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Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1142-1160; doi:10.3390/su7021142

Macroecological Patterns of Resilience Inferred from a Multinational, Synchronized Experiment

1
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7050, SE-750-07 Uppsala, Sweden
2
Biology Department, Limnology Laboratory, Middle East technical University, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
3
Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Center of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Na Sádkách 7, 370-05 České Budějovice 7, Czech Republic
4
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, 370-05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
5
Department of Biology, University of Patras, University Campus, 26504 Rio, Greece
6
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Müggelseedamm 310, 12587 Berlin, Germany
7
Center for Limnology, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 61117 Rannu vald, Tartumaa, Estonia
8
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
9
Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research (SDC), Beijing 100190, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 13 October 2014 / Revised: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 22 January 2015
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Abstract

The likelihood of an ecological system to undergo undesired regime shifts is expected to increase as climate change effects unfold. To understand how regional climate settings can affect resilience; i.e., the ability of an ecosystem to tolerate disturbances without changing its original structure and processes, we used a synchronized mesocosm experiment (representative of shallow lakes) along a latitudinal gradient. We manipulated nutrient concentrations and water levels in a synchronized mesocosm experiment in different climate zones across Europe involving Sweden, Estonia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Greece. We assessed attributes of zooplankton communities that might contribute to resilience under different ecological configurations. We assessed four indicator of relative ecological resilience (cross-scale, within-scale structures, aggregation length and gap size) of zooplankton communities, inferred from discontinuity analysis. Similar resilience attributes were found across experimental treatments and countries, except Greece, which experienced severe drought conditions during the experiment. These conditions apparently led to a lower relative resilience in the Greek mesocosms. Our results indicate that zooplankton community resilience in shallow lakes is marginally affected by water level and the studied nutrient range unless extreme drought occurs. In practice, this means that drought mitigation could be especially challenging in semi-arid countries in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; eutrophication; ecological resilience; zooplankton communities; synchronized mesocosm experiment; discontinuity analysis climate change; eutrophication; ecological resilience; zooplankton communities; synchronized mesocosm experiment; discontinuity analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baho, D.L.; Tavşanoğlu, Ü.N.; Šorf, M.; Stefanidis, K.; Drakare, S.; Scharfenberger, U.; Agasild, H.; Beklioğlu, M.; Hejzlar, J.; Adrian, R.; Papastergiadou, E.; Zingel, P.; Søndergaard, M.; Jeppesen, E.; Angeler, D.G. Macroecological Patterns of Resilience Inferred from a Multinational, Synchronized Experiment. Sustainability 2015, 7, 1142-1160.

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