, Volume 750, Issue 1, pp 201–227 | Cite as

Ecological impacts of global warming and water abstraction on lakes and reservoirs due to changes in water level and related changes in salinity

  • Erik JeppesenEmail author
  • Sandra Brucet
  • Luigi Naselli-Flores
  • Eva Papastergiadou
  • Kostas Stefanidis
  • Tiina Nõges
  • Peeter Nõges
  • José Luiz Attayde
  • Tamar Zohary
  • Jan Coppens
  • Tuba Bucak
  • Rosemberg Fernandes Menezes
  • Francisco Rafael Sousa Freitas
  • Martin Kernan
  • Martin Søndergaard
  • Meryem Beklioğlu


According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released in September 2014, unprecedented changes in temperature and precipitation patterns have been recorded globally in recent decades and further change is predicted to occur in the near future, mainly as the result of human activity. In particular, projections show that the Mediterranean climate zone will be markedly affected with significant implications for lake water levels and salinity. This may be exacerbated by increased demands for irrigation water. Based on long-term data from seven lakes and reservoirs covering a geographical gradient of 52° of latitudes and a literature review, we discuss how changes in water level and salinity related to climate change and water abstraction affect the ecosystem structure, function, biodiversity and ecological state of lakes and reservoirs. We discuss mitigation measures to counteract the negative effects on ecological status that are likely to result from changes in climate and water abstraction practices. Finally, we highlight research required to improve knowledge of the impacts of anthropogenically induced changes on lake water level and consequent changes in salinity.


Nutrients Macrophytes Fish Plankton Climate change Hydrology Biodiversity Lake community structure 



This study was supported by FP7/ENV-2009-1 under grant agreement 244121 (REFRESH Project—, 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 (, the Danish projects CIRCE, CRES and CLEAR2 (a Villum Kann Rasmussen Centre of Excellence project), the Middle East Technical University’s METU-BAP programme o (BAP-07-02-2009) supporting research on Lake Eymir, TÜBİTAK-ÇAYDAĞ (Project nos: 105Y332 and 110Y125), the grant IUT21-02 from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research supporting the Lake Võrtsjärv studies and the Brazilian grant MCT/FINEP/CT—HIDRO (Edital 04/2005) supporting research on Lake Cruzeta through the project BEER-RN. Analysis of long-term data in Lake Biviere di Gela was possible thanks to a grant from the University of Palermo (2012-ATE-0148). TB and JC were supported by TÜBİTAK 2211 and 2215 Scholarship Programmes, respectively. FRSF was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/CT-HIDRO—Edital 040/2006). RFM’s contribution was supported by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (PNPD/CAPES). SB’s contribution was supported by the Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship no. 330249 (CLIMBING). We thank Anne Mette Poulsen for valuable editorial comments and Tinna Christensen for figure layout.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 48 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Jeppesen
    • 1
    • 12
    Email author
  • Sandra Brucet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luigi Naselli-Flores
    • 3
  • Eva Papastergiadou
    • 4
  • Kostas Stefanidis
    • 4
  • Tiina Nõges
    • 5
  • Peeter Nõges
    • 5
  • José Luiz Attayde
    • 6
  • Tamar Zohary
    • 7
  • Jan Coppens
    • 8
  • Tuba Bucak
    • 8
  • Rosemberg Fernandes Menezes
    • 6
  • Francisco Rafael Sousa Freitas
    • 9
  • Martin Kernan
    • 10
  • Martin Søndergaard
    • 1
  • Meryem Beklioğlu
    • 8
    • 11
  1. 1.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.BETA Research Centre, Aquatic Ecology GroupUniversity of Vic—Central University of CataloniaVicSpain
  3. 3.Department STEBICEF, Section of Botany and Plant EcologyUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece
  5. 5.Centre for Limnology, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesEstonian University of Life SciencesTartuEstonia
  6. 6.Departamento de Ecologia, Centro de BiociênciasUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  7. 7.Kinneret Limnological LaboratoryIsrael Oceanographic and Limnological ResearchMigdalIsrael
  8. 8.Limnology Laboratory, Department of BiologyMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  9. 9.Laboratório de Recursos Hídricos e Saneamento Ambiental (LARHISA), Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Centro de TecnologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  10. 10.University College LondonLondonUK
  11. 11.Kemal Kurdaş Ecological Research and Training Stations, Lake EymirMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  12. 12.Sino-Danish Centre for Education and ResearchBeijingChina

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