National Projects
Project duration: 
Dec 2014 to Dec 2016

Sets of lakes in the landscape are known as lake districts. The objective of this project is to demonstrate that the lake district acts as a regional functional ecological unit.


The hypothesis is that ecological properties, beyond the simple addition of smaller units (lakes), emerge from the densification of lakes in a region. They could result among others from topographical restrictions, border effects, directional environmental gradients, stochastic colonizing patterns, concatenation of dominant biogeochemical processes.

The study will be conducted in the lake district of the Pyrenees, for which the research group has a large amount of information after 30 years of limnological and environmental research. The relief of high mountains transforms the dynamics between "islands" (lakes ) in a plane  into a three-dimensional "landscape" or network of "islands". In this situation, some emergent properties may exhibit traits more pronounced, or simply different, due to more explicit connections and physical barriers.

The study divides into four analytical objectives that consider the lake district , respectively , as:

i) a network of lakes with varying connection distances between nodes according to the process considered,

ii ) a biogeochemical reactor spatially complex, in which how biogeochemical compartments are spatially distributed affects the final result ;

iii) a metacommunity in which the influence of spatial and environmental factors may vary according to the lifestyle of the organisms considered

iv ) and finally, an ontogenetic unit, where the whole district has a directional historical development, as each of the lakes, interrupted only by major climatic fluctuations and tectonic events..

  • El concepte de districte lacustre en la comprensió ecològica de l'alta muntanya