Impact of ecosystem metabolism on CO2 emissions: Insights from high-resolution time series of pH measured in situ
2023-07, Veihelmann, F. Hannes, Fernández, Jorge Encinas, Peeters, Frank
Lakes and reservoirs are important sources/sinks of atmospheric CO2. Primary production and respiration transforming inorganic to organic carbon and vice versa alter CO2 concentrations in the surface waters and thus affect CO2 emissions. Here we investigate the link between net-production (NEP) and CO2 concentrations and emissions at high temporal resolution over more than two months in a German pump storage reservoir. Continuous in-situ pH measurements in combination with few alkalinity measurements provided concentrations of CO2 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) at high temporal resolution over more than 75 days. Time series of metabolic rates of carbon were determined with an open-water diel pH technique, which utilizes the diel changes in DIC obtained from the observed diel changes in pH and data on alkalinity. During the measuring period, average NEP was positive and CO2 concentrations were typically substantially under-saturated. On average, the reservoir acted as a sink for CO2, whereby CO2 uptake was 39% larger in the evening than in the morning. Only few consecutive days with negative NEP were sufficient to turn the reservoir temporally into a source of CO2. Therefore, the average CO2 uptake determined from continuous data can be 80% larger to 30% smaller than estimates of average uptake based on bi-weekly data. Daily mean NEP explained only 9% and 4% of the variance of daily mean DIC and CO2. Note that NEP is proportional to the time derivative of DIC and therefore not expected to correlate well with DIC in general. Because CO2 changes nonlinearly with DIC, NEP explains less variance of CO2 than of DIC. Numerical experiments confirmed the arguments above and revealed that at positive average NEP the total CO2 uptake over several weeks is not well predicted by average NEP but depends on the detailed temporal pattern of NEP. However, if average NEP is negative, average NEP may be a good predictor of total CO2 emissions. Similar conclusions apply for high and low alkalinity waters, but uptake rates and temporal variability of CO2 emissions are smaller in high than in low alkalinity waters. Assessment of the link between NEP and CO2 emissions requires differentiation between lakes with different alkalinity and, because of the non-linear relationship between NEP and CO2, strongly benefits from data with high temporal resolution especially during time-periods with positive net-production.
Interannual variability of methane storage and emission during autumn overturn in a small lake
2021-12-03, Ragg, Ramona B., Peeters, Frank, Ingwersen, Joachim, Teiber‐Siessegger, Petra, Hofmann, Hilmar
Methane emissions from freshwater systems, and especially from small lakes source a significant proportion of naturally produced atmospheric methane. In small temperate lakes, storage flux, i.e. the diffusive emission of methane that was stored in anoxic waters during the seasonal overturn of the water column, can contribute a large fraction of annual methane emissions. Here we use an extensive field dataset to quantify methane storage in anoxic deep water and identify as well as quantify the sources and losses of this methane. The comparison of measurements from four years in a small temperate lake (Illmensee) shows that methane storage can differ substantially between years. In 2012 and 2018, the annual maximum of the methane stored in the entire water column was around twice as high (5350 kg and 5822 kg) as in 2013 and 2017 (2722 kg and 2295 kg). A methane mass balance approach suggests that the variability of methane storage in the anoxic water between the years was not caused by the methane flux at the anoxic-oxic water interface, but rather was related to changes in the methane source from the anoxic sediments. The interannual differences in sediment flux could not be explained by sediment temperature, but rather by the differing supply of organic matter. Our findings suggest that phytoplankton blooms promote methane storage within the same year and thus cause interannual variability in emissions during autumn overturn.
Diurnal pumped-storage operation minimizes methane ebullition fluxes from hydropower reservoirs
2020, Encinas Fernández, Jorge, Hofmann, Hilmar, Peeters, Frank
Hydropower is considered green energy and promoted to reduce greenhouse warming. However, hydropower is typically generated using reservoirs and reservoirs are known to emit substantial amounts of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. In many reservoirs ebullition is the dominant pathway of CH4 emission. We show that continuous diurnal pumped‐storage operation, which combines water pumping into the reservoir typically during the night and water drawdown during high demand of electricity, is beneficial for reducing CH4 ebullition associated with hydropower generation. This conclusion is based on ebullition fluxes and water levels measured over 3 months in Schwarzenbach reservoir located in Germany. The reservoir was managed using three modes of operation: (1) diurnal pumping and turbination, (2) no pumping and no turbination, and (3) diurnal turbination. Cross‐correlation analysis indicates that ebullition fluxes predominantly occur during diurnal water level decrease associated with turbination. Consistently, average ebullition fluxes of CH4 were negligible during Mode (2) and substantial during Modes (1) and (3). During Mode (3) the average CH4 ebullition flux was ~197 mg m−2day−1, ~12 times larger than during Mode (1) (16 mg m−2day−1). Our data indicate that overall CH4 ebullition is about 3 times larger during 51 days of operation consisting of 38 days of no turbination followed by 13 days of diurnal turbination than during 51 days of continuous diurnal pumped‐storage operation. This suggests that continuous diurnal pumped‐storage operation leads to reduced CH4 ebullition from reservoirs and is therefore advantageous compared to modes of operations involving long‐term, large‐amplitude turbination cycles.
Impact of climate warming on phenological asynchrony of plankton dynamics across Europe
2023, Gronchi, Enzo, Straile, Dietmar, Diehl, Sebastian, Jöhnk, Klaus D., Peeters, Frank
Climate warming alters the seasonal timing of biological events. This raises concerns that species-specific responses to warming may de-synchronize co-evolved consumer-resource phenologies, resulting in trophic mismatch and altered ecosystem dynamics. We explored the effects of warming on the synchrony of two events: the onset of the phytoplankton spring bloom and the spring/summer maximum of the grazer Daphnia. Simulation of 16 lake types over 31 years at 1907 North African and European locations under 5 climate scenarios revealed that the current median phenological delay between the two events varies greatly (20–190 days) across lake types and geographic locations. Warming moves both events forward in time and can lengthen or shorten the delay between them by up to ±60 days. Our simulations suggest large geographic and lake-specific variations in phenological synchrony, provide quantitative predictions of its dependence on physical lake properties and geographic location and highlight research needs concerning its ecological consequences.
Local and continental-scale controls of the onset of spring phytoplankton blooms : conclusions from a proxy-based model
2021-05, Gronchi, Enzo, Jöhnk, Klaus D., Straile, Dietmar, Diehl, Sebastian, Peeters, Frank
A key phenological event in the annual cycle of many pelagic ecosystems is the onset of the spring algal bloom (OAB). Descriptions of the factors controlling the OAB in temperate to polar lakes have been limited to isolated studies of single systems and conceptual models. Here we present a validated modelling approach that, for the first time, enables a quantitative prediction of the OAB and a systematic assessment of the processes controlling its timing on a continental scale. We used a weather-driven, 1-dimensional lake model to simulate the seasonal dynamics of the underwater light climate in 16 lake types characterized by the factorial combination of 4 lake depths with 4 levels of water transparency. We did so at 1,962 locations across western Europe and over 31 years (1979-2009). Assuming that phytoplankton production is light-limited in winter, we identified four patterns of OAB control across lake types and climate zones. OAB timing is controlled by (i) the timing of ice-off in ice-covered clear or shallow lakes, (ii) the onset of thermal stratification in sufficiently deep and turbid lakes, and (iii) the seasonal increase in incident radiation in all other lakes, except for (iv) ice-free, shallow and clear lakes in the south, where phytoplankton is not light-limited. The model predicts that OAB timing should respond to two pervasive environmental changes, global warming and browning, in opposite ways. OAB timing should be highly sensitive to warming in lakes where it is controlled by either ice-off or the onset of stratification, but resilient to warming in lakes where it is controlled by incident radiation. Conversely, OAB timing should be most sensitive to browning where it is controlled by incident radiation, but resilient to browning where it is controlled by ice-off or the onset of stratification. Available lake data are consistent with our findings.
Determining Temperature-Normalized Decomposition Rates
2020-07-31, Gessner, Mark O., Peeters, Frank
Temperature is a key environmental factor controlling rates of litter decomposition in streams and other ecosystems. Normalizing decomposition rates for temperature not only enables assessments of the importance of temperature effects but also facilitates comparisons of potential other controlling factors. This chapter describes procedures to achieve such normalization. In streams, temperature normalization of decomposition rates has almost invariably assumed a linear relationship. Accordingly, litter mass remaining at various time points after deployment of litter in the field is regressed against thermal sums (degree days) obtained from continuous temperature records. The same approach is taken when an exponential temperature dependency is assumed, commonly by using a Q10 model, with Q10 being assumed to take a given value, such as 2, or being fitted along with the decomposition rate coefficient. Here the thermal sums of the degree-day model are replaced by an integral that captures the exponential relationship. Worked examples of the calculations are provided in a supplementary spreadsheet and as computer code. Similar approaches to temperature normalization can be adopted based on dependencies encapsulated in the Arrhenius law used in the metabolic theory of ecology.
Clockwise hysteresis of diatoms in response to nutrient dynamics during eutrophication and recovery
2022-09, Milan, Manuela, Albrecht, Nina, Peeters, Frank, Wengrat Ribeiro, Simone, Wessels, Martin, Straile, Dietmar
Many lake ecosystems that have been severely disturbed by eutrophication, have also experienced large human efforts to restore “natural” conditions. However, the trajectories and the extent of recovery of these lake ecosystems are still poorly understood. In many shallow lakes, recovery was often delayed and counter-clockwise hysteretic. Here, we study recovery and ecosystem trajectories in a large and deep lake using diatom remains in sediment cores and time series of phosphorus concentrations. We identified four periods of diatom community change: slow change during early eutrophication, thereafter a short period of rapid change after the 1950s, followed by community stability from the 1960s to the mid-1980s, and finally a recovery phase until 2010. Diatom community structure responded quickly and in a saturating way to increasing phosphorus concentrations, but also fast to phosphorus decline. Hence, diatom community dynamics did not show counter-clockwise hysteresis but was characterized by a high degree of recovery and clock-wise hysteresis (CWH). We suggest that CWH in response to eutrophication and recovery is a typical and previously overlooked feature of deep lakes, which results from a more rapid change of average nutrient concentrations and thus productivity in the epilimnion compared to average nutrient concentrations across the entire water column. Such nonlinear and hysteretic responses to changing nutrients need to be considered when analyzing the effects of other stressors such as climate warming on ecosystem dynamics to prevent erroneous attribution of ecosystem change to other stressors instead of nutrient change.
Interdisciplinary Reservoir Management : a Tool for Sustainable Water Resources Management
2021-04-18, Daus, Milan, Koberger, Katharina, Koca, Kaan, Beckers, Felix, Encinas Fernández, Jorge, Weisbrod, Barbara, Dietrich, Daniel R., Hofmann, Hilmar, Martin-Creuzburg, Dominik, Peeters, Frank
Reservoirs are a common way to store and retain water serving for a multitude of purposes like storage of drinking and irrigation water, recreation, flood protection, navigation, and hydropower production, and have been built since centuries. Today, few reservoirs serve only one purpose, which requires management of present demands and interests. Since each reservoir project will cause negative impacts alongside desired advantages both on a local, regional and global scale, it is even more urgent to develop a common management framework in an attempt to mitigate negative impacts, incorporate different demands and make them visible within the discourse in order to avoid conflicts from early on. The scientific publications on reservoirs are manifold, yet a comprehensive and integrative holistic tool about management of this infrastructure is not available. Therefore, a comprehensive and integrated conceptual tool was developed and proposed by the authors of this paper that can contribute to the sustainable management of existing reservoirs. The tool presented herein is based on the results from the interdisciplinary CHARM (CHAllenges of Reservoir Management) project as well as the condensed outcome of relevant literature to aid and enhance knowledge of reservoir management. The incorporated results are based on field, laboratory and empirical social research. The project CHARM focused on five different aspects related to existing reservoirs in southern Germany (Schwarzenbachtalsperre, Franconian Lake District), namely: sedimentation of reservoirs, biostabilisation of fine sediments, toxic cyanobacteria(l) (blooms), greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs and social contestation, respectively consent. These five research foci contributed to the topics and setup of a conceptual tool, put together by the research consortium via delphi questioning, which can be found alongside this publication to provide insights for experts and laymen. Conceptualising and analysing the management in combination with quantitative and qualitative data in one descriptive tool presents a novelty for the case studies and area of research. The distribution within the scientific community and interested public will possibly make a positive contribution to the goal of sustainable water resources management in the future.
Modeling inter-annual and spatial variability of ice cover in a temperate lake with complex morphology
2020, Caramatti, Irene, Peeters, Frank, Hamilton, David P., Hofmann, Hilmar
The formation of ice cover on lakes alters heat and energy transfer with the water column. The fraction of surface area covered by ice and the timing of ice‐on and ice‐off therefore affects hydrodynamics and the seasonal development of stratification and related ecosystem processes. Multi‐year model simulations of temperate lake ecosystems that freeze partially or completely therefore require simulation of the formation and duration of ice cover. Here we present a multi‐year hydrodynamic simulation of an alpine lake with complex morphology (Lower Lake Constance, LLC) using the three‐dimensional (3D) model AEM3D over a period of 9 years. LLC is subdivided into three basins (Gnadensee, Zeller See and Rheinsee) which differ in depth, morphological features, hydrodynamic conditions, and ice cover phenology and thickness. Model results were validated with field observations and additional information on ice cover derived from a citizen science approach using information from social media. The model reproduced the occurrence of thin ice as well as its inter‐annual variability and differentiated the frequency and extent of ice cover between the three sub‐basins. It captured that full ice cover occurs almost each winter in Gnadensee, but only rarely in Zeller See and Rheinsee. The results indicate that the 3D model AEM3D is suitable for simulating long‐term dynamics of thin ice cover in lakes with complex morphology and inter‐annual changes in spatially heterogeneous ice cover.