The scientific article entitled "Impact of nutrients and water level changes on submerged macrophytes along a temperature gradient: A pan-European mesocosm experiment," co-authored by Prof. Dr. Meryem Beklioğlu from METU Department of Biological Sciences and Ecosystem Research Center, and Zeynep Ersoy, Tuba Bucak and Eti Levi from the Limnology Laboratory together with Prof. Dr. Erik Jeppesen who is carrying out research at METU with Prof. Dr. Beklioğlu within Tubitak 2232 program, is published in "Global Change Biology".

Shallow lakes constitute the largest proportion of the world's lakes. Aquatic plants (macrophytes) play a key role in the functioning and structuring of these ecosystems. Ongoing climate and land use change are altering simultaneously temperatures, nutrient runoff and water-levels, which are the main drivers of macrophyte growth. Under EU 7th Framework Program REFRESH (Adaptive strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change on European freshwater ecosystems) project, to elucidate the effect of climate on macrophyte growth, we conducted controlled and highly syncronized Pan-European mesocosm experiment in six countries along a temperature gradient (Sweden, Estonia, Czech Republic, Germany, Turkey and Greece) with contrasting depths (shallow vs deep) and nutrient levels (mesotrophic vs eutrophic conditions). Results showed that positive temperature effects on macrophytes are highly dependent on nutrient status and water level. Under eutrophic conditions evaporation-driven water-level change, impacting underwater light-conditions, can act as a switch for whether macrophytes maintain dominance or are out-competed by algae. Thus, water-level change can compensate for negative effects of eutrophication by enhancing light availability. However, extreme water level declines will likely decrease the macrophyte biomass, thus their functioning role in the shallow lakes.

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Last Updated:
13/11/2020 - 18:25