, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 207–217 | Cite as

Forest Die-Back Modified Plankton Recovery from Acidic Stress

  • Jaroslav Vrba
  • Jiří Kopáček
  • Jan Fott
  • Linda Nedbalová


We examined long-term data on water chemistry of Lake Rachelsee (Germany) following the changes in acidic depositions in central Europe since 1980s. Despite gradual chemical recovery of Rachelsee, its biological recovery was delayed. In 1999, lake recovery was abruptly reversed by a coincident forest die-back, which resulted in elevated terrestrial export of nitrate and ionic aluminum lasting ~5 years. This re-acidification episode provided unique opportunity to study plankton recovery in the rapidly recovering lake water after the abrupt decline in nitrate leaching from the catchment. There were sudden changes both in lake water chemistry and in plankton biomass structure, such as decreased bacterial filaments, increased phytoplankton biomass, and rotifer abundance. The shift from dominance of heterotrophic to autotrophic organisms suggested their substantial release from severe phosphorus stress. Such a rapid change in plankton structure in a lake recovering from acidity has, to the best of our knowledge, not been previously documented.


Atmospheric acidification Bohemian Forest Lake recovery Microcodon clavus Phytoplankton Zooplankton 



This study was supported by several CSF projects (particularly No. 206/07/1200, P504/12/1218). Burkhard Beudert, Claus Bässler, and Heinrich Rall (NPBW) assisted with lake sampling, Ludwig Butz (WWA Passau/Deggendorf) kindly provided data (2000–2002) on lake chemistry, and Keith R. Edwards revised the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaroslav Vrba
    • 1
  • Jiří Kopáček
    • 2
  • Jan Fott
    • 3
  • Linda Nedbalová
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of HydrobiologyBiology Centre AS CRCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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