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Publication Detail
Using palaeolimnological and limnological data to reconstruct the recent history of European lake ecosystems: Introduction
1. As future climate change is expected to have a major impact on freshwater lake ecosystems, it is important to assess the extent to which changes taking place in freshwater lakes can be attributed to the degree of climate change that has already taken place. 2.To address this issue, it is necessary to examine evidence spanning many decades by combining long-term observational data sets and palaeolimnological records. 3.Here, we introduce a series of case studies of seven European lakes for which both long-term data sets and sediment records are available. Most of the sites have been affected by eutrophication and are now in recovery. 4.The studies attempt to disentangle the effects of climate change from those of nutrient pollution and conclude that nutrient pollution is still the dominant factor controlling the trophic state of lakes. 5.At most sites, however, there is also evidence of climate influence related in some cases to natural variability in the climate system, and in others to the trend to higher temperatures over recent decades attributed to anthropogenic warming. 6.More generally and despite some problems, the studies indicate the value of combining limnological and palaeolimnological records in reconstructing lake history and in disentangling the changing role of different pressures on lake ecosystems. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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