North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research studies the ecology of lakes as one of a network of sites established by the National Science Foundation. We are interested in how biophysical setting, climate, and changing land use and cover interact to shape lake characteristics and dynamics over time (past, present, future).
Our primary study sites include a set of seven northern Wisconsin and four southern Wisconsin lakes and their surrounding landscapes. The project, which started in 1981, is administered by the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Recent syntheses suggest that globally, about half of the annual net global carbon input from the atmosphere to terrestrial ecosystems is passed on to streams, lakes and rivers. This flux is of great consequence to the global C cycle, but is currently very poorly constrained. To address questions about carbon cycling and potential climate change feedbacks we gathered a collaborative team of researchers and constructed a carbon budget for the ~6400 km2 Northern Highlands lake district (NHLD), integrating lake, stream, wetland and forests into the same framework. We used a combination of approaches including new field surveys in wetlands, tower-based CO2 flux measurements, modeling using NTL-LTER and other data, and published literature. This is one of the first ever complete carbon budgets at a regional scale to incorporate aquatic ecosystems. ....
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #DEB-0822700, NTL LTER. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.