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Climate change impacts on lakes: an integrated ecological perspective based on a multi-faceted approach, with special focus on shallow lakes

Erik Jeppesen, Mariana Meerhoff, Thomas A. Davidson, Dennis Trolle, Martin Søndergaard, Torben L. Lauridsen, Meryem Beklioglu, Sandra Brucet, Pietro Volta, Iván González-Bergonzoni, Anders Nielsen
  • Erik Jeppesen
    Aarhus University: Greenland Climate Research Centre (GCRC), Greenland Institute of Natural Resources: Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research (SDC), Beijing, Denmark |
  • Mariana Meerhoff
    Aarhus University; Universidad de la República, Maldonado, Uruguay, Uruguay
  • Thomas A. Davidson
    Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Dennis Trolle
    Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Martin Søndergaard
    Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Torben L. Lauridsen
    Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Meryem Beklioglu
    Middle East Technical University, Turkey
  • Sandra Brucet
    Aarhus University; University of Vic, Spain
  • Pietro Volta
    CNR - Institute of Ecosystem Study, Italy
  • Iván González-Bergonzoni
    Aarhus University; Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research (SDC); Universidad de la República, Uruguay
  • Anders Nielsen
    Aarhus University, Denmark


Freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity are presently seriously threatened by global development and population growth, leading to increases in nutrient inputs and intensification of eutrophication-induced problems in receiving fresh waters, particularly in lakes. Climate change constitutes another threat exacerbating the symptoms of eutrophication and species migration and loss. Unequivocal evidence of climate change impacts is still highly fragmented despite the intensive research, in part due to the variety and uncertainty of climate models and underlying emission scenarios but also due to the different approaches applied to study its effects. We first describe the strengths and weaknesses of the multi-faceted approaches that are presently available for elucidating the effects of climate change in lakes, including space-for-time substitution, time series, experiments, palaeoecology and modelling. Reviewing combined results from studies based on the various approaches, we describe the likely effects of climate changes on biological communities, trophic dynamics and the ecological state of lakes. We further discuss potential mitigation and adaptation measures to counteract the effects of climate change on lakes and, finally, we highlight some of the future challenges that we face to improve our capacity for successful prediction.


eutrophication, water level change, predictions, salinity, modelling, trophic dynamics, space for time substitution, palaeolimnology.

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Submitted: 2013-07-23 16:15:04
Published: 2014-04-08 13:34:40
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