Water-level fluctuations regulate the availability and diffusion kinetics process of phosphorus at lake water-sediment interface.Water Res. 2021 Jul 15; 200:117258.WR
Sequential extraction and in-situ diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) techniques were used to determine phosphorus (P) fractions and high-resolution 2D fluxes of labile PDGT, Fe2+DGT, and S2-DGT in sediment systems. The diffusion fluxes were subsequently calculated for different scenarios. Dynamic diffusion parameters between solid sediment and solution were also fitted using the DIFS (DGT-induced fluxes in sediments) model. The results suggested that Fe-bound P (Fe-P) was the dominant pool which contributed to the resupply potential of P in the water-sediment continuum. Significant upward decreases of labile PDGT, Fe2+DGT, and S2-DGT fluxes were detected in pristine and incubated microcosms. This dominance indicated the more obvious immobilization of labile P via oxidation of both Fe2+ and S2- in oxidic conditions. Additionally, these labile analytes in the microcosms obviously decreased after a 30-day incubation period, indicating that water-level fluctuations can significantly regulate adsorption-desorption processes of the P bound to Fe-containing minerals within a short time. Higher concentrations of labile PDGT, Fe2+DGT, and S2-DGT were measured at the shallow lake region where more drastic water-level variation occurred. This demonstrates that frequent adsorption-desorption of phosphate from the sediment particles to the aqueous solution can result in looser binding on the solid sediment surface and easier desorption in aerobic conditions via the regulation of water levels. Higher R values fitted with DIFS model suggested that more significant desorption and replenishment effect of labile P to the aqueous solution would occur in lake regions with more dramatic water-level variations. Finally, a significant positive correlation between S2-DGT and Fe2+DGT in the sediment indicated that the S2- oxidization under the conditions of low water-level can trigger the reduction of Fe(III) and subsequent release of active P. In general, speaking, frequent water-level fluctuations in the lake over time facilitated the formation and retention of the Fe(II) phase in the sediment, and desorption of Fe coupled P into the aqueous solution when the water level was high.