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  1. Freshwater ecosystems provide vital services, yet are facing increasing risks from global change. In particular, lake thermal dynamics have been altered around the world as a result of climate change, necessitating a predictive understanding of how climate will continue to alter lakes in the future as well as the associated uncertainty in these predictions. Numerous sources of uncertainty affect projections of future lake conditions but few are quantified, limiting the use of lake modeling projections as management tools. To quantify and evaluate the effects of two potentially important sources of uncertainty, lake model selection uncertainty and climate model selection uncertainty, we developed ensemble projections of lake thermal dynamics for a dimictic lake in New Hampshire, USA (Lake Sunapee). Our ensemble projections used four different climate models as inputs to five vertical one-dimensional (1-D) hydrodynamic lake models under three different climate change scenarios to simulate thermal metrics from 2006 to 2099. We found that almost all the lake thermal metrics modeled (surface water temperature, bottom water temperature, Schmidt stability, stratification duration, and ice cover, but not thermocline depth) are projected to change over the next century. Importantly, we found that the dominant source of uncertainty varied among the thermal metrics, as thermal metrics associated with the surface waters (surface water temperature, total ice duration) were driven primarily by climate model selection uncertainty, while metrics associated with deeper depths (bottom water temperature, stratification duration) were dominated by lake model selection uncertainty. Consequently, our results indicate that researchers generating projections of lake bottom water metrics should prioritize including multiple lake models for best capturing projection uncertainty, while those focusing on lake surface metrics should prioritize including multiple climate models. Overall, our ensemble modeling study reveals important information on how climate change will affect lake thermal properties, and also provides some of the first analyses on how climate model selection uncertainty and lake model selection uncertainty interact to affect projections of future lake dynamics. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Lake ecosystems, as integrators of watershed and climate stressors, are sentinels of change. However, there is an inherent time-lag between stressors and whole-lake response. Aquatic metabolism, including gross primary production (GPP) and respiration (R), of stream–lake transitional zones may bridge the time-lag of lake response to allochthonous inputs. In this study, we used high-frequency dissolved oxygen data and inverse modeling to estimate daily rates of summer epilimnetic GPP and R in a nutrient-limited oligotrophic lake at two littoral sites located near different major inflows and at a pelagic site. We examined the relative importance of stream variables in comparison to meteorological and in-lake predictors of GPP and R. One of the inflow streams was substantially warmer than the other and primarily entered the lake’s epilimnion, whereas the colder stream primarily mixed into the metalimnion or hypolimnion. Maximum GPP and R rates were 0.2–2.5 mg O 2 L −1  day −1 (9–670%) higher at littoral sites than the pelagic site. Ensemble machine learning analyses revealed that > 30% of variability in daily littoral zone GPP and R was attributable to stream depth and stream–lake transitional zone mixing metrics. The warm-stream inflow likely stimulated littoral GPP and R, while the cold-stream inflow only stimulated littoral zone GPP and R when mixing with the epilimnion. The higher GPP and R observed near inflows in our study may provide a sentinel-of-the-sentinel signal, bridging the time-lag between stream inputs and in-lake processing, enabling an earlier indication of whole-lake response to upstream stressors. 
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  5. Water quality measures for inland and coastal waters are available as discrete samples from professional and volunteer water quality monitoring programs and higher-frequency, near-continuous data from automated in situ sensors. Water quality parameters also are estimated from model outputs and remote sensing. The integration of these data, via data assimilation, can result in a more holistic characterization of these highly dynamic ecosystems, and consequently improve water resource management. It is becoming common to see combinations of these data applied to answer relevant scientific questions. Yet, methods for scaling water quality data across regions and beyond, to provide actionable knowledge for stakeholders, have emerged only recently, particularly with the availability of satellite data now providing global coverage at high spatial resolution. In this paper, data sources and existing data integration frameworks are reviewed to give an overview of the present status and identify the gaps in existing frameworks. We propose an integration framework to provide information to user communities through the the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) AquaWatch Initiative. This aims to develop and build the global capacity and utility of water quality data, products, and information to support equitable and inclusive access for water resource management, policy and decision making. 
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  7. Abstract

    The concentration of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is increasing in many northern hemisphere lakes, yet its use by phytoplankton and fate in the environment seldom have been quantified. We conducted 1 week, in situ, microcosm incubations across 25 lakes in northeastern North America to understand how DON, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), and dissolved inorganic phosphorus (P) affected phytoplankton biomass. In addition, we tested whether lakes were limited by single macronutrients (N or P) or colimited by both. Phytoplankton biomass in 80% of lakes responded similarly to DON and DIN additions. Of the lakes where N form produced differential responses, the majority of phytoplankton communities exhibited greater biomass accumulation with DON than DIN. Colimitation was the most common type of nutrient limitation among the study lakes, followed by P limitation. Limitation type shifted with N form in 40% of the study lakes, but without consistent patterns explaining how shifts occurred. Regardless of N form, lakes with watersheds more dominated by agriculture and higher total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) tended to show P‐limited phytoplankton responses, while lakes with less agricultural watersheds and lower TDN tended to show colimited phytoplankton responses. Finally, ambient TDN and total phosphorus (TP) nutrient concentrations were stronger predictors of limitation type than ambient TDN : TP ratios. The different contributions of DON and DIN to phytoplankton biomass in some of our study lakes suggest that DON loading from surrounding watersheds may be an overlooked component in predicting phytoplankton productivity and nutrient limitation dynamics in freshwater ecosystems.

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