Temporal coherence of limnological variables in four tropical lakes, Rio Doce State Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Mariana Peifer Bezerra, Pedro Maia Barbosa, Francisco Antônio Rodrigues Barbosa, José Fernandes Bezerra-Neto


Abstract: Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the presence of temporal coherence of physical, chemical, and biological variables to four tropical lakes of the Rio Doce State Park, using monthly data from the Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) between the years of 2004 to 2009. Methods: Subsurface data (0.5 meters) from the Carioca, Dom Helvécio, Gambazinho, and Jacaré Lakes were used in the analysis. We estimate the temporal coherence from the creation of time series for each of the variables. Through these series, we calculated the Pearson correlation coefficient between all pairs of lakes (N=6) and performed the average. We also investigated the relationship between the synchronicity of the lake pairs and the differences in their exposure to climatic factors, using two metrics: surface area and surface area/mean depth ratio. Results: The largest temporal coherence levels were recorded for water temperature (0.97), pH (0.78), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (0.74). The lowest levels were found to chlorophyll-a (0.25) and phytoplankton richness (-0.02). The average temporal coherence was 0.58. Different from others studies, no significant correlation was found between the synchronicity of the lake pairs and the differences in their exposure to climatic factors. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the existence of temporal coherence in tropical lakes to compatible levels with those found in temperate regions and are important for possible future generalizations about the topic. The strong spatial patterns found reiterate the importance of studying lakes ecosystems within a temporal coherence context for a more comprehensive description of these environments.


synchronicity; temporal coherence; spatial variation; temporal variation; lake districts; tropical lakes

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