To account for the most common characteristics of European lakes, a division of lakes according to their biogeographical region (Figure 4) has been implemented. This division might not be the most common one, but very appropriate for the entire Europe, since differences in climate, geological history, and land use are accounted for. Traditionally, lakes are classified according to their nutrient status. This kind of classification, where lakes are termed as oligotrohic, mesotrophic, and eutrophic, was developed in Europe by Naumann at the beginning of the twentieth century. Naumann also noted that the concentration of humic matter is an important characteristic of many lakes, which is accounted for when characterizing lakes according to their biogeographical region. In the following, the most common European lake characteristics are presented.
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