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Is the future blue-green? A review of the current model predictions of how climate change could affect pelagic freshwater cyanobacteria

Elliott, J. Alex. 2012 Is the future blue-green? A review of the current model predictions of how climate change could affect pelagic freshwater cyanobacteria. Water Research, 46 (5). 1364-1371. 10.1016/j.watres.2011.12.018

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Abstract/Summary

There is increasing evidence that recent changes in climate have had an effect on lake phytoplankton communities and it has been suggested that it is likely that Cyanobacteria will increase in relative abundance under the predicted future climate. However, testing such a qualitative prediction is challenging and usually requires some form of numerical computer model. Therefore, the lake modelling literature was reviewed for studies that examined the impact of climate change upon Cyanobacteria. These studies, taken collectively, generally show an increase in relative Cyanobacteria abundance with increasing water temperature, decreased flushing rate and increased nutrient loads. Furthermore, they suggest that whilst the direct effects of climate change on the lakes can change the timing of bloom events and Cyanobacteria abundance, the amount of phytoplankton biomass produced over a year is not enhanced directly by these changes. Also, warmer waters in the spring increased nutrient consumption by the phytoplankton community which in some lakes caused nitrogen limitation later in the year to the advantage of some nitrogen-fixing Cyanobacteria. Finally, it is also possible that an increase in Cyanobacteria dominance of the phytoplankton biomass will lead to poorer energy flow to higher trophic levels due to their relatively poor edibility for zooplankton.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.watres.2011.12.018
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.3 - Model, attribute and predict impacts of climate and land cover change on hydrological and freshwater systems
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.4 - Develop novel and improved methods to enable the sustainable management of freshwaters and wetlands
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.4 - Estimate the impact of the main drivers and pressures on biodiversity ...
CEH Sections: Parr
ISSN: 0043-1354
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The attached document the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Water Research, 46 (5). 1364-1371. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Water Research, 46 (5). 1364-1371. 10.1016/j.watres.2011.12.018 www.elsevier.com/
Additional Keywords: lake modelling, nitrogen limitation, phenology, water quality, eutrophication
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 08 Feb 2012 11:48
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/16638

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