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General description of partly meromictic hypertrophic Lake Verevi, its ecological status, changes during the past eight decades, and restoration problems

  • Ingmar Ott
  • Toomas Kõiv
  • Peeter Nõges
  • Anu Kisand
  • Ain Järvalt
  • Enno Kirt
Chapter
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 182)

Abstract

The present study describes generally the ecosystem of Lake Verevi while more detailed approaches are presented in the same issue. The main task of the article is to estimate long-term changes and find the best method for the restoration of good ecological status. Lake Verevi (surface 12.6 ha, mean depth 3.6 m, maximum depth 11 m, drainage area 1.1 km2, water exchange 0.63-times per year) is a hypertrophic hardwater lake located in town Elva (6400 inhabitants). Long-term complex limnological investigations have taken place since 1929. The lake has been contaminated by irregular discharge of urban wastewaters from oxidation ponds since 1978, flood from streets, and infiltrated waters from the surrounding farms. The socalled spring meromixis occurred due to extremely warm springs in recent years. The index value of buffer capacity of Lake Verevi calculated from natural conditions is on the medium level. Water properties were analysed according to the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. According to the classi- fication, water quality as a long-term average of surface layers is moderate-good, but the water quality of bottom layers is bad. Values in deeper layers usually exceed 20–30 times the calculated reference values by Vighi and Chiaudani’s model. Naturally, at the beginning of the 20th century the limnological type of the lake was moderately eutrophic. During the 1980s and 1990s the ecosystem was out of balance by abiotic characteristics as well as by plankton indicators. Rapid fluctuations of species composition and abundance can be found in recent years. Seasonal variations are considerable and species composition differs remarkably also in the water column. The dominating macrophyte species vary from year to year. Since the annual amount of precipitation from the atmosphere onto the lake surface is several times higher, the impact of swimmers could be considered irrelevant. Some restoration methods were discussed. The first step, stopping external pollution, was completed by damming the inlet. Drainage (siphoning) of the hypolimnetic water is discussed. Secondary pollution occurs because Fe:P values are below the threshold. The authors propose to use phosphorus precipitation and hypolimnetic aeration instead of siphoning.

Key words

long-term ecosystem changes ecological status vertical distribution of substances and biota lake restoration 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingmar Ott
    • 1
  • Toomas Kõiv
    • 1
  • Peeter Nõges
    • 1
  • Anu Kisand
    • 1
  • Ain Järvalt
    • 1
  • Enno Kirt
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Zoology and BotanyEstonian Agricultural UniversityRannu, Tartu CountyEstonia
  2. 2.OÜ Enno Projektid LtdTallinnEstonia

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