Biotic and abiotic pathways for the transformation of phosphorus (P) in the sediment of Taihu Lake, a eutrophic shallow freshwater lake in southeastern China, were studied using the oxygen isotope ratios of phosphate (δ18OP) along with sediment chemistry, X-ray diffraction, and 57Fe-Mössbauer spectroscopic methods. The results showed that δ18OP values of sediment P pools significantly deviated from equilibrium and thus allowed distinguishing potential P sources or pathways of transformation. Isotope values of authigenic P being lighter than equilibrium suggests the re-mineralization of organic matter and subsequent precipitation of apatite as the major pathway of formation of authigenic P. The δ18OP values of the Al-bound P pool (18.9-23.5‰) and ferric Fe-bound P (16.79-19.86‰) could indicate potential terrestrial sources, but the latter being closer to equilibrium values implies partial overprinting of potential source signature, most likely due to reductive dissolution and release of P and followed by partial biological cycling before re-sorption/re-precipitation with newly formed ferric Fe minerals. Oxic/anoxic oscillation and dissolution/re-precipitation reactions and expected isotope excursion are corroborated by sediment chemistry and Mössbauer spectroscopic results. These findings provide improved insights for better understanding the origin and biogeochemical cycling of P associated with eutrophication in shallow freshwater lakes.