Are large water bodies able to act as sensors of global change? As accumulators of water and heat, some of their thermal characteristics might be altered by long term (decadal) hydrometeorological changes and thus may be used as indicators of the effects of global change on fluvial ecosystems. This work focuses on the effect of global change (climate change plus water quantity and land use changes) in the internal organization of Sanabria Lake, specifically in its thermal annual cycle. The existence of temporal trends in the thermal behaviour of the lake was investigated based on the water temperature profiles are available since 1986. Data analyses include the non-parametric Mann-Kendall trend test and the Sen slope estimate to evaluate long term and seasonal patterns of hydrometeorological and in-lake thermal variables. The main results surprisingly point to a net lake cooling that could be explained by a stronger thermocline and a weaker vertical transfer of heat to the hypolimnion during the stratification period. These results contribute to understand and quantify the effects of global change on Iberian freshwater bodies.

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Published on 01/01/2020

DOI: 10.23818/limn.39.29
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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