Master of Science (MS)
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paleolimnology, water transparency, dissolved organic carbon, climate
Date of Defense
Lakes are browning globally from increased inputs of colored dissolved organic carbon (cDOC) driven by climate and land-use change. Browning changes lake ecosystems, especially through reductions in water transparency. I used long-term limnological and plankton records and upper surface sediment diatom assemblages to infer a ~1600-year history of browning from diatom assemblages in a 166 cm core from a subtropical, oligotrophic lake known to experience cyclical browning related to climate oscillations. Diatom assemblages were strongly regulated by cDOC-driven transparency fluctuations in a 14-year plankton dataset (modern model, R2 = 0.62) and in the upper 35 cm of sediments corresponding to a 35-year monitoring record (paleo model, R2 = 0.72). Diatom-inferred transparency and nutrient flux rates show that localized ditching in the 1930’s intensified the effect climate oscillations on transparency causing cyclical browning thereafter. Integrating long-term monitoring and paleobiological research provides valuable ecosystem history for adapting management actions to a changing climate.
Emery, Meredith, "Reconstructing Cyclical Browning in a Subtropical Lake from Diatoms" (2021). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4863.
Available for download on Friday, December 01, 2023
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