Buffering effect of suspended particulate matter on phosphorus cycling during transport from rivers to lakes

Ji, Ningning and Liu, Yong and Wang, Shengrui and Wu, Zhihao and Li, Hong (2022) Buffering effect of suspended particulate matter on phosphorus cycling during transport from rivers to lakes. Water Research, 216. ISSN 0043-1354

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How to maintain harmful algal blooms under phosphate-limitation is still an open question in mesotrophic/eutrophic lakes. Little evidence for the importance of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in mediating phosphorus cycling and contributing to eutrophication has been generated for aquatic ecosystems, especially in coupled river-lake systems. In this study, we examined phosphorus transport and redistribution in a river-lake system in the Lake Erhai basin by establishing the relations between phosphorus distribution and phosphorus sorption behavior on SPM, and predicted how changes in the quality and quantity of SPM might influence phosphorus cycling by laboratory experiments and modeling. During the wet seasons, TP pool shifted from being dominated by total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) in the Miju River and estuary regions (73±5%) to being dominated by total particulate phosphorus (TPP) (74±11%) in Lake Erhai. The detritus-SPM in the Miju River as a P-sink and phytoplankton-SPM in Lake Erhai as a P-source buffered TDP levels during the wet seasons, which attributed to P activity and phytoplankton-POC of SPM. Increasing SPM concentrations could enhance the P-buffering. When C0 ≤ 5 μmol/L and phytoplankton-SPM ≥ 16 mg/L, P release increased by 50%-300%; when C0 ≥ 5 μmol/L and detritus-SPM ≥ 16 mg/L, P removal could exceed 30%. This study highlights two distinctive roles of SPM in regulating P cycling during transport from rivers to lakes. Especially the phytoplankton-SPM to buffer phosphate-limitation during algal blooms should not be ignored, which could provide theoretical references for the mechanism of continued algal blooms in mesotrophic lakes.

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Journal Article
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Water Research
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Water Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Water Research, 216, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2022.118350
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23 Mar 2023 13:20
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2023 03:15