Impact of climatic changes on the montane and alpine lake ecosystems (High Tatras, Western Carpathians)
Climate models show that the frequency of irregular climatic phenomena (extreme rains and hot days) are increasing in mountain environments. 1. Extreme precipitation causing irregular (but more frequent) floods and impacting the leaching of dissolved organic material from the water column. Due to the morphology and poor vegetation of high-mountain lakes, there is no return of allochthon organic matter. However, the process mentioned above is responsible for faster recovery (after flood) of lower altitude lakes with plenty of surrounding vegetation. The second effect brings increased mobilization of elements and metals within the ecosystem, triggering the leaching of heavy metals from the littoral zone to the aquatic environment and changing their levels in surrounding vegetation. 2. Changes in the characteristically low temperatures at higher-altitude lakes are due to the sensitivity towards increasing and fluctuating air temperatures. All processes and interactions in lake ecosystems are influenced by the high altitudinal gradient and differences between dystrophic (below the tree-line) and oligotrophic alpine lakes.
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