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.
Rapid transitions in ecosystem structure, or regime shifts, are a hallmark of alternative stable states. However, regime shifts can occur even when feedbacks are not strong enough to cause alternative stable states. Despite the theoretical and practical importance of distinguishing between different types of threshold responses, empirical evaluations of alternative stable states on management-relevant scales are rare. NTL-LTER researchers have observed rapid transitions between invasive rusty crayfish (Orconectesrusticus) and native sunfishes (Lepomis spp.) in two LTER lakes.
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.