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Prolongation, deepening and warming of the metalimnion change habitat conditions of the harmful filamentous cyanobacterium Planktothrix rubescens in a prealpine lake


Yankova, Yana; Villiger, Jörg; Pernthaler, Jakob; Schanz, Ferdinand; Posch, Thomas (2016). Prolongation, deepening and warming of the metalimnion change habitat conditions of the harmful filamentous cyanobacterium Planktothrix rubescens in a prealpine lake. Hydrobiologia, 776(1):125-138.

Abstract

The most prominent responses of Lake Zurich to climate warming include the increase of surface water temperatures, a reduced depth of spring mixing, and the persistent thriving of the harmful cyanobacterium Planktothrix rubescens, a low-light adapted species concentrating in the metalimnion during summer. To study changes of its habitat, we assessed the spatio-temporal metalimnetic boundaries by applying low-pass filtering and binary thresholding to temperature profiles of long-term data (1978–2013, weekly measurements). Due to increasing temperatures over the last 3.5 decades, the onset and duration of metalimnion formation changed significantly (stratification increased by 33 days). Moreover, the upper metalimnetic boundary has undergone a significant drawdown of 2.3 m, accounting for an overall decrease in metalimnion thickness. Being the most abundant species in this zone, P. rubescens was not negatively affected by altered temporal or spatial stratification patterns during its phase of net growth (July–September), as the zone of its optimal light-dependent buoyancy was still located within the metalimnion. The biomass of P. rubescens in August was even significantly related to increasing temperatures. Nevertheless, a further depression of the metalimnetic top boundary may eventually restrict P. rubescens by forcing it into layers of unfavourable light conditions or into the turbulent epilimnetic zone.

Abstract

The most prominent responses of Lake Zurich to climate warming include the increase of surface water temperatures, a reduced depth of spring mixing, and the persistent thriving of the harmful cyanobacterium Planktothrix rubescens, a low-light adapted species concentrating in the metalimnion during summer. To study changes of its habitat, we assessed the spatio-temporal metalimnetic boundaries by applying low-pass filtering and binary thresholding to temperature profiles of long-term data (1978–2013, weekly measurements). Due to increasing temperatures over the last 3.5 decades, the onset and duration of metalimnion formation changed significantly (stratification increased by 33 days). Moreover, the upper metalimnetic boundary has undergone a significant drawdown of 2.3 m, accounting for an overall decrease in metalimnion thickness. Being the most abundant species in this zone, P. rubescens was not negatively affected by altered temporal or spatial stratification patterns during its phase of net growth (July–September), as the zone of its optimal light-dependent buoyancy was still located within the metalimnion. The biomass of P. rubescens in August was even significantly related to increasing temperatures. Nevertheless, a further depression of the metalimnetic top boundary may eventually restrict P. rubescens by forcing it into layers of unfavourable light conditions or into the turbulent epilimnetic zone.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:06 Feb 2017 13:37
Last Modified:06 Feb 2017 13:37
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0018-8158
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-016-2745-3

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