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Relationships between dissolved organic carbon concentrations, weather, and acidification in small Boreal Shield lakes

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We used multiple linear regression analyses to explore empirical relationships between dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, weather, and acidification in long-term data sets from 12 small Boreal Shield lakes in Ontario, Canada. In two lakes in which pH changes have been very large (4.5 to ~6.0), pH explained most of the temporal variation in DOC concentrations. In the remaining lakes, long-term average previous temperature (on the scale of a decade or more) was usually the best explanatory variable for DOC concentrations. Lake-specific multiple regression models constructed from long-term and short-term attributes of weather (long-term average previous temperature and precipitation, winter–spring precipitation, summer precipitation, summer sunshine) and pH explained between 41% and 96% of the temporal variation in DOC concentrations during the entire monitoring period for these lakes (n = 16–26 years). Multiple regression models considering only the period common to all lakes, 1987 to 2003 (n = 16–17 years), explained 35%–96% of the variation in DOC concentrations. The importance of long-term and short-term attributes of weather in explaining temporal variations in DOC concentrations suggests that changes in climate will have large effects on lake clarity; however, the interactions between weather-related effects may be very complex.

Des analyses de régression multiple linéaire nous servent à explorer les relations empiriques entre les concentrations de carbone organique dissous (DOC), les conditions climatiques et l’acidification dans des ensembles de données à long terme provenant de 12 petits lacs boréaux du Bouclier laurentien en Ontario. Dans deux des lacs dans lesquels les variations de pH ont été très importantes (4,5 à ~6,0), le pH explique la plupart des variations temporelles des concentrations de DOC. Dans les autres lacs, la température moyenne antérieure à long terme (à l’échelle d’une décennie ou plus) est ordinairement la meilleure variable explicative des concentrations de DOC. Les modèles de régression multiple spécifiques aux divers lacs basés sur les caractéristiques à court et à long termes des conditions climatiques (température et précipitations moyennes antérieures à long terme, précipitations d’hiver–printemps, précipitations en été, ensoleillement en été) et sur le pH expliquent entre 41 et 96 % de la variation temporelle des concentrations de DOC durant la période entière d’observation de ces lacs (n = 16–26 ans). Les modèles de régression multiple qui ne prennent en compte que la période d’observation commune à tous les lacs, soit de 1987 à 2003 (n = 16–17 ans) expliquent de 35 à 96 % de la variation des concentrations de DOC. L’importance des caractéristiques climatiques à court et long termes comme variables explicatives des variations temporelles des concentrations de DOC laisse croire que les changements climatiques auront des effets importants sur la clarté des lacs; toutefois, les interactions entre les effets liés aux conditions climatiques pourraient s’avérer être très complexes.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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