Lake Burtnieks is the 4th largest lake in Latvia which lies entirely within the Northern Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve. Its total surface area is 40,06 km2. It is shallow with an average depth of 2.9m.
The lake is a popular fishing and recreation destination. Unfortunately, in the recent years, Burtnieks has faced several ecological problems such as overgrowing with reeds, rushes and other macrophytes, intensive algae blooms during the summer months as well as reduced amount of valuable fish species. These rapid changes in the lake ecosystem can lead to degraded food chain. Previous studies show that in Burtnieks there are already 11 species of toxic algae. Such an intensive algae bloom can leave behind toxic elements that accumulate in the food-chain and can be poisonous for people.
It is highly possible, that one of the causes of lake’s ecological problems is climate changes. However, to find scientifically approved solutions, the scientists of the Project CyCLE will carry out a holistic study of the Lake Burntieks ecosystem and inner food-chain.
Lake Alūksne is located in the Alūksne highland and is the 11th biggest lake in Latvia. Its total surface is 15,44 km2 with an average depth 7,1 meters.
Lake Alūksne is very popular among fishermen and vacationists in both summer and winter time. However, despite being in relatively good ecological condition, there have been noted negative changes in the lake’s ecological condition. Such as the overgrowth of the lake’s inner subsection and increasing amount of algae blooms during the summer. The main problems are caused by human activities and climate changes.
To be prepared for effects of climate changes and to measure the impact of toxic algae, the scientists of the Project CyCLE will carry out a holistic survey of lake’s ecological condition and food-chain.