Climate Effects on Phytoplankton Biomass and Functional Groups
Sammanfattning: Future climate in temperate regions is projected to get warmer and in many cases wetter. This poses questions about how phytoplankton in our lakes will respond. A dynamic modeling approach based on an allometric description of phytoplankton characteristics was used to investigate how the biomass of different functional groups of phytoplankton will respond to a changed future climate.Simulations based on a warmer future climate scenario suggest that we will experience an increase in phytoplankton biomass in northern temperate lakes. Moreover, phytoplankton groups are projected to shift towards a dominance of cyanobacteria at the expense of diatoms.Climate may affect phytoplankton, either via in-lake changes in temperature and stratification, or due to altered processes at the watershed level, which influence rates of nutrient export and water discharge. This study found that changes in lake temperature and stratification are the major causes of the projected increase in phytoplankton biomass, but that changes in the timing of nutrient export did influence the succession of diatoms.Variation in SPIM (suspended particulate inorganic matter) can have an important role in influencing the depth of the euphotic zone in a turbid lake, and hence the light climate experienced by phytoplankton. Wind and river discharge were found to regulate SPIM in this study, not only wind as in many other studies. Variations in SPIM could be adequately described by a few governing equations.This thesis suggests that, as a result of climate change, lakes close to the limit of becoming eutrophied may be pushed past a threshold beyond which water quality problems will become more prevalent. Finally it is important to bear in mind that all models are simplifications of the reality as we understand it. Still, the use of models can often give a good indication as to what might be expected in the future.
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