Pelagic calcification shapes the carbon budget of lakes and the sensitivity of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) responses to lake metabolism. This process, being tightly linked to primary production, needs to be understood within the context of summer eutrophication which is increasing due to human stressors and global change. Most lake carbon budget models do not account for calcification because the conditions necessary for its occurrence are not well constrained. This study aims at identifying ratios between calcification and primary production and the drivers that control these ratios in freshwater. Using in situ incubations in several European freshwater lakes, we identify a strong relationship between calcite saturation and the ratio between calcification and net ecosystem production (NEP) (p
-value < 0.001, R2
= 0.95). NEP-induced calcification is a short-term process that is potentiated by the increase in calcite saturation occurring at longer time scales, usually reaching the highest levels in summer. The resulting summer calcification event has effects on the DIC equilibria, causing deviations from the metabolic 1:1 stoichiometry between DIC and dissolved oxygen (DO). The strong dependency of the ratio between NEP and calcification on calcite saturation can be used to develop a suitable parameterization to account for calcification in lake carbon budgets.
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