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Intensity of mineralization processes in mountain lakes in NW Slovenia
Simcic, T.; Brancelj, A. (2002). Intensity of mineralization processes in mountain lakes in NW Slovenia. Aquat. Ecol. 36(3): 345-354
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Lakes; Mineralization; Oxygen consumption; Sediments; Slovenia [Marine Regions]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Simcic, T.
  • Brancelj, A.

Abstract
    The potential and actual intensity of mineralization in sediments of fourteen mountain lakes and one subalpine lake in NW Slovenia have been measured. Potential mineralization was measured as the intensity of the electron transport system (ETS) activity of microzoobenthos and microbial communities and the actual mineralization as the oxygen consumption of respiration processes, both measured at a standard temperature of 20 °C. The lakes are of different trophic levels and some exhibit seasonal anoxia. All but one are hardwater lakes. Two layers of sediment cores from the deepest point of the lakes were analysed: a surface layer and one below 15 cm. Significant differences among different lakes in their ETS activity and oxygen consumption in the surface and lower layers of sediment were observed. ETS activities and oxygen consumption rates were higher in the surface layers of all the lakes. From the three investigated deterministic factors (temperature, lake depth and total phosphorus in the water column) on sedimentary metabolism ETS activity in the surface layer correlated significantly with total phosphorus and lake depth, but oxygen consumption rate showed a significant correlation only with total phosphorus. The relationship between oxygen consumption and ETS activity was also investigated. ETS activities correlated with oxygen consumption rates according to the equation of logR = 0.421* logETS + 0.898 (r=0.82; n=30; p<0.001). The R/ETS ratio was lower at the sediment surface than in the layers deeper than 15 cm. It is concluded that ETS activity and oxygen consumption are good indicators of the intensity of the metabolic activity and mineralization in lake sediments. As the characteristics of lakes and some environmental factors influence the ETS activity and the oxygen consumption differently, the same R/ETS ratio should not be used as conversion factor in calculations for different lakes.

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