, Volume 543, Issue 1, pp 55–70 | Cite as

Sediment and pore water composition as a basis for the trophic evaluation of standing waters

  • Sebastian Maassen
  • Dietrich Uhlmann
  • Isolde Röske
Primary Research Paper


Sediments and pore water samples from four reservoirs in eastern Germany with different trophic characteristics have been examined (Neunzehnhain I – oligotrophic; Muldenberg – oligotrophic, dystrophic; Saidenbach – mesotrophic; Quitzdorf – highly eutrophic). Several parameters were analyzed regarding the dependence on the trophic state and the possibility to use them for the trophic evaluation of standing waters. The strongest influence of the trophic state could be found in the case of the parameters SRP, alkalinity and ammonium in the pore water. For the dry sediment, it could be concluded that the most important factor affecting the trophic state is the ratios of Fe:P and Al:P, which were summarized to a metal:phosphorus sum ratio (MPS) and showed a clear threshold value for the potential to immobilize phosphorus in the sediment. Also, with the P fractions of the sediment samples, differences between the trophic levels became evident. Higher percentages of the reductively soluble, iron-bound fraction and of the biogenic fraction occurred in the reservoirs with higher trophic state, while comparitively higher percentages of the stable aluminum-bound fraction could be measured in the reservoirs with lower trophic state.


trophic evaluation sediment pore water reservoirs phosphate 





dry weight


metal:phosphorus sum ratio






non-reactive phosphorus


particulate organic carbon








soluble reactive phosphorus


total phosphorus


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Berner, R. A., 1980. Early Diagenesis: A Theoretical Approach. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Boers, P. C. M., Raaphorst, W., Molen, T. D. 1998Phosphorus retention in sedimentsWater Science and Technology373139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boström, B., Jansson, M., Forsberg, C. 1982Phosphorus release from lake sedimentsArchiv für Hydrobiologie - Advances in Limnology18559Google Scholar
  4. Caraco, N. F., Cole, J. J., Likens, G. E. 1989Evidence for sulphate-controlled phosphorus release from aquatic systemsNature341316318Google Scholar
  5. Clavero, V., Garcia-Sanchez, M. J., Niell, F. X., Fernandez, J. A. 1997Influence of sulfate enrichment on the carbon dioxide and phosphate fluxes across the sediment-water interfaceHydrobiologia3455965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davelaar, D. 1993Ecological significance of bacterial polyphosphate metabolism in sedimentsHydrobiologia253179192Google Scholar
  7. David, M. B., Mitchell, M. J. 1985Sulfur constituents and cycling in waters, seston and sediments of an oligotrophic lakeLimnology and Oceanography3011961207Google Scholar
  8. Gächter, R., Meyer, J. S. 1993The role of microorganisms in mobilization and fixation of phosphorus in sedimentsHydrobiologia253103121Google Scholar
  9. Giordani, G., Bartoli, M., Cattadori, M., Viaroli, P. 1996Sulphide release from anoxic sediments in relation to iron availability and organic matter recalcitrance and its effects on inorganic phosphorus recyclingHydrobiologia329211222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goedkopp, W., Pettersson, K. 2000Seasonal changes in sediment phosphorus forms in relation to sedimentation and benthic bacterial biomass in Lake ErkenHydrobiologia4314150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hesslein, R. H. 1976An in situ sampler for close interval pore water studiesLimnology and Oceanography22913915Google Scholar
  12. Hilton, J. 1985A conceptional framework for predicting the occurence of sediment focusing and sediment redistribution in small lakesLimnology and Oceanography3011311143Google Scholar
  13. Hupfer, M. & R. Gächter, 1995. Einfluß der hypolimnischen Belüftung auf den Phosphorhaushalt des Sempachersees (Schweiz). – In Jaeger, D. & R. Koschel (eds), Verfahren zur Sanierung und Restaurierung stehender Gewässer. Limnologie aktuell 8: 99–114. Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  14. Hupfer, M., Rübe, B., Schmieder, P. 2004Origin and diagenesis of polyphosphate in lake sediments: A 31P NMR studyLimnology and Oceanography49110Google Scholar
  15. Hupfer, M., Uhlmann, D. 1991Microbially mediated phosphorus exchange across the mud-water-interfaceVerhandlungen der Internationalen Vereinigung für Limnologie2429993003Google Scholar
  16. Jensen, H. S., Kristensen, P., Jeppesen, R., Skytthe, A. 1992Iron:Phosphorus ratio in surface sediments as an indicator of phosphate release from aerobic sediments in shallow lakesHydrobiologia235/236731743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Klapper, H., Rast, W., Uhlmann, D. 1989Classification of water bodies in relation to their desired usesRyding, S. O.Rast, W eds. The ontrol of Eutrophication of Lakes and ReservoirsUNESCO Paris and Parthenon Publication GroupNew JerseyGoogle Scholar
  18. Kleeberg, A., Dudel, G. E. 1997Changes in extent of phosphorus release in a shallow lake (Lake Grosser Müggelsee; Germany, Berlin) due to climatic factors and loadMarine Geology1396175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kleeberg, A. 1997Interactions between benthic phosphorus release and sulfur cycling in Lake Scharmuetzelsee (Germany)Water, Air and Soil Pollution99391399Google Scholar
  20. Kopáček, J., Heizlar, J., Burivec, J., Porcal, P., Kotorová, I. 2000Phosphorus inactivation by aluminium in the water column and sediments: Lowering of in-lake phosphorus availability in an acidified watershed-lake ecosystemLimnology and Oceanography45212225Google Scholar
  21. LAWA (Länderarbeitsgemeinschaft Wasser)1998Vorläufige Richtlinie von natürlich entstandenen Seen nach trophischen KriterienKulturbuch-VerlagBerlinGoogle Scholar
  22. Maassen, S., 2003. Vergleichende Untersuchungen über den potentiellen Eintrag von Nährstoffen in den Wasserkörper von Talsperren durch Freisetzung aus dem Sediment. Dissertation Technical University Dresden.Google Scholar
  23. Mortimer, C. H. 1941The exchange of dissolved substances between mud and lake water in lakesJournal of Ecology29280329Google Scholar
  24. Mortimer, C. H. 1942The exchange of dissolved substances between mud and lake water in lakesJournal of Ecology30147201Google Scholar
  25. Murray, T. E. 1995The correlation between iron sulfide precipitation and hypolimnetic phosphorus accumulation during one summer in a soft water lakeCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences5211901194Google Scholar
  26. Nürnberg, G. K. 1991Phosphorus from internal sources in the Laurentian Great Lakes and the concept of threshold external loadJournal of Great Lakes Research17132140Google Scholar
  27. Nürnberg, G. K. 1996Comment: Phosphorus budgets and stoichiometry during the open-water season in two unmanipulated lakes in the Experimental Lakes Area, northwestern OntarioCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences5314691471Google Scholar
  28. OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation)1982Eutrophication of waters – Monitoring, assessment and controlOECD-PublicationParis.Google Scholar
  29. Ohle, W. 1952Die hypolimnische Kohlendioxid-Akkumulation als produktionsbiologischer IndikatorArchiv für Hydrobiologie46153285Google Scholar
  30. Ohle, W. 1954Sulfat als “Katalysator” des limnischen StoffkreislaufesVom Wasser211332Google Scholar
  31. Penn, M. R., Auer, M. T., Orman, E. L., Korienek, J. J. 1995Phosphorus diagenesis in lake sediments: investigations using fractionation techniquesMarine and Freshwater Research468999Google Scholar
  32. Pettersson, K. 1986The fractional composition of phosphorus in lake sediments of different characteristicsSly, P.G. eds. Sediment and water interactions, Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on the Interactions between Sediments and WaterSpringer-VerlagNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Pettersson, K. 1998Mechanisms for internal loading of phosphorus in lakesHydrobiologia3742125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Petticrew, E. L., Arocena, J. M. 2001Evaluation of iron–phosphate as a source on internal lake phosphorus loadingsScience of the Total Environment2668793CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Psenner, R., Pucsko, R., Sager, M. 1984Die Fraktionierung organischer und anorganischer Phosphorverbindungen von SedimentenArchiv für Hydrobiologie/Beiheft70111155Google Scholar
  36. Roden, E. E., Edmonds, J. W. 1997Phosphate mobilization in iron-rich anaerobic sediments: microbial Fe(III) oxide reduction versus iron-sulfide formationArchiv für Hydrobiologie139347378Google Scholar
  37. Rudd, J. W. M., Kelly, C. A., Furutani, A. 1986The role of sulfate reduction in long-term accumulation of organic and inorganic sulfur in lake sedimentsLimnology and Oceanography3112811292Google Scholar
  38. Rydin, E., Huser, B., Welch, E. 2000Amount of phosphorus inactivated by alum treatments in Washington lakesLimnology and Oceanography45226230Google Scholar
  39. Sherman, L. A., Brezonik, P. L., Baker, L. A., Weir, E. P. 1994Sediment pore water dynamics of Little Rock Lake, Wisconsin: Geochemical processes, seasonal and spatial variabilityLimnology and Oceanography3911551171Google Scholar
  40. Sieber, H.-U., 1992. Talsperren in Sachsen. Landestalsperrenverwaltung des Freistaates Sachsen (ed), Pirna.Google Scholar
  41. Sinke, A., Cornelese, A., Cappenberg, T., Zehnder, A. 1992Seasonal variation in sulfate reduction and methanogenesis in peaty sediments of eutrophic lake Loosdrecht, the NetherlandsBiogeochemistry151937Google Scholar
  42. Sinke, A., Cornelese, A., Keizer, P., Tongeren, O., Cappenberg, T. 1990Mineralization, pore water chemistry and phosphorus release from peaty sediments in the eutrophic Loosdrecht lakes, the NetherlandsFreshwater Biology23587599Google Scholar
  43. Søndergaard, M. 1989Phosphorus release from a hypertrophic lake sediment: experiments with intact sediment cores in␣a continuous flow systemArchiv für Hydrobiologie1164559Google Scholar
  44. Thamdrup, B., Canfield, D. E. 1996Pathways of carbon oxidation in continental margin sediments off Central ChileLimnology and Oceanography4116291650PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Uhlmann, D., Hupfer, M., Appelt, C. 1997Composition of sediments in drinking water reservoirs as a basis for the assessment of potential changes in water qualityJournal of Water Supply: Research and Technology - Aqua468494Google Scholar
  46. Uhlmann, D., Paul, L. 1994Causes and effects of “nitrate saturation” in phosphate-deficient water bodiesWater Science and Technology10281288Google Scholar
  47. Uhlmann, D., Röske, I., Hupfer, M., Ohms, G. 1990A simple method to distinguish between polyphosphate and other fractions of activated sludgeWater Research2413551360Google Scholar
  48. Urban, N. R., Brezonik, P. L., Baker, L. A., Sherman, L. A. 1994Sulfate reduction and diffusion in sediments of Little Rock Lake, WisconsinLimnology and Oceanography39797815Google Scholar
  49. Molen, D. T., Boers, P. C. N. 1994Influence of internal loading on phosphorus concentration in shallow lakes before and after reduction of external loadingHydrobiologia275/276379389Google Scholar
  50. Waite, T. D., Wrigley, I. C., Szymczak, R. 1988Photoassisted dissolution of a colloidal manganese oxide in the presence of fulvic acidEnvironmental Science and Technology22778785Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Maassen
    • 1
  • Dietrich Uhlmann
    • 2
  • Isolde Röske
    • 3
  1. 1.ZALF, Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape and Landuse ResearchInstitute of Primary Production and Microbial EcologyMuencheberg
  2. 2.Saxonian Academy of Sciences, Limnology Group, c/o Institute of HydrobiologyUniversity of TechnologyDresdenGermany
  3. 3.Institute of MicrobiologyUniversity of TechnologyDresdenGermany

Personalised recommendations