The function and management of aquatic ecosystems in the changing environment: the effects of paradigm shifts (consortium AQUADIGM)

Climate models predict considerable changes in the climatological conditions. In the research of aquatic ecosystems, the forthcoming changes require thorough re-examination of many long-lasting para¬digms. Consequently, the validity of various lake management methods must be re-evaluated. Moreover, paradigms in decision-making and environmental attitudes of the public have consequences for the research and management of aquatic resources and may delay or prevent the application of new research results in management.

The AQUADIQM consortium studies the validity of strong paradigms on the functioning and management of lake ecosystems. The objectives are to evaluate the paradigms on the important role of oxygen deficits in regulating internal phosphorus (P) loading (subproject 1, J. Horppila) and the effectiveness of artificial aeration as a management tool (subproject 2, J. Horppila). Additionally, the barriers of possible paradigm shifts (subproject 3, I. Massa) and consequences for management and decision-making in the future (subproject 4, P. Tapio) are studied.

The consortium forms a new interdisciplinary research group, which adds mutual understanding within different fields of research. In subproject 3, the facts forming the footing of the current paradigms are determined and information needed for paradigm shifts is identified by studying the origin and strength of the paradigms with analysis on existing documents and interviews. Updated lake data are collected in subproject 1, where the internal P loading from anoxic areas is estimated for a large number of lakes (hypolimnetic P accumulation) and compared it with water quality parameters and independently estimated total internal P loading (retention models and new sediment data).

In subproject 2, the conditions facilitating successful aeration are identified by meta-analysis of data from aerated lakes and by detailed field studies in an ongoing aeration project. In subproject 4, the possible changes in management strategies are studied with expert view surveys and stakeholder workshops based on state-of-the-art knowledge and with the new results from sub-projects 1 and 2. Information on the barriers of paradigm shifts (subproject 3) is used. Scenarios on the consequences of new management strategies are produced.

Last modified 16 Jul 2015
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