Suspended solids are an important part of lake ecosystems, and their nitrogen and phosphorus contents have a significant effect on water quality. However, information on nitrogen and phosphorus forms in suspended solids remains limited. Therefore, a case study was conducted in Lihu Lake (China), a lake with characteristically high amounts of suspended solids. Nitrogen and phosphorus speciation in suspended solids was analyzed through a sequential extraction method. We also evaluated the sources of various forms of nitrogen and phosphorus and their different effects on eutrophication. The total nitrogen (TN) content was 758.9–3098.1 mg/kg. Moreover, the proportions of various N forms in the suspended solids of the study areas were ranked as follows: Hydrolyzable nitrogen (HN) > residual nitrogen (RN) > exchangeable nitrogen (EN). Total phosphorus (TP) ranged from 294.8 to 1066.4 mg/kg, and 58.6% of this TP was inorganic phosphorus (IP). In turn, calcium (Ca)-bound inorganic phosphorus (Ca-Pi) was the main component of IP. The correlation between various nitrogen and phosphorus forms showed that there were different sources of suspended nitrogen and phosphorus throughout Lihu Lake. Correlation analysis of water quality indices and comparative analysis with surface sediments showed that in Lihu Lake, the dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus contents in water were influenced by sediment through diffusion, while particle phosphorus content in water was influenced by suspended solids through adsorption; however, due to the higher phosphorus contents in suspended solids, we should pay more attention to the impact of suspended solids.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited