Social-ecological regime shifts in temperate lakes
LimnoTip was a trans-European Biodiversa project (Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Austria) focusing on the ecological and social mechanisms underlying tipping points, biodiversity loss and water resource deterioration in European lakes under different climate change scenarios (2013-2015). The research is carried out using three main approaches:1) experimental mesocosm analysis of the influence of temperature and allochtonous carbon increase on freshwater system stability and functioning, 2) statistical analysis of spatial and temporal regime shifts and potential early warning signals using long-term time series data, and 3) the development of a social-ecological model of lake use and conservation to explore the role of social and ecological drivers of past and potential future regime shifts.
Our group developed a social-ecological model (LimnoSES) motivated by the case of lake Ringsjön in Southern Sweden, which shifted to an eutrophic state in the 1980s. Currently a massive biomanipulation is under way to shift the lake back to a clear water state. We are particularly interested in the social dynamics and their interactions with ecological processes that lead to the regime shift in the past and that determine restoration activities and lake interactions and possible future of the lake today. To this end we gather data on the different ways people use and perceive the lake today to inform an agent-based model of lake use and management.
People: Romina Martin, Maja Schlüter, in collaboration with Lars-Anders Hansson, Aquatic ecology at Lund University, Rita Adrian, Ecosystems research at Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin
Methods: Process-based models, semi-structured interviews, ecosystem services mapping