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Phosphorus inactivation by aluminum in Lakes Gårdsjön and Härsvatten sediment during the industrial acidification period in Sweden

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Acidification of lakes exposed to acid deposition is generally accompanied by a severe decrease in production (oligotrophication). In this study, we examined sediment from Lakes Gårdsjön and Härsvatten, Sweden, to determine whether sediment phosphorus (P) retention increased during the years corresponding to lake acidification. Sediment from both lakes had increases in aluminum (Al) in the upper 10 cm, and dating of Lake Gårdsjön sediment revealed that the Al increase occurred from 1950 to 2001 in this lake. The increase in Al input caused an increase in Al-bound P (Al–P) formation and overall sediment total phosphorus retention during the same period. Lake Gårdsjön received an additional 12.9 g·m–2 of Al, above preacidification background levels, that bound 1.1 g·m–2 of P and removed it from the in-lake P cycle from 1950 to 2001. A substantial portion (up to 76%) of the total external P load eventually was converted to Al–P and buried in the sediment over this period. The increase in sediment P burial due to increased formation of Al–P in systems similar to Lake Gårdsjön may have detrimental effects on nutrient cycling, and as a result, on productivity within the lake, leading to acido-oligotrophication.

L'acidification des lacs exposés aux précipitations acides s'accompagne généralement d'une diminution importante de la production (oligotrophisation). Nous examinons dans notre étude les sédiments des lacs Gårdsjön et Härsvatten, en Suède, pour voir si la rétention du phosphore (P) dans les sédiments a augmenté durant les années qui correspondent à l'acidification des lacs. Les sédiments des deux lacs montrent un accroissement de l'aluminium (Al) dans les 10 cm supérieurs; la datation des sédiments du lac Gårdsjön indique que l'augmentation d'Al s'est produite entre 1950 et 2001 dans ce lac. L'augmentation de l'apport d'Al a entraîné une formation accrue de P lié à Al (Al–P) et une rétention plus grande de phosphore total dans les sédiments durant la même période. Le lac Gårdsjön a reçu 12,9 g·m–2 d'Al de plus par rapport aux quantités d'avant l'acidification, ce qui a lié 1,1 g·m–2 de P et l'a retiré du cycle de P dans le lac de 1950 à 2001. Une partie importante (76 %) de la charge externe de P a été éventuellement convertie en Al–P et enfouie dans les sédiments durant cette période. L'enfouissement plus élevé de P à cause de la formation accrue d'Al–P dans les systèmes semblables au lac Gårdsjön peut avoir des effets néfastes sur le recyclage des nutriments, et ainsi sur la productivité dans le lac, menant à une acido-oligotrophisation.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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