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.
The four Yahara River chain of lakes – Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa – have experienced undesirable blue-green algal blooms fueled by excessive phosphorus (P) inputs for years. Analyzing over 30 years of highly variable P loading and in-lake data, NTL-LTER scientists developed P load reduction targets needed for improving water quality in the lakes. These reduction targets were based on lower P loads measured during a 2-year drought when water quality in all four lakes was substantially better.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #DEB-1440297, 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.