Lake Systems in Transition: Effect of Hydro-climatic Dynamics on the Lake Socio-ecological Systems in Maine and their Thresholds

Friday, 19 December 2014
Mussie Tekie Beyene and Shaleen Jain, University of Maine, Orono, ME, United States
There are over 5000 lakes in the state of Maine and thus lakes constitute an integral component of its land and aquatic setting. The recent rise in water temperatures, drop in water quality, depletion of fish stocks has raised concerns over the future state of these lakes. This study takes the “social-ecological systems” view of Maine lakes with focus on climate-induced shifts in the ice-cover duration. The resulting re-adjustments in the nutrient load assimilation, decrease in lake water quantity, increased radiative heating on phytoplankton productivity and economic and other losses to the community due to cancellation of winter recreation opportunities have the potential to reshape this vulnerable system.