Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 1069–1085 | Cite as

The Contributions of Climate Changes and Human Activities to Long-Term Variations in Lake Sediments Based on Results from Generalized Additive Models

  • Zhuoshi He
  • Shouliang HuoEmail author
  • Chunzi Ma
  • Hanxiao Zhang
  • Da An
  • Beidou Xi
  • Qiujing Xu
  • Xinghui Xia
  • Fengchang Wu


Climate changes and human activities can influence lake sediments, which may lead to disruptions in aquatic environments. A better understanding of these effects is crucial for the future management of lakes and reservoirs. The impacts of climate change and human activity factors, such as air temperature, land use patterns, population size, and gross domestic product (GDP), on lake sediments in China were considered in this study. A generalized additive model (GAM) was applied to quantitatively assess the relationships among climate change, human activities, and sediment variables, namely, total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP), in Lake Chaohu and Lake Chenghai. Both lakes are located in climate-sensitive areas, where the annual average temperature has risen by more than 1 °C over the past three decades. The impacts of climate changes and human activities on TOC, TN, and TP were quantitatively interpreted with the results of the GAMs. The results indicated that the contributions of air temperature to the variations in the sediment variables were significant but smaller than the contributions of human activities (e.g., percent of urban and paddy land, population size, and GDP) in both lakes. The fits of all GAMs were better than the fits of the stepwise linear regression comparisons. These findings demonstrate that GAMs are an effective tool for estimating the impacts of climate change and human activities on TOC, TN, and TP in lake sediments, suggesting that policy makers must further consider climate change when making management plans for water quality.


Climate change Human activities GAM Lake sediment variables 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11269_2018_2167_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (384 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 383 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhuoshi He
    • 1
  • Shouliang Huo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chunzi Ma
    • 1
  • Hanxiao Zhang
    • 1
  • Da An
    • 1
  • Beidou Xi
    • 1
  • Qiujing Xu
    • 1
  • Xinghui Xia
    • 2
  • Fengchang Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk AssessmentChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of EnvironmentBeijing Normal University-State Key Laboratory of Water Environment SimulationBeijingChina

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