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Acidification of mountain lakes: palaeolimnology and ecology,remote mountain lakes as indicators of air pollution and climate change

Objective

To achieve a more complete understanding of the structure and functioning of a wide range of remote mountain lakes in view of their responses to varying levels of acid deposition and of their role as potential reference sites for climate and environmental change research.


The "ALPE 2" project represents an enlargement in scope and geographical coverage of the ongoing "ALPE 1" project in the STEP Programme. In addition to the remote mountain lakes in the highlands of Norway and Scotland, in the Italian and South Tyrolian parts of the Alps and the French part of the Pyrenees considered in "ALPE 1", the "ALPE 2" project extends the investigations on lake sediments, water chemistry, diatom, invertebrate and fish fauna on lakes in Spitzbergen (Svalbard), the Irish highlands, Austrian Alps, the Czechoslovakian and Polish parts of the High Tatra mountains, the Spanish part of the Pyrenees, the Sierra Nevada in Spain and the Sierra d'Estrela in Portugal. Overall, in 20 remote lakes, situated above the local timberline, seasonal changes in major limnological, chemical and biological parameters will be studied in function of the air pollution deposition and of climatic factors. The investigations on lakes in the ongoing "ALPE 1" project will be extended towards the determination of zooplankton (inventory and changes), the consideration of organic matter loading, the evolution of decomposition of plant material, trace metals, sulphate reduction capacity, and contamination by persistent organic compounds in selected lakes.

The whole coordinated measurement programme will be subject to stringent quality control measures, extensive statistical analysis and empirical modelling of palaeolimnological, limnological, biological and chemical data to:

- quantitatively reconstruct the historical development and to estimate the likelihood of future development of lake water pH;
- to quantify the relationships between invertebrate assemblages and water chemistry (canonical correspondence analysis and weighted averaging);
- to quantify the relationships between fish populations and environmental conditions;
- to test for patterns of variation in lake-water chemistry within and between lakes over time (redundancy analysis, trend analysis, Monte Carlo permutation tests);

Finally it is intended to identify "critical sulphur and nitrogen loads" and "recommended target loads" for those remote mountain areas, to apply biological data to the establishment of guidelines for good monitoring and management practices, to establish baseline conditions for the long-term evaluation of impacts of climatic and environmental change.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Address
Bedford Way 26
SE1 9RT London
United Kingdom

Participants (13)

AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Austria
Address
116,Mondseestrasse 9
5310 Mondsee
CHARLES UNIVERSITY PRAGUE
Czechia
Address
7,Vinicna 7
128 44 Praha 2
CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
Address
18-26,Jordi Girona 18-26
08034 Barcelona
INSTITUTE OF FRESHWATER BIOLOGY - POLISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Poland
Address
17,Slawkowska 17 Karol Starmach
31 016 Krakow
LEOPOLD-FRANZENS-UNIVERSITAET INNSBRUCK
Austria
Address
25,Technikerstrasse 25
6020 Innsbruck
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY
Italy
Address
Largo Vittorio Tonolli 50-52
28922 Verbania
NORWEGIAN INSTITUTE FOR WATER RESEARCH
Norway
Address
19,Brekkeveien 19
0411 Oslo
PROVINCIA AUTONOMA DI BOLZANO - REG.ALTO ADIGE
Italy
Address
Unterbergstrasse, 2
39055 Laives
UNIVERSIDAD DE GRANADA
Spain
Address
Edificio Fay Luis De Granda, C/ Ramón Y Cajal 4
18071 Granada
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA
Spain
Address
645,Avinguda Diagonal 645
08028 Barcelona
UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN
Norway
Address
Allegaten 41
5007 Bergen
University of Bergen
Norway
Address
3,Muséplass
5007 Bergen
Université de Savoie
France
Address

73011 Chambéry