UFJF - Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora

South America Lake Gradient Analyse

Data: 10 de November de 2016

   Shallow lakes are the most important social and economic resources for numerous populations worldwide, including large parts of South America. A striking feature of these ecosystems is the tendency to be in one of two contrasting states: clear, vegetated state, or turbid state dominated by phytoplankton. The latter state has reduced biological diversity, as well as several problems of water quality.

   An important yet unresolved issue is the potential impact of a warmer climate on shallow lakes, affecting their chances to pass into the turbid state. There are reasons to expect a major climate impact on these ecosystems. It is known, for example, that warmer conditions have a great effect on the trophic cascade from fish to phytoplankton.

   The objective of this research project is to study the effects of temperature and climatic extremes on the risk of shallow lakes becoming turbid. South America offers an excellent opportunity to study a series of comparable shallow lakes along an extensive climatic gradient due its exposure to extreme climatic fluctuations, often related to the El Niño event.

   To verify the hypotheses related to the project objective, information is being collected on the current state and history of 100 lakes along a latitudinal gradient on the east coast of South America, as well as the climatic conditions of each region.



 Raquel Fernandes Mendonça | Coordinator

Fábio Roland

Sarian Kosten

Gissell Lacerot

Nestor Mazzeo

Vera Huszar

Marten Schefer


Banco de Seguros del Estado – Financial Support

Kosten Watersport bv. – Financial Support

NWO – WOTRO Science for Global Development – Financial Support

Schure-Beijerinck-Popping Fund – Financial Support

The National Geographic Society – Financial Support

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – Financial Support