Sapna Sharma


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Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: Rapid degradation of the world’s large lakes
Jean‐Philippe Jenny, Orlane Anneville, Fabien Arnaud, Yoann Baulaz, Damien Bouffard, Isabelle Domaizon, Serghei A. Bocaniov, Nathalie Chèvre, Maria Dittrich, Jean Marcel Dorioz, Erin S. Dunlop, Gaël Dur, Jean Guillard, Thibault Guinaldo, Stéphan Jacquet, Aurélien Jamoneau, Zobia Jawed, Erik Jeppesen, Gail Krantzberg, John D. Lenters, Barbara Leoni, Michel Meybeck, Veronica Nava, Tiina Nõges, Peeter Nõges, M Patelli, Victoria Pebbles, Marie Elodie Perga, Séréna Rasconi, Carl R. Ruetz, Lars G. Rudstam, Nico Salmaso, Sapna Sharma, Dietmar Straile, Olga Tammeorg, Michael R. Twiss, Donald G Uzarski, Anne Mari Ventelä, Warwick F. Vincent, Steven W. Wilhelm, Sten Åke Wängberg, Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer
Journal of Great Lakes Research, Volume 46, Issue 4

Abstract Large lakes of the world are habitats for diverse species, including endemic taxa, and are valuable resources that provide humanity with many ecosystem services. They are also sentinels of global and local change, and recent studies in limnology and paleolimnology have demonstrated disturbing evidence of their collective degradation in terms of depletion of resources (water and food), rapid warming and loss of ice, destruction of habitats and ecosystems, loss of species, and accelerating pollution. Large lakes are particularly exposed to anthropogenic and climatic stressors. The Second Warning to Humanity provides a framework to assess the dangers now threatening the world’s large lake ecosystems and to evaluate pathways of sustainable development that are more respectful of their ongoing provision of services. Here we review current and emerging threats to the large lakes of the world, including iconic examples of lake management failures and successes, from which we identify priorities and approaches for future conservation efforts. The review underscores the extent of lake resource degradation, which is a result of cumulative perturbation through time by long-term human impacts combined with other emerging stressors. Decades of degradation of large lakes have resulted in major challenges for restoration and management and a legacy of ecological and economic costs for future generations. Large lakes will require more intense conservation efforts in a warmer, increasingly populated world to achieve sustainable, high-quality waters. This Warning to Humanity is also an opportunity to highlight the value of a long-term lake observatory network to monitor and report on environmental changes in large lake ecosystems.

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Drivers of water quality changes within the Laurentian Great Lakes region over the past 40 years
Octavia Mahdiyan, Alessandro Filazzola, Lewis A. Molot, Derek K. Gray, Sapna Sharma
Limnology and Oceanography, Volume 66, Issue 1

Abstract Water quality of freshwater lakes within the Laurentian Great Lakes region is vulnerable to degradation owing to multiple environmental stressors including climate change, alterations in land use, and the introduction of invasive species. Our research questions were two‐fold: (1) What are the temporal patterns and trends in water quality? (2) Are climate, invasive species and lake morphology associated with changes in water quality? Our study incorporated timeseries data for at least 20 years from 36 lakes in Ontario and Wisconsin sampled between 1976 and 2016. We evaluated patterns in water quality (total phosphorus [TP], total nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon [DOC], and chlorophyll a [Chl a ]) using segmented regression analysis which identified significant breakpoints in Chl a and TP in the 1900s to mid‐2000s after which Chl a and TP began to increase, whereas breakpoints in DOC exhibited increasing trends prior to the year 2000 with levels declining afterward. Next, we examined linear trends in water quality and climate (temperature and precipitation) using Sen slope analysis where, generally, over the past 40 years, lake TP and Chl a have significantly declined, whereas DOC has increased. Lastly, we conducted a redundancy analysis (RDA) to identify how climate, lake morphology, and the presence of invasive dreissenid mussels contributed to changes in water quality. The RDA revealed that precipitation, air temperature, and morphology explained 73.1% of the variation in water quality trends for the Great Lakes whereas precipitation, temperature, morphology, and occurrence of mussels explained 45.6% of the variation for smaller inland lakes.