Spatial variations in phosphorus (P) fractionation, sediment geochemistry, and sorptive properties for P are assessed to test the hypothesis that these sediment properties vary within the lake and are governed by different land uses in the watershed. The dynamic equilibrium between P in sediment and water is investigated using sorption–desorption isotherms. Sediments in the littoral zone were rich in iron (Fe), aluminium (Al), and clay material in comparison to sediments from the lake proper and thus had better abilities to sorb and retain P. In the limnetic zone, there was an increasing abundance of primary minerals, and the fraction of apatite-P was high, while the level of total P was low. The amount of labile adsorbed P (LAP) in the littoral sediments varied because of contrasting land use in the sub-catchments draining into different parts of the lake. Sediments in areas where forest streams enter the lake contained significantly more LAP than sediments in areas impacted by agricultural influenced streams. Internal P loading from sediments predominantly originating from forest streams is mainly governed by sediment resuspension. The dominant P pool in sediments near the inlets of agriculturally influenced streams was non-apatite inorganic P, of which the Fe-bound is a potentially important source of P under anoxic conditions.
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