Interaction of under-ice physical, chemical, and biological processes with lake ice/snow cover is examined to better understand how changing winter climate may affect lake ecosystems. We derived under-ice dissolved oxygen (DO) dynamics from high-frequency observations and modified a widely used lake metabolism model by including the effect of freezing and thawing on DO concentration. Estimates were produced for the production and respiration in a shallow lake on the Mongolian Plateau in three winters. Diel, synoptic, and seasonal variations in DO concentration were detected as responses to solar radiation, episodic snowfall events, and occasional convective mixing. Based on the observations and a radiative transfer model, incident solar radiation was partitioned into reflectance, absorbance, and transmittance by the snow and ice cover. For bare ice, the contributions of these three parts were 35%, 39%, and 26%, respectively, while under a new 4.5 cm thick snow cover, the corresponding values were 79%, 17%, and 3%. This points out the critical role of snow and ice on under-ice light conditions, which is the primary forcing for the temperature and the rate of photosynthesis under ice. The results showed three principal factors, which influenced under-ice DO and metabolism: (1) thickness and optical properties of ice and snow, which affected the light transfer and depth of the euphotic zone, (2) mediated radiation and ice-water heat transfer which controlled water temperature, and (3) DO exclusion during freezing and dilution by melt water. This study highlights the ecosystem characteristics in shallow ice-covered lakes in arid temperate regions and promotes our understanding of the response of the cold aquatic environment to climate change.
- 1181 Ekologi, evolutionsbiologi