, Volume 747, Issue 1, pp 189–199 | Cite as

Multi-temporal scale characteristics of algae biomass and selected environmental parameters based on wavelet analysis in Lake Taihu, China

  • Wei Li
  • Boqiang Qin
  • Yunlin Zhang
Primary Research Paper


It is widely accepted that algal blooms are a result of eutrophication processes. Water temperature, total phosphorus and total nitrogen are the main environmental parameters impacting Chlorophyll-a (Chla) in aquatic ecosystems. To elucidate the variability of these parameters in Lake Taihu, China, we analyzed their multi-temporal characteristics using wavelet power spectrum. We evaluated the non-stationary statistical association between algal biomass (as Chla) and the selected environmental parameters using wavelet coherence and wavelet phase difference. Our results indicate that these variables presented periodic oscillations in frequency domain and localization along time axis. Significant 3–4 month and annual bands are identified in both algal and environmental parameters variations. Chla responded quickly to variation in water temperature but showed a delayed response to variation in total nitrogen; it also showed a delayed response to variation in total phosphorus during 1995–1997, but responded more quickly in recent years. The intensity of oscillation power in frequency domain resulted in non-stationary statistical association, and the phase difference in time domain resulted in time-lag correlations between Chla and the selected environmental indices. These results contribute to elucidate the nonlinear eutrophication dynamic process and provide information for algal bloom prediction and lake management.


Wavelet analysis Algae biomass Multi-temporal variability Lake Taihu 



We thank Taihu Laboratory for Lake Ecosystem Research (TLLER) for providing chlorophyll-a, nutrients, and water temperature data. This work was jointly supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41471401, 41230744), the Major Projects on Control and Rectification of Water Body Pollution (2012ZX07101–010), Key Program of Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS (NIGLAS2012135003), and the Provincial Nature Science Foundation of Jiangsu of China (BK2012050).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of ScienceNanjingChina

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