Lake Peipsi (3,555 km2, mean depth 7.1 m) located on the border of Estonia and Russia is the largest transboundary lake in Europe. L. Peipsi consists of three parts. The shared largest northern part L. Peipsi s.s. (2,611 km2, 8.3 m) and the southern L. Pihkva (708 km2, 3.8 m) which belongs mainly to Russia are connected by the river-shaped L. Lämmijärv (236 km2, 2.5 m). The catchment area (44,245 km2 without lake area) is shared between Estonia (33.3%), Russia (58.6%) and Latvia (8%). Intensive eutrophication of L. Peipsi started in the 1970s. The biomass of N2-fixing cyanobacteria was low at heavy nutrient loading in the1980s. After the collapse of soviet-type agriculture in the early 1990s, the loading of nitrogen sharply decreased. A certain improvement of L. Peipsi s.s. was noticed at the beginning of the 1990s together with the temporary reduction of phosphorus loading from Estonian catchment while in recent years a destabilisation of the ecosystem has been observed. This deterioration has been expressed mainly as intensive blue-green blooms and fish-kills in summer. Reappearance of blooms has been explained by the decrease in N/P loading ratio due to reduced N discharge while in some periods increased phosphorus loading could have supported this trend.
Is the destabilisation of lake Peipsi ecosystem caused by increased phosphorus loading or decreased nitrogen loading?
T. Nõges, R. Laugaste, E. Loigu, I. Nedogarko, B. Skakalski, P. Nõges; Is the destabilisation of lake Peipsi ecosystem caused by increased phosphorus loading or decreased nitrogen loading?. Water Sci Technol 1 February 2005; 51 (3-4): 267–274. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2005.0600
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