The Impact of Climate Change On Lake Ecosystems

New research done by experts of Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries have measured long term temperature fluctuations in nearly 400marine ecosystems across Europe and North America using more than 32 million temperature measurements at varying depths of water. This data was surveyed between the years 1941 to 2017. According to the Leibniz study, underwater temperature warming causes of marine habitat loss. Consequently, aquatic species are forced to migrate to novel depths and locations in search of more suitable thermal conditions.

lake bank near trees
Lake side. Lone Tree, Colorado

Temperature Changes and Deoxygenation

When and where aquatic species are able to live is dependent on the temperature conditions of lakes. Species have to change their behaviors, seasonality and the depths at which they habitat in order to meet the thermal requirements necessary for their continued survival. According to Dr. Benjamin Kraemer, an author of the Leibniz lake study, warming temperature could threaten species with that do not have broad temperature tolerances. Consequently, less adaptable species may face declining populations or extinction.

Temperatures declines contribute to population loss in certain aquatic species because of deoxygenation. Deoxygenation is the process by which oxygen is removed from water molecules. While oxygen loss from water is typically associated with eutrophication, the progress overflowing of nutrients that drive algae blooms, deoxygenation is a multifaceted issue that can have several causes. The Leibniz study suggests that dissolved oxygen loss is also associated with reduced gas solubility, climate change, decreased water clarity and chemical changes. Leibniz experts have concluded that decreased concentrations of dissolved oxygen with increases in surface water temperature. Less oxygen and increased temperatures make underwater habitats and depth uninhabitable for certain species.

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