International Cooperation

Lakes in trouble: Understanding the effect of climate change on threatened ecosystem services of eutrophicated aquatic systems

PI: Prof. QIN Boqing  Research Period: 2012.1-2014.12.

In order to support long-term systematic research collaboration and to establish and strengthen research connection between China and Finland, The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Academy of Finland launch a joint research plan to promote Finnish-Chinese research collaboration in the field of climate change and ecosystem adaptation in 2011.

As an important part of Finnish-Chinese research collaboration, this project will focus on linking hydrologic, biological and biogeochemical (including nutrient inputs and water quality responses) changes with underlying climatological drivers in two geographically distinct but functionally relatively similar shallow systems, Lake Pyh?j?rvi in Finland and Lake Taihu in China. The project has a holistic approach including paleolimnological and long-term monitoring data on the aquatic systems and in situ and modelling approaches on internal loading and nutrient dynamics in shallow lakes under different climate change scenarios.

The ultimate aims of the project are: 1) to improve the possibilities to secure the ecosystem services provided by Lake Taihu and Lake Pyh?j?rvi also under changing climate, 2) to elucidate the processes involved herein based on new experiments and analyses of data from the lakes, 3) increase the possibilities to adapt the restoration measures to the level demanded by climate change, 4) increase research co-operation between China and Finland in the field of aquatic sciences.

The objective of the project will be achieved by: 1) elucidating the long-term changes in the biological structure of reference systems Pyh?j?rvi and Taihu, 2) evaluating the role of internal load with scenarios of changes in wind forcing field for both shallow reference systems and explore the effects on lake eutrophiction and ecosystem structure, 3) evaluating the stabilizing role of macrophytes in nutrient dynamics under stress caused by climate change and eutrophication and 4) Chinese and Finnish research groups working together with combined lake data, learning and comparing methods and results.

The research group will have intensive co-operation within several high quality research institutes: Pyh?j?rvi Institute, University of Helsinki, University of Turku, Finnish Environment institute from Finland and Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology from China. Theproject will engage a PhD-student as well as several post doctoral and long-term senior researchers who are experienced scientists in their field. One key aim of the project is to increase international knowledge and data transfer, research training and long–term collaboration and global problem-solving capacity on preserving and restoring ecosystem services among researchers under the same theme in China and Finland as well as worldwide.