How are aquatic ecosystems responding to environmental change? A new study led by Eduardo Maeda shows an increased length of phytoplankton growth season in Finnish lakes using remote sensing. By studying a 33-year time series of satellite data and comparing it to field measurements of chlorophyll a in four different Finnish lakes, the team found that the annual start of phytoplankton growth season has been pushed earlier in the spring. The approach was successful in characterizing the average chl a seasonal patterns in all lakes, providing new tools for evaluating long-term trends of environmental change in lakes.
An earlier onset of blooms and longer phytoplankton growing seasons may result in increased alagal biomass, affecting both the food web interactions in lake ecosystems and the recreational values provided by lakes.
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Maeda, E.E., Lisboa, F., Kaikkonen, L., Kallio, K., Koponen, S., Brotas, V. and Kuikka, S., 2019. Temporal patterns of phytoplankton phenology across high latitude lakes unveiled by long-term time series of satellite data.
Remote Sensing of Environment, 221, pp.609-620. | DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2018.12.006