Tracing solar fingerprints in shallow mountain lakes from the Arctic to the Alps
Presenta: Martiina Rantala
Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki
Sunlight controls fundamental ecosystem functions in shallow mountain lakes. Changes in underwater light driven by amplified warming can have cascading effects not only on aquatic biota but also on ourselves through the biogeochemical carbon cycle and climate feedbacks. To shed more light on underwater optics, the project "Sedimentary perspectives on UV radiation and organic carbon fluctuations in mountains lakes" (2017–2022) set out to elucidate synoptic interlinks between underwater light, aquatic carbon biochemistry, landscape carbon cycling and climate change in high latitude and high altitude mountain lakes. Using a synthesis of experimental and sedimentary approaches, the project explores how sunlight alters the biochemical composition of aquatic carbon pools, and how the solar fingerprints are stored in lake sediments providing a window into past lake-climate-solar interactions. In summer 2020 this search will shift from the Finnish tundra to the Italian Alps. This presentation is for anyone curious to learn why underwater light in remote mountain lakes matters, and to those potentially interested in collaborating during our alpine endeavors.
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