UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The coming and going of a marl lake: multi-indicator palaeolimnology reveals abrupt ecological change and alternative views of reference conditions

Wiik, E; Bennion, H; Sayer, CD; Davidson, TA; Clarke, SJ; McGowan, S; Prentice, S; ... Stone, L; + view all (2015) The coming and going of a marl lake: multi-indicator palaeolimnology reveals abrupt ecological change and alternative views of reference conditions. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution , 3 (82) 10.3389/fevo.2015.00082. Green open access

[thumbnail of wiik_cunswick_Frontiers_published_FINAL_Aug2015.pdf]
Preview
Text
wiik_cunswick_Frontiers_published_FINAL_Aug2015.pdf

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

Eutrophication is the most pressing threat to highly calcareous (marl) lakes in Europe. Despite their unique chemistry and biology, comprehensive studies into their unimpacted conditions and eutrophication responses are underrepresented in conservation literature. A multi-indicator palaeolimnological study spanning ca. 1260–2009 was undertaken at Cunswick Tarn (UK), a small, presently eutrophic marl lake, in order to capture centennial timescales of impact. Specific aims were to (1) establish temporal patterns of change (gradual/abrupt) across biological groups, thereby testing theories of resistance of marl lake benthic communities to enrichment, and (2) compare the core record of reference condition with prevailing descriptions of high ecological status. Analyses of sediment calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), pigments, diatoms, testate amoebae, cladocerans, and macrofossils, revealed three abrupt changes in ecosystem structure. The first (1900s), with biomass increases in charophytes and other benthic nutrient-poor indicators, supported ideas of resistance to eutrophication in Chara lakes. The second transition (1930s), from charophyte to angiosperm dominance, occurred alongside reductions in macrophyte cover, increases in eutrophic indicators, and a breakdown in marling, in support of ideas of threshold responses to enrichment. Core P increased consistently into the 1990s when rapid transitions into pelagic shallow lake ecology occurred and Cunswick Tarn became biologically unidentifiable as a marl lake. The moderate total P at which these changes occurred suggests high sensitivity of marl lakes to eutrophication. Further, the early record challenges ideas of correlation between ecological condition, charophyte biomass and sediment Ca. Instead, low benthic production, macrophyte cover, and Ca sedimentation, was inferred. Management measures must focus on reducing external nutrient and sediment loads at early stages of impact in order to preserve marl lakes.

Type: Article
Title: The coming and going of a marl lake: multi-indicator palaeolimnology reveals abrupt ecological change and alternative views of reference conditions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00082
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2015.00082
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Wiik, Bennion, Sayer, Davidson, Clarke, McGowan, Prentice, Simpson and Stone. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470579
Downloads since deposit
182Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item