Long-term changes in Lake Balaton and its fish populations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ancient lakes harbour unique biotas and offer biologists unrivalled opportunities for studies of ecology and evolution. They are often referred to as "natural laboratories", yet for many ancient lakes and for many faunal groups meaningful research is still in its infancy. The aim of this chapter is to illustrate, through the example of a "modern" lake, the Hungarian Lake Balaton, how detailed and long-term studies are fundamental to achieving an understanding of both physical and biotic processes in a lake's ecosystem. Long-term biotic changes resulting from environmental perturbations are highlighted and examples given of how the fish biota has responded to human-induced changes in this highly eutrophic shallow lake. It is hoped that such long-term research perspectives will also be applied to the ancient lakes of the world. A comprehensive and systematic study of Lake Balaton began in the Lake nineteenth century. Changes in the water (environment) quality of Lake Balaton have been monitored using research data on geological history, limnology and water chemistry, phytoplankton and primary productivity. Studies on the zooplankton and benthic invertebrate communities have been conducted, and fish population dynamics, stock-recruitment relationships and trophic interactions have been widely documented. Together, these studies have revealed profund anthropogenic changes in the ecology of the lake since the 1960s. Furthermore, reports on the distribution, introductions and immigration of several fish species showed human-induced changes in species diversity and demonstrated the ecologically deleterious effects of dredging of wetlands. More recently, restoration measures implemented since the late 1970s have begun to take effect, and recent years have seen unusually low algal and benthic biomass values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-613
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Ecological Research
Volume31
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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long-term change
lakes
lake
fish
limnology
biota
ecology
lake ecosystem
trophic interaction
organisms
infancy
hydrochemistry
dredging
nineteenth century
immigration
water chemistry
biologists
primary productivity
species diversity
population dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Long-term changes in Lake Balaton and its fish populations. / Bíró, P.

In: Advances in Ecological Research, Vol. 31, 2000, p. 599-613.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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