Affiliations: Key Laboratory of Terrestrial Ecological Process, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China | Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Queen's University Belfast, Newforge Lane,Belfast, BT9 5PX, UK
Abstract: Iron is a limiting factor for the eutrophication of lakes, especially those lakes that are enriched with phosphorus. Extractability of iron in sediments of West Lake and Taihu Lake in China and Lower Lough Erne in Northern Ireland of UK was comparatively investigated on the basis of analysing chemical forms of iron using different extractants. It was shown that extractable iron in sediments of the lakes was greatly different using various extractants. Reactive iron or easily released iron such as "active" iron oxides, total free iron oxide and water-soluble iron was not high, only accounting for 0.01%–0.15% of total iron. The efficiency of the extractants for exchangeable iron was decreased in the sequence 0.1 mol/L HCl >> DTPA + TEA mixed solution > 1 mol/L NH4OAc > 0.5 mol/L MgCl2 = 0.5 mol/L CaCl2. It seems that the complexion of iron by organic matter was not strong because the concentration of organically bound iron was significantly lower than the concentration it was forecasted. Extractable iron is not entirely consistent with or dependent on total iron in lake sediments. To a certain extent, phosphate can inhibit the release of iron in sediments of the lakes. The selection of extractants is thus the first key step to evaluate bioavailability of iron in lake sediments.
Keywords: iron, chemical form, extractability, lake sediment, eutrophication