Climate Adaptation Balance Change Ecosystems

Workpackge 3: Climate change impact on Freshwater Ecosystems and Biological Diversity.

WP3 coordinator is Gunta Springe, Dr. biol., Faculty of Geography and Earth Science, UL. WP3 participants are researchers of Faculty of Geography and Earth Science UL, Institute of Biology UL, Faculty of Biology UL, Latvian Fish Resources Agency.

The aim of the workpackage is to assess possible climate change impacts on inland surface water ecosystems and their biological diversity. The main directions of studies will provide a better understanding of:

  • climate – biodiversity relationships on various trophic levels in the Salaca River basin;
  • fluxes – climate – biota relationships to describe changes in water quality (including DOC content) and their impact on the structure and functioning of the biotic communities;
  • assessment of the behaviour of species used as indicators under the climate change stress.

Workpackage 3 outputs will add to the knowledge on the character of biodiversity in the surface waters of Latvia, assessment of the trophic links and population dynamics, and will contribute to the selection of proper water quality indicators in conditions of changing climate and alternating fluxes of matter. Potential development of the fish community in the Salaca River will be forecasted as well.

WP 3 tasks are:

  • Assess changes in species diversity, analyze changes in composition and structure of the fish community in the Salaca River and Lake Burtnieku in relation to climate change factors (Climate – biodiversity).
  • Characterize and forecast potential changes in water composition (leaching, wash-out, sorption, bio-geo-chemical cycles) and its impact on structure and function of freshwater ecosystems. Characterize changes in organic carbon cycles (Fluxes – climate – biota).
  • Identify species suitable for bio-indication – indicators of water quality and analyze trophic relationships in freshwater systems (zoobenthos & aquatic vegetation > fish community) (Climate change indicators).

WP3 outputs will be:

  • Assessment of species biodiversity in relation to environmental factors characterizing climate change, and selection of indicator species to characterize water quality.
  • Identification of water quality changes caused by climate change and its impact on the structure and function of biotic communities.
  • Assessment of the dynamics of populations and trophic links under conditions of climate change. Knowledge on character of changes in organic carbon cycling and their impact on inland water ecosystems.
  • Forecast of the development of the fish community in Salaca River and Lake Burtnieku.