Unifying nutrient-chlorophyll relationships in lakes

Yves T. Prairie, Carlos Duarte, J. Kalff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Used data drawn from the literature to test some basic predictions derived from nutrient limitation theory. Contrary to expectation, nitrogen was not better correlated to chlorophyll in N limited lakes (as measured by the TN:TP ratio). The coefficients and precision of the Chla = f(TP) and Chla = f(TN) regression equations vary systematically and concomitantly with TN;TP ratios, and are highest for lakes with TN:TP ratios of 23-28 (by weight). A model is proposed that predicts the coefficients of Chla = f(TP) and Chla = f(TN) equations for lakes with different TN:TP ratios. Results imply an "optimal' TN:TP ratio beyond which the relative rates of increase in chlorophyll with increasing nutrient concentrations are reduced. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1176-1182
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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