Lakes in the Continental Region

The land use in the continental region in central Europe is dominated by agriculture and grassland, resulting in a high nutrient input into lakes. Consequently, many lakes are eutrophic (Figure 6). The continental region is relatively flat, giving raise to a variety of nutrient-rich shallow lakes. Shallow lakes have a special ecology because thermal stratification, influencing sediment-water interactions, is often lacking, making the lakes polymictic. Shallow lakes are frequently associated with murky water, troubled by heavy algal blooms and a high amount of suspended sediment particles. In traditional agricultural practices, the shorelines were frequently kept open by grazing cattle, but presently often overgrown by macrophytes surrounded by shrubs, with effects on nutrient retention and bird fauna. Extensive water level changes are common. These water level changes have a great impact on the biota. Intensive water management is needed to fulfill the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive for this region.

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