Dongting or Tungting (both: dŏŏng´tĬng´), shallow lake, Hunan prov., SE China; one of China's largest lakes. It is fed by the Yuan, Zi, Xiang, and many smaller rivers; a canal connects it with the Chang River. Depending on the season, the Dongting varies in size from 1,400 to 4,000 sq mi (3,626–10,360 sq km). It attains its maximum extent during the period of heavy summer rains, when the lake receives the overflow from the Chang, which it serves as a natural reservoir. The heavily populated lake basin is one of China's leading rice-producing regions; tea is also an important crop.