Perspectives from modern hydrology and hydrochemistry on a lacustrine biodiversity hotspot: Ancient Lake Poso, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

Adrianus Damanik, David J. Janssen, Nicolas Tournier, Björn Stelbrink, Thomas von Rintelen, G. D. Haffner, Andrew Cohen, Sri Yudawati Cahyarini, Hendrik Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The highly biodiverse Lake Poso, located in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, can be considered one of the least studied ancient lakes in the world. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of Lake Poso's hydrology and hydrochemistry, shedding light on factors that may have contributed to the exceptional biodiversity. Riverine and lake water chemical compositions indicated a soft water lake and relative major cation and anion abundances of Ca2+ ≫ Mg2+ > Na+ > K+ and HCO3 ≫ SO42 > Cl, primarily a result of the high annual precipitation and chemical weathering of calcareous-siliceous metamorphic bedrock. Lake Poso's nutrient concentrations were low (average DIN/TDP mass ratio of 6.2 and 50.9 for the lake surface water and its tributaries, respectively), indicating that most of the inlets were P-limited and that the lake was likely P-limited as well. Metal pollutants indicated a minor to moderate impact of anthropogenic land use (∼32 % of the catchment area). Water isotopic compositions of the different tributaries clearly delineated rivers draining higher elevation catchments with lower δ2H and δ18O from those draining lower elevation catchments with higher δ2H and δ18O. Surface lake water isotopic compositions indicated detectable evaporation from the lake leading toward more enriched isotope compositions than the integrated source signal. Overall, the findings suggested that Lake Poso remains relatively resilient to anthropogenic land use and related nutrient and pollutant inputs. However, ongoing alterations to its hydrological balance due to significant changes in land use may drive the lake towards higher trophic levels in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102254
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Biodiversity
  • Hydrochemistry
  • Lake Poso
  • Land use
  • Nutrients
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Perspectives from modern hydrology and hydrochemistry on a lacustrine biodiversity hotspot: Ancient Lake Poso, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this