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Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 1736-7530 (electronic)   ISSN 1736-6046 (print)
Formerly: Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, series Physics & Mathematics and  Chemistry
Published since 1952

Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 1736-7530 (electronic)   ISSN 1736-6046 (print)
Formerly: Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, series Physics & Mathematics and  Chemistry
Published since 1952
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The ecological state of Lake Peipsi (Estonia/Russia): improvement, stabilization or deterioration?; pp. 18–28

(Full article in PDF format) https://doi.org/10.3176/proc.2017.1.02


Authors

Kätlin Blank, Enn Loigu, Reet Laugaste, Juta Haberman

Abstract

Lake Peipsi sensu lato consists of limnologically and hydrochemically different parts, Lake Peipsi sensu stricto, Lake Lämmijärv, and Lake Pihkva. The eutrophic L. Peipsi s.s. and the hypertrophic Lake Pihkva were studied. The aim was to find out if the ecological state of these lake parts has improved, stabilized or deteriorated during a ten-year period, 2003–2012. For this purpose, data on loadings, in-lake nutrient concentrations, water transparency, water level, chlorophyll a concen­tration, as well as phyto- and zooplankton were compared for two five-year sub-periods (2003–2007 and 2008–2012). Comparison demonstrated a decline in the loading of total phosphorus (TP) from rivers on the Estonian and Russian sides as well as in its mean concentration in both lake parts. Both phytoplankton biomass and cyanobacterial biomass decreased in response to the reduced nutrient content in the lake water. The responses of zooplankton were contradictory. Changes in the occurrence of indicator species and declining mean zooplankter weight reflected a continuous eutrophication process while changes in the abundance of rotifers and the genus Daphnia indicated a subtle shift towards recovery. Our results show a modest improvement in the ecological condition of both lake parts.

Keywords

lake recovery, eutrophic lake, hypertrophic lake, pollution load, nutrients, plankton response.

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