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Water color is getting darker in lakes across the planet. This phenomenon, known as “browning,” was anticipated to cause widespread declines in fish populations. A new study by researchers from Umeå University finds that the number of fish populations impacted by browning is smaller than previously believed.
David Seekell, Pär Byström, and Jan Karlsson, Lake morphometry moderates the relationship between water color and fish biomass in small boreal lakes. Limnology and Oceanography. 2018. doi: 10.1002/lno.10931
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David Seekell, Assistant professor, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Sweden
Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange (LOREX) is an NSF funded initiative to provide training in international research for graduate students. Graduate student research is often constrained by the resources, ideas, and culture of the home institution. International collaborations enhance graduate students’ ability to think critically and creatively, make cross-disciplinary connections, and stretch one's field of view while gaining competency in an international environment and increasing their network of colleagues.
Opportunities for research exchanges in freshwater ecology, aquatic biogeochemistry and paleolimnology are possible with CIRC at Umeå University.
Globally, lake waters are thought to be getting darker due to increasing concentrations of dissolved organic carbon - an amalgam of thousands of uncharacterized carbon compounds that get flushed into lakes from surrounding areas. It's been predicted that this change in water color will lead to declining fish populations, but prior studies haven't considered how variations in lake depth might affect this relationship.
Seekell, D. A., P. A. Byströn, & J. Karlsson 2018. Lake morphometry moderates the relationship between water color and fish biomass in small boreal lakes. Limnology and Oceanography. Early Online. DOI: 10.1002/lno.10931
Climate research funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Warmer and browner water, lower oxygen levels, and a decline in food availability hit game fish hard. And greenhouse gas emissions are rising. Researchers in Umeå are trying to create a model to predict the rate at which a warming climate will impact lakes in the north.