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The charophyte decline and recovery in Lake Lednica in response to four decades of changes in water fertility and hydrometeorological conditions

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Lake Lednica (W Poland, 339.1 ha, 15.1 m) is a Historical Monument of the Polish Nation that due to a long history of settlement is a known centre of archaeological, ethnographic, limnological and paleolimnological studies. It is also a regional charophyte hot-spot with 12 out of 34 Polish charophyte species. Stabile nowadays, charophyte vegetation was highly dynamic in recent decades. This study aims to relate the charophyte dynamics to the trends of changes in the lake's trophy, alimentation basin character and the hydrometeorological conditions in the period 1976-2015. Gathered extensive data and the results of own study (since 2004) of vegetation, water chemistry and sediment cores evidenced the decrease in the submerged vegetation and the disappearance of charophytes in last decades of the 20th century. In addition to high nutrient concentration, an increase in water surface level and temperature after the period of long-lasting ice cover seem to be the crucial determinants. A spectacular charophyte recovery at the turn of millennia coincided with the reduction in the total phosphorus concentration, a drop in water surface level and a sequence of warm winters with short ice duration. Possibly, reduced nutrient runoff may have stimulated the recovery and expansion of charophyte meadows while the possibility to overwinter was the advantage over other photoautotrophs in the winter and early spring time. By means of numerous feedback mechanisms, recovered charophyte meadows improve water transparency, the basic ecological factor for their occurrence.
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11th Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences, June 30July 5, 2019, Zagreb, Croatia
386
RS2 Climate change and freshwater ecosystems
RS2_P1_The charophyte decline and recovery in Lake Lednica in response to four decades of
changes in water fertility and hydrometeorological conditions
Author(s): Mariusz PEŁECHATY1,3*; Michał BRZOZOWSKI1; Lech KACZMAREK1,3; Grzegorz KOWALEWSKI1; Bogumił
NOWAK2; Andrzej PUKACZ1,4
Affiliation(s): 1Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland; 2Institute of Meteorology and Water Management
National Research Institute, Warszawa, Poland; 3Ecological Station in Jeziory, Poland; 4Collegium Polonicum in
Słubice, Poland
Presenting author*: marpel@amu.edu.pl
Lake Lednica (W Poland, 339.1 ha, 15.1 m) is a Historical Monument of the Polish Nation that due to a long history
of settlement is a known centre of archaeological, ethnographic, limnological and paleolimnological studies. It is also
a regional charophyte hot-spot with 12 out of 34 Polish charophyte species. Stabile nowadays, charophyte vegetation
was highly dynamic in recent decades. This study aims to relate the charophyte dynamics to the trends of changes in
the lake’s trophy, alimentation basin character and the hydrometeorological conditions in the period 1976-2015.
Gathered extensive data and the results of own study (since 2004) of vegetation, water chemistry and sediment cores
evidenced the decrease in the submerged vegetation and the disappearance of charophytes in last decades of the
20th century. In addition to high nutrient concentration, an increase in water surface level and temperature after the
period of long-lasting ice cover seem to be the crucial determinants. A spectacular charophyte recovery at the turn
of millennia coincided with the reduction in the total phosphorus concentration, a drop in water surface level and a
sequence of warm winters with short ice duration. Possibly, reduced nutrient run-off may have stimulated the
recovery and expansion of charophyte meadows while the possibility to overwinter was the advantage over other
photoautotrophs in the winter and early spring time. By means of numerous feedback mechanisms, recovered
charophyte meadows improve water transparency, the basic ecological factor for their occurrence.
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