Nutrient Enrichment in Lake Ecosystem and Its Effects on Algae and Macrophytes

  • Divya Dubey
  • Venkatesh Dutta


Freshwater lakes constitute a significant part of the hydrological cycle of the earth as they maintain ecological balance and support diverse aquatic biodiversity. Increasing urbanization, land use modifications, pollution, and various other anthropogenic activities including catchment land use change around lakes cause stress on lake ecosystem which include eutrophication, acidification, siltation, introduction of exotic macrophytic species, and toxic contamination. Eutrophication is considered as a major stress for lake ecosystem as increasing nutrients mainly nitrogen and phosphorous result in greater density of macrophytes that leads to change in trophic states of lakes. Unhealthy anthropogenic activities leading to eutrophication and excessive growth nuisance of macrophytes result in disturbed ecological balance within the lakes. As reported by many limnologists, macrophytes in freshwater lakes are highly sensitive to slight change in climatic conditions, along with changes in nutrient concentration, because of which macrophytes are considered as bioindicators for assessing the trophic states of lakes. This review paper presents an overview of the problem of nutrient enrichment leading to eutrophication, characteristics of different trophic states, and effects of nutrient enrichment on macrophytes and algal species present in lakes. Eutrophication causes changes in physical and chemical quality of water and sediments which affects the whole ecohydrology of lakes along with changes in composition, diversity and richness, and species succession of algae and macrophytes along with change in trophic state. Eutrophication results in growth of undesirable and harmful algal species and flourishing growth of exotic invasive macrophytes resulting in altered species composition and habitat structure which affects overall ecological functioning of lakes and results in extinction of many sensitive species of algae and macrophytes. This may disturbs the overall lacustrine food web irreversibly affecting our aquatic biodiversity adversely.


Lakes Eutrophication Algae Macrophytes Species succession 



We are grateful to UGC and the Department of Environmental Science, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, for providing us infrastructure and facilities for doing this review work.

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to authorship, research, and publication of this article.


No financial support or funding is provided for the publication of this review paper.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Divya Dubey
    • 1
  • Venkatesh Dutta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceBabasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (A Central University)LucknowIndia

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