, Volume 506, Issue 1–3, pp 273–279 | Cite as

Changes of nutrients and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a in a large shallow lake, Taihu, China: an 8-year investigation

  • Yuwei Chen
  • Chengxin Fan
  • Katrin Teubner
  • Martin Dokulil


Inter-annual changes of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a (Chla) in a large shallow lake, Taihu China, were analysed using the monthly monitoring data covering the period of 1991–1999. The concentrations of TN, TP and Chla showed marked gradients in the lake from high values near the northern river input in the inner Meiliang Bay towards lower concentrations the lake centre. TN was always much greater than TP (≫7:1 by weight) indicating that nitrogen was not a limiting factor in the lake. Annual averages of TN, TP and Chla increased until 1996 declining thereafter possibly because of the controlling of wastewater discharged from the catchment area by the local government. The internal nutrient loading in the lake was low because of the well-mixed condition and the low organic content of superficial sediment. Our results suggest that the recovery process in the lake might have started in 1996.

eutrophication long-term Taihu TN TP 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cai, Q., X. Gao, Y. Chen, S. Ma & M. Dokulil, 1994. Dynamic varitions of water quality in Taihu and multivariate analysis of its influential factors. In Sund, H., X. Yu, H. Stabel, K. Yuan, W. Geller & F. She (eds), Environmental Protection and Lake Ecosystem. China Science and Technology Press, Beijing: 217– 230.Google Scholar
  2. Capblancq, J., 1990. Nutrient dynamics and pelagic food web interactions in oligotrophic and eutrophic environments: an overview. Hydrobiologia 207: 1–14.Google Scholar
  3. Carvalho, L. & A. Kirika, 2003. Changes in shallow lake functioning: response to climate change and nutrient reduction. Hydrobiologia 506–509: 289–296.Google Scholar
  4. Chang, W. Y. B., 1987. Large lakes of China. J. Great Lakes Res. 13: 235–249.Google Scholar
  5. Chen, W., Y. Chen, X. Gao & I. Yoshida, 1997. Eutrophication of Taihu and its control. Agri. Engin. J. 6: 109–120.Google Scholar
  6. Dokulil, M. T., W. Chen & Q. Cai, 2000. Anthropogenic impacts to large lakes in China: the Tai Hu example. Aquat. Ecosyst. Health Manag. 3: 81–94.Google Scholar
  7. Dokulil, M. T. & K. Teubner, 2003. Eutrophication and restoration of shallow lakes – the concept of stable equilibria revisited. Hydrobiologia 506–509: 29–34.Google Scholar
  8. Fan, C., Y. Liu & H. Chen, 2000. Approach on estimating storage sludge in Taihu and its distributing characteristics. Shanghai Environ. Sci. J. 19: 72–75 (in Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  9. Forsberg, C. & S.-O. Ryding, 1980. Eutrophication parameters and trophic state indices in 30 Swedish waste receiving lakes. Arch. Hydrobiol. 89: 189–207.Google Scholar
  10. Gaedke, U., 1998. Functional and taxonomical properties of the phytoplankton community of large and deep lake Constance: interannual variability and response to re-oligotrophication (1973– 1993). Arch. Hydrobiol. Spec. Issues Adv. Limnol. 53: 119–141.Google Scholar
  11. Haberman, J. & R. Laugaste, 2003. On characteristics reflecting the trophic state of large and shallow Estonian lakes (L. Peipsi, L. Võrstjärv). Hydrobiologia 506–509: 737–744.Google Scholar
  12. Jin, X. & Q. Tu (eds), 1990. The Standard Methods for Observation and Analysis in Lake Eutrophication. 2nd edition. Chinese Environmental Science Press, Beijing: 240 pp (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  13. Kangur, K., T. Möls, A. Milius & R. Laugaste, 2003. Phytoplankton response to decreasing nutrient level in Lake Peipsi (Estonia) in 1992–2001. Hydrobiologia 506–509: 265–272.Google Scholar
  14. Li, W., Q. Yang & G. Liu, 1994. Algal bloom in Taihu and is control. In Sund, H., X. Yu, H. Stabel, K. Yuan, W. Geller & F. She (eds), Environmental Protection and Lake Ecosystem. China Sci. Technol. Press, Beijing: 243–261.Google Scholar
  15. Lorenzen, C. J., 1967. Determination of chlorophyll and phaeopigments: spectorphotometric equations. Limnol. Oceanogr. 12: 343–346.Google Scholar
  16. Marsden, M. W., 1989. Lake restoration by reducing external phosphorus loading: the influence of sediment phosphorus release. Freshwat. Biol. 21: 139–162.Google Scholar
  17. Mathes, J., I. Korczynski & J. Müller, 2003. Shallow lakes in Northeast Germany: Trophic situaton and restoration programmes. Hydrobiologia 506–509: 797–802.Google Scholar
  18. Pettersson, K., K. Grast, G. Weyhenmeyer & T. Bleckner, 2003. Seasonality of chlorophyll and nutrients in Lake Erzen–effects of weather conditions. Hydrobiologia 506–509: 75–81.Google Scholar
  19. Redfield, A. C., 1958. The biological control of chemical factors in the environment. Am. Scientist 46: 205–221.Google Scholar
  20. Scheffer, M. (ed.), 1998. Ecology of Shallow Lakes. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London: 357 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Sun, S. & Y. Huang (eds), 1993. Taihu. Chinese Marine Press, Beijing: 271 pp (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  22. Teubner, K. & M. Dokulil, 2002. Ecological stoichiometry of TN:TP:SRSi in freshwaters: nutrient ratios and seasonal shifts in phytoplankton assemblages. Arch. Hydrobiol. 154: 625–646.Google Scholar
  23. Van der Molen, D. T. & P. C. N. Boers, 1994. Influence of internal loading on phosphorus concentration in shallow lakes before and after reduction of the external loading. Hydrobiologia 275/276: 379–389.Google Scholar
  24. Wetzel, R. G. (ed.), 2001. Limnology, Lake and River Ecosystems, 3rd edition. Academic Press, San Diego/San Francisco/New York/Boston/London/Sydney/Tokyo: 1006 pp.Google Scholar
  25. Zhu, M., 1994. Preliminary study on water quality protection in Taihu. In Sund, H., X. Yu, H. Stabel, K. Yuan, W. Geller & F. She (eds), Environmental Protection and Lake Ecosystem. China Science and Technology Press, Beijing: 269–279.Google Scholar
  26. Zhu, Y. & Q. Cai, 1998. Study on three dimentional model of algae movement in Meiliang Bay of Taihu Lake. In Cai, Q. (ed.), Study on the Environment and Ecosystem of Taihu (I). Chinese Meteorology Press, Beijing: 169–177 (in Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuwei Chen
    • 1
  • Chengxin Fan
    • 1
  • Katrin Teubner
    • 2
  • Martin Dokulil
    • 1
  1. 1.Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjing Institute of Geography & LimnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Austrian Academy of SciencesInstitute for LimnologyMondseeAustria

Personalised recommendations