Biocomplexity at North Temperate Lakes LTER; Coordinated Field Studies: Littoral Plots 2001 - 2004
In 2001 - 2004 the abundance of coarse wood and other aspects of the physical structure of the littoral zone were surveyed along transects that followed the 0.5 m depth contour at 488 sites in Vilas County. These data were collected as part of the "cross-lake comparison" segment of the Biocomplexity Project (Landscape Context - Coordinated Field Studies). The study explored the links between terrestrial and aquatic systems across a gradient of residential development and lake landscape position. Specifically, this project attempted to relate the abundance of Coarse Wood in the littoral zone with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic features of the adjacent shoreline. Each of the 488 sites was a 50 m stretch of shoreline. The transects started and ended at the beginning and end of the site; the length of each transect, therefore, varied. Logs which were at least 150 cm in length were counted; more detailed descriptions were taken of logs at least 10 cm in diameter and 150 cm long. Information on littoral and shoreline substrate was also collected. Sampling Frequency: each site sampled once Number of sites: 488 sites on 61 Vilas County lakes were sampled from 2001-2004 (approximately 15 different lakes each year; eight sites per lake).
In 2001 - 2004 littoral habitat, fish and macrophyte surveys were performed at eight sites within each of the 55 lakes. The sites were chosen by randomly selecting two points per compass quadrant of each lake. Each year littoral habitat surveys were conducted in June, fish surveys in July and macrophyte surveys in August.Littoral habitat (substrate and coarse woody habitat) was measured along a 50 m transect parallel to shore along the 0.5 meter depth contour at each site. The two Littoral CWH variables (number of logs km-1 greater than 5 cm diameter, and number greater than 10 cm) were transformed by log of (1+number) to normalize the variables.