Importance of groundwater and macrophytes for the nutrient balance at oligotrophic Lake Hampen, Denmark

Daniela Oliveira Ommen, Jacob Baarstrøm Kidmose, Sachin Karan, Mogens Flindt, Peter Knudegaard Engesgaard, Bertel Nilsson, Frede Østergaard Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

An ecohydrological study was carried out at an oligotrophic seepage lake, Lake Hampen, Denmark, to determine the seepage in and out of the lake and determine the mass budgets for nutrients. The lake is primarily surrounded by forest, although there are agricultural fields bordering a small portion of the lake perimeter. The water and mass balances indicate that there is a groundwater input of 1643•103 m3 yr-1 into the lake (~70 % of total input) and a groundwater output of 1997•103 m3 yr-1. The groundwater input carries with it 2253 kg N yr-1 (~67 % of total input) and 40 kg P yr-1 (~85 % of total input). The majority of the nitrogen is leached from the agricultural fields bordering the lake. Concentrations as high as 1750 µM nitrate were measured in the rhizosphere of the littoral zone at this location. It is estimated that the macrophytes are able to take up 1695 kg N yr-1 (~50 % of the input). The phosphorus uptake by plants was 310 % of the input, indicating that plants are highly dependent on accumulated and remineralized phosphorus in the lake. The nutrients lost through recharge was much lower than input through groundwater discharge entailing a high retention of nutrients in the lake (92-96 %). A significant part of the retained nitrogen may be lost through denitrification. Although the plant uptake may have slowed down the eutrophication of the lake, the excess nutrients may over time give rise to eutrophication and a shift towards pelagic production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcohydrology
Volume5
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)286-296
ISSN1936-0584
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Seepage lake
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • nutrients
  • isoetids
  • Littorella uniflora

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