, Volume 824, Issue 1, pp 1–32 | Cite as

European large perialpine lakes under anthropogenic pressures and climate change: present status, research gaps and future challenges

  • Nico SalmasoEmail author
  • Orlane Anneville
  • Dietmar Straile
  • Pierluigi Viaroli


The aim of this review is to introduce and critically comment the main research topics considered in a selection of papers on the European large perialpine lakes (LPL) presented at the XXXIII congress of the International Society of Limnology in 2016. Besides highlighting ongoing research advancements in the LPL, the review provides a critical overview of the scientific information available on the large lake’s ecosystems, identifying a few emerging research topics (e.g., aquatic ‘omics’ and high frequency monitoring). Many limnological investigations are linked to the concept of scientific monitoring, following a “problem solving” approach connected with the management of water resources. Experimental studies and modeling are restricted to specific niches. Overall, the scientific knowledge is quite scattered, showing hot-spots of specialized or integrated research in specific lakes and areas. The advancement of new knowledge in the LPL should rely on a better integration of scientific disciplines using multidisciplinary approaches, and on the continuous adoption of new advanced technologies and tools, contributing, besides basic research, to the next generation monitoring approaches. Finally, the preservation of LPL has to rely on water protection policies addressed towards the sustainable development of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, following the “green” and “blue” infrastructure concepts.


Large deep lakes Anthropogenic pressures Climate change Research gaps Research perspectives 



We would like to thank all the authors of this special issue for their efforts in preparing the papers that have contributed to establish the state of the art of limnology in the large and deep perialpine lakes. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and suggestions on an earlier version of the manuscript, and to Andrea Gandolfi (FEM) for checking the section dedicated to fish. DS was supported by the European Regional Development Fund: Interreg V-A—Germany-Austria-Switzerland-Liechtenstein (Alpenrhein-Bodensee-Hochrhein 2014–2020) under grant no. ABH060 (“SeeWandel: Life in Lake Constance—the past, present and future”).

Supplementary material

10750_2018_3758_MOESM1_ESM.tif (703 kb)
Cascading effects on the limnological characteristics of large and deep perialpine lakes originating from the year-to-year oscillations in the winter EA and NAO. In their higher value state, the two indices are associated to mild winters, which prevent the full mixing and vertical homogenization of physical and chemical characteristics along the water column. In their lower value state, the two indices are associated with harsh winters, which can cause a more extended or even a complete mixing of lakes, and a greater supply of nutrients to the surface and oxygen to the deep hypolimnion. Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 702 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and Innovation CentreSan Michele all’AdigeItaly
  2. 2.INRA, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, CARRTELThonon-les-BainsFrance
  3. 3.Limnological InstituteUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany
  4. 4.Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental SustainabilityUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

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