Lake Balaton LTER Site, Balaton LTER - Hungary
Lake Balaton LTER Site, Balaton LTER
Parent Site Name
carbon and nutrient cycling
The Balaton LTSER Platform is dedicated to the study of the largest shallow lake in Eastern Europe, situated in the mid-western part of Hungary. The site, which is a popular holiday resort, consists of the lake and its watershed. Lake Balaton went through considerable changes in trophic state during the past decades. After a period of anthropogenic eutrophication from the late 1960s until the mid '90s, restoration measures aimed at reducing the nutrient load reaching the lake led to gradual reoligotrophication. The Balaton Limnological Institute of the MTA Centre for Ecological Research, situated on the Tihany peninsula, had an important role in improving the water quality and the ecological status of the lake by providing sound scientific knowledge for the decision-makers and the general public.
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Research at the Balaton Limnological Institute focuses on aquatic ecology, with an emphasis on shifts in community structure and on causal relationships between the observed changes and ecosystem processes. The main areas of research include nutrient cycling, humic substances, phytoplankton and macrophyte ecophysiology, zooplankton and zoobenthos, food web relationships, fish population dynamics, invasive species and environmental toxicology. The institute also maintains an algal culture collection for laboratory experiments. Due to regular monitoring, there is an extensive data set on Lake Balaton covering the last 20 years. Phytoplankton research has yielded a particularly long data series dating back to the 1930s. Water samples are collected on a biweekly/monthly basis at two stations in the eastern and western part of the lake, or occasionally at five stations along the E-W axis.
The initial research directions have led to the development of the three present departments of the institute: the Department of Hidrobotany, the Department of Hidrozoology and the Department of Experimental Zoology.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information