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Effects of Organisms on the Release of Phosphorus at the Interface Between Sediment and Water

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Organisms at the interface between sediment and water play a significant role in the cycling of phosphorus. This study reports experimental results of the influence of organisms on phosphorus release. Results show that benthic organisms controlled the low level of phosphate in overlying water with light. The maximum phosphorus release rate can reach 7.31 mg m −2 d −1 without organisms, nearly twice that in a similar system with organisms. However, significant decreases in the concentrations of sodium-hydroxide-extractable phosphorus and hydrochloric-acid-extractable phosphorus were observed in the experimental system with organisms, while no significant changes were observed without organisms. In addition, the dissolved oxygen concentration in the system was higher with organisms than without organisms with light. This study is significant to the understanding of phosphorus cycling at the interface between sediment and water in lakes.

Keywords: organisms; phosphorus; release; sediment–water interface

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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