Freshwater Reviews, Vol 2, No 1 (2009)

Water quality in chronically nutrient-rich lakes: the example of the Shropshire-Cheshire meres

Jane Fisher, Tom Barker, Cassandra S James, Stewart J Clarke
DOI: 10.1608/FRJ-2.1.5 | Pages: 79-99


The current status of the meres’ is reviewed using the results of recent survey data, published papers and reports. The importance of external and internal sources of nutrients for phytoplankton growth and water quality in the Cheshire and Shropshire meres is addressed and palaeolimnological data are used to place their current status in the context of historical changes. The data are combined with current limnological knowledge to assess the potential for achieving improved ecological and chemical quality in the meres. Results show that nitrogen concentrations have probably increased and support evidence that high concentrations of nitrogen contribute to reduced macrophyte species richness. In light of the evident significance of nitrogen, the potential advantages of introducing new standards for nitrogen concentrations in the meres is discussed. Further research and practical measures required for improved ecological and water quality are suggested.