Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit

 

Date of this Version

3-11-2014

Citation

PLoS ONE 9(3): e91881. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091881

Comments

public domain

Abstract

Liming has been used extensively in Scandinavia and elsewhere since the 1970s to counteract the negative effects of acidification. Communities in limed lakes usually return to acidified conditions once liming is discontinued, suggesting that liming is unlikely to shift acidified lakes to a state equivalent to pre-acidification conditions that requires no further management intervention. While this suggests a low resilience of limed lakes, attributes that confer resilience have not been assessed, limiting our understanding of the efficiency of costly management programs. In this study, we assessed community metrics (diversity, richness, evenness, biovolume), multivariate community structure and the relative resilience of phytoplankton in limed, acidified and circum-neutral lakes from 1997 to 2009, using multivariate time series modeling. We identified dominant temporal frequencies in the data, allowing us to track community change at distinct temporal scales. We assessed two attributes of relative resilience (cross-scale and within-scale structure) of the phytoplankton communities, based on the fluctuation frequency patterns identified. We also assessed species with stochastic temporal dynamics. Liming increased phytoplankton diversity and richness; however, multivariate community structure differed in limed relative to acidified and circum-neutral lakes. Cross-scale and within-scale attributes of resilience were similar across all lakes studied but the contribution of those species exhibiting stochastic dynamics was higher in the acidified and limed compared to circum-neutral lakes. From a resilience perspective, our results suggest that limed lakes comprise a particular condition of an acidified lake state. This explains why liming does not move acidified lakes out of a ‘‘degraded’’ basin of attraction. In addition, our study demonstrates the potential of time series modeling to assess the efficiency of re