, Volume 681, Issue 1, pp 3-9

First online:

A history of scientific research at Loch Leven, Kinross, Scotland

  • L. MayAffiliated withCentre for Ecology & Hydrology Email author 
  • , B. M. SpearsAffiliated withCentre for Ecology & Hydrology

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Loch Leven is a large, shallow lake in lowland Scotland, UK. Scientific research began here almost 200 years ago. Early research characterised the biodiversity and physical characteristics of the loch, providing an important historical background for future research. In the mid-1960s, this ad hoc approach was superseded by a more structured research programme under the umbrella of the International Biological Programme. This was the beginning of the Loch Leven long-term monitoring programme. Today, the results of these studies form one of the longest and most comprehensive limnological datasets for shallow freshwater lakes in the world, comprising more than 500 physical, chemical and biological variables collected at two-weekly intervals. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the start of the long term monitoring programme, and to highlight the scientific investigations still being conducted at Loch Leven, the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) organised a symposium entitled “Loch Leven: 40 years of scientific research” in Kinross, Scotland, UK, on 11 December 2008. This examined the role of long-term monitoring in developing our understanding of the links between pollution, climate change and ecological responses in shallow lakes. This article introduces a series of papers summarising the scientific results presented at this meeting.


Long-term monitoring Eutrophication Recovery