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.
Toxic cyanobacterial blooms threaten freshwaters worldwide but have proven difficult to predict because the mechanisms of bloom formation and toxin production are unknown, especially on weekly time scales. Water quality management continues to focus on aggregated metrics, such as chlorophyll and total nutrients, and these measures may not be sufficient to explain complex community changes and functions such as toxin production. For example, nitrogen (N) speciation and cycling play an important role in shaping cyanobacterial communities on daily time scales based on function because declining N has been shown to select for N2 fixers.
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.