"The Impacts of a Warming Climate and Changing Land Use on Aquatic Ecosystems in Mongolia," Shinneman (UW)

Start Date/Time: Thursday, November 03, 2011, 12:30 PM
Ending Date/Time: Thursday, November 03, 2011, 1:30 PM
Location: Denny Hall 123

***Central Inner Asian Studies Seminar***

Title: "The Impacts of a Warming Climate and Changing Land Use on Aquatic Ecosystems in Mongolia”
Speaker: Avery Cook Shinneman, Postdoctoral Researcher, Oceanography, UW

The semi-arid plateaus of western Mongolia have a wide range of lake and other aquatic ecosystems. Thousand of years of human habitation and a highly variable climate combine to create a complex series of stressors on these ecosystems. A modern survey of the lakes showed that the majority were in excess of international standards for nutrient concentrations; a significant concern for water quality. Climate warming and major land-use changes have profoundly affected the Mongolian landscape in the past several decades. Previous studies have recognized the impacts of a warmer, more arid climate and Mongolia’s 1991 transition from a command to a market economy on terrestrial ecosystems, including impaired sustainability of subsistence herding and threats to wild animals. The presenter examined the combined effects of changing climate and herding practices on lake water quality in Western Mongolia using inferences from biological and geochemical changes in sediment cores taken from regional lakes. The results presented here demonstrate a need for further study and long-term monitoring of water quality in Mongolia to understand the complicated interactions of climate and land use on aquatic resources and to preserve water quality in the remote and ecologically important region.