The Principle and Value of the European Multi Lake Survey

Abstract from a recent paper by E. Mantzouki & B. Ibelings, published in  Limnology & Oceanography Bulletin  (ASLO):

On‐going global warming and eutrophication are expected to promote cyanobacterial dominance worldwide. Although increased lake temperature and nutrients are well‐established drivers of blooms, the mechanisms that determine cyanobacterial biomass are complex, with potentially direct, indirect, and interactive effects. Cyanobacteria can produce toxins that constitute a considerable risk for animal and human health and thus a substantial economic cost if we are to ensure safe drinking water. Such global range phenomena should be studied at a wide spatial scale, to directly compare phytoplankton response in different lake types across contrasting climatic zones. The European Multi Lake Survey (EMLS) sought to harness the power of group science in order to sample lakes across Europe and disentangle the effect of environmental stressors on potentially toxic cyanobacterial blooms. The first EMLS results showed that the distribution of cyanobacterial toxins and the toxic potential in lakes will be highly dependent on direct and indirect effects of temperature. If nutrients are not regulated, then they may interact synergistically with increased lake temperatures to promote cyanobacterial growth more than that of other phytoplankton taxa. Providing continental scale evidence is highly significant for the development of robust models that could predict cyanobacterial or algal response to environmental change.


Mantzouki, E. and Ibelings, B. W. (2018), The Principle and Value of the European Multi Lake Survey. Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin. . doi:10.1002/lob.10259

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