PROJECTE C-HYDROCHANGE: DINÁMICA DEL CARBONO EN LAGOS Y EMBALSES FRENTE A UNA HIDROLOGÍA CAMBIANTE: IMPLICACIONES PARA EL METABOLISMO DEL ECOSISTEMA, FLUJOS DE GASES Y SUMIDEROS SEDIMENTARIOS

ENTITAT FINANÇADORA

Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI), Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (MICIU) y el Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER); Código: CGL2017-86788-C3-2-P

DURADA

2018-2020

COORDINADOR

Universidad de Málaga

INVESTIGADOR PRINCIPAL

Dr. Rafael Marcè

INVESTIGADORS

Dr. Núria Catalán, Silvia Poblador, Dr. Carme Font

IMPORT ICRA

40.000,00 €

C-HydroChange's overall aim is to understand how recurrent and long-lasting hydrological extremes affect carbon (C) cycling in lakes and reservoirs, and how projected changes in hydrology in a warmer world will modify C dynamics in these ecosystems.

The redistribution of C stocks between Earth compartments is one of the main topics in modern C biogeochemistry, due to its relevance to atmospheric C content and climate change. Lakes and reservoirs play a significant role on global C exchanges by regulating the transport of C from continents to oceans. They maintain high autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolic rates, emit carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere, and accumulate large quantities of C in their sediments.

Changes in hydrological patterns are one of the major impacts of global change. These changes will also impact hydrology in lakes and reservoirs, which will modify the regime of incoming materials, water residence time, and the exposure of sediment to air. However, we are far from having an integrated picture of the impacts of a changing hydrology on the C cycling in lakes and reservoirs. This compromises not only our ability to anticipate changes in C stocks between Earth compartments, but also hinders the definition of appropriate strategies to face water quality management in future conditions, an issue particularly relevant in reservoirs. C-HydroChange will study the impacts of a changing hydrology on C cycling in lakes and reservoirs stressing four main facets:

Facet 1. Recurrent hydrological extremes and water column metabolism. Changes in hydrological conditions may promote increased metabolic rates and gross primary production vs. respiration (GPP/R) imbalances, changing the ecosystem carbon dynamics and influencing water quality due to anoxia development.

Facet 2. Recurrent hydrological extremes and C emissions from lakes and reservoirs. Seasonal water level fluctuations and permanent drying of lakes and reservoirs expose large areas of sediments to the atmosphere.

Facet 3. Recurrent and long-lasting hydrological extremes and the remobilization of sedimentary C sinks. Many lakes and reservoirs are currently shrinking and falling dry due to diversion of water for human uses, recent shifts in hydrology, and decommissioning of dams. Exposure of lake sediments to atmospheric oxygen and higher air temperatures reactivates decomposition of buried organic C, which is eventually released to the atmosphere, compromising this C sink.

Facet 4. Projecting impacts of hydrological changes on C cycling in lakes and reservoirs. Several projections of climate change impacts have identified several major hydrological alterations in a 2ºC warmer world. However, we still miss a comprehensive, standardized exercise showing how these alterations will translate into impacts on C cycling and water quality in lakes and reservoirs.

C-HydroChange will address these challenges using a cross-disciplinary research strategy using state-of-the-art methodologies. The composition of C-HydroChange is based on the complementarity of scientific expertise, methodological approaches, research infrastructures, and formative capacity of the different subprojects, and on a remarkable shared research experience between consortium members. Overall, the three coordinated subprojects bring together the necessary expertise to ensure that the project will be streamlined and focused to high-quality outputs.