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Lake (limnic) ecosystems  Origins and classifications  Lakes as open systems  Light and temperature  Lake chemistry  Primary productivity  Secondary.

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Presentation on theme: "Lake (limnic) ecosystems  Origins and classifications  Lakes as open systems  Light and temperature  Lake chemistry  Primary productivity  Secondary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lake (limnic) ecosystems  Origins and classifications  Lakes as open systems  Light and temperature  Lake chemistry  Primary productivity  Secondary productivity  Lake evolution  Perturbations

2 Lake classification: geological origin Lakes result from impoundment of water by: tectonic downwarping (e.g. Lake Victoria) tectonic faulting (e.g. Dead Sea) volcanic eruption (e.g. Crater Lake) landslide dams ice dams biotic dams (e.g. Beaver lake) glacial erosion (e.g. Lake Peyto) glacial deposition (e.g. Moraine Lake) river channel abandonment (e.g. Hatzic Lake) deflation

3 Lake classification: morphology Lake morphology (size, surface area and depth) largely determined by origin. Substrate (rocky, sandy, muddy, organic) initially determined by geological origin; thereafter by inputs.

4 Lake classification: hydro-regime Open lakes have outflow streams. Closed lakes are found in endorheic basins in arid areas; e.g Lake Eyre (Australia): shallow lake forms in La Niña years (e.g. 2000), usually persists for 1 year. Never overflows - lake sits at 15m below sea level.

5 Lakes as open systems

6 Kamloops Lake: inflow, water level and residence time variations

7 Thermal stratification of lakes: the physical properties of water

8 Thermal stratification of temperate lakes

9 Variations in epilimnion depth on windy and calm days

10 Seasonal temperature profile

11 Lake mixing types


13 Turbidity, illumination, and the euphotic zone (--)

14 Kamloops Lake turbidity profile Thompson R. inflow equilibrium level

15 Kamloops Lake: euphotic zone and epilimnion



18 Biomass (= lake primary productivity) in relation to P availability

19 Lake classification: trophic status

20 What is the trophic status of Kamloops Lake? Total P: µg l -1 Total N: µg l -1 Total inorganic solids: 60 mg l -1 TN: TP = Mean primary productivity = 88 mgC m -2 d -1

21 Kamloops Lake: relative abundance of phytoplankton groups

22 Kamloops Lake: primary productivity euphotic zone (Aug.) euphotic zone (May)

23 Energy sources

24 Small temperate lake fodwebs are detritus- based (e.g. Marion Lake). Predictions for Kamloops Lake?

25 Lake environment and community structure (North American boreal lakes) Environmental Fish assemblage factorPIKEBASSMUDMINNOW Arealarge small pHhigh low Conductivityhigh low Depthshallow -- deep -- shallow Isolationlow high

26 Lake evolution 1. All lakes are temporary features of the Erth’s landscape - eventually they fill with organic and inorganic sediments to become bogs or ‘playas’. 2. The pathway of lake evolution prior to infilling is a matter of debate. The classical European literature (1920’s -50’s) suggests that lakes progress from oligotrophic to eutrophic status. Pollution by agricultural fertilizers, etc. accelerates this process.

27 Lake infilling: Cedar Creek, Minnesota

28 Lake evolution: Glacier Bay foreland, AK. Engstrom et al. (2000) Nature 408: 161

29 Stream and lake evolution: Glacier Bay foreland, AK. Source: Milner et al., 2007, Bioscience, 57,

30 Perturbations of lake environments 1. GEOLOGICAL local events such as landslides; regional events such as tephra deposition 2. CLIMATIC changes in regional climate (precip. or evap.) 3. ANTHROPOGENIC agricultural/industrial/urban pollution 4. BIOTIC invasion by exotic species (often anthropogenic)

31 Perturbation: tephra deposition into Opal Lake, Yoho NP Hickman & Reasoner (1994) J. Paleolimnology 11, 173-

32 Perturbations of coastal lakes on Vancouver Island

33 Reconstructing perturbations in lake environments using diatoms as a proxy for lake chemistry I: calibration based on 53 lakes in Ontario

34 II. Case study of anthropogenic pollution of Little Round Lake, Ontario. ~1850 ~1970

35 Stream (lotic) ecosystems  Controls on stream ecosystems  Discharge regimes and biotic activity  Segment/reach analysis  Stream foodwebs  The river continuum concept  Nutrient cycling  Patch stability and dynamics

36 Stream communities Physical structure Flow dynamics Community organization Community dynamics Physical habitat Biotic community Available species pool

37 Stream classification

38 Poff and Ward (1989) Can. J.Fish. & Aquat. Sci. 46, 1805.

39 Discharge regimes Poff and Ward (1989) Can. J.Fish. & Aquat. Sci. 46, 1805.

40 Stream segment (reach) classification and analysis

41 Stream foodwebs allochthonous autochthonous nutrient sources functional feeding groups POM = particulate organic matter (C =coarse; F= fine) DOM = dissolved organic matter

42 River continuum concept Continuous physical gradient from headwaters to mouth. Consistent biotic patterns of loading, storage and utilization of organic matter. Stream communities conform to the mean (most probable) state of the physical system. Biotic communities are graded downstream to accommodate leakage of organic matter from upstream. Vannote et al. (1980) Can. J.Fish. & Aquat. Sci. 37, 130.

43 RCC parameters

44 River continuum concept in application Vannote et al. (1980) Can. J.Fish. & Aquat. Sci. 37, 130.

45 Headwater streams are heterotrophic (P/R ratio <<1); downstream reaches are balanced (P/R ratio ~1)

46 Alpine- arctic streams: dominantly autotrophic

47 RCC: boreal streams

48 RCC: deciduous forest streams

49 Stream order, nutrient sources and FFG’s

50 Stream nutrient cycling dynamics

51 Stream hierarchy and patch (pool/riffle and microhabitat) dynamics: complex habitats produce stable communities

52 Pool-riffle sequences and patchy lotic habitats

53 Blackwater rivers: terrestrial inputs are not always beneficial Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

54 Marine subsidies in riverine and riparian environments Salmon streams:  dead salmon add considerable quantities of marine- derived N (22-73% of total N) to their natal streams. bears and other scavengers drag salmon carcasses into riparian habitats; as a result (in AK-PNW):  15-30% of the N in riparian plant foliage is derived from marine sources; the amount declines with distance from the stream;  Sitka spruce grows 3x as fast adjacent to salmon streams but western hemlock shows no response;  annual variations in tree growth are significantly correlated with salmon escapements in riparian forests of the Pacific Northwest. Notes derived from:

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