Special Issue "Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Erik Jeppesen
Website
Guest Editor
Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
Interests: aquatic ecology, biological structure and interactions with the nutrient dynamics and climate in lakes, lake restoration, lake re-establishment, palaeoecology, ecosystem modelling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Donald C. Pierson
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology, Uppsala University, 75236 Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: mathematical modeling of environmental processes; primary production; underwater optics; sediment resuspension; biogeochemical cycles; surface hydrology, climate change water supply operations
Dr. Eleanor Jennings
Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dundalk, Ireland
Interests: nutrient and carbon cycling in catchments and lakes; modelling of catchment and in-lake processes; climate change impacts on lakes especially effects of extreme climatic events

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The impacts of extreme weather events on lakes have received increasing attention in recent years. This is because the severity and frequency of such events have increased and are predicted to increase even further in the years to come due to ongoing climate change. Furthermore, advances in real-time high-resolution monitoring now make it possible to track even the short-term effects of such events. Episodic events may potentially have strong effects on lake ecosystems in the short-term and, if severe, also on the longer term. This Special Issue welcomes contributions on the effects of extreme weather events on lake ecosystems, such as change in precipitation leading, for example, to changes in nutrient and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) loading and salinity, or how heatwaves and changes in the intensity and frequency of winds affect both stratification and the biological community and processes. We also welcome contributions on how hurricanes may lead to immediate and long-lasting changes in lake ecosystems, as well as papers dealing with resistance and resilience to extreme events or showing sudden regime shifts.

Prof. Dr. Erik Jeppesen
Dr. Donald C. Pierson
Dr. Eleanor Jennings
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • extreme weather events
  • lakes
  • effect on hydrodynamics
  • nutrients and ecology
  • resistance and resilience
  • regime shifts
  • climate change

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Differences in the Effects of Storms on Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in Boreal Lakes during an Early Summer Storm and an Autumn Storm
Water 2020, 12(5), 1452; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051452 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
In boreal lakes, increased precipitation events have been linked to increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), however the effects of seasonal differences on DOC and how this may impact storm response remain unclear. We evaluated DOC concentration and a set of DOC [...] Read more.
In boreal lakes, increased precipitation events have been linked to increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), however the effects of seasonal differences on DOC and how this may impact storm response remain unclear. We evaluated DOC concentration and a set of DOC quality metrics during an early summer storm and an autumn storm on a suite of six lakes in Acadia National Park in Maine, USA. to better understand differences in seasonal storm responses. Our results revealed differences in the response of DOC quality metrics to an early summer versus an autumn storm, with changes in DOC quality metrics varying by storm and lake features. During the early summer storm, we observed greater changes in various DOC quality metrics in deep lakes with longer residence times, whereas during the autumn storm, lakes with large watershed area to lake area ratios experienced the greatest changes. Land cover was highly correlated with changing DOC quality metrics in the early summer storm but did not play a significant role in the autumn storm response. Our research provides evidence of seasonal differences in the effects of storms on boreal lakes, which are ultimately mediated by a combination of lake and watershed characteristics as well as seasonal differences in climate such as solar radiation and antecedent weather conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Consecutive Extreme Weather Events on a Temperate Dystrophic Lake: A Detailed Insight into Physical, Chemical and Biological Responses
Water 2020, 12(5), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051411 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
Between May and July 2018, Ireland experienced an exceptional heat wave, which broke long-term temperature and drought records. These calm, stable conditions were abruptly interrupted by a second extreme weather event, Atlantic Storm Hector, in late June. Using high-frequency monitoring data, coupled with [...] Read more.
Between May and July 2018, Ireland experienced an exceptional heat wave, which broke long-term temperature and drought records. These calm, stable conditions were abruptly interrupted by a second extreme weather event, Atlantic Storm Hector, in late June. Using high-frequency monitoring data, coupled with fortnightly biological sampling, we show that the storm directly affected the stratification pattern of Lough Feeagh, resulting in an intense mixing event. The lake restabilised quickly after the storm as the heatwave continued. During the storm there was a three-fold reduction in Schmidt stability, with a mixed layer deepening of 9.5 m coinciding with a two-fold reduction in chlorophyll a but a three-fold increase in total zooplankton biomass. Epilimnetic respiration increased and net ecosystem productivity decreased. The ratio of total nitrogen:total phosphorus from in-lake versus inflow rivers was decoupled, leading to a cascade effect on higher trophic levels. A step change in nitrogen:phosphorus imbalances suggested that the zooplankton community shifted from phosphorus to nitrogen nutrient constraints. Such characterisations of both lake thermal and ecological responses to extreme weather events are relatively rare but are crucial to our understanding of how lakes are changing as the impacts of global climate change accelerate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
13 Years of Storms: An Analysis of the Effects of Storms on Lake Physics on the Atlantic Fringe of Europe
Water 2020, 12(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020318 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
While winter storms are generally common in western Europe, the rarer summer storms may result in more pronounced impacts on lake physics. Using long-term, high frequency datasets of weather and lake thermal structure from the west of Ireland (2005 to 2017), we quantified [...] Read more.
While winter storms are generally common in western Europe, the rarer summer storms may result in more pronounced impacts on lake physics. Using long-term, high frequency datasets of weather and lake thermal structure from the west of Ireland (2005 to 2017), we quantified the effects of storms on the physical conditions in a monomictic, deep lake close to the Atlantic Ocean. We analysed a total of 227 storms during the stratified (May to September, n = 51) and non-stratified (November to March, n = 176) periods. In winter, as might be expected, changes were distributed over the entire water column, whereas in summer, when the lake was stratified, storms only impacted the smaller volume above the thermocline. During an average summer (May–September) storm, the lake number dropped by an order of magnitude, the thermocline deepened by an average of 2.8 m, water column stability decreased by an average of 60.4 j m−2 and the epilimnion temperature decreased by a factor of five compared to the average change in winter (0.5 °C vs. 0.1 °C). Projected increases in summer storm frequency will have important implications for lake physics and biological pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) Events and Water Response in A Patagonian Fjord
Water 2020, 12(1), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010248 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
As a result of climate change, the frequency of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) is increasing in Chilean Patagonia. Yet, the impacts of the flood events on the physics and biology of fjords is still unknown. Current velocities, density, in-situ zooplankton samples, and [...] Read more.
As a result of climate change, the frequency of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) is increasing in Chilean Patagonia. Yet, the impacts of the flood events on the physics and biology of fjords is still unknown. Current velocities, density, in-situ zooplankton samples, and volume backscatter (Sv) derived from an acoustic profiler were used to explore the response of circulation and zooplankton abundance in a Patagonian fjord to GLOF events in 2010 and 2014. Maximum Sv was found both during the GLOFs and in late winter to early spring of 2010 and the fall and summer of 2014. The increase in Sv in late winter and spring of 2010 corresponded to multiple zooplankton species found from in-situ net sampling. In addition, diel vertical migrations were found during this seasonal increase both qualitatively and in a spectral analysis. Concurrently with zooplankton increases, wind forcing produced a deepening of the pycnocline. Zooplankton abundance peaked in the fjord when the pycnocline depth deepened due to wind forcing and throughout the entire spring season, indicating that mixing conditions could favor secondary production. These results were corroborated by the 2014 data, which indicate that weather events in the region impact both fjord physics and ecology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Modeling the Ecological Response of a Temporarily Summer-Stratified Lake to Extreme Heatwaves
Water 2020, 12(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010094 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate extremes, which are steadily increasing in frequency, can have detrimental consequences for lake ecosystems. We used a state-of-the-art, one-dimensional, hydrodynamic-ecosystem model [General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM)-framework for aquatic biogeochemical models (FABM)-PCLake] to determine the influence of extreme climate events on a temperate [...] Read more.
Climate extremes, which are steadily increasing in frequency, can have detrimental consequences for lake ecosystems. We used a state-of-the-art, one-dimensional, hydrodynamic-ecosystem model [General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM)-framework for aquatic biogeochemical models (FABM)-PCLake] to determine the influence of extreme climate events on a temperate and temporarily summer stratified lake (Lake Bryrup, Denmark). The model was calibrated (eight years data) and validated (two years data), and the modeled variables generally showed good agreement with observations. Then, a span of extreme warming scenarios was designed based on weather data from the heatwave seen over northern Europe in May–July 2018, mimicking situations of extreme warming returning every year, every three years, and every five years in summer and all year round, respectively. We found only modest impacts of the extreme climate events on nutrient levels, which in some scenarios decreased slightly when looking at the annual mean. The most significant impacts were found for phytoplankton, where summer average chlorophyll a concentrations and cyanobacteria biomass peaks were up to 39% and 58% higher than during baseline, respectively. As a result, the phytoplankton to nutrient ratios increased during the heat wave experiments, reflecting an increased productivity and an increased cycling of nutrients in the pelagic. The phytoplankton blooms occurred up to 15 days earlier and lasted for up to half a month longer during heat wave years relative to the baseline. Our extreme scenarios illustrated and quantified the large impacts of a past heat wave (observed 2018) and may be indicative of the future for many temperate lakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Species-Specific Responses of Submerged Macrophytes to Simulated Extreme Precipitation: A Mesocosm Study
Water 2019, 11(6), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061160 - 02 Jun 2019
Abstract
More frequent extreme climate events (e.g., extreme precipitation) are to be expected in the future, and such events may potentially have significant effects on freshwater ecosystems. In the present mesocosm study, the effects of simulated extreme precipitation on submerged macrophytes were evaluated for [...] Read more.
More frequent extreme climate events (e.g., extreme precipitation) are to be expected in the future, and such events may potentially have significant effects on freshwater ecosystems. In the present mesocosm study, the effects of simulated extreme precipitation on submerged macrophytes were evaluated for three different macrophyte community (MC) treatments (MC1, MC2 and MC3). MC1 consisted of only Vallisneria denseserrulata, while MC2 and MC3 included three and six species of various growth forms. Two treatments of extreme precipitation (EP) were simulated—an extreme treatment (E) simulating a sudden increase of water level from 75 cm to 150 cm within one day and a gradual treatment (G) simulating an increase to the same water level within 3 months, combined with two control treatments. Total macrophyte community biomass was resilient to the EP and MC treatments, while species-specific variations in responses, in terms of biomass, maximum height, and sexual reproduction, were found. For instance, E led to earlier flowering of Potamogeton lucens and production of more flowers, while it had adverse effects on the flowering of Ottelia alismoides. We conclude that freshwater ecosystems with high coverage of submerged macrophytes may be overall resilient to extreme precipitation under nutrient-limited conditions, especially communities with diverse growth forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems)
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