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Forskningsartikel2012Vetenskapligt granskad

Long-term changes in physical and chemical conditions of nutrient-poor lakes along a latitudinal gradient: is there a coherent phytoplankton community response?

Bloch, Ina; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa


To evaluate climate and atmospheric deposition induced physical and water chemical changes and their effects on phytoplankton communities, we used complete time series (14 years, monthly measurements during the growing season) of 18 physical and chemical variables and phytoplankton data from 13 nutrient-poor Swedish reference lakes along a latitudinal gradient. We found numerous strong significant changes over time that were most coherent among lakes for sulfate concentrations, conductivity, calcium, magnesium, chloride, potassium, water color, surface water temperature and the intensity of thermal stratification. Despite these pronounced coherent physical and water chemical changes over Sweden, the phytoplankton biomass and species richness of six phytoplankton groups, measured at the same time as the water chemical variables, showed only few and weak significant changes over time. The only coherent significant change over Sweden, occurring in seven lakes, was observed in the species richness of chlorophytes. The number of chlorophyte taxa significantly declined over Sweden. Using a partial least square model for each lake, we attributed the decline primarily to an increase in water temperatures and water color, which were among the most important variables for the model performance of each lake. All other taxonomic groups were driven primarily by non-coherent changes in nutrient concentrations, pH and probably also non-coherent grazing pressure. We concluded that coherent phytoplankton responses can only be achieved for taxonomic groups that are driven primarily by coherent physical/chemical changes. According to our study, chlorophytes belong to such a group, making them possible global change indicators. Our findings give new insights into global change effects on different phytoplankton taxonomic groups in nutrient-poor lakes.


Algae; Biodiversity; Climate impact; Freshwater; Global change

Publicerad i

Aquatic Sciences - Research Across Boundaries
2012, Volym: 74, nummer: 1, sidor: 77-85

      SLU författare

    • Globala målen

      SDG13 Vidta omedelbara åtgärder för att bekämpa klimatförändringarna och dess konsekvenser

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