Oligotrophic vs Eutrophic Lakes
Similarities and Difference between Oligotrophic vs Eutrophic Lakes / Ponds
Lake Ecosystem is an example for a lentic ecosystem. An aquatic ecosystem with stationary or relatively still water is called lentic ecosystem. Based on the trophic state* and productivity, the lake ecosystem is divided into three categories.
(1). Oligotrophic lakes
(2). Eutrophic lakes
(3). Mesotrophic lakes
(1). Oligotrophic lake: a lake with low productivity, low nutrients and clear water with drinking water quality.
(2). Eutrophic lake: a lake with high productivity, high nutrients and with dark water. The water is usually not good for drinking purpose.
(3). Mesotrophic lake: a lake with intermediate nutrient level and productivity.
This post describes the similarities and differences between an Oligotrophic Lake Ecosystem and a Eutrophic Lake Ecosystem as a comparison table.
Similarities between Oligotrophic and Eutrophic Lakes / Ponds
Ø Both are aquatic ecosystems.
Ø Both are natural ecosystems.
Ø Both contain biological and abiological components.
Ø Water in both ecosystems is rich in oxygen.
Ø Both are lentic ecosystems.
Ø Both ecosystems show thermal stratification.
Difference between Oligotrophic and Eutrophic Lakes/Ponds
Sl. No. Oligotrophic Lakes Eutrophic Lakes
1 Oligotrophic lakes are usually deep in depth Eutrophic lakes are shallow in depth
2 Poor nutrient content in the water especially nitrates and phosphates High nutrient content in the water especially nitrates and phosphates
3 Low primary productivity High primary productivity
4 Oxygen rich water in the hypolimnion Oxygen deficient water in hypolimnion
5 High species diversity of green algae and low species diversity of blue green algae Low species diversity of green algae and high species diversity of blue green algae
6 Green algae dominate in the ecosystem Blue green algae dominate in the ecosystem
7 # Carlson’s Trophic State Index: <30 – 40 Carlson’s Trophic State Index: 50 – 70
8 Chlorophyll content in the ecosystem: 0 – 2.6 Chlorophyll content: 20 – 56
9 Level of phosphate in the water: 0 – 12 Level of phosphate: 24 – 96
10 Low density of species High density of species
11 Plant nutrient flux will be low Plant nutrient flux will be high
12 Algal blooms occur very rarely Algal blooms occur very frequently
13 Clear water Water usually dark due to the growth of algae
14 Drinking water quality Water may not good for drinking purpose due the high growth of algae
15 Commonly occur in cold regions Usually occurs in warmer regions
16 Chance of eutrophication is less Chance of eutrophication is high
* Trophic State: total weight of biomass in a given water-body at the time of measurement.
# Carlson’s Trophic State Index: a measure of the trophic state of an ecosystem with a scale of 0 – 100. Low values for oligotrophic lakes and high values of eutrophic lakes