The Influence of Periphyton Biofilm on Phosphorus Migration in Sediments

  • Zhiyong Yi
  • Ying Yang
  • Chunlan Yan
  • Guofeng PeiEmail author
Research paper


The objective of this study was to analyze the influence of periphyton biofilm on nutrient releases from sediments in ponds and lakes. The physico-chemical parameters in the overlying water, the TP content, and the P forms in the sediments and periphyton biofilm were measured. The results showed that (1) periphyton biofilm could change the physico-chemical indexes in the overlying water; furthermore, the periphyton biofilm influenced the release of N and P from sediments, and its extent of influence was closely related to the nutrient levels of the sediments. (2) The periphyton biofilms effectively reduced the concentrations of N and P in sediments with different nutritional levels (P < 0.05). The average daily TN removal rates were 52% and 25% in the pond and lake microcosms, respectively, and the average daily TP removal rates were 1.06% and 20.9% in the pond and lake microcosms, respectively. This result suggested that periphyton biofilms acted as biological buffers for nutrient cycling between sediments and overlying water; these buffering effects were mainly through the absorption, filtration, and precipitation of nutrients. (3) The TP content and P forms of the periphyton biofilm were different between the pond and lake microcosms, which indicated that the P forms of the periphyton biofilm were potentially influenced by the nutritional levels of the sediments.

Article Highlights

  • There are different in the influence of periphyton biofilm on nutrient releases from sediments in ponds and lakes.

  • Periphyton biofilm could change the physico-chemical indexes in the overlying water; furthermore, the periphyton biofilm influenced the release of N and P from sediments, and its extent of influence was closely related to the nutrient levels of the sediments.

  • The TP content and P forms of the periphyton biofilm were different between the pond and lake microcosms.


Phosphorus fractions Phosphorus retention Nitrogen Nutritional levels Aquatic environmental factors Microcosms 



This research was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (grant number 30970550), “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities”, the South-central University for Nationalities (Grant Number czy18019) ,and the Major Technological Innovation of Hubei Province of China (Grant No.2018ABA093).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© University of Tehran 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiyong Yi
    • 1
  • Ying Yang
    • 1
  • Chunlan Yan
    • 1
  • Guofeng Pei
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory for Protection and Application of Special Plant Germplasm in Wuling Area of ChinaSouth-Central University for NationalitiesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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