Deliverable 3.18

Manuscript on response models with modules to predict temperature, water level and retention time nutrient (organic matter) and salinity changes.


Abstract Lake ecosystems in Europe are experiencing dramatic changes in response to increasing land-use and climate changes. In an attempt to provide further understanding about the current and potential future relative importance of human-induced land-uses and natural environmental factors (e.g. temperature and precipitation) on lake assemblage structure, we examine a large-scale pan-European database covering three main organismal groups (fish, macroinvertebrates, and phytoplankton). We used variance-partitioning analysis to disentangle the unique effects of natural and human-induced drivers on lake assemblages across Europe.

Results show that both process are significant structural drivers of assemblage change and that their relative importance varies between organisms and scales (broad-scale vs. local-sacle). Geo-climatic variation was the main driver of change for all three biological groups and suggested to be more influential at the pan-European scale. Instead, land-use changes were of better importance for fish and phytoplankton assemblage and potentially more important at smaller geographical levels. Arable-land-cover was more influential in the South and Central Europe lowlands, whereas forestry in the East, North and uplands areas.

Finally, the data suggest a strong collinearity between natural geo-climatic and land-use factors. This study reinforces the importance of monitoring phytoplankton, invertebrates and fish assemblages for assessing the real extent of climate and environmental change on structuring lake assemblages across Europe.

This manuscript replaces the originally planned manuscript on response models with modules to predict temperature, water level and retention time nutrient (organic matter) and salinity changes - there were insufficient freely available to enable these analyses to be undertaken.


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