Evidence of temperature-controlled dissolved inorganic nitrogen distribution in a shallow lake

Jie Qu , Yan Wen , Wenqiang Zhang , Baoqing Shan


Received August 01, 2021,Revised , Accepted September 28, 2021, Available online February 01, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 105-114

Dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) plays an important role in aquatic ecosystems as an available source of nitrogen (N). Despite recent advances in our understanding of the effects of climate change on DIN in coastal waters, shallow high-latitude lakes exposed to large seasonal temperature differences have received limited research attention. Therefore, in the present study, Baiyangdian Lake (BYDL) was selected as the study area, as a typical high latitude shallow lake in North China. Based on water and sediment samples collected in spring, summer and winter seasons, DIN accumulation in sedimentary pore water and DIN diffusion fluxes at the sediment-water interface were quantified under different temperature conditions. Correlation analysis was used to establish the effects of temperature on DIN concentration and diffusion in different media. Results show that the diffusion of DIN at the lake sediment-water interface exhibited a strongly positive relationship with temperature, suggesting that high temperature conditions lead to greater DIN release from sediments. Cold temperatures cause DIN accumulation in sedimentary pore water, providing sufficient substrate for N-related bacteria in the sediment under cold temperature conditions. Temperature controls the vertical distribution of DIN by affecting its migratory diffusion and transformation at the sediment-water interface. These findings are valuable for understanding the impact of climate change on the distribution of N in inland shallow lakes, especially in high latitude shallow lakes subjected to large seasonal temperature differences throughout the year.

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