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Management criteria for lake ecosystems applied to case studies of changes in nutrient loading and climate change

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The aim of this paper is twofold: to present and discuss practically useful management criteria from different perspectives of lake management (fishery, recreation, conservation, monitoring of water quality and use of water for irrigation and drinking), and to put these criteria into the context of a holistic lake ecosystem model, LakeWeb, which accounts for production, biomasses, predation and abiotic/biotic feedbacks related to nine key functional groups of organisms constituting the lake ecosystem. These are phytoplankton, benthic algae, macrophytes, bacterioplankton, herbivorous zooplankton, predatory zooplankton, zoobenthos, prey fish and predatory fish. The LakeWeb model also includes a mass-balance model for phosphorus and calculates bio-uptake and retention of phosphorus in these groups of organisms. It also includes submodels for the depth of the photic zone and lake temperature. The LakeWeb model is driven by few and readily accessible driving variables and it has been extensively tested and shown to capture fundamental lake foodweb interactions very well, which should lend credibility to the scenarios discussed in this paper regarding the conditions in Lake Batorino, Belarus. The LakeWeb model offers a tool to address important, often very complex, scientific problems in a realistic manner. The first scenario describes the changes after 1990 when there was a drastic reduction in the use of fertilizers in agriculture because of political changes and the corresponding changes in lake characteristics and foodweb structures utilizing the given management criteria. The second scenario describes, for comparative purposes, the probable alterations in the lake foodweb related to global climatic changes; in this case, warming and increased temperature variations. This study indicates that there are several similarities between eutrophication and increases in temperatures, which are discussed in this paper along with the mechanistic reasons related to such changes by using a set of general management criteria.
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Keywords: climate change; criteria; eutrophication; holistic approach; lake management; management model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, 2: Laboratory of Hydroecology, Belarus State University, Minsk, Belarus, 3: Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, Migdal, Israel, 4: University of Oklahoma Biological Station, Kingston, Oklahoma, USA, and 5: Laboratory of Freshwater Hydrobiology, Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg, Russia

Publication date: 2003-06-01

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