Past climate change, human impact, and the environmental history of African lake ecosystems


African lakes contain in their bottom sediments one of the most valuable natural archives of past climate and environmental change at both short (years to decades) and long (centuries to millennia) time scales, and fossils of aquatic invertebrates preserved in those sediments are among the most valuable biological indicators of environmental change lakes have been subjected to, be it natural (climate-driven hydrological variability, ecological succession) or anthropogenic (eutrophication, fish introduction, siltation). Elucidating the environmental history of these lakes compensates for the general lack of historical monitoring data by producing the long-term perspective needed to understand their present condition and develop sound strategies for management and conservation of scarce water resources. This research theme aims to identify African lakes with the most interesting and trustworthy sedimentary records, and exploits those archives to address a wide range of both fundamental and applied research questions, such as the relative importance of bottom-up and top-down control on zooplankton dynamics in fluctuating tropical lakes; the relative roles of agricultural nutrient inputs and fish introductions in the eutrophication of Lake Victoria; the threat of agricultural soil erosion to the unique benthic communities of Lake Tanganyika; and the Holocene climate history of equatorial East Africa.



Name Role Start End
Verschuren, Dirk member 2009-08-01
Eggermont, Hilde member 2009-08-01
Bessems, Ilse member 2009-08-01
Rumes, Bob member 2006-01-01 2009-07-01


Name Role Start End
Limnology member 2009-08-01

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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