Browsing All Posts filed under »lakes«

Lake management gets harder as the climate changes

March 26, 2022

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Excessive inflows of nutrients, especially phosphorus in fertilisers, pesticides and sewage, reduce water quality in lakes and reservoirs and can encourage toxic algal blooms, often with serious implications for public health, food security and biodiversity.  Increases in nutrient inputs are partly due to increased rainfall associated with  climate change.  And the availability and residence times […]

Lake management: are tipping points real?

December 14, 2021

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Freshwater biologists often seek to restore turbid shallow lakes dominated by phytoplankton to clear-water systems with a high abundance of submerged plants.  The usual plan of operation, which is often guided by lake ecosystem modelling, is to reduce external inputs of nutrients (e.g., from agricultural runoff or urban waste streams) to a threshold level at […]

Invasive fish species take over in Singapore

December 14, 2021

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Cichlids make up a large family of freshwater fish with centres of native distribution in Africa and South America.  Cichlid species vary widely in terms of feeding habits, reproductive strategies and environmental tolerances, and their capacity for adaptive radiation in areas such as the African Great Lakes is legendary. Unfortunately, with human assistance many of them […]

Trends in the relative size of lake catchments

December 14, 2021

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The influence of catchment-derived inputs of materials and energy on lake dynamics is commonly represented by the drainage ratio, which is the ratio of catchment area to lake area.  Surprisingly however, there’s a lack of information about catchment size – lake size relationships in general, and whether they vary with geographic region or lake type, […]

Land use patterns can aggravate toxic plankton blooms

September 28, 2021

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An understanding of how environmental factors affect the composition of biological communities is a crucial prerequisite for managing challenges due to climate change, land use practices and invasive species.  However, establishing the significance of interacting local and regional factors that vary widely across space and time is a challenge in itself.   Canadian biologists set out […]

What do bioindicators really indicate?

June 7, 2021

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There have been many attempts to find environmental measures that can be used as reliable indicators of disturbance in freshwater ecosystems, and proposed measures are often based on features of fish and macroinvertebrate communities, such as species richness, diversity, feeding styles and life history patterns.  While such metrics should ideally be robust enough for general […]

Assessing plankton communities: coarse classification works well

March 13, 2021

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Information on the responses of ecological communities to environmental factors plays a significant role in the management of natural resources.  However, assessing the responses of some important groups, such as lake plankton, is often difficult because of a lack of taxonomic expertise.  A possible solution to this problem is to classify organisms by functional physiological, […]

Biodiversity offsets: compliance doesn’t guarantee ecosystem function

March 13, 2021

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When human activities impair habitats and reduce biodiversity, environmental offsets, such as the creation of new wetlands and the planting of native vegetation, can help to preserve ecosystem function and services.  However, the success of offsetting projects depends on the extent to which the required measures are complied with, and compliance is often poor.  This […]

Reservoirs as biodiversity hotspots

December 17, 2020

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Although lakes and reservoirs are both inland water bodies, lakes are usually ancient ecosystems formed by geomorphological processes while reservoirs are relatively young environments constructed to meet human needs.  Understanding how these factors affect biological communities is important in the conservation of freshwater biodiversity.  In theory, diversity should be greater in lake habitats because they […]

Are there more species in permanent waters?

December 16, 2020

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How important is the influence of permanent water on the biodiversity of lakes, ponds and wetlands? Because many freshwater habitats dry out on a regular basis, to survive under such conditions organisms need to be able to exist as terrestrial adults or dormant stages, or to migrate to more permanent water bodies.  Despite these challenges, […]