Accessibility navigation

Phenological shifts in lake stratification under climate change

Woolway, R. I. ORCID:, Sharma, S. ORCID:, Weyhenmeyer, G. A. ORCID:, Debolskiy, A., Golub, M., Mercado-Bettín, D. ORCID:, Perroud, M., Stepanenko, V., Tan, Z. ORCID:, Grant, L., Ladwig, R. ORCID:, Mesman, J. ORCID:, Moore, T. N. ORCID:, Shatwell, T. ORCID:, Vanderkelen, I. ORCID:, Austin, J. A. ORCID:, DeGasperi, C. L. ORCID:, Dokulil, M., La Fuente, S. ORCID:, Mackay, E. B. , Schladow, S. G., Watanabe, S., Marcé, R. ORCID:, Pierson, D. C. ORCID:, Thiery, W. ORCID: and Jennings, E. ORCID: (2021) Phenological shifts in lake stratification under climate change. Nature Communications, 12 (1). 2318. ISSN 2041-1723

Text (Open Access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22657-4


One of the most important physical characteristics driving lifecycle events in lakes is stratification. Already subtle variations in the timing of stratification onset and break-up (phenology) are known to have major ecological effects, mainly by determining the availability of light, nutrients, carbon and oxygen to organisms. Despite its ecological importance, historic and future global changes in stratification phenology are unknown. Here, we used a lake-climate model ensemble and long-term observational data, to investigate changes in lake stratification phenology across the Northern Hemisphere from 1901 to 2099. Under the high-greenhouse-gas-emission scenario, stratification will begin 22.0 ± 7.0 days earlier and end 11.3 ± 4.7 days later by the end of this century. It is very likely that this 33.3 ± 11.7 day prolongation in stratification will accelerate lake deoxygenation with subsequent effects on nutrient mineralization and phosphorus release from lake sediments. Further misalignment of lifecycle events, with possible irreversible changes for lake ecosystems, is also likely.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:100091
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation