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Ecosystems

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1406–1423 | Cite as

Reduced Rainfall Increases Metabolic Rates in Upper Mixed Layers of Tropical Lakes

  • Laura Martins Gagliardi
  • Ludmila Silva BrighentiEmail author
  • Peter Anton Staehr
  • Francisco Antônio Rodrigues Barbosa
  • José Fernandes Bezerra-Neto
Article

Abstract

Ecosystem-level metabolism is a good sentinel for human and natural disturbances in freshwater systems, responding from local changes (for example, land use) to regional and global changes (for example, climate). Despite the increasing understanding of metabolic processes in tropical lakes, our knowledge on how morphometric and catchment characteristics affect metabolic responses to those changes in tropical lakes is still very scarce. We investigated how metabolic rates in the upper mixed layer of twelve Brazilian tropical lakes responded to reduced rainfall, considering their lake area and drainage area ratio and the percentage of native forest cover in their drainage area. An 80% reduction in the 2013 rainy season rainfall, compared with 2012, resulted in a reduction of approximated 1 m in the water column depth, a 1–2 m deepening of the upper mixed layer, a 50% reduction in mean light availability, and a doubling in total phosphorus concentrations. These changes were associated with 38% increases in gross primary production (GPP), stimulated by higher nutrient concentrations and reduced photoinhibition. These effects of reduced rainfall were strongest in lakes with a small volume in relation to their catchment areas. Our results show that climatic-related reductions in precipitation in this tropical region will reduce lake volumes, affect temperature, water mixing, and nutrient supply with pronounced effects on lake metabolic processes and carbon cycling in this region.

Keywords

primary production respiration drought climate change lake size southeastern Brazil 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We appreciate the logistical support of the post-graduation program (ECMVS, UFMG), laboratory colleagues (LIMNEA), and the team of Rio Doce State Park (IEF) and neighboring communities. We thank the National Space Research Institute for providing the meteorological data. We thank Master Ciro Lófti Vaz for morphometric analyses in ArcGIS and Dr. Robert M. Hughes and Dr. Ronaldo Reis for the paper review. We also thank all fieldwork collaborators and Marcelo Costa and Patricia Ferreira for laboratory analyses. This work was supported by Foundation Research Support of Minas Gerais—FAPEMIG (APQ-02623-10), Long-Term Ecological Research/National Research Council—CNPq (No. 403698/2012-0), and Higher Education Personnel Improvement Coordination—CAPES (No. 88881.030499/2013-01; COCLAKE project).

Supplementary material

10021_2019_346_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (531 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 530 kb).

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Martins Gagliardi
    • 1
  • Ludmila Silva Brighenti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Anton Staehr
    • 2
  • Francisco Antônio Rodrigues Barbosa
    • 1
  • José Fernandes Bezerra-Neto
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Limnologia, Ecotoxicologia e Ecologia Aquática - Limnea, ICBUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisPampulha, Belo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark

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