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Regime shifts in shallow lake ecosystems along an urban-rural gradient in central China

Regime shifts in shallow lake ecosystems along an urban-rural gradient in central China
Regime shifts in shallow lake ecosystems along an urban-rural gradient in central China
Due to differential exploitation pressure, ecosystems along the urban to rural gradients often exhibit different status in ecological structure and function. This can be challenging for lake restoration, given the relative strengths, magnitudes and speed of the exploitation. In this paper, we reconstructed the ecological changes over the past century and identified the regime shifts based on subfossil aquatic biota (chironomid records) in three shallow lakes (Shahu, Yanxi and Futou Lake) along an urban-rural gradient in the Yangtze floodplain, China. Our results illustrated the differences among lakes in trajectories, timing of critical transition and current ecological status. Eutrophic chironomid taxa increased markedly and replaced macrophyte-related taxa in urban Shahu Lake and suburban Yanxi Lake, indicated by the shift from a stable, vegetation-dominated state to an alternative, algal-dominated state in 1963 AD and 1975 AD respectively. The ecological regime in rural Futou Lake transited around 1980 AD but it is still in a relatively clear water state with abundant macrophytes due to anthropogenic hydrological controls. The greatest variance of chironomid compositional changes in both Shahu and Yanxi Lake was captured by anthropogenic pollutants, and analyses show that when these pressures are high they may be further amplified by climate warming. Responses along the urban-rural gradient are exemplified by urban Shahu Lake having shifted to a fragile regime with weak resistance and resilience, while rural Futou Lake has stabilized in a new regime with improved ecological resilience. Suburban Yanxi Lake is still moving toward a new state, and as such is unstable, because the types and magnitudes of external stressors are changing with urbanization in the city. It is suggested that active and precise management strategies for lakes should be established along the urban-rural gradient given their distinct development trajectories, drivers and current status.
Critical transition, Palaeolimnology, Subfossil chironomids, Urban-rural lakes, Urbanization
0048-9697
Cao, Yanmin
75071aa1-e4f8-47f8-ad3d-4d0fcf3356e6
Langdon, Peter
95b97671-f9fe-4884-aca6-9aa3cd1a6d7f
Chen, Xu
b05875bd-6553-4ce9-8ed9-93485cacdaa4
Huang, Chungling
aadbf79c-b112-47ca-a68e-2401296d9e07
Yan, Yi
ef72e451-582d-41a0-bf61-635a0cd7df67
Yang, Jia
23602051-1a2a-4384-a496-0b234c0e508d
Zheng, Linghan
259086fa-a964-4010-91c1-af50ddf166ad
Cao, Yanmin
75071aa1-e4f8-47f8-ad3d-4d0fcf3356e6
Langdon, Peter
95b97671-f9fe-4884-aca6-9aa3cd1a6d7f
Chen, Xu
b05875bd-6553-4ce9-8ed9-93485cacdaa4
Huang, Chungling
aadbf79c-b112-47ca-a68e-2401296d9e07
Yan, Yi
ef72e451-582d-41a0-bf61-635a0cd7df67
Yang, Jia
23602051-1a2a-4384-a496-0b234c0e508d
Zheng, Linghan
259086fa-a964-4010-91c1-af50ddf166ad

Cao, Yanmin, Langdon, Peter, Chen, Xu, Huang, Chungling, Yan, Yi, Yang, Jia and Zheng, Linghan (2020) Regime shifts in shallow lake ecosystems along an urban-rural gradient in central China. Science of the Total Environment, 733, [139309]. (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139309).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Due to differential exploitation pressure, ecosystems along the urban to rural gradients often exhibit different status in ecological structure and function. This can be challenging for lake restoration, given the relative strengths, magnitudes and speed of the exploitation. In this paper, we reconstructed the ecological changes over the past century and identified the regime shifts based on subfossil aquatic biota (chironomid records) in three shallow lakes (Shahu, Yanxi and Futou Lake) along an urban-rural gradient in the Yangtze floodplain, China. Our results illustrated the differences among lakes in trajectories, timing of critical transition and current ecological status. Eutrophic chironomid taxa increased markedly and replaced macrophyte-related taxa in urban Shahu Lake and suburban Yanxi Lake, indicated by the shift from a stable, vegetation-dominated state to an alternative, algal-dominated state in 1963 AD and 1975 AD respectively. The ecological regime in rural Futou Lake transited around 1980 AD but it is still in a relatively clear water state with abundant macrophytes due to anthropogenic hydrological controls. The greatest variance of chironomid compositional changes in both Shahu and Yanxi Lake was captured by anthropogenic pollutants, and analyses show that when these pressures are high they may be further amplified by climate warming. Responses along the urban-rural gradient are exemplified by urban Shahu Lake having shifted to a fragile regime with weak resistance and resilience, while rural Futou Lake has stabilized in a new regime with improved ecological resilience. Suburban Yanxi Lake is still moving toward a new state, and as such is unstable, because the types and magnitudes of external stressors are changing with urbanization in the city. It is suggested that active and precise management strategies for lakes should be established along the urban-rural gradient given their distinct development trajectories, drivers and current status.

Text
STOTEN-D-20-03665R2 - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 7 May 2022.
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Accepted/In Press date: 7 May 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 May 2020
Keywords: Critical transition, Palaeolimnology, Subfossil chironomids, Urban-rural lakes, Urbanization

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441401
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441401
ISSN: 0048-9697
PURE UUID: 2553b09b-6e95-4fa5-884a-76a6d8774e2e
ORCID for Peter Langdon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2724-2643

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Jun 2020 16:31
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:40

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Contributors

Author: Yanmin Cao
Author: Peter Langdon ORCID iD
Author: Xu Chen
Author: Chungling Huang
Author: Yi Yan
Author: Jia Yang
Author: Linghan Zheng

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