stock of vendace has sharply decreased in the last years, while the amount of pikeperch has increased. Considering annual fish catches (9000–12000 tons or 25–34 kg ha−1), L. Peipsi-Pihkva exceeds all large lakes in North Europe.

Key words

Lake Peipsi-Pihkva large shallow eutrophic lake hydrochemistry plankton macrozoobenthos macrophytes fishes 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Nõges
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Haberman
    • 1
  • A. Jaani
    • 3
  • R. Laugaste
    • 1
  • S. Lokk
    • 1
  • A. Mäemets
    • 1
  • P. Nõges
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Pihul
    • 1
  • H. Starast
    • 1
  • T. Timm
    • 1
  • T. Virro
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Zoology and Botany of the Estonian Academy of SciencesRannu, TartumaaEstonia
  2. 2.Institute of Zoology and HydrobiologyTartu UniversityTartuEstonia
  3. 3.Estonian Meteorological and Hydrological InstituteTallinnEstonia

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