Oecologia

, Volume 173, Issue 4, pp 1625–1638

The impact of climate on the geographical distribution of phytoplankton species in boreal lakes

  • Simon Hallstan
  • Cristina Trigal
  • Karin S. L. Johansson
  • Richard K. Johnson
Global change ecology - Original research

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-013-2708-6

Cite this article as:
Hallstan, S., Trigal, C., Johansson, K.S.L. et al. Oecologia (2013) 173: 1625. doi:10.1007/s00442-013-2708-6

Abstract

Here, we use a novel space-by-time approach to study large-scale changes in phytoplankton species distribution in Swedish boreal lakes in response to climate variability. Using phytoplankton samples from 27 lakes, evenly distributed across Sweden, all relatively unimpacted by anthropogenic disturbance and sampled annually between 1996 and 2010, we found significant shifts in the geographical distribution of 18 species. We also found significant changes in the prevalence of 45 species (33 became more common and 12 less common) over the study period. Using species distribution models and phytoplankton samples from 60 lakes sampled at least twice between 1992 and 2010, we evaluated the importance of climate variability and other environmental variables on species distribution. We found that temperature (e.g., extreme events and the duration of the growing season) was the most important predictor for species detections. Many cyanobacteria, chlorophytes, and, to a lesser extent, diatoms and zygnematophytes, showed congruent and positive responses to temperature. In contrast, precipitation explained little variation and was important only for a few taxa (e.g., Staurodesmus spp., Trachelomonas volvocina). At the community level, our results suggest a change in community composition at temperatures over 20 °C and growing seasons longer than 40 days. We conclude that climate is an important driver of the distributional patterns of individual phytoplankton species and may drive changes in community composition in minimally disturbed boreal lakes.

Keywords

Phytoplankton Climate variability Distribution Modeling 

Supplementary material

442_2013_2708_MOESM1_ESM.docx (57 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 71 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Hallstan
    • 1
  • Cristina Trigal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Karin S. L. Johansson
    • 1
  • Richard K. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aquatic Sciences and AssessmentSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Swedish Species Information CenterSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations