Hannah B. Fried-Petersen https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9725-8208
Date of this Version
Global Change Biology 26 (2020), pp 1259–1270.
Research on ecosystem stability has had a strong focus on local systems. However, environmental change often occurs slowly at broad spatial scales, which requires regional-level assessments of long-term stability. In this study, we assess the stability of macroinvertebrate communities across 105 lakes in the Swedish “lakescape.” Using a hierarchical mixed-model approach, we first evaluate the environmental pressures affecting invertebrate communities in two ecoregions (north, south) using a 23 year time series (1995–2017) and then examine how a set of environmental and physical variables affect the stability of these communities. Results show that lake latitude, size, total phosphorus and alkalinity affect community composition in northern and southern lakes. We find that lake stability is affected by species richness and lake size in both ecoregions and alkalinity and total phosphorus in northern lakes. There is large heterogeneity in the patterns of community stability of individual lakes, but relationships between that stability and environmental drivers begin to emerge when the lakescape, composed of many discrete lakes, is the focal unit of study. The results of this study highlight that broad-scale comparisons in combination with long time series are essential to understand the effects of environmental change on the stability of lake communities in space and time.