Increased Water Abstraction and Climate Change Have Substantial Effect on Morphometry, Salinity, and Biotic Communities in Lakes: Examples from the Semi-Arid Burdur Basin (Turkey)

Colak, Mehmet Arda
Oztas, Baris
Özgencil, İbrahim Kaan
Soyluer, Melisa
Korkmaz, Mustafa
Ramirez-Garcia, Arely
Metin, Melisa
Yilmaz, Gultekin
Ertugrul, Serhat
Amorim, Cihelio Alves
Özen, Can
Apaydin Yagci, Meral
Yagci, Abdulkadir
Pacheco, Juan Pablo
Özkan, Korhan
Beklioğlu, Meryem
Jeppesen, Erik
Akyürek, Sevda Zuhal
Global warming and altered precipitation patterns are predicted to intensify the water loss in semi-arid and arid regions, and such regions in Turkey will be particularly affected. Moreover, water abstraction, not least for irrigation purposes, is expected to increase markedly, posing major threats to the water balance of the lakes and thus their biodiversity. Among the closed basins in Turkey, the Burdur Closed Basin (BCB), located in the southwest of Turkey, is expected to be most affected. The BCB includes several types of aquatic ecosystems which support high biodiversity, including one Ramsar site, six Important Bird Areas, and a considerable richness of native and endemic fish species. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the potential environmental impacts of climate change and increased water abstraction on BCB lakes and their biotic communities. Here, we combined historical data on ecosystems as well as meteorological, remote sensing, and ground-truth data to analyze the changes in the temperature and precipitation of the BCB, water surface areas, and land use, as well as the potential effects on waterbird and fish communities. We calculated the water budget to elucidate water availability in the basin over the last few decades and predicted future conditions based on rainfall and temperature forecasts using climate models. The Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) was used to relate the water surface area to precipitation and temperature change in the basin. Crop-farming irrigation in the BCB has increased notably since 2004, leading to intensive water abstraction from the lakes and their inflows, as well as from ground water, to meet the increased demand for irrigation. The water abstraction from the lakes, inflows to the lakes, and the groundwater in the basin has increased the water loss in the catchment substantially. Remotely sensed data on lake surface areas showed a major shrinkage of shallow lakes in the last 40 years. Moreover, the largest lake in the basin, Lake Burdur, lost nearly half of its surface area, which is worrisome since the shallower areas are the most suitable for supporting high biodiversity. Climate models (CNRM-ESM2-1GCM for temperature and GFDL-ESM4-GCM for precipitation) suggest that from 2070, the BCB will face long-term, moderate-to-severe dry periods. This, and the increased demand for water for irrigation, along with climate change, may accelerate the drying of these lakes in the near future with devastating effects on the lake ecosystems and their biodiversity.


Ecological impacts of global warming and water abstraction on lakes and reservoirs due to changes in water level and related changes in salinity
Jeppesen, Erik; Brucet, Sandra; Naselli-Flores, Luigi; Papastergiadou, Eva; Stefanidis, Kostas; Noges, Tiina; Noges, Peeter; Attayde, Jose Luiz; Zohary, Tamar; Coppens, Jan; Bucak, Tuba; Menezes, Rosemberg Fernandes; Sousa Freitas, Francisco Rafael; Kernan, Martin; Sondergaard, Martin; Beklioğlu, Meryem (2015-05-01)
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released in September 2014, unprecedented changes in temperature and precipitation patterns have been recorded globally in recent decades and further change is predicted to occur in the near future, mainly as the result of human activity. In particular, projections show that the Mediterranean climate zone will be markedly affected with significant implications for lake water levels and salinity. This may be exacerbated by increased demands fo...
Influences of climate and nutrient enrichment on the multiple trophic levels of Turkish shallow lakes
Beklioğlu, Meryem; Levi, Eti E.; Erdogan, Seyda; Ozen, Arda; Filiz, Nur; Bezirci, Gizem; Cakiroglu, Ayse Idil; Tavsanoglu, U. Nihan; Gökçe, Didem; Demir, Nilsun; Ozulug, Mufit; Duran, Mustafa; Özkan, Korhan; Jeppesen, Erik (2020-04-01)
Climate warming threatens the structure and function of shallow lakes, not least those in the Mediterranean climate. We used a space-for-time substitution approach to assess the response of trophic and community structures as well as the richness and evenness of multiple trophic levels to temperature, hydrological, and nutrient constraints. We selected 41 lakes covering wide climatic, hydrological, and nutrient gradients within a short distance for reducing the effect of biogeographical factors in the weste...
Changes in precipitation climatology for the Eastern Mediterranean using CORDEX RCMs, NHRCM and MRI-AGCM
Mesta, Buket; Sasaki, Hidetaka; Nakaegawa, Tosiyuki; Kentel Erdoğan, Elçin (2022-07-01)
© 2022Mediterranean Basin is expected to be one of the regions most severely impacted by global climate change. However, the complex interactions of driving forces of climate in the region create a challenge for climate projections for the future. Findings from climate change studies support the inter-model and inter-regional variability of projections on climate change impacts. On the other hand, the studies on the evaluation of the simulation skills of high-resolution climate models for the region particu...
Drought analysis using CORDEX simulations over the mediterranean climate regions of Turkey
Poyraz, Anıl Yıldırım; Yücel, İsmail; Department of Civil Engineering (2018)
Drought has been a significant result of climate change that causes variance on precipitation regimes. Mediterranean region is one of the hotspots of the world in this respect. Dry summers and rainy winters -the characteristic of this climate type- makes this region more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Hence, it is important to monitor drought considering the increasing population and economic facilities in the regions that are under Mediterranean climate conditions in Turkey. This study aims t...
Analyses of flood events using regional hydrometeorological modeling system
Önen, Alper; Yücel, İsmail; Department of Civil Engineering (2013)
Extreme rainfall events and consequent floods are being observed more frequently in the Western Black Sea region in Turkey as climate changes. In this study, application of a flood early warning system is intended by using and calibrating a combined model system. A regional-scale hydro-meteorological model system, consisting of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, NOAH land surface model and fully distributed NOAH-Hydro hydrologic models, is used for simulations of 25 heavy-rainfall and major flood...
Citation Formats
M. A. Colak et al., “Increased Water Abstraction and Climate Change Have Substantial Effect on Morphometry, Salinity, and Biotic Communities in Lakes: Examples from the Semi-Arid Burdur Basin (Turkey),” WATER, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. 0–0, 2022, Accessed: 00, 2022. [Online]. Available: