Understanding lakes’ past reactions to biodiversity loss
The rise of temperature affects biodiversity in high-altitude ecosystems and has a particular impact on mountain lakes. The analysis of sediment records reveals how species reacted in past times to climatic changes, and it provides us with a model that increases our ability to manage such ecosystems. The analysis of cladoceran subfossils is among the usual palaeoindicators but relies on classical morphological calculations. However, recent improvements in mass spectrometry and molecular biology allow the development of innovative methods. The EU-funded REMAINS project will advance the use of cladoceran chitin as a palaeothermometer and establish a pattern methodology to use their DNA extracted from sediments. The project will be deployed in the Sierra Nevada mountains aiming to increase our knowledge of and ability to understand past changes.