Lake ecosystems at high latitudes, in both the northern and southern hemispheres, are sensitive to environmental change. It is expected that a warmer climate with higher water temperature, together with increased inflow of nutrients and carbon from the land, will have a serious effect on the fish populations. Similarly, micro-organisms and algae will be affected by environmental change, as will the circulations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.
Lakes at lower latitudes respond differently to those at high latitudes, and this means that it is often not possible to apply previous knowledge and models from such systems. For this reason, the researchers have been awarded nearly SEK 37 million to study northern lakes in more detail in the coming five years.
“We will focus on increasing our understanding and being able to predict more accurately the effects of a warmer climate on northern lake ecosystems,” says David Bastviken, professor at Linköping University and one of the co-applicants.
In experiments along different climate gradients the researchers will study, among other things, the production of fish and greenhouse gases in different types of lake. They will also develop ecosystem models that can be used to predict the production of fish biomass and greenhouse gases in lakes at high latitudes.
The principal applicant is Professor Jan Karlsson at Umeå University. Co-applicants are Professors Richard Bindler, Sebastian Diehl and Xiau-Ru Wang, with Associate Professors Ann-Kristin Bergström, Åke Brännström and Pär Byström, all at Umeå University, together with Professor David Bastviken at Linköping University.
This text has been written in collaboration with Umeå University.