Multi-year trends and determinants of the hydrochemistry of high mountain lakes in the Western Italian Alps

Tiberti, R., Nelli, L., Marchetto, A., Tartari, G., Wienckowski, E. and Rogora, M. (2019) Multi-year trends and determinants of the hydrochemistry of high mountain lakes in the Western Italian Alps. Aquatic Sciences, 81(3), 54. (doi:10.1007/s00027-019-0650-3)

Tiberti, R., Nelli, L., Marchetto, A., Tartari, G., Wienckowski, E. and Rogora, M. (2019) Multi-year trends and determinants of the hydrochemistry of high mountain lakes in the Western Italian Alps. Aquatic Sciences, 81(3), 54. (doi:10.1007/s00027-019-0650-3)

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Abstract

High mountain lakes (HML) provide essential ecosystem services, have tremendous conservation and aesthetic value, and are good model ecosystems to study the ecological consequences of global change. Multi-year (2008--2017) chemical data from 25 HML from the Gran Paradiso National Park (Western Italian Alps) were used to address two specific objectives: (1) assess the major determinants of HML hydrochemistry; (2) identify any multi-years trend attributable to global change. Local trends in climatic variables and NO3 -, NH4 +, and SO4 2- deposition were evaluated over the same period as possible drivers of lake chemistry. We were able to explain most of the variance associated to the major ion concentration, but much less of that associated with nutrient content and with variables related to atmospheric deposition (e.g. Cl -, Na +, inorganic N). The explanation of which probably requires studies at a regional scale. As a whole, lake chemistry depends on the interplay of several environmental variables, including the impact of human activities (i.e. point source of organic pollutants). Catchment geology and vegetation cover influence several variables related to weathering processes, which show a general increase over the last 10 years. This general trend can be attributable to climatic variability enhancing weathering processes in lake catchments. However, a concomitant decrease of precipitation amount and the deposition of acidifying compounds may have contributed to the observed trends. Meteorological data were almost unrelated to HML hydrochemistry, suggesting that lake chemical composition would depend more strongly on long-term climatic variations rather than on short-term meteorological events.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding and logistic support for this research was provided by the Gran Paradiso National Park within the framework of the EU FP7 ACQWA Project (Assessment of Climatic change and impacts on the Quantity and quality of Water; Grant Agreement no. 212250) and the LIFE + BIOAQUAE Project (Biodiversity Improvement of Aquatic Alpine Ecosystems; LIFE11 BIO/IT/000020). Supplemental funding for the chemical analyses and dashboard work was kindly provided by CNR IRSA and the University of Pavia (Grant Number 105355 issued to Rocco Tiberti). Monitoring of atmospheric deposition at the ICP FOREST site PIE1—Val Sessera has been partially funded by the Italian Forestry Service (Corpo Forestale dello Stato, Servizio CONECOFOR) and by the European Union under the Regulation (EC) no 2152/2003 concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the community (Forest Focus) and the project LIFE 07 ENV/D/000218 “Further Development and Implementation of an EU-level Forest Monitoring System (FutMon)”.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nelli, Dr Luca
Authors: Tiberti, R., Nelli, L., Marchetto, A., Tartari, G., Wienckowski, E., and Rogora, M.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Aquatic Sciences
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1015-1621
ISSN (Online):1420-9055
Published Online:02 July 2019

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