On Agust 18th a research event dedicated to the fourth largest Latvia's Lake Burtnieks took place. Through interactive science workshops participants got to know Lake Burtniek's food chain and learnt how climate change can bring negative effects on the lake's ecosystem.
The reseach of Lake Burtnieks ecosystem has been carried out since 2013. In 2015, for the first time a holistic survey on the impacts of climate change on the lake ecosystem and the consequences of blue-green algae blooming was added to the existing research activities, thereby creating the project CyCLE.The survey is carried out by highly qualified scientists and researchers from the Institute for Environmental Solutions and Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology.
During the workshops locals, municipality representatives and other enthusiasts saw the methods that scientists are using for analysis of the lake's food chain. They quizzed the scientists on how climate change and intensive algae blooming impact the lake. Furthermore, all participants partook in the practical research process by collecting fish samples, sorting and measuring them, as well as analysing the content of fish stomachs. Scientists also demonsrated shellfish ability to filter the lake's water and attendees observed how Lake Burtnieks' zooplankton and phytoplankton look through microscope.
The Project CyCLE will be carried out in two lakes in Latvia – Lake Burtnieks and the Alūksne Lake. To enhance society’s understanding about the impact of climate change on these lakes, the research results will be publicly available on the Project website and in municipalities' offices. The Project is financially supported by the European Economic Area (EEA) financial mechanism and co-financed by the Institute for Environmental Solutions and the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology.