The Limnology of Slapton Ley
Johnes, P. and Wilson, H. M. (1996) The Limnology of Slapton Ley. Field Studies, 8. pp. 585-612.
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Slapton Ley, a freshwater lake, located in south Devon (National Grid Reference SX 825 439), has been the focus of a wide range of research studies since the foundation of the Field Studies Council Centre in Slapton village in 1959, and the creation of the Slapton Ley Nature Reserve. Early concerns over eutrophication of the Lower Ley led to a range of studies focused on the impacts of land use change in the catchment, on nutrient delivery to the Ley, and on interpreting the impact of long-term nutrient enrichment of the Ley from palaeolimnological studies. What has been missing to date, however, is a focused study of the impacts of nutrient enrichment on the chemical and ecological structure and function of the combined Lower and Higher Ley systems. This paper attempts to draw together the various areas of study on the Ley to date in order to provide a review of current understanding of the limnology of Slapton Ley and to identify gaps in our knowledge. The past, present and future trophic status of the Ley is re-interpreted in the light of current understanding of the eutrophication process in the wider scientific community. Recommendations for future research are then made, with a view to the monitoring and management of Slapton Ley and its catchment.