Dianneke van Wijk

Dr. Dianneke van Wijk

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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands


As postdoc at NIOO-KNAW I am exploring the potential of Smart Nutrient Retention Networks to improve water quality and sustainable nutrient use.


I have a background in environmental sciences and aquatic ecology. After my PhD-research on the retention and removal of nutrients in networks of aquatic ecosystems, I am now working as postdoc at NIOO-KNAW. I have a strong interest in nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches at local to global scales. My professional ambition is to integrate scientific knowledge and to use it to contribute to a sustainable future.

Research groups


Ancillary activities


Key publications

Inland Waters

Smart Nutrient Retention Networks: a novel approach for nutrient conservation through water quality management

van Wijk, Teurlincx, Brederveld, de Klein, Janssen, Kramer, van Gerven, Kroeze & Mooij
Nutrients are essential resources for food production but are used inefficiently, and thereby they pollute inland and coastal waters and are lost into the oceans. Nutrient conservation by retention and consecutive reuse would prevent nutrient losses to the atmosphere and downstream ecosystems. We present Smart Nutrient Retention Networks (SNRNs) as a novel management approach to achieve nutrient conservation across networks of connected waterbodies through strategic water quality management. To present the key features of SNRNs, we review existing knowledge of nutrient retention processes in inland waters, water quality management options for nutrient conservation, and nutrient retention models to develop SNRNs. We argue that successful nutrient conservation, even at a local level, through SNRN management strategies requires clearly formulated goals and catchment-wide system understanding. Waterbody characteristics, such as hydraulic residence time and the presence of macrophytes, shape local nutrient retention with potential network-wide cascading effects of improved water quality and are therefore key targets of SNRN management strategies. Nutrient retention models that include the self-reinforcing feedback loop of ecological water quality, nutrient retention, and nutrient loading in networks of inland waters in relation to management options can support the development of SNRNs. We conclude that SNRNs can contribute to sustainable use of nutrients in human food production.

Peer-reviewed publications

  • Science of the Total Environment

    How nutrient retention and TN:TP ratios depend on ecosystem state in thousands of Chinese lakes

    Dianneke van Wijk, Jan H. Janse, Mengru Wang, Carolien Kroeze, Wolf M. Mooij, Annette B.G. Janssen
    Worldwide, anthropogenic activities threaten surface water quality by aggravating eutrophication and increasing total nitrogen to total phosphorus (TN:TP) ratios. In hydrologically connected systems, water quality management may benefit from in-ecosystem nutrient retention by preventing nutrient transport to downstream systems. However, nutrient retention may also alter TN:TP ratios with unforeseen consequences for downstream water quality. Here, we aim to increase understanding of how nutrient retention may influence nutrient transport to downstream systems to improve long-term water quality management. We analyzed lake ecosystem state, in-lake nutrient retention, and nutrient transport (ratios) for 3482 Chinese lakes using the lake process-based ecosystem model PCLake+. We compared a low climate change and sustainability-, and a high climate change and economy-focused scenario for 2050 against 2012. In both scenarios, the effect of nutrient input reduction outweighs that of temperature rise, resulting in more lakes with good ecological water quality (i.e., macrophyte-dominated) than in 2012. Generally, the sustainability-focused scenario shows a more promising future for water quality than the economy-focused scenario. Nevertheless, most lakes remain phytoplankton-dominated. The shift to more macrophyte-dominated lakes in 2050 is accompanied by higher nutrient retention fractions and less nutrient transport to downstream waterbodies. In-lake nutrient retention also alters the water's TN:TP ratio, depending on the inflow TN:TP ratio and the ecosystem state. In 2050 higher TN:TP ratios are expected in the outflows of lakes than in 2012, especially for the sustainability-focused scenario with strong TP loading reduction. However, the downstream impact of increased TN:TP ratios depends on actual nutrient loadings and the limiting nutrient in the receiving system. We conclude that nutrient input reductions, improved water quality, higher in-lake nutrient retention fractions, and lower nutrient transport to downstream waterbodies go hand in hand. Therefore, water quality management could benefit even more from nutrient pollution reduction than one would expect at first sight.
  • Lake and Reservoir Management

    A lake management framework for global application: monitoring, restoring, and protecting lakes through community engagement

    Jacob A. Cianci-Gaskill, Jennifer L. Klug, Kellie C. Merrell, Edward Millar, Danielle J. Wain, Lilith Kramer, Dianneke van Wijk, Ma Cristina A. Paule-Mercado, Kerri Finlay, Max R. Glines, Elias Munthali, Sven Teurlincx, Lisa Borre, Norman D. Yan
    Despite decades of management and regulation, global freshwater resources remain imperiled. Management has had mixed success in restoring degraded lakes and has few mechanisms for stopping the decline of high-quality systems. Too often, lake managers play catch-up by addressing stressors only after damage occurs or has become entrenched, or make decisions without acquiring sufficient information about how a lake might respond to proposed management actions. As a tool to address these management challenges, we propose the MoReCo (Monitoring, Restoring/Protecting, Community Engagement) lake management framework. The framework centers around community engagement, and we outline engagement mechanisms in the context of lake management. The framework includes 2 loops: a monitoring loop to detect emerging stressors, and a restoring/protecting loop to address stressors that are causing or may cause lake degradation. The MoReCo framework builds on the strengths of existing natural resource management frameworks and was developed to address the unique challenges associated with lake management and protection, as well as those resulting from climate change. Specifically, it can address multiple stressors concurrently, which makes it simultaneously suitable for ameliorating stressors while also protecting lake ecosystems. The MoReCo framework is an interactive and multidirectional process in which management occurs even when no stressor is apparent, and it incorporates explicit benchmarks for evaluating management actions and determining whether additional measures should be taken. This novel lake management framework is suitable to address any stressors that may threaten a lake ecosystem, and we present it here as a resource for those who manage freshwater resources.
  • Environmental Modelling and Software

    A serious game approach for lake modeling and management: The EscapeBLOOM

    Dianneke van Wijk, Xiangzhen Kong, Harmen Knap, Annette B.G. Janssen
    Environmental models are valuable tools, yet, communication about model procedures and results between modelers and non-modelers is complicated by different levels of understanding. Game design may help to bridge this gap through learning by playing. Here we present the “EscapeBLOOM”, a digital “Escape Room” in which teams aim to save a lake from a harmful algal bloom while learning about lake models. The game consists of multiple puzzles reflecting the process and choices made by professional modelers in a specific lake management case. We show that the EscapeBLOOM has been positively received in multiple countries and cultures, and significantly contributed to perceived learning on lake modeling and nutrient management by non-modelers. Finally, we discuss the challenges and opportunities of our serious game to introduce models and related concepts. We envision that our serious game approach can inspire others to create their own “Escape-game” to aid the communication of environmental modeling cases.
  • Environmental Modelling and Software

    Connecting lakes: Modeling flows and interactions of organisms and matter throughout the waterscape

    Lilith Kramer, Tineke A. Troost, Annette B.G. Janssen, Bob Brederveld, Luuk P.A. Van Gerven, Dianneke van Wijk, Wolf M. Mooij, Sven Teurlincx
    Eutrophication poses a threat to lake ecosystem services provisioning worldwide. When eutrophic lakes are connected to other water systems, either through water flows, or through organismal movement and dispersal, their excess nutrients affect nearby lakes too. Understanding nutrient transport dynamics in lake meta-ecosystems is not trivial, as it encompasses the complexity of ecosystems themselves (i.e., food web dynamics, nutrient cycling) and the transport between ecosystems. Hitherto, it remains unknown how heterogeneity in lake meta-ecosystems affects their ecological resilience. We argue that scientists and water managers would benefit from the use of meta-ecosystem models while unravelling meta-ecosystem complexity. To this end, we converted lake ecosystem model PCLake+ into lake meta-ecosystem model PCLakeS+. We showed that the spatial configuration of a lake meta-ecosystem influences its ecological dynamics, and that nutrient transport depends heavily on food web processes. We conclude that PCLakeS+ is suitable for exploring meta-ecosystem concepts for science and water management.
  • Water Research

    Regime shifts in shallow lakes explained by critical turbidity

    Dianneke van Wijk, Manqi Chang, Annette B.G. Janssen, Sven Teurlincx, Wolf M. Mooij

    Worldwide, water quality managers target a clear, macrophyte-dominated state over a turbid, phytoplankton-dominated state in shallow lakes. The competition mechanisms underlying these ecological states were explored in the 1990s, but the concept of critical turbidity seems neglected in contemporary water quality models. In particular, a simple mechanistic model of alternative stable states in shallow lakes accounting for resource competition mechanisms and critical turbidity is lacking. To this end, we combined Scheffer's theory on critical turbidity with insights from nutrient and light competition theory founded by Tilman, Huisman and Weissing. This resulted in a novel graphical and mathematical model, GPLake-M, that is relatively simple and mechanistically understandable and yet captures the essential mechanisms leading to alternative stable states in shallow lakes. The process-based PCLake model was used to parameterize the model parameters and to test GPLake-M using a pattern-oriented strategy. GPLake-M's application range and position in the model spectrum are discussed. We believe that our results support the fundamental understanding of regime shifts in shallow lakes and provide a starting point for further mechanistic and management-focused explorations and model development. Furthermore, the concept of critical turbidity and the relation between light-limited submerged macrophytes and nutrient-limited phytoplankton might provide a new focus for empirical aquatic ecological research and water quality monitoring programs.

  • Sustainability Science

    New paths for modelling freshwater nature futures

    Lilith Kramer, Sven Teurlincx, Brenda Rashleigh, Annette B.G. Janssen, Jan H. Janse, Kate A. Brauman, Csaba Földesi, Dianneke van Wijk, Lisette de Senerpont Domis, Sopan D. Patil, Parinaz Rashidi, Perrine Hamel, James Rising, Wolf M. Mooij, Jan J. Kuiper
    Freshwater ecosystems are exceptionally rich in biodiversity and provide essential benefits to people. Yet they are disproportionately threatened compared to terrestrial and marine systems and remain underrepresented in the scenarios and models used for global environmental assessments. The Nature Futures Framework (NFF) has recently been proposed to advance the contribution of scenarios and models for environmental assessments. This framework places the diverse relationships between people and nature at its core, identifying three value perspectives as points of departure: Nature for Nature, Nature for Society, and Nature as Culture. We explore how the NFF may be implemented for improved assessment of freshwater ecosystems. First, we outline how the NFF and its main value perspectives can be translated to freshwater systems and explore what desirable freshwater futures would look like from each of the above perspectives. Second, we review scenario strategies and current models to examine how freshwater modelling can be linked to the NFF in terms of its aims and outcomes. In doing so, we also identify which aspects of the NFF framework are not yet captured in current freshwater models and suggest possible ways to bridge them. Our analysis provides future directions for a more holistic freshwater model and scenario development and demonstrates how society can benefit from freshwater modelling efforts that are integrated with the value-perspectives of the NFF.
  • Inland Waters

    Smart Nutrient Retention Networks

    Dianneke van Wijk, Sven Teurlincx, Bob Brederveld, J.J.M de Klein, Annette B.G. Janssen, Lilith Kramer, Luuk P.A. Van Gerven, C. Kroeze, Wolf M. Mooij
    Nutrients are essential resources for food production but are used inefficiently, and thereby they pollute inland and coastal waters and are lost into the oceans. Nutrient conservation by retention and consecutive reuse would prevent nutrient losses to the atmosphere and downstream ecosystems. We present Smart Nutrient Retention Networks (SNRNs) as a novel management approach to achieve nutrient conservation across networks of connected waterbodies through strategic water quality management. To present the key features of SNRNs, we review existing knowledge of nutrient retention processes in inland waters, water quality management options for nutrient conservation, and nutrient retention models to develop SNRNs. We argue that successful nutrient conservation, even at a local level, through SNRN management strategies requires clearly formulated goals and catchment-wide system understanding. Waterbody characteristics, such as hydraulic residence time and the presence of macrophytes, shape local nutrient retention with potential network-wide cascading effects of improved water quality and are therefore key targets of SNRN management strategies. Nutrient retention models that include the self-reinforcing feedback loop of ecological water quality, nutrient retention, and nutrient loading in networks of inland waters in relation to management options can support the development of SNRNs. We conclude that SNRNs can contribute to sustainable use of nutrients in human food production.
  • Landschap

    Nationaal Park 3.0

    Protected areas are the cornerstone of nature conservation, although this approach has not prevented the current biodiversity crisis. In addition, the approach leads to the suggestion that only organisms living within these areas constitute nature. Nature, however, cannot be spatially constrained, and the same holds for human influence on nature. In this essay we develop an area-wide and human-inclusive vision of nature conservation into a new approach for national parks that we call National Park 3.0 (NP 3.0). The concept is rooted in a re-evaluation of human-nature relations sensu the Nature Futures Framework developed under IPBES. Moreover, we note that ‘landscape’ has always been a social-ecological concept since the term was coined by 17th century Dutch painters. Finally, we note that nature and human infrastructure are deeply entangled at multiple spatial scales in modern landscapes. We define NP 3.0 spatially by the contours of a landscape that is recognizable by people and has geomorphological and ecological coherence. We relate NP 3.0 to other initiatives for restoring biodiversity and provide a conceptual design for NP 3.0. Throughout this essay we use Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen as a case study where NP 3.0 is worked out in practice.
  • Ecological Modelling

    A generically parameterized model of Lake eutrophication

    Manqi Chang, Donald L. DeAngelis, Jan H. Janse, Annette B.G. Janssen, Tineke A. Troost, Dianneke van Wijk, Wolf M. Mooij, Sven Teurlincx

    Water quality improvement to avoid excessive phytoplankton blooms often requires eutrophication management where both phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) play a role. While empirical eutrophication studies and ecological resource competition theory both provide insight into phytoplankton abundance in response to nutrient loading, they are not seamlessly linked in the current state of eutrophication research. We argue that understanding species competition for multiple nutrients and light in natural phytoplankton communities is key to assessing phytoplankton abundance under changing nutrient supply. Here we present GPLake-S, a mechanistic model rooted in ecological resource competition theory, which has only eight parameters and can predict chlorophyll-a to nutrient relationships for phytoplankton communities under N, P, N+P colimitation and light limitation. GPLake-S offers a simple mechanistic tool to make first estimates of chlorophyll-a levels and nutrient thresholds for generic lake properties, accounting for variation in N:P ratio preferences of phytoplankton species. This makes the model supportive of water management and policy.

  • Ecosystems and people

    Exploring desirable nature futures for Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen

    Jan J. Kuiper, Dianneke van Wijk, Wolf M. Mooij, Roy P. Remme, Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Charlotte J. Mooij, Georgette M. Leltz, Laura M. Pereira
    Achieving global sustainability goals requires most people and societies to fundamentally revisit their relationship with nature. New approaches are called for to guide change processes towards sustainable futures that embrace the plurality of people’s desired relationships with nature. This paper presents a novel approach to exploring desirable futures for nature and people that was developed through an application in Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen in the Netherlands. This new national park is developed bottom-up by a diverse group of actors reshaping their interactions with each other and with nature. Our approach, co-designed with key stakeholders of the national park, engages with a new pluralistic framework for human-nature relationships presented by the IPBES task force on scenarios and models to catalyze the development of nature-centered scenarios. We integrated this Nature Futures Framework with the Three Horizons Framework in a participatory workshop process designed to bring people’s diverse relationships with nature to the fore, and jointly envision desirable futures and the pathways to get there. We present a methodology to analyze and compare the visions and assess their potential contribution to the SDGs. We summarize the results of the application in Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen and reflect on lessons learned. The approach successfully engaged participants in joint exploration of desirable futures for the national park based on their plural perspectives on human-nature relationships. We see much potential for its applications to support change processes in various social-ecological contexts toward more sustainable futures for nature and people.
  • Limnology and Oceanography: Methods

    Flipping Lakes: Explaining concepts of catchment-scale water management through a serious game

    Maggie Armstrong, Lilith Kramer, Lisette de Senerpont Domis, Dianneke van Wijk, Alena Gsell, Wolf M. Mooij, Sven Teurlincx
    Ongoing anthropogenic and climatic pressures on inland waters have made water quality management a challenge of the 21st century. A holistic catchment-scale approach to water management which includes stakeholder participation will be a key in maintaining lake health. A first step toward community engagement is to bolster environmental literacy on lake management, ecology, and eutrophication concepts of stakeholders now and in future generations. However, communicating with nonwater professionals about effects of pollution on water quality and catchment-scale interactions across space and time can be difficult. Here, we present “Flipping Lakes,” a games-based method for lake professionals to communicate and educate about catchment-level water quality management to diverse audiences. In Flipping Lakes, the players take on the role of water managers in a catchment and are tasked to prevent a lake from “flipping” from a clear to a turbid state. During the game, the catchment slowly becomes polluted by a range of sources of which the effects are exacerbated by societal or climatic scenarios. Players need to implement measures while taking into consideration the intrinsic properties of the catchment in order to keep lakes clean. The game was tested with a diverse range of user groups and was well-received. With its entertaining and accessible content, Flipping Lakes can lower communication barriers and increase understanding of difficult water quality concepts. The game is highly customizable, making it applicable to a variety of settings to support education and engagement of stakeholders and the broader community in order to address local water challenges around the globe.
  • Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

    How to model algal blooms in any lake on earth

    Annette B.G. Janssen, Jan H. Janse, Arthur HW Beusen, Manqi Chang, John A Harrison, Inese Huttunen, Xiangzhen Kong, Jasmijn Rost, Sven Teurlincx, Tineke A. Troost, Dianneke van Wijk, Wolf M. Mooij
    Algal blooms increasingly threaten lake and reservoir water quality at the global scale, caused by ongoing climate change and nutrient loading. To anticipate these algal blooms, models to project future algal blooms worldwide are required. Here we present the state-of-the-art in algal projection modelling and explore the requirements of an ideal algal projection model. Based on this, we identify current challenges and opportunities for such model development. Since most building blocks are present, we foresee that algal projection models for any lake on earth can be developed in the near future. Finally, we think that algal bloom projection models at a global scale will provide a valuable contribution to global policymaking, in particular with respect to SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation).
  • Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

    A perspective on water quality in connected systems: modelling feedback between upstream and downstream transport and local ecological processes

    Sven Teurlincx, Dianneke van Wijk, Wolf M. Mooij, Jan J. Kuiper, Inese Huttunen, Bob Brederveld, Manqi Chang, Jan H. Janse, Ben Woodward, Fenjuan Hu, Annette B.G. Janssen
    Food production for a growing world population relies on application of fertilisers and pesticides on agricultural lands. However, these substances threaten surface water quality and thereby endanger valued ecosystem services such as drinking water supply, food production and recreational water use. Such deleterious effects do not merely arise on the local scale, but also on the regional scale through transport of substances as well as energy and biota across the catchment. Here we argue that aquatic ecosystem models can provide a process-based understanding of how these transports by water and organisms as vectors affect – and are affected by – ecosystem state and functioning in networks of connected lakes. Such a catchment scale approach is key to setting critical limits for the release of substances by agricultural practices and other human pressures on aquatic ecosystems. Thereby, water and food production and the trade-offs between them may be managed more sustainably.
  • Science of the Total Environment

    A generically parameterized model of Lake eutrophication (GPLake) that links field-, lab- and model-based knowledge

    Manqi Chang, Sven Teurlincx, Donald L. DeAngelis, Jan H. Janse, Tineke A. Troost, Dianneke van Wijk, Wolf M. Mooij, Annette B.G. Janssen
    Worldwide, eutrophication is threatening lake ecosystems. To support lake management numerous eutrophication models have been developed. Diverse research questions in a wide range of lake ecosystems are addressed by these models. The established models are based on three key approaches: the empirical approach that employs field surveys, the theoretical approach in which models based on first principles are tested against lab experiments, and the process-based approach that uses parameters and functions representing detailed biogeochemical processes. These approaches have led to an accumulation of field-, lab- and model-based knowledge, respectively. Linking these sources of knowledge would benefit lake management by exploiting complementary information; however, the development of a simple tool that links these approaches was hampered by their large differences in scale and complexity. Here we propose a Generically Parameterized Lake eutrophication model (GPLake) that links field-, lab- and model-based knowledge and can be used to make a first diagnosis of lake water quality. We derived GPLake from consumer-resource theory by the principle that lacustrine phytoplankton is typically limited by two resources: nutrients and light. These limitations are captured in two generic parameters that shape the nutrient to chlorophyll-a relations. Next, we parameterized GPLake, using knowledge from empirical, theoretical, and process-based approaches. GPLake generic parameters were found to scale in a comparable manner across data sources. Finally, we show that GPLake can be applied as a simple tool that provides lake managers with a first diagnosis of the limiting factor and lake water quality, using only the parameters for lake depth, residence time and current nutrient loading. With this first-order assessment, lake managers can easily assess measures such as reducing nutrient load, decreasing residence time or changing depth before spending money on field-, lab- or model- experiments to support lake management.
  • Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

    Modeling water quality in the Anthropocene: Directions for the next-generation aquatic ecosystem models

    Wolf M. Mooij, Dianneke van Wijk, Arthur HW Beusen, Bob Brederveld, Manqi Chang, Marleen Cobben, D.L. DeAngelis, Andrea S. Downing, Pamela Green, Alena Gsell, Inese Huttunen, Jan H. Janse, Annette B.G. Janssen, Geerten Hengeveld, Xiangzhen Kong, Lilith Kramer, Jan J. Kuiper, Simon J. Langan, Bart A. Nolet, Rascha Nuijten, Maryna Strokal, Tineke A. Troost, A.M. van Dam, Sven Teurlincx
    “Everything changes and nothing stands still” (Heraclitus). Here we review three major improvements to freshwater aquatic ecosystem models — and ecological models in general — as water quality scenario analysis tools towards a sustainable future. To tackle the rapid and deeply connected dynamics characteristic of the Anthropocene, we argue for the inclusion of eco-evolutionary, novel ecosystem and social-ecological dynamics. These dynamics arise from adaptive responses in organisms and ecosystems to global environmental change and act at different integration levels and different time scales. We provide reasons and means to incorporate each improvement into aquatic ecosystem models. Throughout this study we refer to Lake Victoria as a microcosm of the evolving novel social-ecological systems of the Anthropocene. The Lake Victoria case clearly shows how interlinked eco-evolutionary, novel ecosystem and social-ecological dynamics are, and demonstrates the need for transdisciplinary research approaches towards global sustainability.
  • Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

    Towards a global model for wetlands ecosystem services

    Jan H. Janse, Anne A. van Dam, Edwin M.A. Hes, Jeroen J.M. de Klein, C. Max Finlayson, Annette B.G. Janssen, Dianneke van Wijk, Wolf M. Mooij, Jos T.A. Verhoeven
    Wetlands play an important role in the provision of important ecosystem services like the provision of clean water to the world, adaptation to climate change, and support for biodiversity; although they are sometimes also associated with adverse climate effects. Wetlands are, however, currently grossly underrepresented in global environmental models. In this paper, we explore the required functionality of a generic model of the effects of climate and land-use changes on wetlands ecosystem services worldwide. We briefly review existing models to identify elements which can be combined to compile a generic wetland model. The proposed global wetland model should be integrated into and receive data from existing hydrology and climate models. Wetland delineation can be based on local hydrological and topographical conditions and verified with global wetland databases. We conclude that an integrated approach combining hydrology, biogeochemistry and vegetation for wetlands is not available yet, however, useful building blocks exist that can be combined.
  • Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

    Integrated modelling and management of water resources: the ecosystem perspective on the nexus approach

    S. Hülsmann, J. Sušnik, Karsten Rinke, Simon J. Langan, Dianneke van Wijk, Annette B.G. Janssen, Wolf M. Mooij
  • Science of the Total Environment

    Success of lake restoration depends on spatial aspects of nutrient loading and hydrology

    Annette B.G. Janssen, Dianneke van Wijk, Luuk P.A. Van Gerven, (Liesbeth) E.S. Bakker, Bob Brederveld, Donald L. DeAngelis, Jan H. Janse, Wolf M. Mooij
    Many aquatic ecosystems have deteriorated due to human activities and their restoration is often troublesome. It is proposed here that the restoration success of deteriorated lakes critically depends on hitherto largely neglected spatial heterogeneity in nutrient loading and hydrology. A modelling approach is used to study this hypothesis by considering four lake types with contrasting nutrient loading (point versus diffuse) and hydrology (seepage versus drainage). By comparing the longterm effect of common restoration measures (nutrient load reduction, lake flushing or biomanipulation) in these four lake types, we found that restoration through reduction of nutrient loading is effective in all cases. In contrast, biomanipulation only works in seepage lakes with diffuse nutrient inputs, while lake flushing will even be counterproductive in lakes with nutrient point sources. The main conclusion of the presented analysis is that a priori assessment of spatial heterogeneity caused by nutrient loading and hydrology is essential for successful restoration of lake ecosystems.