Integrating Vertical and Horizontal Approaches for Management of Shallow Lakes and Wetlands

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Chimaditida, Koronia, Lake management, Phytoplankton-dominated systems

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Most lake restoration/rehabilitation schemes are biased toward vertical lake management practices generally applicable to deep lakes. Unfortunately, most schemes fail to or inadequately consider their actions within the context of horizontal lake management, an especially critical component when considering shallow lakes. Two Greek lakes, phytoplankton-dominated Koronia and macrophyte-dominated Chimaditida, are used to illustrate the importance of integrating vertical and horizontal considerations in the management of shallow lakes experiencing pronounced water level reduction. Attempting to manage the structure and function of fringing wetlands via vertical manipulations of the water column are doomed to failure without consideration of changes in physical and chemical aspects of the "memory" (sediments, soils). Fringing wetlands must not be considered as monotypic habitats interacting with lakes in direct proportion to their aerial extent. A predominately vertical lake management approach is probably valid for systems such as Lake Koronia without a history of significant submersed or emergent macrophytes. For those lakes embedded within significant wetlands like Lake Chimaditida, however, failure to consider horizontal lake management as a significant component of the overall system rehabilitation will likely diminish its successful outcome. Finally, definitions of wetlands currently used by Ramsar and aquatic scientists based primarily on structural aspects of ecosystems need to be modified to recognize the overriding importance of aerially differentiated functional aspects within vegetated communities as well as fundamental differences between vegetated and open-water habitats.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Ecological Engineering, v. 24, issue 4, p. 379-389