, Volume 549, Issue 1, pp 43–55 | Cite as

Impact of Macrozoobenthos on Two-Dimensional Small-Scale Heterogeneity of Pore Water Phosphorus Concentrations: in-situ Study in Lake Arendsee (Germany)

  • Jörg LewandowskiEmail author
  • Mareike Schadach
  • Michael Hupfer
Primary Research Paper


An in-situ study was conducted in Lake Arendsee to study the influence of macrozoobenthos on pore water phosphate concentrations, and to investigate the importance of macrozoobenthos in causing small-scale heterogeneity. Two-dimensional pore water samplers with a high spatial resolution were exposed for 14 days at two sampling points with different water depths. Macrozoobenthos densities and the corresponding pore water phosphate concentrations were determined. In profundal sediments with chironomids (mean density: 480 m−2) the pore water phosphate concentration showed more patchiness (heterogeneity index 0.69) than in sediments without chironomids (heterogeneity index 0.38). Macrozoobenthos might affect the sediment environment mainly through bioirrigation, bioturbation, secretion, and digestion. It is most likely that the hot spots are caused by secretions from chironomids which intensify the microbially mediated P-release. The small-scale horizontal heterogeneity of pore water concentrations due to macrozoobenthos activities is insufficiently considered in many limnological studies focusing on vertical changes of pore water concentrations to investigate biogeochemical processes in sediment and to estimate internal nutrient loading. In sediments inhabited by macrozoobenthos the number of replicates should be high due to the extreme variability of single profiles of the two-dimensional sampler, as well as of averaged profiles simulating classical one-dimensional pore water analysis techniques. In cases where the profundal sediment is macrozoobenthos-free, single deployments of one-dimensional pore water samplers are well suited to describing pore water chemistry. Thus, determination of macrozoobenthos density is essential for study design.


lake macrozoobenthos chironomids pore water phosphate small-scale heterogeneity phosphate fluxes 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Lewandowski
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mareike Schadach
    • 1
  • Michael Hupfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Plant NutritionUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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