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Climate change induced regime shifts in Northern lake ecosystems

Research project How does climate change affect northern lake ecosystems?

A present major scientific challenge is to understand and predict effects of climate change on lake ecosystems and the services they deliver. Globally, lakes are concentrated at northern latitudes where the magnitude of climate change is expected to be strongest. Recent advances in lake research suggest that responses of Northern lakes to global warming are fundamentally different from the expectations based on conventional knowledge.

Contact person

Project overview

Project period:

2017-01-01 2022-12-31

Funding

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Arctic Research Centre, Campus Bigården, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Research subject

Earth science, Environmental sciences

Project description

A present major scientific challenge is to understand and predict effects of climate change on lake ecosystems and the services they deliver. Globally, lakes are concentrated at northern latitudes where the magnitude of climate change is expected to be strongest. Recent advances in lake research suggest that responses of Northern lakes to global warming are fundamentally different from the expectations based on conventional knowledge. This project brings together new tools and concepts in biogeochemistry and ecology, with the aims of understanding and predicting the effects of climate change on the delivery of two major ecosystem services, fish production and the net greenhouse gas balance of Northern lakes. Specific objectives include:
1. Assessment of long vs. short term effects of climate change; 2. Assessment of nonlinear dynamics and regime shifts; 3. Projection of responses to future climate conditions. The project's core is made up of a multi-scale (pond to whole-lake) experimental test of ecosystem responses to increases in temperature and precipitation/runoff. Further, we will use aDNA techniques to address past regime shifts and ecosystem resilience to climate change from paleolimnological sediment records. Finally, the project will develop process-based models to be used in the projection of future conditions in lakes at the whole ecosystem scale.