The Chaoborus pump: Migrating phantom midge larvae sustain hypolimnetic oxygen deficiency and nutrient internal loading in lakes

Hypolimnetic oxygen demand in lakes is often assumed to be driven mainly by sediment microbial processes, while the role of Chaoborus larvae, which are prevalent in eutrophic lakes with hypoxic to anoxic bottoms, has been overlooked. We experimentally measured the respiration rates of C flavicans at different temperatures yielding a Q(10) of 1.44-1.71 and a respiratory quotient of 0.84-0.98. Applying the experimental data in a system analytical approach, we showed that migrating Chaoborus larvae can significantly add to the water column and sediment oxygen demand, and contribute to the observed linear relationship between water column respiration and depth. The estimated phosphorus excretion by Chaoborus in sediment is comparable in magnitude to the required phosphorus loading for eutrophication. Migrating Chaoborus larvae thereby essentially trap nutrients between the water column and the sediment, and this continuous internal loading of nutrients would delay lake remediation even when external inputs are stopped. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Published in:
Water Research, 122, 36-41
Oxford, Elsevier

 Record created 2017-09-05, last modified 2018-01-28

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