Success of lake restoration depends on spatial aspects of nutrient loading and hydrology

Annette B.G. Janssen (Corresponding author), Dianneke van Wijk, Luuk P.A. van Gerven, Elisabeth S. Bakker, Robert J. Brederveld, Donald L. DeAngelis, Jan H. Janse, Wolf M. Mooij

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
213 Downloads (Pure)


Many aquatic ecosystems have deteriorated due to human activities and their restoration is often troublesome. It is proposed here that the restoration success of deteriorated lakes critically depends on hitherto largely neglected spatial heterogeneity in nutrient loading and hydrology. A modelling approach is used to study this hypothesis by considering four lake types with contrasting nutrient loading (point versus diffuse) and hydrology (seepage versus drainage). By comparing the longterm effect of common restoration measures (nutrient load reduction, lake flushing or biomanipulation) in these four lake types, we found that restoration through reduction of nutrient loading is effective in all cases. In contrast, biomanipulation only works in seepage lakes with diffuse nutrient inputs, while lake flushing will even be counterproductive in lakes with nutrient point sources. The main conclusion of the presented analysis is that a priori assessment of spatial heterogeneity caused by nutrient loading and hydrology is essential for successful restoration of lake ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-259
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number20 August 2019
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • international
  • Point source
  • Spatial heterogeneity
  • PCLake
  • Management
  • Alternative stable states
  • Diffuse source


Dive into the research topics of 'Success of lake restoration depends on spatial aspects of nutrient loading and hydrology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this