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The Sensitivity of High Altitude Lochs in Scotland to Climate Change and Atmospheric Pollution: A Preliminary Analysis Martin Kernan (Environmental Change Research Centre, UCL)
Climate Change and Atmospheric Pollution:
A Preliminary Analysis
Martin Kernan (Environmental Change Research Centre, UCL)
The objectives of the EU Framework 5 EMERGE (European Mountain Lake Ecosystems: Regionalisation Diagnostics & Socio-Economic Evaluation)
are to i) assess the status of remote mountain lakes throughout Europe following the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directives, ii) to provide
an evaluation of the findings in ecological, environmental and socio-economic terms; iii) to provide decision makers with an overall understanding of
remote mountain lakes so that appropriate policy and management measures can be taken at both European and national scales to ensure the sustainability
of these ecosystems into the future. Workpackage 4 focuses on the biological response to environmental gradients. The intention is to model mountain
species distribution and food web-structure in relation to the main geographical environmental gradients within Europe. The programme will involve a
thorough survey of 30-50 lakes in 12 ‘Lake Districts’ across Europe to assess the distribution of key organisms including those that provide a fossil record
allowing changes through time to be inferred. This poster presents preliminary analyses of the data collected from 30 lochs in Scotland. These will be expanded
to provide a more comprehensive assessment of Mountain Lake ecosystems in Scotland and will subsequently feed into to a pan-European study.
Survey Site Selection
Survey sites should to be headwater lakes above the theoretical treeline and greater than 0.5 hectares.
Survey sites should represent
- major geological gradients
- altitudinal gradient
Secondary considerations - size gradient and geographical distribution
CHEMISTRY & CATCHMENT ATTRIBUTES
Littoral and pelagic
Surface Thermistor (1 year)
Sediment (0-0.5 and 15-17cm)
Following Redundancy Analysis with forward selection, Altitude, % bare ground (LC22), soil C:N, soil Bulk Density and Soil Depth explain 54% of the variation in water chemistry.
DIATOM RESPONSE TO CHEMISTRY
Increasing dissimilarity between
assemblages in core tops and
core bottoms (15-17cm)
CCA of the diatom data constrained by the water chemistry data shows that 21.3% of the species variation is determined by alkalinity, total phosphorus and chloride. The main gradient is associated with alkalinity.
This work was funded by the Commission of European Communities (EMERGE project -EVK1-CT-1999-00032. The author acknowledges the contribution of Gina Clarke, Ron Harriman, Rachel Helliwell, Mike Hughes, David Livingstone, Gavin Simpson and Evzen Stuchlik