Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 611–617 | Cite as

Low boundary layer response and temperature dependence of nitrogen and phosphorus releases from oxic sediments of an oligotrophic lake

Research Article


The effects of temperature, diffusive boundary-layer thickness, and sediment composition on fluxes of inorganic N and P were estimated for sediment cores with oxidized surfaces from nearshore waters (2–10 m) of a montane oligotrophic lake. Fluxes of N and P were not affected by diffusive boundary-layer thickness but were strongly affected by temperature. Below 16 °C, sediments sequestered small amounts of P and released small amounts of N. Above 16 °C, the seasonal maximum water temperature, sediments were substantial sources of N (NH4+–N = 2–24 mg m−2 d−1; NO3 + NO2–N = 2–5 mg m−2 d−1) and P (0.1–0.4 mg m−2 d−1), indicating potential responsiveness of sediment–water nutrient exchange, and of corresponding phytoplankton growth, to synoptic warming.


Climate change Boundary layer Nitrogen Phosphorus Sediment Temperature 


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Limnology, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Colorado Division of WildlifeDenverUSA

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