Ecosystem development in lime-treated waters in Sweden has been followed since 1989 in a programme for integrated studies of the effects of liming acidified waters (ISELAW). Observations after prolonged liming (>10 y) indicate a phosphorus depletion in the limed lakes which contrasts to the increased phosphorus supply often following within the initial years after lime treatment. After prolonged liming, the levels of total phosphorus are lower as compared to neutral reference lakes at identical TOC, and the phosphorus/TOC-ratio is consequently lower in limed lakes. Depletion of dissolved inorganic nitrogen during the summer is also lower in limed as compared to neutral reference lakes. Phytoplankton biomass and species number also lower in the limed lakes as compared to unlimed neutral references. Furthermore the bacterial number per unit TOC is lower in the long term limed lakes, possibly as a result of phosphorus limitation. As to the higher trophic levels, the benthic soft-bottom fauna of limed lakes (specifically the sublittoral fauna) is poorer in terms of species diversity and abundance. Also fish community composition indicates lower productivity in the limed lakes. Taken together there is thus evidence that the long term limed lakes have a lower trophic level than reference lakes.
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- Evidence of Lower Productivity in Long Term Limed Lakes as Compared to Unlimed Lakes of Similar Ph
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