This study was aimed at determining whether the origin, morphometry, and hydrology of post-mining lakes affect their hydrochemical and hydrobiological parameters (i.e. water quality). The investigated post-mining lakes were very young compared to glacial lakes and represent early stages of ecosystem succession. Despite their different ages and morphometries, they are all mesotrophic and have good water quality. They have not been supplied with phosphorus and nitrogen, which can cause excessive development of pelagic phytoplankton; as a result, they share low chlorophyll a (Chl a) content, low phytoplankton biomass, and relatively high water transparency. Low abundance and species richness of zooplankton indicate low trophic levels in all of the lakes. Chl a in Lakes Przykona and Bogdałów were within the range typical of mesotrophic lakes, while Lake Janiszew had very low Chl a, typical of an oligotrophic water body. The low N:P ratios (4–6), especially in summer, indicates nitrogen limitation of primary production. There is a risk that such a proportion of the major biogenic elements could lead to harmful cyanobacterial blooms. The lake basins were formed using quaternary deposits (sand, clay) at their bottoms; as a result, the lakes had a slightly alkaline pH (>8), which favors the development of aquatic organisms. Optimum depth helps establish lake stratification and ensures ecological stability. This applies to post-mining lakes as well; an optimum depth should be determined to ensure the development of thermal stratification, which affects lake processes.
Mine Water and the Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 20, 2017
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