Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 381–400 | Cite as

The impact of climate change on lakes in the Netherlands: a review

  • Wolf M. Mooij
  • Stephan Hülsmann
  • Lisette N. De Senerpont Domis
  • Bart A. Nolet
  • Paul L. E. Bodelier
  • Paul C. M. Boers
  • L. Miguel Dionisio Pires
  • Herman J. Gons
  • Bas W. Ibelings
  • Ruurd Noordhuis
  • Rob Portielje
  • Kirsten Wolfstein
  • Eddy H. R. R. Lammens


Climate change will alter freshwater ecosystems but specific effects will vary among regions and the type of water body. Here, we give an integrative review of the observed and predicted impacts of climate change on shallow lakes in the Netherlands and put these impacts in an international perspective. Most of these lakes are man-made and have preset water levels and poorly developed littoral zones. Relevant climatic factors for these ecosystems are temperature, ice-cover and wind. Secondary factors affected by climate include nutrient loading, residence time and water levels. We reviewed the relevant literature in order to assess the impact of climate change on these lakes. We focussed on six management objectives as bioindicators for the functioning of these ecosystems: target species, nuisance species, invading species, transparency, carrying capacity and biodiversity. We conclude that climate change will likely (i) reduce the numbers of several target species of birds; (ii) favour and stabilize cyanobacterial dominance in phytoplankton communities; (iii) cause more serious incidents of botulism among waterfowl and enhance the spreading of mosquito borne diseases; (iv) benefit invaders originating from the Ponto-Caspian region; (v) stabilize turbid, phytoplankton-dominated systems, thus counteracting restoration measures; (vi) destabilize macrophyte-dominated clear-water lakes; (vii) increase the carrying capacity of primary producers, especially phytoplankton, thus mimicking eutrophication; (viii) affect higher trophic levels as a result of enhanced primary production; (ix) have a negative impact on biodiversity which is linked to the clear water state; (x) affect biodiversity by changing the disturbance regime. Water managers can counteract these developments by reduction of nutrient loading, development of the littoral zone, compartmentalization of lakes and fisheries management.


Biodiversity Carrying capacity Invading species Nuisance species Temperature Transparency 


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The contribution of NIOO to this study was co-financed by a research grant from RIZA. We thank Ramesh Gulati for the invitation to write this review and his helpful comments on the manuscript. We also thank Don DeAngelis, Luis Santamaría, Matthijs Vos and three anonymous referees for their constructive comments on the manuscript. We thank Hugo Coops, Marcel Van Den Berg and Diederik Van Der Molen for their valuable input during the project meetings. We thank Albert Klein Tank and Günther Können of the KNMI for providing us with information on climate scenarios. This is publication 3591 of the NIOO-KNAW Netherlands Institute of Ecology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolf M. Mooij
    • 1
  • Stephan Hülsmann
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lisette N. De Senerpont Domis
    • 1
  • Bart A. Nolet
    • 1
  • Paul L. E. Bodelier
    • 1
  • Paul C. M. Boers
    • 2
  • L. Miguel Dionisio Pires
    • 1
  • Herman J. Gons
    • 1
  • Bas W. Ibelings
    • 1
  • Ruurd Noordhuis
    • 2
  • Rob Portielje
    • 2
  • Kirsten Wolfstein
    • 2
  • Eddy H. R. R. Lammens
    • 2
  1. 1.NIOO-KNAW, Centre for LimnologyNieuwersluisThe Netherlands
  2. 2.RIZALelystadThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Insititute of Hydrobiology, DresdenUniversity of TechnologyDresdenGermany

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