Description: Paleolimnological studies provide a unique opportunity to explore multi-decadal trends and patterns in lake ecosystems. Such long-term perspectives help to establish baseline conditions and develop effective management strategies. Traditionally, however, paleolimnological studies have largely focused on understanding environmental history at a local to regional scale. Here, I build on this body of work and use a combination of meta-analysis and sediment sampling approaches to understand the variability in nutrient accumulation and productivity over the past 100-200 years in lakes across the globe. Using machine-learning models, I then relate these lake evolution trajectories to watershed disturbance legacies. Exploring the evolution of lake ecosystems and their drivers at a global scale provides critical insights about vulnerable areas or “hot spots” that need urgent attention and effective resource management.

Target audience: Anyone interested in lake ecosystems, long-term ecological records, lake management, and utilizing paleolimnological datasets in understanding patterns across wider geographical areas.