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


  • 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.



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Supporting Agencies
FP7/ENV-2009 - ANII Uruguay - Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship - L’Oréal national award for Women in Science.
eutrophication, water level change, predictions, salinity, modelling, trophic dynamics, space for time substitution, palaeolimnology.
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How to Cite
Jeppesen E, Meerhoff M, Davidson TA, Trolle D, Søndergaard M, Lauridsen TL, Beklioglu M, Brucet S, Volta P, González-Bergonzoni I, Nielsen A. Climate change impacts on lakes: an integrated ecological perspective based on a multi-faceted approach, with special focus on shallow lakes. J Limnol [Internet]. 2014 Apr. 8 [cited 2021 Aug. 5];73(s1). Available from:

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