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Eutrophication, global warming, and rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are the three most prevalent pressures impacting the biosphere. Despite their individual effects are well-known, it remains untested how oligotrophication (i.e. nutrients reduction) can alter the planktonic community responses to warming and elevated CO2 levels. Here, we performed an indoor mesocosm experiment to investigate the warming × CO2 interaction under a nutrient reduction scenario (40%) mediated by an in-lake management strategy (i.e. addition of a commercial solid-phase phosphorus sorbent -Phoslock®) on a natural freshwater plankton community. Biomass production increased under warming × CO2 relative to present-day conditions; however, a Phoslock®-mediated oligotrophication reduced such values by 30–70%. Conversely, the warming × CO2 × oligotrophication interaction stimulated the photosynthesis by 20% compared to ambient nutrient conditions, and matched with higher resource use efficiency (RUE) and nutrient demand. Surprisingly, at a group level, we found that the multi-stressors scenario increased the photosynthesis in eukaryotes by 25%, but greatly impaired in cyanobacteria (ca. −25%). This higher cyanobacterial sensitivity was coupled with a reduced light harvesting efficiency and compensation point. Since Phoslock®-induced oligotrophication unmasked a strong negative warming × CO2 effect on cyanobacteria, it becomes crucial to understand how the interplay between climate change and nutrient abatement actions may alter the, ecosystems functioning. With an integrative understanding of these processes, policy makers will design more appropriate management strategies to improve the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems without compromising their ecological attributes and functioning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
VolumeIn Press
DOI
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

    Research areas

  • International, Global change, Photosynthesis, Cyanobacteria, Resource use efficiency, Shallow lakes, Eukaryotes, Plan_S-Compliant_NO

ID: 13064199