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  1. Despite low species diversity and primary production, trophic structure (e.g., top predator species, predator size) is surprisingly variable among Arctic lakes. We investigated trophic structure in lakes of arctic Alaska containing arctic char Salvelinus alpinus using stomach contents and stable isotope ratios in two geographically-close but hydrologically-distinct lake clusters to investigate how these fish may interact and compete for limited food resources. Aside from different lake connectivity patterns (‘leaky’ versus ‘closed’), differing fish communities (up to five versus only two species) between lake clusters allowed us to test trophic hypotheses including: (1) arctic char are more piscivorous, and thereby grow larger and obtain higher trophic positions, in the presence of other fish species; and, (2) between arctic char size classes, resource polymorphism is more prominent, and thereby trophic niches are narrower and overlap less, in the absence of other predators. Regardless of lake cluster, we observed little direct evidence of arctic char consuming other fishes, but char were larger (mean TL = 468 vs 264 mm) and trophic position was higher (mean TP = 4.0 vs 3.8 for large char) in lakes with other fishes. Further, char demonstrated less intraspecific overlap when other predators were present whereas niche overlap wasmore »up to 100% in closed, char only lakes. As hydrologic characteristics (e.g., lake connectivity, water temperatures) will change across the Arctic owing to climate change, our results provide insight regarding potential concomitant changes to fish interactions and increase our understanding of lake trophic structure to guide management and conservation goals.« less
  2. Abstract. We improved lake mixing process simulations by applying a vertical mixing scheme, K profile parameterization (KPP), in the Community Land Model (CLM) version 4.5, developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Vertical mixing of the lake water column can significantly affect heat transfer and vertical temperature profiles. However, the current vertical mixing scheme in CLM requires an arbitrarily enlarged eddy diffusivity to enhance water mixing. The coupled CLM-KPP considers a boundary layer for eddy development, and in the lake interior water mixing is associated with internal wave activity and shear instability. We chose a lake in Arctic Alaska and a lake on the Tibetan Plateau to evaluate this improved lake model. Results demonstrated that CLM-KPP reproduced the observed lake mixing and significantly improved lake temperature simulations when compared to the original CLM. Our newly improved model better represents the transition between stratification and turnover. This improved lake model has great potential for reliable physical lake process predictions and better ecosystem services.