Diel Surface Temperature Range Scales with Lake Size


Woolway RI, Jones ID, Maberly SC, French JR, Livingstone DM, Monteith DT, Simpson GL, Thackeray SJ, Andersen MR, Battarbee RW, DeGasperi CL, Evans CD, de Eyto E, Feuchtmayr H & Hamilton DP (2016) Diel Surface Temperature Range Scales with Lake Size. PLOS ONE, 11 (3), Art. No.: e0152466.

Ecological and biogeochemical processes in lakes are strongly dependent upon water temperature. Long-term surface warming of many lakes is unequivocal, but little is known about the comparative magnitude of temperature variation at diel timescales, due to a lack of appropriately resolved data. Here we quantify the pattern and magnitude of diel temperature variability of surface waters using high-frequency data from 100 lakes. We show that the near-surface diel temperature range can be substantial in summer relative to long-term change and, for lakes smaller than 3 km2, increases sharply and predictably with decreasing lake area. Most small lakes included in this study experience average summer diel ranges in their near-surface temperatures of between 4 and 7°C. Large diel temperature fluctuations in the majority of lakes undoubtedly influence their structure, function and role in biogeochemical cycles, but the full implications remain largely unexplored.

Additional co-authors: Martin Kernan, Jan Krokowski, Alon Rimmer, Kevin C Rose, James A. Rusak, David B. Ryves, Daniel R. Scott, Ewan M. Shilland, Robyn L. Smyth, Peter A. Staehr, Rhian Thomas, Susan Waldron, Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer

PLOS ONE: Volume 11, Issue 3

FundersNatural Environment Research Council
Publication date29/03/2016
Publication date online29/03/2016
Date accepted by journal15/03/2016
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)