SS3.09 Climate-Lake Interactions
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
LordAM, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA, amlord@zoo.uvm.edu
Lini, A, , University of Vermont, Burlington, USA, alini@zoo.uvm.edu
 
EVOLUTION RATES OF POST GLACIAL LAKE ECOSYSTEMS IN NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND: CLIMATIC AND GEOMORPHIC CONTROLS
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Sedimentary records of lakes in northern New England are used to assess the effects of natural climate variability on local ecosystems and to predict the consequences of climate change. This study concentrates on the extreme climatic change that took place during the last glacial post-glacial transition, and focuses on lakes formed in the resulting barren, nutrient poor, watersheds. Since environmental changes affect the biological communities in and around lakes, evidence of local and regional climate change can be found in elemental and isotopic compositions of sedimentary organic matter. The amount and type of organic matter in the analyzed sediments allow us to track the development rates of land and aquatic plant communities. Records of elemental and isotopic compositions from individual lakes show differences in the timing and rate of ecosystem establishment. This may be the result of the different physical characteristics of the lakes and/or the distinct deglaciation histories of the study areas. The documented local and regional differences in post-glacial lacustrine ecosystem development rates must be considered when attempting to predict lake ecosystem response to present and future disturbances.