Ecosystem shift of a mountain lake under climate and human pressure : A move out from the safe operating space

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Szabo , Z , Buczko , K , Haliuc , A , Pal , I , Korponai , J L , Begy , R-C , Veres , D , Luoto , T P , Zsigmond , A R & Magyari , E K 2020 , ' Ecosystem shift of a mountain lake under climate and human pressure : A move out from the safe operating space ' , The Science of the Total Environment , vol. 743 , 140584 .

Title: Ecosystem shift of a mountain lake under climate and human pressure : A move out from the safe operating space
Author: Szabo, Zoltan; Buczko, Krisztina; Haliuc, Aritina; Pal, Ilona; Korponai, Janos L.; Begy, Robert-Csaba; Veres, Daniel; Luoto, Tomi P.; Zsigmond, Andreea R.; Magyari, Eniko K.
Contributor organization: Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
Date: 2020-11-15
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: The Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
Abstract: A multiproxy approach including chironomid, diatom, pollen and geochemical analyses was applied on short gravitational cores retrieved from an alpine lake (Lacul Balea) in the Southern Carpathians (Romania) to unveil how this lake responded to natural and anthropogenic forcing over the past 500 years.On the basis of chironomid and diatom assemblage changes, and supported by sediment chemical data and historical information, we distinguished two main phases in lake evolution. Before 1926 the lake was dominated by chironomids belonging to Micropsectra insignilobus-type and benthic diatoms suggesting well-oxygenated oligotrophic environment with only small-scale disturbance. We considered this state as the lake's safe operational space. After 1926 significant changes occurred: Tanytarsus lugens-type and T. mendax-type chironomids took over dominance and collector filterers increased until 1970 pointing to an increase in available nutrients. The diatom community showed the most pronounced change between 1950 and 1992 when planktonic diatoms increased. The highest trophic level was reconstructed between 1970 and 1992, while the indicator species of increasing nutrient availability, Asterionella formosa spread from 1982 and decreased rapidly at 1992. Statistical analyses evidenced that the main driver of the diatom community change was atmospheric reactive nitrogen (Nr) fertilization that drastically moved the community towards planktonic diatom dominance from 1950. The transformation of the chironomid community was primarily driven by summer mean temperature increase that also changed the dominant feeding guild from collector gatherers to collector falterers. Our results overall suggest that the speed of ecosystem reorganisation showed an unprecedented increase over the last 100 years; biological systems in many cases underwent threshold type changes, while several system components displayed non-hysteretic change between alternating community composition. We conclude that Lake Balea is outside of its safe operating space today. The main trigger of changes since 1926 was climate change and human impact acting synergically. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Subject: Multi-proxy
Global warming
Human impact
Nitrogen fertilization
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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