Determining the optimal biomass of macrophytes during the ecological restoration process of eutrophic shallow lakes

Wen Hu, Weiwei Wei, Chun Ye (Corresponding author), Chunhua Li, Ye Zheng, Xiaogang Shi, Manqi Chang, Hongsen Chen

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Many studies have shown that macrophytes play a significant role in controlling eutrophication; however, only a few of these are based on macrophyte biomass. Based on the growth characteristic of macrophytes, we propose an approach for the assessment of the optimal biomass of macrophytes in the decay and growth periods in Lake Datong (a shallow lake), using a lake ecological model. The results showed that the pollution load of the lake should be reduced by 50% while conforming to the Environmental Quality Standards for Surface Water (EQSSW) Class III. In contrast, with an increase in the pollution load of 5%, the results indicate that the lake may deteriorate to a turbid state over the next few years. The macrophyte biomass should be harvested during the decay period, when 80% biomass is beneficial to the water quality of the eutrophic shallow lake. Based on macrophyte simulation from 2020–2024, the wet biomass of macrophytes should be controlled at 5.5 kg/m2 . The current macrophyte biomass in Lake Datong is four-fold higher than the simulated optimal biomass. This study provides a reference for the adequate ecological restoration of the lake and its subsequent maintenance, as well as scientific support for improving the comprehensive evaluation standard of healthy lakes and the theoretical basis of lake ecological restoration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3142
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Lake Datong
  • Lake management
  • Macrophytes
  • Optimal biomass
  • PCLake
  • Shallow lake
  • international
  • Plan_S-Compliant-OA


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