Nutrient Budgets in Lakes

  • Piet VerburgEmail author
  • Marc Schallenberg
  • Sandy Elliott
  • Chris G. McBride


This chapter discusses the sources and ultimate fate of nutrients into downstream lakes. It includes processes such as microbial denitrification, internal nutrient loading derived both from in situ measurements and from a mass-balance approach, and the loss of nutrients by flushing. Net and gross internal loads can be estimated using mass-balance equations. While the gross load is of interest because it contributes to the total load that drives algal growth, usually a large part of the gross load ends up sequestered in the sediment. Lake restoration efforts to reduce nutrients available to phytoplankton can focus on reducing both the inputs of nutrients and the cycling of nutrients within the lake. Various in-lake restoration techniques exist to target different fluxes within lake nutrient cycles. Therefore, understanding nutrient dynamics in the lake and sources and sinks of nutrients in lakes helps identify restoration approaches that are most likely to successfully reduce nutrient availability, phytoplankton blooms, and other related problems.


Internal loads External loads Land use Nutrient burial Denitrification Residence time Flushing Macrophyte harvest 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piet Verburg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marc Schallenberg
    • 2
  • Sandy Elliott
    • 1
  • Chris G. McBride
    • 3
  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd.HamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  3. 3.Environmental Research InstituteThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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