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.


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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...
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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...
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Global warming is likely to have significant effect on the hydrological cycle. Some parts of the world may see significant reductions in precipitation or major alterations in the timing of wet and dry seasons. Climate change is one of the serious pressures facing water resources and their management over the next few years and decades. As part of the southern belt of Mediterranean Europe, Turkey is highly vulnerable to anticipated climate change impacts. The changes in global climate will seriously affect i...
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: