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.
Understanding the conditions that enable or constrain success in environmental governance is crucial for developing effective interventions and adapting approaches. Efforts to achieve and assess success in environmental quality improvement are often impeded by changes in conditions that drive outcomes but lie outside the scope of intervention and monitoring. Through historical trend analysis, GIS mapping, and policy analyses of the Yahara River watershed (YRW; the watershed for NTL study lakes Mendota, Monona, and Wingra), we documented how long-term changes in land use, agriculture, and climate act as non-stationary drivers of change that combine to render water quality management interventions less effective and increasingly difficult to assess.
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.