Modeling the effects of climatic and land use changes on phytoplankton and water quality of the largest Turkish freshwater lake: Lake Beysehir

Bucak, Tuba
Trolle, Dennis
Tavsanoglu, U. Nihan
Cakiroglu, A. Idil
Ozen, Arda
Jeppesen, Erik
Beklioğlu, Meryem
Climate change and intense land use practices are the main threats to ecosystem structure and services of Mediterranean lakes. Therefore, it is essential to predict the future changes and develop mitigation measures to combat such pressures. In this study, Lake Beysehir, the largest freshwater lake in the Mediterranean basin, was selected to study the impacts of climate change and various land use scenarios on the ecosystem dynamics of Mediterranean freshwater ecosystems and the services that they provide. For this purpose, we linked catchment model outputs to the two different processed-based lake models: PCLake and GLM-AED, and tested the scenarios of five General Circulation Models, two Representation Concentration Pathways and three different land use scenarios, which enable us to consider the various sources of uncertainty. Climate change and land use scenarios generally predicted strong future decreases in hydraulic and nutrient loads from the catchment to the lake. These changes in loads translated into alterations in water level as well as minor changes in chlorophyll a (Chl-a) concentrations. We also observed an increased abundance of cyanobacteria in both lake models. Total phosphorus, temperature and hydraulic loading were found to be the most important variables determining cyanobacteria biomass. As the future scenarios revealed only minor changes in Chl-a due to the significant decrease in nutrient loads, our results highlight that reduced nutrient loading in a warming world may play a crucial role in offsetting the effects of temperature on phytoplankton growth. However, our results also showed increased abundance of cyanobacteria in the future may threaten ecosystem integrity and may limit drinking water ecosystem services. In addition, extended periods of decreased hydraulic loads from the catchment and increased evaporation may lead to water level reductions and may diminish the ecosystem services of the lake as a water supply for irrigation and drinking water.

Citation Formats
T. Bucak et al., “Modeling the effects of climatic and land use changes on phytoplankton and water quality of the largest Turkish freshwater lake: Lake Beysehir,” SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, vol. 621, pp. 802–816, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: