Dynamic carbon budget of a large shallow lake assessed by a mass balance approach
The final publication is available at www.springer.com To study the role of large and shallow hemiboreal lakes in carbon processing, we calculated a 3-year carbon mass balance for Lake Võrtsjärv (Estonia) based on in situ measurements. This balance took into account hydrological and biogeochemical processes affecting dissolved inorganic (DIC), dissolved organic (DOC) and particulate organic (POC) carbon species. Accumulation varied greatly on a seasonal and yearly basis. The lake exported carbon during most of the year except during spring floods and in late autumn. In-lake processes were responsible for exporting POC and storing DOC while DIC switched between storage and export. The carbon cycle was alternatively dominated in 2009 by biogeochemical processes and in 2011 by riverine fluxes, whereas in 2010 the two process types were of the same magnitude. These results suggest that the role of large shallow lakes like Võrtsjärv in the global C cycle is equally driven by hydrological factors, in particular seasonal water level changes, and by biogeochemical in-lake reactions.
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