Inferring past environmental changes in three Turkish lakes from sub-fossil Cladocera
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Cladocerans are increasingly used in palaeolimnological studies as their community composition is sensitive to both anthropogenic and natural forces in lakes. We present the results of a palaeolimnological investigation of three Turkish shallow lakes located in cold dry steppe and semi-dry Mediterranean climatic regions. The aim was to elucidate historical changes in environmental conditions by analysing sub-fossil cladocerans in 210Pb-dated sediment cores. Sub-fossil cladoceran remains from the surface sediment of 40 Turkish lakes were analysed to examine the environmental factors that most correlated with variation in the cladoceran assemblage. Redundancy analysis showed that salinity, macrophyte abundance, fish density, depth and total phosphorus were the most correlated with change in cladoceran assemblage composition with eigenvalues for the first and the second axes being λ 1 = 0.312 and λ 2 = 0.061, respectively. Sedimentary cladoceran assemblages from three cores were placed passively within the framework of the surface sediment ordination. The results reveal a prevalent impact of salinity, fish abundance and water level changes from the past to present. Thus, using cladoceran-based inferences, we traced key environmental changes related to variation in climate change, restoration and water level regulation over the last century.
KeywordsFish abundance Macrophyte Salinity Water level change Eutrophication Palaeolimnology Irrigation
This study was supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council Of Turkey (TÜBİTAK-ÇAYDAG, Projects Nos. 105Y332 and 110Y125); the Middle East Technical University (METU)-BAP Program of Turkey (BAP.07.02.2009–2012); and FP-7 REFRESH (Adaptive strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems, Contract No. 244121) and the MARS Project (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress) funded under the 7th EU Framework Programme, Theme 6 (Environment including Climate Change)—Contract No. 603378 (http://www.mars-project.eu). AİÇ, EEL, UNT and GB were also supported by Tübitak (Project Nos. 105Y332 and 110Y125). ŞE was supported by BAP Research Grant and METU-DPT ÖYP Programme of Turkey (DPT-2011-1786). NF was supported by the TÜBİTAK-BİDEB 2211 National Research Scholarship. TAD’s contribution was supported by the CIRCE, funded by the AUFF–AU Ideas Program. EJ was further supported by the CRES (Danish Strategic Research Council), CLEAR (a Villum Kann Rasmussen Centre of Excellence Project). We thank Arda Özen, Korhan Özkan, Mukadder Arslan, Jan Coppens, Semra Yalçın, Damla Beton, and Thomas Boll Kristensen for assistance in the field and laboratory and Anne Mette Poulsen for valuable editing of the manuscript. We also thank for Jan Coppens for bathymetric maps of Lakes Eymir and Mogan.
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