Browsing by Subject "freshwater"

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  • Heino, Jani; Culp, Joseph M.; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Goedkoop, Willem; Lento, Jennifer; Rühland, Kathleen; Smol, John P.; Britton, Robert (British Ecological Society, 2020)
    Journal of Applied Ecology Volume 57, Issue 7 (2020)
    1. Arctic regions support a wide variety of freshwater ecosystems. These naturally oligotrophic and cold-water streams, rivers, ponds and lakes are currently being impacted by a diverse range of anthropogenic pressures, such as accelerated climate change, permafrost thaw, land-use change, eutrophication, brownification and the replacement of northern biota with the range expansion of more southern species. 2. Multiple stressors are rapidly changing Arctic freshwater systems as aquatic habitats are becoming more suitable for species originating from more southerly regions and thereby threatening biota adapted to cold waters. The livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples of the north will be altered when ecosystem services associated with changes in biodiversity are affected. Unfortunately, monitoring of biodiversity change in Arctic freshwaters is currently inadequate, making it difficult, if not impossible, to predict changes in ecosystem services. 3. Synthesis and applications. We propose a three-step approach to better address and facilitate monitoring of the rapid ecological changes that Arctic freshwater ecosystems are currently experiencing as a result of climate change. First, we should increase our efforts in the monitoring of freshwaters across all Arctic countries by setting up a network of monitoring sites and devoting more effort to a broad-scale baseline survey using standardized methods. Second, we should enhance modelling efforts to include both ecological change and socio-economic development. These models should help pinpoint species, ecosystems and geographical areas that are likely to show abrupt changes in response to any changes. Third, we should increase interaction among scientists, policymakers and different stakeholder groups. In particular, Indigenous Peoples must be involved in the leadership, planning and execution of monitoring and assessment activities of Arctic freshwaters. The proposed approach, which is critical to detecting the effects of climate change in the circumpolar region, has broader applications for global coordination of Arctic freshwater biomonitoring. Through routine monitoring, standardization of methods, enhanced modelling of integrated scientific and socio-economic change, and increased collaboration within and among sectors, more effective monitoring and management of climate change impacts on freshwater biodiversity will be possible in the Arctic and globally.
  • Rajakallio, Maria; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Muotka, Timo; Aroviita, Jukka (Blackwell, 2021)
    Journal of Applied Ecology 58: 7, 1523-1532
    1. Growing bioeconomy is increasing the pressure to clear-cut drained peatland forests. Yet, the cumulative effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on the biodiversity of recipient freshwater ecosystems are largely unknown. 2. We studied the isolated and combined effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on stream macroinvertebrate communities. We further explored whether the impact of these forestry-driven catchment alterations to benthic invertebrates is related to stream size. We quantified the impact on invertebrate biodiversity by comparing communities in forestry-impacted streams to expected communities modelled with a multi-taxon niche model. 3. The impact of clear-cutting of drained peatland forests exceeded the sum of the independent effects of drainage and clear-cutting, indicating a synergistic interaction between the two disturbances in small streams. Peatland drainage reduced benthic biodiversity in both small and large streams, whereas clear-cutting did the same only in small streams. Small headwater streams were more sensitive to forestry impacts than the larger downstream sites. 4. We found 11 taxa (out of 25 modelled) to respond to forestry disturbances. These taxa were mainly different from those previously reported as sensitive to forestry-driven alterations, indicating the context dependence of taxonomic responses to forestry. In contrast, most of the functional traits previously identified as responsive to agricultural sedimentation also responded to forestry pressures. In particular, taxa that live temporarily in hyporheic habitats, move by crawling, disperse actively in water, live longer than 1 year, use eggs as resistance form and obtain their food by scraping became less abundant than expected, particularly in streams impacted by both drainage and clear-cutting. 5. Synthesis and applications. Drained peatland forests in boreal areas are reaching maturity and will soon be harvested. Clear-cutting of these forests incurs multiple environmental hazards but previous studies have focused on terrestrial ecosystems. Our results show that the combined impacts of peatland drainage and clear-cutting may extend across ecosystem boundaries and cause significant biodiversity loss in recipient freshwater ecosystems. This information supports a paradigm shift in boreal forest management, whereby continuous-cover forestry based on partial harvest may provide the most sustainable approach to peatland forestry.
  • Iversen, L.L.; Winkel, A.; Baastrup-Spohr, L.; Hinke, A.B.; Alahuhta, J.; Baattrup-Pedersen, A.; Birk, S.; Brodersen, P.; Chambers, P. A.; Ecke, F; Feldmann, T.; Gebler, D.; Heino, J.; Jespersen, T. S.; Moe, S. J.; Riis, T.; Sass, L.; Vestergaard, O.; Maberly, S. C.; Sand-Jensen, K.; Pedersen, O. (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2019)
    Science Vol. 366, Issue 6467, pp. 878-881
    Unlike in land plants, photosynthesis in many aquatic plants relies on bicarbonate in addition to carbon dioxide (CO2) to compensate for the low diffusivity and potential depletion of CO2 in water. Concentrations of bicarbonate and CO2 vary greatly with catchment geology. In this study, we investigate whether there is a link between these concentrations and the frequency of freshwater plants possessing the bicarbonate use trait. We show, globally, that the frequency of plant species with this trait increases with bicarbonate concentration. Regionally, however, the frequency of bicarbonate use is reduced at sites where the CO2 concentration is substantially above the air equilibrium, consistent with this trait being an adaptation to carbon limitation. Future anthropogenic changes of bicarbonate and CO2 concentrations may alter the species compositions of freshwater plant communities.
  • Cantonati, Marco; Poikane, Sandra; Pringle, Catherine M.; Stevens, Lawrence E.; Turak, Eren; Heino, Jani; Richardson, John S.; Bolpagni, Rossano; Borrini, Alex; Cid, Nuria; Cvrtlíková, Martina; Galassi, Diana M. P.; Hájek, Michal; Hawes, Ian; Levkov, Zlatko; Naselli-Flores, Luigi; Saber, Abdullah A.; Di Cicco, Mattia; Fiasca, Barbara; Hamilton, Paul B.; Kubečka, Jan; Segadelli, Stefano; Znachor, Petr (MDPI, 2020)
    In this overview (introductory article to a special issue including 14 papers), we consider all main types of natural and artificial inland freshwater habitas (fwh). For each type, we identify the main biodiversity patterns and ecological features, human impacts on the system and environmental issues, and discuss ways to use this information to improve stewardship. Examples of selected key biodiversity/ecological features (habitat type): narrow endemics, sensitive (groundwater and GDEs); crenobionts, LIHRes (springs); unidirectional flow, nutrient spiraling (streams); naturally turbid, floodplains, large-bodied species (large rivers); depth-variation in benthic communities (lakes); endemism and diversity (ancient lakes); threatened, sensitive species (oxbow lakes, SWE); diverse, reduced littoral (reservoirs); cold-adapted species (Boreal and Arctic fwh); endemism, depauperate (Antarctic fwh); flood pulse, intermittent wetlands, biggest river basins (tropical fwh); variable hydrologic regime—periods of drying, flash floods (arid-climate fwh). Selected impacts: eutrophication and other pollution, hydrologic modifications, overexploitation, habitat destruction, invasive species, salinization. Climate change is a threat multiplier, and it is important to quantify resistance, resilience, and recovery to assess the strategic role of the different types of freshwater ecosystems and their value for biodiversity conservation. Effective conservation solutions are dependent on an understanding of connectivity between different freshwater ecosystems (including related terrestrial, coastal and marine systems).
  • Kahlert, Maria; Maaria Karjalainen, Satu; Keck, Francois; Kelly, Martyn; Ramon, Mathieu; Rimet, Frederic; Schneider, Susanne; Tapolczai, Kálmán; Zimmermann, Jonas (Elsevier BV, 2022)
    Ecological Indicators
    Diatom taxonomy has evolved in recent years, with many new species described and new approaches such as molecular genetics showing the existence of cryptic diversity within currently accepted species. This cryptic diversity is not well understood even for common freshwater genera such as Fragilaria and Ulnaria. The purpose of our study was to define taxon-specific ecological profiles and geographical distributions for unique molecular identifiers (amplicon sequence variants, ASVs) linked to curated taxonomy for these genera. Our goal is to contribute to the development of ecological assessment methods, and to the understanding why we often observe so many diatom species co-occurring in a single sample. We filtered a large (770 samples) metabarcoding dataset with linked environmental data covering several countries in Europe for genetic variants (ASVs) assigned to currently accepted species of our target genera. We studied the geographical distribution of the ASVs, and tested for ASV-pair co-occurrence. We modelled ASV-specific preferences for pH, alkalinity, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and conductivity, and analysed their preference for lakes or streams as habitat. Our study confirmed that there seems to be no general geographical barrier for the distribution of freshwater benthic diatom ASVs in Europe, but that dispersal is not rapid enough to hide historical events. The Fragilaria and Ulnaria ASVs in our study showed considerable overlap in geographical distribution, habitat and ecological preferences. We found evidence that only large differences in preferences for the analysed water chemistry variables prevented the co occurrence of ASVs at the same sites. Instead, Fragilaria and Ulnaria ASVs co-occurred frequently in samples. We found subtle differences in ecological preferences for some ASV pairs, which might in part explain the co occurrence by the avoidance of direct competition. However, the great overlap in distribution and ecological preferences suggests that other factors not studied here were also responsible for the observed co-occurrences and high richness of ASVs found at many sites. To our knowledge, we are the first to use ASVs in combina tion with a curated taxonomy to understand co-occurrence, specific ecological profiles and large-scale geographical distribution for unique identifiers not biased by the quality of reference databases, clustering methods, or non-harmonized morphological identification. Thus, our results can now be used in subsequent projects to interpret ASV occurrences, e.g. for development of ecological assessment methods.
  • Peltomaa, Elina; Hällfors, Heidi; Taipale, Sami J. (2019)
    Recent studies have clearly shown the importance of omega-3 (-3) and omega-6 (-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for human and animal health. The long-chain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6-3) are especially recognized for their nutritional value, and ability to alleviate many diseases in humans. So far, fish oil has been the main human source of EPA and DHA, but alternative sources are needed to satisfy the growing need for them. Therefore, we compared a fatty acid profile and content of 10 diatoms and seven dinoflagellates originating from marine, brackish and freshwater habitats. These two phytoplankton groups were chosen since they are excellent producers of EPA and DHA in aquatic food webs. Multivariate analysis revealed that, whereas the phytoplankton group (46%) explained most of the differences in the fatty acid profiles, habitat (31%) together with phytoplankton group (24%) explained differences in the fatty acid contents. In both diatoms and dinoflagellates, the total fatty acid concentrations and the -3 and -6 PUFAs were markedly higher in freshwater than in brackish or marine strains. Our results show that, even though the fatty acid profiles are genetically ordered, the fatty acid contents may vary greatly by habitat and affect the -3 and -6 availability in food webs.
  • Vuorio, Kristiina; Mäki, Anita; Salmi, Pauliina; Aalto, Sanni L.; Tiirola, Marja (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020)
    Frontiers in Microbiology 11 (2020) 96
    The composition of phytoplankton community is the basis for environmental monitoring and assessment of the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. Community composition studies of phytoplankton have been based on time-consuming and expertise-demanding light microscopy analyses. Molecular methods have the potential to replace microscopy, but the high copy number variation of ribosomal genes and the lack of universal primers for simultaneous amplification of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes complicate data interpretation. In this study, we used our previously developed directional primer-independent high-throughput sequencing (HTS) approach to analyze 16S and 18S rRNA community structures. Comparison of 83 boreal lake samples showed that the relative abundances of eukaryotic phytoplankton at class level and prokaryotic cyanobacteria at order level were consistent between HTS and microscopy results. At the genus level, the results had low correspondence, mainly due to lack of sequences in the reference library. HTS was superior to identify genera that are extensively represented in the reference databases but lack specific morphological characteristics. Targeted metatranscriptomics proved to be a feasible method to complement the microscopy analysis. The metatranscriptomics can also be applied without linking the sequences to taxonomy. However, direct indexing of the sequences to their environmental indicator values needs collections of more comprehensive sample sets, as long as the coverage of molecular barcodes of eukaryotic species remains insufficient.
  • Kumar, Eva; Koponen, Jani; Rantakokko, Panu; Airaksinen, Riikka; Ruokojärvi, Päivi; Kiviranta, Hannu; Vuorinen, Pekka J.; Myllylä, Timo; Keinänen, Marja; Raitaniemi, Jari; Mannio, Jaakko; Junttila, Ville; Nieminen, Janne; Venäläinen, Eija-Riitta; Jestoi, Marika (Elsevier BV, 2022)
    Occurrence and distribution of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), a sub-category of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), is widespread in the environment. Food, especially fish meat, is a major pathway via which humans are exposed to PFAAs. As fish is an integral part of Nordic diet, therefore, in this study, several fish species, caught in selected Baltic Sea basins and freshwater bodies of Finland, were analysed for PFAAs. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was detected in all Baltic Sea fish samples and in >80% fish samples from freshwaters. PFOS contributed between 46 and 100% to the total PFAA concentration in Baltic Sea fish samples and between 19 and 28% in fish samples from freshwaters. Geographically, concentration ratios of PFOS to other PFAAs differed between fish from the Baltic Sea and Finnish lakes suggesting that distribution of PFAAs differ in these environments. Results were compared with current safety thresholds – environmental quality standard for biota (EQSbiota) set by the European Commission and a group tolerable weekly intake (TWI) for the sum of four PFASs (∑PFAS-4) i.e. perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) and PFOS, recommended by the European Food Authority (EFSA). EQSbiota compliance was observed for PFOS in all species except smelt caught in the Baltic Sea and also in the River Aurajoki, where smelt had migrated from the Baltic Sea for spawning. Moderate consumption of most Baltic fishes (200 g week−1) results in an exceedance of the new TWI (4.4 ng kg−1 body weight week−1) for ∑PFAS-4.
  • Bergsten, Johannes; Biström, Olof (2022)
    The Laccophilus alluaudi species group is an interesting case of an endemic species radiation of Madagascar and the Comoros. To date, a single species, Laccophilus tigrinus Guignot, 1959 (Anjouan), is known from the Comoro Islands, with eight other species known from Madagascar. Here we review the Laccophilus alluaudi species group from the Comoro Islands based on partly new material. We recognize five species, out of which four are here described as new: L. mohelicus n. sp. (Moheli), L. denticulatus n. sp. (Grande Comore), L. michaelbalkei n. sp. (Mayotte) and L. mayottei n. sp. (Mayotte). Based on morphology of male genitalia, we hypothesize that the five species form a monophyletic group and originated from a single colonization event from Madagascar. If confirmed, this would constitute one of the few examples of intra-archipelago diversification in the Comoros. The knowledge of species limits in relation to their distribution in the Comoros archipelago is also urgently needed in the face of rapid habitat degradation.
  • Gavioli, Anna; Milardi, Marco; Castaldelli, Giuseppe; Fano, Elisa Anna; Soininen, Janne (2019)
    Aim Exotic species are a major threat to biodiversity and have modified native communities worldwide. Invasion processes have been extensively studied, but studies on species richness and beta diversity patterns of exotic and native species are rare. We investigate such patterns among exotic and native fish communities in upland and lowland rivers to explore their relationship with environmental drivers. Location Northern Italy. Methods Exotic and native fish beta diversity patterns were investigated separately in lowland and upland sites using Local Contribution to Beta Diversity (LCBD) and Species Contribution to Beta Diversity (SCBD) analyses. To examine the main environmental variables affecting the LCBD, a Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) method was used. Community dispersion among and within stream orders was investigated with the PERMDISP test. Results In lowland sites, exotic species richness was higher than native species richness, especially in large rivers and drainage canals. An opposite trend was found in upland sites, where native species richness was higher than exotic species richness, especially in large rivers. No clear LCBD patterns were found along stream orders in the lowland, whereas higher stream orders in the upland showed the highest LCBD. Its patterns in upland and lowland sites were related to a number of factors, such as total suspended solids and total phosphorus. Community dispersion among stream orders did not show a relationship with environmental heterogeneity. SCBD values were positively correlated with species occupancy in the study area, and native species showed higher SCBD values than exotic species only in the uplands. Main conclusions Large rivers in the uplands are important in maintaining native fish diversity and should be protected against invasive fish. In contrast, most lowland rivers have suffered from biological homogenization. Some rare native species can show low contribution to beta diversity, but still need conservation actions due to their risk of local extinction.
  • Hampton, Stephanie E.; Galloway, Aaron W. E.; Powers, Stephen M.; Ozersky, Ted; Woo, Kara H.; Batt, Ryan D.; Labou, Stephanie G.; O'Reilly, Catherine M.; Sharma, Sapna; Lottig, Noah R.; Stanley, Emily H.; North, Rebecca L.; Stockwell, Jason D.; Adrian, Rita; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.; Arvola, Lauri; Baulch, Helen M.; Bertani, Isabella; Bowman, Larry L.; Carey, Cayelan C.; Catalan, Jordi; Colom-Montero, William; Domine, Leah M.; Felip, Marisol; Granados, Ignacio; Gries, Corinna; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Haberman, Juta; Haldna, Marina; Hayden, Brian; Higgins, Scott N.; Jolley, Jeff C.; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; Kaup, Enn; Kehoe, Michael J.; MacIntyre, Sally; Mackay, Anson W.; Mariash, Heather L.; Mckay, Robert M.; Nixdorf, Brigitte; Noges, Peeter; Noges, Tiina; Palmer, Michelle; Pierson, Don C.; Post, David M.; Pruett, Matthew J.; Rautio, Milla; Read, Jordan S.; Roberts, Sarah L.; Ruecker, Jacqueline; Sadro, Steven; Silow, Eugene A.; Smith, Derek E.; Sterner, Robert W.; Swann, George E. A.; Timofeyev, Maxim A.; Toro, Manuel; Twiss, Michael R.; Vogt, Richard J.; Watson, Susan B.; Whiteford, Erika J.; Xenopoulos, Marguerite A. (2017)
    Winter conditions are rapidly changing in temperate ecosystems, particularly for those that experience periods of snow and ice cover. Relatively little is known of winter ecology in these systems, due to a historical research focus on summer 'growing seasons'. We executed the first global quantitative synthesis on under-ice lake ecology, including 36 abiotic and biotic variables from 42 research groups and 101 lakes, examining seasonal differences and connections as well as how seasonal differences vary with geophysical factors. Plankton were more abundant under ice than expected; mean winter values were 43.2% of summer values for chlorophyll a, 15.8% of summer phytoplankton biovolume and 25.3% of summer zooplankton density. Dissolved nitrogen concentrations were typically higher during winter, and these differences were exaggerated in smaller lakes. Lake size also influenced winter-summer patterns for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), with higher winter DOC in smaller lakes. At coarse levels of taxonomic aggregation, phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition showed few systematic differences between seasons, although literature suggests that seasonal differences are frequently lake-specific, species-specific, or occur at the level of functional group. Within the subset of lakes that had longer time series, winter influenced the subsequent summer for some nutrient variables and zooplankton biomass.
  • Wymore, Adam S.; Johnes, Penny J.; Bernal, Susana; Brookshire, E. N. Jack; Fazekas, Hannah M.; Helton, Ashley M.; Argerich, Alba; Barnes, Rebecca T.; Coble, Ashley A.; Dodds, Walter K.; Haq, Shahan; Johnson, Sherri L.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Kaushal, Sujay S.; Kortelainen, Pirkko; López-Lloreda, Carla; Rodríguez-Cardona, Bianca M.; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Sullivan, Pamela L.; Yates, Christopher A.; McDowell, William H. (American Geophysical Union, 2021)
    Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 35(8), e2021GB006953
    A comprehensive cross-biome assessment of major nitrogen (N) species that includes dissolved organic N (DON) is central to understanding interactions between inorganic nutrients and organic matter in running waters. Here, we synthesize stream water N chemistry across biomes and find that the composition of the dissolved N pool shifts from highly heterogeneous to primarily comprised of inorganic N, in tandem with dissolved organic matter (DOM) becoming more N-rich, in response to nutrient enrichment from human disturbances. We identify two critical thresholds of total dissolved N (TDN) concentrations where the proportions of organic and inorganic N shift. With low TDN concentrations (0–1.3 mg/L N), the dominant form of N is highly variable, and DON ranges from 0% to 100% of TDN. At TDN concentrations above 2.8 mg/L, inorganic N dominates the N pool and DON rarely exceeds 25% of TDN. This transition to inorganic N dominance coincides with a shift in the stoichiometry of the DOM pool, where DOM becomes progressively enriched in N and DON concentrations are less tightly associated with concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). This shift in DOM stoichiometry (defined as DOC:DON ratios) suggests that fundamental changes in the biogeochemical cycles of C and N in freshwater ecosystems are occurring across the globe as human activity alters inorganic N and DOM sources and availability. Alterations to DOM stoichiometry are likely to have important implications for both the fate of DOM and its role as a source of N as it is transported downstream to the coastal ocean.
  • Viitala, Mirka; Steinmetz, Zacharias; Sillanpää, Mika; Mänttäri, Mika; Sillanpää, Markus (Elsevier BV, 2022)
    Environmental Pollution
    Only scarce information is available about the abundance of microplastics (MPs) in Nordic lakes. In this study, the occurrence, types, and distribution of MPs were assessed based on the lake water and sediment samples collected from a sub-basin of Lake Saimaa, Finland. The main goal was to estimate the possible effect of the local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) on the abundance of MPs in different compartments of the recipient lake area. Collected bottom sediment samples were Cs-137 dated and the chronological structure was utilized to relate the concentrations of MPs to their sedimentation years. Raman microspectroscopy was used for the MPs’ identification from both sample matrices. In addition, MPs consisting of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) were quantified from lake water samples by pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to provide a complementary assessment of MPs based on two different analysis methods, which provide different metrics of the abundance of microplastics. MPs concentrations were highest in sediment samples closest to the discharge site of WWTP effluents (4400 ± 620 n/kg dw) compared to other sites. However, such a trend was not found in lake water samples (0.7 ± 0.1 n/L). Overall, microplastic fibers were relatively more abundant in sediment (70%) than in water (40%), and the majority of detected microplastic fibers were identified as polyester. This indicates that a part of textile fibers passing the WWTP processes accumulate in the sediment close to the discharge site. In addition, the abundance of MPs was revealed to have increased slightly during the last 30 years.
  • Ovaskainen, Otso Tapio; Weigel, Benjamin Matthias; Potyutko, Oleg; Buyvolov, Yury (2019)
    Scale-related assessment strategies are important contributions to successful ecosystem management. With varying impact of environmental drivers from local to regional scales, a focal task is to understand scale-de- pendent responses when assessing the state of an ecosystem. In this study we use large-scale monitoring data, spanning 40 years and including four aquatic bioindicator groups (phytoplankton, zooplankton, periphyton, zoobenthos) to expose the long-term changes of water quality across Russia. We include four hierarchical spatial scales (region, basin, waterbody and observation point) to identify the relative importance of different spatio- temporal scales for the variation of each bioindicator and patterns of co-variation among the bioindicators at different hierarchical levels. We analysed the data with Hierarchical Modelling of Species Communities (HMSC), an approach that belongs to the framework of joint species distribution models. We performed a cross validation to reveal the predictive power of modelled bioindicator variation, partitioned explained variance among the fixed effects (waterbody type, and influence of human population density) and the random effects (spatial and spatio-temporal variation at the four hierarchical scales), and examined the co-variation among bioindicators at each spatio-temporal scale. We detected generally decreasing water quality across Russian freshwaters, yet with region and bioindicator specific trends. For all bioindicators, the dominating part of the variation was attributed the largest (region) and smallest (observation point) hierarchical scales, the region particularly important for benthic and the observation point for pelagic bioindicators. All bioindicators captured the same spatial variation in water quality at the smallest scale of observation point, with phytoplankton, zooplankton and periphyton being associated positively to each other and negatively to zoobenthos. However, at larger spatial scales and at spatio-temporal scales, the associations among the bioindicators became more complex, with phytoplankton and zooplankton showing opposite trends over time. Our study reveals the sensitivity of bioindicators to spatial and temporal scales. While delivering unidirectional robust water quality assessments at the local scale, bioindicator co-variation is more complex over larger geographic scales and over time.
  • Uurasjärvi, Emilia; Hartikainen, Samuel; Setälä, Outi; Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Koistinen, Arto (John Wiley & Sons, 2019)
    Water Environment Research
    We examined microplastic concentrations, size distributions, and polymer types in surface waters of a northern European dimictic lake. Two sampling methods, a pump sieving water onto filters with different pore sizes (20, 100, and 300 µm) and a common manta trawl (333 µm), were utilized to sample surface water from 12 sites at the vicinity of potential sources for microplastic emissions. The number and polymer types of microplastics in the samples were determined with optical microscopy and μFTIR spectroscopy. The average concentrations were 0.27 ± 0.18 (mean ± SD) microplastics/m3 in manta trawled samples and 1.8 ± 2.3 (>300 μm), 12 ± 17 (100–300 μm) and 155 ± 73 (20–100 μm) microplastics/m3 in pump filtered samples. The majority (64%) of the identified microplastics (n = 168) were fibers, and the rest were fragments. Materials were identified as polymers commonly used in consumer products, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyethylene terephthalate. Microplastic concentrations were high near the discharge pipe of a wastewater treatment plant, harbors, and snow dumping site.
  • Lau, Danny C. P.; Christoffersen, Kirsten S.; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Hayden, Brian; Heino, Jani; Hellsten, Seppo; Holmgren, Kerstin; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; Kahlert, Maria; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Karlsson, Jan; Forsström, Laura; Lento, Jennifer; Mjelde, Marit; Ruuhijärvi, Jukka; Sandøy, Steinar; Schartau, Ann Kristin; Svenning, Martin‐A.; Vrede, Tobias; Goedkoop, Willem (Blackwell Scientific, 2022)
    Freshwater Biology
    1. Arctic and sub-Arctic lakes in northern Europe are increasingly threatened by climate change, which can affect their biodiversity directly by shifting thermal and hydrological regimes, and indirectly by altering landscape processes and catchment vegetation. Most previous studies of northern lake biodiversity responses to environmental changes have focused on only a single organismal group. Investigations at whole-lake scales that integrate different habitats and trophic levels are currently rare, but highly necessary for future lake monitoring and management. 2. We analysed spatial biodiversity patterns of 74 sub-Arctic lakes in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Faroe Islands with monitoring data for at least three biological focal ecosystem components (FECs)—benthic diatoms, macrophytes, phytoplankton, littoral benthic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, and fish—that covered both pelagic and benthic habitats and multiple trophic levels. 3. We calculated the richnessrelative (i.e. taxon richness of a FEC in the lake divided by the total richness of that FEC in all 74 lakes) and the biodiversity metrics (i.e. taxon richness, inverse Simpson index (diversity), and taxon evenness) of individual FECs using presence–absence and abundance data, respectively. We then investigated whether the FEC richnessrelative and biodiversity metrics were correlated with lake abiotic and geospatial variables. We hypothesised that (1) individual FECs would be more diverse in a warmer and wetter climate (e.g. at lower latitudes and/or elevations), and in hydrobasins with greater forest cover that could enhance the supply of terrestrial organic matter and nutrients that stimulated lake productivity; and (2) patterns in FEC responses would be coupled among trophic levels. 4. Results from redundancy analyses showed that the richnessrelative of phytoplankton, macrophytes, and fish decreased, but those of the intermediate trophic levels (i.e. macroinvertebrates and zooplankton) increased with decreasing latitude and/or elevation. Fish richnessrelative and diversity increased with increasing temporal variation in climate (temperature and/or precipitation), ambient nutrient concentrations (e.g. total nitrogen) in lakes, and woody vegetation (e.g. taiga forest) cover in hydrobasins, whereas taxon richness of macroinvertebrates and zooplankton decreased with increasing temporal variation in climate. 5. The similar patterns detected for richnessrelative of fish, macrophytes, and phytoplankton could be caused by similar responses to the environmental descriptors, and/or the beneficial effects of macrophytes as habitat structure. By creating habitat, macrophytes may increase fish diversity and production, which in turn may promote higher densities and probably more diverse assemblages of phytoplankton through trophic cascades. Lakes with greater fish richnessrelative tended to have greater average richnessrelative among FECs, suggesting that fish are a potential indicator for overall lake biodiversity. 6. Overall, the biodiversity patterns observed along the environmental gradients were trophic-level specific, indicating that an integrated food-web perspective may lead to a more holistic understanding of ecosystem biodiversity in future monitoring and management of high-latitude lakes. In future, monitoring should also focus on collecting more abundance data for fish and lower trophic levels in both benthic and pelagic habitats. This may require more concentrated sampling effort on fewer lakes at smaller spatial scales, while continuing to sample lakes distributed along environmental gradients.
  • Kochanova, Elena; Nair, Abhilash; Sukhikh, Natalia; Väinölä, Risto; Husby, Arild (2021)
    Comparative phylogeography has become a powerful approach in exploring hidden or cryptic diversity within widespread species and understanding how historical and biogeographical factors shape the modern patterns of their distribution. Most comparative phylogeographic studies so far focus on terrestrial and vertebrate taxa, while aquatic invertebrates (and especially freshwater invertebrates) remain unstudied. In this article, we explore and compare the patterns of molecular diversity and phylogeographic structure of four widespread freshwater copepod crustaceans in European water bodies: the harpacticoids Attheyella crassa, Canthocamptus staphylinus and Nitokra hibernica, and the cyclopoid Eucyclops serrulatus, using sequence data from mtDNA COI and nuclear ITS/18S rRNA genes. The three taxa A. crassa, C. staphylinus and E. serrulatus each consist of deeply diverged clusters and are deemed to represent complexes of species with largely (but not completely) non-overlapping distributions, while in N. hibernica only little differentiation was found, which may however reflect the geographically more restricted sampling. However, the geographical patterns of subdivision differ. The divisions in A. crassa and E. serrulatus follow an east-west pattern in Northern Europe whereas that in C. staphylinus has more of a north-south pattern, with a distinct Fennoscandian clade. The deep mitochondrial splits among populations of A. crassa, C. staphylinus and E. serrulatus (model-corrected distances 26-36%) suggest that divergence of the lineages predate the Pleistocene glaciations. This study provides an insight into cryptic diversity and biogeographic distribution of freshwater copepods.
  • Tokodi, Nada; Backovic, Damjana Drobac; Luji, Jelena; Šcekic, Ilija; Simic, Snežana; Đorđevic, Nevena; Dulic, Tamara; Miljanovic, Branko; Kitanovic, Nevena; Marinovic, Zoran; Savela, Henna; Meriluoto, Jussi; Svircev, Zorica (MDPI, 2020)
    Water 12 1 (2020)
    For 50 years persistent cyanobacterial blooms have been observed in Lake Ludoš (Serbia), a wetland area of international significance listed as a Ramsar site. Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins can affect many organisms, including valuable flora and fauna, such as rare and endangered bird species living or visiting the lake. The aim was to carry out monitoring, estimate the current status of the lake, and discuss potential resolutions. Results obtained showed: (a) the poor chemical state of the lake; (b) the presence of potentially toxic (genera Dolichospermum, Microcystis, Planktothrix, Chroococcus, Oscillatoria, Woronichinia and dominant species Limnothrix redekei and Pseudanabaena limnetica) and invasive cyanobacterial species Raphidiopsis raciborskii; (c) the detection of microcystin (MC) and saxitoxin (STX) coding genes in biomass samples; (d) the detection of several microcystin variants (MC-LR, MC-dmLR, MC-RR, MC-dmRR, MC-LF) in water samples; (e) histopathological alterations in fish liver, kidney and gills. The potential health risk to all organisms in the ecosystem and the ecosystem itself is thus still real and present. Although there is still no resolution in sight, urgent remediation measures are needed to alleviate the incessant cyanobacterial problem in Lake Ludoš to break this ecosystem out of the perpetual state of limbo in which it has been trapped for quite some time.
  • García-Girón, Jorge; Heino, Jani; Iversen, Lars Lønsmann; Helm, Aveliina; Alahuhta, Janne (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of The Total Environment 786 (2021), 147491
    Patterns of species rarity have long fascinated ecologists, yet most of what we know about the natural world stems from studies of common species. A large proportion of freshwater plant species has small range sizes and are therefore considered rare. However, little is known about the mechanisms and geographical distribution of rarity in the aquatic realm and to what extent diversity of rare species in freshwater plants follows their terrestrial counterparts. Here, we present the first in–depth analysis of geographical patterns, potential deterministic ecogeographical factors and projected scenarios of freshwater vascular plant rarity using 50 × 50 km grid cells across Europe (41°N–71°N) and North America (25°N–78°N). Our results suggest that diversity of rare species shows different patterns in relation to latitude on the two continents, and that hotspots of rarity concentrate in a relatively small proportion of the European and North American land surface, especially in mountainous as well as in climatically rare and stable areas. Interestingly, we found no differences among alternative rarity definitions and measures when delineating areas with notably high diversity of rare species. Our findings also indicate that few variables, namely a combination of current climate, Late Quaternary climate–change velocity and human footprint, are able to accurately predict the location of continental centers of rare species diversity. However, these relationships are not geographically homogeneous, and the underlying factors likely act synergistically. Perhaps more importantly, we provide empirical evidence that current centers of rare species diversity are characterized by higher anthropogenic impacts and might shrink disproportionately within this century as the climate changes. Our reported distributional patterns of species rarity align with the known trends in species richness of other freshwater organisms and may help conservation planners make informed decisions mitigating the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity.
  • Jähnig, Sonja C.; Baranov, Viktor; Altermatt, Florian; Cranston, Peter; Friedrichs-Manthey, Martin; Geist, Juergen; He, Fengzhi; Heino, Jani; Hering, Daniel; Hölker, Franz; Jourdan, Jonas; Kalinkat, Gregor; Kiesel, Jens; Leese, Florian; Maasri, Alain; Monaghan, Michael T.; Schäfer, Ralf B.; Tockner, Klement; Tonkin, Jonathan D.; Domisch, Sami (Wiley, 2020)
    WIREs Water 8 (2020)
    recent global meta-analysis reported a decrease in terrestrial but increase in freshwater insect abundance and biomass (van Klink et al., Science 368, p. 417). The authors suggested that water quality has been improving, thereby challenging recent reports documenting drastic global declines in freshwater biodiversity. We raise two major concerns with the meta-analysis and suggest that these account for the discrepancy with the declines reported elsewhere. First, total abundance and biomass alone are poor indicators of the status of freshwater insect assemblages, and the observed differences may well have been driven by the replacement of sensitive species with tolerant ones. Second, many of the datasets poorly represent global trends and reflect responses to local conditions or nonrandom site selection. We conclude that the results of the meta-analysis should not be considered indicative of an overall improvement in the condition of freshwater ecosystems.