Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 37–49 | Cite as

Effects of spring warming and mixing duration on diatom deposition in deep Tiefer See, NE Germany

  • Ulrike KienelEmail author
  • Georgiy Kirillin
  • Brian Brademann
  • Birgit Plessen
  • Reinhard Lampe
  • Achim Brauer
Original paper


Monitoring during three meteorologically different spring seasons in 2012, 2013, and 2014 revealed that temperature increase in spring, which influences spring lake mixing duration, markedly affected nutrient availability and diatom deposition in a sediment trap close to the bottom of deep Tiefer See, NE Germany. Deposition of Stephanodiscus taxa and small Cyclotella taxa was much higher after late ice out and a deep, short lake mixing period in spring 2013, compared to that after gradual warming and lengthy lake mixing periods in spring 2012 and 2014, when only brief or marginal ice cover occurred. Availability of dissolved Si and P was 33 and 20 % higher, respectively, in 2013 compared to 2014. The observed relation between high (low) diatom deposition and short (lengthy) mixing duration in spring was applied to varved sediments deposited between AD 1924 and 2008. Low detrital Si content in trapped material and a sediment core enabled use of µXRF-counts of Si as a proxy for diatom silica. The spring mixing duration for 1951–2008 was derived from FLake-model calculations. The spring warming duration related to lake mixing was approximated from air temperatures for 1924–2008 using the dates when daily mean air temperature exceeded 5 °C (start) and 10 °C (end). Diatom silica deposition showed a significant (p < 0.0001) inverse linear relationship with the modeled spring mixing duration (R2 = 0.36) and the spring warming duration (R2 = 0.28). In both cases, the relationship is strengthened when data from the period of low diatom production (1987–2005) is excluded (R2 = 0.59 and R2 = 0.35). Part of this low diatom production is related to external nutrient supply that favored growth of cyanobacteria at the expense of diatoms. This approach shows that diatom Si deposition was strongly influenced by the availability of light and nutrients, related to the duration of lake mixing and warming in spring, during most of the studied period. The remaining unexplained variability, however, indicates that additional factors influence Si deposition. Further tests in other deep, temperate lakes are necessary to verify if this relation is a common feature and consequently, if diatom Si can be used as a proxy for spring mixing duration in such lakes.


Lake sediment Lake monitoring Diatom bloom Spring circulation FLake model Deep lake 



We thank Nadine Dräger, Miriam Groß-Schmölders, Sylvia Pinkerneil, Nicolas Werner, and a number of internship students for help with field and laboratory work. Georg Schettler is acknowledged for water chemistry analyses. We thank both reviewers for important comments and suggestions that improved the paper. This study is a contribution to the Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution Analyses (ICLEA), Grant Number VH-VI-415. The monitoring equipment used in this study was funded by the Terrestrial Environmental Observatory Infrastructure initiative of the Helmholtz Association (TERENO Observatory NE Germany). Additional financial support was provided by the project “TSK Link” (BR 2208/11-1; LA 1029/6-1) funded by the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” (DFG). All data files are provided by the corresponding author and can be accessed at and at


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrike Kienel
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Georgiy Kirillin
    • 3
  • Brian Brademann
    • 2
  • Birgit Plessen
    • 2
  • Reinhard Lampe
    • 1
  • Achim Brauer
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Geography and GeologyUniversity GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Section 5.2 Climate and Landscape EvolutionGFZ German Research Centre for GeosciencesPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesBerlinGermany

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