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Water 2018, 10(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010078

How Does Changing Ice-Out Affect Arctic versus Boreal Lakes? A Comparison Using Two Years with Ice-Out that Differed by More Than Three Weeks

1
Climate Change Institute and School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
2
Rhithron Associates, Inc., 33 Fort Missoula Rd., Missoula, MT 59804, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 14 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
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Abstract

The timing of lake ice-out has advanced substantially in many regions of the Northern Hemisphere, however the effects of ice-out timing on lake properties and how they vary regionally remain unclear. Using data from two inter-annual monitoring datasets for a set of three Arctic lakes and one boreal lake, we compared physical, chemical and phytoplankton metrics from two years in which ice-out timing differed by at least three weeks. Our results revealed regional differences in lake responses during early compared to late ice-out years. With earlier ice-out, Arctic lakes had deeper mixing depths and the boreal lake had a shallower mixing depth, suggesting differing patterns in the influence of the timing of ice-out on the length of spring turnover. Differences in nutrient concentrations and dissolved organic carbon between regions and ice-out years were likely driven by changes in precipitation and permafrost thaw. Algal biomass was similar across ice-out years, while cell densities of key Cyclotella sensu lato taxa were strongly linked to thermal structure changes in the Arctic lakes. Our research provides evidence that Arctic and boreal regions differ in lake response in early and late ice-out years, however ultimately a combination of important climate factors such as solar insolation, air temperature, precipitation, and, in the Arctic, permafrost thaw, are key drivers of the observed responses. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; lakes; early ice-out; late ice-out; Arctic; boreal; mixing depth; phytoplankton climate change; lakes; early ice-out; late ice-out; Arctic; boreal; mixing depth; phytoplankton
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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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Warner, K.A.; Fowler, R.A.; Northington, R.M.; Malik, H.I.; McCue, J.; Saros, J.E. How Does Changing Ice-Out Affect Arctic versus Boreal Lakes? A Comparison Using Two Years with Ice-Out that Differed by More Than Three Weeks. Water 2018, 10, 78.

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