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Impact of nutrients and water level changes on submerged macrophytes along a temperature gradient: A pan-European mesocosm experiment

Ersoy, Zeynep and Scharfenberger, Ulrike and Ludovic Baho, Didier and Bucak, Tuba and Feldmann, Tonu and Hejzlar, Josef and Levi, Eti E. and Mahdy, Aldoushy and Noges, Tiina and Papastergiadou, Eva and Stefanidis, Konstantinos and Sorf, Michal and Sondergaard, Martin and Trigal, Cristina and Jeppesen, Erik and Beklioglu, Meryem (2020). Impact of nutrients and water level changes on submerged macrophytes along a temperature gradient: A pan-European mesocosm experiment. Global Change Biology. 26 , 6831-6851
[Research article]

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Abstract

Submerged macrophytes are of key importance for the structure and functioning of shallow lakes and can be decisive for maintaining them in a clear water state. The ongoing climate change affects the macrophytes through changes in temperature and precipitation, causing variations in nutrient load, water level and light availability. To investigate how these factors jointly determine macrophyte dominance and growth, we conducted a highly standardized pan-European experiment involving the installation of mesocosms in lakes. The experimental design consisted of mesotrophic and eutrophic nutrient conditions at 1 m (shallow) and 2 m (deep) depth along a latitudinal temperature gradient with average water temperatures ranging from 14.9 to 23.9 degrees C (Sweden to Greece) and a natural drop in water levels in the warmest countries (Greece and Turkey). We determined percent plant volume inhabited (PVI) of submerged macrophytes on a monthly basis for 5 months and dry weight at the end of the experiment. Over the temperature gradient, PVI was highest in the shallow mesotrophic mesocosms followed by intermediate levels in the shallow eutrophic and deep mesotrophic mesocosms, and lowest levels in the deep eutrophic mesocosms. We identified three pathways along which water temperature likely affected PVI, exhibiting (a) a direct positive effect if light was not limiting; (b) an indirect positive effect due to an evaporation-driven water level reduction, causing a nonlinear increase in mean available light; and (c) an indirect negative effect through algal growth and, thus, high light attenuation under eutrophic conditions. We conclude that high temperatures combined with a temperature-mediated water level decrease can counterbalance the negative effects of eutrophic conditions on macrophytes by enhancing the light availability. While a water level reduction can promote macrophyte dominance, an extreme reduction will likely decrease macrophyte biomass and, consequently, their capacity to function as a carbon store and food source.

Authors/Creators:Ersoy, Zeynep and Scharfenberger, Ulrike and Ludovic Baho, Didier and Bucak, Tuba and Feldmann, Tonu and Hejzlar, Josef and Levi, Eti E. and Mahdy, Aldoushy and Noges, Tiina and Papastergiadou, Eva and Stefanidis, Konstantinos and Sorf, Michal and Sondergaard, Martin and Trigal, Cristina and Jeppesen, Erik and Beklioglu, Meryem
Title:Impact of nutrients and water level changes on submerged macrophytes along a temperature gradient: A pan-European mesocosm experiment
Series Name/Journal:Global Change Biology
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:26
Page range:6831-6851
Number of Pages:21
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:1354-1013
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:climate change, latitudinal gradient, macrophytes, mesocosm, nutrients, shallow lakes, water level, water temperature
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108182
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108182
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/gcb.15338
Web of Science (WoS)000574040100001
ID Code:18724
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
(NL, NJ) > Swedish Species Information Centre
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 Nov 2020 16:23
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:20

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