, Volume 780, Issue 1, pp 145–159 | Cite as

Ecosystem services of Lake Võrtsjärv under multiple stress: a case study

  • Sirje VilbasteEmail author
  • Ain Järvalt
  • Kristel Kalpus
  • Tiina Nõges
  • Peeter Pall
  • Kai Piirsoo
  • Lea Tuvikene
  • Peeter Nõges


This study is the first attempt at the European scale to make an inventory of ecosystem services (ESS) of a large lake. We analysed a set of ESS indicators against the annual mean values of environmental parameters for 2006–2013. According to principal component analysis, the trophic state- and hydrology-related factors explained about 70% of the environmental variability of the lake and showed strong relationships with some ESS. Among the provisioning ESS, the annual eel catch and the total fish catch were positively related to different eutrophication indicators while the catches of pike, bream, and burbot depended rather on hydrological factors. Reed harvesting efficiency was related to the lake’s water level. The indicators of regulating, maintenance, and cultural ESS showed very high variability in different years, the latter depending on socio-economic conditions rather than environmental factors. We discovered numerous trade-offs between ESS benefitting from higher trophic state or regulated water level of the lake and the goals of good ecological status of the lake. Our analysis showed a clear need for rules prioritizing life supporting regulatory services against other ESS.


Ecosystem services Eutrophication Hydrology Multiple stress Lake Võrtsjärv 



This work was supported by institutional research funding IUT 21-2 of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, the MARS project (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress) funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, Theme 6 (Environment including Climate Change), Contract No. 603378, and Swiss Grant for Programme “Enhancing public environmental monitoring capacities”. We are thankful to the two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sirje Vilbaste
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ain Järvalt
    • 1
  • Kristel Kalpus
    • 1
  • Tiina Nõges
    • 1
  • Peeter Pall
    • 1
  • Kai Piirsoo
    • 1
  • Lea Tuvikene
    • 1
  • Peeter Nõges
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Limnology, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesEstonian University of Life SciencesTartuEstonia

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