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Elemental (C, N, H and P) and stable isotope (delta N-15 and delta C-13) signatures in sediments from Zeekoevlei, South Africa: a record of human intervention in the lake
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology and Geochemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology and Geochemistry.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, E-ISSN 1573-0417, Vol. 39, no 3, 349-360 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We used elemental carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and hydrogen ratios (C/N, N/P and H/C) with total organic carbon (TOC) and total phosphorus (TP) as well as stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes (delta C-13 and delta N-15) to investigate the source and depositional conditions of organic matter in sediments from Zeekoevlei, the largest freshwater lake in South Africa. Typical C/N (10-12), H/C ratios (>= 1.7) and delta C-13(organic) values (-22 to -19 parts per thousand) together with the increase in TOC concentration indicate elevated primary productivity in lower middle (18-22 cm) and top (0-8 cm) sections of the sediment cores. Seepage of nutrients from a nearby waste water treatment plant, rapid urbanization and heavily fertilized farming in the catchments are responsible for the increased productivity. Consistent with this, measured delta(15) N-organic values (similar to 11) indicate increased raw sewage input towards the top-section of the core. Although cyanobacterial blooms are evident from the low delta N-15 values (similar to 3 parts per thousand) in mid-section of the core, they did not outnumber the phytoplankton population. Low N/P ratio (similar to 0) and high TP (100-2,200 mg l(-1)) support cyanobacterial growth under N limited condition, and insignificant input of macrophytes towards the organic matter pool. Dredging in 1983, caused sub-aerial exposure of the suspended and surface sediments, and affected organic matter preservation in the upper mid-section (12-14 cm) of the core.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 39, no 3, 349-360 p.
Keyword [en]
isotopes, carbon, nitrogen, ratios, organic matter, eutrophication
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59148DOI: 10.1007/s10933-007-9110-5ISI: 000254237500005OAI: diva2:426282
authorCount :4Available from: 2011-06-23 Created: 2011-06-21 Last updated: 2011-06-23Bibliographically approved

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