Predicting the effect of climate change on temperate shallow lakes with the ecosystem model PCLake

W.M. Mooij, J.H. Janse, L.N. De Senerpont Domis, S. Hülsmann, B.W. Ibelings

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Global average surface temperatures are expected to rise by about 1.4–5.8°C from the present until the year 2100. This temperature increase will affect all ecosystems on earth. For shallow lakes—which can be either in a clear water or a turbid state—this climate change will expectedly negatively affect water transparency though the prediction is far from conclusive and experimental investigations elucidating the potential climatic effects on shallow lakes are still rare. The aim of this study was to further shape and sharpens hypotheses on the impact of climate change on shallow lakes by applying an existing and well-calibrated ecosystem model, PCLake. We focused on asymptotic model behaviour for a range of temperature and loading scenarios in a factorial design. We conclude that climate change will likely lead to decreased critical nutrient loadings. Combined with an expected increase in the external nutrient loading, this will increase the probability of a shift from a clear to a turbid state. As the model predicts a higher summer chlorophyll-a concentration, a stronger dominance of cyanobacteria during summer and a reduced zooplankton abundance due to climate change, the turbid state itself is likely to become even more severe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-454
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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