The behavior of light in water has important ecological and water quality implications. Incident light is the major source of heat in most northern temperate lakes. Light is essential for primary production; primary production is limited by light availability in all but the shallowest systems (Kirk 1983). High clarity (depth of visibility of submerged objects), low turbidity, absence of muddy appearance, and blue color are nearly ubiquitous desires of lake users. Restoration efforts focusing on the reduction of phytoplankton growth in culturally eutrophic lakes (e.g., reduction in nutrient loading) may be more appropriately described as directed at the assumed attendant improvements in the visual aesthetic qualities of water.


Photosynthetically Active Radiation Light Penetration Secchi Disc Phytoplankton Pigment Secchi Disc Transparency 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven W. Effler
  • Mary Gail Perkins

There are no affiliations available

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