Pertaining to a lake or other body of water characterized by extremely low nutrient concentrations such as nitrogen and phosphorous and resulting very moderate productivity. Oligotrophic lakes are those low in nutrient materials and consequently poor areas for the development of extensive aquatic floras and faunas. Such lakes are often deep, with sandy bottoms and very limited plant growth, but with high dissolved-oxygen levels. This represents the early stages in the life cycle of a lake. Degrees of Eutrophication typically range from Oligotrophic water (maximum transparency, minimum chlorophyll-a, minimum phosphorus) through Mesotrophic, Eutrophic, to Hypereutrophic water (minimum transparency, maximum chlorophyll-a, maximum phosphorus). Also see Carlson's Trophic State Index (TSI) and (Mean) Trophic State Index (TSI).
Reservoirs and lakes which are nutrient poor and contain little aquatic plant or animal life.