, Volume 710, Issue 1, pp 117–127 | Cite as

Sediment resuspension dampens the effect of nutrient inputs on the phytoplankton community: a mesocosm experiment study

  • Yuhui Kang
  • Xiaolan Song
  • Zhengwen Liu


While considerable research has addressed the influence of sediment resuspension on shallow lake ecosystems, little attention has been paid to its potential impact on phytoplankton responses to nutrient loading. A factorial experiment was designed using field mesocosms to investigate the impacts of resuspension, nutrient loading and the interactions between them on standing crops of phytoplankton and community structure dynamics. Results showed that phytoplankton biomass increased with nutrient loading when no sediment resuspension occurred, but there was no significant biomass response to nutrient loading in treatments with strong sediment resuspension. The results also showed both sediment resuspension and nutrient loading to have significant effects on the structural dynamics of phytoplankton communities. Our results suggest that strong sediment resuspension can dampen the response of phytoplankton to nutrient loading in lakes such as Lake Taihu which experiences strong sediment resuspension due to wind action. These findings also suggest that in shallow eutrophic lakes with high nutrient concentrations or external loadings, measures aimed at reducing sediment resuspension are unlikely to be effective in aiding the re-establishment of macrophytes, because of the side effect of enhanced phytoplankton growth.


Shallow lake Nutrient loading Response Light limitation Nutrient limitation 



The authors would like to express our special gratitude to professors Erik Jeppesen and Kuanyi Li, their views and suggestions have been of great importance for the final content and framing of this manuscript. The authors also thank Liang Guo, Hu He, Liu Yang, Weiwei Jiang and Ke Li for field and laboratory support, and Anne Mette and Amy-Jane Beer for the English improvements of this manuscript. This study was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2012CB956100), the National Science Foundation of China (No. 31070419 and 41073057) and the National Key Technology Research and Development Program of China (No. 2007BAC26B02).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and EnvironmentsNanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate School of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jiangyin Environmental Monitoring StationJiangyinPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Institute of HydrobiologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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