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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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GEISHA-Stormblitz : Global Evaluation of the Impacts of Storms on freshwater Habitat and structure of phytoplankton Assemblages

Motivations & working plan

Although climate change is expected to cause more intense and frequent weather events, we only have a basic understanding of how such events might alter freshwater phytoplankton communities, and thereby influence ecosystem function and services. Storms can have direct impacts on abiotic processes in lakes including thermal stratification, mixing dynamics, and nutrient loading, which in turn may influence niche availability, phytoplankton community structure, and community resilience to such disturbances.

Thus, there is a significant need to better understand how storms affect phytoplankton communities. Storm-blitz has been organized within the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) to address those questions through sharing of long-term and high-frequency datasets from lakes across the globe.

GEISHA, supported by the Centre for the Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity (CESAB) and the USGS Powell Center, was built within the Storm-Blitz framework to 1) gather and standardize existing datasets, 2) perform meta-analyses to evaluate the sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems to extreme weather events, and 3) provide new frameworks to explore theoretical questions related to phytoplankton diversity and succession.

To achieve the project‘s goal, the work will be divided in four main tasks which are described below and will form the core GEISHA’s research efforts.

Task-1: Data Compilation (Coordinators: Jason Stockwell)

Task-2: Method Development (Coordinators: Sami Souissi and Marc Lajeunesse)

Task-3: Data Analyses (Coordinators: Gaël Dur, François Schmitt, Patrick Venail)

Task-4: Interpretation, Synthesis and Theoretical Models of Changes in Communities (Coordinators: Nico Salmaso and Jason Stockwell)

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