External Phosphorus Loading in New Lakes

Theis Kragh, Thor Kolath, Anja Svane Kolath, Kasper Reitzel Jensen, Kenneth Thorø Martinsen, Martin Søndergaard, Carl Christian Hoffmann, Lars Baastrup-Spohr, Sara Egemose

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The water quality of lakes is highly dependent on external phosphorus (P) loading. The vast external loadings from sewage and other wastewater discharge that European lakes have historically received have been dramatically reduced today by improved wastewater treatment. Gaining knowledge of the catchment characteristics that influence external P-loading should enable predictions of the achievable water quality of lakes. In this study, we tested this proposition. Data from 90 new Danish lakes show no apparent relationship between the mean summer P-concentration and the size or land use of the catchments. The external P-loading and resulting annual P-concentration were further investigated on a representative subset of 12 of the new lakes, using six methods. Three of the methods used empirical estimates of P-transport from catchments, based on the national average P-transport, runoff-dependent P-transport, and crop-dependent P-transport, and the other three methods used different empirical models tested on the lakes. External P-loading was reliably predicted by several of the methods. The predictions of the annual P-concentration were highly dependent on the inclusion of annual runoff. However, the predicted P-concentrations were generally overestimated, most pronounced for the nutrient-poor and most recently established lakes. In these lakes, internal P-loading was found to be the most important factor in predicting achievable water quality.
Udgave nummer7
StatusUdgivet - 22. mar. 2022


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