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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Anthropogenic oligotrophication via liming: Long-term phosphorus trends in acidified, limed, and neutral reference lakes in Sweden

Hu, Qian; Huser, Brian


Restoration of acidified lakes by liming does not, in many cases, improve productivity to a pre-acidified state. We hypothesize that the poor recovery detected in many of these lakes is due to constrained in-lake phosphorous (P) cycling caused by enhanced precipitation of metals in higher pH, limed waters. Long-term (1990-2012) data for 65 limed, circum-neutral (pH 6-8), and acidified lakes in Sweden were analyzed to determine trends for P and potential drivers of these trends. Limed lakes not only had lower mean values and stronger decreasing trends for total P than non-limed lakes, but they also had the highest percentage of decreasing trends (85 %). A P release factor (Hypolimnetic P/Epilimnetic P) was developed to elucidate differences in internal P cycling between lake groups. Consistently, lower P release factors in limed lakes show limitation of internal P cycling during summer months that may be a factor limiting P bioavailability and thus productivity of these systems.


Productivity; Liming; Sediment; Phosphorus; Metal precipitation; Acidified lakes

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2014, volume: 43, number: SI, Supplement 1, pages: 104-112
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Hu, Qian
University of Canterbury
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG6 Clean water

UKÄ Subject classification

Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

Publication Identifiers


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