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CR 51:125-133 (2012)  -  DOI:

Influence of atmospheric modes of variability on a deep lake south of the Alps

Nico Salmaso*

IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Istituto Agrario di S. Michele all’Adige - Fondazione E. Mach, Sustainable Agro-ecosystems and Bioresources Department, Via E. Mach 1, 38010, S. Michele all’Adige, Trento, Italy

ABSTRACT: Limnological measurements and winter air temperatures recorded in a deep lake south of the Alps (Lake Garda) have been analysed and related to temporal variations in 5 teleconnection patterns, i.e. the East Atlantic pattern (EA), the Eastern Mediterranean Pattern (EMP), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Scandinavia pattern (SCAND) and the East Atlantic/West Russia Pattern (EA/WR). The EA and EMP played a significant role in winter in the large-scale atmospheric circulation over the Mediterranean region. Positive and negative EA, and negative and positive EMP phases were closely connected with the development of mild and harsh winters, respectively. In turn, harsh winters had a strong positive impact on the development of diatoms in spring and cyanobacteria in summer and autumn. These modifications were controlled through a linked chain of factors, which included lower winter lake water temperatures, deep lake circulation episodes, and higher replenishment of epilimnetic phosphorus at spring overturn. This work demonstrates the existence of a strong connection between large-scale climatic fluctuations over the Mediterranean area and the temporal variations in the limnological characteristics of the large lakes located between the Alps and the northern border of the Mediterranean region. Conversely, the NAO, SCAND and EA/WR did not show any relationship with the winter climate and the limnological characteristics of Lake Garda.

KEY WORDS: Climatic fluctuations · Deep lakes · Lake overturn · Climate–nutrient interactions · East Atlantic pattern · Eastern Mediterranean Pattern · North Atlantic Oscillation

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Cite this article as: Salmaso N (2012) Influence of atmospheric modes of variability on a deep lake south of the Alps. Clim Res 51:125-133.

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