A survey of 12 lakes in Minnesota, USA, was conducted to examine the factors controlling variability in biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) concentration. The principal question addressed was whether BDOC concentration was more strongly related to lake trophic status or morphometric parameters. BDOC concentration was determined by incubating filtered lake water for a period of 15 months and fitting an exponential decay curve to measured DOC concentrations. BDOC concentrations varied from 73 to 427 mmol C.L-1 and composed 15%-63% of the total DOC pool. There were no significant correlations between BDOC and measures of lake trophic status. Instead, BDOC was most closely associated with the percentage of lake area covered by littoral zone, suggesting a significant source of BDOC from aquatic macrophytes and lake surface sediments. ?? 2008 NRC.