Date: 25 Sep 2009

Regional and Supra-Regional Coherence in Limnological Variables

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Limnologists and water resources managers have traditionally perceived lakes as discrete geographical entities. This has resulted in a tendency for scientific lake studies to concentrate on lakes as individuals, with little connection either to each other or to large-scale driving forces. Since the 1990s, however, a shift in the prevailing paradigm has occurred, with lakes increasingly being seen as responding to regional, rather than local, driving forces. The seminal work on regional coherence in lake behaviour was that of Magnuson et al. (1990), who showed that many features of lakes within the same region respond coherently to drivers such as climate forcing and catchment processes. From this study it emerged that the degree of coherence among lakes is greatest for those properties most directly affected by climate forcing. Specifically, the physical properties of lakes tend to vary in a more coherent way than their chemical and biological properties (see also Kratz et al., 1998). Further overviews of the topics of coherence and climate-driven variability, focusing