Freshwater lake ecosystem health assessment and its response to pollution stresses based on planktonic index of biotic integrity

  • Huayong ZhangEmail author
  • Zhengda Duan
  • Zhongyu Wang
  • Meifang Zhong
  • Wang Tian
  • Hualin Wang
  • Hai Huang
Research Article


Based on the planktonic data monitored in Lake Balihe, an ecosystem health assessment system referring to planktonic index of biotic integrity (P-IBI) was constructed to evaluate the lake health status and study the response mechanism of P-IBI to environmental factors. The results showed that a total of 7 phylum 59 species of phytoplankton and 3 phylum 28 species of zooplankton were identified in the lake, and both the plankton density and biomass varied significantly in time and space scales. The significant variation of Protozoa density should be responsible to the inconsistency between the distributions of zooplankton density and biomass, as well as the lowest value of P-IBI in summer. The P-IBI values and therefore the health levels can be seasonally ranked as winter > autumn > spring > summer and found spatially increased along the flow direction. Based on the relationships between P-IBI and the environmental factors, ammonia nitrogen = 0.46 mg/L and Secchi depth = 63 cm were found as the environmental protection thresholds of planktonic biotic integrity for this freshwater lake ecosystem. The findings of the research may provide some guidance to the ecological monitoring and protection of freshwater lake.


Freshwater lake ecosystem Environmental factors P-IBI Ecosystem health assessment Biotic integrity Environmental protection thresholds 


Funding information

The authors would like to acknowledge with great appreciation for the support provided by the Chinese National Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (No. 2015ZX07204-007, No. 2017ZX07101-002, No. 2015ZX07203-011) and the Chinese Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2017MS055).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6655_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (26 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 26 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Engineering Ecology and Nonlinear ScienceNorth China Electric Power UniversityBeijingChina

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