Saline Lakes project

Global temperature and precipitation patterns have already been changing as a result of climate change, and the change in the semi-arid and Mediterranean climate zones are predicted to be particularly dramatic. A 25-30% decrease in precipitation and a parallel increase in evaporation in the Mediterranean region are expected by the end of the 21st century. Moreover, the land in drought is expected to double from 2000 to 2100. The magnitude of these changes and a consequent increase in salinity poses a major threat to the functioning and biodiversity of lakes.

In this project, we aim at providing novel understanding of the structure and functioning of different types of saline/brackish lake ecosystems and their response to key stressors (warming, abstraction and external nutrient loading). We will sample a large gradient of saline lakes in contrasting climate zones in South-Western Anatolia, Turkey and in Central Kazakhstan.

To test our hypotheses we will establish the first advanced experimental mesocosm system for studying the climate change effects on saline lake ecosystems in the world. Two similar systems will be installed at METU Ankara Campus and at METU Marine Sciences Institute Campus in Mersin in order to cover two different climatic zones. Each facility will consist of 16 small lakes (mesocosms) equipped with high-frequency monitoring equipment.

A few examples of the mesocosm facilities around the world. We will establish the first advance mesocosm facility in Turkey.

Posted by saline lakes on 17.10.2019 under