Freshwater Systems

    An assessment of Arctic Ocean freshwater content changes from the 1990s to the 2006-2008 period

    B. Rabe et al. Deep Sea Research Part I (2011) 58(2):173-185. Regional variations in liquid freshwater inventories in Arctic Ocean basins are due both to changes in the depth of the lower halocline, often forced by regional wind-induced Ekman pumping, and to a mean freshening of the water column above this depth, associated with an increased net sea ice melt and advection of increased amounts of river water from the Siberian shelves.

    An overview of effects of climate change on selected Arctic freshwater and anadromous fishes

    J.D. Reist et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):381-387. Arctic freshwater and diadromous fish species will respond to the various effects of climate change in many ways. For wide-ranging species, many of which are key components of northern aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, there is a large range of possible responses.

    Aquatic ecosystems and global climate change: Potential impacts on inland freshwater and coastal wetland ecosystems in the United States

    Report prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, January 2002. This is the seventh in a series of Pew Center reports examining the potential impacts of climate change on the U.S. environment. It details the likely impacts of climate change over the next century on U.S. aquatic ecosystems. (PDF 364 KB)

    Arctic lake sediments show warming, unique ecological changes in recent decades

    ScienceDaily, October 27, 2009. An analysis of sediment cores indicates that biological and chemical changes occurring at a remote Arctic lake are unprecedented over the past 200,000 years and likely are the result of human-caused climate change, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    Arctic ponds dry up, disappear

    NPR's "Talk of the Nation," July 6, 2007. New research shows that ponds found in the high Arctic are going dry. The shallow ponds are important ecosystems, freezing solid in the winter but teeming with life during the summertime. Researchers believe the drying of the ponds may be due to global climate change.

    Biodiversity, climate change, and ecosystem services

    H. Mooney. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (2009) 1(1):46-54. Stresses imposed by climate change in the coming years will require extraordinary adaptation. We need to track the changing status of ecosystems, deepen our understanding of the biological underpinnings for ecosystem service delivery, and develop new tools and techniques for maintaining and restoring resilient biological and social systems.

    Canadian RCM projected changes to extreme precipitation characteristics over Canada

    B. Mladjic, L. Sushama. Journal of Climate (2011) 24(10):2565-2584. Changes to the intensity and frequency of hydroclimatic extremes can have significant impacts on sectors associated with water resources, and therefore it is relevant to assess their vulnerabilities in a changing climate. This study focuses on the assessment of projected changes to selected return levels of 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-day annual (April-September) maximum precipitation amounts over Canada.

    Climate change and freshwater ecosystems: Impacts across multiple levels of organization

    G. Woodward et al. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (2010) 365(1549):2093-2106. The different components of climate change (e.g. temperature, hydrology and atmospheric composition) not only affect multiple levels of biological organization, but they may also interact with the many other stressors to which fresh waters are exposed, and future research needs to address these potentially important synergies.

    Climate change as a threat to biodiversity: An application of the DPSIR approach

    I. Omann et al. Ecological Economics (2009) 69(1):24-31. Based on an analysis using the DPSIR framework, this paper discusses some of the important socioeconomic driving forces of climate change, with a focus on energy use and transportation. The paper also analyzes observed and potential changes of climate and the pressures they exert on biodiversity, the changes in biodiversity, the resulting impacts on ecosystem functions, and possible policy responses.

    Climate change effects on aquatic biota, ecosystem structure and function

    F.J. Wrona et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):359-369. Climate change will probably produce significant effects on the biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems throughout the Arctic and possibly initiate varying adaptive responses. The magnitude, extent, and duration of the impacts and responses will be system- and location-dependent, and difficult to separate from other environmental stressors. (PDF, 481 KB)

    Climate change effects on hydroecology of Arctic freshwater ecosystems

    T.D. Prowse et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):347-358. In general, the arctic freshwater-terrestrial system will warm more rapidly than the global average, particularly during the autumn and winter season. The decline or loss of many cryospheric components and a shift from a nival to an increasingly pluvial system will produce numerous physical effects on freshwater ecosystems.

    Climate change effects on river flow to the Baltic Sea

    L.P. Graham. Ambio (2004) 33(4):235-241. Climate change in the Baltic Sea Drainage Basin is expected to affect the hydrological water balance in the region and lead to changes in river flows to the sea. Such changes will potentially impact on many sectors of society ranging from basic water supply to large-scale environmental consequences.

    Climate change impact on water quality: Model results from southern Sweden

    B. Arheimer. Ambio (2005) 34(7):559-566. Nitrogen (N) transport from land (mainly by rivers) is contributing to the eutrophication problems in the Baltic Sea. The amount of N transported is a result of point-source emissions, atmospheric deposition, N leaching from soil, and biochemical removal processes (retention) in the freshwater system. Except for point-source emissions, all these factors are strongly influenced by weather (e.g., temperature and precipitation) and would thus be affected by climate change.

    Climate change predicted to cause severe increase of organic carbon in lakes

    S. Larsen et al. Global Change Biology (2011) 17(2):1186-1192. Riverine transport of organic carbon (OC) to the ocean is a significant component in the global carbon (C) cycle, and the concentration of total organic carbon (TOC) in rivers and lakes is vital for ecosystem properties and water quality for human use. The authors predict TOC concentrations by use of a large dataset comprising chemical variables and detailed catchment information in ~1000 Norwegian pristine lakes covering a wide climatic range.

    Climate change: Water cycle shifts gear

    T.F. Stocker, C.C. Raible. Nature (2005) 434:830-833. Various studies indicate that the hydrological cycle is speeding up at high northern latitudes. The resulting increase in freshwater flow into the Arctic Ocean is predicted to have long-range effects.

    Climate impacts on Arctic freshwater ecosystems and fisheries: Background, rationale and approach of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA)

    F.J. Wrona et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):326-329. Changes in climate and ultraviolet radiation levels in the Arctic will have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that makes up their habitat, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems.

    Competitive exclusion along climate gradients: Energy efficiency influences the distribution of two salmonid fishes

    A.G. Finstad et al. Global Change Biology (2011) 17(4):1703-1711. The authors tested the importance of thermal adaptations and energy efficiency in relation to the geographical distribution of two competing freshwater salmonid fish species. Presence-absence data for Arctic char and brown trout were obtained from 1502 Norwegian lakes embracing both temperature and productivity gradients. The distributions were contrasted with laboratory-derived temperature scaling models for food consumption, growth, and energy efficiency.

    Constraints on future changes in climate and the hydrologic cycle

    M.R. Allen, W.J. Ingram. Nature (2002) 419:224-232. It will be substantially harder to quantify the range of possible changes in the hydrologic cycle than in global-mean temperature, both because the observations are less complete and because the physical constraints are weaker.

    Crossing the final ecological threshold in high Arctic ponds

    J.P. Smol, M.S.V. Douglas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2007) 104(30):12395-12397. Some high Arctic ponds, which paleolimnological data indicate have been permanent water bodies for millennia, are now completely drying during the polar summer. The authors link the disappearance of the ponds to increased evaporation/precipitation ratios, probably associated with climatic warming.

    Cumulative effects of climate warming and other human activities on freshwaters of Arctic and subarctic North America

    D.W. Schindler, J.P. Smol. Ambio (2006) 35(4):160-168. High-latitude regions are especially sensitive to the effects of recent climatic warming, which have already resulted in marked regime shifts in the biological communities of many Arctic lakes and ponds.

    Differences in thermal tolerance among sockeye salmon populations

    E.J. Eliason et al. Science (2011) 332(6025):109-112. Climate change–induced increases in summer water temperature have been associated with elevated mortality of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) during river migration. The authors show that cardiorespiratory physiology varies at the population level among Fraser River sockeye salmon and relates to historical environmental conditions encountered while migrating.

    Effects of changing climate on zooplankton and juvenile sockeye salmon growth in southwestern Alaska

    D.E. Schindler et al. Ecology (2005) 86(1):198-209. The authors explored the effects of density-dependence and changing climate on growth of juvenile sockeye salmon and the densities of their zooplankton prey in the Wood River system of southwestern Alaska. (PDF, 226 KB)

    Effects of climate change and UV radiation on fisheries for Arctic freshwater and anadromous species

    J.D. Reist et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):402-410. Fisheries for arctic freshwater and diadromous fish species contribute significantly to northern economies. Climate change, and to a lesser extent increased ultraviolet radiation, effects in freshwaters will have profound effects on fisheries from three perspectives: quantity of fish available, quality of fish available, and success of the fishers.

    Effects of river temperature and climate warming on stock-specific survival of adult migrating Fraser River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)

    E.G. Martins et al. Global Change Biology (2011) 17(1):99-114. In recent years, record high river temperatures during spawning migrations of Fraser River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) have been associated with high mortality events, raising concerns about long-term viability of the numerous natal stocks faced with climate warming. In this study, the effect of freshwater thermal experience on spawning migration survival was estimated.

    Effects of simultaneous climate change and geomorphic evolution on thermal characteristics of a shallow Alaskan lake

    J.R. Griffiths et al. Limnology and Oceanography (2011) 56(1):193-205. The authors used a hydrodynamics model to assess the consequences of climate warming and contemporary geomorphic evolution for thermal conditions in a large, shallow Alaskan lake, evaluating the effects of both known climate and landscape change over the past 50 years, including rapid outlet erosion and migration of the principal inlet stream, as well as future scenarios of geomorphic restoration.

    Effects of ultraviolet radiation and contaminant-related stressors on Arctic freshwater ecosystems

    F.J. Wrona et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):388-401. Climate change is likely to act as a multiple stressor, leading to cumulative and/or synergistic impacts on aquatic systems. Projected increases in temperature and corresponding alterations in precipitation regimes will enhance contaminant influxes to aquatic systems, and independently increase the susceptibility of aquatic organisms to contaminant exposure and effects.

    Environmental warming and biodiversity&#151Ecosystem functioning in freshwater microcosms: Partitioning the effects of species identity, richness and metabolism

    D.M. Perkins et al. Advances in Ecological Research (2010) 43:177-209. This study investigates the capacity for assemblages of three freshwater invertebrate consumer species (Asellus aquaticus, Nemoura cinerea, and Sericostoma personatum) from temperate (southern England) and boreal (northern Sweden) regions to respond to expected shifts in temperature and basal resources, and quantified rates of a key ecosystem process (leaf-litter decomposition).

    Evidence needed to manage freshwater ecosystems in a changing climate: Turning adaptation principles into practice

    R.L. Wilby et al. Science of the Total Environment (2010) 408(19):4150-4164. The authors assert that adaptation planning is constrained by uncertainty about evolving climatic and nonclimatic pressures, by difficulties in predicting species- and ecosystem-level responses to these forces, and by the plasticity of management goals. (PDF, 1.53 MB)

    Factors influencing zooplankton size structure at contrasting temperatures in coastal shallow lakes: Implications for effects of climate change

    S. Brucet et al. Limnology and Oceanography (2010) 55(4):1697-1711. This study assesses the importance of temperature, salinity, and predation for the size structure of zooplankton and provides insight into the future ecological structure and function of shallow lakes in a warmer climate. The experiment was carried out in four cold-temperate shallow coastal lakes located in the north of Denmark and in four Mediterranean shallow coastal lakes located in the northeast of Spain.

    Food web changes in Arctic ecosystems related to climate warming

    R. Quinlan et al. Global Change Biology (2005) 11(8):1381-1386. Predicted future warming in the Arctic may produce ecological changes that exceed the large shifts that have already occurred since the 19th century.

    Freshwater ecosystems and fisheries

    Chapter 8 (pages 353-452) of ACIA Scientific Report, Cambridge University Press, 2005. Freshwater ecosystems are complex entities that consist of groups of species at various trophic levels, the hydrological and physical environment that makes up their habitat, the chemical properties of that environment, and the multiple physical, biogeochemical, and ecological processes that act on and within the system. Hence, any change in these attributes and processes as a result of changes in climate and UV radiation levels will ultimately contribute to variable and dynamic responses within freshwater systems. (PDF, 3.81 MB)

    Freshwater methane emissions offset the continental carbon sink

    D. Bastviken et al. Science (2011) 331(6013):50. Inland waters (lakes, reservoirs, streams, and rivers) are often substantial methane sources in the terrestrial landscape. They are, however, not yet well integrated in global greenhouse gas (GHG) budgets. The continental GHG sink may be considerably overestimated, and freshwaters need to be recognized as important in the global carbon cycle.

    General effects of climate change on Arctic fishes and fish populations

    J.D. Reist et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):370-380. Projected shifts in climate forcing variables such as temperature and precipitation are of great relevance to arctic freshwater ecosystems and biota. These will result in many direct and indirect effects upon the ecosystems and fish present therein.

    General features of the Arctic relevant to climate change in freshwater ecosystems

    T.D. Prowse et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):330-338. Arctic climate, many components of which exhibit strong variations along latitudinal gradients, directly affects a range of physical, chemical, and biological processes in freshwater aquatic systems.

    Global climate change and potential effects on Pacific salmonids in freshwater ecosystems of southeast Alaska

    M.D. Bryant. Climatic Change (2009) 95:169-193. Rapid changes in climatic conditions may not extirpate anadromous salmonids in the region, but they will impose greater stress on many stocks that are adapted to present climatic conditions. Survival of sustainable populations will depend on the existing genetic diversity within and among stocks, conservative harvest management, and habitat conservation. (PDF, 623.35 KB)

    Global warming impacts on lake trout in Arctic lakes

    M.E. McDonald et al. Limnology and Oceanography (1996) 41(5):1102-1108. If recent changes in Arctic Alaska's Toolik Lake foreshadow a long-term trend, the authors suggest that young-of-year (YOY) lake trout will not survive their first winter. Such changes, coupled with other current anthropogenic impacts in the Arctic, may disrupt lake trout control of the trophic structure in Arctic lakes. (PDF, 1.1 MB)

    High Arctic lakes as sentinel ecosystems: Cascading regime shifts in climate, ice cover, and mixing

    D.R. Mueller et al. Limnology and Oceanography (2009) 54(6, part 2):2371-2385. Lakes on Ellesmere Island at the far northern coastline of Canada have experienced significant reductions in summer ice cover over the past decade. Although subject to six decades of warming, these lakes were largely unaffected until a regime shift in air temperature in the 1980s and 1990s, when warming crossed a critical threshold, forcing the loss of ice cover.(PDF, 1.1 MB)

    Human-induced Arctic moistening

    S-K Min et al. Science (2008) 320(5875):518-520. Human-induced Arctic moistening is consistent with observed increases in Arctic river discharge and freshening of Arctic water masses. This result provides new evidence that human activity has contributed to Arctic hydrological change.

    Hydrologic effects of climate change in the Yukon River Basin

    L.E. Hay, G.J. McCabe. Climatic Change (2010) 100(3-4):509-523. Potential hydrologic effects of climate change were assessed for the YRB by imposing changes in precipitation and temperature derived from selected Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) climate simulations.

    Hydrological change &#151 Climate change impact simulations for Sweden

    J. Andréasson et al. Ambio (2004) 33(4):228-234. Climate change resulting from the enhanced greenhouse effect is expected to give rise to changes in hydrological systems. This study focuses on assessment of hydrological impacts of climate change over a wide range of Swedish basins.

    Hydrology, water availability and tundra ecosystem function in a changing climate: The need for a closer integration of ideas?

    I.D. Hodkinson et al. Global Change Biology (1999) 5(3):359-369. The impacts of predicted long-term changes in climate have particularly important consequences for the functioning of tundra systems. This paper attempts to summarize existing information on the role of water within tundra ecosystems, to emphasize the fundamental links between the biotic and the physico/chemical environments and to suggest how a closer integration of ideas might be achieved.

    Impacts of climate warming on polar marine and freshwater ecosystems

    S. Agust&#237 et al. (eds.) Polar Biology (2010) 33(12):1595-1746. Warming and ice loss will affect key biological and biogeochemical processes of aquatic polar ecosystems and may induce ecological regime shifts, associated with possible losses of biodiversity and an increased vulnerability to invasions of species from lower latitudes. The goal of this special issue of Polar Biology is to bring together research results addressing impacts of warming and ice loss in both Antarctic and Arctic aquatic ecosystems.

    Key findings, science gaps and policy recommendations

    F.J. Wrona et al. Ambio (2006) 35(7):411-415. In general, changes in climate and UV in the Arctic will have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species of varying trophic levels, the physical environment that makes up their habitat and the chemical properties of that environment, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems.

    Lakes and reservoirs as sentinels, integrators, and regulators of climate change

    C.E. Williamson et al. Limnology and Oceanography (2009) 54(6, part 2):2273-2282. Lakes and reservoirs comprise a geographically distributed network of the lowest points in the surrounding landscape that make them important sentinels of climate change. Their physical, chemical, and biological responses to climate provide a variety of information-rich signals.

    Lakes as sentinels and integrators for the effects of climate change on watersheds, airsheds, and landscapes

    D.W. Schindler. Limnology and Oceanography (2009) 54(6, part 2):2349-2358. Lakes provide unique sentinels and integrators of events in their catchments and airsheds and in the total landscapes in which they are embedded. A variety of physical, chemical, and biological properties of lakes are amenable to simple, precise, and inexpensive long-term monitoring. (PDF, 190.45 KB)

    Lakes as sentinels of climate change

    R. Adrian et al. Limnology and Oceanography (2009) 54(6, part 2):2283-2297. Lakes are effective sentinels for climate change because they are sensitive to climate, respond rapidly to change, and integrate information about changes in the catchment. (PDF, 332.5 KB)

    Large-scale climate controls of Interior Alaska river ice breakup

    P.A. Bieniek et al. Journal of Climate (2011) 24(1)286-297. Frozen rivers in the Arctic serve as critical highways because of the lack of roads; therefore, it is important to understand the key mechanisms that control the timing of river ice breakup. The relationships between springtime Interior Alaska river ice breakup date and the large-scale climate are investigated for the Yukon, Tanana, Kuskokwim, and Chena rivers for the 1949-2008 period.

    Modeling the impact of climate change on runoff and annual water balance of an Arctic headwater basin

    S. Pohl et al. Arctic (2007) 60(2):173-186. Climate change will be an important issue facing Arctic areas in the coming decades since climate models are projecting warmer and wetter conditions for many northern regions. From a hydrological perspective, critical issues include a shortened snow cover season, changes in winter snow cover properties, and changes in the timing and volume of snowmelt runoff. (PDF, 1.03 MB)

    Modelling the future hydroclimatology of the lower Fraser River and its impacts on the spawning migration survival of sockeye salmon

    M.J. Hague et al. Global Change Biology (2011) 17(1):87-98. The authors downscaled temperatures for the Fraser River, British Columbia, to evaluate the impact of climate warming on the frequency of exceeding thermal thresholds associated with salmon migratory success.

    Observed changes in pan-arctic cold-season minimum monthly river discharge

    A.K. Rennermalm et al. Climate Dynamics (2010) 35(6):923-939. Recent changes in pan-arctic land-surface hydrology may significantly affect ecosystems and the built environment. This study provides the first synthesis of spatially distributed cold-season low-flow trends in the pan-arctic and indicates that widespread changes in pan-arctic subsurface hydrology are occurring.

    Opportunities and limitations to detect climate-related regime shifts in inland Arctic ecosystems through eco-hydrological monitoring

    J.M. Karlsson et al. Environmental Research Letters (2011) 6(1):014015. This study identified and mapped the occurrences of three different types of climate-driven and hydrologically mediated regime shifts in inland Arctic ecosystems: (i) from tundra to shrubland or forest, (ii) from terrestrial ecosystems to thermokarst lakes and wetlands, and (iii) from thermokarst lakes and wetlands to terrestrial ecosystems.

    Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions

    T.P. Barnett et al. Nature (2005) 438:303-309. In a warmer world, less winter precipitation falls as snow and the melting of winter snow occurs earlier in spring. Even without any changes in precipitation intensity, both of these effects lead to a shift in peak river runoff to winter and early spring, away from summer and autumn when demand is highest. Where storage capacities are not sufficient, much of the winter runoff will immediately be lost to the oceans.

    Projected impacts of climate change on salmon habitat restoration

    J. Battin et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 2007. Throughout the world, efforts are under way to restore watersheds, but restoration planning rarely accounts for future climate change.

    Prospects for sustaining freshwater biodiversity in the 21st century: Linking ecosystem structure and function

    D. Dudgeon. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (2010) 2(5-6):422-430. A higher proportion of freshwater species are threatened to extinction than their terrestrial or marine counterparts. Anthropocene trajectories of rising human population growth and water consumption will be exacerbated by climate change impacts and consequential environmental alterations which, in combination with existing stressors, will lead to further extinctions.

    Recruitment of pelagic fish in an unstable climate: Studies in Sweden's four largest lakes

    P. Nyberg et al. Ambio (2001) 30(8):559-564. It is crucial for fish fry in temperate regions to hatch early in the growth season to survive and achieve large size before winter. Autumn spawners will have difficulties in adapting to global warming.

    Satellite-based global-ocean mass balance estimates of interannual variability and emerging trends in continental freshwater discharge

    T.H. Syed. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010) 107(42):17916-17921. Freshwater discharge from the continents is a key component of Earth's water cycle that sustains human life and ecosystem health. Surprisingly, owing to a number of socioeconomic and political obstacles, a comprehensive global river discharge observing system does not yet exist. (PDF, 504 KB)

    Source drinking water challenges: Changes to an Arctic tundra lake

    Center for Climate and Health Bulletin No. 2, 2009. Blooms of organic material have in the past been observed in the source water lake in Point Hope, but conditions have been extreme over the past two years. If warm temperatures continue, organic blooms will become a reoccurring problem for Point Hope and other communities that depend on tundra lakes for their drinking water supply. (PDF, 1.58 MB)

    State of the world's freshwater ecosystems: Physical, chemical, and biological changes

    S.R. Carpenter et al. Annual Review of Environment and Resources (2011) DOI:10.1146/annurev-environ-021810-094524. Surface freshwaters—lakes, reservoirs, and rivers—are among the most extensively altered ecosystems on Earth. Transformations include changes in the morphology of rivers and lakes, hydrology, biogeochemistry of nutrients and toxic substances, ecosystem metabolism and the storage of carbon, loss of native species, expansion of invasive species, and disease emergence. Drivers are climate change, hydrologic flow modification, land-use change, chemical inputs, aquatic invasive species, and harvest.

    Streamflow hydrology in the boreal region under the influences of climate and human interference

    M. Woo et al. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (2008) 363(1501):2249-2258. The effect of climate change on streamflow is explored through hydrological simulation. The example of a Canadian basin under a warming scenario suggests that winter flow will increase, spring freshet dates will advance, but peak flow will decline, as will summer flow due to enhanced evaporation. (PDF, 1.14 MB)

    Sustainability of high Arctic ponds in a polar desert environment

    A. Abnizova, K.L. Young. Arctic (2010) 63(1):67-84. Arctic wetland environments are sensitive to ongoing climate change as seen by the recent loss of lakes and ponds in southern Alaska, Siberia, and northern Ellesmere Island, Canada. To better understand and quantify the hydrologic processes that are leading to the sustainability or demise of high Arctic ponds, a detailed study was conducted during the summer seasons of 2005 and 2006 at Somerset Island, Nunavut. (PDF, 2.61 MB)

    The distribution and diversity of Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) in western Finnish Lapland, with special emphasis on shallow lakes

    M. Nyman et al. Global Ecology and Biogeography (2005) 14(2):137-153. The authors assess the influence of environmental variables on chironomid distribution and taxon richness in shallow, isothermal lakes in a poorly studied Arctic region, with particular attention to community variation along the treeline ecotonal zone where many environmental variables change abruptly in a relatively small area.

    The ecology of tundra ponds of the Arctic coastal plain: A community profile

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, June 1984. This community profile synthesizes much of the information on the ecology of Arctic coastal plain wetlands. It will provide background and information needed by government planners and environmental scientists whose decisions will influence the future of this vast region. In addition, it will provide students, scientists, and laymen a better understanding of how Arctic ponds and wetlands function. (PDF, 7.1 MB, archived webpage)

    The hydrologic regime of perched lakes in the Mackenzie Delta: Potential responses to climate change

    P. Marsh, L.F.W. Lesack. Limnology and Oceanography (1996) 41(5):849-856. To illustrate potential impacts of climate change on perched or high-closure lakes in the Mackenzie Delta, the authors developed and tested a simulation model. (PDF, 1.1 MB)

    The role of climate in shaping zooplankton communities of shallow lakes

    M. Gyllström et al. Limnology and Oceanography (2005) 50(6):2008-2021. This study analyzed data from 81 shallow European lakes, which were sampled for combined effects of climatic, physical, and chemical features of food-web interactions, with a specific focus on zooplankton biomass and community structure. Total phosphorus generally was the most important predictor of zooplankton biomass and community structure. Climate was the next most important predictor and acted mainly through its effect on pelagic zooplankton taxa. (PDF, 229 KB)

    Trajectory shifts in the arctic and subarctic freshwater cycle

    B.J. Peterson et al. Science (2006) 313(5790):1061-1066. Manifold changes in the freshwater cycle of high-latitude lands and oceans have been reported in the past few years. Fresh water may now be accumulating in the Arctic Ocean and will likely be exported southward if and when the North Atlantic Oscillation enters into a new high phase.

    Vulnerability of alpine stream biodiversity to shrinking glaciers and snowpacks

    L.E. Brown et al. Global Change Biology (2007) 13(5):958-966. Climate change poses a considerable threat to the biodiversity of high latitude and altitude ecosystems, with alpine regions across the world already showing responses to warming. However, despite probable hydrological change as alpine glaciers and snowpacks shrink, links between alpine stream biota and reduced meltwater input are virtually unknown.

    Vulnerability of Fraser River sockeye salmon to climate change: A life cycle perspective using expert judgments

    T. McDaniels. Journal of Environmental Management (2010) 91(12):2771-2780. Fraser River sockeye salmon have been the basis for a major commercial fishery shared by Canada and the United States, and an important cultural foundation for many aboriginal groups. This paper characterizes the vulnerability of Fraser River sockeye salmon to future climate change.

    Warmer winters: Are planktonic algal populations in Sweden's largest lakes affected?

    G.A. Weyhenmeyer. Ambio (2001) 30(8):565-571. Winters in Sweden have become warmer in the 1990s, and as a consequence the timing of ice break-up and the growth and decline of spring phytoplankton has shifted, starting earlier.

    Warming alters the size spectrum and shifts the distribution of biomass in freshwater ecosystems

    G. Yvon-Durocher et al. Global Change Biology (2011) 17(4):1681-1694. An outdoor freshwater mesocosm experiment was used to determine how warming of ~4°C would affect the size, biomass and taxonomic structure of planktonic communities.

    Will northern fish populations be in hot water because of climate change?

    S. Sharma et al. Global Change Biology (2007) 13:2052-2064. Predicted increases in water temperature in response to climate change will have large implications for aquatic ecosystems, such as altering thermal habitat and potential range expansion of fish species. (PDF, 414 KB)

    World's largest lake sheds light on ecosystem responses to climate variability

    ScienceDaily, February 16, 2011. Siberia's Lake Baikal, the world's oldest, deepest, and largest freshwater lake, has provided scientists with insight into the ways that climate change affects water temperature, which in turn affects life in the lake. 

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