, Volume 625, Issue 1, pp 157–172 | Cite as

Effects of hypolimnetic oxygenation on water quality: results from five Danish lakes

  • Lone LiboriussenEmail author
  • Martin Søndergaard
  • Erik Jeppesen
  • Inge Thorsgaard
  • Simon Grünfeld
  • Tue S. Jakobsen
  • Kim Hansen
Primary research paper


Stratified eutrophic lakes often suffer from hypolimnetic oxygen depletion during summer. This may lead to low redox conditions and accumulation of phosphate and ammonia in the hypolimnion. Hypolimnetic oxygenation has been used as a lake management strategy to improve the water quality in five eutrophic dimictic Danish lakes where oxygenation was conducted for 4–20 years. In one lake, the hypolimnetic oxygen concentration clearly improved by oxygenation, whereas the other four lakes still exhibited low mean summer levels (<2.2 mg O2 l−1). Oxygenation generally increased the hypolimnetic water temperature by 0.5–2°C, but in one lake it increased by 4–6°C. In all lakes, oxygenation significantly reduced the hypolimnetic concentrations of phosphorus and ammonia during stratification. The accumulation of phosphorus and ammonia typically decreased by 40–88%. In two lakes oxygenation was stopped for 1–2 years and here hypolimnion concentrations of both phosphorus and ammonia increased again. Surface water quality only improved in one lake, but was likely also influenced by simultaneously occurring changes in external nutrient loading. Overall, it is concluded that hypolimnetic oxygenation reduces the hypolimnetic accumulation of phosphorus and ammonia and may prevent anoxia in the deeper parts of the lake. However, long-term oxygenation is required and it is uncertain whether the overall lake water quality can be improved by oxygenation. Reduction of the external nutrient loading is still essential to improve lake water quality.


Oxygen Lake restoration Anoxic Oxygenation Nutrient accumulation Lake management 



We wish to thank the former Danish counties for access to the data used in the analyses. The study was supported by the EU EUROLIMPACS project ( on the effects of climate changes on aquatic ecosystems and the Danish Centre for Lake Restoration (CLEAR—a VILLUM KANN RASMUSSEN Centre of Excellence project). We also thank Anne Mette Poulsen and Juana Jacobsen at the National Environmental Research Institute for editorial and layout assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lone Liboriussen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Søndergaard
    • 1
  • Erik Jeppesen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Inge Thorsgaard
    • 3
  • Simon Grünfeld
    • 4
  • Tue S. Jakobsen
    • 5
  • Kim Hansen
    • 6
  1. 1.National Environmental Research InstituteUniversity of AarhusSilkeborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of AarhusAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Centre RoskildeRoskildeDenmark
  4. 4.Grontmij I Carl BroAarhus NDenmark
  5. 5.Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Centre RingkøbingRingkøbingDenmark
  6. 6.Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Centre RibeRibeDenmark

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