Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 6767–6773 | Cite as

Phosphorus speciation of sediments from lakes of different tropic status in Eastern China

  • Wenqiang Zhang
  • Nan Rong
  • Xin Jin
  • Jie Li
  • Yuekui Ding
  • Xiaolei Zhu
  • Baoqing ShanEmail author
Research Article


Information about the chemical composition of phosphorus (P) in sediment is critical for understanding P dynamics and eutrophication in lake ecosystems. Eutrophication as a result of P pollution still persists so we chose to determine the P characteristics of sediments from ten lakes of different trophic status and the relationships between P fractions and environmental factors. The results show that the Standards, Measurements and Testing (SMT) method combined with 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance (31P-NMR) can efficiently show the P characteristics of sediment. Phosphorus concentrations in sediments decreased as the trophic status of the lake improved. Inorganic P (Pi) was the dominant form of total P (TP) in most of the lake sediments and was mainly comprised of HCl-Pi, a stable Pi fraction. Results of 31P-NMR analysis show that the extracts were dominated by ortho-P (36.4–94.8 %) and mono-P (4.0–36.2 %), with smaller amounts of diester-P (.6–23.1 %), pyro-P (.2–4.4 %), and phon-P (.3–.7 %). Analysis of the relationships between the P composition and the trophic status of the lakes indicated that the bioavailability of P forms has an influence on the surface water trophic conditions and the health of aquatic ecosystems.


Phosphorus Sediment 31P-NMR SMT Eutrophication 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21507146) and the special fund from the State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control (Research Center for Eco-environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences) (15Z01ESPCR), and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2012BAJ21B04-01). We thank Dr. Jingxin Yang and Dr. Xiaogang Niu for 31P-NMR analysis (Beijing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center). We also thank Xuehong Kong, Shou Yuan, Bozhen Zhang, and Jianlin Bi for collecting the samples.


  1. Ahlgren J, Tranvik L, Gogoll A, Waldebäck M, Markides K, Rydin E (2005) Sediment depth attenuation of biogenic phosphorus compounds measured by 31P-NMR. Environ Sci Technol 39:867–872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aspila KI, Agemian H, Chau ASY (1976) A semi-automated method for the determination of inorganic, organic and total phosphate in sediments. Analyst 101:187–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bai XL, Ding SM, Fan CX, Liu T, Shi D, Zhang L (2009) Organic phosphorus species in surface sediments of a large, shallow, eutrophic lake, Lake Taihu, China. Environ Pollut 157:2507–2513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baldwin DS, Beattie JK, Jones DR (1996) Hydrolysis of an organic phosphorus compound by iron-oxide impregnated filter papers. Water Res 30:1123–1126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baldwin DS, Beattie JK, Coleman LM, Jones DR (2001) Hydrolysis of an organophosphate ester by manganese dioxide. Environ Sci Technol 35:713–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cade-Menun BJ (2005) Characterizing phosphorus in environmental and agricultural samples by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Talanta 66:359–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cade-Menun BJ, Liu CW (2013) Solution phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of soils from 2005 to 2013: a review of sample preparation and experimental parameters. Soil Sci Soc Am J 78:19–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carpenter SR (2008) Phosphorus control is critical to mitigating eutrophication. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105:11039–11040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ding SM, Xu D, Bai XL, Yao SC, Fan CX, Zhang CS (2013) Speciation of organic P in a sediment profile of Lake Taihu II. Molecular species and their depth attenuation. J Environ Sci 25:925–932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Golterman H, Paing J, Serrano L, Gomez E (1998) Presence of and phosphate release from polyphosphates or phytate phosphate in lake sediments. Hydrobiologia 364:99–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Håkanson L, Jansson M (1983) Principles of lake sedimentology. Springer, New York, p 316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Han C, Geng JJ, Ren HQ, Gao SX, Xie XC, Wang XR (2013) Phosphate in sedimentary interstitial water of Lake Taihu, a large eutrophic shallow lake in China. Environ Sci Technol 47:5679–5685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heiri O, Lotter AF, Lemcke G (2001) Loss on ignition as a method for estimating organic and carbonate content in sediments: reproducibility and comparability of results. J Paleolimnol 25:101–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jin XC, Wang SR, Pang Y, Zhao HC, Zhou XN (2004) Negative sorption of phosphate on lake sediment. Ecol Environ 13:493–496Google Scholar
  15. Kraal P, Burton ED, Rose AL, Cheetham MD, Bush RT, Sullivan LA (2013) Decoupling between water column oxygenation and benthic phosphate dynamics in a shallow eutrophic estuary. Environ Sci Technol 47:3114–3121Google Scholar
  16. Liu JG, Raven PH (2010) China’s environmental challenges and implications for the world. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 40:823–851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McDowell RW, Stewart I, Cade-Menun BJ (2006) An examination of spin–lattice relaxation times for analysis of soil and manure extracts by liquid state phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. J Environ Qual 35:293–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Murphy J, Riley JP (1962) A modified single solution method for determination of phosphate in natural waters. Anal Chim Acta 26:31–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pernet-Coudrier B, Qi WX, Liu HJ, Müller B, Berg M (2012) Sources and pathways of nutrients in the semi-arid region of Beijing-Tianjin: China. Environ Sci Technol 46:5294–5301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Psenner R, Puckso R (1988) Phosphorus fractionation: advantages and limits of the method for the study of sediments P origins and interactions. Arch Hydrobiol 30:43–59Google Scholar
  21. Read EK, Ivancic M, Hanson P, Cade-Menun BJ, McMahon KD (2014) Phosphorus speciation in a eutrophic lake by 31P NMR spectroscopy. Water Res 62:229–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ruban V, López-Sánchez JF, Pardo P, Rauret G, Muntau H, Quevauviller P (2001a) Development of a harmonized phosphorus extraction procedure and certification of a sediment reference material. J Environ Monit 3:121–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ruban V, López-Sánchez J, Pardo P, Rauret G, Muntau H, Quevauviller P (2001b) Harmonized protocol and certified reference material for the determination of extractable contents of phosphorus in freshwater sediments–a synthesis of recent works. Fresenius J Anal Chem 370:224–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rydin E (2000) Potentially mobile phosphorus in Lake Erken sediment. Water Res 34:2037–2042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schindler DW, Hecky RE, Findlay DL, Stainton MP, Parker BR, Paterson MJ, Beaty KG, Lyng M, Kasian SEM (2008) Eutrophication of lakes cannot be controlled by reducing nitrogen input: results of a 37-year whole-ecosystem experiment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105:11254–11258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shinohara R, Imai A, Kawasaki N, Komatsu K, Kohzu A, Miura S (2012) Biogenic phosphorus compounds in sediment and suspended particles in a shallow eutrophic lake: a 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance (31P NMR) study. Environ Sci Technol 46:10572–10578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Turner BL, Papházy MJ, Haygarth PM, McKelvie ID (2002) Inositol phosphates in the environment. Philos Trans R Soc B 357:449–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Turner BL, Mahieu N, Condron LM (2003a) Phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectral assignments of phosphorus compounds in soil NaOH-EDTA extracts. Soil Sci Soc Am J 67:497–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Turner BL, Mahieu N, Condron LM (2003b) The phosphorus composition of temperate pasture soils determined by NaOH-EDTA extraction and solution 31P NMR spectroscopy. Org Geochem 34:1199–1210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Turner BL, Cade-Menun BJ, Condron LM, Newman S (2005) Extraction of soil organic phosphorus. Talanta 66:294–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zan FY, Huo SL, Xi BD, Li QQ, Liao HQ, Zhang JT (2011) Phosphorus distribution in the sediments of a shallow eutrophic lake, Lake Chaohu, China. Environ Earth Sci 62:1643–1653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zhang RY, Wu FC, He ZQ, Zheng J, Song BA, Jin LH (2009) Phosphorus composition in sediments from seven different trophic lakes, China: a phosphorus-31 NMR study. J Environ Qual 38:353–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhang WQ, Shan BQ, Li J, Tang WZ, Jin X, Zhang H, Ding YK, Wang YY, Zhu XL (2015) Characteristics, distribution and ecological risk assessment of phosphorus in surface sediments from different ecosystems in Eastern China: a 31 P-nuclear magnetic resonance study. Ecol Eng 75:264–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhu MY, Zhu GW, Li W, Zhang YL, Zhao LL, Gu Z (2013) Estimation of the algal-available phosphorus pool in sediments of a large, shallow eutrophic lake (Taihu, China) using profiled SMT fractional analysis. Environ Pollut 173:216–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenqiang Zhang
    • 1
  • Nan Rong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xin Jin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jie Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuekui Ding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaolei Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Baoqing Shan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory on Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental ScienceChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of ScienceBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations