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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Silicon load and the development of diatoms in three river-lake systems in countries surrounding the Baltic Sea

Noges, Peeter; Noges, Tiina; Adrian, Rita; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.


We studied the formation of dissolved silicon loads from rivers to lakes, the development of diatoms in lakes and the role of climatic forcing on the silicon cycle in three river-lake systems in Sweden, Estonia and Northern Germany. We found coherent seasonality in the silicon loads of the two northern rivers, which was probably caused by the common snow-type hydrology of the catchments as distinct from the rain-type hydrology of the catchment, further south. The similarity among lakes in the dynamics of the Si-related variables studied resulted from similarities in mean lake depth and mixing type rather than the climatic regime. Among the variables measured at the three sites, river water discharge responded most coherently to climatic forcing as synchronized by the North Atlantic Oscillation winter index (NAOw). Water discharge and Si load were strongly linked variables and showed coherent patterns among the river systems. We found significant season-specific correlations of the NAOw with either the biomass or the share of diatoms in each lake, but no coherent pattern among the lakes. Our results indicate that processes driven by water discharge are more coherent across regions than in-lake processes.


silicon; lakes; rivers; diatoms; climate; NAO; discharge

Published in

2008, Volume: 599, pages: 67-76
Publisher: SPRINGER

    Associated SLU-program

    Lakes and watercourses

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
    Fish and Aquacultural Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)