US Long-Term Ecological Research Network

classifies the projects into NTL and NTL leveraged

Winter chloride concentrations in urban wetlands and streams around Lake Mendota

One measure of when winter begins in the Class of 1918 Marsh is when ice cover first appears. This begins a winter tale of changes above and below the waters that are contributing to the degradation of this prized Preserve ecosystem. These changes follow from the pile up of snow on the campus and the subsequent application of road salt to streets, parking lots, and sidewalks, and to the storage of excess snow at the snow pile adjacent to the 1918 Marsh (see photo). Road salt, in various forms, includes ‘chloride’ ions that are toxic at high concentrations;

Temporal and Spatial Variability of Algal Distributions in Lake Mendota

Lake Mendota, a large eutrophic lake, has experienced harmful algal blooms for well over a century.  These harmful algal blooms have a dramatic impact on lake aesthetics and cause a serious human health concern.  Spatial and temporal variability have been observed during the open water season, but due to time and method constraints, spatial sampling has been limited.

Aquatic Invasive Species in the NHLD

An important aspect of aquatic invasive species (AIS) management is the role humans play in their dispersal. For the spread of AIS among inland lakes, the typical pathway for dispersal is boaters moving from lake to lake. We aim to develop a spatial dynamic model of species invasions within a freshwater lake system in which a set of managing agents is concerned with the inter-seasonal spread of invasive species across lakes (where a season is defined in this case as the annual boating season), and recreational boaters/anglers make a series of intra-seasonal trip decisions to maximize random utility during the course of the season, subject to the actions taken by the manager.

Boater behavior and species invasion

An important aspect of aquatic invasive species (AIS) management is the role humans play in their dispersal. For the spread of AIS among inland lakes, the typical pathway for dispersal is boaters moving from lake to lake. We aim to develop a spatial dynamic model of species invasions within a freshwater lake system in which a set of managing agents is concerned with the inter-seasonal spread of invasive species across lakes (where a season is defined in this case as the annual boating season), and recreational boaters/anglers make a series of intra-seasonal trip decisions to maximize random utility during the course of the season, subject to the actions taken by the manager.

Scenarios for the Future of Lake Wingra

Lake Wingra (Madison, Wisconsin) is an urban lake that is used by the public in many ways. The lake adds to the natural beauty of surrounding lands that contain Edgewood College, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Vilas Zoo, and public parks. Diverse users enjoy boating, fishing and swimming in the lake. The lake receives runoff waters from an urban watershed. These carry sediments and pollutants, such as nutrients and road salt. Lake Wingra is eutrophic due to excessive phosphorus inputs. The lake harbors some harmful exotic species, including common carp and Eurasian water milfoil.

Population Dynamics of the Invasive Spiny Water Flea

The spiny water flea, an invasive species of the Great Lakes and surrounding inland lakes, was discovered in Lake Mendota in September of 2009.  Since it’s invasion into the Madison lakes, the spiny water flea population has reached some of the highest densities recorded in any of its known invaded or native ranges.  The preferred meal of the spiny water flea is a small aquatic crustacean, Daphnia.  The Daphnia of Lake Mendota are essential in maintaining clear, algae free water through grazing (like miniature lake cattle). Through predation, the spiny water flea may decrease the Lake Mendota Daphnia population abundance, which in turn may allow algae to grow unchecked. My goal is to figure out if this is happening in Lake Mendota while also looking at the broader impact of the spiny water flea on other zooplankton (small aquatic crustaceans like Daphnia) and fish communities.

Changing Lake Variables

The overarching theme of this research is to determine how lake variables (e.g. ice cover, thermal structure, water level) have changed during the past century, and how they may continue to change under a changing climate. Currently, I am focusing on one dimensional and three dimensional hydrodynamic modeling of the NTL-LTER study lakes. Development of hydrodynamic models allows for understanding of lake dynamics that cannot be captured by field measurements, and also provides the ability to predict how changes in external ...

Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Mendota

We’re researching algae dynamics in Lake Mendota in attempt to explain and predict harmful algal blooms and scums that form in eutrophic lakes. The current emphasis is on characterizing and understanding how spatial differences in algal growth and aggregation are affected by physical processes and movement of water masses in the lake. The research leverages automated sensing techniques to measure phytoplankton at high-res both in time and through space.

Response of Phytoplankton Communities to Disturbance and Drought

This research investigates the sensitivity of phytoplankton communities to historical droughts and terrestrial disturbances in northern Wisconsin. Questions that motivate me include: To what extent have disturbances, namely clear-cut logging and forest fire, interacted with droughts over time to influence phytoplankton communities in northern Wisconsin lakes? Did phytoplankton dynamics depend upon site-specific characteristics of the lake, namely the lake's landscape position?  To answer these questions, I have collected sediment cores from six lakes situated along a gradient of landscape position...

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