The Lake Ice Continuum Concept: Influence of Winter Conditions on Energy and Ecosystem Dynamics

E. Cavaliere, I. B. Fournier, V. Hazuková, G. P. Rue, S. Sadro, S. A. Berger, J. B. Cotner, H. A. Dugan, S. E. Hampton, N. R. Lottig, B. C. McMeans, T. Ozersky, S. M. Powers, M. Rautio, C. M. O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Millions of lakes worldwide are distributed at latitudes or elevations resulting in the formation of lake ice during winter. Lake ice affects the transfer of energy, heat, light, and material between lakes and their surroundings creating an environment dramatically different from open-water conditions. While this fundamental restructuring leads to distinct gradients in ions, dissolved gases, and nutrients throughout the water column, surprisingly little is known about the resulting effects on ecosystem processes and food webs, highlighting the lack of a general limnological framework that characterizes the structure and function of lakes under a gradient of ice cover. Drawing from the literature and three novel case studies, we present the Lake Ice Continuum Concept (LICC) as a model for understanding how key aspects of the physical, chemical, and ecological structure and function of lakes vary along a continuum of winter climate conditions mediated by ice and snow cover. We examine key differences in energy, redox, and ecological community structure and describe how they vary in response to shifts in physical mixing dynamics and light availability for lakes with ice and snow cover, lakes with clear ice alone, and lakes lacking winter ice altogether. Global change is driving ice covered lakes toward not only warmer annual average temperatures but also reduced, intermittent or no ice cover. The LICC highlights the wide range of responses of lakes to ongoing climate-driven changes in ice cover and serves as a reminder of the need to understand the role of winter in the annual aquatic cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JG006165
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Volume126
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The inception of ideas for this manuscript was the outcome of discussions among all authors at the AGU Chapman Conference “Winter Limnology in a Changing World,” and the authors are grateful to the staff of American Geophysical Union, and those of Flathead Lake Biological Station where the meeting was held. This was a collaborative group with many meetings, subgroups, and widely distributed effort with people involved in all aspects of iteratively developing the manuscript. The first co‐lead author group (E. Cavaliere, I. B. Fournier, V. Hazuková, G. P. Rue, and S. Sadro) is alphabetically ordered due to equal contributions in leadership and effort over the duration of the project. The second author group (S. A. Berger, J. B. Cotner, H. A. Dugan, S. E. Hampton, N. R. Lottig, B. C. McMeans, T. Ozersky, S. M. Powers, and M. Rautio) is alphabetically ordered due to equal contribution. All authors contributed to idea development and original text, and provided substantive feedback. E. Cavaliere, H. A. Dugan, I. B. Fournier, and S. Sadro led subteams to review the literature. Figure development was led by S. A. Berger, E. Cavaliere, H. A. Dugan, I. B. Fournier, V. Hazuková, C. M. O'Reilly, S. M. Powers, and G. P. Rue. C. M. O'Reilly coordinated the project. The authors thank Shawn Devlin for input and discussions. Lake Mendota observations were supported by the US National Science Foundation #DEB‐1440297 and #DEB‐1856224. Lake Stechlin data were collected as part of the Monitoring Program supported by the Department of Experimental Limnology at IGB Stechlin, Germany. Lake Simoncouche data were collected by the infrastructure provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation grant #35253 and with support from the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Funding Information:
The inception of ideas for this manuscript was the outcome of discussions among all authors at the AGU Chapman Conference ?Winter Limnology in a Changing World,? and the authors are grateful to the staff of American Geophysical Union, and those of Flathead Lake Biological Station where the meeting was held. This was a collaborative group with many meetings, subgroups, and widely distributed effort with people involved in all aspects of iteratively developing the manuscript. The first co-lead author group (E. Cavaliere, I. B. Fournier, V. Hazukov?, G. P. Rue, and S. Sadro) is alphabetically ordered due to equal contributions in leadership and effort over the duration of the project. The second author group (S. A. Berger, J. B. Cotner, H. A. Dugan, S. E. Hampton, N. R. Lottig, B. C. McMeans, T. Ozersky, S. M. Powers, and M. Rautio) is alphabetically ordered due to equal contribution. All authors contributed to idea development and original text, and provided substantive feedback. E. Cavaliere, H. A. Dugan, I. B. Fournier, and S. Sadro led subteams to review the literature. Figure development was led by S. A. Berger, E. Cavaliere, H. A. Dugan, I. B. Fournier, V. Hazukov?, C. M. O'Reilly, S. M. Powers, and G. P. Rue. C. M. O'Reilly coordinated the project. The authors thank Shawn Devlin for input and discussions. Lake Mendota observations were supported by the US National Science Foundation #DEB-1440297 and #DEB-1856224. Lake Stechlin data were collected as part of the Monitoring Program supported by the Department of Experimental Limnology at IGB Stechlin, Germany. Lake Simoncouche data were collected by the infrastructure provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation grant #35253 and with support from the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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