Skip to main content

Bioavailability of Different Phosphorus Forms in Freshwater Systems

  • Boström B
  • Persson G
  • Broberg B
Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text


The recent literature on the bioavailability of different forms of P in freshwater systems is reviewed. Bioavailable P is defined as the sum of immediately available P and the P that can be transformed into an available form by naturally occurring processes. Methods used to estimate the bioavailable P pool, which vary between studies largely depending on the time perspective applied, are critically evaluated. Most studies on particulate P aim to determine the potentially available P pool. Potential bioavailability of particulate P is normally analysed in bioassays with algal yield determinations and the available P fraction is characterized from interpretations of results of sequential chemical extractions. NaOH-extractable P is in most studies the most algal-available P fraction. For soil samples and tributary water particulate matter, NaOH-P has often been found to be equal to algal extractable P. In other studies depletions of NaOH-P have accounted for the algal P uptake, but only a minor proportion of the fraction has been utilized. Organic P in lake water particulate matter and bed sediments of eutrophic lakes can also be algal-available to a significant extent. Studies on the bioavailability of dissolved P have often been concerned with immediate availability, or the minimum amount of available P. Such studies need other types of experimental design and normally assays with radiotracers are used. Immediately available P is frequently found to be less than P chemically assessed as dissolved reactive P (DRP) at low (< 10 µg DRP • 1- 1) concentrations. However, immediate availability may also approach or exceed DRP concentrations, especially at higher concentrations. Potential bioavailability, assayed as for particulate P, may generally render higher bioavailability than P assayed as immediately available. Large fractions of dissolved P remain unutilized and are primarily found in the high molecular weight fraction of dissolved P.




Boström, B., Persson, G., & Broberg, B. (1988). Bioavailability of Different Phosphorus Forms in Freshwater Systems. In Phosphorus in Freshwater Ecosystems (pp. 133–155). Springer Netherlands.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free