The vertical distribution of various phosphorus (P)-binding forms, associated potential P-binding partners and the composition of dry material were investigated in the bottom sediments of the dimictic oligotrophic Lake Stechlin and the dimictic eutrophic Lake Feldberger Haussee. Reductant soluble P (Fe- and Mn-bound) at the sediment surface (0−1 cm) was considerably higher in the oligotrophic Lake Stechlin (1.29 g kg−1) than in the eutrophic Lake Haussee (0.32 g kg−1). The amounts of dissolved, loosely adsorbed, metal oxide- and calcium carbonate bound P were higher in the eutrophic lake. The depth profiles of the investigated P species indicated that the mobilization of Fe- and Mn-bound P is the most important mechanism of P-release in oligotrophic lakes, whereas the mobilization of recently sedimented labile organic bound P seems to be the driving force of P-release in eutrophic lakes. In both lakes autochthonous calcite precipitations occurs during the summer months. The coprecipitation of P with calcite is an important self-cleaning mechanism in eutrophic hardwater lakes and contributes to the permanent burial of P in the sediments. Although, the precipitation of calcite is inhibited by the presence of high concentrations of soluble reactive P, the coprecipitation of P with calcite seems to be enhanced.

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