Problems to be solved
This project will identify and quantify important control mechanisms for nutrient retention and release within lakes and their catchments. The project will assemble nutrient budgets for a large number of lakes across Europe and intensively study a smaller selection in order to develop catchments nutrient transport models that account for critical physico-chemical and ecological differences among lakes. An understanding of these mechanisms will assist with the River Basin Management Plans proposed in the forthcoming European Council Directive establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.
Scientific objectives and approach
The project will have three stages. The first will be the collation of existing data on an extensive range of catchments throughout Europe. Data used will include variables that enable calculation of nutrient budgets of both nitrogen and phosphorus and an estimate of in-lake concentrations of phytoplankton chlorophyll a. The analysis of collated data will enable the identification of primary predictors of in-lake nutrient and phytoplankton concentrations. The second stage of the project will quantify those predictors among a series of intensively studied lakes and catchments. The work will partition and estimate flux rates of nutrients within and between different physical and biotic compartments of land and surface waters within catchments that represent examples of high to low intensity land-use across a range of geomorphologies. The third stage of the project will, based on the results of the project, develop mathematical models for the prediction of in-lake nutrient and phytoplankton concentrations.
Risk assessment of nutrient enrichment of lakes through an understanding of the nutrient transport mechanisms through catchments and their lakes will assist management strategies and the implementation of programme of measures for lake improvement. This can be particularly important for evaluating management options of European lakes that can differ markedly in terms of geomorphology, hydrometrics, lake morphometry and land-use. The project will work closely with Competent Authorities concerned with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. It is a project goal to contribute to the implementation of measures that will lead to the preservation of waters of good ecological status and improve those which are impaired through nutrient enrichment.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
8200 AA Lelystad
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15706 Santiago De Compostela
BT52 1SA Coleraine
6700 DD Wageningen