Projects in theme 4
Project leader: Rolf Vinebrooke
Summary: The earliest and most sensitive responses of lake ecosystems to environmental change typically occur at the species level within lower trophic levels. Therefore, algal and zooplankton communities are solid prospects as bioindicators of the past, present, and future cumulative impacts of multiple environmental stressors (e.g., climate change, human land-use activities) on lake ecosystems. To translate environmentally induced changes in taxonomic diversity to ecosystem functioning, a functional approach must be adopted in which species traits are considered that affect their ecological performance. Changes in the taxonomic diversity and functional structure of algal and zooplankton communities based on comparison of assembled historical Canadian lake-monitoring and paleolimnological databases with those generated by Lake Pulse will be used to deliver forecasts of changes in biodiversity, function, and ecosystem services within lakes across Canada based on different potential multiple-stressor scenarios. This project fits well with the Network as it integrates many of its environmental and biological sampling efforts so as to provide predictions of the cumulative impacts of global change on the health of Canadian lakes over the next century.