Acceleration of cyanobacterial dominance in north temperate-subarctic lakes during the Anthropocene

Taranu, Zofia E. and Gregory-Eaves, Irene and Leavitt, Peter R. and Bunting, Lynda and Buchaca, Teresa and Catalan, Jordi and Domaizon, Isabelle and Guilizzoni, Piero and Lami, Andrea and McGowan, Suzanne and Moorhouse, Heather and Morabito, Giuseppe and Pick, Frances R. and Stevenson, Mark A. and Thompson, Patrick L. and Vinebrooke, Rolf D. (2015) Acceleration of cyanobacterial dominance in north temperate-subarctic lakes during the Anthropocene. Ecology Letters, 18 (4). pp. 375-384. ISSN 1461-023X

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Abstract

Increases in atmospheric temperature and nutrients from land are thought to be promoting the expansion of harmful cyanobacteria in lakes worldwide, yet to date there has been no quantitative synthesis of long-term trends. To test whether cyanobacteria have increased in abundance over the past ~ 200 years and evaluate the relative influence of potential causal mechanisms, we synthesised 108 highly resolved sedimentary time series and 18 decadal-scale monitoring records from north temperate-subarctic lakes. We demonstrate that: (1) cyanobacteria have increased significantly since c. 1800 ce, (2) they have increased disproportionately relative to other phytoplankton, and (3) cyanobacteria increased more rapidly post c. 1945 ce. Variation among lakes in the rates of increase was explained best by nutrient concentration (phosphorus and nitrogen), and temperature was of secondary importance. Although cyanobacterial biomass has declined in some managed lakes with reduced nutrient influx, the larger spatio-temporal scale of sedimentary records show continued increases in cyanobacteria throughout the north temperate-subarctic regions.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Geography
University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science > School of Geography
Identification Number: 10.1111/ele.12420
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2017 12:11
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 08:33
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/46786

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