Using Temporal Coherence to determine the response to climate change in boreal shield lakes. Arnott, S., E., Keller, B., Dillon, P., J., Yan, N., D., Paterson, M., J., & Findlay, D., L. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 88(1-3):365-388, 2003.
Using Temporal Coherence to determine the response to climate change in boreal shield lakes [pdf]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
Climate change is expected to have important impacts on aquatic ecosystems. On the Boreal Shield, mean annual air temperatures are expected to increase 2 to 4degreesC over the next 50 years. An important challenge is to predict how changes in climate and climate variability will impact natural systems so that sustainable management policies can be implemented. To predict responses to complex ecosystem changes associated with climate change, we used long-term biotic databases to evaluate how important elements of the biota in Boreal Shield lakes have responded to past fluctuations in climate. Our long-term records span a two decade period where there have been unusually cold years and unusually warm years. We used coherence analyses to test for regionally operating controls on climate, water temperature, pH, and plankton richness and abundance in three regions across Ontario: the Experimental Lakes Area, Sudbury, and Dorset. Inter-annual variation in air temperature was similar among regions, but there was a weak relationship among regions for precipitation. While air temperature was closely related to lake surface temperatures in each of the regions, there were weak relationships between lake surface temperature and richness or abundance of the plankton. However, inter-annual changes in lake chemistry (i.e., pH) were correlated with some biotic variables. In some lakes in Sudbury and Dorset, pH was dependent on extreme events. For example, El Nino related droughts resulted in acidification pulses in some lakes that influenced phytoplankton and zooplankton richness. These results suggest that there can be strong heterogeneity in lake ecosystem responses within and across regions.

Downloads: 0