## Journal article: Local and continental-scale controls of the onset of spring phytoplankton blooms : conclusions from a proxy-based model

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May 2021
Jöhnk, Klaus D.
Diehl, Sebastian
Journal article
Published
##### Abstract
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.
##### Subject (DDC)
570 Biosciences, Biology
##### Published in
Global change biology ; 27 (2021), 9. - pp. 1976-1990. - Wiley-Blackwell. - ISSN 1354-1013. - eISSN 1365-2486
##### Cite This
ISO 690GRONCHI, Enzo, Klaus D. JÖHNK, Dietmar STRAILE, Sebastian DIEHL, Frank PEETERS, 2021. Local and continental-scale controls of the onset of spring phytoplankton blooms : conclusions from a proxy-based model. In: Global change biology. Wiley-Blackwell. 27(9), pp. 1976-1990. ISSN 1354-1013. eISSN 1365-2486. Available under: doi: 10.1111/gcb.15521
BibTex
@article{Gronchi2021-05Local-52573,
year={2021},
doi={10.1111/gcb.15521},
title={Local and continental-scale controls of the onset of spring phytoplankton blooms : conclusions from a proxy-based model},
number={9},
volume={27},
issn={1354-1013},
journal={Global change biology},
pages={1976--1990},
author={Gronchi, Enzo and Jöhnk, Klaus D. and Straile, Dietmar and Diehl, Sebastian and Peeters, Frank}
}

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<dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">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.</dcterms:abstract>
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Yes
Yes