Brown New World
Lakes are considered sentinels of change,as they quickly react to alterations in atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic processes. Northern lakes are becoming brown as a result of the rapid changes that ecosystems in these latitudes are experiencing.
In my PhD thesis I explored how climatic and hydrologic changes are altering the linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These alterations are the drivers of lake browning, and have cascading effects in lake ecosystems and food web quality, with implications for human health.
A is for Anthropocene
The Earth has been a dynamic system that has found equilibrium following disturbances since its origin. Asteroid collisions, volcanic eruptions, glaciations, and changes in atmospheric composition (among others) have triggered changes in global environmental conditions with direct consequences in the world’s biodiversity.
Major alterations in the Earth’s atmospheric composition, climate, and land cover caused by human action have been taking place since the 18th century, causing the transition of the Earth into the Anthropocene era.
(Photo Credit: NASA)
In the figures below I explored the concept of browning through different studies, from the export of carbon from forest soils, to the consequences in aquatic food webs.
All figures are part of publications (linked in each image).
Causes and consequences of soil carbon export and lake browning in northern forested landscapes